ROH Supercard Of Honor XII (WrestleMania Weekend 2018 Previews)
ROH Supercard Of Honor XII
April 7, 2018
8:30 PM EDT / 7:30 PM CDT
UNO Lakefront Arena
New Orleans, Louisiana
Cody vs. Kenny Omega
There’s no question that a lot of people see this as being the most anticipated match of the entire weekend. After months and months of buildup (across New Japan, ROH, and Being The Elite), these two are finally facing off in a singles encounter. I’m sure that many of the 5000+ that will be in attendance for this show purchased their tickets solely because of this match. I’m not sure that (from a match quality perspective) this will top the Ladder Match that will take place earlier in the night, but it definitely has the chance to be great. With this being such a big match, in front of such a large crowd, you know that Omega is going to take this serious (and I’m sure he’ll be wearing his “big match tights”).
As far as Cody is concerned, it’ll be interesting to see how he does in such a prominent spot. Everyone would agree that his character work throughout this whole storyline has been exceptional, but of course, his wrestling ability has always been a huge question mark. Over the last year, however, it’s been proven that when Cody’s been put up against an elite (no pun intended) performer, such as Okada or Ibushi, he can have a truly great match. I have confidence that he’ll come into this wanting to work his ass off, because much like Omega, he knows this is a huge deal. Cody has invested so much into this story with The Bullet Club (and his feud with Omega in particular), that it’s gotten to the point where it needs to deliver. Now, the winner of this one is going to depend greatly on what the finish ends up being. If they have a clean match the whole way through, I would lean more towards Omega picking up the win. At the same time, you can’t rule out potential shenanigans with the rest of The Bullet Club towards the end. While that type of finish could certainly add A TON to the overall story (and I’m sure the fans in attendance will eat it up no matter what they do), it could take away from the match itself. In that scenario, I could easily see Cody sneaking out with a win (if he does win, it won’t be clean, but that’s just me). I’m going to go with Omega, though how this match ends will really dictate what the story is moving forward. Prediction: Kenny Omega
ROH World Title
Dalton Castle vs. “The Villain” Marty Scurll
For the last several months on ROH TV, Marty Scurll has been demanding a shot at the ROH World Title, nothing that he’s never received a shot at the title since he joined the promotion. At the 16th Anniversary Show, Scurll finally earned his first shot at the ROH World Title when he scored a victory over Punishment Martinez. Now, “The Villain” is challenging the same person that he defeated when he made his ROH debut in November 2016: Dalton Castle.
I’m not sure if this will end up being the best bout of the night, but it should still be really good. Scurll always delivers on these big ROH events, and Castle is coming off (arguably) the best match of his career against Jay Lethal at the 16th Anniversary Show. Plus, in front of a record-breaking ROH crowd, you know they’ll be incredibly motivated. The only aspect of this match that I’m not sure about is the result. It might be the most unpredictable on the entire card, in that regard. Scurll has all the tools to be a future ROH World Champion, and I firmly believe that he should be the next person to hold that title. However, it doesn’t feel like the right time for Castle’s reign to end. I’m not expecting him to have this super long run with the title, but I feel that it’s too soon for him to lose it. That’s the main reason why I’m picking Castle to retain, but if Scurll captured the title here, it wouldn’t shock me. This one could legitimately go either way, and that aspect actually adds a lot more intrigue to it. Prediction: Dalton Castle
ROH World Six-Man Tag Team Titles – Ladder Match
SoCal Uncensored (The Addiction & Scorpio Sky) vs. The Young Bucks & Flip Gordon
Originally, this was scheduled to just be a regular six-man tag team bout, with SoCal Uncensored defending against The Kingdom. However, with the recent announcement of The Kingdom being barred from Supercard Of Honor XII and the Festival Of Honor (which was to include a special “Conspiracy Town Hall” hosted by The Kingdom), that quickly changed, as the new ROH Enforcer Bully Ray announced that SoCal Uncensored would instead defend their titles in a Ladder Match against The Young Bucks & Flip Gordon (who is in this spot because Adam Page is already facing Kota Ibushi). Of course, this serves as a continuation of the ongoing Bullet Club/SoCal Uncensored feud, but it’s also a big development with regards to Being The Elite. After repeatedly harassing Flip Gordon for most of 2017, The Young Bucks have started to slowing warm up to him over the last few months (even though the rest of The Bullet Club still shunned him). It’ll be very interesting to see how that relationship develops, both on this event, and going forward.
Now I’m expecting this to be completely bonkers, and personally, it might be my most anticipated match of the entire weekend (and that’s saying something, considering the sheer amount of events that will be taking place in New Orleans). While numerous gimmick matches have been bastardized ever since the turn of the century (primarily by WWE & TNA), the Ladder Match in ROH is one of the few instances where a particular stipulation still means something. We rarely see the Ladder Match/Ladder War in ROH, and because of that, it feels special every time they bust it out. The Young Bucks have been involved in the last two Ladder Matches in ROH, and both of those bouts were legitimate Match Of The Year Contenders. Will this one reach those same heights? I’m not entirely sure, but it certainly has the potential to get to that point. The Addiction & The Young Bucks know each other so well, and they were a big reason why Ladder War VI was so critically acclaimed. I have full confidence in those four delivering another excellent performance here, and I’m sure Scorpio Sky will work well with them also, since he’s very familiar with those four guys. The only person I’m concerned about is Flip Gordon. Even though Gordon has shown incredible potential in the past (see the match he had with Will Ospreay last year at Global Wars in Chicago), he’s also had his fair share of sloppy outings (just see the Triple Threat Match from this year’s Honor Rising tour). Honestly, I just hope he doesn’t seriously hurt himself trying to do something crazy. While I don’t see SoCal Uncensored losing the titles they just won last month, the result of this one won’t matter that much, because it will be easily overshadowed by all of the crazy stunts these guys will be pulling off. Prediction: SoCal Uncensored
ROH World Tag Team Titles
The Briscoes (c) vs. Jay Lethal & Hiroshi Tanahashi
The Briscoes captured the ROH World Tag Team Titles for an unprecedented ninth time when they defeated The Motor City Machine Guns in a very underwhelming match at the 16th Anniversary Show. In New Orleans, they’ll be making their first title defense against the “dream team” (those are ROH’s words, not mine) of Jay Lethal & Hiroshi Tanahashi. It’s fair to say that the result of this particular title bout really isn’t in question, especially now that Tanahashi is getting a shot at the IWGP Heavyweight Title next month against Okada. Lethal will definitely be eating the pin here. That being said, this should still be a very strong tag team encounter. Of course, all four men are incredibly talented performers (with Tanahashi being one of the best wrestlers on the planet in the last decade). Plus, we’ll be seeing Jay Briscoe lock horns with Jay Lethal again, and we all know the history that those two have with each other. This is a great first title defense for The Briscoes, and hopefully (with a really solid outing here), they’ll be able to erase that match they had with The Motor City Machine Guns from our memories. Prediction: The Briscoes
ROH World TV Title – Last Man Standing Match
Kenny King vs. Silas Young
I was pretty surprised when this was first announced.
After Austin Aries called out Kenny King at the 16th Anniversary Show, I figured that King would be defending his ROH World TV Title against Aries, who has been on a belt collecting expedition as of late. Instead, we’re getting what appears to be the final chapter in this Kenny King/Silas Young feud. These have been playing a bit of hot potato with this title over the last few months, with King winning back the title at a TV Taping in February after Young had won it in a Four-Way Elimination Match at Final Battle 2017. While I’m not super excited to see these two go at it again, the stipulation does add a bit of juice to it. Over the last few years, the Last Man Standing Match has become a specialty of sorts for Silas Young, as he’s used it to win feuds with ACH & Jay Lethal. With that record, it would seem likely that Young might recapture the title here, but I’m picking Kenny King to retain. With Austin Aries (presumably) facing the winner, I get the feeling that they want to got with Aries vs. King, since they have history together in ROH. This bout should be very solid (it’ll probably end up being the best match in the Kenny King/Silas Young rivalry), but at this point, we’re all just waiting for the title defense against Aries to happen. Prediction: Kenny King
“The Hangman” Adam Page vs. Kota Ibushi
It’s been almost a decade since we’ve seen Kota Ibushi in ROH (he made a few appearances in 2008). Now he’s back, and he’s taking on Adam Page, who has become Cody’s right hand man over the course of this “civil war” within The Bullet Club. To be frank, when Ibushi was first announced for this show, Page wasn’t high on my list of potential opponents for him. However, in hindsight, the match makes perfect sense. Page has been firmly on the side of Team Cody, while Ibushi (for obvious reasons) backed Omega. In a way, this is sort of a “proxy war” in the larger Cody/Kenny Omega conflict. As far as the match itself is concerned, the changes of it being great are pretty good. Of course, whenever you have Kota Ibushi in a singles environment, he almost never fails to deliver. With regards to Adam Page, I know opinions on him are mixed, but I have confidence that he’ll hold up his end of the bargain here. He’s going up against one of the best wrestlers on the planet, on the biggest show in the history of ROH. Page has to step up his game, and I believe he will. Even though the chances of him actually beating Ibushi aren’t very high, my gut tells me that we’ll look back on this as being one the best matches of Page’s career. Prediction: Kota Ibushi
Punishment Martinez vs. Tomohiro Ishii
Tomohiro Ishii hasn’t been seen in ROH since the War Of The Worlds Tour in May 2016, when he lost the ROH World TV Title to Bobby Fish (that feels like ages ago). There really isn’t much of a backstory to this match. One of the toughest competitors in New Japan is coming in to take on a rising star in ROH. This could be a dark horse contender for match of the night. We all know how great Ishii is, so I don’t think anyone is concerned about him not holding up his end of the bargain. It will be interesting to see how Ishii’s positioned the match, because given the size different, I could see this drawing parallels to the bouts he’s had in the past against the likes of Bad Luck Fale, Davey Boy Smith Jr., and Lance Archer. As for Martinez, this a huge opportunity for him. He’s shown a lot of growth over the last year, and this is easily one of the biggest matches of his career. While Ishii scoring the victory is the likely outcome, I’m pulling for Martinez to have a very strong showing. Prediction: Tomohiro Ishii
Women Of Honor Title Tournament Finals
Kelly Klein/Mayu Iwatani vs. Sumie Sakai/Tenille Dashwood
The winner of this match will be crowned the first-ever Women Of Honor Champion. This the only bout on the card that isn’t fully known, as of yet. That’s because the semi-finals (Kelly Klein vs. Mayu Iwatani & Sumie Sakai vs. Tenille Dashwood) will be taking place on the pre-show, which starts at 7:30 PM EDT / 6:30 PM EDT. If past pre-shows are any indication, those two matches should be airing live on Facebook. While Tenille Dashwood is pretty much a lock to make the finals, that other semi-final could go either way. Kelly Klein has been built up as the strongest homegrown talent in the WOH division (with her only loss in singles competition since her debut in 2015 coming via count out), but Mayu Iwatani is one of the best that Stardom has to offer, and I originally picked her to make the finals when the tournament participants were first revealed. In my view, the outcome of that Kelly Klein/Mayu Iwatani bout is going to determine who ultimately wins this title. If Klein wins, and we get Kelly Klein vs. Tenille Dashwood in the finals, then I think Klein wins the title. However, if Iwatani wins, and we get Iwatani vs. Tenille Dashwood, then I would go with Dashwood winning the title. As of right now, I’m leaning towards the latter scenario. I can’t see ROH bringing in someone like Iwatani just to work a pre-show match. Plus, Dashwood is probably the biggest star in the WOH Division at the moment, and I feel like her being the first WOH Champion would be a good move to bring some more attention to the division as a whole. If she’s committed to working regularly for ROH, then Dashwood is the person I’d go with. Prediction: Tenille Dashwood