ROH Matches: February 2023

Lexy Nair interviewed Mark Briscoe on the February 10th episode of AEW Rampage. He was interrupted quickly by Mark Sterling who offered his legal services to Briscoe. Mark Briscoe turned him down quickly, and then put his hands on Sterling when he called him a “stupid chicken farmer.” Sterling’s client Josh Woods intercepted, got in Briscoe’s face, and told Briscoe that he better watch who he puts his hands on. A match between Briscoe and Woods was then signed for Dynamite:

1 - Briscoe vs Woods

Mark Briscoe vs. Josh Woods
AEW Dynamite #176 – Laredo, TX – 2.15.2023

This is a threematch from “State of the Art Night 2” and “Unauthorized.” Mark was victorious in both contests. Mark Sterling, Ari Daivari and Tony Nese are in Woods’ corner. Briscoe shoulder blocks Woods to the floor. Nese and Daivari drag Briscoe to the floor before he can follow up, but the Lucha Bros. attack and take them backstage. This is enough of a distraction for Woods to capitalize and deliver a twisting neckbreaker to Briscoe off of the apron and to the floor. Woods attacks Briscoe’s neck and back during the commercial break. Briscoe counters a scoop slam into a small package, but Woods kicks out and cracks him with forearm smashes. Sterling jumps on the apron when Mark begins to unload some redneck kung-fu, and Woods takes Briscoe down with an exploder suplex. Briscoe strikes Woods in the neck with a karate strike from the apron and kicks him to the floor. Briscoe then uses a steel chair to assist with a tope con hilo. Woods kicks out of a rope-assisted Razor’s Edge and halts a Jay Driller attempt. He then gets a two count on Briscoe with a Chaos Theory. Woods knee strikes Briscoe in the face after a Doctor Bomb. Briscoe weaves out of a double underhook and enzugiri’s Woods after breaking out of a German suplex. A rolling Death Valley Driver and Froggy Bow get Briscoe the three count at 8:45. This was fun and engaging. Woods and Briscoe are a good pairing, as they’re both capable of pulling off impressive throws and hard strikes, but are also quite agile. Briscoe is able to pick up a feel-good singles win against Sterling’s crew, and presuming a tag title defense is coming, I am curious to see how they handle Mark defending them. ***

Athena attacked Yuka Sakazaki on the February 13th edition of Dark: Elevation. Sakazaki had made her intentions to challenge for the title known throughout the past month, and the champion made a preemptive strike after Sakazaki defeated Vertvixen in a singles match. Athena injured Sakazaki by trapping her leg in the ring steps and dropkicking the steps themselves. On this week’s Elevation, commentary informed us Sakazaki returned to Japan for medical evaluation, so we’ll see when she returns to AEW/ROH action.

In the meantime, the only true ROH matches to occur this month were Elimination matches Athena competed in on the February 20th and 27th editions of Dark: Elevation:

2 - Athena vs Evelyn Carter

ROH Women’s World Championship Eliminator Match
Athena vs. Evelyn Carter

AEW Dark Elevation #103 – Laredo, TX – 2.20.2023

This is Carter’s AEW debut. Athena immediately blasted her with a forearm strike before sending her shoulder first into the ring post. Athena dropkicked Carter off the apron as Carter was laying down, causing Carter to crash hard on the floor. Carter responded confidently with her own strikes on the floor, but a fired up Athena tossed Carter over the barricades and then dropkicked her chest and face into the barricades. Back in the ring, Carter goes for a few desperation pinfalls. Athena however brings her down with a choke and applies a crossface until Carter submits at 2:52. Athena superkicks Carter and drives her face into the Women’s title after having her hand raised. A nice dominant victory for the champion to further establish her aggressive, underhanded character. *

3 - Athena vs Danielle Kamela

ROH Women’s World Championship Eliminator Match
Athena vs. Danielle Kamela

AEW Dark Elevation #104 – Phoenix, AZ – 2.27.2023

Kamela was Vanessa Borne in NXT. Just like she did against Carter, Athena blasts Kamela with a forearm strike right at the bell. She also dropkicks Kamela to the floor off of the ring apron but misses running double knees into the ring steps. Kamela takes advantage by taking Athena down with a clothesline. She unloads a couple more inside the ring, along with a float over neckbreaker and snapmare driver for a two count. Athena backs into the ropes to trip Kamela off of the top rope. Athena lands double knees in the corner and lays out Kamela with the Eclipse for the pin at 3:19. Athena then smashes her face into the title belt before giving a knocked out Kamela a handshake. Kamela for sure looked more formidable than Carter, but it still had the same vibe as that match. *¼

Ring of Honor finally returns with a weekly show on March 2nd, exactly one year to the day when Tony Khan announced on Dynamite he had purchased the company. This means these monthly wrap-up posts are now concluded. Any ROH matches or angles occurring in AEW or elsewhere will be covered as part of my weekly episode reviews. For anyone who checked out this post, or any of the others over the past ten months, I thank you.

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