Ring of Honor Pure Championship Tournament Competitors Announced
Bracketology special announced for next week, Rules for tournament also set out
Back in january of this year, way before everything ground to a halt due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, Ring of Honor announced that they would be reinstating the Pure Championship with a 16-man tournament to crown a new Champion.
Over the last couple of weeks, Ring of Honor have been announcing their line up of competitors for the tournament, and we now know the 16 competitors who will take to the ring to become the first ROH Pure Champion since Bryan Danielson unified it with the World Title way back in 2006.
The competitors are:
Delirious - Long time company man, head trainer, head booker, Delirious has held many positions since he debuted with the promotion in 2004. Despite being with the promotion for close to two decades, he has never won a Ring of Honor Championship, so will be looking to make the Pure Title his first.
Dalton Castle - One of the most charismatic and enigmatic talents in professional wrestling today, Dalton Castle is a former ROH Six Man Tag Team Champion and has the distinction of defeating Cody Rhodes for the Ring of Honor World Championship at Final Battle in 2017. Dalton will without a doubt be one of the favourites going into this tournament.
David Finlay - The only NJPW contracted talent in the tournament and son of the legendary Dave "Fit" Finlay, David is a promising talent with a bright future. Having wrestled all over the world and won tag team titles in Japan, he is now looking for his first major singles Championship.
Fred Yehi - Yehi is one of the best young talents on the independent circuit today, having wrestled all over the world for promotions such as EVOLVE, Rev Pro UK, MLW and is a former Full Impact Pro World Heavyweight Champion. Yehi will be looking to make a significant impact on this tournament.
Jay Lethal - What can be said about Jay Lethal that hasn't been said already? ROH legend, former two time Ring of Honor World Champion, as well as only the third man to have won the Ring of Honor Triple Crown and Grand Slam, having also won the Television and Tag Team Championships, and also held the original Pure Championship. Having also been a six time TNA X-Division Champion, Lethal brings a wealth of experience with him and is a major contender for the tournament.
Jonathan Gresham - Gresham debuted for ROH in 2011 in the Top Prospect Tournament, and is currently one half of the World Tag Team Champions with Jay Lethal. Gresham has wrestled across the world for many different promotions, and is a former CZW World Heavyweight Champion.
Wheeler Yuta - 23 year old Wheeler was trained by former WWE Cruiserweight Champion Drew Gulak, and previously won the CHIKARA Young Lions Cup. This is a big opportunaity for Wheeler to showcase himself on a big stage.
Josh Woods - 2017 Top Prospect Tournament winner. Woods spent around three years signed to NXT between 2014 and 2016. A win in this tournament would be his first major singles title.
Tony Deppen - Deppen is an 11-year veteran and has wrestled for CHIKARA and GCW. He held the GCW Extreme Championship for 315 days before losing to the final Champion, PCO.
Tracy Williams - Another 11-year veteran whose career has taken him through CHIKARA and EVOLVE. Having won the EVOLVE Tag Team Championships and CHIKARA's King Of Trios, this will be a major test of Williams singles competitor skills.
Rocky Romero - Free Agent Romero was most recently seen as part of the Good Brothers Talk'n'Shop-a-mania, and is a well recognised name in the industry. He is most well known for being a record setting eight time IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champion with three different partners. Romero could easily be considered a favourite for this tournament.
PJ Black - Another man with an impressive background, The Darewolf is a former three time WWE Tag Team Champion, TNA King of the Mountain Champion,and Lucha Underground Trios Champion. Black debuted for ROH in 2018 and is looking to win his first singles title in the promotion.
Rust Taylor - Taylor is one of the independent performers in the tournament, and debuted in 2004. he has held multiple titles across the American Independent circuit, but this is his first major television appearance, aside from a one off job to the Viking Raiders on Monday Night Raw earlier this year.
Matt Sydal - The former Evan Bourne, Sydal has seen and done it all. Having wrestled for just about every major promotion there is, he is a globally known name, and has won championships wherever he goes. Adding the Pure Championship to his impressive list of titles would further cement his legacy.
Kenny King - 18-year veteran who, like Sydal, has been there and done it in almost every major promotion. He previously appeared on WWE Tough Enough in the early 2000's, before honing his craft on the independent circuit. He is a former two time TNA X-Division Champion and two time ROH Television Champion, as well as a former ROH World Tag Team Champion with Rhett Titus.
Silas Young - "The Last Real Man" of Professional Wrestling. Silas Young was briefly signed to WWE Developmental and assigned to OVW before WWE dropped their affiliation with the promotion. He made his first appearance for ROH in 2007, but has been a mainstay for the Philadelphia based promotion since 2012.He is a former two time Television Champion.
The Pure Championship Tournament starts on September 12th, and will air over the course of eight weeks. A special ROH Bracketology special will air on September 11th on the company's YouTube channel.
As per the company's own website, the rules for the tournament are as follows:
-- The competitors will be divided into two blocks, and it’s single elimination.
-- Round 1 matches have a 15-minute time limit.
-- Block semifinals have a 20-minute time limit.
-- Block finals have a 30-minute time limit.
-- The tournament final has a one-hour time limit.
-- There will be three judges for each match, and time-limit draws will go to a judges’ decision. ROH Director of Operations Gary Juster, Former Women of Honor World Champion Sumie Sakai and ROH Dojo Trainer Will Ferrarahave been announced as the judges.
The rules for Pure matches are as follows:
-- Every match begins and ends with the Code of Honor handshake.
-- Each wrestler has three rope breaks to stop submission holds and pinfalls. After a wrestler exhausts his rope breaks, submission and pin attempts on or under the ropes by his opponent are legal.
-- Closed-fist punches to the face are not permitted; only open-handed slaps or chops to the face are allowed. Punches to other parts of the body are permitted, excluding low blows. The first use of a closed fist will get a warning; the second will be a disqualification.
-- As in standard ROH matches, there will be a 20-count when a wrestler is on the floor.
-- Outside interference will result in automatic termination from the roster for the wrestler that interferes.
Once a Pure Champion is crowned, the title can change hands via disqualification and countout.
Each competitor in this tournament has a great chance of becoming the first ROH Pure Champion since its reinstatement, and it promises to be a fantastic showing of Professional Wrestling.