This weekend marks the end of Kevin Steen's contract in Ring of Honor. He'll be taking on "The Last Real Man" Silas Young in a no-DQ match in Cincinnati, OH on Friday, and on Saturday he'll be battling the great Steve Corino in Dearborn, MI. If you are even remotely close to either city, you'd be foolish to miss out on Kevin’s final weekend in ROH.
I met Kevin in 2005, didn't really get to know him until 2007, and here in 2014 I can say he’s one of the best friends I have. I've travelled the road with him, all the while laughing at just about everything. I've been in the ring with him during all-out wars, as he poured everything he had into this crazy sport. And I was lucky enough to have my hand hit the mat for the 3-count as he won the ROH World Championship.
He’s one of the best wrestlers I've ever been in the ring with, as he makes a connection with people that is amazing to witness. People “get” Kevin Steen. They relate to him on a level that is impossible to manufacture. Even as he’s performing an evil act (and he’s done plenty of EVIL here in ROH), there’s something about Kevin where you say “I understand why you’re doing this” ­ and you ultimately forgive him. He’s a rare talent that we've been lucky to watch over the past 7 years.
His resume is mighty impressive. He was ROH World Champion for 11 months. He was ROH Tag Team Champion for seven. He’s been in Ladder War matches with The Briscoes and the American Wolves. He stood up for Ring of Honor against S.C.U.M in Steel Cage Warfare. But nothing compares to the hell that he put El Generico through during 2010.
At every turn, Kevin was doing everything in his power to destroy Generico ­ not just physically, but emotionally as well. I was the referee for their war at Final Battle 2010, and even I left that match with battle scars (my right elbow took eight months to stop hurting on a constant basis). The punishment that Steen and Generico dished out on each other will forever haunt them, and anyone who watched their feud unfold will never forget it.
Now we’re at the end of Kevin Steen’s ROH journey. This weekend is going to be very emotional. Being in the ring with these guys the way I am, you form special bonds that are hard to explain. I watch on with pride as they give everything they have ­ to their opponents, to the company, and to the fans. Now it’s time for Kevin to switch to another phase of his career.
Kevin Steen is a special talent - one that doesn't come around often. I've never met anyone like him, and I don't think I ever will. It’s been a true honor to have shared a ring with him.