By Jason Powell, Prowrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
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ROH Honor Reigns Supreme
Concord, North Carolina at Cabarrus Arena
Streamed live on HonorClub
Ian Riccaboni, Colt Cabana, and Caprice Coleman were on commentary. It was Riccaboni’s birthday…
1. Cheeseburger, Eli Isom, and Ryan Nova defeated John Skylar, Corey Hollis, and Josey Quinn. Skylar cut a pre-match promo and issued an open challenge. Riccaboni noted that Cheeseburger, Isom, and Nova were unbeaten on Future of Honor.
2. Mark Haskins defeated Beer City Bruiser. The wrestlers adhered to the Code of Honor before the match. Haskins went for an arm submission, but Bruiser powered him up into a nice Samoan drop. Later, Bruiser caught Haskins on the ropes and powerslammed him for a two count. Bruiser went up top for a splash, but Haskins rolled out of the way. Haskins caught Bruiser with a kick and then performed a top rope double stomp for the win. A nice match with Haskins overcoming Bruiser’s size advantage, and Bruiser’s offense looked good against the smaller opponent. Afterward, Bruiser offered Haskins a beer. Haskins accepted and they toasted before leaving separately.
3. Juice Robinson and David Finlay defeated “Best Friends” Chuckie T and Barreta. Riccaboni welcomed Barreta back on commentary and offered his condolences. Chuckie placed Finlay over the barricade and then Baretta performed a double stomp from the barricade. Later, Chuckie performed a piledriver on Finlay and covered him, but Robinson broke up the pin. A short time later, Finlay performed a neckbreaker onto his knee and pinned Chuckie. The ring announcer dubbed Robinson and Finaly as “FinJuice” when announcing them as the winners. Robinson and Finlay offered handshakes. Barreta grabbed Robinson’s IWGP U.S. Championship, then shook his hand.
Riccaboni and Cabana hosted a segment on the stage about the company’s work with Vettix.org and noted that veterans are always welcome for free in ROH.
4. Tracy Williams defeated Flip Gordon via ref stoppage. The wrestlers shook hands. Kenny King sat in on commentary and said he would find a partner and enter ROH Tag Wars. Colt announced that he would team with Gordon in tag wars. King asked Cabana why he would team with Gordon. Cabana said Gordon might be the next ROH Champion and then he would be friends with the champ. Moments later, Gordon went for a running dropkick in the corner and came up limping. Gordon hoisted up Williams on his shoulders. Williams escaped and then Gordon performed a springboard spear. Gordon covered Williams for two, then clutched his knee. Gordon stood up, shook his leg, and then took a step toward Williams before collapsing. Referee Todd Gordon checked on Gordon and then called off the match. Williams went to ringside and was joined by ROH staff in checking on Gordon, who was eventually helped to the back. King was talking in character while mocking Riccaboni for claiming that Gordon would be the next ROH Champion. King wished Gordon well, then went back into character by telling Riccaboni that he sucks at his job and hopes he has a terrible birthday.
5. ROH Six-Man Tag Champions “The Kingdom” Matt Taven, TK O’Ryan, and Vinny Marseglia defeated Shane “Hurricane” Helms, Luchasaurus, and Hurricane Helms in a Proving Ground match. Riccaboni noted that Luchasaurus is son’s favorite wrestler. “I’m glad we reached the two year-old demographic,” Cabana quipped. Delirious had his ribs wrapped. Riccaboni said he broke his ribs wrestling in the Congo. Helms wore some tassels on his mask. Coleman said Helms was half Hurricane, half Delirious. Late in the match, the babyfaces performed a triple chokeslam. Marseglia and O’Ryan performed House of 1000 Horses on Delirious and scored the pin.
6. Bandido defeated PJ Black. The wrestlers adhered to the Code of Honor. Black performed a Fade To Black brainbuster for a two count. There was a wild spot with both men going for springboards, which led to Black performing huracanrana style move in mid-air for a two count. Black put Bandido in a pendulum hold and then walked him over to the corner and taunted him by lifting him into the bottom turnbuckle pad repeatedly. Bandido came back with a GTS for a two count. Black performed a helicopter neckbreaker and made a lazy cover for a two count. Coleman covered for the lazy cover by questioning whether Black was hurt. Bandido applied an armbar that was broken when Black put his foot on the bottom rope. Black went up top. Bandido ran up and caught him, but then tumbled to ringside. Bandido returned to the ropes and performed a fallaway slam into a moonsault all in one motion for the win.
7. Jeff Cobb defeated Rhett Titus and Jonathan Gresham in a Proving Ground match. Shane Taylor was supposed to be the fourth man in the match, but he took the mic and said he found it disrespectful to be placed in a Proving Ground match. Taylor said he had nothing to prove to the North Carolina hicks or the other wrestlers in the ring. Taylor mocked the height of Gresham, said he’d do to Titus what the Broncos did to the Panthers (dated Super Bowl reference), and told Cobb that he’d make him his next bitch. Taylor headed backstage. In the end, Cobb was rolled up and then powered up Titus and piledrove him before performing the Tour of the Islands for the win. Afterward, Silas Young walked to the ring and served as a distraction while Taylor entered from the opposite side of the ring and hit Cobb. Riccaboni questioned if it was planned and if there’s something between Taylor and Young.
8. Kelly Klein (w/Camp Klein) defeated Jenny Rose in a street fight to retain the Women of Honor Championship. Two women and two men came to ringside with Klein and were dubbed Camp Klein by Riccaboni, who also noted that Rose was trained by Daizee Haze and Delirious. Rose performed a nice German suplex that led to Klein rolling to ringside. Rose followed and placed her on a table. Rose performed a running splash from the apron, but the table didn’t break and Rose tumbled awkwardly to the floor. Ouch. They went to the apron where Rose mounted the back of Klein, who was clearly barking out orders before she leapt off the apron and they both went through the table back first, which drew a big pop. In the ring, Rose created a pile of chairs and then superplexed Klein onto them. Rose rolled over and covered Klein for a two count. Klein grabbed the ring bell. Members of Klein’s camp stood on the apron and Rose fought them off, but Klein performed K Power onto a chair and scored the pin. Both women showed a lot of heart during this brawl and it’s good to see the WOH Championship match feel like a big part of the show rather than serving as just a token women’s match.
9. “Villain Enterprises” Marty Scurll, PCO, and Brody King defeated Silas Young, Jay Briscoe, and Mark Briscoe. King and Jay started. Mark tagged himself in and pointed at PCO, who tagged in. PCO and Mark exchanged chops with PCO getting the better of the lengthy exchange. Scurll tagged in for a pop, then Young checked in moments later. More chops. Later, PCO went up top while others were fighting at ringside. Mark cut him off and slammed him onto the apron for a hellacious bump (especially for a glorified house show). Ouch. Later, King caught Mark on the top rope and slammed him through a table at ringside. Another ouch. In the ring, Scurll powerbombed Jay and put him in a Boston Crab. PCO performed a top rope legdrop, then performed a suicide dive. King performed a Gonzo Bomb on Jay, then PCO performed a moonsault and scored the pin. It was fun to see the crowd go from giving PCO a fairly tame reaction to chanting his name and cheering loudly for Villain Enterprises afterward.
The broadcast team spoke at their desk. Riccaboni said PCO is certifiably insane. Coleman touted the ROH live experience. Cabana said there’s no telling how long we’ll see PCO. “I can’t see that career lasting any longer,” Cabana said. “But he’s proved us wrong for three decades now.” Riccaboni ran through the list of Tag Wars entrants: PCO and King, Finlay and Robinson, O’Ryan and Marseglia, Lethal and Gresham, Colt and Gordon (if Gordon is healthy), Coast 2 Coast, The Bouncers, The Boys, Haskins and Williams, Eli and Cheeseburger, “and the New Japan dojo”…
NWA Champion Nick Aldis and Kamille walked onto the stage. Aldis introduced himself and then said Kamille is his insurance policy. “She doesn’t say much, she speaks in other ways,” Aldis said. “But as far as insurance goes, I can assure that the coverage, unlike her outfit, is excellent.” Aldis said he feels the respect and love from fans in the Carolinas for the 10 Pounds of Gold. Aldis said he disagrees with Matt Taven. He ran through a list of former NWA Champions and said that belt makes him the real world champion. He said ROH must agree and that’s why they are working with the NWA. Aldis said legacy and tradition brought them together and nothing exemplifies that more than the Crockett Cup tag team tournament, which they are bringing to the venue on April 27. Aldis asked if the fans were ready for the main event. He said he was too and he would join the broadcast team. He referred to the ROH Championship as the other important piece of hardware in the equation. Aldis said he may be watching as more than just a fan. “Sometimes even a champion can’t resist the urge to make a challenge of his own,” Aldis said before leaving the stage.
10. Jay Lethal defeated Dalton Castle (w/The Boys) to retain the ROH Championship. Coleman bowed out and was replaced by Aldis on commentary for the main event while Kamille stood silently behind him. Ring announcer Nick Lendl delivered in-ring introductions for the championship match. Lethal performed an early Lethal Injection that resulted in just a one count. The wrestlers traded punches and Castle sold one punch by falling between the bottom and middle ropes to the floor.
Later, Lethal caught Castle with a cutter on the floor. Lethal seemed willing to take the count-out win, but Castle returned to the ring. Lethal performed a top rope elbow, but was rolled into a pin for a two count. Lethal came right back with a Lethal Combination and another top rope elbow. Castle came back and caught Lethal with running knees that sent him to ringside. Castle performed a suicide dive and brought Lethal back to the ring where he performed a bulldog for a two count. A short time later, Lethal went for a Lethal Injection, but Castle countered into a suplex for a good near fall. Lethal rebounded with a Lethal Injection and scored the clean pin.
Riccaboni noted that Lethal is one title defense away from becoming the longest reigning ROH Champion in history. Riccaboni hyped upcoming events while Lethal celebrated. Castle got to his feet and shook Lethal’s hand. Riccaboni hyped the next HonorClub broadcast for January 24 in Dallas.
Powell’s POV: It was nice to get a sneak peak through HonorClub at the new additions to the ROH roster before they appear on the television show. The ring lighting left a lot to be desired. Otherwise, it was a fine production given the type of show this was. The broadcast team was loose and clearly having fun at times, and they were very good at flipping the switch and being serious when the situation called for it. Overall, an entertaining show with a lot of fresh faces and strong work ethic from the wrestlers overall.
Check below for the new Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell and Brian Fritz discussing the formation of All Elite Wrestling and their launch rally.