Kevin Steen comes to the ring for an interview.
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Kevin Steen explains that he didn’t hate ROH. He hated what Jim Cornette had done to it. Now that Jay Lethal has run Cornette out of the company, he’s proud of ROH again. Steen is willingly putting his title at stake but is confident that Lethal cannot defeat him.
KEVIN STEEN: Ring of Honor has been through a lot of changes, and not necessarily for the better, at least not a first. Because in 2010 this company wasn’t about pro wrestling anymore. This company became about one man – Jim Cornette. I wasn’t smiling last year, I wasn’t proud of [my ROH Championship] victory. I wasn’t happy that I was ROH Champion. The only reason I wanted this was because I thought it would help me kill this company. And I didn’t want to kill this company because I hated it. I love ROH. I always have. And that’s exactly why I wanted to kill it. I wanted to put it out of its misery because of what Jim Cornette was doing to it.
KEVIN STEEN: ROH was never meant to be a playground for a 50 year old jackass trying to relive his glory days. Ring of Honor was about young, talented wrestlers busting their asses to prove they belong in this industry. And the truth is, since Jim Cornette’s gone, this company is exactly about what it should be – and that’s pro wrestling. And you can call me a lot of things. You can say I’m sick. You can say I’m an asshole. But you can’t say I don’t love pro wrestling, because I’ve dedicated my life to it. I’ve bled for it. I’ve cried for it. And I’m not sorry I’m consumed. Since Jim Cornette’s departure, I’ve cared about this company and I’m proud to be Ring of Honor World Champion.
KEVIN STEEN: So Jay Lethal, that’s why I’m giving you the title shot even though I don’t have to. Because you deserve it. But hey, as talented as you are, you don’t deserve it because you’re a great wrestler or because you’ve beaten a lot of great wrestlers, because truthfully, you’re the one who got rid of Jim Cornette! But Jay, let me make this clear. Since winning this, I’ve beaten Eddie Edwards. I’ve beaten Davey Richards. I’ve beaten Roderick Strong. I’ve beaten Rhino. I’ve beaten Michael Elgin. I’ve beaten El Generico just to name a few. I’ve put myself through hell. And now, more than ever, I will do everything and anything to keep this title. [speaking directly into the camera] And Jay Lethal, what makes you think you can beat me? The truth is…you can’t beat me.
Match 1: Matt Taven def. Tadarius Thomas in the finals of the ROH Top Prospect Tournament in 9 minutes and will receive a TV Title match at Chicago Ridge. Truth Martini wandered around ringside during this match. This was a back and forth contest where Taven employed his usual collection of high spots and Thomas executed his capoeira. Things were a little sloppy at points (you can see why these guys aren’t full fledged members of the roster yet), but the match never fell apart.
Early on, Taven focussed on Thomas’s abdominal area. He hit a really nice springboard twisting leg drop and deftly countered Thomas’s offense. Truth grabbed at Taven’s leg allowing Thomas to hit a back heel kick and clothesline. Is Thomas in cahoots with Martini?
Thomas hit a handstand windmill kick. They traded haymakers but Thomas nailed a tiger suplex for a two count. The ref got knocked down. Truth Martini removed his boot and threw it to Thomas. Thomas picked up the boot and threw it right back and Truth.
TRUTH: [throwing the boot back in the ring] What are you doing!? Hit him with it!
Taven led Thomas into the ropes where Truth nailed him in the head with the Book of Truth. Taven covered for the three count!
As Taven celebrated, Truth ran in and kneeled next to him. Truth extended his hand, but Taven stepped away. Truth grabbed Taven by the shoulder and whispered something in his ear for several seconds. Whatever Truth said, Taven liked it because he shook his hand and they celebrated together, much to Truth’s delight. As he was leaving, Taven grabbed a sign at ringside that said “the truth will set you free.”
Jay Lethal is in the ring for an interview.
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Lethal thinks it’s great that Kevin Steen has turned a new leaf, but he also thinks Steen is full of shit. Jay promises he won’t fall prey to his mind games.
JAY LETHAL: I want to talk to the world champ. Kevin Steen, you were out here earlier and it’s great that you had a change of heart. I think it’s great that you now love Ring of Honor and you want to be an honorable champion. All of these things are great. But Kevin, I also think that you’re full of shit.
JAY LETHAL: You see,