Ring of Honor TV Review: The Women of Honor Title tournament semifinals and the final match that crowned the first WOH Champion

By Jason Powell, Prowrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)

Ring of Honor TV
Taped April 7 in New Orleans, Louisiana at UNO Lakefront Arena
Aired in syndication on April 21 and airs Mondays on the FITE TV app

The ROH TV opening video aired. It concluded with an addition of the Women of Honor logo… The broadcast team of Ian Riccaboni and Colt Cabana checked in from ringside and touted that it would be a very special edition of the show and would focus on the WOH Title tournament…

Match footage aired from quarterfinal matches to show how they got to the semifinals. They also included some promos from the women involved…

Powell’s POV: I won’t have much new to say about this edition of ROH TV since I reviewed the semifinals and finals of the tournament when they aired as part of the Supercard of Honor event. In fact, I’ll take more of a streamlined approach to recapping the show this week.

1. Kelly Klein vs. Mayu Iwatani in a Women of Honor Title tournament semifinal match. Klein applied the End of the Match guillotine choke. The referee called for the bell even though Iwatani never tapped out…

Kelly Klein defeated Mayu Iwatani to advance to the finals of the Women of Honor Title tournament.

Powell’s POV: This was one of the better WOH Title tournament matches. It was a big win for Klein to beat one of the best in the world. ROH played up Klein as being unbeaten in singles competition coming into the tournament.

A Tenille Dashwood video package aired. Her opponent Sumie Sakai spoke briefly at the end… The broadcast team showed off the WOH Title belt as introductions for the match took place heading into a commercial break…

2. Tenille Dashwood vs. Sumie Sakai in a Women of Honor Title tournament semifinal match. Sakai avoided the Spotlight Kick and countered into a crucifix pin for the win. They also aired the post match angle where Riccaboni invited Klein and Sakai to pose together going into their championship match. They shook hands, but Klein took a cheap shot at Sakai afterward…

Sumie Sakai defeated Tenille Dashwood to advance to the finals of WOH Title tournament.

Powell’s POV: This was also a nice match. It was surprising to see Sakai go over if only because I was hopeful that the company would have signed Dashwood to a longer deal, which would have made her an option to win the entire tournament. The most attractive match of the tournament would have been a third place match between Iwatani and Dashwood.

3. Kelly Klein vs. Sumie Sakai to become the first Women of Honor Champion. Daffney of WCW fame was seated at ringside and introduced by ring announcer Bobby Cruise prior to the match. Some of the other WOH tournament competitors came out and patted the mat while watching the match intensely. In the end, Sakai caught Klein with a DDT and pinned her clean…

Sumie Sakai defeated Kelly Klein to become the first Women of Honor Champion.

Sakai celebrated with the title belt while the WOH regulars stood in the ring and applauded her. Riccaboni wrapped up the show without advertising anything for next week…

Powell’s POV: The decision to go with Sakai as the first champion came off like the company trying to do right by a 15-year veteran they have a lot of respect for. Unfortunately, her underdog story never seemed to resonate with the ROH fans, so it felt like this meant more to the company and the WOH wrestlers than it did to the vast majority of fans.

It was disappointing that we didn’t get footage from the latest television taping, but I don’t even know if it was a possibility. My understanding is that ROH has to have their show finalized roughly eight days before it airs. If that’s the case then it wasn’t possible for them to air new footage since the latest taping was held a week before this show first aired.

On the plus side, it was a good showcase for the women’s division. The company seemed to struggle to find time for the WOH Title tournament matches as they were building toward the Supercard of Honor event, so rebroadcasting the semifinals and the finals of the tournament allowed the ROH television viewers who didn’t see Supercard of Honor to see how the tournament played out. I am anxious to see what ROH does with the WOH division as we move forward. The relationship with Stardom is certainly a positive and ROH has some talented regulars of their own, so I am optimistic that WOH can become a regular and meaningful part of the company’s weekly television show. We’ll get back to normal next week once they start airing footage from the new taping.


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