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Borders Wars A Huge Event

Toronto has been host to some of the biggest events in pro wrestling history. Arguably the biggest house show of all time took place at the CNE in Toronto in 1986, when Hulk Hogan took on "Mr. Wonderful" Paul Orndorff in the main event in front of over 60 000 screaming fans. Everyone knows about WrestleMania VI and WrestleMania X-8, both taking place at the SkyDome, with the Hulkster taking on (and losing to) Ultimate Warrior and The Rock, respectively. Even last month's WrestleReunion evoked memories of when the likes of Bruno Sammartino and The Shiek sold out the Maple Leaf Gardens. Having said all that, it wouldn't be fair to put the May 12 Ring of Honor internet pay per view, Border Wars, into the same category as any of those shows. But one could certainly argue that the upcoming show at the Ted Reeve Arena is the most important show in recent ROH history. ROH's last iPPV, the 2-day ShowDown in the Sun, was a technical disaster that included extended blackouts. As a result, ROH is leaving Go Fight Live and will now broadcast Border Wars and all subsequent iPPVs at ROH needs to clean up its technical issues, because from an in-ring standpoint, Border Wars could be the show of the year. ROH is bringing in stars from the early-2000s -- Finlay, Lance Storm, and last week's guest on tha radio show, Rhino -- to beef up a stacked card. Finlay is making his ROH debut against Roderick Strong (the new TV Champion); Storm is facing Mike Bennett in a rematch from ShowDown in the Sun; and Rhino is taking on Eddie Edwards. In addition, the long-running Briscoes and Wrestling's Greatest Tag Team program could be blown off in Toronto in their "Fight Without Honor" for the Tag Team Titles. The main event has Davey Richards defending the ROH World Heavyweight Championship against Kevin Steen, a match over 6 months in the making. Jay Lethal vs. Tomassa Ciampa, Adam Cole vs. Michael Elgin, and The Young Bucks and Mike Mondo vs. The All Night Express and T.J. Perkins round out the announced card. Here's a match-by-match preview of the big event: The Young Bucks and Mike Mondo vs. The All Night Express and T.J. Perkins The Young Bucks are starting to gain some heat as a heel team, so I expect them (and Mondo, in what I believe is his iPPV debut with the company) to go over here. Adam Cole vs. Michael Elgin One could argue that these two guys have been the breakout stars in ROH over the past year. Both have been on a roll lately -- Cole pinned Richards at the Young Wolves Rising iPPV in February, and Elgin had a potential match-of-the-year against Richards at ShowDown in the Sun. Elgin will have the fans behind him in this one, and I expect him to pick up the victory as well. Jay Lethal vs. Tommaso Ciampa This match is no longer about the Television Championship, because Ciampa cost Lethal the belt at ShownDown in the Sun in Lethal's match against Strong. Before that, they fought to a time limit draw at Young Wolves Rising. Now that Lethal no longer has the title, it seems likely that "The Dominant Male" will remain undefeated. CHALLENGE MATCH "Die Hard" Eddie Edwards vs. "The Man Beast" Rhino w/ Truth Martini Rhino makes his return to ROH iPPV against the former ROH Triple Crown Champion. Martini purchased the contract of Rhino from the Embassy, in order to take out all Championship contenders (presumably to clear the way for Strong and Elgin). Edwards is in need of a win since losing two matches at ShowDown in the Sun, so I'll pick Edwards. SPECIAL ATTRACTION ROH World TV Champion Roderick Strong w/ Truth Martini vs. "Belfast Bruiser" Fit Finlay Finlay has been a fixture on some of the more popular indy shows over the past few months, and I'd like to see him become a permanent fixture in ROH (he's also scheduled to wrestle at the June iPPV, Best in the World, in New York City), but I think it's only a matter of time before he returns to the WWE. With the TV Title being on the line, I'll predict a time limit draw, since it wouldn't make sense for Finlay to lose his debut match, nor would it make sense for Strong to lose one of his first title defenses. FIGHT WITHOUT HONOR FOR THE ROH WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP Jay & Mark Briscoe vs. Wrestling's Greatest Tag Team (Charlie Haas & Shelton Benjamin) The Briscoes are my favourite ROH act. They cut great promos and get the job done in the ring too, which is why the fans started cheering them in their feud against Haas and Benjamin, even though the Briscoes were supposed to be playing the heels. Charlie Haas, though, has been a revelation as a heel, doing some of the best work of his career over the last 6 months. I expect the Briscoes to leave Toronto with the gold, and then for Haas to breakout as one of the company's top single heel performers. SHOWDOWN IN THE SUN - REMATCH "Canadian Icon" Lance Storm vs. "The Prodigy" Mike Bennett w/ Brutal Bob These two had a great match in Storm's ROH return at ShowDown in the Sun, so it'll be interesting to see if they can top it on Saturday. As much as I'd like to see Storm pick up the victory (he's always been one of my favourites -- I'll admit to owning his "Don't Blame Canada, Blame Yourselves" t-shirt from his days in WCW), Bennett picking up another victory makes the most sense here. ROH WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP Davey Richards defends his championship against "Wrestling's Worst Nightmare" Kevin Steen The ROH crowds have slowly been turning on Richards over the last few months, and I'm going to go out on a limb and predict the full double-turn to take place on May 12. Although technically Steen has been playing the heel since his return to ROH late last year, the crowds have been getting behind him as an anti-establishment babyface. He'll certainly be the fan favourite in his home country. The show is taking place in Toronto, but I'm predicting an ending to the show reminiscent of another great Canadian city: Montreal. I see Richards leaving Toronto as champion after some sort of screw-job that could include Jim Cornette or Steve Corino or Kyle O'Reilly. Top-to-bottom, Border Wars has an impressive line-up. Hopefully, ROH will be able to avoid the technical glitches that have plagued previous shows, and put on a show-of-the-year candidate. I'll be at the show live, and I'm hoping to post a review on Tha O Show sometime next week.

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