ROH: Claudio Castagnoli finally grants Eddie Kingston a title shot


On the first episode of the “new era” of Ring of Honor, Eddie Kingston told Claudio Castagnoli he wanted the ROH World Championship.

Castagnoli has been dodging Kingston’s request, mainly because he thinks “The Mad King” doesn’t have the honor to carry the title. Last week, the champion watched Kingston’s match from the front row. Kingston slung Jeeves Kay into the barricade, making Castagnoli spill coffee down the front of his white shirt. After winning his match, Kingston made the universal title belt gesture around his waist.

During tonight’s episode of ROH, the two men sat down for a backstage interview with Caprice Coleman. Kingston promised Coleman that he wouldn’t get physical. Castagnoli said he wanted to apologize to Kingston because he “has honor in his own way”, but he stands by what he said about a man like Kingston shouldn’t be the ROH champion.

Kingston believes he should be champion because his mentors, Low-Ki, Xavier, and Homicide, all held that title. “That lineage belongs to me. Belongs to the underdog. Belongs to the fighter.” Kingston told Castagnoli that he is none of those things. “We know each other. I lived with you. You met my family. You’re a coward because you didn’t do business the first time, so I’m going to force you to do business this time and it’s going to be for that championship.”

Castagnoli rebutted that Kingston plays victim and quits when things get hard. He said he’s scared for Kingston because he’s on a different level and he can’t touch him. After conceding and granting the title match, Castagnoli said that after he beats him, Kingston will blame everyone but himself and throw a tantrum and will run away.

“You are the biggest waste of potential I have ever seen in my life. I’ve seen you when you were young. I’ve seen you when you have that fire in your eyes and you could’ve reached it all. Instead, you choose to pity party yourself and implode yourself again and again and that’s exactly what’s going to happen when you step in the ring with me.”

That was some of the most compelling stuff that ROH has had in the “new era”. Kingston was fairly calm, although clearly annoyed by Castagnoli calling him out. It’s no secret that Kingston’s temper has held him back and cost him opportunities. He has been his own worst enemy for years. Kingston has been open about working on himself and trying to do better.

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Castagnoli knows where the chinks in the armor are and verbally chipped away at them. Kingston has always felt like the underdog. He had to force Castagnoli to give him a title shot. He wasn’t able to win gold in AEW, so he’s set to prove to himself and everyone else that he can beat Castagnoli and carry the title with his own type of honor. This has easily been ROH’s best feud in the “new era” and they’ll close the chapter one way or another at Supercard of Honor.