By Sam Robinson, ProWrestling.net Contributor (@altaine)
Ring of Honor on HonorClub (Episode 9)
Taped April 19, 2023 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania at Peterson Events Center
Streamed April 27, 2023 on HonorClub
Ian Riccaboni and Caprice Coleman were on commentary, and Bobby Cruise was the ring announcer… and Nigel McGuinness is back on commentary!
*Note: Unless otherwise noted, the Code of Honor handshake occurred before and after each match.
1. Athena vs. Lady Frost in an ROH Women’s World Title Proving Ground match. Athena started the match slow, but Frost got things moving with a head scissors takedown to get the crowd warmed up. Athena grounded her back down with some submissions including a backbreaker stretch. Frost hit a handspring cannonball and then went up top. She took too long and Athena cut her off and put her in the tree of woe and stretched her in a Boston crab like maneuver. Athena argued with the ref and when she turned back around got caught by a round kick. Frost then hit a twisting moonsualt, but Athena rolled to the ropes. Athena got up and blasted Frost with a forearm for the pinfall.
ROH Women’s Champion Athena defeated Lady Frost by pinfall in a Proving Ground match.
Athena attacked Frost after the bell and slammed her head into the title belt on the ground…
The Kingdom got a video package narrating their feud with Top Flight and Action Andretti. They said that they aren’t getting the respect they deserve because they helped build what ROH is…
Robinson’s Ruminations: The crowd was super quiet for the Athena match, but they were reacting to the hope spots of Lady Frost. Frost is a good talent, already polished. It’s sad she was sacrificed to Athena so quickly.
2. “The Infantry” Capt. Sean Dean and Carlie Bravo vs. “LFI” Rush and Preston Vance (w/Jose the Assistant). No Code of Honor handshake, Vance flipped Bravo the bird and forearmed him. Vance worked over Bravo with some running clotheslines in the corner. Vance locked in a full nelson, but Dean came in and broke it up. They tried to tag team Vance, but Vance took it to both of them with more clotheslines. Vance hit a spinning clothesline and pulled Bravo up before the three count. Vance tagged in Rush so he could hit the Bull’s Horns dropkick for the pinfall.
LFI defeated The Infantry by pinfall.
LFI posed over the fallen body of Bravo…
Robinson’s Ruminations: This was a showcase for Vance. He looked like a world beater here against the poor Infantry. I wish we would have seen more offense from The Infantry.
3. “Best Friends” Trent Beretta and Chuck Taylor vs. Mookie Summers and Joe Ocasio. Ocasio started strong against Beretta, but Trent turned things around quickly and drop kicked Ocasio out of the ring and tagged in Chuck. Taylor ran Ocasio into the barricade and threw him back in. Summers got tagged in and went for a huracanrana, but got powerbombed for his troubles. Best Friends hit piledrivers on Ocasio and then hit a Doomsday Device with a knee strike for the pinfall.
Best Friends defeated Mookie Summers and Joe Ocasio by pinfall.
After the bell, Best Friends did the “give the people what they want” hug…
Robinson’s Ruminations: Another tag team to add the tag ranks. This was a squash win for Best Friends.
4. Brian Cage (w/ Prince Nana) vs. Leon Ruffin. Cage demolished Ruffin with splashes in the corner and a belly to belly suplex before posing. Ruffin tried to go around the world DDT but Cage turned it into a stalling suplex. Ruffin escaped and hit an enzuigiri. Ruffin tried for a cross body off the top, but was caught and Cage curled him before slamming him. Cage went for an F5 but Ruffin hit a DDT for a hope spot. Ruffin jumped all around escaping from Cage and hit a cutter. Cage came right back with a lariat, powerbomb, and a powerbomb backbreaker. Then Cage put him in a Cloverleaf/Liontamer variant.
Brian Cage defeated Leon Ruffin by submission.
Robinson’s Ruminations: Another squash. Ruffin got a few hope spots but Cage damn near no-sold them all.
5. “The Trustbusters” Jeeves Kay and Sonny Kiss (w/Slim J) vs. “The Dark Order” Stu Grayson and Evil Uno. Before the match could start, “The Righteous” duo of Vincent and Dutch made an entrance. Dutch set a chair on the stage for Vincent to sit and watch. Kay took advantage and got the match started with a cheap shot on Uno. Kiss tagged in and hit a cartwheel elbow. Uno fought off both Trustbusters and hit the hot tag for Grayson who suplexed Kiss out of the ring and hit a Uranage on Kay. Then Grayson hit a springboard senton on Kay. Uno tagged back in and Dark Order double teamed Kiss. Tagged Grayson back in and they hit a PK Piledriver combo for the pinfall.
The Dark Order defeated The Trustbusters by pinfall.
The Righteous kept getting the camera thrown to them through the match and they were clapping for Grayson’s offense. After the match, Dark Order walked past The Righteous without incident…
Robinson’s Ruminations: Yet another squash. Grayson is over and a hell of a worker. He’s special.
Christopher Daniels was backstage with Dasha. Daniels said he understands he has to earn it all again. He said he’s gonna swing big. He called out Samoa Joe for the ROH TV Championship for next week. They really focused on his eyes, and that busted eye certainly adds a creepy factor…
6. Diamante vs. Skye Blue. The announcers noted that Blue is really trying to learn from the veterans. Diamante hit a shoulder block, then the ladies traded ten or twelve rolling pin attempts. Diamante drop kicked Blue out of the ring, threw her into the apron and rolled Blue back inside. Diamante continued working on the back with some backbreakers for a two count. Blue escaped a code red and hit a top rope cross body for a two count. The ladies fought on the apron before Diamante hit a German suplex on the apron. Blue grabbed the ropes to break a pinfall attempt. Diamante tried to suplex Blue again but Blue rolled her up for the three count.
Skye Blue defeated Diamante by pinfall.
After the match Athena came out on the stage wearing Skye Blue’s hat and stomped on it. Blue told her to come down to the ring, but Athena left…
Robinson’s Ruminations: A nice win under adversity for Blue, whom they are building as a plucky underdog at the moment. She’s now 4-0 in ROH and is definitely the next serious contender for Athena.
7. Lee Moriarty (w/Big Bill) vs. Rocky Romero. This started off with Romero working on Moriarty’s arm. Romero hit a middle rope dropkick for a one count. Romero got distracted by Big Bill and Moriarty took over and danced in the ring so that Big Bill could get a shot in on Romero. Back in the ring Moriarty trapped Romero on the ground and did a finger snap spot. The men traded arm bars and Romero got the best of it with a springboard DDT. The men looped with missing clotheslines but Moriarty hit a lifting DDT for a two count.
Moriarty locked in a crossface style submission. Romero rolled Moriarty up for a two count. The men traded strikes in the middle, Romero won with a rewind kick. Romero hit a huracanrana on the outside. Back in the ring Romero hit a cutter variant for a two count. Moriarty dumped Romero to the outside but Romero regrouped and hit a suicide dive on Big Bill. Moriarty distracted the ref while Big Bill chokeslammed Romero on the apron. Moriarty hit a leg lariat to get the pinfall.
Lee Moriarty defeated Rocky Romero by pinfall .
Robinson’s Ruminations: The finger snap spot is losing all its luster. The swapping arm bars spot was neat. That was a big win for Moriarty, even though it was a tainted victory.
Backstage, Rocky Romero delivered promo where he said he wasn’t happy with the outcome of the match and then challenged Moriarty to a rematch, pure rules style…
8. Gringo Loco vs Blake Christian. The announcers told us that Gringo had his heart stop for 10 minutes back in 2016. That’s crazy. The men traded missed high risk moves and reversals on their lucha moves. Christian tried a fosbury flop, but Loco was in the ring, but he landed on his feet, Loco hit a dive on Christian. Christian came back and hit his fosbury flop dive, and got a two count for it. Christian hit a handspring knee strike, then Loco countered Christian into an electric chair powerbomb for a two count. The men fought up on the turnbuckle and Loco hit a Spanish fly for a two count. Christian hit a standing Spanish fly and a springboard 450 for the pinfall.
Blake Christian defeated Gringo Loco by pinfall.
The announcers closed out the broadcast and threw to an ROH Classic match to finish the program. It was Samoa Joe vs James Gibson in a Pure Rules Championship match from 2005.
Robinson’s Ruminations: I love it when the announcers give us little tidbits about the wrestlers like Loco’s heart attack story. This was a crazy lucha match, and well worth a watch. Very fun stuff. My weekly ROH on HonorClub audio reviews are available for Dot Net Members (including our Patreon patrons).