After successfully defending his IWGP United States Championship against David Finlay on Tuesday, Jay White already knows who will challenge for his belt next. Ring of Honor announced today that Punishment Martinez has been granted a title shot at the May 11th War of the Worlds show from Toronto.
White and Martinez previously engaged in a feud on ROH programming last year. They wrestled each other 3x during White’s 2017 summer excursion to ROH. Martinez won 2 of the 3 matches including the Las Vegas Street Fight at Death Before Dishonor XV.
IWGP United States Championship
“Switchblade” Jay White vs. Punishment Martinez
White is just the 2nd ever holder of the IWGP United States Championship. The title was introduced last year at NJPW’s Long Beach shows.
Kenny Omega defeated Tomohiro Ishii in the finals of the 2-day tournament to crown an inaugural champion. He then defended the title 4x successfully with wins over Juice Robinson, Yoshi-Hashi, Beretta, and Chris Jericho. Omega then dropped the title to White at the New Beginning in Sapporo on January 28th, 2018.
After winning the title from Omega, White successfully defended it against Hangman Page at Strong Style Evolved in Long Beach. His win over Finlay on Tuesday main event’ed the Road to Wrestling Dontaku show from Korakuen Hall.
As for Punishment Martinez, the 36-year-old is someone ROH has kept strong ever since his arrival in 2015. He won the Survival of the Fittest tournament in 2017 but dropped his World Title match to Dalton Castle. Martinez lost a #1 contenders match to Marty Scurll at the ROH 16th Anniversary show on March 9th this year. He later defeated Tomohiro Ishii at Supercard of Honor XII.
The IWGP United States Championship is defended on both ROH and NJPW shows, though this will be just the 2nd time the title will be up for grabs on an ROH show. Kenny Omega defended the title against Yoshi-Hashi at War of the Worlds: Chicago last year.