Sumie Sakai’s Women of Honor title reign has surpassed 200 days, but can she retain the the championship at ROH Final Battle 2018 against three other women?
As the first Women of Honor Champion, Sumie Sakai has done a solid job of holding the title, but some fans are surprised that Sakai has remained champion despite challenges from top competition.
It seemed like Tenille Dashwood would be the one to take the title off of her in September, but a psoriasis flare-up and shoulder injury have prevented Dashwood from staking her claim as the star of the WOH Division.
Sakai has defeated stars like Dashwood, recent ROH signing Madison Rayne, Karen Q, Jenny Rose, and Kelly Klein (in the finals of the WOH Tournament) in title matches. However, she will face her toughest test yet, because ROH announced on Twitter that Sakai will have to defend the Women of Honor Championship against three other women at Final Battle.
A fighting champion, Sakai sounds ready to take all comers, and she’ll have to do it in a “Four Corner Survival” match. For an explanation of this stipulation and some match recommendations for ROH’s past “Four Corners Survival” matches, check out this piece by Jose Perez on “Online World of Wrestling”.
I’ll also embed a previous WOH “Four Corner Survival Match” from the ROH YouTube channel below.
Per the video above, there will be qualifying matches throughout the month of November to help determine Sakai’s challengers. It’s unclear if Dashwood will be back by then, but it’s safe to say that another big star, Madison Rayne, will likely be in that match. Rose, Karen Q, and other young stars in the WOH Division could find themselves in this match, too.
It’s awesome to hear that the Women of Honor are getting a big stipulation match. At “Death Before Dishonor”, Sakai and Dashwood got a solid 12 minutes to put together one of the best matches of the night, and it was a step forward for the nascent WOH Title.
A “Four Corners Survival” match is an even bigger deal, and the qualifying matches will surely be exciting. Hopefully the women get plenty of time to tell the right stories in the build-up to this match, and I’m sure the bout itself at Final Battle will be excellent. And if it does spell the end for Sakai’s lengthy reign as the first champion, then hopefully it’s a good “send-off” for her as champ.
Final Battle will take place on Dec. 14 at the Manhattan Center’s Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City. It was an entertaining show last year, and it could be even better this year, if this match announcement is any indication.