By Sam Robinson, ProWrestling.net Contributor (@altaine)
Ring of Honor on HonorClub (Episode 28)
Taped September 2 in Chicago, Illinois at NOW Arena
Streamed September 7, 2023 on HonorClub
Ian Riccaboni and Caprice Coleman were on commentary, and Justin Roberts was the ring announcer…
*Unless otherwise noted, all matches started and ended with the Code of Honor handshake.
A backstage clip from after All Out was shown with Lexi, Athena, and Billie Starks. Athena blamed her loss on Billie and called her an idiot. Someone came into frame and told Athena to pick on someone her own “size”. This lady asked for a title match, and Athena reluctantly gave her one after Billie asked if she was scared. We got an entrance from the unnamed lady from a moment ago who is apparently Allison Kay.
We got another backstage interview with Allison Kay from earlier today and she said that she’s not here to play…
1. Athena (w/Billie Starkz) vs. Allysin Kay for the ROH Women’s World Championship. The announcers told us that these ladies have a record against each other of 2-2 as the match got started. Athena showboated as she got the best of Kay at the start, but Kay came back with some power moves and a big boot that got her a one count nearfall. Athena rolled out of the ring. Athena hid behind Billie and used her as a distraction to throw Kay into the barricade as Billie looked on in horror. Athena told Billie to lay in a beat down on Kay while she distracted the ref, but Billie just couldn’t do it.
Back in the ring, Kay made a comeback as the announcers touted Kay’s legacy. Athena got the better of Kay and got the crowd to count along with her forearms to the back. Kay got a series of quick roll ups for one counts. Athena came right back with a bad looking spinebuster and got a two count. Athena tried to mock Kay’s “Pinkies up” and Kay came back with a series of clotheslines and a neckbreaker.
Kay hit a Sky High for a two count. Kay hit a facebuster style move and then locked in an ankle lock. Athena tried to get Billie to give her the rope, but Billie didn’t. Eventually Athena worked her way out and popped up with a big forearm. Athena went to the top turnbuckle, but Kay cut her off. Athena dumped Kay down and hit a sloppy O-Face for the pinfall.
Athena defeated Allysin Kay by pinfall to retain the ROH Women’s World Championship.
Billie cheered on Athena from the apron. Athena called her into the ring and tried to make Billie do the “Kiss the belt” routine, but Billie wouldn’t. Athena did it instead and told Billie to stay and think about what she’s done as she left Bille at the ring.
Robynson’s Ruminations: A fun match that was a bit sloppy in places. I think that Athena just couldn’t muscle up the bigger Kay as much as she wanted to be able to.
We got a recap video of the MJF Samoa Joe segment from last night on Dynamite…
On the way to the ring Mark Sterling and Tony Nese did their taunt the fans about their nasty food bit. Nese did his group training bit and a good bit of the crowd played along half heartedly. Silas Young’s music finally cut Nese off…
2. Tony Nese (w/Mark Sterling) vs. Silas Young. Nese tried to use the code of honor handshake to his advantage, but Young saw it coming. Young even hit a springboard clothesline to knock Nese to the floor. Nese begged off until Sterling made the distraction and Nese could take advantage. Back in the ring, Nese worked over the arm of Young. Sterling even got in an arm pull from the floor.
Nese hit a middle rope dropkick on the shoulder and got a two count for it. Young powered out of an arm bar and hit a big clothesline to put Nese down. Young hit an inside out stomp and a Senton splash for a two count, but Nese rolled it through for a two count of his own. Young hit another roll up for a two count but the kick out pushed him into the ring post with his shoulder. Nese hit a couple of quick knees in the corner and rolled Young up for the three count.
Tony Nese defeated Silas Young by pinfall.
Robynson’s Ruminations: Nese picked up a victory, and I’m pretty sure that is his first since the reboot.
Backstage, Lexi told Dalton Castle that he looks flustered. Castle said that he is just that, and he started making a food analogy about his trouble capturing the ROH TV title. Lexi touted Castle’s new shirt. Castle walked away confused still…
3. “SAP” Serpentico and Angelico (w/Luther) vs. Adam Priest and Schaff. No televised entrances for Priest and Schaff. Priest and Angelico traded arm holds beforeAngelico got the better of it and got an arm drag. Serpentico tagged in and hit a running elbow. Priest got the tag to Schaff who came in and worked over Serpentico in a corner and even hit a cannonball. Schaff hit a throwing vertical suplex and a senton splash for a two count. Serpentico used his speed to tag out to Angelico who came in with some flying clotheslines. Angelico hit a running big boot and then locked in his finisher hold and Serpentico cut off the break up. Schaff tapped out.
“SAP” Serpentico and Angelico defeated Adam Priest and Schaff by submission.
Robynson’s Ruminations: I guess SAP is a team that’s getting a push since they’re 3-0? Ok. Squash match.
Backstage, Lexi asked Kiera Hogan about her match later against her former tag partner. Hogan said she’ll take the fight to anyone…
4. Charlette Renegade and Robyn Renegade vs. Willow Nightingale and Sky Blue. Charlette hit a shoulder block but Blue kipped up and hit a dropkick and got a quick two count. Willow tagged in and the faces hit some tandem offense and Willow got a two count. Blue tried for some flipping move but Charlette shrugged her off and the Renegades hit a blind tag and took over. The Renegades got some good heat as they worked over the hometown girl in Blue.
Charlette hit a northern lights suplex with a bridge for a two count. Robyn pulled Blue up on a pinfall attempt. Blue then used her speed to make the hot tag. Willow came in and hit a bunch of clotheslines. Willow pounced one of the sisters and hit a spinebuster on the other for a two count. The Renegades hit some double forearms and got a two count for it. Willow hit a DVD and Blue hit code blue to get the pinfall.
Willow Nightingale and Sky Blue defeated Charlette Renegade and Robyn Renegade by pinfall.
Robynson’s Ruminations: A fine tag match to get the hometown girl a win.
5. ROH Six-Man Tag Champions “Mogul Embassy” Brian Cage, Bishop Kaun, and Toa Liona (w/ Prince Nana) vs. Griff Garrison, Metalik, and Gravity in a Proving Ground match. Garrison, Metalik and Gravity all came out to Gravity’s entrance. The announcers said Maria was looking for Garrison backstage as Kaun laid Garrison out with back elbows. Toa tagged in and hit a big belly to belly suplex. Cage tagged in and Embassy hit a pop up slam. Garrison hit a big boot and tagged in Gravity who got a roll up on Cage for a two count.
Gravity hit an enzuigiri that didn’t take Cage off his feet but he ate a clothesline and tagged out to Metalik. Metalik hit his slingblade bulldog and rope walking drop kick. Metalik hit a rope walking senton for a two count that got broken up. Garrison was in and hit a rolling forearm that put Khan down but he got laid out by Toa from out of nowhere. Metalik was caught alone and they tried Open the Gates, but Metalik flipped out. Embassy hit an sit out powerbomb big splash combo for the pinfall.
“Mogul Embassy” Brian Cage, Bishop Kaun, and Toa Liona defeated Griff Garrison, Metalik and Gravity by pinfall in a Proving Ground match.
Robynson’s Ruminations: That was a quick one for Mogul Embassy. Garrison looked like he could probably hang. He’s the right size and showed a good bit of fire for as little as he was in there.
7. Leyla Grey vs. Kiera Hogan. Grey grabbed onto the tights during the lock up and Hogan called her out for it. Hogan hit a dropkick to the knees and then a leg drop to the back for a two count. Grey dumped Hogan into the turnbuckle and took over. Grey hit a Beil throw and a dropkick in the corner. Grey worked Hogan over with some chops but Hogan came back with some of her own before being put down with a back elbow. Grey hit a DVD for a two count. Hogan fought back and hit some double ax handles and a drop kick to the knees. Hogan hit a hip attack in the corner and got a two count. Grey hit a desperation spear for a two count. Grey grabbed her fan but Hogan kicked her and the fan went flying right into the refs hands. Hogan hit her rolling fisherman’s suplex for the pinfall.
Kiera Hogan defeated Lelya Grey by pinfall.
Robynson’s Ruminations: That was a lot of work for Hogan to put away Grey. It was a big step down for Hogan, but both ladies looked just fine in the ring.
Lexi spoke backstage with Maria, who asked about Griff’s opportunity. Cole Karter brought Griff into frame. Maria said that her new group is the right people to put Griff onto some winning ways…
8. Willie Mack and “The Infantry” Carlie Bravo and Capt. Sean Dean (w/Trish Adora) vs. Davey Bang, August Matthews, and Jah-C. No entrance for the jobbers. Bravo started with a shoulder block on Jah-C. Infantry hit some tricky moves that ended in a neck breaker. Mack tagged in and so did another jobber. Mack hit an arm drag that put the jobber way in the air and got a two count. Bang and Dean tagged in. The faces hit some quick offense and Mack hit a sit out powerbomb for a two count. Mack went for a razor’s edge and the jobbers saved him. Triple superkick and The Infantry hit their Russian leg sweep big boot combo for the pinfall.
Willie Mack and “The Infantry” Carlie Bravo and Capt. Sean Dean defeated Davey Bang, August Matthews, and Jah-C.
Robynson’s Ruminations: A quick squash win where all the guys got to hit their signature offense. Please don’t tell me we’re just building up The Infantry and insert a partner here to feed them to the Embassy.
Backstage Lexi asked Lee Johnson about his Proving Ground match against Claudio. Johnson said he’s feeling good and he’s not here to take part, but to take over. Nice confidence…
9. Lady Frost vs. Leyla Hirsch. The ladies worked a lock up all over the ring before Hirsch got the better of it with a toss. Frost came back with a shoulder block. Frost tried to do some acrobatics and Hirsch kicked her and took over and worked on the arm. Maria and Karter were seen standing on the stage watching. Frost got a quick roll up for a two count. Hirsch hit a pendulum dropkick for a two count. Hirsch worked an arm submission that didn’t seem to pressure a tap out. Frost rolled through an arm wringer and fired up with clotheslines and a rewind kick. Frost hit a handspring kick in the corner for a two count. Frost missed a spinning kick and Hirsch caught her in an exploder suplex. Hirsch finally noticed Maria and then decided to lock in a cross arm breaker for the win.
Leyla Hirsch defeated Lady Frost by submission.
Maria and Karter came to the ring for a handshake, but Hirsch walked away and said she’s doing just fine without them…
Robynson’s Ruminations: A fine match that told a quick story. Maria rebuilding a new Kingdom is a slow burn, but it’s been interesting.
10. Eddie Kingston and Katsuyori Shibata vs. Gringo Loco and Blake Christian. Shibata worked a neck hold and then switched to a figure four super fast! Christian had to grab the ropes to get out. Eddie tagged in and chopped Christian a bunch. Shibata tagged in and wanted some chop action too. Christian’s chest was red. Eddie tagged in and hit a t-bone suplex for a one count. Christian hit an enzuigiri and tagged out to Loco. Eddie told Loco to chop him and he ate all of them.
Eddie ran into a leg lariat. Loco hit a senton splash for a two count. Christian tagged in and the heels hit stereo springboard moves to get a broken up pinfall. Christian tried a frog splash but Eddie got the knees up. Eddie tagged out to Shibata who dumped Loco to the floor with a big boot and then hit a big boot on christian and a half and half suplex on christian for a broken up two count. Things broke down a bit and Christian hit a fosbury flop on Eddie on the outside. Christian tried a back handspring move but got caught in Shibata’s sleeper and PK combo which got the pinfall.
Eddie Kingston and Katsuyori Shibata defeated Gringo Loco and Black Christian.
Robynson’s Ruminations: A nice win and a nice way to get some champions on the show. Fun action.
Backstage, Lexi asked what’s next for Josh Woods. Sterling said lots of wins. Then Sterling compared Woods to Michael Jordan and said that there was no good competition in Chicago for Woods. Sterling called for an open challenge for Woods…
11. ROH Champion Claudio Castagnoli (w/ Wheeler Yuta) vs. Lee Johnson in a Proving Ground match. Johnson stood up to Claudio’s early bullying with a slap to the face, but that just made Claudio mad and he hit him with tons of European uppercuts. Claudio hit a back suplex and a cocky cover got him a one count. Johnson got a roll up for a one count. Johnson tried a moonsault but Claudio caught him, Johnson rolled it through for a DDT and hit a superkick and got a two count. Claudio hit a big uppercut and got a two count. Johnson tried a backslide but got rolled through and Johnson got a two count cradle. Claudio hit some hammer and anvil elbows and the ref almost called it but Claudio grabbed his hand and said no. Claudio hit his pop up uppercut for the pinfall.
ROH Champion Claudio Castagnoli defeated Lee Johnson by pinfall in a Proving Ground match.
Robynson’s Ruminations: That was a quick affair but it was fun. Johnson looked pretty good in defeat here.
12. “The Iron Savages” Bronson and Boulder (w/Jacked Jameson) vs. Caleb Konley and Ren Johnson. Jameson’s prematch routine about who The Savages are got cut off by the bell. Bronson hit a scooping power slam. Boulder slammed both opponents. The Savages hit their electric chair splash move for the pinfall.
The Iron Savages defeated Caleb Konley and Ren Johnson.
Robynson’s Ruminations: A squash match win for the Savages. It seems like the tag division is a bit of a mess. A lot of the teams have either disappeared or put in the six-man division to be fed to The Embassy. So now we’re building up SAP and Iron Savages? Oy.
Backstage, Lexi asked Athena if Billie was doing a good job. Athena asked Lexi where her shirt was, Lexi pulled off her jacket to show her shirt. Athena said Billie has gotten more chances than her mother. Athena said that Billie needs more training…
13. Action Andretti, Darius Martin, and “Best Friends” Chuck Taylor and Trent Beretta vs. “The Outrunners” Turbo Floyd and Truth Magnum” and “The Workhorsemen” JD Drake and Anthony Henry. The heels didn’t get any entrances and this broke down immediately. The heels jumped the faces and worked them over on the outside. In the ring Drake hit a DDT on Beretta and got a two count. The Outrunners hit a tag team move for a broken up pinfall.
Drake hit a cannonball and Henry hit a double stomp on Beretta for a two count. The heels argued about who should make a tag. Beretta ran the Outrunners together and hit a hot tag to Martin who came in with chops. Martin hit a double DDT combo on the Outrunners. Drake came in and “Top Flight” hit some tandem offense on Drake. The Outrunners back in and they tried for a suplex but Chuck saved Martin. The Faces got the big group hug in. Best Friends hit Strong Zero for the pinfall.
Action Andretti, Darius Martin, and “Best Friends” Chuck Taylor and Trent Beretta defeated “The Outrunners” Turbo Floyd and Truth Magnum” and “The Workhorsemen” JD Drake and Anthony Henry by pinfall.
Robynson’s Ruminations: A high speed, fun eight-man tag to close the show. It was a fine match, but this didn’t need to close the show. Johnson and Claudio felt “special” enough to close the show and should have. It was nice to see all the champions, other than the tag champs, on this episode. I don’t need to see them in action every week, but at least give them a promo or something.
Tony Khan needs to go back and watch some old shows to apparently rediscover how to book a show that builds to a conclusion. If you’re going to do squashes and high speed train wreck matches, they need to go on before your stars. I will have more to say in my weekly audio review of ROH on HonorClub for Dot Net Members (including our Patreon patrons).