Ring Of Honor TV – March 30, 2023
By Thomas Hall on 31st March 2023
Ring Of Honor
Date: March 30, 2023
Location: Chaifetz Arena, St. Louis, Missouri
Commentators: Ian Riccaboni, Caprice Coleman
It’s the go home show for Supercard Of Honor and that means we should be in for a big night. The card is mostly set and while a lot of the build should be focused on the event, there is a good chance that we will be seeing a lot more than that. The show has been good so far though and hopefully they can keep that up. Let’s get to it.
Tony Nese/Ari Daivari vs. Aussie Open
So yes, Daivari is now in TWO groups and Mark Sterling is here with Nese/Daivari. Fletcher works on Daivari’s arm to start and throws him down without much effort. Nese and Davis come in with the former going straight to the bicep pose and the Aussies take over on him rather quickly.
Sterling offers a distraction though and Fletcher is brought to the floor for a ram into the apron. Back in and Daivari misses a top rope splash, allowing Fletcher to roll over for the tag to Davis. Everything breaks down quickly but Sterling’s distraction breaks up Coriolis. Daivari knees Fletcher in the head and Nese adds a 450 for a rather close two. Davis makes the save and the Aussies superkick Sterling, setting up Coriolis to finish Nese at 9:20.
Rating: C. This is exactly what the match should have been, as the Aussies have a big match coming up and they need some momentum. Nese and Daivari aren’t a regular team but they have enough value on their own. At the same time, anything involving Sterling being hit in the face is a good thing so this could have been a lot worse.
Miyu Yamashita vs. Shazza McKenzie
Respect is shown and Miyu snapmares her down for a kick to the back. A suplex gets McKenzie out of trouble but Miyu powers out of an abdominal stretch. Back up and Miyu hits a heck of a kick to the chest but Shazza kicks the leg out. Some kicks to the chest rock Miyu but she rolls through a crossbody. A big kick to the head knocks Shazza silly for the pin at 4:43.
Rating: C. Short match here but Yamashita is someone who feels like a big star, especially with those hard kicks. McKenzie is someone who has been around for a long time but hasn’t had a lot of exposure on the big stage. As good as she was though, this was all about Miyu, who lived up to the hype and would be nice to have around here/AEW more often.
The Embassy vs. JD Griffey/Dak Draper/Arjun Singh
Non-title and the Embassy has Prince Nana with them. Cage leapfrogs the rather tall Draper to start and powerslams him down. A release German suplex drops Draper again and it’s off to Griffey to strike away at Toa. The strikes don’t exactly have any impact though so it’s Kaun coming in for a hard clothesline. Singh gets blasted by the Gates’ double clothesline and the apron superplex finishes for Cage at 3:14.
Rating: C-. More dominance from the Embassy before their title defense on Friday. Much like the opener, this was to the point but the speed made the team look even more dominant. I’m still not sure why I’m supposed to be interested in guys who aren’t much more than a bunch of size and power but there have been weaker reasons to give people belts before.
AR Fox/Metalik vs. The Infantry
For and Metalik have a Six Man Tag Team Title shot coming up but they’re in a regular tag match here. I’m sure that makes sense somehow. Metalik breaks up Dean’s headlock to start and hits the reverse Sling Blade. The rope walk dropkick gets an early two and it’s Fox coming in to almost piledrive Dean down for two. Bravo comes in and hits Metalik in the face to take over though, including Snake Eyes in the corner.
Fox tries to come in and gets caught with a wishbone to put him down as well. A suplex gets two on Metalik and a heck of a right hand into a Sky High is good for the same. Metalik manages a sunset bomb though and an enziguri allows the tag back to Fox. House is quickly cleaned and an enziguri knocks Bravo into a rolling cutter. Metalik adds a heck of an Asai moonsault, setting up Fox’s springboard Downward Spiral. The top rope elbow gives Metalik the pin at 8:14.
Rating: B-. This was all action and it was rather entertaining, despite the weird choice of not having Blake Christian here. The Infantry might not be the most successful team in the world but they are more than capable of having a nice match. Fox and Metalik are a nice team together too and the four of them made this work well.
Ring Of Honor Women’s Title: Athena vs. Emi Sakura
Athena is defending and gets chopped to the floor to start. Back up and Athena is able to get in a posting, setting up something close to a belly to back suplex on the apron. Athena slams Sakura’s manager but the distraction is enough for Sakura to hit a running crossbody against the steps. Back up and Athena is fine enough to tie her in the Tree of Woe for some kicks to the back as the intensity cranks up a bit.
Sakura cuts off a flip with a chop though and a rather delayed butterfly backbreaker drops Athena again. A moonsault gives Sakura two and it’s time to chop it out. Athena gets knocked down but nips up, where she has to cartwheel out of something close to Cross Rhodes. Sakura gets knocked away but manages to pull the O Face out of the air. A suplex gives Sakura two but Athena forearms her in the face. Something like a powerbomb flipped into a Codebreaker sets up a choke to make Sakura tap at 8:33.
Rating: B. This was a heck of a fight and the crowd carried it that much further. The fans were actually rocking over this one and it was well deserved as it was one of the best Athena matches I’ve ever seen. Sakura brought it as well and it was rather good once it got going. This came out of pretty much nowhere and it was quite the hit.
Post match Athena goes after Sakura’s knee but Yuka Sakazaki runs in for the save. Security has to break up the brawl but Sakazaki dives off the top to take out a bunch of guards and Athena at once.
Rush/Dralistico/The Kingdom vs. Top Flight/Lucha Bros
Jose the Assistant, Maria Kanellis-Bennett and Alex Abrahantes are here too. Taven and Darius start things off but Taven wants (and receives) Penta. That means a slap with the glove, which Alex catches on the floor. That’s too far as everything breaks down and the good guys clear the ring. With that not working for the villains, they pull the other four outside and the brawl continues.
Taven kicks Penta in the head and a slingshot elbow gets two. Rush and Dralistico stomp away on Dante, setting up a double basement dropkick to make it worse. It’s back to the Kingdom, who can’t quite manage Hail Maria to Dante. Fenix comes in to clean house but Penta has to save him from the Proton Pack. Top Flight comes in with the kicks to the head, only to have Dralistico come in with a springboard Codebreaker to Darius. Dralistico’s springboard Canadian Destroyer (geez) gets two and the Bull’s Horns finishes Darius at 7:32.
Rating: B-. This is about as logical of a way as they could have taken to set up the ladder match and I appreciate them keeping it to one match here rather than spreading it out. If nothing else, there is something fun about having everyone in there running around until one team catches the pin. The win means nothing for tomorrow, but at least they had an entertaining match on the way there.
Here is Mark Briscoe to say that tomorrow night is the biggest singles match of his career. This one is special because it’s for his family, from his wife to his kids to his brother to everyone back in Delaware. He and Samoa Joe have beaten on each other for years but now it’s time for Briscoe to claim his destiny. Joe pops up on screen to say he does NOT like the sound of that and promises to win. They kept this one to the point.
In the back, Jay Lethal is waiting for Mark Briscoe and tells him to bring home the title. Lethal was being sincere here.
Pure Title: Leon Ruffin vs. Wheeler Yuta
Yuta is defending and has a newly designed title. They go with the hard lockup to start with Yuta taking over off a wristlock. Ruffin fights out and goes to the middle rope, only to get tossed back down. The Octopus hold goes on (in a nod to Katsuyori Shibata/Antonio Inoki) but Ruffin makes it over to the rope or the break. Yuta ties up the legs and bridges back while posing a bit for a bonus. Ruffin has to burn off another rope break and he bounces off the ropes, only to get knocked out of the air. The hammerlock crossface finishes Ruffin at 5:28.
Rating: C. This was little more than a squash for Yuta and a match that probably didn’t need to be on the card. Yuta has long since been established as being able to take out those beneath him and Ruffin would certainly fit the description. The Shibata match should be good, though I’m not sure where Yuta is supposed to go after that after beating so many people.
Post match Yuta promises to beat Katsuyori Shibata….who is here in person. They go nose to nose and Shibata backs down.
El Hijo del Vikingo vs. Blake Christian
Non-title. Commentary can’t believe we’re getting this match and….yeah it’s quite the odd choice. Feeling out process to start until they start running the ropes. Christian gets knocked down to set up a quick standing shooting star press to give Vikingo two. Vikingo snaps off an armbar for two as commentary makes the good point of how fast Vikingo’s mind must go to do those moves.
A rope walk hurricanrana drops Christian to the floor and the big springboard flip dive takes him down again. Back in and Christian avoids a charge and hits a basement dropkick to the floor. Christian kicks him down again back inside and there’s the Fosbury Flop to drop Vikingo again. A standing flip splash hits Vikingo back inside and we hit the chinlock. That doesn’t last long and Vikingo is up with a spinning kick to the head.
Vikingo’s springboard corkscrew 450 gets two and Christian drops him down hard. They head to the apron and Vikingo hits a poisonrana but Christian catches him with a running C4 on the floor. Back in and a running Death Valley Driver gives Christian two and they go up top. Both of them backflip down at the same time (that looked sweet) where Vikingo plants him with a hurricanrana for the pin at 10:38.
Rating: B+. This was a different kind of match as it was Christian trying to match Vikingo instead of trying to survive him. Christian absolutely help up his side of things and it was a heck of a match. I’m not sure why this match needed to air this week when Christian has a title match tomorrow but the action involved makes up for pretty much all of that.
Post break Prince Nana interrupts Blake Christian, who isn’t worried about being beaten up and is ready to win the titles. Then the Embassy jumps him to make it worse.
Eddie Kingston vs. Christopher Daniels
Daniels’ running shoulders don’t work to start so Kingston hammers him down to take over. A running neckbreaker gets Daniels out of trouble though and an STO gets two. Daniels Downward Spirals him into a quickly broken Koji Clutch and Kingston grabs a backdrop. They chop it out with both lowering their singlets to make it more painful.
Kingston goes with a jumping enziguri to stagger Daniels and an exploder suplex sends him flying. Daniels gets in a shot of his own though and pulls up the straps to protect the damaged chest. Back up and Kingston has had it with this, meaning it’s a pair of Spinning Backfists to the Future to finish Daniels at 7:25.
Rating: C+. You knew these two were going to be fine against each other as there is way too much talent between them. Kingston is going into the World Title match at Supercard and Daniels mainly exists to put other people over these days so this was a completely logical setup for the main event.
Post match respect is shown….and here is Claudio Castagnoli (also with redesigned title). Daniels leaves and Kingston wants to fight right now. The referee stays in and Castagnoli takes off his shirt….before leaving. Kingston says says if the fans don’t buy the pay per view, they’ll feel like s*** because he needs to be a World Champion.
Kingston’s mom isn’t a grandmother because he doesn’t have time for anything but wrestling. He accuses Castagnoli of leaving to go be an entertainer (with an uncensored F bomb included). Castagnoli leaves and Kingston promises to fight until he dies in the ring and lists off some Ring Of Honor World Champions to end the show. Good fired up promo from Kingston here and I would hope that they change the title, though I don’t think I can picture it.
Overall Rating: B. This show started slowly and then didn’t look back with pretty much nothing short of rather good after the first three matches. There were some weird booking choices here and there but what matters is they made me want to see Supercard of Honor more than I did coming in. Solid show here which would have been a bit sharper with a bit of it trimmed off and maybe another promo or two.
Aussie Open b. Tony Nese/Ari Daivari – Coriolis to Nese
Miyu Yamashita b. Shazza McKenzie – Kick to the head
The Embassy b. JD Griffey/Dak Draper/Arjun Singh – Apron superplex to Singh
AR Fox/Metalik b. The Infantry – Top rope elbow to Bravo
Athena b. Emi Sakura – Choke
Rush/Dralistico/The Kingdom b. Top Flight/Lucha Bros – Bull’s Horns to Darius
Wheeler Yuta b. Leon Ruffin – Hammerlock crossface
El Hijo del Vikingo b. Blake Christian – Hurricanrana
Eddie Kingston b. Christopher Daniels – Spinning Backfist to the Future
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