ROH on SBG #547 – The History of Supercard of Honor


Two of Gresham’s title defenses from Europe surfaced over the past week:


ROH World Championship – Pure Rules Match
Jonathan Gresham vs. Dean Allmark

PROGRESS Wrestling Chapter 129: I Choo-Choo-Choose You – London, England – 2.20.2022

Gresham has been champion since 12.11.2021 and this is his ninth defense. The Pure Rules are as follows:
*The competitors are to obey the “Code of Honor”, shaking one another’s hand before and after the match.
*Each wrestler has 3 rope breaks to stop submission holds and pinfalls. After a wrestler has used all 3 of their rope breaks, submission and pin attempts on or under the ropes by the opponent are considered legal.
*Closed-fist punches to the face are not permitted. Punches to other parts of the body are permitted, excluding low blows. The first use of a closed fist results in a warning, a second will be a disqualification.
*This match has a 60 minute time limit.

To escape a hammerlock, Gresham drop toe holds Allmark into the middle rope, making him lose a rope break. Allmark then does the same thing to Gresham. Allmark goes after Gresham’s legs, hoping to submit him in an Indian Death Lock. Gresham goes after Allmark’s leg upon escape. He figure-four’s the legs and stretches out Allmark’s arms behind his back. Allmark flips forward and double wrist drags his way free. Allmark also lands on his feet when Gresham attempts a monkey flip. They rapidly exchange wristlocks. Gresham avoids a figure four and ties a sunset flip, which Allmark reverses. They trade positions in a sunset flip position. On their feet, Gresham looks like he’s going for a leapfrog. Allmark stops short so Gresham hurts his knee upon landing. Allmark then tries a sunset flip, but Gresham kneels down and pins Allmark at 10:49. That was solid but felt incomplete, like they just did counters and chain wrestling until it was time for Gresham to get the pin. It was proficient, but is inessential viewing. **½

Match Review: Fabio vs. Jonathan Gresham (Fight Factory Pro Wrestling,  Episode 15: Monday Night War, February 28, 2022) |

ROH World Championship – Pure Rules Match
Jonathan Gresham vs. Fabio

FFPW Episode 15: Monday Night War – Dublin, Ireland – 2.28.2022

Gresham has been champion since 12.11.2021 and this is his twelfth defense. The Pure Rules are as follows:
*The competitors are to obey the “Code of Honor”, shaking one another’s hand before and after the match.
*Each wrestler has 3 rope breaks to stop submission holds and pinfalls. After a wrestler has used all 3 of their rope breaks, submission and pin attempts on or under the ropes by the opponent are considered legal.
*Closed-fist punches to the face are not permitted. Punches to other parts of the body are permitted, excluding low blows. The first use of a closed fist results in a warning, a second will be a disqualification.
*This match has a 60 minute time limit.

Mirroring the Allmark match, Gresham drop toe holds Fabio into the ropes, and Fabio does the same but with a shove, costing each other a rope break early. The pace and intensity rises after Fabio slaps Gresham in the corner and takes him down with a dropkick. Gresham rolls Gabio into a left shoulder kick and then takes him down with an armdrag. Gresham does more damage to Fabio’s arm on the mat. He ties up both of Fabio’s shoulders underneath his left leg and drops his other knee down to add pressure. Gresham adds a twist to Gabio’s left ankle and rolls him onto his shoulders for a two count. Fabio kicks out of a headscissors pin and dropkicks Gresham’s knee out from under him. Fabio uses a figure four leg lock to get Gresham to use his second rope break. Fabio scores a nearfall with a Perfect plex. Gresham stomps on Fabio’s shoulder and pulls him into two Magistral cradles for two nearfalls. On the third he adds a back bridge and gets a closer nearfall. Fabio tiger feint kicks Gresham’s leg, hits a springboard dropkick on the leg, and rolls up into an Ace Crusher on Gresham. Gresham gets his foot on the bottom rope to break the pin, using his third and final rope break. Knowing it worked before, Fabio goes back to the figure four leg lock. Gresham rolls them out to the apron and the tumble to the floor, the leg lock breaking in the process. Fabio makes it back into the ring just before the twenty count. They attack one another’s weak limbs. Fabio rolls through Gresham’s huracanrana. He then pulls up Gresham into a Death Valley Falcon Arrow for two. A forearm arm strike exchange ends up with an enzuigiri and two German suplexes from Gresham. A straightjacket German suplex allows for Gresham to transition into a sleeper hold. Gresham pulls him away from the ropes, and Fabio passes out at 18:29. This was similar to many of Gresham’s matches, but the little touches made a big difference. When Fabio went back to the figure four immediately after Gresham’s rope breaks were exhausted, he won me over. I would love to see him get some more exposure in other companies. This was put out on YouTube and I definitely recommend giving it a look. ***¾

Deonna Purrazzo held another open challenge for her ROH Women’s Championship at Impact Wrestling’s “Sacrifice” event, and it was answered by someone who had aspirations of holding that very title recently:

Two additional matches added to IMPACT Sacrifice event - Diva Dirt

ROH Women’s World Championship
Deonna Purrazzo vs. Chelsea Green

Impact Wrestling “Sacrifice 2022” – Louisville, KY – 3.5.2022

Purrazzo has been champion since 1.13.2022 and this is her fourth defense. Green sends Purrazzo outside with a Japanese armdrag and follows with a suicide dive. Back in the ring, Green tries a headscissors, and Purrazzo pulls her down into a short-arm clothesline. After a hard knee lift, Purrazzo rolls Green into a Fujiwara armbar. Green rolls free but is shut down immediately with another clothesline. A diving sunset flip from Green leads to a pinfall trade between the competitors, with Purrazzo getting another Fujiwara armbar applied. This time Green rolls Purrazzo onto her shoulders to escape, and then both women hit simultaneous pump kicks. Green curb stomps Purrazzo into the bottom turnbuckle for a two count, as Purrazzo grabs the bottom rope. Purrazzo escapes an Unpretty-Her but falls to a modified Complete Shot. Purrazzo spins Green into a suplex buster, and then gets the Fujiwara armbar applied again. Green reverses the hold. When Purrazzo escapes, she kicks Green’s arm from the apron, re-injuring Green’s wrist. The referee calls for help, and as Purrazzo approaches Green to see if she is okay, Green pushes her away. Angrily, Purrazzo applies the armbar and the referee calls for the bell right away at 8:18. I’m glad the referee didn’t wait for her to submit. That ending was also unique and shows just how ruthless Purrazzo has become. Green is pretty underrated as far as in-ring goes, and her and Purrazzo had very good chemistry. Sucks Green got hurt again. **¾

Now onto this week’s episode, which is a special episode celebrating the history of ROH’s Supercard of Honor events. The episode is bookended by matches from the first Supercard of Honor from 2006, and the G1 Supercard from 2019, with highlights from other events in the middle. All of this is to hype up the 2022 Supercard of Honor PPV coming on April 1st.

Do Fixer vs. Blood Generation: Wrestling's Most Influential Match...Ever

Do Fixer (Dragon Kid, Ryo Saito & Genki Horiguchi) vs. Blood Generation (CIMA, Naruki Doi & Masato Yoshino)
Supercard of Honor” – Chicago Ridge, IL – 3.31.2006

Yoshino backs to the ropes after being arm dragged by Horiguchi. Kid and Doi tag in. Doi initially knocks Kid down but ends up being headscissored to the floor. Horiguchi and CIMA tag in. CIMA dropkicks him to his corner. Doi holds Horiguchi but CIMA accidentally knocks Doi to the floor. Horiguchi sends CIMA out. Saito and Yoshino come in. Yoshino runs the ropes lightning fast. He gets dropped with a side slam. Saito holds Yoshino so Kid can forearm him in the back. Saito and Horiguchi give him the Maraha Isappa sequence. Kid gets backed to the Blood Generation corner, where he is beaten down until he manages to give CIMA a spin kick to his chest. Saito tags in and slams CIMA into a legdrop. Doi breaks the hold. Saito wins an overhand chop exchange with him. He assists Kid with a 619. Doi gets triple dropkicked for two. CIMA and Yoshino pull Horiguchi to the their corner. Blood Generation take turns throwing Horiguchi by his hair. Yoshino puts him From Jungle, then sunset flips him for two. Doi hits the Dai Bosou. CIMA and Yoshio hold Horiguchi so Doi can somersault senton onto him. CIMA dropkicks his buttocks, sending Horiguchi’s neck into the middle turnbuckle. CIMA puts on an abdominal stretch. The fans’ “H-A-G-E” chant give him the energy to hip toss his way free. Horiguchi suplexes Doi and tags in Saito. He overhead suplexes Doi out. Kid Déjà vu’s Yoshino to the floor and Horiguchi tope con hilo’s onto Doi. Kid flies out onto Yoshino with the Bermuda Triangle. CIMA and Saito trade chops. Saito blocks a huracanrana with a powerbomb. He gives CIMA the Fisherman Express for two. CIMA O’Conner rolls him into a double stomp. Blood Generation all attack Saito in the corner. CIMA bulldogs Kid off of Saito’s shoulders for two. Yoshino Sling Blades Kid and heads up top. He comes down with a shotgun dropkick. Kid kicks out. Kid blocks a suplex with the Dragon Stunner. Doi plants Kid chest first. Horiguchi dropkicks Doi in the corner. He goes for a moonsault. Doi gets his knees up. Horiguchi gets two with an inverted DDT. Doi drops him with Doi 555 and gets two. Saito catches Doi on the top rope. Kid brings him down with the Skyscraper Huracanrana. Saito follows with a big splash. Kid goes for a huracanrana. Doi holds on so that Yoshino can dropkick him. Horiguchi missile dropkicks Yoshino. CIMA superkicks him. Horiguchi drops CIMA with a DDT. Doi gives Horiguchi a Rydeen Bomb. Saito huracanrana’s Doi and German suplexes Yoshino. Kid comes in with the Dragonrana. Doi breaks the cover. Kid goes up top. CIMA catches him with Venus. Kid however assists Saito with a German suplex to CIMA. Horiguchi drops him with the Beach Break for two. Yoshino and Doi crotch him in the corner. They hold up Saito. CIMA double stomps Saito, then rolls forward to give Horiguchi a Superdrol. Dragon tries the Dragonrana. CIMA catches hit and drops him with the Schwein. Kid kicks out! Doi hits the Bakatare Sliding Kick. Horiguchi breaks the pin. Doi brings Kid to the top rope for a super Doi 555. Kid blocks with a super Ace Crusher. The Dragonrana follows for the pin at 20:32. It’s been years since this match received heaps of praise and I’m pleased to tell you it still holds up. I became a huge Dragon Gate fan in the years that succeeded this match, so watching this again with more context to the characters made me appreciate it even more. Not only is this a fantastic match but very important to the landscape of independent wrestling. If for some reason you never saw this, go watch it on YouTube right now. ****½

The highlights shown from past Supercard of Honor events include:

*The second Dragon Gate six man tag team match from “Supercard of Honor II.”
*Nigel McGuinness defending the ROH World Championship against Austin Aries at “Supercard of Honor III.”
*Jerry Lynn defeating Nigel McGuinness to win the ROH World Championship at “Supercard of Honor IV.”
*Tyler Black defending the ROH World Championship against Roderick Strong at “Supercard of Honor V.”
*Eddie Edwards defending the ROH World Championship against Roderick Strong at “Supercard of Honor VI.”
*Jay Briscoe defeating Kevin Steen to win the ROH World Championship at “Supercard of Honor VII.”
*Adam Cole defending the ROH World Championship against Jay Briscoe in a ladder match at “Supercard of Honor VIII.”
*Jay Briscoe defending the ROH World Championship against Samoa Joe at “Supercard of Honor IX.”
*Kyle O’Reilly defeating Adam Cole in a No Holds Barred match at “Supercard of Honor X, Night 2.”
*The Young Bucks defeating The Hardys in a ladder match to win the ROH World Tag Team Titles at “Supercard of Honor XI.”
*Cody defeating Kenny Omega in the semi-main event of “Supercard of Honor XII.”
*The Great Muta and Jushin “Thunder” Liger facing off during the Honor Rumble at “G1 Supercard.”

Matt Taven, Jay Lethal et al. are posing for a picture

ROH World Championship – Ladder Match
Jay Lethal vs. Matt Taven vs. Marty Scurll

“G1 Supercard” – New York, NY – 4.6.2019

Lethal has been champion since 6.30.2018 and this is his fifteenth defense. Taven makes a bold choice early by delivering Air Taven to a ladder that Scurll and Lethal are playing tug of war with. Taven takes Lethal’s hip toss dropkick and a tornado DDT from Scurll on the floor. Scurll ping pongs Taven between two ladders back inside of the ring, but then gets backdropped onto a ladder by Lethal. Scurll places Lethal in a tree of woe with a ladder around his head and smashes the ladder with a chair repeatedly. Scurll uses his umbrella to try and get the title early while climbing the ladder, but Taven pulls him down and blasts him in the chin with a superkick. Scurll clotheslines Taven to the floor and wipes him out with a superkick from the apron. Lethal halts Scurll from climbing the ladder and puts him in a figure four in the ladder rung. That damage helps Lethal, as when Scurll had him in his crosshairs for an apron superkick, his knee buckled and Lethal was able to give him an Ace Crusher on the ring apron. Taven powerbombs Lethal onto a ladder propped up onto two chairs in the aisle way. Scurll is able to muster a tiger feint kick back in the ring, but Taven stops him with a DDT before he can apply a chicken wing. Taven also gives him a rolling neckbreaker onto a ladder. Scurll manages to superplex Taven off of a ladder, just in time to stop a rejuvenated Lethal with an umbrella strike. Lethal wisely backs Scurll into the ladder to block a chicken wing. Lethal gets close to grabbing the titles when Scurll sneaks up from behind him and gets the crossface chicken wing applied. Lethal falls down, leaving space for Taven to climb. Scurll snaps Taven’s fingers and Lethal cracks Scurll’s legs with his umbrella, and those result in Scurll and Taven falling off of the ladder. A ladder structure is set up in the form of an X. Scurll drops Taven chest first onto it, and Lethal drops Scurll with a Lethal Injection. As they fight on the apron with a table situated on the floor, Taven blindsides Scurll, spearing him off of the apron and through the table. Lethal puts Taven through a table ringside with Hail to the King off of a ladder. Taven sets up an enormous purple ladder inside the ring, and Lethal and Scurll place two ladders on the ropes and onto the rungs of the purple ladder as platforms. Taven yanks Scurll’s leg out from underneath him, causing him to land back first onto one of the ladders. Taven and Lethal get into a strike exchange under the title belt. Taven wins the battle, with Lethal falling back onto his ladder platform, and Taven pulls down the belt to win the match and the title at 29:35. Going with Taven instead of Scurll was a decision that was heavily panned at the time, and with hindsight was a turning point for fans who decided to stick around after the All Elite exodus, with most of them ultimately leaving their ROH fandom behind for good. These guys worked their asses off and had a lot of ingenuity behind their usage of the ladder as weapons, but this crowd was tired and grew disinterested as the match progressed. Credit for the work these guys put in, but the environment handicapped them significantly, and the result hurt ROH’s goodwill in some fans’ eyes irreparably. ***½

Overall: I don’t know if this raised my interest for this year’s edition of Supercard of Honor necessarily, but you get one of the best ROH matches ever so it’s hard to not to give the episode a thumbs up just for that. If you’ve never seen the Dragon Gate six man match, or haven’t seen it in awhile, at least tune in for that.

The next two weeks appear to be a collection of Jonathan Gresham’s ROH World Title defenses he has made in outside companies since winning the title at Final Battle. All of the ones released so far have been reviewed throughout this blog, but if you missed them, they will be featured again in the reviews for those episodes as well.

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