By Sam Robinson, ProWrestling.net Contributor (@altaine)
Ring of Honor on HonorClub (Episode 7)
Taped April 7, 2023 in Kingston, Rhode Island at Ryan Center
Streamed April 13, 2023 on HonorClub
*Note: All matches unless otherwise stated started and ended with a code of honor handshake.
Ian Riccaboni and Caprice Coleman were on commentary, and Bobby Cruise was the ring announcer…
1. Ari Daivari (w/Mark Sterling, Tony Neese, Josh Woods) vs. Mark Briscoe. Briscoe hit a belly to belly, some shots in the corner and a vertical suplex and Daivari went outside. Briscoe called for a suicide dive, but Tony Nese pulled his leg while the ref wasn’t looking and slammed him into the guardrail. Daivari took over for a bit and hit a hammerlock DDT for a nearfall.
Daivari tossed Briscoe to the outside and tied up the ref so Woods and Neese could take some cheap shots before throwing Briscoe back in for Daivari. Daivari hit a top rope cross body for a nearfall. Daivari missed a big splash and Briscoe fired up for a comeback. RedNeck kung fu before a Urinagai. Briscoe tried for the Jay Driller but Sterling got on the apron and Neese and Woods went to work on Briscoe. Ref caught them and ejected them. Briscoe hit the Jay Driller for the pinfall.
Mark Briscoe defeated Ari Daivari by pinfall.
After the bell, the Varsity Athletes worked over Briscoe before FTR came down for the rescue. FTR and Briscoe cleared the Athletes and sized up Sterling before he was pulled out by the Athletes.
Robinson’s Ruminations: I guess we’re setting up a six man tag? Briscoe and FTR deserve much better than a program with the Varsity Athletes. Hopefully it’s a one and done.
Eddie Kingston had a promo package and he said he had an injury and didn’t stick to his game plan. He said that he’s probably going to need surgery. Kingston said he forgot the lesson “win or learn”. He said he’s going to move forward, not for himself but for everyone else.
2. Skye Blue vs. Kelly Madan. Skye Blue hit a couple of kicks for a nearfall. Madan took over and hit a vertical suplex for a nearfall. Blue hit Skyfall (a full nelson twisting throw) for the pinfall.
Skye Blue defeated Kelly Madan by pinfall.
Robinson’s Ruminations: A quick match that was just a showcase for Blue. She’s probably the next challenger for Athena given the way the announcers were talking about her. I think she’ll be a fine challenger for Athena if that’s the plan.
3. Mike Bennett (w/Maria Kanellis-Bennett, Matt Taven) vs. Darius Martin. The men traded chops and then shoulder blocks before Darius hit a dropkick to send Bennett to the outside. Darius hit a crossbody of the barricade and threw Bennett back inside. Darius went up top but Taven distracted him and Bennett threw him off the top into the ring. Bennett hit a Death Valley driver on the apron. Bennett threw Darius outside on the other side of the ring. Darius got away from him and slid inside and immediately hit a suicide dive. Darius took back over and hit a standing Spanish Fly for a nearfall. Taven came in the ring and pummeled Darius into the mat.
Darius Martin defeated Mike Bennett by disqualification .
The Kingdom beat down Darius until Action Andretti came down and made the save and The Kingdom retreated.
Robinson’s Ruminations: Taven was wearing neon jeans and looked like a tool. I guess that’s fine for a heel, but it was distracting. Andretti is the new partner for Darius. Seems like a fine replacement to me. The match was a vehicle to set up the new team, but the men worked hard for the four or five minutes they had.
4. “Hot Sauce” Tracy Williams vs. Wheeler Yuta. Willams got an early advantage and got a few nearfalls and submission attempts. Yuta took over and stomped on Williams face before hitting a german suplex and forearms on Williams’ neck and a nearfall. Yuta locked up Williams’ legs in a deathlock and then men traded strikes before Yuta bridged back, and Williams grabbed the ropes. Williams went to the top, and Yuta followed. Williams hit his corner DDT, got a nearfall, and immediately locked in the crossface. The men traded strikes before Yuta bit Williams and hit two suplexes and then locked in an arm trap dragon sleeper for the submission win.
Wheeler Yuta defeated Tracy Williams by submission .
Darius Martin and Action Andretti spoke in the back. Darius said he’s not insane, so he had backup ready to go. Andretti says he knows how much it sucks to be on the wrong side of the numbers game, so he knew he had to help. They made an official challenge for next week…
Robinson’s Ruminations: This was a fun match. These men worked very well together. Williams got plenty of offense and sold hard for Yuta. Yuta looked vicious in winning here, and that arm trap dragon sleeper looks nasty. I hope he gives it a cool name.
5. “The Workhorsemen” Anthony Henry and JD Drake vs. ROH Pure Champion Katsuyori Shibata and Alex Coughlin. Henry tried to amateur wrestle Shibata and was able to lock in a quick sleeper but Shibata was in the ropes. The wrestling kept going for a bit until Shibata locked in a figure four. It was broken up by a headbutt by Drake. Drake and Couglin tagged in and they traded strikes. Couglin hit a double leg takedown and a back suplex.
The Workhorsemen double teamed Couglin so Drake could take back over. They isolated Coughlin in the corner. The Workhorsemen taunted Shibata with a cross legged sit. Drake hit a springboard splash for a nearfall. Shane Taylor was shown on a backstage monitor watching. Henry hit a top rope double stomp for a nearfall and then locked in a bridging deathlock. Shibata broke it up and stomped on Coughlin too. That woke Coughlin up and he fired up.
Coughlin hit a vertical suplex from a seated position to standing. Shibata tagged in and hit some kicks on Henry for a nearfall. The Workhorsemen hit a double team move and got a nearfall before Coughlin broke it up. Coughlin hit a deadlift gut wrench suplex to Drake on the outside. Inside Shibata grabbed a sleeper and hit the PK for the pinfall.
Katsuyori Shibata and Alex Coughlin defeated “The Workhorsemen” Anthony Henry and JD Drake by pinfall.
The Workhorsemen fled before doing the code of honor handshake. Coughlin shook Shibata’s hand and asked for a title match, Shibata seemed to accept.
Robinson’s Ruminations: This was a good showing for the Workhorsemen. They got some good spots in and showed
6. Willow Nightingale vs. Little Mean Kathleen. LMK bit Willow’s wrist and got a body slam for her trouble. LMK swarmed Willow in the corner, posed and tried for a splash. She got the knees and then Willow took over. Willow hit the Stampede power slam for the pinfall.
Willow Nightingale defeated Little Mean Kathleen by pinfall.
Robinson’s Ruminations: A squash win for Willow. I guess we have two up and coming baby faces for Athena. Hopefully they can have a good number one contender’s match somewhere down the line. I’d like more wins for Skye Blue first though.
7. Tony Neese (w/Mark Sterling) vs. Stu Grayson (w/Evil Uno). Grayson hit a standing huracanrana and a belly to belly. Neese ducked outside. Stu hit a diving senton with Neese on the apron. Neese hit a flipping tope and landed on his feet. Grayson went to the top, Neese pushed him to the outside and Grayson hit the barricade. Back in the ring, Neese took over and tried a superplex. Grayson tossed him off. Neese took right back over. Crowd chanted “Tony Sucks” and that helped Grayson wake up. Grayson hit a spinning uranage and a springboard twisting senton for a nearfall. Grayson hit a spinning TKO maneuver for a nearfall. Neese hit Graysons head on the turnbuckle for a nearfall. Grayson came right back and hit a Fireman’s Carry tossing backbreaker for the win.
Stu Grayson defeated Tony Neese by pinfall.
“The Righteous” Vincent and Dutch made their entrance and stood on the stage and stared at Grayson. The announcers played up that they were ignoring Uno…
There was a backstage promo by The Righteous. Vincent said the Dark Order is a shell of its former self. Vincent implied that his friends aren’t really his friends. Dutch said they don’t want to hurt Grayson, they want to keep him…
Robinson’s Ruminations: The over the top “Smart” Mark entrance is starting to get over with me a bit. I kind of like it. This match was very fun. Full of great reversals and big moves. These two worked very well together.
8. ROH Women’s Champion Athena vs. Ashley D’Amboise in a Proving Ground match. D’Amboise showed off her speed and agility with wrist locks and an arm drag, then posed. Athena came right back with four dropkicks. Athena hit a superkick for a nearfall. Athena worked over D’Amboise with an octopus style hold and fish hooked her mouth. D’Amboise came back with a couple of clotheslines and a Samoan Drop for a two count. D’Amboise went up top, Athena followed her and tossed her outside. Athena hit a suicide dive and tossed her into the barricades. Athena hit running knees on D’Amboise who was sitting by the ring steps. Athena hit the O-Face for the win.
ROH Women’s Champion Athena defeated Ashley D’Amboise by pinfall.
Athena tossed D’Amboise to the outside after the match, so no code of honor.
D’Amboise had a promo backstage. She said she wanted more honor. Athena came in and beat her up more. Athena said she wanted better competition and if she didn’t get it she’d beat up the backstage interviewer Lexi Nair next…
Robinson’s Ruminations: A couple of quick hope spots for D’Amboise but this was a showcase win for Athena. Athena continues to be a strong, dominant heel champion and I’m here for all of it. Here’s hoping they can build up a good challenger.
9. Claudio Castagnoli vs. Metalik in a ROH World Championship match. The announcers said that Claudio has trouble with light heavyweights as Metalik used his agility to make Claudio retreat to a corner. Claudio hit a shoulder block for a one count. Metalik hit a head scissors take over and Claudio rolled outside. Metalik tried a cannonball planch, Claudio caught him and threw him over his head into the apron. Back in the ring Claudio hit an elbow drop and got a two count. Claudio hit a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker for a two count.
Metalik hit a tilt-a-whirl into an inside cradle for a nearfall. Claudio took right back over for a while, but Metalik rallied and hit a springboard huracanrana and landed on his feet. He tried some clotheslined but Claudio absorbed them. Metalik hit a pop-up slingblade and Claudio rolled outside. Metalik hit a step up diving plancha. Springboard splash got Metalik a two count. Metalik tried a huracanrana, Claudio caught him, Metalik rolled through and tied him up for a two count. Claudio hit a clothesline that turned Metalik inside out for a two count.
Claudio set Metalik on the top and tried for a superplex. Claudio was standing on the middle rope in the middle of the ring, Metalik walked over and hit a huacanrana for a two count. Metalik went for his rope walk elbow drop, but Claudio caught him in a crossface. They traded rolling nearfalls. Claudio hit a huge uppercut for a nearfall. Claudio hit the Neutralizer for the pinfall.
Claudio Castagnoli defeated Metalik by pinfall to retain the ROH World Championship .
Robinson’s Ruminations: I’m not sure what Metalik did to deserve a title match, and that annoys me. His record was listed as 3-1 in 2023 on ROH on HonorClub. I like the story of Claudio having trouble with light heavyweights, that could be a fun gimmick for this title run. Fun, fun match! Metalik is a special high flier and Claudio was a great base for him to show off some impressive stuff. Claudio got to show off a ton of his power moves here too. This was great stuff. I will be back later today with my weekly ROH on HonorClub audio review for Dot Net Members (including our Patreon patrons).