By Sam Robinson, ProWrestling.net Contributor (@altaine)
Ring of Honor on HonorClub (Episode 10)
Taped April 26, 2023 in Sunrise, Florida at FLA Live Arena
Streamed May 4, 2023 on HonorClub
Ian Riccaboni, Caprice Coleman and Nigel McGuinness were on commentary, and Bobby Cruise was the ring announcer… The Code of Honor handshake was adhered to during each match unless otherwise noted…
1. Rocky Romero vs. Lee Moriarty in a Pure Rules match. Romero started off with a quick arm bar that forced Moriarty to use his first rope break immediately. The men traded hammer locks before Moriarty retreated to ringside and Romero followed him out with a suicide dive. A huracanrana from Romero got a two count. Moriarty did some fancy rope work to escape a hammerlock and used his second rope break to boos from the crowd. Big Bill got involved behind the official’s back and Romero resorted to his closed fist. Moriarty hit a flatliner into the corner and got a two count.
Moriarty hit some palm strikes in the corner and Romero countered with a drop kick to the knees. Romero hit the rewind enziguri, and a around the world DDT for a two count. Romero hit a huracanrana arm bar that Moriarty had to use his last rope break to escape from. Romero hit Chernoi(sp?) (a running sliced bread) for a two count. The men traded chops and open hand strikes in the middle. Moriarty hit a Tiger Drive 18 for a two count. Both men were up top, and Romero hit a diving armbar and Moriarty had to tap out.
Rocky Romero defeated Lee Moriarty by submission in a Pure Rules match.
Robinson’s Ruminations: Not my favorite Pure Rules match, but it was a good story and I enjoyed it anyway. These two have good chemistry and the announcers asked when match number three was going to be. I don’t disagree, when?
2. Athena vs. Angelica Risk in a ROH Women’s World Championship Proving Ground match. Athena dominated early but Risk hit a head scissors and tried for a 619 but Athena caught her and slammed her on her face. Athena blasted Risk with a forearm and a superkick. Risk caught a roll up for a one count. Athena came right back with a shotgun drop kick then locked in an armbar and a fish hook.
Athena lost her cool on the ref and Risk was able to make a comeback that ended in an Edge-0-matic for a one count. Risk hit her 619 and fired up, and went to the top. Risk tried a crossbody but Athena caught her and then hit some rolling fireman carry slams. Athena hit a Gory bomb and then locked in the crossface for the submission.
Athena defeated Angelica Risk by submission .
Athena hit Skyfall onto the title belt to call out Skye Blue.
Robinson’s Ruminations: Another dominant win for Athena. Risk took Athena’s offense well, and made Athena look like a monster. Athena hits Skyfall better than Skye Blue does.
3. Samoa Joe vs. Christopher Daniels in a ROH World Television Championship match. There was a slow start with Daniels trying shoulder blocks on Joe to no effect, but Joe blasted him with a back elbow. Joe hit his corner enzuigiri for a two count. Joe hit some kicks and an elbow drop for a two count. The men traded strikes in the middle of the ring and Joe hit his snap powerslam for a two count. Joe went for the Coquina Clutch but Daniels got a couple of two counts. Daniels hit an STO and a middle rope STO variant for a two count. Joe hit a crazy running belly to belly suplex and the muscle buster for the pinfall.
Samoa Joe defeated Christopher Daniels by pinfall to retain the ROH TV Title.
Ian Riccaboni talked about how Joe is closing in on 400 days as TV Champ and is working on his streak…
Robinson’s Ruminations: The crowd was super vocal for this match. Two old vets working a quick, no nonsense tv match. It was good for what it was, but nothing you’ll remember tomorrow.
4. Claudio Castagnoli vs. Robbie Eagles for the ROH World Championship. Eagles got the match off to a fast start with some lucha rope walking and a head scissors, and the announcers continued the narrative about Clauido having trouble with high flyers. Claudio took back over quickly with a huge belly to belly suplex that went halfway across the ring. Claudio ground Eagles down with some armbars for a solid minute. Eagles got free and started attacking Claudio’s knee. Claudio went outside and Eagles hit a flip dive. Back in the ring Eagles continued to work on the knee and kicks to the chest.
Eagles hit double knees in the corner and got a two count. Claudio went for the swing, but Eagles rolled through and locked in his Eagle Lock submission, but Claudio got a quick rope break. Eagles hit a ton of kicks to the leg and a standing sliced bread for a two count. Eagles rolled through a 450 attempt, and Claudio hit a Falcon Arrow for a two count. Eagles got a three quick roll up two counts before Claudio cut him off with a lariat for a two count of his own. Eagles went for another sliced bread but Cluadio hit the Ricola bomb for the pinfall.
Claudio Castagnoil defeated Robbie Eagles by pinfall to retain the ROH Championship.
Claudio leaned into the camera and said he didn’t even get out of first gear.
Robinson’s Ruminations: Why wasn’t this the main event. Why is the world title not going on last? Why is there a world title match on free TV? Why is someone from Japan getting a title shot? That all said, very fun match that
Skye Blue backstage cut a fiery babyface promo calling Athena a bully and challenges her for a Women’s Championship match…
5. “The Kingdom” Matt Taven, Mike Bennett w/ Maria Bennett and “The Varsity Athletes” Ari Daivari, Josh Woods and Tony Neese (w/ Mark Sterling) vs. Chuck Taylor and Trent Baretta and Action Andretti, Darius Martin and Stu Grayson (w/Evil Uno, John Silver, Alex Reynolds). It started off with Taven nailing a dropkick on Andretti. Martin and Andretti hit some tag team offense before it all broke down quickly. The baby faces stood tall and isolated Taven in the corner and everyone hit some offense on him. Neese got tagged in against Baretta. Hot tag to Grayson who went on a house of fire with suplexes and uranages. It all started breaking down again as everyone was hitting their big moves. Andretti hit a huge flip dive on the heels trying to regroup at ringside. Beretta suplexed Taven onto everyone at ringside.
Back in the ring Grayson tagged in Andretti for a double team move, but the theme music for The Righteous played and they came out on stage and Grayson turned his attention to them and went to the ramp to confront, but Dark Order held him off. Andretti hit a fireman’s carry neck breaker for the three count on Ari Divari.
All the babyfaces celebrated in the ring with the “Give the people what they want hug”.
Action Andretti, Daruis Martin, Stu Grayson, Trent Beretta, and Chuck Taylor defeated “The Kingdom” and “The Varsity Athletes” by pinfall
Robinson’s Ruminations: CHAOS. This was a fun all over the place mess of a match. It served a few purposes and let everyone get a few big moves in. Andretti got a win and it furthered the Dark Order/Righteous feud.
Athena was questioned by one of the backstage interviewers, whom she incorrectly called Lexi, if she accepted Blue’s Challenge. Athena says she’s not worthy, but she does accept. Athena says Blue has been coasting on her sex appeal, and isn’t worthy.
6. Preston Vance vs. Rich Adonis. The Code of Honor handshake turned into a lariat from Vance. Vance tossed Adonis to the outside and threw him into the barriers all over the outside. Vance hit a pile of clotheslines in the corner, but Adonis fired back with a single leg dropkick and tried for a wheelbarrow move, but Vance suplexed him and hit a discus lariat for the three count.
Preston Vance defeated by pinfall.
Robinson’s Ruminations: A squash match for the undefeated Vance. He’s playing the cocky heel well enough.
Backstage Action Andretti were celebrating their win in the 10 man tag, but The Kingdom blindsided them and beat them up on the backstage gear. The Kingdom mockingly gave them code of honor handshakes before walking off.
7. Robyn Renegade vs. Skye Blue. The ladies quickly traded a handful of roll up nearfalls before Skye Blue hit an arm drag that sent Renegade to the outside. Skye went out after her but Renegade ran her into the ring post, sent her inside and got a two count. Renegade hit double knees in the corner and worked a fish hook in the middle of the ring. Skye hit a pair of head scissors, a knee and a single leg dropkick for a two count as she made her comeback. Renegade hit a shotgun dropkick for a two count. Blue hit a superkick, and Skyfall for the pinfall.
Skye Blue defeated Robyn Renegade by pinfall .
Robinson’s Ruminations: I’m a sucker for a heel using a fish hook, and Robyn looked like a good technician in there. Skye Blue is next for the champion and this was an ok outing for her. Another come from behind win for Blue.
8.Brian Cage (w/Prince Nana) vs. Brock Anderson. Anderson started the match working some waistlock switch around, but Cage cut him off before long and slammed him. Anderson hit a DDT and hit some back elbows that took Cage off his feet and then a body slam. Anderson tried for a big boot but Cage turned it into a cloverleaf. Anderson got a rope break. Anderson got an inside cradle for a two count. Cage hit Drill Claw for the pinfall.
Brian Cage defeated Brock Anderson by pinfall.
As Cage and Nana celebrated, the announcers talked about Cage being in line for a single’s title soon.
Robinson’s Ruminations: It’s still weird to see an Anderson trying to be a babyface. They are natural heels. This wasn’t quite a squash, as Brock got some offense. Sadly, Brock is clumsy and doesn’t have great timing in the ring.
9. Willow Nightingale vs. Steph De Lander. The announcers rapping over Willow’s entrance is hilarious, fun stuff. De Lander is the same size as Willow and this was each lady trying out shoulder blocks to start, before Willow got the advantage. Willow went up top, but De Lander cut her off with a running big boot. De Lander suplexed Willow for a two count. De Lander worked over Willow with some splashes in the corner, but Willow came back with a splash of her own and a middle rope dropkick. Willow hit a cannonball and then a spinebuster for the three count.
Willow Nightingale defeated Steph De Lander by pinfall.
Robinson’s Ruminations: It was nice to see Willow have a match against someone her own size. She’s such a fun act, and I can’t wait to see more from her in the future.
10. Angelico (w/Serpentico) vs. Kommander. Angelico used the code of honor handshake to work some submission holds to start. Kommander came right back with some lucha arm drags, but Angelico cut him off with a big boot. Angelico missed a knee in the corner and fell to the outside. Kommander hit a rope walking twisting moonsault on the outside. Kommander then hit a double jump crossbody to the outside. Kommander hit a swan dive sunset flip for a two count.
Angelico took back over with a backdrop suplex and a roll up for a two count. The crowd chanted “This is Awful”. Kommander reversed a razor’s edge attempt and hit a sunset bomb for a two count. Kommander then hit a huracanrana that dropped Angelico on his head and Angelico went to the outside. Kommander walked the ropes of the entire ring before doing a lay out dive on Angelico. Kommander hit a rope walking shooting star for the pinfall.
Kommander defeated Angelico by pinfall .
Serptentico attacked Kommander after the code of honor handshake. Orange Cassidy and Bandido ran to the ring to fend off SAP.
Robinson’s Ruminations: Pretty slow by lucha standards but Kommander can do some ridiculous stuff on the ropes.
Overall the show was good, decent wrestling TV. It furthered some stories, gave the champions moments to shine and had some good action along the way. The downside was that the champions were out here defending their titles on “not exactly free” TV yet again, or in a proving ground match. The champions do feel special, but when you put them on the bottom half of your TV show, they start to feel less special, no matter how many wins or how long the title reign is. Also, we have three heel champions doing pretty much the same act at the moment, and all three were featured back to back to back on this show. This roster could use some stand out baby faces, soon. My weekly ROH on HonorClub audio reviews are available on Fridays for Dot Net Members (including our Patreon patrons).