Today marks an exciting day for all the folks at Ring of Honor Wrestling as they debut live on pay-per-view with the “Best in the World” show. You can make the argument without Kevin Steen this company may never have got to this point. It is ironic that as the company reaches this moment it may well be the last moment for Steen who, according to many sources, is said to be heading to the WWE developmental at the start of August.
While no one in the company that I have talked to will confirm this is Steen’s last match, it makes sense that it might be or could be. Steen has said very little about all of the WWE news. He stopped his popular You Tube show “Kevin Steen’s Weekend Escapades,” using lack of time with the birth of his new daughter as the reason. At the most recent Pro Wrestling Guerilla show he said he wanted to address the rumors and then stated that he was indeed going to IHop after his match and none of the fans were invited.
It has to be a bitter sweet moment for Steen who led this company through a very hard period of time. He became the ROH Champion in the midst of all of the company’s problems with iPPV. He kept both himself and company afloat during those tough times, something that Michael Bennett pointed out when I talked with him in an interview on the Condo on the Moon Podcast.
Bennett credits Steen for making himself better thanks to their program that concluded at Final Battle in 2013. “I don’t have enough nice things to say about Kevin,” Bennett stated. “I really hope he makes millions and millions of dollars, if he doesn’t it is not his fault, because he has everything it takes to be one of the greatest wrestlers of all-time.” That is some high praise for Steen and Bennett would go on to say at least for him he would be number one on his list of all-time wrestlers in the promotion. It is not to slight CM Punk or Brian Danielson but in Bennett’s personal view Steen is the top guy.
There is little question that Steen belongs on a list with greatest of all-time in Ring of Honor. His match with El Generico (Sami Zayn) “Ladder War 4” was one of the most amazing matches I have ever seen anywhere with a finish that was a living, breathing advertisement for don’t try this at home.
More recently he took on Adam Cole in Toronto at Global Wars in a match where Cole and Steen put on a heck of a show. Cole credits both Steen and Young Bucks for helping him grow, improve and providing him opportunities. The Young Bucks got Cole into the PWG promotion later Steen would help him expand on his heel run. Cole reflects, “Kevin real believed in the character, he real believed in my abilities. So he was a big part in me becoming a main event player in PWG because Kevin believed in me.” Cole give both Steen and the Young Bucks the credit for helping him build his confidence to be at the position he finds himself today which is carrying ROH in the main event of the first ever pay-per-view. You can hear him talk about this in his interview with Brian Fritz if you haven’t already.
Court Bauer, a consultant for the company, has high praise for Steen as well. Bauer freely admits that he was a huge fan of his match in New York City when he battled Nakamura. Bauer went so far as to say that Steen could perhaps be the next great Canadian superstar.
“He is an every man kind of guy, a blue collar guy kind of like Canada’s Stone Cold in a way,” said Bauer. “He is a really interesting guy and it’s been a really interesting year. Like an It’s been a long time since Canada had a guy like that, you could get behind and market and is a player at the top level.” Bauer goes on to credit Steen for his work ethic outside of the ring promoting his merchandise, and doing shows on the internet as well crediting him for his hustle and hard work.
Steen will take on Silas Young who is one of the emerging talents in ROH and that makes sense if Kevin is on his way out the door to put over someone like this. What doesn’t is if this turns out to be Steen’s last match why ROH would not use this as a hook for the pay-per-view. They have not been shy in doing it when other stars as left the company. I find this a bit confusing and maybe by the end of the day I will understand why.
What is clear though is when he does leave there will be a big hole to be filled in Ring of Honor. This is nothing new for the company though and they have been great at always finding a way to move forward no matter that is walking in or out of that door.
Kevin Steen was the guy that for me got me into the Ring of Honor promotion on a regular basis. I would go back and see the tremendous match from a Samoa Joe, C.M Punk or Brian Danielson in the past to see what people were talking about. Steen is the guy though that had me follow the product. Steen is the guy that had me hop on a bus and go to Toronto to see Global Wars. He is the guy that ultimately is the reason I am going to be watching a pay-per-view for Ring of Honor tonight.
So as he only had a few words to the crowd in Toronto after Global Wars. I only have a few for Kevin Steen. If this is in fact the last match and last time we see him in Ring of Honor.
Thank you and good luck Kevin.