Ring of Honor has added Alex Shelley to the upcoming Pure Title Tournament. Shelley joins Doug Williams and Jonathan Gresham as the three announced participants. 16 men will be announced for the tournament, which begins on Apr. 10.
The tournament to crown the first Ring of Honor Pure Champion since 2006 begins at Pure Excellence on Friday, April 10 in Columbus and Saturday, April 11 in Pittsburgh. Sixteen entrants representing at least six countries will battle to put their names alongside Jay Lethal, Samoa Joe, AJ Styles, Nigel McGuinness, Bryan Danielson, and other ROH forefathers who fought by the Pure Rules. The rules gave a distinct flavor to each Pure Rules match: closed-fist punches were illegal and each competitor was allowed three rope breaks to stop submission holds and pinfalls during the match; after that, pinfalls and submission holds on or under the ropes would be legal.
Alex Shelley’s connection to Pure is deeper than what meets the eye. The veteran of nearly two-decades competed in the very first ROH Pure Rules match against Matt Stryker and made it to the finals of the second Pure Championship Tournament! At just 36 years old, Shelley is renewed and refreshed, having earned two college degrees in his time off, developing an even greater understanding of the human anatomy, and defeating Colt Cabana at Final Battle, inserting himself firmly among Championship contenders.
Shelley’s Championship history, which includes the ROH World Tag Team and IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Championships, has seen him compete as a Champion all over the world, calcifying Shelley’s shoulders to the pressure that will face in this tournament. Shelley’s knowledge of submissions, particularly of his patented Border City Stretch, will serve him well, as will his connection to the original Pure Championship as the muscle memory of the strategies of this unique match style will likely return to him during Pure Excellence Weekend!
The road to the Pure Title starts in Columbus! Keep it locked into ROHWrestling.com for the announcement of all 16 competitors and first-round match-ups you will see in Columbus and Pittsburgh!