ROH on Honor Club #10

Sunrise, FL – 5.4.2023

Commentary is provided by Ian Riccaboni, Caprice Coleman & Nigel McGuinness.

ROH Pure Rules Match
Rocky Romero vs. Lee Moriarty

This is a rematch from Episode 9. Romero asked for a rematch and for the Pure Rules stipulation due to Big Bill’s interference leading to Moriarty’s victory. Big Bill is in Moriarty’s corner for this match as well. 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.
*No mention of judges this time around.
* Anyone who interferes in this match will be levied a hefty fine.

Romero instantly attempts the Diablo Armbar, resulting in Moriarty spending his first rope break mere seconds into the bout. Romero snapmares Moriarty to the outside and wipes him out with a suicide dive, and Romero is mindful of Bill given what happened last week. Moriarty steps through the ropes to reverse a hammerlock, and Stephon Smith counts that as Moriarty using his second rope break. Bill grabs Romero’s foot when Smith isn’t looking. Perhaps out of anger, Romero is able to cut off Moriarty’s sneak attack attempt with a closed fist punch. Romero is warned because of this, and ends up being sent face first into the middle turnbuckle with a Complete Shot by Moriarty. Romero slips under Moriarty, who is punching him in the corner from the second turnbuckle, and dropkicks his legs out from under him. Romero rolls Moriarty into a cross armbreaker as Moriarty comes off of the ropes, and he uses his third and final rope break to escape. Moriarty exits the ring out to Bill to cause a distraction. It backfires when Moriarty attempts a tiger feint kick using the apron and bottom rope and ends up hitting Bill. Romero lands a running knee attack off of the apron to Moriarty and brings him back into the ring. Moriarty reverses a tornado DDT attempt into the Tiger Driver ‘18 for a nearfall. Romero places Moriarty on the top turnbuckle and brings him down into the Diablo Armbar. Moriarty gets the ropes, but Romero does not have to release the hold, and Moriarty submits at 9:29. This was a really solid follow up from last week. Romero employed tactics to wear down Moriarty’s arm to exhaust his rope breaks and make it easier to get a submission victory once that was achieved, and Bill had to be more careful of his involvement due to the strict Pure rules. I would take a threematch. ***¼

ROH Women’s World Championship Proving Ground Match
Athena vs. Angelica Rick

If Risk is victorious, or lasts 10 minutes, she will earn a future ROH Women’s World title match. Risk seemed like a more imposing than usual opponent for Athena, but aside from some moments of hope, Athena basically rolled her. Impressively, Athena caught Risk’s crossbody attempt with one arm, and then gave her three consecutive slams off of her shoulders. The Wrath of the Goddess leads to a crossface victory for Athena at 5:07. Athena then sends a message to Skye Blue by using Blue’s own finishing move, the Skye Fall, to send Risk’s face into the belt. Nice to know we have a title match in sight, and that Athena changes up these Proving Ground matches from them feeling stale. **¼

ROH World Television Championship
Samoa Joe vs. Christopher Daniels

Joe has been champion since 4.13.2022 and this is his ninth defense. Like Colt Cabana, Daniels has the distinction of challenging Joe for the ROH World (Glory By Honor II), Pure (Night of the Grudges II), and now Television titles. Joe knocks down Daniels with a back elbow. From there, he scrambles Daniels with an enzuigiri in the corner and lands a Muta style elbow drop. Daniels throws some forearms to the face and elbows to the neck, but is taken down by the champion with a snap slam. Daniels gets his foot up to block a corner attack and drops Joe with a flying Complete Shot for two. Joe escapes an Angel’s Wings attempt and belly-to-belly suplexes Daniels into the corner. The Muscle Buster gets Joe the pin at 5:53. You’d be disappointing yourself to compare this to their matches from 15-20 years ago, and truthfully, it isn’t fair to do so. Daniels was a significant name for Joe to add to his list of his defenses, and Daniels got in just enough offense to make it seem somewhat plausible he could sneak out a win. I would’ve really enjoyed this with more time. **½

ROH World Championship Match
Claudio Castagnoli vs. Robbie Eagles

Castagnoli has been champion since 12.10.2022 and this is his seventh defense. Eagles is a member of the TMDK faction in New Japan Pro Wrestling, and a former IWGP Jr. Heavyweight and Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team champion. He is also the younger brother of former SHIMMER Champion Madison Eagles. Eagles only other ROH appearance was as part of the Honor Rising events in 2019. Claudio shows his power by throwing down Eagles to the mat in a gutwrench. Eagles picks up the pace and sends Claudio to the floor with a spin kick. A frustrated Claudio shoves and slaps Eagles, but Eagles gives it right back to him. Claudio digs his fingers into Eagles’ eyes to shut him down and throws him across the ring out of a vertical suplex. Eagles attacks Claudio’s left knee, softening it up for the Ron Miller Special. Claudio rolls out of the way of a 450 Splash and scoops up Eagles into a Michinoku Driver for two. Eagles counters a pop-up into a huracanrana. Claudio kicks out and short-arm clotheslines Eagles for two. Eagles goes for a standing Shiranui. Claudio twists Eagles as he jumps up into a Ricola Bomb for the pin at 8:23. This was action packed and really fun. Eagles left a positive impression on a crowd who didn’t seem that familiar with him and genuinely posed as a challenge to Claudio. As someone who is a fan of Eagles, it was a real treat to see him in a high profile match in this environment. I’ll take more TMDK in ROH, please. ***½

Skye Blue asked for some time to speak with Dasha Gonzales backstage. Skye speaks to Athena through the camera, saying she doesn’t appreciate Athena bullying women to assert her dominance as champion, nor that Athena came out after her match last week to intimidate her. Blue then challenges Athena to a Women’s title match.

Best Friends (Chuck Taylor & Trent Berretta), Stu Grayson, Darius Martin & Action Andretti vs. The Kingdom (Matt Taven & Mike Bennett) & The Varsity Athletes (Tony Nese, Josh Woods & Ari Daivari)

The Dark Order of Evil Uno, John Silver and Alex Reynolds are in the corner of the Best Friends team, and Maria Kanellis-Bennett and Mark Sterling are in the Kingdom and Athletes corner. Things broke down when Bennett came in to attack Andretti and Martin who had taken down his partner Taven. Grayson and the Best Friends also did damage to Taven, and threw Bennett to the outside when he attempted to interject. Nese, however, surprised Beretta with a clothesline from the apron to turn the match in his team’s favor. That lasts only a moment, as Taylor jumps up to the top turnbuckle when Nese whips Beretta to the corner, taking the blow for his best friend and enabling Beretta to rebound with a Busaiku Knee. Grayson ran roughshod over the Varsity Athletes, though Woods was able to waistlock suplex him off of the top rope. Andretti then wiped out all of the Athletes and Bennett with a tope con hilo. Beretta perplexed Taven onto everyone, including some of his own partners. Back in the ring, Grayson wiped out Daivari with a Pele kick. The Righteous of Vincent and Dutch distracted Grayson, but even still, Andretti was able to pin Daivari with a torture rack neckbreaker for the win at 6:26. Points for uniqueness, but the action was just a little too chaotic for anything to sink in. It was pretty fun, though. **

Athena laughs when Dasha Gonzalez asks if she accepts Skye Blue’s challenge, and calls her by the wrong name (Lexy). Athena says she will wrestle Skye Blue next week, and will consider whether it will be for the title. She says Blue doesn’t belong in her division, and that she will make an example out of her.

Preston Vance vs. Rich Adonis

Jose The Assistant is in Vance’s corner. Vance was presented as the powerhouse of LFI in a tag match last week, and that continued with his pummeling of the debuting Adonis. He used RUSH’s trademark of throwing his opponent into multiple portions of the barricade to start the match, and after a slingshot German suplex, he delivered a discus lariat to pin Adonis at 2:21. This show still has too many squashes (see below) but Vance is still being established in ROH, so I approve of this one being on the card.

The Kingdom attack Action Andretti and Darius Martin during their post match interview backstage. Taven and Bennnett shake their hands to mock the Code of Honor and sarcastically welcome them to ROH. This sort of goes against what they said last week in their video, but they’re bad guys so I suppose that’s fine.

Skye Blue vs. Robyn Renegade

This was actually quite competitive. Blue had to fight Robyn for her finisher, even after outpacing her and nailing her with a pair of superkicks. Blue escaped the prawn hold Robyn attempted when escaping the Skye Fall, and then successfully delivered the Skye Fall for the pin at 4:13. Nothing wrong with a hard fought win for a title challenger heading into a potential match. **

Brian Cage vs. Brock Anderson

This is Anderson’s ROH debut, although he challenged Daniel Garcia for the Pure title on AEW Dark (RIP) in November. Prince Nana is in Cage’s corner. Another week, another trivial singles match for Brian Cage. Anderson is also an interesting choice for Cage to be defeating soundly. I know he’s another guy doing a whole lot of nothing backstage who is being thrown a bone, but it is unfortunate that likely zero thought beyond that was put into choosing him as Cage’s opponent. Cage pins him with the Drill Claw at 3:16. This was pointless.

Willow Nightingale vs. Steph De Lander

This is De Lander’s ROH debut. She was Persia Pirotta in NXT, and is currently BROSKI’s heater in GCW and AIW. This turns into some action figure banter on commentary of which I approve. De Lander got to show her strength against Willow. She decided to attempt one more corner splash after a successful attempt, but Willow moved out of the way. She hip attacked De Lander in the corner, dropkicked her across the ring, and crushed her with a somersault senton in the corner. Willow stacks up De Lander in a pin after a spinebuster for the pin at 3:34. I enjoy everything Willow does, but I admit the match was a little shaky at times, and just like the match above, it felt pointless. De Lander could be a really good addition to the women’s division.

Komander vs. Angelico

Serpentico is in Angelico’s corner. Komander turned a tornillo into an inside armdrag to send Angelico outside, but a running big boot from Angelico shut him down. Angelico continued to pummel and keep Komander grounded, but Komander dodged a knee attack in the corner that sent Angelico tumbling to the outside. Komander followed with a twisting Asai moonsault. Komander lands a high crossbody. Krossbody lands another dive to the floor before swan diving in with a sunset flip back inside of the ring. A high kick from the mat puts Angelico back in control. After a failed pin attempt, Angelico attempts a running Razor’s Edge into the corner. Instead, Komander headscissors Angelico into the turnbuckles, then pins him with an impactful sunset flip. He follows that with a high speed Frankensteiner for two. Komander rope walks across the entire ring and lands a moonsault on the opposite side. A running shooting star press off of the top rope then gets Komander the pin at 6:03. That was a really good showcase for Komander, and Angelico was the perfect person for him to shine against. **¾

Serpentico helps Angelico attack Komander after the bell, but Orange Cassidy and Bandido come to his rescue. Those three vs. the SAP would be a very interesting six man match, and an odd one to be featured in ROH.

I saw the taping results for this show, and that they taped the first four matches prior to Dynamite, and the shorter squashy matches after Rampage. I thought this was smart – you film the more important matches with the biggest and hopefully loudest crowds, and when you edit the show, you can spread out the shorter less meaningful matches around those bouts. Then the show came out in the order filmed, and it resulted in an extremely top heavy show in terms of importance and quality. I don’t understand that choice at all. The benefit of the show airing this way, however, is that you can shut off the show after the World Title match. Figure it out, ROH.

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