By Sam Robinson, ProWrestling.net Contributor (@altaine)
Ring of Honor on HonorClub (Episode 16)
Taped in Orlando, Florida at Universal Studios
Streamed June 15, 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 the Code of Honor handshake.
To start we went backstage to Matt Sydal cutting a promo about how he’s willing to step up and challenge for the ROH TV Title… Samoa Joe cut a promo about he’s going to teach Matt Sydal a lesson…
1. Samoa Joe vs. Matt Sydal for the ROH TV Championship. Sydal is 1-0 in singles competition according to the lower third stats, so that’s a stat that means something I guess. Joe started by beating Sydal down in a corner. Sydal slid out of a sunset flip attempt and kicked Joe out of the ring, then hit Joe with a Meteora from the top to the outside. Joe took back over once back in the ring and stomped Sydal in a corner.
Joe hit a vertical suplex for a two count. Joe hit his snap powerslam for a two count. The men exchanged chops in the middle of the ring and Sydal got a two count off a school boy roll up. Sydal went for a heel kick, Joe tried to turn it into a suplex, but it went awry and Sydal tumbled to the outside. Joe popped up Sydal and Sydal hit him with a hurracanrana and got a two count. Sydal hit meteora from the top rope and got a two count. Sydal went back up top but Joe cut him off and hit him with a muscle buster for a three count.
Samoa Joe defeated Matt Sydal by pinfall to retain the ROH TV Title.
Robinson’s Ruminations: Joe matches that go more than a few minutes have a pretty boring formula at this point: Quick strikes, big slam, two count, rest hold, rinse and repeat. I wish there was more to it at this point, but it is what it is.
2. Nick Comoroto vs. Deimos (w/Teal Piper). Deimos didn’t get an entrance. Comoroto tried to get the crowd into his toothpick throw, but it was pretty quiet. Deimos was unimpressed and started with hard strikes. Deimos countered a slam attempt with a slam of his own and then shoulder tackled Comoroto out of the ring. The men brawled on the outside before Comoroto threw Deimos into the stairs. Back in the ring Comoroto hit an over the shoulder powerslam for a two count. Comoroto hit a fireman carry slam for a two count. Deimos made a comeback with a few clotheslines and a spinebuster. Deimos hit a big boot for a two count. Comoroto hit an Alabama slam and got a three count with his feet up on the ropes.
Nick Comoroto defeated Deimos by pinfall.
Robinson’s Ruminations: Slow and clunky big men had a slow and clunky match. It wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t great either.
3. Tracy Williams and Rhett Titus vs. “Iron Savages” Bronson and Boulder (w/Jacked Jameson). Jacked Jameson cut his “Who are we?” promo on the way to the ring, but the crowd wasn’t into it. Williams fired off with some forearms quickly but was cut off almost as quickly by some power moves. Williams was able to get an over the ropes arm bar and get a quick tag out. The Savages pressed both men over their heads and slammed them. Williams tried to get a few covers on Boulder, but Boulder just pressed him at two every time.
Titus hit his running belly to belly and tried for another move but got cut off. Boulder got tagged in and slammed both men with a blackhole slam. Williams and Titus picked up Boulder and slammed him and tried to double cover him but only got two. Titus and Williams hit some double team offense and got a two count. Bronson hit a sit out Michinoku driver combo and then Boulder hoisted Bronson up and dropped him on Williams for the three count.
Iron Savages defeated Tracy Williams and Rhett Titus by pinfall.
Robinson’s Ruminations: Nice win over a quality team for the Savages.
4. Diamante vs. Teal Piper (w/Deimos). Diamante hit a basement dropkick that knocked Piper to the floor. Diamante brought Piper right back in and hit a dropkick in the corner. Diamante hit a vertical suplex for a two count. Pi[er made a comeback with some sloppy looking offense. Diamante rolled Piper up for a two count. Diamante hit a nasty looking crossroads and then locked in her cross jacket submission and Piper passed out to give Diamante the win.
Diamante defeated Teal Piper by ref stoppage .
Robinson’s Ruminations: Piper is clearly still early in her training. She was a step off just about the whole time. Another win for Diamante to pad her stats for later.
In the back, Mark Sterling and Tony Neese cut a very quick promo about showing something to the fans…
5. Tony Nese (w/Ari Divari, Mark Sterling) vs. Serpentico. Nese cut a promo before Serpentico came to the ring. Nese said they have been trying to earn the respect of the fans. He said they don’t get it because they aren’t relatable, because they aren’t fat pieces of trash. Since they are personal trainers they are gonna get the whole crowd to do some exercises. The crowd followed along with some stretching while booing. Once it came to squatting, most of the crowd gave up. Once they tried to get the crowd to do a push up, Serpentico made his entrance. The crowd was chanting SAP as the match got started.
Nese tossed Serpentico with a quick slam and posed. Serpentico hit a quick headscissors and posed to the delight of the crowd. Nese got angry and hit a nasty back elbow. Nese distracted the ref and Divari got a cheap shot. Nese rolled through a sunset flip attempt, landed a kick to the face and got a two count. Nese hung Serpentico in the tree of woe and did some crunch kicks. When Serpentico fell out of the tree, Nese got a two count on him. Nese hung Serpentico on the top rope and went for an outside in moonsault, but serpentico rolled out of the way. Serpentico hit a flying head scissors and a flatliner. Nese hit a german suplex and Serpentico hit the bottom rope. Nese hit a running knee in the corner and got a three count.
Tony Nese defeated Serpentico by pinfall .
Robinson’s Ruminations: This was almost a squash, which is a shame, because Serpentico seems to have the hard to please crowd in Orlando eating out of the palm of his hand. The personal trainer bit at the beginning was some fun heat. I was shocked how much the crowd went along with it at the start.
Backstage, the Workhorsemen cut a promo about FTR and said Briscoe is going to get the payback for FTR. They ended with a catchphrase of “Punch in, Knock out” that I really like…
6. Miranda Alize vs. Notorious Mimi. No entrance for Mimi. Alize was aggressive all over Mimi with dropkicks and strikes right from the start. Alize got a two count and then a one count off a corner dropkick. Alize hit a basement hurracanrana driver for a two count. Mimi made a comeback with a big boot and a fireman’s carry slam for a one count. Alize hit a cutter and then her Drive By shining wizard for the three count.
Miranda Alize defeated Notorious Mimi by pinfall.
Robinson’s Ruminations: Super quick squash for Alize. Quite a few aggressive mean heels sitting underneath Athena in this division now.
7. Dalton Castle and “The Boys” Brandon and Brent Tate vs. Stu Grayson and “The Righteous” Vincent and Dutch. The Righteous and Grayson still made their entrances from opposite sides of the stage, but they still walked out together to The Righteous music. Brent hit some early arm drags on Vincent that had the crowd rocking. Grayson tagged in and so did Brandon who got some good strikes in before Grayson hit a huge belly to belly to shut him down. Brandon hit a head scissors that sent Grayson out of the ring. Grayson threw Dalton’s head into the post.
Dutch collapsed Brandon with an avalanche. Grayson and Vincent hit some tag team offense and Vincent got a two count on Brandon. Dutch tagged in and worked over Brandon. Grayson tagged in and Brandon got a two count roll up on him. Brent tagged in and immediately got blasted by a clothesline. Brent got worked over in The Righteous’ corner. Dalton got the hot tag and blasted all three men with elbows and suplexes. Dalton went for a suicide dive and Dutch stuffed it and threw him into the stairs. Brandon was tagged in and The Righteous and Grayson hit a flipping Razor’s Edge and Grayson got the three count
The Righteous and Stu Grayson defeated Dalton Castle and The Boys by pinfall.
Robinson’s Ruminations: I like this new pairing, they work together very well in the ring. Grayson just needs to get in on the aesthetic with the white gear.
Dark Order in the back says that Stu left them and that they can get violent too. Uno asked if The Righteous is his family, and said we’ll have to wait and see…
Athena took over Kiera Hogan’s promo time backstage, posing as Hogan. Hogan quickly came into the picture and blasted Athena and told her to keep her name out of her mouth…
8. Athena vs. Trish Adora in a ROH Women’s World Championship Proving Ground match. Athena did some stalling as she yelled at the crowd who was chanting for Trish. The women both went for shoulder tackles and bounced off each other. They locked up in a test of strength but Trish quickly went in for some arm work. Athena got slammed arm first into the corner and bailed to the outside. She lured Trish out and caught her when she chased her back in. Athena kicked Trish into the ring steps.
Back in the ring, Athena worked over Trish’s leg. Athena locked Trish in a bow and arrow Indian deathlock combo which Trish had to get to the ropes to break out of. Five minutes has elapsed. Trish hit a german suplex on her knees and then a tilt a whirl backbreaker. Trish hit a big powerslam for a two count. Athena came back and hit O-Face for the pinfall.
ROH Women’s Champion Athena defeated Trish Adora by pinfall in a Proving Ground match.
Athena blessed Trish with a forearm when Trish came in for the handshake. Kiera Hogan came out to make the save. The women brawled until Athena hit Hogan with the trashcan lid that Hogan brought out. Security tried to separate them, but Athena blasted them. Hogan quickly blasted Athena with the trash can lid. Hogan got out a table and blasted some security of her own. Hogan set up a table in the corner and immediately got speared through it by Athena. Both ladies stopped moving afterwards. Hogan got help to the back by security. Athena smiled in the ring as she clutched her shoulder…
Robinson’s Ruminations: This was the best outing I’ve seen from Trish Adora so far. The continuing Hogan/Athena feud is fine. It’s not hurting Athena, but I’m not sure how much Hogan is getting out of it. She’s fired up and showing all the good charisma but I still haven’t seen it in the ring.
9. Anthony Henry (w/ JD Drake) vs. Mark Briscoe. Early on Briscoe dumped Henry to ringside and hit the Spicy dropkick to the outside. Briscoe chased Henry all over the outside with chops. Briscoe hit a rolling DVD and went for Froggy-bow but Henry rolled out of the way. Henry took over with a DDT on the apron and a satellite DDT and then a Ring of Saturn hold. Briscoe was too close to the ropes and got out with a rope break.
Henry hit a German suplex and then a kick to the head and got a two count. Briscoe made a comeback with some redneck kung fu and a dropkick off the top. Briscoe hit a fisherman’s buster and got a two count. Henry blocked a Jay Driller attempt and hit a dragon sleeper suplex and then a dragon sleeper, but Briscoe made it to the ropes. The men traded chops and forearms in the middle before Briscoe hit a big lariat and Jay Driller for the pinfall.
Mark Briscoe defeated Anthony Henry by pinfall.
Briscoe looked into the camera and told Samoa Joe that he’s next…
Robinson’s Ruminations: Fun match. I love both these guys and they delivered a fun TV match.
Backstage, Tony Khan introduced the championship committee. Khan put over how good it’s been to work with Stokely Hathaway. Khan announced the six-man tag team championship match in a clear overdub. They booked Athena vs. Kiera Hogan next week in a Chicago Street Fight.
10. The DKC vs. Daniel Garcia in a Pure Rules match. Excalibur and Matt Menard were on commentary for this match, so this one was taped in a different place than all the other matches on this program. Why they couldn’t over dub the normal commentators like normal is beyond me.
Jerry Lynn, Christopher Daniels and Dean Malenko were the judges for this match. Garica worked over DKC early until DKC came back with a head scissors. DKC went to the top and Garica pushed him to the outside and then posed on the opposite side of the ring and let DKC back in where he ambushed him with stomps. Garica got a two count off a vertical suplex. Garica locked in an STF but DKC used his first rope break to get out.
Garica did some taunting but DKC came back with a running standing cannonball. DKC hit a one legged drop kick off the middle turnbuckle. DKC hit some karate chops for a two count. DKC locked in an arm and neck submission and Garcia had to use his first rope break. Garcia locked in a Walls of Jericho and DKC rolled him back over and got a two count. Garica hit a code breaker, got a two count and picked DKC up. Garia locked in the Dragon Tamer and DKC tapped out.
Daniel Garcia defeated The DKC by submission.
After the match Garcia mocked Shibata’s cross legged pose.
Robinson’s Ruminations: A win for Garcia, but it wasn’t the greatest match. This is just setting up the match between Shibata and Garcia for later.
The Embassy in the back said that they are bored by the losers they keep getting fed.
11. Skye Blue vs. Viva Van. No entrance for Viva Van. Blue hit an early head scissors for an advantage. Viva came back with a spinning heel kick for a two count. Van locked in a bow and arrow but Blue flipped out and got a one count. Blue hit a flying head scissors, knee strike and a drop kick for a two count. Viva hit a wheelbarrow suplex for a two count. Viva hit a sitting meteora and got a two count. Blue hit a hurracanrana but Viva rolled through and got a two count. Blue quickly hit Skyfall and got the three count.
Skye Blue defeated Viva Van by pinfall.
Robinson’s Ruminations: Another come from behind win for Blue. This wasn’t as much of an underdog win as we’ve seen, so Blue is getting more confident. She’s still a step slow in places though.
12. “The Embassy” Brian Cage, Toa Liona and Kaun vs. AR Fox, Darius Martin, and Action Andretti for the ROH Six-Man Tag Team Titles. Cage bowled over Fox with a huge shoulder tackle. Fox tried to get a quick cover, but Cage rolled through and stood up and slammed him. Daris tagged in and pushed Cage to his corner and Kaun tagged in and ran over Darius. Darius got trapped in the wrong corner and got worked over. Andretti got tagged in. He got dumped to the outside where Kaun rammed him all over the outside area. Back in the ring Liona hit a running senton for a two count. Cage tagged in and worked over Andretti.
Andretti hit a springboard Destroyer and got the hot tag to AR Fox. Fox used his speed to take on all three Embassy members, even hitting a rope walking arm drag on Kaun and Cage. Darius, Andretti and Fox all hit dives on The Embassy. Fox hit a swanton on Cage for a two count. Fox hit a cutter on Cage who was held by the other two which Linoa broke up. Linoa fought off everyone and hit a crossbody on Andretti and Fox.
Kaun hit a lungblower on Darius. Andretti hit a spanish fly on Kaun on the outside. Fox hit a 450 on Kaun, Andretti hit a springboard 450 on Kaun, Cage broke it up at two. Andretti hit a torture rack neckbreaker on Cage. Liona hit a samoan drop. Darius kicked Linoa out of the ring. Cage hit a Gory Special flatliner on Andretti for the three count.
“The Embassy” Brian Cage, Toa Liona, and Bishop Kaun defeated AR Fox, Darius Martin and Action Andretti to retain the ROH Six-Man Tag Team Titles.
Robinson’s Ruminations: This was a fun match, and the closest to defeat The Embassy has looked since I’ve been covering this. When it broke down at the end it was a ton of fun. The six man division has its place as the train wreck match division, but it’s not much more than that. I am still battling an illness, so my ROH on HonorClub audio reviews will resume next week for Dot Net Members (including our Patreon patrons).