By Sam Robinson, ProWrestling.net Contributor (@altaine)
Ring of Honor on HonorClub (Episode 31)
Taped September 23, 2023 in Grand Rapids, Michigan at Van Andel Arena
Streamed September 28, 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. Josh Woods (w/Mark Sterling) vs. Brayden Erving. No televised entrance for Erving. Riccaboni started plugging the ROH WrestleDream matches as Woods worked over Erving in the corner. Erving missed a dropkick and Woods gave him a german suplex. Woods kneed Erving in the face and hit that ugly Anarchist Suplex in the corner that I hate watching for the pinfall.
Josh Woods defeated Brayden Erving by pinfall.
Robinson’s Ruminations: A squash win for Woods
Lexi backstage talking to the Mogul Embassy, asking why they are agitated. Prince Nana asked if she was joking. He said they were ready for anything and hyped up his men. Nana said they’re getting back on track tonight. Cage hyped their accolades and said things will change tonight. Toa Liona screamed and Lexi’s eyes went huge…
Tony Nese and Mark Sterling made their entrance and did their normal hometown heel mic work and tried to do some group training before Scorpio Sky’s entrance interrupted them…
2. Tony Nese vs. Scorpio Sky. Nese jumped Sky before the bell and the ref rang the bell to start the match. Nese argued with the ref and got hit by a huge back body drop and Sky took off his ring jacket. Nese tricked Sky to chase him out of and back into the ring, but Sky got a quick trip and roll-up for a two count. Sky chopped Nese a few times and Nese tried to run away. Sky grabbed Nese and tossed him back in the ring, but Sterling made the distraction and Nese used the ring apron to take control of the match again. Nese ran Sky into the ring steps.
As Nese tried to get the ref to count the count out, Sterling got a few cheap shots in. Back in the ring, Nese hung Sky in the tree of woe and did his crunch kicks in the corner. Sky fired back with knife edge chops and Nese got a quick throat chop to cut him off. Nese did his macho man hot shot. Nese hit a few leg drops and got a two count. Nese locked in leg body scissors and Sky powered his way out, but got hit with a back suplex and it gave Nese a two count. Nese locked the body scissors in again.
Sky rolled through and broke the hold with mounted punches. Sky hit a back suplex for the double down. Both men back up at the five count. Sky hit a knee lift and clothesline and fired up. Sky hit a sky high and got a close two count. Sky went up top, but Nese cut him off with a rolling uppercut! Sky fought him off and hit a huge sunset flip but Nese rolled through and hit a big spin kick for a two count. Nese flipped through a german suplex attempt. Sky hit a vertical suplex and a TKO for the three count.
Scorpio Sky defeated Tony Nese by pinfall.
Robinson’s Ruminations: That was a really fun match, especially down the stretch. Sky could have a real fun run down here in ROH.
3. Lee Johnson vs. Gravity. Gravity got some chants before things got going, interesting. The men traded some chain wrestling and some arm work. They locked up in a knuckle lock and Gravity got a headlock and a shoulder tackle. Johnson came right back with some arm drags and a cradle for a two count. Gravity did a rope assisted arm drag and then a roll up for two. Johnson came right back with a big drop kick. Johnson did a power throw into the turnbuckle and then did ten pushups in the center of the ring as Gravity sold in the corner.
Johnson worked a chin lock but Gravity fought out with a jaw breaker. Gravity tossed Johnson out of the ring and hit a springboard spaceman splash out onto Johnson outside the ring. Back in the ring, Gravity hit a Mexican arm drag from the top rope and rolled through for a two count. Gravity hit a snap powerslam and standing moonsault for a two count. Johnson hit a blue thunder bomb and got a two count. Johnson hit a pair of superkicks and tried for a suplex but got rolled up for two. Gravity hit a superkick, snap suplex and then his spaceman splash from the top for the three count.
Gravity defeated Lee Johnson by pinfall.
Robinson’s Ruminations: Another good match down the stretch. Its been nice to have a few longer matches that can get into second gear.
Backstage Lexi told the Outrunners they are facing Action Andretti and Darius Martin tonight. The Outrunners cut a stereotypical 80’s screaming promo and said, “If you haven’t seen the Outrunners, you haven’t seen nothing yet”…
4. Lady Frost vs. Billie Starkz (w/Athena). Frost used the code of honor to catch a knee lift, but Starkz fought right back and tossed Frost outside. Athena blew her whistle in Frost’s face for a distraction, and Starkz hit a dive on her. Athena told Starkz to throw frost into the stairs, but she threw her into the ring instead. Frost fought back with her cartwheel kick and then chopped Starkz and tossed her back in the ring.
Frost continued to chop Starkz and taunted the crowd with “one more” that never happened. Frost stomped on Starkz in the corner. Starkz tired to fight out but Frost cut her off with a huge forearm. Frost tried a fisherman’s suplex but Starkz rolled her up for a two count. Starkz hit a rebound kick, but Frost hit a cartwheel dropkick for a two count. Starkz hit a roundhouse kick and a Spicolli driver for a two count. Frost hit a cartwheel counter into an air raid crash and then hit a huge twisting moonsault that would have been a three count if Athena hadn’t pulled on Frost’s leg. Starkz hit a double underhook facebuster move and got the three count.
Billie Starkz defeated Lady Frost by pinfall.
After the match, Athena started the beatdown and encouraged Starkz to join in, but she never did. Starkz tried to stop her, but Athena rolled Frost into the ring and was going to make her kiss the title. Starkz took the title away. Athena just took her belt back and said, “I lead, you follow”…
Robinson’s Ruminations: I’m glad Billie didn’t compete at the AEW pay-per-view because these segments are just a treat.
Backstage, Lexi asked Allison Kay about her thoughts on her upcoming match against Mercedes Martinez. Kay said she knows she’s the underdog and that she doesn’t go down without a fight…
5. The Outrunners Truth Magnum and Turbo Floyd vs. Action Andretti and Darius Martin. Andretti avoided a distraction from Floyd on the outside and grabbed an arm. Martin tagged in and got a backslide for a one count. Martin hit an arm drag and tagged in Andretti who top rope stomped Magnum’s arm. Floyd tagged in and the men traded headlocks. Floyd hit a shoulder block. Andretti hit a roll up for a two count. Andretti did a head scissors headlock combo and then the babyfaces threw the Outrunners out of the ring and teased stereo dives.
The Outrunners cut them off and threw Martin into the stairs and dropped Andretti on the apron. Back in the ring, Floyd got a cocky cover for a one count. The Outrunners used some cheating to get a one count rollup on Andretti. Magnum hit a knee drop for a one count. The Outrunners kept up the heel distractions and they called for Total Recall but Andretti slid out of the way. Martin got the hot tag and lit up the Outrunners with punches and an atomic drop. Martin hit a crossbody from the top but Floyd broke up the cover. Andretti hit a springboard moonsualt on the outside to take out Floyd. Andretti and Martin hit their drop kick german suplex combo. They followed up with their spin cycle finisher and got the pinfall…
Darius Martin and Action Andretti defeated The Outrunners by pinfall.
Robinson’s Ruminations: This match was fine. The Outrunners need just a little something else to be more. This match kind of made it to second gear, but I don’t think the Outrunners quite kept up once it did.
Backstage, Lexi asked Griff Garrison if tonight’s match is going to be any different. Maria and Cole Karter came in and asked the same question. Griff said that this can and has to work. Griff asked to do it the right way. Maria said ok, we’ll do it the right way…
7. Leyla Hirsch vs. Laynie Luck. No entrance for Luck. Maria came out before the code of honor and seemed to beckon her to make the handshake. Hirsch kicked it away like normal. Hirsch took a couple of big kicks and didn’t go down. Luck hit a suplex and celebrated as Hirsch stood right up. Hirsch hit a couple of german suplexes, blew a kiss to Maria and locked in an arm bar for the submission.
Leyla Hirsch defeated Laynie Luck by submission.
Hirsch said into the camera that she deserves her match against Athena…
Robinson’s Ruminations: Squash central. The Maria thing seems to be going nowhere.
Backstage, Lexi interviewed Mercedes Martinez and Diamante about her match against Alison Kay. Mercedes said Kay is going to lose like always, “Pinkies down”…
8. Shane Taylor (w/ Lee Moriarty) vs. Jimmy Jacobs. Taylor threw Jacobs into the corner and Jacobs fired right out of it with punches. Taylor chopped Jacobs in the corner. Jacobs tried to clothesline Taylor to no avail, so he bit him instead. Taylor got tossed out of the ring. Jacobs tried to dive on him, Taylor caught him, Jacobs locked in a guillotine choke. Taylor ran him into the ring post and suplexed him on the outside.
Back in the ring, Taylor beal tossed Jacobs across the ring. Jacobs tried to fight back but ate a headbutt, uranage and big splash for a two count. Jacobs finally knocked Taylor down with a clothesline. Jacobs went up top and hit his drop down flip around suplex to get a two count. Taylor hit a right hand and a lariat for a two count. Jacobs caught an around-the-world head scissors and tried a springboard cutter. Taylor hit a Michinoku Driver variant and got the three count.
Claudio Castangoli defeated Ryan Nemeth by pinfall in 2:00.
Robinson’s Ruminations: It was nice to see hometown boy Jacobs, but there was no need to ruin Taylor’s momentum. Another win for Taylor is a good thing.
Backstage Lexi asked Maria if she was excited for his new tag team. Leyla Hirsch came into the frame and asked why Maria still keeps coming out there. Hirsch said she doesn’t need Maria’s help. Hirsch said that she’s got her match with Athena next week. Maria sarcastically said “good luck with that” after Hirsch had left…
9. Dalton Castle and “The Boys” Brandon Tate and Brent Tate vs. Ren Jones, Trenton Tormenta, and Xavier Walker. No televised entrances for the enhancement trio. Castle hit a quick waist lock slam and tagged in Brent who tagged in Brandon and hit a drop down drop kick. The enhancement team stomped all over Brent after distracting Rick Knox. Walker worked over Brent a bit, but Brent quickly got the hot tag and knocked everyone out but Walker. Castle hit a big splash for a two count that got broken up. The boys hit an assisted ripcord cutter and then Castle slid in and hit Bangarang and a splitting leg drop and he got the three count.
Dalton Castle and The Boys defeated Ren Jones, Trenton Tormenta, and Xavier Walker by pinfall.
Robinson’s Ruminations: A match happened, and the enhancement trio got more offense than they should have solely because The Boys really have no offense that isn’t fighting from underneath.
10. Griff Garrison and Cole Karter (w/ Maria) vs. “The Infantry” Sean Dean and Carlie Bravo (w/Trish Adora). Garrison and Bravo traded arm work until Garrison hit a shoulder tackle. Garrison hit a big hip toss and a big boot. Karter tagged in and worked over Bravo in the corner. Bravo hit a spinning back elbow and tagged in Dean. Infantry hit a couple of quick succession moves and got a two count. Infantry worked over Karter’s arm. Karter came back with an eye rake and a big clothesline. Karter and Garrison hit a double suplex and got a two count.
Karter hit his big dropkick for a two count. Garrison dropped off the apron and complained about rule breaking and Maria told him to do something. Bravo got the hot tag to Dean who came in and hit a bunch of clotheslines and a huge back body drop. Dean hit a DDT and kipped up. Dean hit a splashing clothesline and a high cross body off the top, Garrison broke up the cover. Bravo hit his crossover punch to send Garrison to the outside. Infantry hit Boot Camp on Karter but Maria got on the apron and distracted the ref. Trish chased Maria off as Karter rolled up Dean with his feet on the ropes for the pinfall. Garrison didn’t see the feet on the ropes.
Griff Garrison and Cole Karter defeated “The Infantry” Sean Dean and Carlie Bravo by pinfall.
Robinson’s Ruminations: A fun upset win for Garrison and Karter.
Backstage, “Humble” Ethan Page talked with Lexi about whether going 3-0 is a winning streak. Rohit Raju came into frame and said you can’t spell his name without ROH. Page said have the screen time, cause he’s gonna whoop Raju’s ass…
11. Mercedes Martinez (w/Diamante) vs. Allysin Kay. No entrance for Kay. The announcers filled us in on the wrestler’s history as Diamante tried to get the distraction, but Kay outsmarted the heels and slammed Martinez on the apron. Back in the ring, Kay hit a back suplex for a two count. Kay hit a splash in the corner and Diamante pulled Martinez out of the ring. Diamante held on to Kay’s ankle and Martinez knocked her out of the ring. Martinez worked over Kay outside the ring with some punches.
Back in the ring, Martinez kicked Kay in the corner and Diamante got in some shots while the ref was distracted. Martinez hit a running big boot in the corner and a running drop kick in the corner too. Kay came back with a german suplex. Kay hit a spinning neck breaker on Martinez and kicked Diamante off the apron. Martinez hit a head locked superkick in the corner that sent Kay outside. Diamante hit a wheelbarrow stunner on the outside and rolled Kay in. Martinez hit a running kick, and a fisherman’s suplex for the pinfall.
Mercedes Martinez defeated Allysin Kay by pinfall.
Robinson’s Ruminations: That was slow and full of interference, so it wasn’t great.
Backstage Lexi congratulated Billie Starkz on her win. Lexi said she was glad to do it on her own. Lexi was about to tell Billie that Athena interfered, but Athena came in and cut her off. Athena said Starkz needs more training. Athena said she’s going to defend her title next week against Hirsch and put on a show for “this family”…
12. “The Iron Savages” Bronson and Boulder (w/Jacked Jameson) vs. “Gates of Agony” Bishop Khan and Toa Liona (w/Prince Nana). Khan came out the gate hot with huge punches. Bronson came back with a shoulder block and a T-bone suplex. Liona and Boulder tagged in and slammed into each other over and over. They traded clothesline attempts. Boulder ducked and knocked down Khan. Boulder tossed Toa outside too. Boulder called for a dive, but Gates ducked out of the way. Bronson did make a dive, but Gates caught him and slammed him outside.
Back in the ring, Khan hit a senton for a two count. Gates worked over Bronson in their corner. Bronson made a comeback with a middle rope crossbody. Boulder got the hot tag and ran through both of Gates with shoulder blocks. Toa got a blind tag and hit a throat punch. Toa tried a crossbody and Boulder caught him and power slammed him. Bronson hit a splash on Tao for a two count. Boulder called for a moonsault but Khan dumped him outside. Bronson called for the sauce, but Nana stole it from Jameson and drank it. Khan hit a lungblower and then Gates hit Open the Gates for the pinfall.
“Gates of Agony” Bishop Khan and Toa Liona defeated “The Iron Savages” Bronson and Boulder by pinfall.
Robinson’s Ruminations: Iron Savages got way more than I would have expected against Gates, but it was fine to see.
13. Ethan Page vs. Rohit Raju. No televised entrance for Raju, who used the Code of Honor to get a gut kick in. Page came right back with a big shoulder tackle. Page hit a running back elbow and a stalling vertical suplex. Raju came back with a few punches, but Page hit his new cradle slam. Page tried for Ego’s Edge but Raju fought out and hit a DDT. Raju hit a running big boot in the corner but ate a running bit boot from Page. Page hit a slingshot cutter (The Headshot) for the pinfall.
Ethan Page defeated Rohit Raju by pinfall.
Robinson’s Ruminations: Another win for Page, but we still need to wait to see it’s going.
14. Brian Cage (w/ Prince Nana) vs. Metalik. Early on Metalik tried a rope walking move but Cage caught him. Metalik hit a head scissors and Cage went outside. Metalik tried a huracanrana from the apron but got tossed into the ring post for his trouble. Back in the ring, Cage hit some strikes in the corner and then a german suplex for the two count. Metalik hit a basement dropkick to the knee and tried a 619, but Cage hit a big shoulder block instead. Cage hit a 619 of his own.
Metalik got a drop toe hold in the corner and hit a springboard flying head scissors. Metalik hit a slingblade bulldog, and then a rope walking dropkick that sent Cage outside. Metalik hit a triple jump dive onto Cage at ringside. Metalik hit a springboard splash for a two count. Metalik hit a superkick and tried for a monkey flip. Cage put Metalik up top and Metalik hit a code red off of Cage’s back for a two count! Metalik missed a rope walking senton and Cage hit a sit out powerbomb for a two count. Metalik tried a head scissors and Cage caught him with a Drill Claw finish for the pinfall.
Brain Cage defeated Metalik by pinfall.
Robinson’s Ruminations: Win for Cage, and the announcers were talking about maybe a Samoa Joe match down the line. That could be fun, but I don’t see Cage dethroning Joe right now. It was another show with no sign of the champions aside from Athena. It seems like you need to watch Dynamite and Collision to see the ROH champions these days. I really wish we got some true brand lines being drawn and that Collision just became the ROH show, but I know it’s a pipe dream.