Kevin Steen thrives on violence. His matches are vicious - and his Ladder Wars are legendary. As a testament to his brutality, Steen chooses to utilize the Package Piledriver. It’s already been banned from Ring of Honor in the past. But that’s Kevin Steen: he feeds on violence on chaos.
A year ago, Michael Bennett would have been the last person vying for Steen’s title as the resident expert on sickening, spine crunching destruction. The Prodigy had media appearances to worry about. But since he ditched his old nickname and his old trainer, Michael Bennett has transformed into a very different - very sadistic - man...and he’s been guided and encouraged by Maria Kanellis every step of the way. Now Michael Bennett has decided to showcase what has for decades been agreed upon as one of the most dangerous maneuvers in professional wrestling: The Piledriver. And he’s already ended one man’s career.
Maria Kanellis has been in major provocation in this escalating piledriver war. On the October 19 edition of Ring of Honor television, Bennett and Steen got into a confrontation - but Maria herself saw fit to lay her hands on the former World Champion. Obviously, Maria continued pushing her man to go after Kevin Steen. The very next week on television, Kevin Steen lost to Eddie Edwards. But that loss came AFTER Michael Bennett attacked Steen prior to the match and took him out with a piledriver, ultimately weakening him for his advertised television opponent. Not content to count that interference as victory, Bennett would attack Steen outside the bounds of a match again in Hopkins, MN. At “A New Dawn,” Kevin Steen defeated Jimmy Jacobs. Much to the approval of Maria Kanellis, the post-match celebration was cut short by Michael Bennett, who destroyed Steen with yet another piledriver.
Steen and Bennett would finally meet one-on-one in Chicago Ridge at Glory By Honor, but that match was far from a decisive end to the “Battle of the Piledrivers.” Technically, the record books will reflect a Michael Bennett victory. Yet the former Team Prodigy looked anything but victorious in Chicago thanks to a post-match appearance by Lisa Varon. Incensed by Maria’s constant interference, Varon drilled Maria with her Widow’s Peak and it looked like Kevin Steen finally had the upper hand.
If only Steen had left matters settled at Glory By Honor. Instead, at “The Golden Dream,” Cincinnati witnessed one of Kevin Steen’s most violent rampages. Michael Bennett declined to participate in his scheduled bout, stating via Maria Kanellis that he felt this particular event and match were “beneath him.” However, everyone in attendance quickly realized that by avoiding Cincinnati, Bennett also avoided any possible interactions - in the locker room or even the parking lot - with a raging Kevin Steen. Instead, Bennett hatched what he must have assumed was a failure proof plan: stay safe at home and let Maria interfere in Steen’s critical match with Jay Briscoe. The lesson learned in Cincinnati? Never underestimate the brutality of Kevin Steen.
Furious over Maria’s meddling, Steen grabbed her by the hair and dragged her screaming back to the ring. The distinction between male and female didn’t seem to matter much at that moment: Kevin Steen was ready to break Maria’s neck with a Package Piledriver if Michael Bennett wasn’t there to take her place. Security and referees swarmed the ring. They were finally able to get Maria to the backstage area unharmed, but not before Steen attacked multiple officials and hospitalized referee Paul Turner. As a punishment for this unconscionable rampage, Kevin Steen will not be in Dearborn or Columbus for this weekend’s ROH live events.
However...at Final Battle 2013, Kevin Steen and Michael Bennett WILL square off again. But this time, the Battle of the Piledrivers truly reaches its final stage. Whoever loses on December 14th will be BANNED from using the piledriver. After much deliberation, ROH officials have decided the only way to truly determine a winner in this match is to add one more stipulation. Steen vs. Bennett at Final Battle will be a STRETCHER MATCH. After months of trying to send each other to the hospital - or worse - Kevin Steen and Michael Bennett will finally have the sanctioned opportunity to find out which man is the true master of the piledriver...and which man will be leaving Final Battle on a stretcher.
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