Ring Of Honor TV – April 20, 2023
By Thomas Hall on 21st April 2023
Ring Of Honor
Date: April 20, 2023
Location: University Of Milwaukee-Wisconsin Panther Arena, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Commentators: Caprice Coleman, Ian Riccaboni
You never know what you can expect out of this show (save for Athena and Tony Nese/Mark Sterling of course) and in a way, that makes it more fun. They keep things simple with the show and it makes things that much better a lot of the time. The show has yet to be bad and if they can keep that up, it’s a nice use of however long it is this week. Let’s get to it.
The Kingdom vs. Darius Martin/Action Andretti
Maria Kanellis-Bennett is here with the Kingdom. Martin gets suckered into the wrong corner to start and Taven adds a dropkick. A running forearm gives Bennett two and a spinebuster is good for the same. Martin manages to send Bennett outside though and it’s Andretti coming in as everything breaks down. Taven gets sent into the corner but Bennett cuts Andretti off, allowing Taven to kick him in the head. The Hail Mary is broken up though and it’s Martin coming back in to pick up the pace. Martin and Andretti both go up but Maria offers a distraction. That’s enough for Bennett to Proton Pack Martin for the pin at 6:16.
Rating: C+. This was a fun enough match, as the Kingdom beat a makeshift team and hopefully get to move on to something more serious. They could easily be slotted into a title feud and I’m rather surprised they haven’t been closer to the titles. The team already has the resume so why not run with that for a bit?
Athena doesn’t like that she’s not being taken seriously so the open challenge is on. The fact that there was a graphic during the first match showing who she was facing takes away some of the intrigue.
Willow Nightingale vs. Robyn Renegade
Robyn’s sister Charlotte is here too, but Riccaboni steals the show by rapping Nightingale to the ring (and doing rather well). Nightingale shoulders Robyn down to start and strikes a pose, followed by a basement crossbody for two. A bulldog drops Robyn again but she trips Nightingale up on the apron to take over. Back in and Nightingale kicks her in the face, setting up a spinebuster for two. The Pounce sets up…a sister switch, but the referee catches her. Nightingale grabs a cradle for the pin at 4:57.
Rating: C. The ending was a bit of a twist and it was kind of nice to see Nightingale cut off what seemed to be a good plan. Other than that, Nightingale gets another win that keeps her warm, but she is to the point where she needs a big win or a lot of this isn’t going to matter. Nightingale has the tools, but a win is what matters and she doesn’t have a big one yet in either promotion. Fix that or these wins don’t mean much.
Post match the Renegades take Nightingale out.
Colt Cabana is happy to be back and getting a TV Title match tonight against Samoa Joe.
Lance Archer vs. Jah-C
As usual, Archer jumps him during the entrance and is in control as the bell rings. For some reason Jah-C tries a dropkick and gets screamed at for his efforts. Chops have just as little effect and the reverse DDT plants Jah-C. A lariat finishes for Archer at 1:59.
Post match Archer beats him to the back.
Brian Cage vs. Joey Jett
Prince Nana is here with Cage. An overhead belly to belly sends Jett flying and a German suplex makes it worse. Jett’s slingshot cutter is blocked and Cage hits another suplex. Back up and Jett slugs away, setting up a quick Downward Spiral. Jett hits a running kick to the face for two but Cage takes his head off with a discus lariat. The F5 finishes Jett off at 5:07.
Rating: C. Jett was a hometown boy and for a few seconds there, the fans were having quite the bit of fun getting behind him. There was little reason to believe anything else was going to happen though and that’s ok here. Giving Jett even a bit of offense in there was fun and it made what should have been a total squash more entertaining than it would have been otherwise.
Heather Reckless vs. Athena
Non-title Proving Ground match (if Reckless wins or lasts the ten minute time limit, she gets a title shot). Athena kicks her in the face but stops to pose, allowing Reckless to send her outside. The dive doesn’t go well though as Athena pulls her out of the air for some tosses into the barricade. Back in and about five powerbombs in a row set up a Crossface to make Reckless tap at 2:55.
Post match Athena sends her face first into the title belt, as tends to be her custom.
Dark Order vs. Lee Johnson/Cole Karter
John Silver/Alex Reynolds for the Order here. Silver flips over Johnson to start and hits a dropkick but Reynolds gets driven into the wrong corner. Reynolds shoulders his way out of trouble and a clothesline gets two on Karter. Silver gets drawn in though and Johnson get sin a cheap shot on the floor. Johnson takes Reynolds down and tries to cut off a hot tag attempt but a backdrop lets Silver come in anyway. Karter punches Silver from the floor to cut him off again so it’s right back to Reynolds. Everything breaks down and a series of strikes set up the Stunner into the German suplex into the flipping bridge to pin Karter at 6:07.
Rating: C. The action was fine but it’s hard to get into a match that felt like it belonged on Elevation at best. The Dark Order get reactions but they have long since stopped feeling like they matter whatsoever. Johnson and Karter (Remember when he dressed up like Sting that one time and it went nowhere?) never felt like anything in the first place so there just wasn’t much to get behind here.
Penta El Cero Miedo vs. Nick Comoroto
Alex Abrahantes is here with Penta. Comoroto throws a toothpick in Penta’s face to start so we get the glove removal but Comoroto cuts off the throw. Some hard shots put Penta down as the early power dominance begins. Penta fights up with a pair of Sling Blades and gets two off a Backstabber. There’s the arm snap for two but Comoroto is back with a fireman’s carry backbreaker onto the knee for two more. Penta isn’t having this and snaps the arm again for the pin at 5:41.
Rating: C. Comoroto hasn’t crossed my mind in a good while, which is kind of shame as he has enough of a look to have at least a chance. Then again, there is only so much you can do when you are put into a low level group with little reason to care. Hopefully he gets a shot somewhere, but losing to Penta in five minutes isn’t a great step forward.
Konosuke Takeshita vs. Lee Moriarty
They trade takedowns to the mat to start, with Takeshita’s headscissors not getting him very far. Back up and an exchange of armdrags sets up a leg lariat to drop Moriarty. Takeshita gets knocked outside though and some running knees send him into the barricade. Moriarty starts in on the arm back inside and bends away, including snapping the fingers.
The shoulder is sent into the buckle a few times but Takeshita is back with a jumping clothesline. There’s a brainbuster to give Takeshita a breather and some running kicks in the corner rock Moriarty. A middle rope backsplash gives Takeshita two but Moriarty catches him on top with a superplex.
They slug it out until Takeshita’s German suplex into the Blue Thunder Bomb gets two. The running knee misses though and Moriarty suplexes him into a Border City Stretch. That’s broken up as well and Moriarty’s European Clutch is countered into a legtrap Tombstone for two. Takeshita forearms him down and the running knee finishes at 12:40.
Rating: B. This is a tale of two matches and we’ll start with the good. These two beat the fire out of each other for almost thirteen minutes and it was one heck of a back and forth match, with Takeshita adding another strong match to his long list and Moriarty getting perhaps his best match ever as a result.
On the other hand, it was a little jarring to see Takeshita get his big hero moment by saving the Elite from the Blackpool Combat Club and FINALLY be moved up on Wednesday and then do this on Thursday. I get that it’s just the order they were filmed in, but maybe the person putting this together should have known better than to have that happen on back to back nights.
Gringo Loco vs. El Hijo del Vikingo
Non-title. They flip around to start until Vikingo runs the ropes for a headscissors and then kicks Loco to the floor. Loco takes him right back down though and hits a dive, only to get slammed down back inside. Loco catches him inside for a super Spanish Fly, followed by a spinning faceplant for two.
Vikingo scores with some kicks to the face before doing a triple springboard hurricanrana (thankfully Loco was nice enough to just stand there while Vikingo set it up, including composing himself before starting) to send him outside. A springboard inverted hurricanrana drops Loco on the floor for two back inside, followed by the outside in corkscrew 450 for two more.
Vikingo’s swinging sitout Rock Bottom plants Loco again, setting up a corkscrew rope walk dive to the floor. The 630 misses though and Loco drops him face first onto the top. They both go up top for the super gorilla press slam to plant Vikingo again. A double springboard poisonrana plants Loco and the 630….apparently retains the title at 12:19.
Rating: B+. This was more of the crazy excitement from Vikingo and Loco looked great in his own right. As usual, there was A LOT to ignore in the way of “why is he standing there while the other guy jumps all over the place” but dang those flips and dives are enough to cover it up. Vikingo is the modern highlight reel wrestler and it’s a great to see him. Now maybe hype up his appearance a bit more next time since he’s that big of a deal?
Iron Savages vs. Logan Lynch/Ren Jones
The Savage are formerly known as Bear Country and have Jameson Ryan with them. Jones’ early shots to Boulder just hurt himself and Jones is sent flying into Lynch. Bronson piledrives Lynch onto Jones and Boulder slams both of them. An electric chair into a splash gives Bronson the double pin at 2:18. The Savages looked impressive enough and it’s better than Bear Country.
Gringo Loco lost but Tony Khan has invited him back so it’s a good night.
TV Title: Colt Cabana vs. Samoa Joe
Joe is defending. Cabana rolls him up to start but Joe elbows him in the face and fires off the rapid jabs in the corner. A snapmare into the chop to the back gets two but the MuscleBuster is cut off. Cabana’s middle rope sunset flip gets two and the Bionic Elbow puts Joe down again. The Flying Apple into the middle rope splash gives Cabana two but a moonsault hits knees. Joe Koquina Clutches him to retain at 5:41.
Rating: C+. This didn’t have time to go anywhere and after some of the other things on the show, didn’t feel all that important. Joe racks up another win over a name challenger but there wasn’t time to build much drama. Cabana is an ROH legend though and having him around makes all the sense in the world. Put this much earlier in the show and it’s an improvement.
Respect is shown to end the show.
Overall Rating: B-. There’s a really good show in here if you trim down a lot, but this week was giving me that same “when is this over” vibe as they just packed in match after match. Cut some of this stuff out and the show will feel a lot better, or at least reorganize it a bit so that Vikingo/Loco was on last, as nothing was topping it. The show still feels like it doesn’t have a ton of direction, as wrestlers do a lot of the same stuff week after week. Building to another show would help, but unless they have something new to add in before Death Before Dishonor, it’s going to be a long few months.
The Kingdom b. Darius Martin/Action Andretti – Proton Pack to Martin
Willow Nightingale b. Robyn Renegade – Rollup
Lance Archer b. Jah-C – Lariat
Brian Cage b. Joey Jett – F5
Athena b. Heather Reckless – Crossface
Dark Order b. Lee Johnson/Cole Karter – Flipping rollup to Karter
Penta El Cero Miedo b. Nick Comoroto – Arm snap
Konosuke Takeshita b. Lee Moriarty – Running knee
El Hijo del Vikingo b. Gringo Loco – 630
Iron Savages b. Logan Lynch/Ren Jones – Double pin
Samoa Joe b. Colt Cabana – Koquina Clutch
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