We've been tracking Ring of Honor (ROH) standout Kevin Steen's trajectory to the WWE Performance Center the way local weathermen report on Santa Claus sightings on Christmas Eve. All signs point to this "fat man" sliding down the sports entertainment chimney in July or August - and this video announcing his ROH Farewell Tour is our latest piece of evidence.
Nothing in the video says that he's coming to the McMahon machine that has turned ROH stars like Bryan Danielson and Tyler Black into Daniel Bryan and Seth Rollins (we've got all the news of that for you here, here and here - told you we're excited), but it does make official his departure from the company he's been most closely associated with over his career.
Here are the dates, and Mr. Wrestling's handpicked opponents:
- The Sicilian Psychopath, Tommaso Ciampa, is my personal favorite ROH "up-and-comer" - and he'll have the best theme song in the company when Steen and Blue Smock Nancy leave. Hopefully this initial opportunity to wrestle his mentor will be another step in his climb to the main event.
- Steen has been working a program with Silas Young since his goodbye angle started at War of the Worlds in New York in May. He's always struck a lot of fans as a weird choice for the guy that a former World champ like Big Kev would give the rub to on his way out the door, and Wrestling's Worst Nightmare did beat him clean at Best in the World before Young attacked him from behind post-match to keep the angle alive. It'll be interesting to see what they do, and if Steen does the job for "The Last Real Man" in Ohio.
- ECW veteran Steve Corino is basically ROH's version of William Regal (except that he veers a little too close to being Jerry Lawler when he handles commentary duties), and he's worked as Steen's ally (most notably for me in his heel turn and feud with El Generico) and enemy throughout their time together in the company. He's also been a real-life sensei, and you can see Kevin get a little choked up announcing their match at the end of the video.
Unfortunately, none of these shows is on pay-per-view (PPV), televised or internet, but they should be available for streaming and DVD sale by the time Steen shows up in Florida. And ROH will undoubtedly cash in and put them all on one disc for us sometime in the next year.
As a KILL STEEN KILL superfan, I kind of can't believe this is really happening, and I got chills a little bit myself watching this video.
Are you ready for Mr. Wrestling in WWE? What do you think of his choice of opponents for his goodbye to Ring of Honor?