By Sam Robinson, ProWrestling.net Contributor (@altaine)
Ring of Honor on HonorClub (Episode 21)
Taped in July 15, 2023 in Calgary, Alberta at the Calgary Stampede Saddledome
Streamed July 20, 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.
To start we had a video package about the Daniel Garcia and Katsuyori Shibata match for the ROH Pure Championship. It included comments from the press conference from both of the competitors, as well as Riccaboni and Coleman…
Robinson’s Ruminations: A very well produced video package. Give me more of these!
1. Daniel Garcia vs. Jason Geiger in a Pure Rules match. No televised entrance for Geiger. Matt Taven, Christopher Daniels, and Jerry Lynn are the judges for this match. Garcia got an early advantage with some arm drags and did his silly dance that popped the crowd. Geiger took Garcia down with a hip toss and taunted the silly dance. Geiger caught Garcia in a sleeper and transitioned into an arm bar and Garcia had to use his first rope break. Garcia cut Geiger off with a gnarly looking hot shot. Garcia repeatedly stomped all over Geiger in the corner.
Gracia did a front face lock swing and then dropped down into a choke with a body lock. Geiger stood up and hit a vertical suplex. The men exchanged forearms and Geiger got the better of it with some clotheslines and a double underhook suplex for a two count. Garcia cut him off with a huge knee lift. Garcia locked in the Boston Crab but Geiger fought out and locked in a triangle choke. Garica pulled him up and hit a powerbomb. Garcia locked in the Dragon Tamer and got the submission.
Daniel Garcia defeated Jason Geiger by submission.
Shibata came out with his title belt and stood face to face with Garcia before we cut to a video showing the next match…
Robinson’s Ruminations: Nice match, good Pure Rules win for Garcia heading into his ROH Pure Championship match at ROH Death Before Dishonor.
2. Trish Adora vs. Utami Hayashishita. The Infantry came out for the entrance with Trish before they headed to the back. No entrance for Utami. Trish got an early advantage with a headlock takeover. Trish worked a high wrist lock and did some pushups. Trish rolled through with the arm and got a one count. Trish worked some arm wringers and rolled a cradle for a two count. Trish locked in some stretch muffler variant that needs a name. Utami fought back with a big double leg takedown.
Utami hit a running basement uppercut for a two count. Utami worked hard and hit a scoop slam for a two count. Trish fought back to her feet with strikes but Utami got the better of it. Trish got another shot on the arm but then got hit by a pair of German suplexes, the last one with a bridge that got Utami a two count. Utami tried for an air raid crash but Trish snagged a nasty wrist lock and put Utami down and made her fight to the ropes to break it. Trish hit a running crossbody and a pump kick and a senton that got a close two count. Trish hit a kneeling german suplex that got another close two count. Utami came back and hit a powerbomb variant for a two count. Utami hit a spinning razor’s edge for the three count.
Utami Hayashishita defeated Trish Adora by pinfall.
Robinson’s Ruminations: This one went a while and had good stuff down the stretch. It was a little slow early and it looked like Trish was a step slow, but not in a bad way. It came off as if she was trying to remember all the moves. I wonder if it was a deliberate directive from the Dojo to slow down a bit.
3. Shane Taylor vs. Dalton Castle (w/The Boys) for a shot at the ROH TV Title at Death Before Dishonor. On the way to the ring, Castle was ranting about being awake for 46 hours. Castle took an early powder to the outside before the men even touched. Castle reached into his trunks and pulled out nothing and tricked Taylor and tried for a suplex but got backed into the corner. Castle hit a clothesline and a DDT to finally put Taylor down for the first time. Taylor rolled out and pulled Castle out with him.
Taylor hit a tower of London stunner off the ring apron. Castle fought to get back in the ring, but Taylor hit a huge side slam to get a two count. Taylor hit a headbutt and a uranage from Castle prone on the ground and then a splash for a two count. Taylor locked in a sleeper but Castle rolled it through and got a two count. Castle dumped Taylor to the outside, but Taylor pulled Castle out with him. Castle hit a rotating head scissors and slid back in the ring. Taylor followed him in but got hit with strikes. Taylor fought him off with one punch but when he turned around Castle hit a huge suplex. Julie Newmar bulldog got a two count for Castle. Castle hit a german suplex and then hit Bangarang for the three count.
Dalton Castle defeated Shane Taylor by pinfall in 8:30 to earn a shot at the ROH TV Title at Death Before Dishonor.
Robinson’s Ruminations: That was a quality match. I really like both men. Castle’s crazy big suplexes are amazing, especially against someone as big as Taylor. To his credit, Taylor is amazing at deliver big strikes that look like they could kill a lesser man.
4. Josh Woods (w/Tony Nese, Ari Divari, Mark Sterling) vs. James Stone in a Pure Rules match. Early in the match we got a cut away to the judges, one of which appeared to be Dalton Castle. The men traded hammerlocks early until Woods cut it off with a back elbow. Woods forced Stone to use rope break number one. Woods locked in the Gorilla lock and Stone quickly found the ropes to use rope break number two. Woods hit a huge right hand and then an ugly Anarchist suplex for the three count.
Josh Woods defeated James Stone by pinfall in 3:00.
Robinson’s Ruminations: I really hope Stone is ok, cause that suplex at the end was nasty looking, Stone got dropped on his head badly.
Backstage, Tony Khan gave Willow Nightingale a title shot against Athena for the ROH Women’s Championship at Death Before Dishonor. Willow cut a pretty good baby face heartfelt promo…
They cut to Athena arguing with Jerry Lynn and Stokely Hathaway about how she won’t do the match with Willow. Tony Khan slid into the picture and said that yeah, it is happening…
5. ROH Women’s Champion Athena vs. Nkita in a Proving Ground Match. Athena came to the ring in street clothes looking totally distraught and annoyed. Athena sat in the corner pouting and Nkita got in her face. Athena got pissed and hit her with a running forearm that put Nikita out for the three count.
ROH Women’s Champion Athena defeated Nikita by pinfall in 1:00 in a Proving Ground match.
Athena continued the beatdown after the bell and chased off the ref. This went on for a while. Eventually, Willow came down to the ring wearing the pink Owen belt on her waist. They stood face to face holding their belts in the air. Athena retreated clutching her belt…
Robinson’s Ruminations: This was some decent storyline development for Athena. She’s upset she lost to Willow and now has to wrestle her again while knowing that Willow has her number.
6. “The Boys” Brent Tate and Brandon Tate vs. “The Righteous” Vincent and Dutch (w/Stu Grayson). Still no white gear for Grayson. Ugh. Right after the handshake, Dutch turned both Boys inside out with a clothesline. Vincent started the match though and isolated The Boy in their corner. A reverse suplex from Dutch and a basement flatliner from Vincent got them a two count. Brandon made a hot tag to Brent, who got a little bit of offense with some kicks that didn’t take Dutch off his feet. Dutch hit an ushigoroshi and then The Righteous hit Autumn Sunshine for the pinfall.
“The Righteous” Vincent and Dutch defeated The Boys by pinfall in 2:00.
After the match, Evil Uno came out with a chair. Grayson hit Knightfall on Brent to taunt Uno…
Robinson’s Ruminations: This set up the six man tag for Death Before Dishonor. Grayson better have white gear.
7. Leyla Hirsch vs. Nichole Matthews. No televised entrance for Matthews. There was some early chain wrestling led to a slap to Matthews face to embarrass her. More nice chain wrestling led to Matthews hitting some arm drags and a dropkick. Hirsch cut her off by throwing Matthews into the turnbuckle face first. Hirsch took Matthews down with a double leg and repeatedly hit her with forearms to the back of the head. Matthews fought back with a neckbreaker but got cut off with a backslide and a huge knee strike for the pinfall.
Leyla Hirsch defeated Nichole Matthews by pinfall in 4:00.
Robinson’s Ruminations: Nice comeback match for Matthews, but this was about building up Hirsch. We’ve got a few heels on the undercard picking up wins and that makes me think Willow is going to win at the pay-per-view.
There was a rundown of the PPV lineup and then a video package about the ROH Tag Team Title match. This was another good one where the announcers spoke about what they think is going on. I really want more of these video packages. These were very well done, and it was nice to see Riccaboni and Coleman in these.
A video recapped how the Claudio vs. Pac match came to be…
Robinson’s Ruminations: It was a very quick turnaround for such a good video package. It almost made me care about this match…
8. “The Kingdom” Matt Taven and Mike Bennett (w/Maria) vs. “The Bollywood Boys” Gurv and Harv vs. Action Andretti and Darius Martin vs. “The Workhorsemen” Anthony Henry and JD Drake in a four-way tag match. Bennett and Drake quickly cleared all the babyfaces from the apron before they exchanged chops. Bennett hit a basement dropkick and tagged in Taven. Martin got tagged in and he and Andretti went on a spree on the Workhorsemen.
The Workhorsemen came back with a powerbomb combo. Bennett tagged Drake out and The Kingdom went to work on Martin, getting a two count off a middle rope dropkick. Taven hit a huge knee lift for a two count on Martin. Martin hit a DDT combo on The Kingdom. Martin got a two count on a rollup on Henry. The Workhorsemen isolated Martin and Taven had to break up a cover of Henry on Martin. Things broke down between The Workhorsemen and The Kingdom on the outside and Andretti flip dove onto them.
The Bollywood Boys got the hot tag and got a two count on Bennett off a spin kick. A Hart Attack style clothesline got the Bollywood Boyz another two count. They cleared the ring and did their dance. A decapitation elbow drop got them another two count on Bennett. The Kingdom hit the Proton Pack and got the pinfall as everyone else slid in the ring to try and break it up, just a little too late.
“The Kingdom” Matt Taven and Mike Bennett beat “The Bollywood Boys” Gurv and Harv, Action Andretti and Darius Martin, and “The Workhorsemen” Anthony Henry and JD Drake in a four-way tag match by pinfall in 7:00.
Robinson’s Ruminations: That was a fun scramble of a match. Everyone got a chance to shine. I’m not sure if the trope of winning right before the pay-per-view means your lose at the pay-per-view under Tony Khan’s booking like it used to in WWE. If not, this was a nice momentum building win for The Kingdom.
This was a pretty good go-home show considering we knew literally zero matches as of last week. They did everything they could to try and get us to care about the pay-per-view matches, including doing some really nice video packages. Oh, and it was only 80 minutes of show rather than 120-plus, so that’s a bonus. Be sure to check out my weekly audio review for Dot Net Members (including our Patreon patrons) for a full breakdown of the Death Before Dishonor card and my predictions.
Join Jason Powell tonight for his live review of ROH Death Before Dishonor.