With Matt Riddle officially signed to NXT, an old tag team partner of his is set to join him soon.
Punishment Martinez dropped the ROH World Television Championship to Jeff Cobb at the TV taping yesterday (Sept. 29), and PWInsider reported that Martinez was finished with the promotion, before Wrestling Observer mainman Dave Meltzer confirmed that the former champion is on his way to WWE.
Punishment (chiefly known outside of Ring of Honor as Punisher Martinez) is a 14-year veteran, having gotten his start at New Jersey’s Monster Factory in 2004. Working the small-time indie grind for over a decade, shortly before signing with ROH he was paired up at the Monster Factory with the King of Bros, with whom he won the KPW Tag Team Championship in 2016.
Indeed, for a time the plan was for Riddle, Punishment, and QT Marshall (with whom Martinez had won the MFPW Tag Team Championship) to form a trio together in Ring of Honor, but Matt signing with Evolve put the kibosh on that. Martinez found success in ROH all the same, however, as he was signed to a contract after competing in the 2016 Top Prospect Tournament, advancing over Colby Corino in the first round before falling to 205 Live’s Lio Rush.
He’d go on to win the 2017 edition of Survival of the Fittest, an annual tournament that culminates in a six-man elimination scramble for a shot at the ROH World Championship, as well as winning the aforementioned ROH World Television Championship from Silas Young this past June.
As far as scouting goes, Martinez is an athletic big man (billed at 6’6” and 272 pounds) who’s stylistically not terribly dissimilar to the Undertaker, in terms of his willingness to do dives and other such semi-acrobatic maneuvers. He’s not quite the polished product his former tag team partner is, still having a bit of awkwardness around the edges (as evidenced by a disastrous match he had against Soberano, Jr., which, to be fair, neither man had time to prepare for), but that is, after all, what the Performance Center is for, so color me cautiously optimistic for his arrival in WWE.
There you have it, folks
Punishment Martinez is done with ROH and headed to the Performance Center. Interested in seeing what he can do on WWE’s yellow brand, Cagesiders?