ROH Matches: November 2022

Chris Jericho had a mystery opponent lined up for an ROH World Title defense in Baltimore on November 2nd. Although he had said he wanted to take on all former ROH World champions, it was made clear that the challenger would be someone who was a champion in ROH previously, not necessarily a World champion. The mystery opponent would be two time former ROH Tag Team Champion, Colt Cabana, wrestling on Dynamite for the first time in over a year. The reason for this is likely very petty, but the fans dug it and it’s a totally solid pick regardless of the rationale behind it. He also was victorious at both TK era ROH PPV’s, which makes him just as qualified as any other ROH title challenger these days.

1 - Jericho vs. Cabana

ROH World Championship
Chris Jericho vs. Colt Cabana

AEW Dynamite #161 – Baltimore, MD – 11.2.2022

Jericho has been champion since 9.21.2022 and this is his fourth defense. ROH Pure Champion Daniel Garcia and Jake Hager are in Jericho’s corner. Ian Riccaboni is on commentary and Bobby Cruise does the ring introductions for the bout. Cabana’ s left shoulder is covered in kinesio tape, but he has no issue going after Jericho aggressively from the get go. Jericho bails to the outside after being clotheslined into the ropes twice. Cabana follows Jericho to the top rope looking for the Chicago Skyline, and both men end up spilling outside and onto the floor. Garcia disrupts Cabana sending Jericho face first into the turnbuckles, and Jericho ends up springboard dropkicking Cabana off the ring apron and to the floor. Jericho disrespects Cabana with smacks upside his head back inside the ring. Cabana shuts down Jericho with a hip attack and chops. A falling splash off of the second rope earns Cabana a two count, as does a victory roll and a small package. Jericho pokes Cabana in the eyes, but Caban ducks the Molasses Elbow and puts Jericho in the Billy Goat’s Curse. When Cabana transitions into a Superman pin, Hager breaks it up, so Cabana wipes out him and Garcia with an Asai moonsault. Although he hits a Flying Asshole when he re-enters the ring, Jericho cuts him off with a Code Breaker moments later to get the pin at 9:12. I don’t know if the Chicago Skyline going wrong got into their heads or what, but this match felt really off. Maybe the fact that Cabana was used as a middle finger to someone else cast a weird vibe over the match. Whatever the reason, this match just did not work. **¼

After the match, 2point0 blindside Ian Riccaboni at the commentary desk. They hold his arms behind his backs so Jericho can slap him in the face and break his glasses. Claudio Castagnoli attacks when it looks like Jericho is about to hit Ian with the title belt. Daniel Bryan, Sammy Guevara and Wheeler YUTA join the fray, making it a whole Blackpool Combat Club and Jericho Appreciation Society melee. Staff and referees pull them apart.

The main event of the same episode of Dynamite would see Samoa Joe defend the ROH TV title for the first time in over three months:

2 - Joe vs. Cage

ROH World Television Championship
Samoa Joe vs. Brian Cage

AEW Dynamite #161 – Baltimore, MD – 11.2.2022

Joe has been champion since 4.13.2022 and this is his third defense. Prince Nana is in Cage’s corner. Joe dizzies Cage with a corner enzuigiri before snapmaring him into an elbow drop. Nana distracts Joe long enough for Cage to recover and knock down Joe with a dropkick. Cage chokes Joe on the top rope before taking him down with a clothesline. Cage lands his own corner enzuigiri and then German suplexes the champion. Joe bites Cage’s finger to break a chinlock, but Cage reverses an Irish whip to the corner and lariats Joe into the buckles. Cage wipes out Joe with a tope con hilo. In the ring, Joe halts Cage coming off the ropes with a chop, and takes him down with a Manhattan drop and running boot. Joe then gets a nearfall with a senton splash. Joe snap slams Cage for two. Cage knee strikes Joe to the middle rope, following up with a tiger feint kick and top rope elbow smash for two. Weapon X yields the same result. Cage’s discus lariat misses the first time but connects the second, once again getting Cage a two count. Cage looks to pick up Joe onto his shoulders. Joe counters with a rear-naked choke. Cage passes out at 11:23. This was a subdued big man battle. Both of them went through their typical offensive arsenal with little intensity or urgency. It just made the match feel flat. Wardlow then saved Joe from being beaten down by the Gates of Agony, which brought out Powerhouse Hobbes to beat Wardlow and set up a TNT Title match down the line. So, once again, an ROH title match is a catalyst for an AEW program. Of course. **½

3 - Dalton & Boys vs Trustbusters

ROH World Six Man Tag Team Championship
Dalton Castle & The Boys (Brandon & Brent) vs. The Trustbusters (Ari Daivari, Slim J & Jeeves Kay)

AEW Dark Elevation #88 – Baltimore, MD – 10.7.2022

Dalton and the Boys have been champions since 7.23.2022 and this is their second defense. Parker Boudreaux and Sonny Kiss are in the Trustbusters corner. Ian Riccaboni is on commentary and Bobby Cruise does the ring introductions for the bout. Daivari and J take down Brent with a double back suplex after Daivari pulls his hair. Brent knocks down J with an enzuigiri, and with Brandon double teams J in the corner, scoring a nearfall with a double Japanese armdrag. Daivari shoves Brent off of the top turnbuckle, and J cracks him with a springboard gamengiri for two. Brandon is momentarily beaten down by Kay, but he avoids a corner splash and tags in Castle, who clotheslines Daivari to the floor and suplexes both Kay and J. With all of the Trustbusters on the floor, Castle throws his Boys onto them. Boudreaux saves Kay from a Bang-A-Rang. J wipes out the Boys with a dive and Kay takes out Castle with a Falcon Arrow for two. Kay accidentally knocks Daivari off of the apron. Kay tries a springboard DDT, but Castle powers him up into the Bang-A-Rang to counter and get the pin at 5:25. That was good fun, and I think this particular threesome is the strongest of the Trustbusters. **½

Daniel Garcia had a busy October as a part of the never-ending Jericho Appreciation Society and Blackpool Combat Club, which put his ROH Pure Championship on the back burner.
Garcia would make up for lost time by defending the title on back-to-back nights.

4 - Garcia vs. Ruffin

ROH Pure Championship
Daniel Garcia vs. Leon Ruffin

AEW Dark Elevation #89 – Boston, MA- 11.14.2022

Garcia has been champion since 9.7.2022 this is his first defense. Bobby Cruise does the ring introductions for the bout. Because of the Jericho Appreciation Society’s attack last week, Ian Riccaboni and Matt Menard are not allowed on commentary together, so Riccaboni is not on the call for this, and Paul Wight is partnered with Menard in his place.

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. If the match goes past the time limit, three judges will determine the outcome. The judges for this match are ROH alumnus and former champions Jerry Lynn, BJ Whitmer, and Christopher Daniels.
*Any wrestler who interferes will be automatically terminated from the roster.

Paul Wight says Ruffin “definitely earned this title match.” Not sure how a 1-7 AEW record earns somebody a Pure Championship match. Garcia enjoys the advantage until Ruffin snaps his neck across the top rope. Ruffin hops rope to rope before slipping under Garcia’s legs and surprising the champion with a dropkick and armdrag. Garcia shoves Ruffin off the top turnbuckle and to the floor to shut him down. Garcia then gives him a backdrop onto the ring apron. Ruffin uses the ropes to avoid being Irish whipped across the ring. Referee Mike Posey doesn’t count it as a rope break, although he should have, and Garcia stomps down Ruffin. Ruffin cuts off Garcia with an enzuigiri and a pair of flying forearms. Ruffin also hits a rebound lariat and a springback Ace Crusher for two. Garcia cracks Ruffin with a closed-fist to take back over, and Posey issues Garcia his closed fist warning. A suplex into the corner and the hammer and nail elbows lead to a Garcia putting Ruffin in a sleeper hold. Garcia turns it into a Dragon Sleeper with a bodyscissors, and Ruffin passes out at 5:41. When you have a match where the winner isn’t in doubt, it’s helpful to have somebody who plays the underdog role incredibly well like Ruffin. He and Garcia were a very good match for each other. They told a solid story and packed in a good amount of action in a short period of time. **¾

5 -Garcia vs. Anderson

ROH Pure Championship
Daniel Garcia vs. Brock Anderson

AEW Dark #170 – Uncasville, CT – 11.15.2022

Garcia has been champion since 9.7.2022 this is his second defense. Interestingly, this match was filmed before the Ruffin match, but aired afterwards. Arn Anderson is in Brock’s corner. Bobby Cruise does the ring introductions for the bout.

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. If the match goes past the time limit, three judges will determine the outcome. The judges for this match are ROH alumnus and former champions Frankie Kazarian, BJ Whitmer, and Christopher Daniels.
*Any wrestler who interferes will be automatically terminated from the roster.

Anderson gator rolls Garcia until the champion uses his first rope break. Anderson shoulder blocks Garcia and stomps on both of his ankles and wrists. Garcia catches Anderson with a dragonscrew leg whip. He attacks Anderson’s left leg, and Anderson headbutts his way out of a grapevine stretch. Garcia dropkicks Anderson’s leg out from under him and stomps his knees into the mat. Garcia trash talks and slaps at Anderson, angering Anderson into using a closed fist strike and being issued a warning. Anderson seems upset with himself, but his father tells him to keep on Garcia. He goes to pick up Garcia and ends up in a Guillotine choke. Anderson uses a vertical suplex to escape. Anderson pulls off a backdrop, but his knee buckles in the process. Garcia blocks a DDT and pump handles Anderson into a sit-out uranage for two. Anderson drops Garcia with a DDT, but his knee gives out when he attempts a spinebuster. Garcia pulls Anderson into a piledriver to get the pin at 7:49. This was another good match with a solid story from Garcia. I really don’t know what purpose Brock serves on the roster, but it seems obvious that aligning with FTR would be a natural fit. **½

A tag team match featuring all four competitors in the ROH World Title match at Full Gear was presented on the Dynamite three days prior to the PPV:

6 - Full Gear Preview Match

The Jericho Appreciation Society (Chris Jericho & Sammy Guevara) vs. The Blackpool Combat Club (Bryan Danielson & Claudio Castagnoli)
AEW Dynamite #163 – Bridgeport, CT – 11.16.2022

Ian Riccaboni is on commentary for this bout. The match breaks down into a brawl early, with the BCC taking control. Guevara backflips over a charging Claudio and takes him out with a dropkick. Claudio suplexes Guevara and drops Jericho with a brainbuster, landing a splash onto both of them afterwards. Danielson and Claudio get in shots on Jericho, but Jericho is able to chop Danielson to his corner. The JAS take him down with a double shoulder block. Jericho blasts Danielson in the eye with his baseball bat while Guvevara has Aubrey Edwards distracted. The JAS beat down Danielson in their corner until he uses the turnbuckles to flip out of the corner and takes out Jericho with a running upturned elbow to the face. Claudio muscles Guevara into the ring and throws him into Jericho before clobbering Jericho with repeated European uppercuts in the corner. Jericho pokes him in the eyes after kicking out from a diving European uppercut. Guevara superkicks Claudio and Jericho gets him in the Walls of Jericho. Danielson saves his partner with a dropkick off of the top turnbuckle. Guevara rakes Danielson’s eyes to stop his barrage of chest kicks and delivers a knee to his eye. Danielson evades the GTH and pulls Guevara down into the LeBell Lock. Guevara gets to the ropes, and when Danielson brings him to the top rope, he brings down Danielson with a rolling Ace Crusher. Jericho capitalizes with a Lionsault onto Danielson, but Claudio breaks up his cover. Danielson suicide dives onto Guevara, right after Guevara passes Jericho his baseball bat. Before Jericho can use it, Claudio Giant Swings Jericho. He pulls the bat out of his hand and locks him into the Sharpshooter. Jericho taps out at 17:58. That set out exactly what it needed to, putting doubt in our minds as to whether or not Jericho will walk out of the PPV as champion. Claudio and Danielson are just as great together as they are apart which helped make this match as successful as it was. I do think they could’ve shown a little more dissent between Guevara and Jericho in the match to build interest, but that’s a minor complaint. ***½

7 - Full Gear ROH Title Match

ROH World Championship
Chris Jericho vs. Bryan Danielson vs. Claudio Castagnoli vs. Sammy Guevara

AEW Full Gear 2022 – Newark, NJ – 11.19.2022

Jericho has been champion since 9.21.2022 and this is his fifth defense. Nobody from either the Jericho Appreciation Society or Blackpool Combat Club are ringside. Ian Riccaboni is on commentary and Bobby Cruise does the ring introductions for the bout. Danielson sends Guevara crashing into the barricades with a suicide dive but is then sent shoulder first into the ring steps by Jericho. Claudio and Danielson ping pong Jericho between them with uppercuts, then do the same to Guevara when he enters the ring.The BCC then shake one another’s hands before striking each other. Claudio muscles out of a triangle choke and gets into a pin exchange with Danielson until Jericho boots them in the face. BCC reunite for a double flapjack and double Boston Crab, which Guevara broke with a double Ace Crusher. Guevara goes for the pin on both of them. The JAS then team up to take out Claudio and Danielson. All is well until Jericho tells Guevara to stay put when he attempts a pin on Danielson, as Guevara is visibly frustrated by the directive. Guevara takes down Danielson with a Spanish Fly, and Jericho then lands a Lionsault onto them both. Claudio double stomps Jericho when Jericho evades the Giant Swing. Jericho then counters a diving European uppercut with the Code Breaker. Guevara pulls Jericho off of Claudio to break the pin, and the JAS members come face to face for the first time. They come to blows, and Guevara busts out the Code Breaker himself on Jericho for a nearfall. Guevara then tries to the Walls of Jericho, only for Jericho to counter and apply the move himself. Jericho then puts Danielson in the hold when he enters the ring. Claudio pulls Jericho off of his partner into a delayed vertical suplex and puts him in the sharpshooter, which Jericho submitted to on Wednesday. Jericho tries covering Danielson while he is in the sharpshooter, but his clever tactic results in Danielson putting him in the LeBell Lock at the same time he is in the sharpshooter. Guevara superkicks both men to end the double submission. Guevara baits Jericho into the GTH and lands a shooting star press for two. Claudio tosses Guevara to the floor onto Jericho. He turns around directly into the Busaiku Knee from Danielson who picks up a two count. They each reign down with hammer and nail elbows. Danielson counters Swiss Death but is turned inside out with a lariat. Guevara takes down Claudio with a rolling Ace Crusher and Danielson with a Spanish Fly. Danielson locks in the LeBell Lock upon landing. Jericho sneaks in and breaks the submission. Outside of the ring, Claudio ends up giving Danielson a Neutralizer onto the floor. Claudio nails Swiss Death to Guevara back inside of the ring for two. As Claudio is Giant Swinging Guevara, he leaps over Guevara and blasts Claudio with the Molasses Elbow. A regular Molasses Elbow to Claudio then gets Jericho the pin at 21:42. As with most AEW PPV matches, this was too long. They went on early enough in the evening where the crowd still had juice, and they especially got into the moments where the teammates attacked one another. All four of these guys worked very well together, as they did on Wednesday, but a more compact match would’ve gone a long way. Still, this was a pretty dang good match overall. ****

Later in the evening, during Jericho’s post-match interview, Orange Cassidy informed Jericho that a friend of his has challenged Jericho for a title match on the following week’s episode of Dynamite: former ROH World TV Champion and fellow CHAOS member Tomohiro Ishii. Jericho accepted the challenge, stating he remembered Ishii being a young boy during his time in WAR in the early 90’s, and that he will treat Ishii like a young boy when they met in the ring on Wednesday.

8 - Jericho vs Ishii

ROH World Championship
Chris Jericho vs. Tomohiro Ishii

AEW Dynamite #164 – Chicago, IL – 11.23.2022

Jericho has been champion since 9.21.2022 and this is his sixth defense. Ian Riccaboni is on commentary and Bobby Cruise does the ring introductions for the bout. An open hand strike exchange concludes with Ishii snapmaring him into a spine kick. Ishii then ends a forearm strike exchange with a Saito suplex. A chop exchange goes on for so long that Jericho’s left pectoral busts open and bleeds down his stomach. When the exchange finally concludes, Jericho shoves Ishii to the corner with a clothesline, then uses repeated clotheslines to knock Ishii down to the mat. Ishii counters his ten punches in the corner with a running powerbomb. Ishii elbow strikes Jericho to stop his springboard dropkick, but Jericho scores with a DDT onto the ring apron! Back in the ring, Ishii ducks a clothesline and German suplexes Jericho. Jericho comes back with his own pair of German suplexes. Ishii is too worn down to get to his feet, so Jericho lands a lionsault, but Ishii fires up at the count of one. The Code Breaker then gets Jericho a very close nearfall. Ishii headbutts Jericho after avoiding the Molasses Elbow. Jericho kicks out after taking a Sliding D. Jericho evades the brainbuster, but Ishii gives him a Code Breaker! A lariat follows up and Jericho gets his shoulder up just before the pin. Jericho then blocks an enzuigiri and puts Ishii in the Walls of Jericho. He converts into the Liontamer, and Ishii flips off Jericho before tapping out at 15:29. I don’t know why, but I was not expecting much from this match, and it turned out to be fun as hell. Ishii busted his ass and Jericho was game to go strike-for-strike with him to the point of being busted open. Ishii using the Code Breaker was a huge hit with the live crowd and a great inflection point for the bout in general. This was very good; I just don’t think it was as good as many others have claimed it to be. ***½

Jericho looks like he is going to go after Ian Riccaboni again after the match, but he’s blindsided by Claudio Castagnoli who knocks him down with an open hand strike.

Earlier on Dynamite, Renee Paquette held a meeting between ROH World Tag Team champions FTR and Top Flight. Harwood complimented Top Flight for their tremendous performance last week against the AEW Six Man Tag Team champions, telling Top Flight he was impressed with what he saw from them. Top Flight compliment FTR back, but then say if they were impressed with them last week, they want a shot at the ROH tag titles on Rampage. Wheeler accepted the challenge and they all shook hands.

9 - FTR vs Top Flight

ROH World Tag Team Championship
FTR (Cash Wheeler & Dax Harwood) vs. Top Flight (Dante Martin & Darius Martin)

AEW Rampage #69 – Chicago, IL – 11.25.2022

FTR have been ROH World Tag Team Champions since 4.1.2022 and this is their sixth defense. Ian Riccaboni is on commentary and Bobby Cruise does the ring introductions for the bout. Darius takes down the champions with armdrags. He holds Wheeler’s arm so Dante can give it a boot. Darius blind tags himself back in, surprising Wheeler with a gamengiri. Dante then leg sweeps Wheeler into a DDT from Darius for two. Wheeler tackles Darius against the ropes to cut him off and tags Harwood who immediately chops the challenger. Dante takes out Harwood with a Meteora so that Darius can sunset flip Wheeler. Darius tornado DDT’s Wheeler, but FTR heads to the floor on the other side of the ring for safety and recovery. Wheeler catches Dante coming back in the ring with stomps to the back, giving FTR control in their half of the ring. Dante hops to the apron when Harwood Irish whips him to the corner. Dante hits a springboard dropkick to FTR. Darius wipes them out with a double suicide dive, and Dante uses a springboard dive to take out Wheeler. In the ring, Dante lands a high crossbody onto Wheeler for a two count. Darius springboards in with a Complete Shot to Wheeler and assists Dante with a splash that doesn’t go exactly as planned. Hawrood takes out Darius with a haymaker. Wheeler tags himself in, which Dante notices. He tries to pull Wheeler in with a superplex. Harwood ends up placing Dante on his shoulders and giving him a slingshot powerbomb. Wheeler comes off the top with a splash for two. Darius takes out Wheeler to save Dante from the Big Rig. Wheeler recovers in time to save Harwood from being pinned by a top rope splash from Darius. Harwood takes out Dante with a brainbuster. Dante goes for a few desperation pins, but ends up taking the Big Rig for the pin at 11:12. Top Flight is a great team, but their timing was off during this bout. The teams clearly had good chemistry and I would definitely like to see them get another match together in the future. ***

The Gunn Club appears after the bell, so they may be FTR’s next challengers for the titles.

10 - Jericho

On the same episode of Rampage, Chris Jericho came to the ring with the rest of the Jericho Appreciation Society. He gloated over his win against Ishii while proclaiming himself to be the greatest ROH World Champion. Jericho questions who will uncrown the king of Ring of Honor, and Claudio Castagnoli makes his way to the stage. Claudio has no doubts that Jericho isn’t the greatest Ring of Honor World Champion, but he has some doubts about himself. He knows he can beat Jericho, and has done so twice, but can’t seem to get it done when it matters most. This face has ruined his focus, and he needs a shot at the ROH World Championship to get his head straight. Chris Jericho declines the challenge, saying Claudio has nothing he can offer that he cares about. Matt Menard then suggests to Jericho that Claudio would make an excellent addition to the Jericho Appreciation Society. Jericho likes this idea, and offers Claudio a title match with the condition that if Claudio loses, he must join the Jericho Appreciation Society. Claudio thinks on it, and ultimately accepts the proposal. Despite his doubts, he knows he’s a much better professional wrestler than a sports entertainer, and says he will bring back honor to the ROH World Championship at Final Battle.

With the exception of the Women’s title, every ROH title was defended this month, including the ROH World Title getting a match on an AEW PPV. Compared to most months, that is exceptional. Final Battle is just around the corner, and it will be interesting to see how the rest of that card fleshes out, and how ROH is presented on AEW shows leading up to the event.

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