In December of 2009, at Ring of Honor’s Final Battle, Kevin Steen turned on El Generico after years of working as a successful tag team. The resulting feud lasted an entire calendar year and its quality exceeded even the highest expectations. One year later, at 2010’s event of the same name, Steen met Generico for what would truly be their Final Battle. The match was contested without honor, but with high stakes. El Generico put his mask on the line, while Steen vowed to leave ROH if he did not emerge triumphantly. In the end, El Generico was the victor. Mr. Wrestling was done in Ring of Honor.
And then, a little over a week ago, Steve Corino said this…
Tomorrow afternoon, Ring of Honor will be broadcasting their biggest show of the summer, Best in the World, live from the Hammerstein Ballroom of the Manhattan Center in New York City via iPPV. On the card is a singles match pitting Steve Corino vs Michael Elgin. In Corino’s corner will be his sponsor, Jimmy Jacobs, while as part of the House of Truth, Michael Elgin will have Truth Martini, Roderick Strong, & Christopher Daniels backing him up. Naturally, Corino would like to even the odds.
The story that currently binds Corino & Jacobs is one of redemption. Both are former scumbags, men without honor, and both are trying to prove that they have reformed. Kevin Steen, too, has cast aside the shackles of villainy and is now walking the straight and narrow. At least that’s what he says. Ring of Honor officials aren’t so sure.
Since Corino’s call to Steen to assist him in his war against the House of Truth, ROH has made it perfectly clear that Mr. Wrestling is not welcome at their events, issuing this statement…
“After examining the situation and the direct message itself, the decision has been made to inform Mr. Corino that Kevin Steen will not be allowed in the Hammerstein Ballroom on June 26th, 2011. If Mr. Corino chooses to repudiate this decision he will face immediate punitive consequences. The request to allow Jimmy Jacobs in the corner of Mr. Corino on June 26th, 2011 was a perilous decision that was met with approval due to various circumstances. However, Kevin Steen appearing on an ROH event is a zero tolerance subject that is not up for debate. If ROH staff or officials encounter Mr. Steen at anytime he will be ejected from any venue in which an ROH event is being held.”
El Generico, the man who ended Steen’s career in Ring of Honor, has even weighed in on the matter.
Steen has since posted an open letter on his website addressing where he stands on the matter. The whole letter, in which he promises to be in New York on Sunday, can be read after the jump. It’s efficiency in keeping this angle one of the most intriguing in all of wrestling at the moment is masterful. Even if you haven’t followed the events that have led us to this point, it’s hard not to get excited for the show after reading what Mr. Steen had to say.
The second I heard it, I got a feeling in the pit of my stomach that I will never forget.
So many things went through my mind…how could I end up in this situation? What can I do to fix it? Is it too late to change things? And most of all…how could I live without Ring Of Honor?
I heard the sound that signified my career in ROH was over and my heart sank. Actually, it felt more like it started bleeding.
All I wanted from the beginning of my wrestling career was to make an impact on as many people as I could and work for a company I would be proud to call home. Many promotions helped me achieve but in the past few years, my entire career was consumed by Ring Of Honor. When my son was born I had to make some very tough choices and I had to reduce my schedule with wrestling companies that were very close to my heart but I chose to remain with ROH through it all, as difficult as it was, because that’s where I felt I belonged.
I was with ROH for over four years. I saw a lot of people come and go. And I honestly never thought that eventually some of the newer guys would see me go…
But I made decisions over the course of those four years that greatly impacted several people. And a lot of them might never forgive me for those decisions.
I can’t bring myself to list everyone I hurt and every bad choice I made. It would be counter-productive anyway. What I want to do is look to the future and make things right.
I’ve stayed in touch with the ROH product. I’ve read the results from the shows, watched the videowires. I even bought the iPPV’s. And every time I’d watch, I would see exactly what I expected. The best wrestling in the world put on by the hardest working crew in the business.
But there’s one thing I’d see that I did NOT expect at all.
Steve Corino, standing in the ring, apologizing for his actions of the last year. A humbled Steve Corino, offering to help the up-and-coming talent. A Steve Corino desperate to make up for past mistakes, standing up for what’s right.
I’ll be honest, that blew me away. And what blew me away even more is the way the fans forgave him. They welcomed his new ways and accepted him with open arms. Seeing all this helped me come to a realization…I had to do the same.
I’ve wanted to send this letter for a long time but I never gathered the strength I needed to do it. Until now…
This past week has seen Steve Corino, my idol, ask for help from me. It has seen ROH officials declare that I am not welcome in New York City on Sunday. I really can’t blame them for that.
But what I can do is ask for a chance to show them who I am now. A chance to come make things right. A chance to help my friend.
Jim, Syd, Ross…I know the last year was very hard for the both of you, with all the changes the company went through. And I know that my erratic behavior certainly didn’t help. I’m well aware of the legal trouble I got the company into a few times and that I am possibly responsible for Cary Silkin’s decision to sell the company. I can’t deny the fact that I was out for myself and that I put myself before the company at all times. However, what you guys can’t deny is that as risky and out of control as I may have been, I still created more memorable moments in 2010 than anyone else. You can’t deny that I poured my heart and soul into my work. You can’t deny that I gave 100% of my mind to ROH…I almost lost my mind in the process.
But these months away have done me some good and seeing Steve, and now Jimmy, act the way they do has been very eye-opening for me. I, too, am a changed man. I’m in better shape, physically and mentally. And above all else, I miss ROH. I miss the people. I miss the fans. I miss the rush.
I’m not asking for a new contract. I’m not asking for the company to commit to having me on the shows. I’m not a fool. All I want is a chance to come in Sunday, stand by my friend and show you that I can be what this company has wanted me to be this whole time. We can see where to go from there after…
One thing is certain. I will be in New York on Sunday.
What remains uncertain is if I’ll be in the building to support Steve, or if I’ll have to support him by simply waiting by his car and hope for the best for him.
I want to be in there though.
Steve wants it…and the fans want it too.
You have the power to let it happen.
See you Sunday…
Wow. ROH Best in the World will be available for $15 via iPPV at gofightlive.tv tomorrow afternoon at 4 o’clock. Yesterday, we posted an awesome video promoting the show’s main event bout between Davey Richards and Eddie Edwards. I feel like it’s appropriate that we bring this post to a close with the beautiful hype video that was produced for the meeting between Kevin Steen & El Generico at Final Battle 2010, the match that brought Steen to the predicament he’s in today.