By Sam Robinson, ProWrestling.net Contributor (@altaine)
Ring of Honor on HonorClub (Episode 11)
Taped in Orlando, Florida at Universal Studios
Streamed May 11, 2023 on HonorClub
Ian Riccaboni, Caprice Coleman, and Nigel McGuinness were on commentary, and Bobby Cruise was the ring announcer…
*Unless otherwise noted, all matches started and ended with a code of honor handshake.
1. Shane Taylor vs. Mark Briscoe. Taylor hit a shoulder block to start and then trashed talked about Jay Briscoe which fired Mark right up. Taylor cut off the flurry with a hanging stunner and worked over Briscoe in the corner. Briscoe fired back and sent Taylor to the outside and hit a running cannonball senton. Briscoe grabbed a chair out from under the ring and tried for a dive. Taylor got in the ring and cut Briscoe off with a clothesline.
Briscoe hit repeated big boots but Taylor stayed on his feet, then hit a dropkick to take him off his feet. Briscoe hit a Pele kick to send Taylor to the outside, and followed him out with a dropkick. Briscoe grabbed a chair and hit the flip dive to the outside this time. Taylor tried to go up top, but Briscoe cut him off and hit a Spicoli Driver. Taylor hit Welcome to the Land but Briscoe kicked out at two.
Taylor went for a middle rope splash, but Briscoe rolled out of the way and hit a Uranage for a two count. Briscoe tried for the Jay Driller, but Taylor hit him with a headbutt and splash for a two count. Taylor went for a package piledriver but Briscoe flipped out and they traded blows in the middle. Briscoe took Taylor off his feet with a clothesline and went for the Jay Driller. He hit a sloppy Jay Driller for the three count.
Mark Briscoe defeated Shane Taylor by pinfall.
Briscoe talked to the corner camera and told Samoa Joe that he was coming for him…
Robinson’s Ruminations: My word, Taylor hit some strong forearms and clotheslines. He’s a big ol’ mean heel! This match was very fun! Hard hitting and aggressive.
2. Tracy Williams and Rhett Titus vs. Claudio Castagnoli and Wheeler Yuta. The announcers talked about Claudio’s upcoming Tag Title shot he won last night on Dynamite during the entrances, so they are at least kept current even though these are taped matches.
Yuta and Williams started off the match with some chain wrestling. Williams got the better of it and locked in some leg submissions. Claudio came in and broke it up with a kick to the face. Claudio tagged in and tried to show Yuta how it’s done and got rolled up quick for his trouble. Claudio kicked out at zero. Titus and Williams hit some double team offense on Yuta and got a two count.
Williams locked in a cloverleaf and Claudio came in to break it up, but Williams was ready, but Yuta hit him with a chop block. Williams rolled through a back body drop to get a two count on Yuta. Claudio body slammed Williams and gave him an elbow drop for a two count. Claudio hit the steel post on a shoulder block attempt, and tagged in Yuta and sat on the outside for a while.
Williams hit his top turnbuckle DDT and tagged in Titus. Titus hit a spinning back suplex and then a running belly to belly for a two count on Yuta. Claudio came back and got run back out. Titus and Williams hit some double team offense for a two count that got broken up by Claudio. Yuta hit an eye rake on Williams and the BCC hit a rocket launcher to get the three count.
Claudio Castagnoli and Wheeler Yuta defeated Tracy Williams and Rhett Titus by pinfall in 8:25.
Robinson’s Ruminations: Fun tag match that was trying to get you excited for a Claudio tag title match. I doubt he’s going to team with Yuta for the shot, only because I think they have a surprise in mind. Some good storytelling by BCC about Claudio trying to teach Yuta things during the match.
3. Samoa Joe vs Blake Christian for the ROH TV Championship. Christian avoided Joe with some quick lucha moves. Christian got Joe with a handspring drop kick and then worked over Joe’s leg. Christian locked in a figure four, but Joe quickly grabbed the ropes. Joe noped a drop kick and hit a senton splash to cut Christian’s momentum off. Joe hit an elbow drop for a two count. The crowd tried to chant Christian back into the match with “All Heart” chants, but it didn’t last long. Joe tried to lock in the Coquina Clutch but Christian got out. Christian avoided the corner uranage and went up top, but Joe cut him off and hit the muscle buster for the three count.
Samoa Joe defeated Blake Christian by pinfall in 3:45 to retain the ROH TV Title.
Robinson’s Ruminations: It didn’t last long, but it was fun while it lasted.
Backstage, the Trustbusters/Varsity Athletes were with Mark Sterling who cut a promo about how much they are going to work together. Davari told the Dark Order if they were looking for a fight, they’ve got one…
4.”The Infantry” Capt. Sean Dean and Carlie Bravo vs. “The Righteous” Dutch and Vincent. No code of honor handshake, instead hugs by The Righteous. Vincent got a quick two count on Dean after some forearm shots. A minute into the match and Stu Grayson came out on the stage with no entrance music. Dutch got tagged in and worked over Dean while staring and Grayson on the ramp. Dutch hit a T-bone suplex for a two count. Carlie Bravo got tagged in and when on a house of fire and got a two count on Vincent after a fake out cross punch. Vincent hit Autumn Sunshine off of Dutch’s chest for the three count.
“The Righteous” Dutch and Vincent defeated “The Infantry” Sean Dean and Carlie Bravo by pinfall in 4:30.
The Righteous walked up on the stage and told Grayson he was one of them now, and Grayson just stood there dumbfounded…
Robinson’s Ruminations: My poor Infantry… just used as job fodder for another team’s storyline. I still want more for them, but they apparently have to get some legs under them on TV first. The story with The Righteous and Grayson is kind of whatever at this point. I’m with Grayson, just dumbfounded.
The Kingdom vs. Action Andretti and Darius Martin feud got a video package to set up their Fight Without Honor match for next week…
5. Robyn Renegade (w/Charlotte Renegade) vs. Vert Vixen. Vixen got no entrance. Vixen got the better of Renegade and hit a natural selection variant for a two count. Robyn used a ref distraction to have Charlotte get her back in control. Vixen took back over and hit a roll in stunner, big boot and a flatliner for a two count. Robyn locked in an abdominal stretch, fell down with it and locked her leg over Vixen’s head.
Robyn Renegade defeated Vert Vixen by submission in 4:00.
Robinson’s Ruminations: Fine match. Vixen is a better total package than Renegade.
The Embassy without Brian Cage was backstage where Prince Nana cut a quick promo when Dalton Castle and one of The Boys came in and claimed they hurt the other Boy, but Nana said they had nothing to do with it.
6. Ninja Mack vs. Willie Mack. The crowd chanted “Let’s go Mack” and both men looked confused. Willie mocked Ninja with a crane pose, and tossed Ninja all over with waistlock slams. Willie hit a Japanese arm drag. Ninja tried a head scissors and Willie got out with a handspring. Willie hit a huracanrana and a drop kick to send Ninja to the outside. Willie followed him out with a flip dive! Willie blasted Ninja with an open hand slap and tossed him back inside.
Ninja lit up Willie with some kicks and then hit Willie with a twisting uppercut. Ninja hit a twisting 720 splash and got three different two counts out of it. They traded superkicks and Willie hit a Samoan drop. Willie kipped up and hit a standing moonsault for a two count. The men traded roll up nearfalls. Ninja went for a crossbody but got caught and Willie hit him with a powerbomb for the pinfall.
Willie Mack defeated Ninja Mack by pinfall in 6:00.
Robinson’s Ruminations: Fun, if a little clunky in places. Neither of these guys are regulars and this felt like it had no consequences.
7. “The Embassy” Brian Cage, Toa Liona, and Kaun (w/ Prince Nana) vs. Adam Priest, Lucky Ali and Victor Benjamin. The other team didn’t get an entrance. Kaun started things off. Cage tagged in quickly and hit a big back body drop. Lucky Ali tagged in and he got tossed and superkicked for it. Cage hit a German suplex that tossed Ali all the way across the ring. Toa hit a shoulder block that did the same on Benjamin. Benjamin got a tiny bit of offense and got blasted with a spinning clothesline. The match broke down. Gates of Agony hit Open the Gates for the pinfall.
“The Embassy” Brian Cage, Toa Liona, and Kaun defeated Adam Priest, Lucky Ali and Victor Benjamin by pinfall in 3:30.
Robinson’s Ruminations: Another squash match. It seems like Dalton and The Boys may be starting another feud with The Embassy.
8. Tony Deppen vs. Kyle Fletcher (w/Mark Davis). Slow match to start with some stalling. Deppen eventually locked in some submission holds. They did some chain wrestling and then traded shoulder blocks. It took three before Deppen went all the way down. Deppen hit a step-in code breaker for a two count. They traded suplex attempts before Fletcher hit a big suplex.
Fletcher hit a half and half suplex and a running big boot for a two count. Deppen hit a flip in stunner, Fletcher went to the outside and Deppen followed him out with a dive. Back in the ring, Deppen hit Bayonet (a hidden blade variant) for a two count. They traded forearms in the middle until Deppen rolled up Fletcher for a two count. They traded big strikes and then Deppen got double knees in the corner and a double stomp from the top for two. Fletcher hit a Michinoku driver for a semi-disputed three count.
Kyle Fletcher defeated Tony Deppen by pinfall in 8:30.
Robinson’s Ruminations: Match was slow to start, but really hit second gear near the end. Deppen is a little goofy. Fletcher is gonna be a stud. The announcers were gushing all over him.
9. Anthony Henry (w/JD Drake) vs. AR Fox. Fox quickly dumped Henry outside and hit a pair of big crossbody blocks to the outside. Henry went to the other side, and Fox flip-dove onto both Workhorsmen. Back in the ring Fox hit a spinning suplex for a two count. The men fought on the apron and Henry hit a piledriver on the apron. Fox got back in the ring at 19 but Henry kept working on his neck, hitting another piledriver for a two count. Henry got a two count off a backslide.
Henry hit a brainbuster and hauled Fox up for another, and another but Fox reversed the third with a brainbuster of his own. Fox hit a stunner and a roll up for two. Fox went up top and hit a swanton for a two count. Henry hit a german and then a slingshot suplex for a two count. The announcers really put over Fox’s resolve. Fox tried to hit a jumping spanish fly but Henry locked in a sleeper.
Fox tried to roll him up and Henry let go. Fox hit a cutter and got a two count. Fox tried to go up top but Drake caused a distraction. Fox eventually flip dove onto Drake on the outside. Henry hit a DDT and got a two count. Henry went up top and Fox hit the jumping spanish fly and a 450 splash for the pinfall.
AR Fox defeated Anthony Henry by pinfall in 9:30.
The Workhorsemen worked over Fox after the bell. Shane Taylor came out and helped with the beatdown. FTR came out to make the save. They worked over the heels, and Fox hit a swanton on Drake after FTR laid him out. FTR tried to hit Big Rig on Henry, but he dipped out. Eddie Kingston came out and chased Henry right back into the Big Rig.
Robinson’s Ruminations: The announcers really put over Fox’s fortitude, but to me it was really just a whole lot of no-selling. This made Henry’s offense look super weak. The brawl after the match was fun. Funny that Kingston is “back” when he just had surgery earlier this week. It’ll be interesting to see where that goes.
10. “The Trustbusters” Sonny Kiss, Jeeves Kay, Slim J and Josh Woods (w/Ari Daivari, Mark Sterling) vs. “Dark Order” Stu Grayson, Evil Uno, Alex Reynolds and John Silver. Woods and Uno started the match with Uno getting a shoulder tackle. Reynolds and Silver were tagged in and hit some double team offense. Sterling got on the apron but Uno pulled him down. Grayson and Uno argued over the tactic. The heels took over with quick tags in their corner. Sterling got a quick choke on Silver while the ref was distracted. Silver hit the hot tag to Grayson who hit a ton of suplexes and sent all the heels outside and flip-dove onto them.
Back in the ring he hit a bunch of Uranages and then a springboard moonsault for a two count on Slim J. Uno tagged in and Uno and Grayson got run into each other. The heels all hit big moves and got a two count on Uno before Reynolds broke it up. It broke down into everyone hitting big moves on each other. Uno tags in Grayson and Reynolds who tried some double team moves but Grayson took a bullet for the team. Uno and Grayson hit their finisher and Grayson slid out of the ring quickly. Reynolds got the pinfall.
“Dark Order” Stu Grayson, Evil Uno, Alex Reynolds and John Silver defeated “The Trustbusters” Sonny Kiss, Jeeves Kay, Slim J and Josh Woods by pinfall in 6:30.
Robinson’s Ruminations: Ari Daivari is in two factions and they aren’t merging them. I don’t understand it. The announcers really tried to play up dissension in Dark Order for The Righteous storyline. It’s still going over flat. The crowd was into the fast paced action, and it was fun for that.
Backstage they replayed Sky Blue’s challenge promo from last week.
11. Athena vs. Skye Blue for the ROH Women’s World Championship. Athena started it off by blasting Blue with a forearm. Blue came back quickly and got a quick one count. They traded some cartwheel reversals out of head scissors. Athena yelled something at the ref they had to bleep out, cause I didn’t hear it. Athena tossed Blue outside the ring and tipped over the stairs. Athena tried to throw Blue into the stairs but Blue reversed it and tossed Athena in instead.
Athena walked Blue up the ramp in a fireman’s carry but Blue fought out of it with a wrist lock takeover. They fought on the stage and Athena superkicked Blue off the stage. Back in the ring, Athena locked Blue in a bow and arrow. Blue flipped out and got a one count. Blue rolled Athena up a few times for two counts. They rolled around in the cradle for a while. Blue came back with some kicks and running boots. Blue came off the top with a crossbody block for a two count. Athena came back with a forearm shiver for a two count.
Athena went to the top but Blue cut her off and hit an ugly looking huracanrana and a float over stunner for a two count. Athena hit a rolling fireman’s carry slam and a backbreaker. The ladies traded shots from their knees and then their feet. Athena hit Skyfall, but Blue kicked out at two. Blue hit an O-Face and got a two count. Blue hit Skyfall and got another two count.
Both wrestlers fought to the outside and Blue laid Athena out on the upturned stairs and went up top, Athena cut her off and powerbombed her onto the upturned stairs. Athena hit another backbreaker and went for a cover. Blue kicked out at one! Blue tried to roll Athena up, but only got two. Athena locked in the crossface, Blue tried to get to the ropes, but Athena rolled her back and Blue tapped out.
Athena defeated Skye Blue by submission in 14:45 to retain the ROH Women’s Championship.
Athena actually adhered to the code of honor after the match, at least for a moment. Athena clotheslined Blue, and slammed her head on the title belt…
Robinson’s Ruminations: Heck of a match, they really tried to make Blue look strong in defeat. Blue went into the deepest water she’s gone into yet and did well enough. She’s still a little skittish about taking big bumps and it makes them look a little clunky, but she’s got real fire and will be a great act if she can shore up that clumsiness. Athena is a damn workhorse and can lay out a match that really makes her opponent’s look good in defeat if that’s the story to be told. I’m not sure where Blue goes from here, and I’m not sure who’s next for Athena.
The crowd were into the matches they were into. Good crowd when they wanted to be. This is a fun episode with some fast paced offense in many of the matches. It’s not a bad show to have on in the background at the very least. If nothing else, you should check out Athena’s title defense. She’s so good at what she does at this point. I will have more to say in my weekly ROH on HonorClub audio review for Dot Net Members (including our Patreon patrons).