By: Matt Carlins

Pittsburgh (KDKA) — Ring of Honor is bringing its professional wrestling stars back to Pittsburgh for “Steel City Excellence.”

Many of ROH’s top names, such as The Young Bucks and Cody (formerly known as Cody Rhodes in WWE), are well-known to wrestling fans around the world, but Saturday night’s show at Stage AE will also be a chance for some rising stars to shine.

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The event will feature the first matches in ROH’s 2017 Top Prospect Tournament. The winner gets an ROH contract and a shot at the ROH World Television Title.

Eight wrestlers will participate in the tournament. One of them is Chris LeRusso, a veteran of the local independent wrestling scene.

“This will be the biggest match of my career,” LeRusso said.

More than a decade after his pro wrestling debut, the self-proclaimed “Heir Apparent” is coming into his own. The ROH officials organizing this year’s Top Prospect Tournament took notice.

“Chris LeRusso was chosen due to his vast improvements over the last couple of years,” said ROH head trainer and producer Delirious. “Chris has developed a reputation on the independent wrestling scene while displaying continuous improvement in all areas.”

LeRusso first got the attention of ROH officials at a tryout camp near Philadelphia.

“I wasn’t offered an opportunity immediately,” said LeRusso. “But, the interest was there and we stayed in contact from that point forward.”

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Over the past couple years, LeRusso wrestled a handful of matches for ROH in Pittsburgh, Wheeling and Nashville, Tennessee.

Around the same time, LeRusso won the Super Indy Championship in the International Wrestling Cartel, an independent promotion in the Pittsburgh area. The title has a proud lineage. Its former holders include former WWE Champion A.J. Styles.

LeRusso’s run as the Super Indy Champ has led to new opportunities, sharing the ring with some legendary names. WWE’s Chris Jericho made a surprise appearance as a guest ring announcer for one of LeRusso’s matches in IWC last December.

Just weeks ago, LeRusso defended his title against Pittsburgh native and Extreme Championship Wrestling cornerstone Shane Douglas.

Now, LeRusso is looking forward to his biggest stage yet.

“We will tape four episodes of television that will air nationwide and we have a lot of good stuff in store, including some surprises,” said Delirious.

ROH’s weekly television show airs on Sinclair Broadcasting stations. ROH is owned by Sinclair.

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