Ring Of Honor – October 5, 2023: It’s Not The Wrestlers’ Fault

Ring Of Honor
Date: October 5, 2023
Location: Climate Pledge Arena, Seattle, Washington
Commentators: Ian Riccaboni, Caprice Coleman

The era of searching for the new champions continues and that could make for quite the different show. In the last six or so weeks, Ring Of Honor has crowned new World, Tag Team and Six Man Tag Team Champions, but none have appeared during their new reigns. It would be nice to have that change, but that might imply this show matters in the grand scheme of things. In other words: Save us again Athena. Let’s get to it.

Here are last week’s results if you need a recap.

We get a clip from after WrestleDream of Eddie Kingston talking about how much he loves the Japanese style. Now he wants to deal with future challengers and have Snickers pie. This aired on Youtube the night of WrestleDream.

Opening sequence.

Women’s Title: Leyla Hirsch vs. Athena

Athena is defending and has Billie Starkz in her corner. Hirsch sends her into the corner for a slingshot dropkick out to the floor. Athena dives over a charge and hits a dropkick before dropping Hirsch off the steps. Back in and Athena stomps away but Hirsch manages a quick choke. With that broken up, Athena kicks away but stops to dance, allowing Starkz to grab a rollup for two.

Athena isn’t having that and drops her with a single shot, setting up a surfboard. Hirsch manages a quick suplex into a hard clotheslines for two more. That’s broken up with a Regal Roll but the O Face is countered into a triangle choke. Athena breaks out and they slug it with Hirsch getting the better of things.

A cross armbreaker has Athena in more trouble but she slips out and unloads with right hands. Hirsch catches her up top though and cartwheels into a German suplex for the big crash and another near fall. Athena has had it with this though and grabs the Despicable Knee to retain at 12:23.

Rating: B. This was the big match feel that has been missing from Athena’s matches as Hirsch gave her a run for her money. While it still seems likely that Starkz will be the one to take the title from Athena, Starkz at least gave her a sweat here and that’s better than you will get in a lot of Athena’s title matches these days. Good stuff here and it felt like a main event level match.

Post match Athena loads up the post match attack but Starkz convinces her to calm down. Maria Kanellis Bennett comes out to shake her head at Hirsch.

Christopher Daniels and Rocky Romero are ready to fight, though they respect each other.

Josh Woods vs. Tyler Payne

Mark Sterling is here with Woods, who grabs a snapmare but stops before kicking Payne in the back. Payne flips over him out of the corner but now Woods hits the shots to the back. The Tilt-A-Woods finishes Payne fast, as commentary says that this non-Pure Rules match should get Woods closer to a Pure Rules Title shot. Sure.

Rocky Romero vs. Christopher Daniels

Daniels works on a headlock to start and then runs Romero over with a shoulder. Back up and Romero snaps off a hurricanrana to the floor, setting up the big dive to drop Daniels again. Daniels is fine enough to drive him into the corner back inside, followed by a suplex for two.

The chinlock doesn’t do much good for Daniels as Romero is back up with a springboard tornado DDT. A middle rope double stomp gives Romero two but Daniels crotches him on top. Angel’s Wings is countered and a kick to the face sets up the running Sliced Bread to finish Daniels at 8:07.

Rating: B-. This is a good example of a match that you knew was going to be good based on who was involved. Daniels and Romero could have a fine match with each other in their sleep and they did more than well enough here. The match might not have meant anything and Daniels continues to lose, but there are far worse ways to use show time.

Dalton Castle is panicking over the pressure from the fans and his heart is beating rather fast. He knows he makes the ratings spike so he wants to give the people what they want. Lexi Nair: “I don’t know what that was.”

Scorpio Sky vs. Fred Rosser

Rosser is better known as Darren Young (though he’s gotten a lot better since then). They fight over wrist control to start until Sky pulls him down into a headlock. Back up and a backbreaker gives Rosser a breather, setting up some hip smashes in the corner. The cravate holds Sky down but he’s right back up with a Sky High. The TKO is blocked though and Rosser drops him back first onto the apron for two. Sky shrugs it off and grabs the TKO for the pin at 5:57.

Rating: B-. Another good match in a series tonight as Rosser is someone who can work well with anyone. I’m not sure why he hasn’t gotten a shot on a bigger stage but he has built up a bit of a reputation in recent years. Sky is the same, as he is able to have a solid match with any opponent and that was the case again here. Go with more of these two, but maybe, with something important perhaps?

Lady Frost/Renegades vs. Willow Nightingale/Skye Blue/Kiera Hogan

Nightingale blocks Frost’s whip to start and hits the basement crossbody. Hogan and Blue come in for a double basement superkick but Blue gets taken into the wrong corner. A double suplex gives Robyn two and it’s back to Frost for a release fisherman’s suplex. Blue gets stomped down but rolls away from a double suplex. The hot tag brings in Hogan to clean house but Charlette cuts her off with a Samoan driver. Everything breaks down and Frost hits Blue with an Air Raid Crash. The Renegades are sent into each other and Nightingale gives Robyn the Babe With The Powerbomb for the pin at 5:54.

Rating: C+. They kept this moving and it made for an entertaining match. Nightingale continues to be as charismatic as any woman in AEW/ROH today and the Renegades are still smooth in the ring. Blue is treated like something of a star and Frost is a good hand, with Hogan having the fire to keep the energy up. Fun match here, even if there is no reason to believe any of them are going anywhere.

The Infantry and Trish Adora are ready for their matches tonight.

Ethan Page vs. Invictus Khash

Page grinds away on a headlock to start but gets his hair pulled. That earns Khash a series of right hands but he knocks Page out of the corner. Page gets rocked with a discus forearm, though he’s fine enough to send Khash outside. A shoulder off the apron sets up the slingshot cutter to give Page the pin at 2:59.

Mark Sterling and Tony Nese are ready for Satoshi Kojima, who likes bread. Carbs are the enemy you know.

TMDK vs. The Infantry

Bravo hugs Haste to start and they run around with neither being able to get anywhere. A double hiptoss into a double fist drop gets two on Haste but Nicholls trips Dean from the floor. The villains take over on Dean in the corner but he slips out of a belly to back suplex and kicks his way over to Bravo. House is quickly cleaned and a spinning faceplant gets two. Bravo goes up top but gets caught in a powerbomb/superplex combination for two. Everything breaks down and a diving DDT/Big Ending combination finishes Bravo at 7:36.

Rating: C+. TMDK is a good team who are the week’s guest stars, but it doesn’t help that they’ve already had their Trios Titles match and lost, making them a bit less interesting. Beating the Infantry doesn’t mean much around here, though they did put up a good fight. The main appeal was having a New Japan team here and while talented, they were another match on an already long show.

Ethan Page wants competition and if that happens to be Eddie Kingston, cool.

Tony Nese vs. Satoshi Kojima

Nese, crowd insults, group therapy, opponent interrupts. This time things go a bit further though, as Kojima loves bread, which Nese hates because of the carbs. Nese bounds off of Kojima to start and Kojima pops his pecs a bit. Mark Sterling trips Kojima down though and Nese sends him outside, where Sterling can get in a cheap shot.

Back in and Nese ties him in the Tree of Woe for the crunch kicks to the ribs. The bodyscissors stays on Kojima’s ribs but he fights up and hits the rapid fire chops in the corner. The top rope elbow gives Kojima two but Nese is right back with the neck snap across the top. Nese’s springboard moonsault gets two, only to have Kojima come back with a Koji Cutter. The lariat finishes Nese at 7:21.

Rating: C. This was another match featuring a guest star and while it’s cool to see Kojima here, there is only so much to be gotten out of having him beat up Nese. It’s the same match and series of crowd insults that we’ve seen for months and it’s not exactly fascinating in the first place. At least they had something with the Bread Club stuff but there wasn’t much else here.

Athena is NOT impressed with Billie Starkz’s minioning so more training is needed. Lexi Nair doesn’t like it either. As a result, Starkz has to go to Tony Khan’s office, shout “My name is Willow Nightingale and I’m a big loser!” and leave. As usual, these things are great.

Trish Adora vs. Billie Starkz

Athena is here with Starkz, who is knocked outside and gets some Athena yelling. Back in and Starkz drives her into the buckle over and over but Adora kicks her in the face over and over. Adora hits some hip attacks in the corner, until Starks comes back with a hard forearm. The Swanton hits raised knees but Starkz shrugs it off and grabs a lifting Pedigree. A Bank Statement finishes Adora at 4:05.

Rating: C. This would be your third Starkz segment of the night and while they’re still the best thing on the show, they might want to spread her stuff out a bit. Adora continues her fall down the ladder and I’m not sure how much further she can fall. The match didn’t have time to go very far but it could have been worse.

Lee Johnson vs. Darius Martin

Commentary starts talking about the pandemic shots as the guys go technical to start and trade some legsweeps for two each. Martin slips out of a hiptoss and knocks him down but Johnson manages a shove into the corner. A belly to back suplex gives Johnson two and we hit the chinlock. Martin suplexes his way to freedom and a springboard faceplant gets two on Johnson. Johnson’s Blue Thunder Bomb gets the same but Martin grabs a suplex. The frog slash finishes Johnson at 6:47.

Rating: C. The action was fine, the wrestlers are both talented and they had a completely watchable match. The problem here is it’s the tenth match an hour and forty minutes into a show and they came in ice cold. It’s kind of hard to get into a match between two people who are going nowhere when the show has already run long as it is and it really hurt things here. Not a bad match at all, but it was stuck in a horrible spot.

Shane Taylor Promotions vs. Cole Karter/Griff Garrison vs. Iron Savages vs. Workhorsemen

One fall to a finish. Henry and Moriarty start things off and technical to a standoff. Bronson comes in and is taken into the corner so Drake can slingshot in with a hilo. A forearm into a DDT gets two on Garrison as the rapid fire tags continue. It’s off to Taylor to headbutt Henry and a splash gets two. Drake comes back in and beats up Karter as everything breaks down. The Savages clean house and consume some Savage Sauce, which Maria Kanellis-Bennett steals. Taylor uses the distraction to blast Karter with a right hand for the pin at 7:35.

Rating: C+. This was one of those matches where there were so many people flying around that it was difficult to keep track of everything that was going on. Taylor getting the pin continues his rise back to the higher levels of Ring Of Honor and that is a good thing for a lot of people. Other than that, Karter and Garrison continue to be a waste of Maria and I do not get why whatsoever.

Komander/Gravity/Metalik vs. Spanish Announce Project/Gringo Loco

Loco and Metalik start things off with Metalik kicking him in the head and snapping off a rope walk hurricanrana. Loco flips out of a headscissors though and it’s off to Komander vs. Angelico. It’s quickly off to Gravity, who gets flapjacked into a splash on Angelico before snapping off a hurricanrana of his own.

Everything breaks down and a triple basement dropkick hits Gravity. Loco hits a powerbomb for two and Komander gets beaten down in the corner. Komander is fine enough to use Loco as a launchpad for a hurricanrana and it’s back to Metalik. Loco super Spanish Flies Komander and hits a dive onto the floor. Back in and Komander hits a springboard spinning Canadian Destroyer to drop Loco, followed by the rope walk shooting star press for the pin at 8:47.

Rating: B-. As has been the case for years, there is something to be said about taking a bunch of luchadors and letting them go nuts for a little while with the flips and the dive. It continues to work here, with everyone getting to do at least a little something. It could have been better served earlier in the show, but this kind of thing is always fun and it worked great here.

Overall Rating: C. Let me get this out of the way first: the wrestling here was absolutely not the problem. Everything was perfectly watchable at worst with some good matches sprinkled throughout. Match wise, nothing on here was even close to bad and all of the action was fine…but there is a lot more to a wrestling show than that.

I didn’t think it was possible, but they have somehow made this show feel even less important. Save for a pre-taped interview which had aired on AEW’s Youtube page four days earlier, there was no appearance from any champion here outside of Athena. That leaves you with a bunch of people fighting for possible title shots down the line, even though title shots tend to go to guest stars or AEW wrestlers with nothing else to do. On top of that though, despite having almost nothing of note to a lot of these matches, the show has somehow gotten EVEN LONGER, clocking in at 2:06 this week.

I’m not sure what the point is for having the show go this long, but it’s like they’re trying to make it feel less important. Throw in a lot of the ROH champions not even having their belts this week on Dynamite and it feels like ROH is getting the spotlight shifted away from the little space that it has. But then the show goes longer while filling it with less important stuff. As usual, this show is a mess, and it has nothing to do with the wrestling.

Results
Athena b. Leyla Hirsch – Despicable Knee
Josh Woods b. Tyler Payne – Tilt-A-Woods
Rocky Romero b. Christopher Daniels – Running Sliced Bread
Scorpio Sky b. Fred Rosser – TKO
Willow Nightingale/Skye Blue/Kiera Hogan b. Lady Frost/Renegades – Babe With The Powerbomb to Robyn
Ethan Page b. Invictus Khash – Slingshot cutter
TMNK b. The Infantry – Middle rope DDT/Big Ending to Bravo
Satoshi Kojima b. Tony Nese – Lariat
Billie Starkz b Trish Adora – Bank Statement
Shane Taylor Promotions b. Iron Savages, Griff Garrison/Cole Karter and Workhorsemen – Right hand to Karter
Komander/Gravity/Metalik b. Gringo Loco/Spanish Announce Project – Rope walk shooting star press to Loco

 

 

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