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He is a 4-Time ROH World Tag Team Champion, the first man ever to challenge for the ROH World Title on PPV back at the original “Respect is Earned”, a member of The Prophecy & The Hangmen 3, the man at the forefront of the ROH/CZW War, the man affectionately referred to as “Hillbilly Jesus”, he is BJ Whitmer and on Friday night, February 17th when Ring of Honor debuts in Cincinnati, OH, he makes his highly-demanded return to ROH!

It won’t just be any match against any opponent for the former multi-time champion either, rather Whitmer will step straight into The Proving Ground against ROH World TV Champion Jay Lethal! This concept unique to Ring of Honor has already created several contenders, in the case of the TV Title both Roderick Strong & Tommaso Ciampa have earned future championship opportunities, and it is only appropriate an ROH alum as highly decorated as Whitmer makes his return in this fashion.

Lethal himself knows what it feels like to step foot in the ROH ring after an extended absence and can relate to the pressure it brings,

“I have been in the shoes BJ is about to step into.” said Lethal, “When I came back to ROH after years away it was both a relief and anxiety-inducing at the same time. I didn’t know what to expect from the fans and I just hoped I would live up to their expectations. To my luck, they embraced me and I am sure they will do the same with you BJ because you certainly earned their respect, just like you earned mine many years ago. It’s been a long time since we’ve fought and I am looking forward to seeing just what you’ve got in the tank my friend.”

It’s been four years since BJ Whitmer has competed here in Ring of Honor and he has survived a great deal of personal trials & tribulations in that time. The Whitmer that looks to enter the ring in 2012 is one in the best shape of his life, looking to not only earn a future TV Title shot, but earn his place back on the roster of the greatest wrestlers on the planet. Will BJ prove himself in Cincinnati?