By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
ROH Death Before Dishonor First Hour Free
-The pre-show opened with a memorial graphic for the late Shannon “Daffney” Spruill. The ROH crew stood around the ring for a ten bell salute.
-A video package aired on the four-way elimination main event for the ROH World Championship.
-Ian Riccaboni and Caprice Coleman checked in on commentary from their desk on the main floor. They ran through the pay-per-view lineup.
-Bobby Cruise served as the ring announcer and ran through the Royal Rumble style rules of the Honor Rumble match. Entrants come out every 90 seconds.
1. The 16-man Honor Rumble match for a future shot at the ROH World Championship. The first two entrants were Brian Johnson and Brian Milonas. Hometown boy Johnson delivered a promo before Milonas came out. They shook hands while the broadcast team noted that Johnson was wearing Eagles colors while Milonas was dressed in Steelers colors.
The third entrant was Beer City Bruiser, who is the tag partner of Milonas. Ken Dixon carried a keg to the ring while escorting Bruiser.
The fourth entrant was Danhausen. The Bouncers performed a double chokeslam on Danhausen. Coleman said there were sixteen entrants. He removed his shirt.
The fifth entrant was Caprice Coleman. “Caprice Coleman is shredded,” Riccaboni said. “Where was he hiding that?” Coleman clotheslined Bruiser over the top rope to eliminate him.
The sixth entrant was Sledge. Coleman eliminated Milonas, and Johnson eliminated Coleman. The production team missed both eliminations while showing Sledge make his entrance.
The seventh entrant was PCO. Brian Zane filled in for Coleman on commentary and confirmed that it was a 16-man match rather than the listed 15-man match (I adjusted the count in the main listing above). PCO and Sledge went at one another. Their six-man tag partner Danhausen tried to talk them down.
The eighth entrant was PJ Black. Sledge failed to eliminate Black while PCO worked over Johnson.
-The ninth entrant was Dak Draper. It was noted that he’s the tallest man in the match.
-The tenth entrant was Silas Young. Riccaboni noted that Young was the only person in the match who won a previous Honor Rumble match. Draper eliminated Sledge.
-The eleventh entrant was Rey Horus. Riccaboni noted that Horus is the best friend of ROH World Champion Bandido.
-The twelfth entrant was Dante Caballero. Johnson eliminated Danhausen, which didn’t sit well with the live crowd. Black tried to eliminate Johnson despite being aligned. PCO did his short circuit routine and eliminated himself.
The thirteenth entrant was Flip Gordon. He came out to his old video wall and had the American flag over his back. Gordon was in babyface mode while it was explained that he was hit in the head and may be suffering from amnesia. Gordon eliminated Young.
The fourteenth entrant was Joe Keys. Caballero performed a double team move with tag partner Keys, but then he tried and failed to eliminate him. Gordon tried to intervene and was hit by a double superkick from Keys and Caballero.
The fifteenth entrant was World Famous CB. The broadcast team played him up as being a veteran of Honor Rumble matches. Draper eliminated Caballero. Keys went after Draper, who ended up eliminating Keys.
The sixteenth and final entrant was Alex Zayne. The broadcast team acted shocked by the return of Zayne, who worked as Ari Sterling in WWE before he was released. Draper caught Zayne in a stretch muffler, but Zayne was able to eliminate him. Horus eliminated CP, and then. Johnson eliminated Horus in back to back eliminations.
The final four were Zayne, Gordon, Black, and Johnson. Black and Johnson indicated that the would work together. Gordon eliminated Johnson. Zayne performed a double huracanrana on Gordon and Black. Gordon went for a springboard move, but Zayne shoved him off the top rope to eliminate him. Black went for a cross body block on Zayne, who was leaning against the ropes. Zayne held onto the ropes while Black tumbled over the top and to the floor to end the match.
Alex Zayne won the 16-man Honor Rumble to earn a future ROH World Championship match.
Powell’s POV: Zayne was a nice surprise and the right guy to go over. He was just starting to to shine in ROH before he signed with WWE. I’m still baffled by WWE’s decision to waste him on 205 Live rather than doing something with him on NXT.
-A brief video package aired on the ROH Women’s World Championship tournament.
-Quinn McKay stood on the stage and introduced Maria Kanellis-Bennett. Maria said she was proud of all the tournament entrants. She thanked the fans for supporting women’s wrestling and the tournament. Maria also thanked the women who came before her. She said she would put the winner of the Miranda Alize vs. Rok-C match against anyone. McKay closed the segment.
-A Rok-C video package aired.
-Bandido was shown arriving at the building and being greeted by Tracy Williams and Rhett Titus, who were complimentary of the new ROH World Champion.
-A video package aired on the ROH Pure Championship match between Jonathan Gresham and Josh Woods.
-New ROH Tag Champions Kenny King and Dragon Lee made their entrance and delivered a promo on the stage. Lee noted that his brother had surgery. King took a couple of jabs at Philadelphia sports teams. He said LFI are running ROH. King also spoke about the ROH Six-Man Tag Title match.
-Riccaboni set up a video package on Dalton Castle vs. Eli Isom, which he said would open the main card.
-Coleman rejoined the broadcast team. Riccaboni gave a sendoff to Zane while noting that he would be handling some of the backstage interviews. The trio delivered final hype for the pay-per-view to close the pre-show.
ROH Death Before Dishonor Pay-Per-View
A video package opened the pay-per-view. Ian Riccaboni and Caprice Coleman were on commentary, and Bobby Cruise was the ring announcer…
2. Dalton Castle (w/Boys) vs. Eli Isom. Dak Draper sat in on commentary. Castle had a group of Boys with him (not the real Boys) and they all danced together as part of his entrance. Isom performed an early flip dive onto Castle at ringside. Later, Isom executed a popup neckbreaker for a near fall. Draper left the broadcast table and spoke with The Boys at ringside. Draper reached inside the ring and pulled Castle to ringside.
Isom performed a dive from the ropes that took out The Boys. Draper entered the ring and tried to clothesline Isom, who ducked it before kicking Draper in the balls. Castle went for the Bangarang, but Isom countered and got a near fall. Castle ended up hitting the Bangarang and scored the pin…
Dalton Castle defeated Eli Isom in 9:15.
Powell’s POV: A decent opener that felt like something that could have played out on television. Isom is working with a former ROH World Champion and yet it feels like he’s still stuck in an undercard program. I hope he gets a big boost from this feud with Castle when all is said and done.
3. Jake Atlas vs. Taylor Rust. Rust worked as Tyler Rust in NXT and was previously known as Rust Taylor on the independent scene. The wrestlers adhered to the Code of Honor. Atlas sported a new blue hair look. Rust put Atlas in a wrist lock and then stomped his arm.
Rust caught Atlas with Soul Food and pinned him, but the referee called it a two count. Rust applied a submission hold moments later and the referee called for the bell to end it. Coleman said Atlas was hurt before the submission hold was applied.
Taylor Rust defeated Jake Atlas in 7:00.
Powell’s POV: I’m not sure what caused it, but it looked like Atlas was out of it. Things got really clunky during the last minute of the match and then he didn’t kick out when Rust pinned him after Soul Food. This was disappointing, but that’s certainly understandable if Atlas was injured. Here’s hoping that he’s okay and that we get a redo on ROH television once he’s healthy.
4. Homicide, Chris Dickinson, and Tony Deppen vs. John Walters, LSG, and Lee Moriarty. Deppen blasted a springboarding LSG with a knee to the head. Moriarty took out Homicide with a dive to the floor. A short time later, Walters applied a leg lock on Dickinson. Homicide tried to break it up, but Walters maintained the hold while DDT’ing Homicide. Walters applied a double Muta Lock on Dickinson and Homicide. Homicide tapped, but Dickinson was the legal man. Deppen broke up the hold.
Homicide took out all three opponents at ringside with a dive. Back inside the ring, Dickinson performed a Death Valley Driver and then pinned Moriarty while Deppen stood guard.
Homicide, Chris Dickinson, and Tony Deppen beat John Walters, LSG, and Lee Moriarty in 10:55.
Powell’s POV: A good match with everyone having a moment to shine. It felt a bit random in that they didn’t do anything to set up the match on the ROH Wrestling syndicated show. The right team went over, though, as Violence Unlimited is an established faction. And the right guy took the loss given that Moriarty recently signed with AEW.
After the match, Walters, LSG, and Moriarty bickered. Jay Lethal, Tracy Williams, and Rhett Titus came out. Lethal asked the trio not to fight. He said it’s been a long time since he didn’t have a match on a pay-per-view, but he’s okay with it because he gets to sit back and enjoy the show.
Lethal questioned how people couldn’t be excited about the future of the company with Eli Isom, the ROH Women’s World Championship, and LSG and Walters in the Pure division. Lethal told Moriarty that he wished he was staying so that he could see him in the Pure division.
Lethal spoke about watching Eddie Guerrero, Dean Malenko, and Samoa Joe. A group of ROH wrestlers walked onto the stage and applauded Lethal’s comments. Lethal also touted AJ Styles, Reckless Youth, and Alex Shelley.
Lethal praised Jonathan Gresham as the Pure Champion. He said he heard the Pure division described as cool and new during the pandemic. He continued to gush over his love over pro wrestling and the Pure division and then everyone inside the ring shook hands to close the segment…
An ad aired for the ROH Honor Pals. Riccaboni and Coleman fought with two of the Honor Pals, then hyped the next match…
5. Jay Briscoe and Mark Briscoe vs. Matt Taven and Mike Bennett. Mark performed a big dive off the top rope and landed on both opponents at ringside. Later, Mark performed Froggy Bow on Taven and had him pinned, but Bennett broke it up at the last moment.
A short time later, Mark ended up with a chair that he set up by the ropes. Mark used the chair as a springboard to dive onto Bennett at ringside. In the ring, Jay set up Taven for a Jay Driller, but Taven countered into an inside cradle and scored the pin…
Matt Taven and Mike Bennett defeated Jay Briscoe and Mark Briscoe in 13:20.
Powell’s POV: A good match that elevated Taven and Bennett. They weren’t in the top five rankings prior to this match, which the broadcast team noted going in. It still packs a punch to beat The Briscoes clean in ROH, so this was a key win for Taven and Bennett.
A video package set up the ROH Pure Championship match…
6. Jonathan Gresham vs. Josh Woods for the ROH Pure Championship. Both men used a rope break around 4:00. They were tangled up in the rope and the referee counted it against both men. They got tied up in the ropes again around 9:00. Gresham didn’t release the hold. The referee scolded Gresham, but he didn’t rule it as a rope break for either man.
Gresham and Woods got tied up in the ropes again around 10:30 and this time the referee took another rope break away from both men. Both men ended up rolling around the ring in an inside cradle that resulted in both men being pinned. The match was ruled a draw.
Gresham took the mic and told the referee to give the belt back to the timekeepers table. He said there was no way in hell that he was going to allow a decision like that to tarnish his record. Gresham told Woods that he would be 13-0 as champion after tonight. He told the referee to start the clock again.
Gresham and Woods shook hands and then exchanged hard slaps. They ended up tied up in the ropes and kept fighting, so the referee took away their final rope breaks at 13:05. Woods caught Gresham in a rear naked choke. Gresham faded, but he eventually came to life and broke out of the hold.
They traded covers, including one that was in the ropes. Coleman pointed out that the referee continued to count that pin because they had burned through their rope breaks. Woods caught Gresham leaping off the ropes with a knee to the head. Gresham came back and hit Woods with a series of elbows to the neck and then hooked him in a crucifix for a near fall.
Gresham applied an ankle lock. Woods rolled out of the hold and then applied an ankle lock of his own. Gresham grabbed the bottom rope and pulled himself over the apron, but Woods pulled him back to the middle of the ring. Gresham kicked his way free.
Woods performed a rolling suplex into a bridge and appeared to have the pin, but the referee stopped his count and claimed that Gresham had a shoulder up, which the broadcast team seemed to question. Woods came back with a bridging suplex for a near fall. Gresham hit Woods with a shot to the back of the head and got another two count. Gresham had Woods in an arm submission hold, but Woods powered him up and performed a suplex and ended up scoring the clean pin.
Josh Woods defeated Jonathan Gresham in 20:01 to win the ROH Pure Championship.
Riccaboni and Coleman noted that Woods lost his father over the last couple of weeks. They said his father was scheduled to see Woods wrestle in person for the first time. Gresham took the belt and strapped it around the waist of Woods, who then celebrated with the championship…
Powell’s POV: What a heartbreaking story about Woods’ father. My condolences to Woods and his family. This was a very good match once they got through the double rope breaks. They seemed to confuse the crowd temporarily and took away from the flow of the match. I suspect that the double rope breaks would have actually worked fine in an empty venue setting because the broadcast team is so good about explaining the Pure Rules to the television audience. But the match was very good following the restart and I’m all for the move to elevate Woods. Gresham was made with his Pure Championship reign, so he can absorb the loss, and ROH desperately needs to create new stars.
7. O’Shay Edwards, Moses, and Kaun (w/Ron Hunt, Shane Taylor) vs. Dragon Lee, Kenny King, and Bestia del Ring for the ROH Six-Man Tag Titles. ShaneTaylor was scheduled to be in the match, but he took a lap around the ring and was playing to the crowd when King hit him with a chair multiple times and left him lying. Edwards volunteered to replace Taylor, who allowed it. Bobby Cruise announce the switch and noted that the titles were still on the line.
Late in the match, Kaun was isolated by the LFI members while his teammates were at ringside. Lee had Kaun pinned, but Edwards returned to break it up. Moses and Kaun hit their finisher on King, but neither man was able to make the cover. Edwards checked in and splashed King and had him beat, but Lee and Bestia broke it up. Bestia dove onto Edwards at ringside. Kaun dove onto Bestia. Lee dove onto Kaun.
King and Moses fought inside the ring and then King dove onto the wrestlers at ringside. Moses went to the apron and performed a cannonball off the apron onto the LFI members. King and Moses returned to the ring. King threw a superkick that missed, then he followed up with a spinebuster. King performed a springboard blockbuster. Shane Taylor entered the ring and blasted King with a chair while the referee was down at ringside doing God knows what. Moses made the cover and the ref returned to the ring and made the count.
O’Shay Edwards, Moses, and Kaun defeated Dragon Lee, Kenny King, and Bestia del Ring in 11:20 to retain the ROH Six-Man Tag Titles.
After the match, Taylor and his crew stood with a foot on King and held up a fan sign that read “Ingobernable Bitches.” As they were celebrating, Lee threw water at them from ringside…
Powell’s POV: A good match with a finish that made the referee look bad more than anything. Edwards did a great job as a replacement for Taylor. While I still think ROH has too many titles, Taylor and his crew have at least made me care about the ROH Six-Man Tag Titles, which I didn’t think was possible.
A video package set up the ROH Women’s Championship tournament finals…
8. Miranda Alize vs. Rok-C in finals of the ROH Women’s Championship tournament. Rok-C’s family was shown in the crowd. Lenny Leonard sat in on commentary. Rok-C was the crowd favorite and had an early chant in her favor. Alize avoided a standing moonsault, which caused Rok-C to sell knee pain for a moment.
Rok-C took a bow after an exchange. Alize responded by slapping her across the face. Rok-C went on an offensive flurry. Alize caught Rok-C in the ropes and then spun her around so that she took a back bump in the ring. Alize covered Rok-C for a two count. Alize blasted a seated Rok-C with a running boot to the face and got another two count shortly thereafter.
The crowd came to life in support of Rok-C again. Alize bit Rok-C’s fingers. Alize followed up a short time later with a cocky cover that resulted in a two count. Rok-C made her comeback and played to the crowd with a scream. Rok-C hit Alize with a running knee in the corner. Rok-C performed a second rope Thesz Press for a two count. Rok-C performed a Russian leg sweep and followed up with a standing moonsault in which she drove her knees onto Alize and then covered her for a two count.
Alize came back with a ripcord knee and got a two count of her own. Alize hit the GTS for a near fall. She got frustrated and covered Rok-C two more times but failed to put her away. Alize talked smack and then grabbed Rok-C by the face. Rok-C punched her, but Alize ended up hitting her with a DDT from the middle rope and got another two count. Alize applied her Miranda Rights submission finisher. Rok-C nearly reached the ropes with her foot, but Alize pulled her back to the middle of the ring. Rok-C teased tapping, but she eventually reached the ropes with her foot. Great stuff.
Alize showed frustration and Coleman said she was doubting herself. Rok-C rolled to ringside. Alize wanted to pull her back inside the ring, but Rok-C pulled her to the floor and ran her into the barricade. Rok-C performed a suicide dive. Alize came back with a dropkick that knocked Rok-C to the floor. Alize performed a suicide dive that left both women down. Both women barely beat the referee’s count by returning to the ring.
Rok-C and Alize traded forearm shots. Rok-C got the better of the exchange, but Alize was able to spin her around and put her down with a cutter. Rok-C charged at Alize and knocked her down to prevent her from performing her version of the Drive By kick. Family members of both women were shown in the crowd. Alize performed a crucifix pin for a near fall, then reapplied the Miranda Rights submission hold. Rok-C rolled out of it and applied a crossface of her own. Alize rolled her into a pin to escape it. She only got a two count, but she followed up with a pair of kicks once they stood up. Rok-C blocked a third kick and threw a couple of her own, and then performed a Code Red and scored the pin…
Rok-C defeated Miranda Alize in 18:35 to win the tournament to become the first ROH Women’s World Champion.
After the match, Maria Kanellis-Bennett entered the ring and presented Rok-C with the championship. Rok-C’s parents walked to the ring while Alize continued to bark at the referee. Rok-C had a nice, emotional moment with her mom and stepfather. A “you deserve it” chant broke out while Rok-C held up the title belt…
Powell’s POV: A hell of a match to close out a terrific tournament. I’m beyond pleased that ROH went with newcomers in the finals rather than their regulars. It’s nothing against the regulars. The company needs to create new stars and they’re off to a great start with Rok-C and Alize. I’m also happy they didn’t get sappy by having Alize hug or shake hands with Rok-C. They could have one hell of a rivalry going forward coming out of this match.
A video package set up the main event… Ring entrances for the main event took place…
9. Bandido vs. Brody King vs. EC3 vs. Demonic Flamita in an elimination match for the ROH World Championship. The match started roughly 20 minutes before the top of the hour. EC3 was setting up for a move on Bandido when Flamita hit him with a chair. The referee was at ringside checking on King and missed Flamita’s chair shot, but he spotted EC3 and disqualified him. Ugh.
EC3 was eliminated by DQ in roughly 9:00.
Flamita laid in the corner and laughed about what happened. Flamita stood up and offered Bandido a handshake with the hope that they could work together. King clotheslined by opponents. They responded with a double superkick and some tag team moves, including a double moonsault. Bnadido and Flamita hugged. They continued to work together and both men got two counts on King.
King fired up and went after both men. King positioned Bandido on the ropes, but Flamita put him in Doomsday Device position and then Bandido performed a top rope huracanrana on King. Riccaboni called it a Tijuana Destroyer. King ended up at ringside. Bandido shot Flamita over the top rope onto him. Bandido went up top and performed a moonsault onto King and Flamita. Back in the ring, Flamita set up for a Muscle Buster on Bandido, but King broke it up and hit a cradle piledriver on Flamita and pinned him.
Flamita was eliminated by Brody King in 13:45.
Bandido and King shook hands. King hit some power moves on Bandido and got a good near fall following a piledriver. King placed Bandido on the top rope and blasted him with a shot to the chest. King went to the ropes and Bandido returned the favor with a chop that knocked King off the ropes. Bandido performed a snap rana for a near fall. Bandido performed a crucifix bomb for another near fall.
Bandido performed a top rope shooting star press and went for the pin, but King kicked out at one. King popped up and turned Bandido inside out with a lariat. King set up for a Gonzo Bomb, but Bandido rolled him into a pin. Bandido rolled Bandido around in that position and eventually used a La Magistral to get the pin.
Bandido defeated Brody King, Demonic Flamita, and EC3 in a four-way elimination match in 17:10 to retain the ROH World Championship.
After the match, King congratulated Bandido and left the ring. Foundation members Jay Lethal, Rhett Titus, Jonathan Gresham, and Tracy Williams walked out applauding. The Foundation entered the ring and shook hands with Bandido. Gresham had an especially long handshake with the champion. Vincent, Dutch, Bateman, and Vita VonStarr walked onto the stage dressed in all white and applauded while Riccaboni closed the show…
Powell’s POV: A good main event aside from the bad EC3 elimination. That said, it’s certainly possible that the idea is for EC3’s frustration to boil over, so it may have served a purpose even though it was another spot that made referee Todd Sinclair look bad. It was hard to take Flamita as a threat to actually win the championship. I wish we had more time with Bandido and King in the ring together, but it was fun while it lasted and they did a nice job of making the elimination match feel satisfying despite the fact that they were up against the clock.
Is it just me or are The Foundation coming off as heels? Jay Lethal delivered that passionate speech and yet I felt like I’d heard it all before from him and the other Foundation members. The idea that they felt Bandido needed their in-person applause afterward made them come off as smug and self-important. I don’t think that’s what ROH is going for creatively, but I could be mistaken. Overall, this was a solid pay-per-view with some enjoyable title matches. I will have more to say in my same night audio review for Dot Net Members. Let me know what you thought of the show by voting for the best match and grading the event below.