ROH on HonorClub results (5/25): Robinson’s review of ROH Champion Claudio Castagnoli vs. Serpentico in a Proving Ground match, ROH Women’s Champion Athena vs. Promise Braxton in a Proving Ground match, Samoa Joe and Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Christopher Daniels and Matt Sydal, Matt Taven and Mike Bennett vs. Willie Mack and Ninja Mack


By Sam Robinson, Contributor (@altaine)

Ring of Honor on HonorClub (Episode 13)
Taped in Orlando, Florida at Universal Studios
Streamed May 25, 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. JD Drake (w/Anthony Henry) vs. Mark Briscoe. It started with Briscoe asking Drake to chop him, and then men traded chops before Drake tossed Briscoe into the corner. Briscoe exploded right out with a big boot and worked over Drake in the opposite corner. Drake came back with a corner splash and a beil toss. Briscoe hit a dropkick that sent Drake outside. Briscoe climbed up top and hit a twisting moonsault on both Workhorsemen.

Back in the ring Briscoe got a one count nearfall. The men traded slaps to the face, but Drake got the better of it and hit some senton splashes and a field goal kick. Drake hit a spinebuster for a two count. Drake hit a blackhole slam for a two count, and springboard splash for another two count. Drake put Briscoe on the top turnbuckle, but Briscoe fought him off and hit a dropkick. Briscoe hit a uranage for a two count. Drake got control and hit a top rope moonsault for a two count. Drake set up for the Jay Driller but Marc flipped out and hit a spicoli driver and went up top and hit Froggy-Bow for the three count.

Marc Briscoe defeated JD Drake by pinfall.

Briscoe looked into the camera to call out Samoa Joe…

Robinson’s Ruminations: That was a little on the slow side, but not a bad opener. I like Drake, he’s a big man that can go. I’m ready for Briscoe to grab a championship and really start to prove himself as a singles wrestler, cause he’s got what it takes to be a top star. Though I’m not sure how well his act will work in a big arena, because a chunk of it is his fun crazy noises.

Dasha backstage with Christopher Daniels and Matt Sydal. They talked about their tag match in the main event…

2. ROH World Champion Claudio Castagnoli vs. Serpentico in a Proving Ground match. Serpentico tried to push Claudio but Claudio pushed him down. Serpentico wanted a test of strength, and that didn’t go well for him, with Claudio even taunting him during it. Serpentico tried to kick out Claudio’s leg and hit a wheelbarrow rollup for two. Serpentico took Claudio down with a head scissors and rolled Claudio up for another two. Serpentico hit a dive to the outside but Claudio kept standing.

Serpentico hit a top rope crossbody for a two count. Cluadio tossed Serpentico into the barricade and then tossed him into the ring steps. Claudio deadlifted Serpentico into the ring and clotheslined him and picked him over and over. Serpentico flipped Claudio off and Claudio kept going with the clotheslines. It had to have been 20 or so total. The crowd chanted “SAP”. Claudio lifted Serpentico up one last time, told him he’d made a mistake and put him down with one final clothesline for the three count.

Claudio Castagnoli defeated Serpentico by pinfall in a Proving Ground match.

Robinson’s Ruminations: That was a hell of a squash. Serpentico did get some quick flashy offense at the start, but it was a hell of a statement at the then with all those clotheslines.

3. Kiera Hogan vs. Vertvixen. Vixen didn’t get an entrance. The women traded arm drags early as Athena came onto the stage to watch with her title belt. Vixen got the better of the match with some dropkicks. Hogan came back with a hip attack and a step up leg drop for a two count. Hogan noticed Athena who waved “hi” and said she was just watching. Vixen hit a flatliner into a Koji clutch. Hogan got to the ropes for the break. Vixen hit a springboard enzuigiri for a two count. Hogan came back with a sling blade and a dropkick in the corner for a two count. Vixen hit a helluva kick and a blue thunder bomb for a two count. Vixen went for a big move but Hogan fought out and hit a Saito suplex for the three count.

Kiera Hogan defeated Vertvixen by pinfall. 

Athena got on the apron and jawed at Hogan before pushing her over…

Robinson’s Ruminations: I guess Hogan is on deck for Athena. I would much rather see Vixen be on deck. Vixen seems like a total package to me. Hogan still seems a step slow and clunky in the ring.

4. AR Fox vs. Kyle Fletcher (w/Mark Davis). The crowd chanted for both men as they started with some chain wrestling. Fox got the better of it with a neckbreaker and a skin the cat dropkick in the corner. Fletcher came back and tried to suplex Fox to the outside, but ended up with a back suplex on the apron. Fletcher slammed Fox hard on the outside. Back in the ring, Fletcher got a two count nearfall. Fletcher hit a body slam and got a one count. Fletcher tried for a suplex but Fox blocked and hit a spinning suplex.

Fox hit a rolling cutter for a two count. Fox went up top for the 450 but Fletcher rolled out of the way and hit a full nelson suplex. Fletcher hit a brainbuster for a two count. Fox hit a big boot to send Fletcher outside. Fox climbed up top and hit a big flip dive onto Fletcher. Fox tossed Fletcher back inside and hit a 450 for a two count. Fox put Fletcher on the top and went for a piledriver, but Fletcher hit a Falcon Arrow off the top for a two count. Fletcher hit a hammerlock tombstone for the three count.

Kyle Fletcher defeated AR Fox by pinfall.

Robinson’s Ruminations: Hell of a match, worth going out of your way to watch. Fletcher is a stud. AR Fox is a workhorse as that was his third fairly long match at this set of tapings.

5. Willow Nightingale vs. Hyan. Hyan didn’t get an entrance. Willow worked a headlock and then hit a shoulder block. Willow hit a Russian leg sweep and then locked in a submission. Hyan rolled it over for a two count. Willow tossed Hyan across the ring by her hair. Hyan took over and hit some strikes and locked in a sitting abdominal stretch.  Willow fought out and hit a corner splash. Willow hit a shotgun dropkick from the middle rope. Willow hit a cannonball in the corner and then hit her gut-wrench powerbomb for the three count.

Willow Nightingale defeated Hyan by pinfall.

Robinson’s Ruminations: Willow was showing some heel tendencies here and the announcer chalked it up Athena rubbing off on her. Interesting development.

6. “The Kingdom” Matt Taven and Mike Bennett (w/Maria Kanelis) vs. Ninja Mack and Willie Mack. Taven started with Willie and he tried to arm drag Willie to no avail. Willie arm dragged Taven a bunch. Mike Bennett got a blind tag and The Kingdom worked over Willie with quick tags. Taven got a two count nearfall after a middle rope dropkick. Willie made the tag to Ninja after he shoulder blocked right through Taven. Ninja went on some lucha offense on both Kingdom members. Ninja went for a handspring move and Bennett got him with a german suplex out of it. Taven got a two count after some double team offense.

Bennett got a two count off a Taven frog splash, and Willie had to make the save. Willie got the hot tag and hit a bunch of strikes including a double clothesline. Willie hit a samoan drop and kipped up into a standing moonsault for a two count. Ninja tagged in. Willie dumped Taven to the outside and Ninja hit a double handspring moonsault dive onto The Kingdom. Back in the ring, Ninja only got a two count. Mack Attack hit a badly done 3D and got a two count when Bennett broke it up. Bennett blasted Willie on the outside and The Kingdom hit the Proton Pack on Ninja for the pinfall.

“The Kingdom” defeated Wille Mack and Ninja Mack by pinfall.

Robinson’s Ruminations: There was no reason to see The Kingdom this quickly after their loss in the Fight without Honor match last week. The Kingdom weren’t even showing wear and tear, even after this match. Was a fine match, but not needed.

7. Mercedes Martinez vs. Dream Girl Ellie. Ellie didn’t get an entrance. Ellie pie-faced Martinez and Martinez took her down and pounded her face until the ref pulled her off. Ellie came back with a dropkick that didn’t even take Martinez off her feet. Martinez blasted Ellie with a big boot. Martinez hit a Saito suplex that laid out Ellie. Ellie pleaded for a time out and Martinez gave her some knees to the face and then locked her in the surfboard dragon sleeper for the tap out.

Mercedes Martinez defeated Dream Girl Ellie by submission .

Robinson’s Ruminations: Squash match. The dominance is leading to a collision with Athena at some point and that should be a lot of fun. The surfboard dragon sleeper is a nasty finisher. I love it.

Mack Attack was in the back with Dasha and they said this won’t be the last time they tag together…

8. Ashley D’Amboise vs. Danielle Kamella. Kamella didn’t get an entrance. D’Amboise got the best of some early arm work before Kamella tossed her into the corner and worked her over. Kamella wrapped up D’Amboise in the ropes and kicked her back. She tossed her back in the ring and got a two count. D’Amboise came back with a swinging neckbreaker and hit a powerslam for a two count. Kamella hit a cutter style move and got a two count. Kamella hit a DDT for three more two counts. D’Amboise hit an inverted Attitude Adjustment for a two count. D’Amboise hit a Rock Bottom for the three count.

Ashley D’Amboise defeated Danielle Kamella by pinfall.

Robinson’s Ruminations: Both ladies here looked pretty good. Could use a little more seasoning, but it won’t be long until we’re taking both seriously somewhere.

9. Rocky Romero vs. Titus Alexander. Alexander didn’t get an entrance. Alexander hit a basement dropkick and mocked Rocky’s taunts. Rocky came right back with some clotheslines, but ran into a big dropkick from Alexander. Alexander hit a spinning backbreaker for a two count. Rocky hit a springboard DDT that Alexander took right on his head, upright. Alexander went to the outside where Rocky followed him out with a suicide dive. Back in the ring, Rocky hit a flipping cutter move for a two count. Alexander hit a brainbuster for a two count. Up on the top turnbuckle Rocky flipped Alexander off and locked in an armbar for the tap out.

Rocky Romero defeated Titus Alexander by submission.

Robinson’s Ruminations: Alexander had some interesting unique offense that I liked. Nice showcase loss for him. Rocky is always good for a good TV match.

10.”The Righteous” Vincent and Dutch and Stu Grayson vs. LSG, Vary Morales and Marcus Kross. Grayson was announced as representing the Dark Order. Grayson started off explosively on Morales including a belly to belly suplex that he popped right up from. Kross got tagged in and ate a clothesline. Grayson tagged in Dutch. Grayson hit some tag team moves with Dutch. Grayson tagged in and teed off on Kross with chops.

Vincent tagged in and they hit some tag team offense as well.  LSG got tagged in and hit a springboard forearm. Kross tagged back in, but both he and LSG ate some offense from Grayson. Dark Order came to the stage and asked what was going on. Dutch hit a black hole slam and then Dutch and Vincent hit Autumn Sunshine and then tagged in Grayson who hit Nightfall for the three count.

“The Righteous” and Stu Grayson defeated LSG, Vary Morales and Markus Cross by pinfall.

The Righteous passed Dark Order as they made their way to the back. Grayson and Dark Order argued as Grayson followed The Righteous to the back…

Robinson’s Ruminations: There was a chapter missing from all of this. Where was the promo that set up Grayson giving the Righteous a try?

Zack Sabre Jr and Samoa Joe in the back with Dasha. Sabre said it’s a long flight but he’s here to make a statement. Joe said he just wants to see what Sabre can do.

11. Tracy Williams (w/Rhett Titus) vs. Shane Taylor (w/JD Drake, Anthony Henry). Williams tried for a single leg only to get thrown across the ring. Taylor put Williams on the top turnbuckle and Williams grabbed a cross arm bar on the ropes. Taylor came back with a big standing splash. Williams fought out of a suplex attempt but couldn’t lock in the hold he wanted and got slammed for it. Williams hit a tornado DDT for a two count. Williams hit a frog splash for a two count. Taylor fought back with some headbutts and a big splash for a two count. Taylor hit the package piledriver for the three count.

Shane Taylor defeated Tracy Williams by pinfall.

Robinson’s Ruminations: Williams needs something else in his gimmick. A silly mustache, colorful trunks, something. I love Taylor, he’s another great big man. There’s quite a few of those here in ROH now. There were more questions about why The Workhorsemen were with Taylor then why Grayson was with The Righteous, even though Taylor and the Workhorsemen have shown no questions about working together. So odd.

12. ROH Women’s Champion Athena vs. Promise Braxton in a Proving Ground match. The announcers said that Athena is taking proving ground matches because she gets to inflict violence because the matchmakers won’t book her in too many championship matches. Braxton kept up with an early onslaught by Athena and got an arm drag and kipped up. Athena offered the handshake, Braxton took it and got a boot to the face for it. Braxton got a one count off a roll up.

Braxton was able to lock in an octopus hold that Athena just powered out of, but Braxton turned that into a roll up for a one count. Athena hit a stalling gourd buster throw. Athena taunted some, and then got a two count. Braxton fired back with some clotheslines and double knees to the back for a two count. Athena kipped up and got a Rana into the turnbuckle from the kip up. Athena hit a spinning splash from the outside for a two count. Athena hit a forearm and then locked in a cobra clutch for the submission.

Athena defeated Promise Braxton by submission in a Proving Ground match.

Athena threatened to slam Braxton’s face onto the title belt, but Kiera Hogan made the save. Hogan mounted her with punches and trash talked her. Hogan slammed Athena’s face into the title. Hogan picked up the title and posed for a second before she walked off…

Robinson’s Ruminations: Braxton showed some promise (pun not intended). Hogan being next in line is fine if it just means a quick loss in a title match. It shouldn’t be more than that, Hogan hasn’t earned more than that.

13. Tony Deppen vs. Dralistico (w/Jose the Assistant). Deppen started by drop kicking Dralistico out of the ring and hitting him with a dive. Dralistico ran him into all the furniture outside of the ring. Dralistico hit a springboard senton, got a two count and picked Deppen up before three. Dralistico stomped on Deppen in the corner and then hit the Tranquilo pose in the corner. Dralistico tried for a powerbomb but Deppen fought out and he hit a springboard gainer to the outside.

Back in the ring, Deppen hit a double stop from the top for a two count. The men traded chops that echoed through the arena, then forearms, then big kicks. Deppen hit some german suplexes, then Dralistico hit one of his own and a Poison Rana for a double down. Dralistico hit a springboard huracanrana and then hit a head-scissors into a Fujiwara armbar for the submission.

Dralistico defeated Tony Deppen by submission.

Robinson’s Ruminations: A showcase win for Dralistico.

Nick Comoroto was shown in the back with Dasha. He spoke about his match with Blake Christian later. He told ROH not to “Simp for these Wimps”…

14. Miranda Alize vs. Skye Blue. Blue hit an arm drag and head-scissors that sent Alize to the outside. Alize had Blue chase her around the ring and then hit her with a DDT for a two count. Alize hit a facewash kick in the corner, and then a dropkick and a butterfly suplex for a two count. Blue came back with some knees to the face and a back kick for a one count. Alize hit a suplex for a two count and then she locked in a crossface. Blue rolled it over for a one count. Blue got a trap bridge pin for the three count. Alize was stunned by the pin.

Skye Blue defeated Miranda Alize by pinfall.

Robinson’s Ruminations: Another come from behind win for Blue. The women’s division here is looking pretty deep, but the underdog wins from Blue are getting a little stale at this point.

Lexi in the back asked Athena how it felt to get a taste of her own medicine. Athena said she’ll see Hogan next week for a title match. Athena threw her luggage and attacked equipment backstage before stomping off.

15. Zack Clayton and Cole Karter vs. Action Andretti and Darius Martin. Andretti tried a monkey flip but had to settle for an arm drag and a dropkick. Andretti hit a springboard spinning splash for a two count. Martin tagged in and so did Karter. Darius hit Karter with a dropkick and Andretti tagged in and hit a springboard corkscrew splash for a two count. Andretti missed a springboard and got dumped outside. Clayton tagged in and suplexed Andretti into the ring. Martin hot tagged in and he went house of fire on the opponents. Clayton hit a powerslam and Karter hit a frog splash for a two count that Andretti broke up. Andretti and Martin hit a double swing out slam move for the pinfall.

Action Andretti and Darius Martin defeated Zack Clayton and Cole Karter by pinfall.

Robinson’s Ruminations: A showcase win for Andretti and Martin. Basic tag stuff, no surprises.

16. Blake Christian vs. Nick Comoroto. It started off with a cat and mouse game with Christian running all around the outside and inside of the ring, using his speed to make Comoroto look a little silly. After Christian went for his second dive, Comoroto caught him and took over in the ring. Comoroto got a nearfall off of a body slam. Christian got going again after kip up after some punches.

Christian got Comoroto with another dive to the outside, a double stomp on the apron and a frog splash from the top for a two count. Comoroto took back over with a spinebuster. Christian got a near fall off an inside cradle. Christian rolled out of the ring and grabbed a chair. He threw it inside and it distracted both Comoroto and the ref. Christian slid in and hit a wheelbarrow rollup for the pinfall.

Blake Christian defeated Nick Comorodo by pinfall.

Robinson’s Ruminations: This match made Comoroto look like a dumb big man, even though the announcers tried to cover for him by saying that he has his degree in accounting. Very odd choices here. Christian is a heck of a babyface. Comoroto is another big man who’s got a good bit of promise.

17. Trish Adora vs. Diamante. It started quick with Adora locking in a standing double wristlock before shifting into a neckbreaker, stretch muffler style submission. Diamante got free and hit a neckbreaker in the ropes and then dropkicked Adora out of the ring. Back in the ring, the ladies traded strikes before Diamante hit a belly to belly suplex and a shotgun dropkick for a two count. Diamante screamed that Adora needed to earn honor. Adora fought back with an arm drag and some forearms, and a crossbody for a two count. Adroa hit a spinning fisherman’s suplex for a two count. Diamante hit crossroads and then locked in a self choke submission for the tap out.

Diamante defeated Trish Adora by submission.

Robinson’s Ruminations: Nice match. Both ladies are good strong competitors.

We got a video package about Katsuyori Shibata vs. Alex Coughlin for the ROH Pure Championship for next week. Coughlin said that he’s going to use Shibata’s own techniques to defeat him…

18. Slim J (w/ Ari Divari, Jeevs Kay, Sonny Kiss) vs. Penta El Zero Miedo (w/Alex Abrantes). The Code of Honor consisted of a chest bump. Slim J cut off a Cero Miedo taunt and Penta was off and running. After some offense, Penta tried a dive but Slim J cut him off, and then tossed Penta to the outside for the Trustbusters to stomp on while J distracted the ref. Back in the ring, Slim J hit a terrible looking springboard lucha move for a two count. Penta came back with a pair of sling blades for a two count. Penta tried for the package piledriver but Slim J cut him off with a spinning cutter and got a two count. Penta hit the hanging double stomp for a two count.  Slim J hit a wheelbarrow flatliner and a back elbow off the top for a two count. Penta hit Fear Factor for the three count.

Penta El Zero Miedo defeated Slim J by pinfall.

Robinson’s Ruminations: That took much longer than it should have to take out a Trustbuster. The announcers keep telling us that Slim J is a competent competitor, but I still don’t know if I buy it.

19. Christopher Daniels and Matt Sydal vs. Zack Sabre Jr. and Samoa Joe. Sabre and Joe stared at each other before the code of honor handshake. Sydal and Sabre started the match trading straight jacket holds. Then both men traded arm holds before Sydal got free and Joe and Daniels got tagged in. Joe tagged himself in. Joe worked over Daniels while staring down Sabre. Daniels got the better of him and tagged in Sydal for some tag team offense.

Joe tagged Sabre back in. Sydal and Daniels hit more tag team offense and Sydal tried for a cover but he wasn’t the legal man. Sabre got Joe to do some behind the ref’s back attacks and then tagged Joe in. Joe hit his corner ensiguri and then tagged in Sabre. Sabre worked on the leg of Daniels, and then transitioned to the head. Joe got tagged back in, and worked on Daniels neck too. Sabre tagged in, and dragged Daniels around by his wrist before stomping on it and tagging Joe back in. Joe headbutted Daniels’ wrist and then stomped on it, then tagged in Sabre. Sabre and Joe started arguing  and Joe snuck in a quick roll up for two on Sabre.

Joe tagged back in and hit his snap powerslam for a two count. Sabre back in who it Daniels with some European Uppercuts and tagged back in Joe. Daniels made a comeback with an STO and hot tagged in Sydal. Sydal came in and blasted Joe with kicks, caught Sabre with a knee and more kicks to Joe. Sydal off the top with double knees on Joe and he got a two count, before Sabre made the save with a neckbreaker. Sabre tagged in, and Sydal got him with a punch of pin attempts for two each. Sabre hit Sydal with a hatch suplex, but missed with a PK. Sydal locked Sabre into a crossface and Daniels locked Joe into the Koji clutch.

Sabre made it to the ropes, but Joe went blue and bailed out of the ring. Sydal went up top, and Sabre cut him off, Daniels helped out and they hit a tower of doom, but only got a two count for it. Daniels tagged in, but Sabre cut him off and tagged in Joe. Daniels tried Angel’s Wings but Joe hit him with a lariat. Sabre came in and took out Sydal. Daniels hit Angel’s Wings on Sabre who rolled out. Daniels turned around and took a uranage from Joe and then Joe locked in the Coquina clutch for the submission win.

Samoa Joe and Zack Sabre Jr. defeated Christopher Daniels and Matt Sydal by submission.

The champions bumped belts in the ring as the show closed…

Robinson’s Ruminations: That was a fun match. The tension between Joe and Sabre was palpable and I want to see them in a match. That said, there is absolutely no reason for a three hour Ring of Honor show that isn’t a pay per view.


Readers Comments (1)

  1. Turning Willow Nightingale heel would be a seriously stupid thing to do. She is one of the very few female babyfaces AEW has whom the fans genuinely get behind.

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