When we look back at 2013 the war between S.C.U.M and R.O.H stands out as the biggest feud of the year and with everything at stake, this epic rivalry changed the landscape of everything you see today. Kevin Steen, Jimmy Jacobs, and Steve Corino formed S.C.U.M while standing over the fallen body of Davey Richards at Border Wars 2012. With the ROH World Title in their possession, the ultimate mission was to destroy Jim Cornette and Ring of Honor.
After Final Battle 2012, and the Ladder War with El Generico, Steen appeared to have gone through some psychological changes. After Jim Cornette's departure, and the viscous war he went through with Generico, Steen slowly began to realize the respect that he had for the company and its athletes. But Steve Corino didn't share similar beliefs. While Steen's mind was evolving, Steve Corino started to lose his mind and became obsessed with his original agenda. It appeared that the agenda of both guys weren't exactly the same. Steen vowed to get rid of Jim Cornette and to restore Ring of Honor to what it once was, or tear the company down. Corino's agenda was simply to eliminate the company that he believed had a personal grudge against him.
The threat of S.C.U.M multiplied at the 11th Anniversary when Corino juiced up S.C.U.M. without Steen's knowledge. Corino added a handful of new members with the goal of ROH's destruction in mind. Added to the group were Matt Hardy, Rhett Titus, Cliff Compton, and Jimmy Rave. They joined an already dangerous faction of Steve Corino, Jimmy Jacobs, and Rhino. S.C.U.M. continued to align themselves with Steen, but the World Champion showed subtle signs of frustration throughout, until it all came to a head after Steen lost the ROH World Title to Jay Briscoe at Supercard of Honor. Steen was pushed out of the group he created by Steve Corino. The self-proclaimed "Icon" Matt Hardy was Corino's man to replace Steen as the chosen member of S.C.U.M. For 3 months S.C.U.M. had gruesome battles with ROH's best from Jay Lethal to Michael Elgin. The war included a number of gruesome matches including No DQ, I Quit, Texas Tornado, and even a brutal match that broke out inside an empty arena before ROH fans even entered the building. Steen himself took on every single member of S.C.U.M. in one on one contests that took massive physical tolls on all competitors. Steve Corino even won a guaranteed broadcasting contract at Border Wars 2013. Shortly after, Corino, as confidant as ever, made the ultimate challenge. With everything on the line... this war was going to come to an end inside Steel Cage Warfare!
The stipulations were simple. If Team ROH won, Corino and S.C.U.M. would have to disband and leave the company. BUT if S.C.U.M. was victorious, then Corino would take Nigel's job as matchmaker and take control of the company, drawing him even closer to his goal of decimating Ring of Honor. Steel Cage Warfare was set to be a 5 on 5 elimination contest. Representing S.C.U.M. were “Zombie Princess” Jimmy Jacobs, Rhett Titus, Cliff Compton, and “The Man Beast” Rhino. Originally representing Ring of Honor were “Unbreakable” Michael Elgin, Jay Lethal, BJ Whitmer, and Mark Briscoe. Upon the announcement of the Steel Cage Warfare, former S.C.U.M figurehead Kevin Steen immediately approached Nigel looking to represent ROH's team. McGuinness denied Steen's offer and questioned his true loyalties. There was too much risk involved for Nigel to let the company depend on a guy who had former allegiances with the enemy.
At Best In The World 2013 we witnessed Jay Briscoe successfully defend his ROH World Title against his brother Mark in a brutal one-on-one match. The abuse and punishment resulted in both men receiving multiple injuries. A fatigued Jay Briscoe was forced to defend his championship against S.C.U.M.’s Matt Hardy just a few weeks later. Jay went into that bout with an injured shoulder but was triumphant against all odds. However, after the match Matt Hardy and S.C.U.M. destroyed Jay’s shoulder, which led to the title being vacated. A World Championship Tournament was constructed to replace Jay as champion. Jay Briscoe was perhaps the biggest casualty in this war. Also in the brother vs. brother match at Best in the World 2013, Mark Briscoe suffered a very serious concussion. As of a result of his injuries, Mark Briscoe was not cleared to participate in Steel Cage Warfare and thus needed to be replaced. Steen again confronted Nigel regarding the opening, claiming that he started S.C.U.M. and could be the only one that could finish it. With no other options, Nigel reluctantly agreed. How was anyone ever to trust Kevin Steen after his year of madness and his vows to destroy the company? ROH needed to be saved and a risk was taken.
Inside Steel Cage Warfare it came down to Jimmy Jacobs alone against Michael Elgin and Kevin Steen. At this point Steve Corino, who was on commentary at ringside, freaked out and became very nervous. When the door was opened to escort the recently eliminated Cliff Compton out, Corino jumped into the cage. As Michael Elgin turned around, Corino, in an act of desperation, threw a FIREBALL in Elgin's face! A blinded and burned Elgin was then rolled up by Jacobs and pinned. It all came down to Kevin Steen vs Jimmy Jacobs. The two man allegiance that fatefully vowed to bring down Ring of Honor and started this war.
Security and staff rushed into the ring to attend to Elgin's burns. Steen rises and immediately lunges for Corino, but Matt Hardy slips into the ring and delivers a Twist of Fate to Steen. Jacobs, Hardy, and Corino all stand tall over a fallen Steen. Corino then pulls out a bottle of lighter fluid and begins to pour the gas all over Steen and the ring. A reminiscent scene of Corino's vow to make Ring of Honor burn to the ground. Corino pulls out a book of matches with the unthinkable in his mind. Jimmy Jacobs even shows signs of doubt to the insane thoughts inside Corino's head. At the last possible second NIGEL MCGUINNESS dives into the ring and confronts Corino.
Ultimately Corino is laid out by Nigel and Steen hits a Package Piledriver on Jacobs for the win! Nigel and Steen come face to face in the middle of the ring, and shake hands. Honor is restored! The story comes full circle with Steen creating S.C.U.M., winning Steel Cage Warfare, saving ROH, and disbanding S.C.U.M once and for all. He created it and also destroyed it. Steen has once again been accepted and trusted by the ROH locker room and officials for his sacrifices that night. The final image of Steel Cage Warfare saw the original S.C.U.M. members (Corino, Jacobs and the man chosen to replace Steen... Matt Hardy) fallen in the ring with Steen and Nigel shaking hands above them. An ironic image that was symbolic of everything that transpired during the epic war that was ROH vs. S.C.U.M.
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