Every ROH really kicks off the new year with a Top Prospect Tournament where the winner receives a TV Title Shot and a contract with Ring of Honor. Past participants include Mike Bennett, Kyle O' Reilly, Cheeseburger, War Machine and others. This years tournament kicks off on January the 9th in Concord, North Carolina. This years participants include:
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Ben "Action" Ortiz: According to ROH, Ortiz is the first graduate of Tommy Dreamer's training school and has an MMA background, both in the cage and in Muai Thai. Ortiz has drawn comparisons from Tommy Dreamer to the likes of Samoa Joe & Bam Bam Bigelow. I think "Action" Ortiz would bring a unique set of skills that was once really prominent in Ring of Honor and now has become a lost art to the forefront in the tournament.
Lio Rush: This young man has been praised by a lot of people recently and actually just won gold not more then 2 weeks ago at CZW Cage of Death 17 where he captured the CZW Wired TV Title. DJ Hyde has some big plans for Lio in 2016, but then again I guess DJ isn't the only person who might have big plans for this young man. The 2015 Shane Shamrock Cup winner looks to continue his string of success in 2016. Rush is a unique blend of high flying and ground game which makes him even harder to handle.
Punisher Martinez: A graduate of the World Famous Monster Factory in Paulsboro, NJ he has been touted as Giant of the next generation. Martinez being 6'6 and 253 pounds makes his background in traditional Japanese Go Ju Ryu karate all the more dangerous. "But Martinez is also skilled in grappling and mat wrestling, a rarity for someone of his size, through training with UFC and All-American amateur wrestlers."
One of the reasons that Ring of Honor has slowly become the US alternative to WWE is because they do things that make them stick out from the other companies. One of those concepts that really makes them stick out is Survival of the fittest. For those who may not know what the Survival of the Fittest actually is then I suggest following this link.
Now there comes a time when all wrestling fans learn new things about pro-wrestling depending on how deeply in grained they are in the wrestling world. At one point I considered myself a major smark to the point that I thought I could jump right in and just book any company. However, in recent years I realized how little I actually knew about behind the scenes of pro-wrestling. Following this event we would end up seeing Eddie Edwards go up against Roderick Strong at Manhattan Mayhem which at the time I thought was just a "house show." Keeping this in mind I was shocked at the end of Manhattan Mayhem to find that Eddie would win the title.
Following this event I would stop trying to be a smark when I went to wrestling shows and I just sat back and enjoyed the show like your suppose to do. What I mean is that I don't sit there anymore and think about what is going to happen before it does & instead I just watch the show. So in a way this event really started in changing my perspective on how I see wrestling and moving me more to the idea of being a fan & less of being a mark. Yes! I know that Manhattan Mayhem should be the event in question, but let me just ask this question "Why was Eddie in the World Title match? Exactly!!
Rhett Titus def. Colt Cabana
Claudio Castagnoli def. Grizzly Redwood
Kevin Steen def. Kyle O'Reilly
Adam Cole def. Steve Corino
Eddie Edwards def. Chris Hero
Kenny King def. El Generico
Homicide def. Andy Ridge
Christopher Daniels & Jay Briscoe & Mark Briscoe def. Michael Elgin & Roderick Strong & Zach Gowen 6 Man Tag Match
Eddie Edwards def. Adam Cole, Claudio Castagnoli, Kenny King, Kevin Steen, Rhett Titus "Survival of the Fittest" (6-way)
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