By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Ring of Honor “Supercard of Honor”
Aired live April 1, 2022 on HonorClub, FITE TV, and pay-per-view
Garland, Texas at Curtis Culwell Center
Zero Hour Pre-Show
A video package opened the show and then the broadcast team of Ian Riccaboni and Caprice Coleman checked in and ran through the lineup… Bobby Cruise was the ring announcer…
1. Blake Christian vs. Colt Cabana. Cabana came out to his old theme as “Boom Boom” and got a good reaction. Cabana stopped by the broadcast table and hugged Riccaboni and Coleman. The wrestlers adhered to the Code of Honor. They fought to ringside early in the match. Cabana held up the Dark Order claw hand sign after performing a move.
Back inside the ring, Cabana turned Christian inside out with a clothesline. Christian rallied with a nice 619 style kick. A short time later, Christian performed a springboard 450 splash for a near fall. Cabana avoided another top rope move and blasted Christian with an elbow shot. Christian cut Cabana off on the ropes, but Cabana ended up performing the Chicago Skyline finisher and then scored the clean pin. The wrestlers shook hands afterward…
Colt Cabana defeated Blake Christian in 8:05.
Powell’s POV: It was nice to see Cabana back in ROH. He’s been lost in the shuffle in AEW, and I’d be happy to see him back in ROH on a regular basis. Christian is a talented guy and I assume he’s also on Tony Khan’s radar for ROH.
A video package aired on Jonathan Gresham, who said he knows that he is the real Ring of Honor Champion. He said the original title carries the essence and the heart and soul of what ROH was built on…
2. AQA vs. Miranda Alize. The wrestlers adhered to the Code of Honor. AQA had a late flurry of offense that resulted in a near fall. Alize caught her in a crossface, which AQA broke by rolling on top of her. AQA went up top and performed a shooting star press for the win. Referee Paul Turner checked on Alize, who remained on the mat afterward. She reached up and shook hands with AQA…
AQA defeated Miranda Alize in 8:15.
Powell’s POV: Hopefully Alize is okay after taking the shooting star press. It seemed like it was more than selling, but she may have simply had the wind knocked out of her. AQA has impressed in AEW. Alize also impressed in the ROH Women’s World Championship tournament when she was booked as the runner up to Rok-C.
Jonathan Gresham, Josh Woods, and Rhett Titus were interviewed by Denise Salcedo in the backstage area. All three champions spoke briefly about their respective matches. “I am The Foundation,” Gresham closed…
3. Eli Isom and Cheeseburger vs. Toa Liona and Kaun (w/Tully Blanchard). Blanchard cut a promo before the match to introduce his new team. Riccaboni noted that Kaun is a former ROH Six-Man Tag Team Champion. Cheeseburger, who dropped the World Famous CB name, offered a handshake, but Kaun slapped him to start the match. In the end, Liona hit the Samoan Spike on Isom, who was pinned moments later.
Toa Liona and Kaun defeated Eli Isom and Cheeseburger in 2:15.
Afterward, Blanchard said the fans saw two of the most dynamic wrestlers in the world. He said the fans would see the third member of Tully Blanchard Enterprises later in the night…
Powell’s POV: A Road Warriors style squash match win for Blanchard’s new team. Kaun showed big upside when he was part of the SOS tag team as part of Shane Taylor Promotions. I guess this means that SOS is finished, as Kaun has been working AEW Dark matches without his partner Moses. Isom also had real upside and was really coming into his own before the company went on hiatus. It’s good to see Tully land in ROH after being fired by FTR on AEW Dynamite.
A video package aired on the Interim ROH Women’s World Championship match between Willow Nightingale and Mercedes Martinez…
4. Dalton Castle vs. Joe Hendry. Castle had a group of Boys with him. Castle offered a handshake. Hendry considered it and then pulled his hand back. Castle ended up at ringside early on. He got fired up as he ran around the ring with the Boys following him. Hendry took the match back to ringside and tossed Castle over the barricade.
Hendry followed him over the barricade, then tossed him back over into the ringside area. Back inside the ring, Castle had Hendry lying over the top turnbuckle when he threw a kick at him. Castle covered Hendry for a two count. Hendry came back with a nice side suplex for a two count.
Both men ended up back at ringside where Castle performed a huracanrana. Hendry ran toward Castle, who moved, causing Hendry to run into the ring post. Castle tossed him back inside the ring and followed. Castle suplexed Hendry twice and then threw a running knee in the corner. Castle bulldogged Hendry and covered him for a two count.
Hendry slammed Castle and got a two count. Hendry put Castle on his shoulders and then tossed him over his head and let him fall. Castle ducked a clothesline and then fired away with an elbow and a punch. Castle hit the Bangarang and scored the pin…
Dalton Castle beat Joe Hendry in 9:40.
Powell’s POV: A decent match. Castle was over with the live crowd.
ROH World Champion Bandido and Chavo Guerrero Jr. were interviewed by Salcedo. She asked why Guerrero was with Bandido. Guerrero spoke about how Bandido is the real ROH World Champion. He said he doesn’t work for AEW or ROH, he works for himself and Bandido. Guerrero said Bandido would win by any means necessary. Bandido said he didn’t want to win by cheating. Guerrero said he knows the Guerreros’ reputation and Bandido would win at any cost…
Powell’s POV: This is good use of Chavo. I don’t know if it will be a regular pairing, but Chavo being at ringside adds a new wrinkle to the unification match.
The broadcast team hyped the main card matches… A video package aired on The Briscoes vs. FTR match for the ROH Tag Titles. Jay Briscoe said it doesn’t matter who runs the place, ROH will always be their house… The broadcast team gave a final pitch for the pay-per-view while Cary Silkin and Gary Juster was shown seated in the venue…
ROH Supercard of Honor Main Card
The broadcast team of Ian Riccaboni and Caprice Coleman welcomed viewers to the show and then they went right to the opening match entrances…
5. Shane “Swerve” Strickland vs. Alex Zayne. The wrestlers adhered to the Code of Honor. Zayne performed a Poison Rana off the apron shortly before the 8:00 mark. Back inside the ring, both men traded strikes. Zayne set up for a Cobra Clutch suplex, but Strickland fought his way out of it. Strickland performed a German suplex and followed up with a rolling Flatliner. Strickland went up top and hit a double stomp for a near fall. Zayne came back briefly, but Strickland cut him off and performed the JML Driver before scoring the clean pin…
Shane “Swerve” Strickland defeated Alex Zayne in 11:40.
The broadcast team ran through the rest of the lineup…
Ninja Mack made his entrance. Tully Blanchard came out and introduced Brian Cage as the newest member of Tully Blanchard Enterprises. Mack dove at Cage at ringside, but Cage caught him and slammed him onto the ring apron…
6. Brian Cage (w/Tully Blanchard) vs. Ninja Mack. Referee Mike Posey started the match once Mack entered the ring. Cage was dominant early. Blanchard climbed onto the apron and gave him some advice. Cage continued to dominate with a suplex. The crowd called for another. Cage played to the fans and teased obliging, but he taunted the fans instead.
Mack came back with two spinning kicks. He went for a third, but Cage caught him and slammed him to to the mat. Cage followed up with a Drill Claw and scored the clean pin.
Brian Cage defeated Ninja Mack in 2:50.
After the match, Toa and Kaun came to the ring to pose with Cage and Blanchard…
Powell’s POV: Cage is a surprise if only because they stopped using him in AEW shortly after his wife publicly took issue with how he was being booked. He’s obviously going to play a big role in ROH as the main man in Tully Blanchard Enterprises.
A video package set up the Jay Lethal vs. Lee Moriarty match…
7. Jay Lethal vs. Lee Moriarty (w/Matt Sydal). Sydal used crutches to get to the ring, as he’s been sidelined after dislocating his knee. Lethal and Moriarty shook hands. Lethal did a Flair strut before locking up. There were dueling chants for both wrestlers briefly. Sonjay Dutt, who works behind the scenes in AEW, was shown seated next to Gary Juster in the crowd.
Lethal went for an early Lethal Injection, but Moriarty rolled him into a pin for a two count. Moriarty jawed at Lethal when they stood up. Lethal shoved Moriarty, who returned the favor. They traded forearm strikes. Moriarty got the better of it and then threw a big chop in the corner. Lethal came back and dropkicked a seated Moriarty.
A short time later, Lethal targeted the left knee of Moriarty and put him down with a dragon screw leg whip. Lethal eventually sent Moriarty to ringside and hit him with two suicide dives. Lethal went for a third, but Moriarty avoided it. Moriarty ran the ropes, sold his knee, then hit Lethal with a suicide dive. Moriarty sold the knee again as both men stayed down at ringside briefly before rolling back inside the ring.
Moriarty connected with a clothesline and got a two count. Lethal came back and got a two count of his own and was selling a shoulder injury. Lethal superkicked Moriarty and then put him down with a cutter. Lethal went up top and went for an elbow drop, but Moriarty rolled him into a pin for a close near fall. They traded near falls and then Lethal went for a Lethal Injection, but Moriarty was waiting for it and hooked him into a pin for another near fall.
The back and forth near falls continued. Moriarty held the ring apron at one point. As the referee was putting it back in place, Lethal hit Moriarty with a low blow, which drew boos from the live crowd. Lethal hit a Lethal Injection and scored the pin.
Jay Lethal beat Lee Moriarty in 14:50.
Sonjay Dutt was shown shaking his head in disgust while talking with Gary Juster. Sydal confronted Lethal afterward. Lethal kicked one of his crutches out from under him and attacked him. Sonjay Dutt entered the ring and tried to talk Lethal down. Lethal left the ring. Dutt checked on Sydal, then left the ring and bickered with Lethal as they walked to the back…
Powell’s POV: A good match, particularly down the stretch. I dig the low blow finish. I’d rather see Lethal work in AEW after seeing him spend soooo much time in ROH, but at least he’s doing something new in ROH with this heel turn. It seemed like they were setting up Lethal vs. Dutt. If so, it would be Dutt’s first match since he tore his Achilles in 2017. He moved into a producer role after that and worked for Impact and WWE before landing in AEW last year. Either way, there was more focus on Dutt and Sydal after the match than Moriarty, so perhaps he’ll be going back to AEW?
A video package set up the Interim ROH Women’s World Championship match…
8. Willow Nightingale vs. Mercedes Martinez for the Interim ROH Women’s World Championship. Referee Mike Posey held up the interim title belt before the match. The wrestlers adhered to the Code of Honor. Riccaboni wished his wife a happy birthday and called her the best wife and mother in the world (awwww).
Both women showed frustration after getting near falls several minutes into the match. Willow caught Martinez with a Pounce. Willow lowered the straps on her gear and fired up the crowd, then performed a cannonball in the corner. Willow covered Martinez, who grabbed the bottom rope to break the pin.
Willow went to the ropes, but Martinez grabbed her legs. Martinez ended up performing the OG Drop for a close near fall. A short time later, Martinez sat behind Willow on the top rope and tried to suplex her. Willow elbowed her way free and Martinez was caught in the tree of woe. Willow hit her with repeated shots to the gut, then performed a hip attack style move in the corner.
Willow pulled Martinez into the ring. Willow went up top and performed a rough moonsault. She immediately checked on Martinez and then covered her. Coleman said it was a moment of compassion by Willow that cost her. Martinez came back and put Willow in a surfboard into a guillotine and got the submission win. Martinez shook Willow’s hand afterward and they spoke as they hugged…
Mercedes Martinez defeated Willow Nightingale in 12:45 to win the Interim ROH Women’s World Championship.
Powell’s POV: It took some time for the wrestlers to get the crowd into the match, as there was no real storyline reason for the match. They eventually got a good portion of the crowd into it. The moonsault spot was scary. Martinez seemed to be okay afterward, and Willow was clearly remorseful immediately. I love the way Coleman jumped in and applied logic to what happened by stating that Willow’s momentary compassion may have coster her the pin. On a side note, I have no idea why they felt the need to create an interim championship when they could have made this a No. 1 contenders match.
A video package set up the ROH Tag Title match (it’s time!)…
9. Jay Briscoe and Mark Briscoe vs. “FTR” Dax Harwood and Cash Wheeler for the ROH Tag Titles. Both teams were cheered during their entrances. Bobby Cruise delivered in-ring introductions for the match and said it had a sixty-minute time limit. FTR brought their AAA Tag Title belts to the ring with them. The teams went face-to-face after the introductions. Paul Turner held up the ROH Title belts and then the crowd chanted “holy shit” before the opening bell. FTR balked at the Code of Honor.
A “tag team wrestling” chant broke out early on. Harwood and Jay eventually ended up in the ring together or the first time while Riccaboni said they exchanged insults for four months. Harwood spat in Jay’s face after escaping a leg scissors. Harwood immediately retreated to ringside or a moment, then returned to the ring and locked up with Jay again. Jay put him down with a couple of shoulder blocks, but Harwood blasted him with a forearm to the jaw and then followed up with some uppercuts and a big chop.
Jay took Harwood down with a head-scissors and clotheslined Harwood to ringside where Wheeler checked on his partner. An “ROH” chant broke out. Harwood got back on the apron and was immediately hit by Jay. Harwood tried again, but Jay cut him off. Harwood grabbed a chair and tossed it into the ring. Jay took the chair from the referee, but the referee eventually got it back and cleared it from the ring.
Later, Harwood and Mark engaged in a chop battle that Mark got the better of until Harwood hauled off and punched him. Wheeler tagged in. Jay made a blind tag and caught him with a boot to the head, then put the boots to him in the Briscoes’ corner. Mark tagged in again and threw chops at Wheeler. The Briscoes tossed Wheeler to ringside. Harwood rushed over to check on him.
Jay ran the ropes. Mark held the top rope down and then Jay dove onto both FTR members. Mark performed a Cactus Jack elbow from the apron on Wheeler. The teams fought at ringside. FTR ended up putting Jay under a table and then catapulted him at the bottom of it (imagine all the gum and God knows what else under that damn table!). Jay bled from the forehead.
Back in the ring, Harwood punched Jay’s head and then acted like his own hand was hurting from doing so. Harwood placed Jay on the top rope and chopped him three times, then climbed onto the middle rope. Jay knocked Harwood into the ring, but Harwood got up and crotched Jay by taking his legs out. Harwood performed a superplex. A short time later, Jay was leaning on the middle rope when Harwood stood on the floor and stuck his middle finger in Jay’s face.
Jay made a hot tag to Mark, who did his redneck kung fu on both FTR members. Mark dumped Wheeler to ringside and then suplexed Harwood. Mark placed Wheeler in a seated position on the top rope and gave him an uppercut chop, then picked up a near fall moments later. FTR came back and set up for a spike piledriver, but Mark avoided it. The Briscoes hit Redneck Boogie on Wheeler for a good near fall.
The Briscoes placed Wheeler on the top rope and joined him on the ropes. Wheeler fought his way out of it and ended up picking up Jay and tagging in Harwood, who was now bleeding. Wheeler tossed Jay to Harwood, who performed a slingshot powerbomb and then Wheeler splashed him for a near fall. FTR went for the Big Rig, but Jay returned and it was broken up. The Briscoes hit an assisted Codebreaker on Harwood for another great near fall.
Wheeler performed a tornado DDT on Mark at ringside. Jay put Wheeler down with a Death Valley Driver on the floor. Jay returned to the apron and was greeted by a kick from Harwood. They took turns trying to suplex one another. Jay got the better of it and suplexed Harwood from the apron to the floor, which earned Coleman’s “Oh My God” call (it’s been too long). Trainers and the referee checked on the cuts of Harwood and Jay.
Both teams returned to the ring and a “fight forever” chant broke out. The teams squared off and traded blows in the middle of the ring. Mark dumped Wheeler to ringside. Mark went up top. Wheeler went after him, but Mark kicked him away and then performed a moonsault onto him. Jay and Harwood stood up and glared at one another in the middle of the ring and then traded elbow strikes. Mark returned and hit a top rope elbow on Harwood. Jay covered Harwood for a near fall. Jay hoisted Harwood onto his shoulders for the Doomsday Device, but it was broken up. FTR hit the Big Rig on Jay and then scored the pin.
“FTR” Dax Harwood and Cash Wheeler defeated Jay Briscoe and Mark Briscoe in 27:25 to win the ROH Tag Titles.
After the match, Cary Silkin entered the ring and presented FTR with the ROH Tag Title belts. FTR approached The Briscoes. The crowd applauded. FTR laid the ROH Tag Title belts at the feet of the Briscoes and then bowed to them. The two teams shook hands and hugged. FTR took their title belts. The Briscoes wanted to raise the hands of FTR, but they declined and left so that the Briscoes could have a moment in the ring instead. The crowd chanted, “Thank you, Briscoes.”
Suddenly, “The Young Bucks” Matt Jackson and Nick Jackson hit the ring and superkicked the Briscoes while Brandon Cutler filmed them from the floor. The Bucks hit a BTE Trigger and then set up for their finisher, but FTR returned to the ring and ran them off.
Harwood got the mic and praised ROH and Dallas, and said they beat the greatest team of all-time. He noticed that the Bucks were dressed to wrestle and challenged them to face them. Nick got a mic and asked the crowd if that’s what they want. Matt said it was absolutely perfect. “For Wednesday night,” Matt said. Matt added that they were the guys who left the company and then the new company bought ROH. Matt hyped the Bucks vs. FTR for Wednesday’s Dynamite. Harwood accepted and said they would beat their asses…
Powell’s POV: A fantastic match. My expectations were sky high and they blew them away. Jay tweeted something stupid years ago and apologized. I hope the right people can get over it because I’d love to see the Briscoes work with a lot of those teams in AEW. It will be hard for the Bucks and FTR to top this on Wednesday. And somehow the Briscoes will follow this match by racing to the Impact Wrestling show to face Doc Gallows and Karl Anderson later tonight. Oh, and the Briscoes worked two matches yesterday. Damn. If you’re not watching this show live, yes, you need to see this match. What a blast.
The broadcast team spoke at ringside while the crew presumably changed the ring apron…
10. Rhett Titus vs. Minoru Suzuki for the ROH TV Title. Titus offered his hand, but Suzuki kicked it away. The referee rang the bell and Titus then slapped Suzuki across the face. Later, Suzuki caught Titus in a knee bar, but Titus reached the ropes. Suzuki set up or the Gotch style piledriver, but Titus back dropped him and then dropkicked him before covering him for a two count.
Titus threw elbows at the head of Suzuki, who came right back with a sleeper and then hit the Gotch style piledriver and scored the pin. Riccaboni noted that it was the first title that Suzuki has won in the United States. Suzuki teased hitting Titus with the belt, but he laughed and then left the ring instead.
Minoru Suzuki defeated Rhett Titus in 6:00 to win the ROH TV Title.
Powell’s POV: It’s not a great night for the former ROH regulars when it comes to winning matches tonight. You had to figure that Tony Khan would want to get some of the belts on his people, but this one actually surprised me. I wonder if it will be a quick reign for Suzuki or if he’ll bring the belt back to Japan with him.
A video package set up the ROH Pure Championship match… Riccaboni read through the Pure Rules while a graphic listed them on the screen…
11. Josh Woods vs. Wheeler Yuta for the ROH Pure Rules Championship. Christopher Daniels, BJ Whitmer, and Colt Cabana were seated at ringside as the judges for the match. After a lengthy period of mat wrestling that included Yuta using another rope break, Yuta sent Woods to ringside and hit him with a suicide dive. Yuta rolled Woods back inside the ring and then went for a move from the top rope, but Woods blasted him with a knee to the head. Woods covered Yuta for a two count.
Woods performed a German suplex. Yuta stuffed a TKO. Woods kicked Yuta, who ended up on the apron, but he rushed back inside the ring. Woods performed a suplex into the turnbuckle and covered Yuta, who put his foot on the ropes to use his final rope break. Woods set up for a move, but Yuta rolled out of it and hit Woods with a series of elbow strikes. Yuta rolled Woods into a pin and got the three count.
Wheeler Yuta defeated Josh Woods in 12:55 to win the ROH Pure Championship.
The wrestlers shook hands afterward. Woods strapped the belt around Yuta’s waist. He went to raise Yuta’s hand, but the belt fell off. Woods laughed. Yuta picked up the belt and then Woods raised his hand…
Powell’s POV: First off, William Regal did not sit in on commentary. I must have misunderstood the broadcast team earlier. And I just remembered that he was another event tonight, so I should have known better. I apologize and I removed that line from the report to avoid further confusion. As for the match, they spent a lot of time on the mat and lost the crowd for a bit, but they got some of the fans back for the finish. While I’m not surprised to see Yuta go over, I am disappointed to see Woods drop the title. He really seemed to gain confidence during the pandemic era when ROH got behind and booked him to win the championship.
The broadcast team hyped Owen Cup qualifiers, Adam Cole vs. Christian Cage, The Butcher and The Blade vs. Matt Hardy and Jeff Hardy, and FTR vs. The Young Bucks for the AAA Tag Titles for Wednesday’s AEW Dynamite. Riccaboni said Tony Khan told him through the headset that the ROH Tag Titles will also be on the line in the FTR vs. Bucks match… A video package set up the main event…
12. ROH World Champion Bandido (w/Chavo Guerrero Jr.) vs. Original ROH Championship holder Jonathan Gresham for the undisputed ROH World Championship. Referee Paul Turner held up both titles prior to calling the wrestlers together for the Code of Honor. Bandido was going to shake hands, but Chavo talked him out of it. Once Chavo was out of the ring, Bandido shook hands with Gresham after all to start the match.
Around 10:30, Gresham applied the Octopus hold. Bandido backed him into the ropes to break the hold. Bandido ended up holding Gresham up for a vertical suplex. He and the crowd counted. Bandido stopped counting, but the live crowd continued (I couldn’t make out what they counted to, but he held him up for a long time before suplexing him).
The pace picked up with both men hitting running chops. Gresham turned Bandido inside out with a clothesline. Gresham performed a northern lights suplex for a two count. Gresham followed up with a straight jacket German suplex for another two count. Gresham blasted Bandido with an enzuigiri, then performed another German suplex for a near fall.
Bandido was sent to ringside. Gresham dove toward him, but Bandido was moved out of the way. The camera didn’t catch it, but Coleman indicated that Chavo shoved Bandido out of the way. Both men ended up back in the ring and traded elbow strikes. Bandido superkicked Gresham, who knocked the referee down. REF BUMP!!!
Chavo threw one of the title belts at Gresham. When the referee recovered, Bandido had him eject Chavo from ringside. Coleman said he’d never seen a wrestler have his own person ejected from ringside. A short time later, Gresham used a La Magistral to get a near fall. Bandido came right back with a pop up cutter for a near fall. Bandido went for the 21 Plex, but Gresham landed on his feet and ended up rolling him into a pin for a close near fall.
Bandido sent Gresham to ringside and performed a dive onto him. Bandido brought Gresham back inside the ring and hit a FTS. Bandido performed the 21 Plex for another close near fall. Coleman said he’d never seen anyone kick out of the move.
Gresham got to his knees. Bandido kicked him three times. Gresham got to his feet and followed Bandido as he ran the ropes and hit him with a springboard moonsault. Gresham tossed Bandido to the floor and dove onto him. Back in the ring, Gresham rolled Bandido into a pin for the 1-2-3.
Jonathan Gresham defeated Bandido in 24:55 to become the unified ROH World Champion.
After the match, Cary Silkin entered the ring and presented Gresham with both title belts. Bandido shook Gresham’s hand and then raised his arm before leaving the ring. Gresham got a mic and said he had a vision to make ROH pure. He called it his life’s goal.
Jay Lethal interrupted Gresham and spoke as he walked to the ring. Lethal entered the ring and said he knew that Gresham was trying to end the show on a positive note. Lethal said that after everything he’s done for ROH and for Gresham, he thinks it’s only fitting that he should get the first title shot. Lethal said Gresham just had to say yes.
Gresham said he believed what Lethal said, but his current actions were not honorable. Lethal said no one would know who Gresham was if it wasn’t for him. Lethal shoved Gresham. Sonjay Dutt came out to keep them apart, then turned and punched Gresham. Lee Moriarty ran out to help Gresham, but he was double teamed and put down with a Lethal Injection. Lethal picked up both title belts and Dutt raised his arm.
Samoa Joe made his entrance in his wrestling gear with a white towel over his head. The fans popped huge and then chanted his name. Joe entered the ring and went face to face with Lethal. Dutt directed Lethal out of the ring. Joe grabbed Dutt and put him in the Coquina Clutch. Joe released Dutt and then Lethal pulled him to ringside. Joe looked down at Lethal and then played to the crowd. A “Joe’s gonna kill you” chant broke out.
Joe barked at Gresham off-mic to join him in the ring. Gresham entered the ring and then Joe shook his hand and raised his arm. Moriarty raised Gresham’s other arm. Riccaboni plugged Dynamite and the possibility that we’ll find out why Joe returned to ROH. Joe, Gresham, and Moriarty stood the ropes and played to the crowd while Riccaboni closed the show with his “Happy Wrestling, Everybody” slogan…
Powell’s POV: A very good main event with the expected outcome. There were some great near falls that made me wonder. The Samoa Joe return was really fun. There’s so much they can do with him, CM Punk, and Bryan Danielson all under the same umbrella if they want to go there.
Overall, a good show that delivered the message that change is here. The dream tag match somehow exceeded expectations and is the must see match of the night. I also enjoyed seeing Tully Blanchard Enterprises come together, the main event was well worked, and the Joe surprise was cool. I can’t help but wish that Tony Khan hadn’t teased a big surprise because Joe was among the heavy favorites, but I get that he’s trying to sell pay-per-views.
It was great to hear Ian Riccaboni and Caprice Coleman on commentary together again, and to have Bobby Cruise as the ring announcer. Here’s hoping they will all be part of Khan’s version of ROH. By the way, while it was cool to see Paul Turner back in ROH, it did feel strange that referee Todd Sinclair wasn’t involved. Nothing screams ROH quite like the hard camera being pointed at the stage. I really hope that changes as they move forward because they’ve oddly hidden some good crowds in the past. I will have more to say about the show coming up in my Dot Net Members’ exclusive audio review later tonight. Let me know what you thought of the show by grading it below.
Join us on Saturday for live reviews of NXT Stand & Deliver and WrestleMania Night One.