By Sam Robinson, ProWrestling.net Contributor (@altaine)
Ring of Honor on HonorClub (Episode 19)
Taped in June 29, 2023 in Hamilton, Ontario at FirstOntario Centre
Streamed July 6, 2023 on HonorClub
Ian Riccaboni and Caprice Coleman were on commentary, and Bobby Cruise was the ring announcer…
*Unless otherwise noted, all matches started and ended with the Code of Honor handshake.
1. Gringo Loco vs. Komander (w/Alex Aberhantes). Slow opening with some lucha arm drags, but Komander turned it up quickly with some lucha rope wrist drags. Loco hit a wheelbarrow back throw into the turnbuckle that got him a two count. Loco got another two count after a high risk move. Komander did a cartwheel arm drag off the top turnbuckle. Loco came back with a fireman’s carry catch and slam for a two count. Komander came back with a tilt a whirl head-scissors and a wheelbarrow arm drag that put Loco on the outside.
Komander followed him out with a twisting splash over the top. Back in the ring Komander went up top but Loco cut him off and followed him up, after some jockeying Loco hit his top rope Spanish Fly. Loco tried a pop up, but Komander came down with a cutter. They went outside and Loco powerbombed Komander onto the barricade. Loco hit a jump up no look cutter off the top rope and got a two count. Loco took Komander to the top but Komander cut him off and left him straddling the ropes where Komander did a springboard hurricanrana. Loco fled to the outside, Komander followed him out with a lay out press from the top. Then Komander hit a jumping phoenix splash to get the three count.
Komander defeated Gringo Loco by pinfall.
Robinson’s Ruminations: I love watching these lucha matches, but I’m starting to hate covering them. These dudes are breaking out moves that I’m taking a sentence and a half to cover. A little slow for a lucha match, but it was the opener and there were only two of the luchadors, so it’s excused.
Backstage, Lee Moriarty and Big Bill say that The Firm is over and it’s been working out ok for them as they’ve been racking up wins. Big Bill said that The Boys need to be boys with God, since they’re gonna need him after they squash them like the bugs they are…
2. Daniel Garcia vs. Christopher Daniels. Daniels’ eye has healed. No code of honor handshake from Garcia. Garcia walked over top of Daniels on the drop down spot and then did his silly dance. Daniels returned the favor with the Curry Man dance. Daniels got a one count nearfall off of a pair of scoop slams. The announcers talked about Curry Man and Daniels being good friends that you never see together.
Garica rolled Daniels through on a clothesline attempt and locked in an STF, but Daniels got the rope. Garia stomped the knee as he let go of the hold. Daniels hit a low flying blue thunder bomb to get back into the match. Daniels put Garica on the top turnbuckle and hit Iconoclasm for a two count. The men traded forearms in the middle until Garcia got the better of it by biting Daniels on the head. Daniels quickly came back with an STO. Daniels hit Angel’s Wings but Garica rolled out of the ring. As Daniels put Garica back in the ring, Garcia cut him off and hit a lifting DDT for the three count.
Daniel Garcia defeated Christopher Daniels by pinfall.
As referee Aubrey Edwards raised Garcia’s hand, Garcia twirled her and did his dance at her. Edwards looked disgusted as she walked off…
Robinson’s Ruminations: A fine match that gave Garcia another win.
Willie Mack in the back said he’s going to win the 6 man scramble match and he’s going to use his winnings to buy some exotic pets and go to Jamaica…
3. “Gates of Agony” Toa Liona and Kaun (w/ Prince Nana) vs. Action Andretti and Darius Martin. Andretti quickly took Kaun off his feet with a head-scissors and got a one count off a springboard twisting splash. Toa got tagged in and “Top Flight” cleared the big men from the ring. Andretti did a dive and overshot Toa but Toa caught him and saved him from running into the barricade head first. Back in the ring Kaun got a two count on Andretti off some tandem offense.
Kaun and Nana did some heel corner work as Toa distracted the ref. Toa and Martin got tagged in and Martin got the best of it and hit an outside in facebuster. Toa quickly came back with a pop up Samoan drop. Kaun got a two count on Marin after a double splash. Andretti got caught by Toa on a dive and Martin dove out and finished it. Andretti tried a springboard 450 but Kaun got the knees up and rolled him up for a two count. Andretti hit a standing Spanish Fly on Kaun but Nana got up on the apron and distracted the ref. Andretti fired up and tried to take them both on but got hit with Open the Gates for the pinfall.
Gates of Agony defeated Action Andretti and Darius Martin by pinfall in 7:00.
Robinson’s Ruminations: An action packed seven minutes that delivered some fun. Sad to see the Andretti and Martin winning streak come to an end.
4. Zak Patterson, Macrae Martin, and Rip Impact vs. Stu Grayson and “The Righteous” Vincent and Dutch.
Righteous didn’t even take off their ring coats. The code of honor handshake went poorly for the jobbers. Grayson hit a Uranage on one of them and then all three men held hands with the fallen opponent and then pulled him up onto Dutch and slammed him down for the pinfall.
Stu Grayson and The Righteous defeated Zak Patterson, Macrae Martin, and Rip Impact by pinfall in under a minute.
Robinson’s Ruminations: Squash central.
5. Lee Moriarty and Big Bill vs. “The Boys” Brandon Tate and Brent Tate. Moriarty quickly got a one count off a waistlock slam and roll. Moriarty got cut off by some tandem offense and gave up a two count to a double basement dropkick. Moriarty cut off Brent by stepping on his foot and kicking out his knee. Big Bill got tagged in, and Brent wanted none of it so he tagged in Brandon. They stood on each other’s shoulders to match Bill’s size. Bill booted them down.
Brandon tried a tornado DDT and but Bill turned it into a beal toss. Brent took another big boot. Moriarty came back in and got a one count on Brandon. Brent got tagged in and dropkicked Moriarity and Bill off the apron. The Boys dove on Moriarty twice and then tried Bill to no avail, Brandon got caught and given a chokeslam on the apron. Moriarty slid back in the ring and hit a leg lariat and got a three count.
Lee Moriarty and Big Bill defeated The Boys by pinfall in 5:00.
Robinson’s Ruminations: The Boys got a little offense, but there was no doubt about the outcome.
6. ROH Women’s World Champion Athena vs. Seleziya Sparx in a Proving Ground Match. Athena wore a shirt that said “Your mom is tonight’s jobber”. Sparx caught Athena off a dive from the middle rope and slammed her. Sparx hit a clothesline for a one count. Athena came back with a huge exploder suplex. Athena put Sparx away with a big running right hand for the pinfall.
Athena defeated Seleziya Sparx by pinfall in 2:00.
Athena continued the beatdown after the match and made Sparx kiss the title belt…
Robinson’s Ruminations: Another squash match for Athena.
Entrances for the Tony Nese vs. JD Drake match took place. Mark Sterling cut off the music and gave the mic to Nese, who told Drake he was one big meal away from being as fat as the crowd. Nese then said it was time for personal training. Drake took the mic and said he wasn’t going to waste his calories on Canadian food. Then he said he would whoop Nese’s ass. Mark Briscoe made his entrance. Briscoe said that no one cared what either were saying and that it was now a three-way.
7. JD Drake vs. Tony Nese (w/Mark Sterling) vs. Mark Briscoe in a three-way. The heels tried to work together and take out Briscoe but Briscoe fought them both off. The heels were outside and Briscoe used a chair that Nese had brought in to do a flip dive on the heels outside. Back in the ring Briscoe tried Froggy-bow but got cut off by Drake with a clothesline. The heels put Briscoe in the tree of woe and Nese did crunch kicks on Briscoe. Nese got Drake to do some jumping jacks as they punched Briscoe. Drake hit a black hole slam and got two but Nese broke it up.
Briscoe came back on both of them and hit a big kick to send Nese to the outside. Briscoe hit a turning Uranage and went up top. Nese rolled in the ring and cut Briscoe off. Drake tossed Nese off the turnbuckle and went up after Briscoe. Nese hit a sunset flip bomb on Drake and Nese and Briscoe fought over the pinfall. Eventually Briscoe hit Jay Driller on Nese for the three count.
Mark Briscoe defeated Tony Nese and JD Drake by pinfall in 6:00.
Robinson’s Ruminations: Another match that flew by. Fun action.
A video recapped Eddie Kingston winning the NJPW Strong Openweight Championship…
Backstage, Eddie told Mark Briscoe that he and all the fans need Briscoe to dethrone Claudio…
Backstage Renee Young told Briscoe that she heard from Tony Khan that if Briscoe wanted the title opportunity then he could have it. Briscoe said of course he wants it. Claudio slid in and told Briscoe that he shouldn’t do this. Claudio said he would show Briscoe his limits just like he did Eddie. Claudio said that Mark is following and not leading and that he hasn’t “manned up” yet. Claudio said he will beat him and show him his limits. Claudio offered a handshake that Briscoe accepted…
8. Vanessa Kraven vs. Diamante. Kraven is huge, she’s 6 feet tall! Diamante cut Kraven off with some kicks to the knee. Kraven hit a huge fall away slam that tossed Diamante outside. Outside Kraven was chopping Diamante but chopped the post, then she tried to run her into the post but Diamante slipped out and ran Kraven into it instead. Back in the ring Diamante hit her corner dropkick and got a two count. Diamante tried a sunset flip, Kraven pulled her up and Diamante hit a wheelbarrow stunner then she hit a code red for the pinfall.
Diamante defeated Vanessa Kraven by pinfall in 2:00.
Robinson’s Ruminations: A nice win against a big opponent for Diamante who just keeps winning.
9. Shane Taylor vs. Josh Woods (w/Mark Sterling) vs. Brian Cage (w/Prince Nana) vs. Willie Mack vs. Dalton Castle (w/The Boys) vs. Trent Seven in a Six-Way Mayhem Match for $25,000. It broke down super fast, as most of the participants fought down to ringside. Woods and Seven traded chops in the ring before Seven hit a DDT. Dalton Castle got thrown out of the ring a few times. Willie Mack hit a standing moonsault on Seven.
Castle got thrown out again. Cage hit a springboard tornado DDT on Taylor. Dalton got thrown out again. Woods hit a T-bone suplex on Cage. Castle traded hip toss attempts with Woods until he tossed him out of the ring. Everyon hit big strikes on each other, until Taylor hit a rope hung stunner on Castle. More big moves all over the place, this time it was suplexes.
Cage hit his inside out suplex on Seven who landed on everyone else, including some Boys. Mack hit a flip dive on Cage. Mack hit a frog splash on Cage and Nana put Cage’s leg on the rope. Seven hit a sidewinder on Mack and got a two count. Mack hit stunners on everyone but Cage rolled him up and got the three count.
Brian Cage won the 6-Way Mayhem Match by pinfall in 7:00.
Robinson’s Ruminations: Mayhem was the right word for this match. It was all over the place and didn’t slow down ever. Fun match.
10. Trish Adora and “The Infantry” Capt. Sean Dean and Carlie Bravo vs. Leyla Hirsch and “The Kingdom” Matt Taven and Mike Bennett (w/Maria). Maria had the mic and she said she’s the first lady of pro wrestling. She said this is her first match in five years, but she’s not medically cleared. She said that Leyla Hirsch would replace her.
Bennett and Dean traded chops to start off. Dean hit a pair of dropkicks and a big right hand that put Bennett down. Infantry hit a split leg and Bennett tagged Hirsch who got tagged out by Taven immediately. Infantry hit some tag offense on Taven. Hirsch and Adora finally got in the match. Adora hit some wrist throws and a roll up for a two count. Hirsch hit a German suplex to cut off Adora, who then hit Lariat Tubman but couldn’t make the cover.
Bravo went house of fire on The Kingdom. Bravo tossed Bennett into Taven’s crotch and hit a neckbreaker on Bennett for a two count. Infantry hit a tag team move and Taven had to break it up. Hirsch and Adora got tagged in. Adora clotheslined Bennett over the ropes. Dean flip dove onto Bennett. Taven dove onto everyone outside too. Maria and Bennett distracted the ref and Hirsch locked in a cross arm breaker for the win.
The Kingdom and Leyla Hirsch defeated The Infantry and Trish Adora by submission in 8:30.
Leyla Hirsch stated backstage that she got the job done tonight. Hirsch said she’s a shooter and good luck to anyone that tries to fly through her…
Robinson’s Ruminations: I don’t think The Infantry are capable of a bad match at this point, certainly not with The Kingdom. I was very happy to see The Infantry get a main event, even if it was just an ROH main event.
Overall, this was a fun, fairly quick show. Only ten matches and there weren’t too many squashes, and even those were were fun too. I’m glad to see we have a challenger for Claudio for the PPV. Now if we can just get one for Athena quickly to build some heat. Maybe Hirsch can be that challenger for Athena later down the line, but it’s too early now, plus I think she’s going to be a heel. As for Briscoe’s chances, I’m glad to see him not facing Samoa Joe for the ROH TV Title, because I think he’ll make a fine ROH World Champ. Mark is certainly the best babyface going in ROH at the moment.