Preview: Ring of Honor Presents Past vs Present (3/14/20)

Last weekend we turned the clocks ahead by an hour, big step forward to welcoming Prima Vera, the Spring. This Saturday the 14th of March, our friends from Ring of Honor will do the North polar opposite and turn the clocks back. They are presenting an 8 match Supercard at Sam s Town, Past vs Present.

Here, current talent will be matched against stars of the past. No worries, this is not a trip back to the Mesozoic era. Quoting Rick Rude referring to HBK, these are icons who can still go. Eight matches are slated and we will preview them in no particular order because, save the main event, the order of appearance has not yet been determined nor specified.

Past vs Present
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Sumie Sakai vs. Nicole Savoy

An intriguing Women of Honor match is scheduled between Sumai Sakai and Nicole Savoy at Past vs Present. Sakai has a most impressive resumé. She fought in the first-ever Woman s match in ROH history in 2002. Fittingly, she became the company’s inaugural Women of Honor champion and is also the longest-reigning titleholder in that division.

Seven months ago, Sumai was undeniably at the top of her game when she beat Tessa Blanchard to capture the PCW Ultra Women s title.

We have to wonder though if the pressure has not got the best of her. In a recent televised match, Sakai did a total 180 attacking an opponent with a steel chain. Prior to that, she was known as the ultimate sportsperson adhering religiously to the code of honor. Which Sumai will we see in Las Vegas.

Nicole Savoy will be ready for anything and everything. She is a 9-year veteran and one-time SHIMMER titleholder. Known as the Sacramento Suplex Machine, Savoy has emerged victorious over the likes of Su Yung, Shayna Baszler and Mercedes Martinez. She was also an invitee to the very first Mae Young Classic where she lost out in the second round.

If need be, look for Nicole Savoy to fight fire with fire. She has beaten some of the best in the business and there is precious little she has yet to confront.

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John Walters vs. Mark Haskins

John Walters will square off against Mark Haskins, the British cruiserweight and Lifeblood member whose career is taking off giving him a nice dose of confidence and even aspirations for championship gold. If you have been following ROH, you will have noticed that Overkill has been doing very well against elite level and even larger competition.

His opponent, John Walters competed on and off for ROH in the early 2000 s and has a Pure Championship to his credit. For those of you who may not be familiar with the Pure Championship, it was contested under a different set of rules. Closed fists were outlawed, when a submission hold was applied, each wrestler was granted 3 possible rope breaks. While the title could change hands via count-out or submission, combatants were subject to a count of 20 to re-enter the ring.

Walters has an interesting pedigree. He was trained by Killer Kowalski and has wrestled throughout numerous Indie federations. He might be best known for his portrayal of the kayfabe son of the governor of Arizona in Lucha Underground. There, the character AND WE STRESS THE CHARACTER was very MAGA driven.

Haskins star is on the rise and he is more than familiar with top-flight opponents. The Lifeblood member should see his stock rise yet further.

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Doug Williams vs. Jonathan Gresham

We have a potential match of the year candidate when Doug Williams faces off against Jonathon Gresham. This Doug Williams is obviously not the former NFL quarterback but a British ring general who was with ROH roughly 15 years ago before heading over to TNA.

Williams masters technical -scientific wrestling and will have a considerable height advantage over the 5 ft4 in. Gresham. As the old saying goes, size differences are neutralized when you re on the mat. Gresham is an elite-level technical wrestler as well who is enjoying the best stretch of his 15-year career to date. The master of the Octopus submission hold has adopted a win at all costs attitude and does not rely on a GPS device to find a short cut. All roads should lead to a Gresham triumph.

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Jay Lethal vs. Xavier

Jay Lethal, a legend and multi-time belt holder in ROH be challenged by Xavier who is not to be confused with Desmond Xavier nor Xavier Woods. This Xavier competed in ROH at the time of its inception and has the distinction of having been the 2nd champion in the promotion s history. He has also appeared in a few indie feds in the Northeast and has also somewhat of an M.M.A. background.

While Williams can hurt you in many different manners, Lethal should be able to elude any serious damage and make use of his vast experience and pristine skills to capture the W.

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Delirious and Grizzly Redwood vs. Joe Hendry and Dalton Castle

One match that should feature a nice comedic element is that featuring Dalton Castle and Joe Hendry taking on the masked Delirious and Grizzly Redwood at Past vs Present. Interesting to note that the odd couple pairing of Castle and Hendry are beginning to function much better as a unit and are very much in the mix in a very crowded quantity and quality ROH tag team mix.

Grizzly Redwood as his name would suggest is a lumberjack throwback character who are usually very large men. To every rule, an exception. Grizzly is a diminutive 5 ft 3. Delirious not only wears a mask but also wears many hats in the company as well.

He was best known for his high flying style and eccentric personality. When the bell would ring to start a contest, Delirious would run around the ring and spew some wild jibberish. If style makes fights, this is one opponent who can give you grey hairs in a heartbeat.

Look for Castle and Hendry to play well with others and milk the comedy to its max yet still take Delirious and Grizzly Redwood to school.

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Brody King vs. Homicide

Expect carnage and no light-heartedness as Brody King of Villain Enterprises takes on the ruthless Homicide at Past vs Present.

Trained in the Garden State by Raging Bull Manny Fernandez, Homicide feuded, often very successfully with some of the top talents in Ring Honor in the first decade of the 21st century. His matches were known to be brutal hardcore affairs. Very often more blood than at your local medical facility s test center. More forks than at your local diner. Later on, Homicide tasted tag team gold as part of the original L.A.X. on IMPACT.

Five-year veteran Brody King who stands at 6 ft 5 and weighs 285 lbs. will certainly give Homicide a lofty challenge. King defies common sense being able to execute moves that men of his size should not even try. Very comfortable in the winner s circle and withholding titles with his Villain Enterprises colleagues.

Even though he knows no fear, Homicide has to be wary of the numbers game. All things being equal though I would lay my money down on the man who took on la creme de la creme in ROH s burgeoning days without ever backing down from a good fight.

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Bandido and Rey Horus vs. Havana Pitbulls

Mexiblood members Bandido and Rey Horus who are really at the top of their game will have their hand full as they take on the challenge of the Havana Pitbulls, Ricky Reyes and Rocky Romero at Past vs Present. Fans of Sesame Street would be quick to point out that this match is brought to you by the letter R.

The Pitbulls however are not known for their levity. The former tag team champions who were part of the Rottweilers stable and ran with Julius Smokes have a bona fides mean streak. They are artisans of the strong style, especially Romero whose game is based on swift, powerful unforgiving kicks, and multiple armbar variations.

Great contrast in styles here as MMA type fighting meshes with high flying and high risk acrobatic lucha libre. It will take a lot for the Pitbulls to neutralize Mexiblood. Reyes and Romero are no strangers to bark and bite.

Past vs Present
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Generation Next vs. Villain Enterprises

Generation Next sounds like a perfect advertising slogan but is actually a top-flight faction from circa 2005. The use of the word flight, very deliberate here. At Past vs Present, Alex Shelley and Matt Sydal will ably represent this thrilling conclave.

Whether Sydal makes use of his third eye remains to be seen. Even with a mere two, his 450-splash has put away many an opponent. For his part, Alex Shelley is as skilled as they come at the ground game and technical wrestling while being more than versed in the high flying facets of the sport. He has specialized and excelled in tag team wrestling and has one of the best superkicks on this side of San Antonio or Rancho Cucamonga.

With opponents Like Flip Gordon and Marty Scurll of Villain Enterprises, Shelley and Sydal will have to click like a box of retractable ballpoint pens. Flip Gordon kicks like a dyna charged buzzsaw and can fly like an F-15.

Scurll is a master tactician and elite-level performer who exudes confidence and has enjoyed notoriety and triumph aplenty.

What MIGHT hold him back, interference from the arch-rival NWA clan Strictly Business as headed by Nick Aldis? Or for that matter,  merely looking too far ahead to his NWA championship match at the Crockett Cup in Atlanta on the 19th of April. That showdown, for the 10lbs of gold, has as its stipulation that should Scurll fail to capture the strap that he would have to write Aldis a cheque for $500, 000.00 dollars, a darn good reason to be looking ahead n est ce pas.

With Scurll needing to stay at the top of his game and not let the National Treasured live rent-free in his mind, look for Villain Enterprises to pull out all the stops while being put through a grueling test.That test to be administered while looking over their shoulder.

Past vs Present
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Jay Briscoe vs. Mark Briscoe

Brother vs Brother to wrap things up. In a most intriguing matchup, the Briscoes are slated to square off at Past vs Present. Look the word symbiosis up in any dictionary and you should see Mark and Jay Briscoe posing together. Born just one year apart, the siblings are 11 time ROH world tag team champions. Jay also has 2 singles world championship runs in his arsenal of feats.

To say the two know each other through and through is the greatest understatement since gee, McDonald s seems to sell quite a few burgers. Imagine wrestling your clone, that is close to what this contest will seem like. Do note that this won’t be their first rodeo against one another.

Larry Zbyszko used to refer to wrestling as a human game of chess. That factor will be very much in play on the 14th of March. Which of the pair will be able to out-think the other. This battle, too close to call, too close for comfort. With a very deep tag team division,  I hope Dem Boys will not feud pursuant to this lock-up. A 12th run and then some would be more fitting than a custom made suit.

This card will provide many a dream match up. Lucky for us, the stars of the past who paved the road for the talent of today. They should be more than able to still perform at a crisp and sound level. The best of all worlds will shine in Las Vegas on Saturday night for Past vs Present.