Preview: Ring of Honor Returns to PPV Tonight w/ Stacked Card; Jay Lethal vs Adam Cole, Briscoe vs Fish, Top Stars of NJPW & More

Mike Killam

Death Before Dishonor

Ring of Honor returns to pay-per-view tonight with their annual Death Before Dishonor events, showcasing some of the biggest names of New Japan Pro Wrestling, a world title match years in the making, the return of Michael Elgin and so much more. 

The show kicks off at 9:00PM EST (6PM PST) tonight, and Wrestlezone will have live coverage and a discussion area going up before the event. There are several ways to watch – as noted this will be the ROH return to PPV, but it is also available through ROHWrestling.com, the FITE TV app and the Playstation Network. It will also be broadcast with a region-lock in Japan for NJPW World subscribers (and those who know how to use a VPN). 

Let’s break down the card. 

ROH WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
ADAM COLE vs. JAY LETHAL (c)

The ace of the House of Truth, Jay Lethal has managed to retain the ROH World Championship for an impressive 426 days, through some incredibly tough challengers. Men like Kyle O’Reilly, AJ Styles, New Japan’s Satoshi Kojima, Tomoaki Honma and Michael Elgin, Jay Briscoe, and Colt Cabana. None can deny that Lethal has been a fighting champion. 

And then there’s Adam Cole. The man who made his name in Ring of Honor. A former ROH World Champion in his own right. Seemingly the leader of the Western branch of the Bullet Club. A man who sat injured for half of 2015, watching Lethal rise through the ranks of ROH as television champion, win the world title and take his spot atop the promotion. 

When ROH matchmaker Nigel McGuinness proactively proclaimed that Cole would never receive another opportunity at the world title, due to his recent actions alongside the Bullet Club, Cole and the Young Bucks launched an all-out assault on Lethal, shaving his head bald. Out of rage and a desire for revenge, the champion pleaded with Nigel to make the match official – and so it is. This has the makings of one of the best PPV main events in the history of Ring of Honor. 

ROH TV CHAMPIONSHIP
MARK BRISCOE vs. BOBBY FISH (c)

The villainous Bobby Fish defends his world television title, won back in May from New Japan strong man Tomohiro Ishii, one of the show-stealers in this year’s G1 Climax tournament. Fish claims that with him the title has become the number one entity in ROH, and on “Jay Briscoe’s little brother” it goes back to being a “secondary” belt. In his own right, Mark is an eight-time ROH Tag Team Champion, and one half of the current reigning IWGP Tag Team Champions, but despite a 14 year career with the company, he is still looking for that first singles title that would set him apart from his older brother. 

ROH TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP
THE ADDICTION (KAZARIAN & DANIELS)(c) vs. LOS INGOBERNABLES DE JAPON (TETSUYA NAITO & EVIL) vs. HIROSHI TANAHASHI & MICHAEL ELGIN

This is an interesting combination of stars. In the past these kinds of inter-promotional matches didn’t really have the hype of a potential title change (a few exceptions withstanding), but with the partnership between ROH and New Japan growing stronger each month, and the Briscoes recently retaining the IWGP tag titles during the G1 Climax Finals, it might be fitting to see a New Japan team walk away with the ROH straps, if for nothing else to even up the score between the two brands. But to do that, either team will have to get through The Addiction. TNA fans may remember this duo as Bad Influence, arguably the most entertaining tag team in the history of the promotion. 

This match also sees the return of Michael Elgin – prepare yourself for several loud “BIG MIKE!” shrieks from commentator Steve Corino – who left ROH some time ago and legitimized himself as a top star in Japan. The strong man defeated Kenny Omega earlier this summer in the first ever ladder match in NJPW history, becoming the IWGP Intercontinental Champion in the process. His performance in the G1 continued to establish him as a must-see performer, which should make the former ROH World Champion’s return all the sweater, alongside the biggest name in Japan, Hiroshi Tanahashi. 

And in the other corner… Also making his return, albeit in slightly different fashion, is the former Watanabe. Fans were critical of his ROH run last year, which many believe yielded very little for the big man, but his return to Japan and complete 180-degree gimmick change has been a massive success. The newly dubbed “King of Darkness”, Evil, is a member of Los Ingobernables de Japon, the most popular and dominant heel faction in NJPW. Their leader, Testuya Naito, is a former IWGP Heavyweight Champion and one of the top three stars in the promotion. 

Also on tonight’s card…

– IWGP Heavyweight Champion Kazuchika Okada vs. Dalton Castle (non-title match)

– NEVER Openweight Champion Katsuyori Shibata vs. Silas Young (non-title match)

– CHAOS (Rocky Romero, Trent Beretta & Toru Yano) vs. BULLET CLUB (Yujiro Takahashi, Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa) 

– Jay Briscoe vs. Hangman Page

– Lio Rush vs. Jay White vs. Donvan Dijak vs. Kamaitachi (ROH TV Title #1 contender’s match)

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