Ring Of Honor – July 13, 2023
By Thomas Hall on 14th July 2023
Ring Of Honor
Date: July 13, 2023
Location: Brandt Center, Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
Commentators: Caprice Coleman, Ian Riccaboni
We are eight days away from Death Before Dishonor and have a total of one match announced for the show. That leaves a lot of open spots, but it has me worried about how many matches are going to be dumped onto the card in rapid succession. Just getting a handful of them covered this week would be nice so let’s get to it.
Matt Sydal calls in Brian Cage for a chat, saying Cage can’t beat him. Cage tells him to find two partners, which Sydal says will be easy.
Serpentico vs. Big Bill
Serpentico tells Bill to bring it and is quickly knocked outside. Back in and Bill sends him outside again so this time Serpentico strikes away. Bill charges after him and gets caught with a suicide shove but Bill sends him flying inside. The chokeslam is escaped though and a headscissors sends Bill into the corner. Then Bill knocks him out of the corner and nails a big boot. Another big boot sets up the chokeslam to finish Serpentico at 4:30.
Rating: C. This was little more than a squash as Serpentico was more like a fly buzzing around Bill, who eventually caught him. Bill is getting the idea of being a to the point giant and that should work well for him. Don’t overthink him and it will work out well, and thankfully AEW seems to get that.
We’re having a four man tournament for a TV Title shot at Death Before Dishonor and here are the brackets:
Athena vs. Ava Lawless
Non-title Proving Ground match, meaning if Lawless wins or survives the ten minute time limit, she gets a future title shot. Lawless hits her in the face a few times and grabs a Sling Blade. That’s too much for Athena, who BLASTS her with a shot to the face. A big boot sets up a crossface to make Lawless tap at 1:43.
Post match Athena sends her face first into the title, as usual.
The Righteous/Stu Grayson vs. Levi Night/Michael Allen Richard Clark/Evan Rivers
Grayson jumps Rivers to start so it’s off to Night, who gets a nice reaction. He also gets driven into the corner so Dutch can come in to put him down. Cue Evil Uno to sit in a chair at ringside as Vincent comes in to stomp on Night. A double belly to back suplex is broken up and it’s the hot tag to bring in Clark for the house cleaning. The Righteous isn’t having that and it’s Nightfall into the triple flipping slam to finish Clark at 4:14.
Rating: C. That’s what he gets for having such an unnecessarily long name. The Righteous and Grayson are fine but the Evil Uno stuff continues to be there for the sake of trying to draw some interest. Evil Uno isn’t interesting on Dynamite and he’s not going to be here either, but he’s going to stick around no matter what for some reason.
Post match Uno is told to come in but he chairs Rivers in the back instead.
Matt Sydal has found Christopher Daniels and Darius Martin to go after the Six Man Tag Team Titles.
Bambi Hall vs. Leyla Hirsch
Hall powers her down to start but Hirsch is right back up with a running forearm. Some clotheslines against the ropes have Hall in more trouble but she powers back up. A Backpack Stunner is broken up though and Hirsch cross armbreakers her for the tap at 3:16.
Rating: C. Hirsch instantly feels like someone who could be a big player in the women’s division and that is great to see. She has a different enough style that it makes you want to see what she can do and that is a rare treat. I still think there could be something in Hall, but she needs a lot more ring time to get polished up.
TV Title #1 Contenders Tournament: Dalton Castle vs. Tony Nese
Before the match, Nese (with the rest of the Varsity Athletes) does his usual insults to the health and hygiene of the fans. Castle, with the Boys, interrupt and we’re ready to go. They trade waistlocks to start but it’s too early for the Bang A Rang, with Castle getting knocked into the ropes. Back up and Castle wrestles him down without much trouble and hits a splash.
They head outside with Castle clotheslining the post by mistake to give Nese a big target. Back in and Nese cranks on the bad arm before missing a springboard moonsault. Castle snaps off the overhead belly to belly suplexes but Ari Daivari offers a distraction. Not that it matters as Castle snaps off the Bang A Rang for the pin at 8:14.
Rating: B-. It’s amazing how much easier Nese is to watch when there is SOMETHING on the line. That being said, Castle winning here, and probably the whole tournament, is absolutely the right way to go. He feels like an absolute star and it makes sense to give him the title shot, if not the title outright.
TV Title #1 Contenders Tournament First Round: Shawn Dean vs. Shane Taylor
Dean fires off a dropkick to start but Shane hits one heck of a shot to the face to knock him down. Some shots to the ribs have Dean in trouble and a bearhug makes it worse. Taylor misses a charge into the corner though, allowing Dean to hit a jumping knee to the face. Dean gets planted again but Taylor misses a middle rope splash. An uppercut staggers Taylor but he comes right back with a headbutt. The big forearm finishes Dean at 6:39.
Rating: C+. This wasn’t so much a competitive match as much as it was a study in Dean trying to survive. Taylor is a monster and was wrestling like one here, which didn’t leave many openings for Dean. There’s nothing wrong with a match without much drama and that is what we had here, as Dean tried but was completely overwhelmed.
The Boys vs. The Kingdom
There’s no Maria here (as Jerry Lynn is apparently investigating her injury from last week). Taven takes Brent into the corner to start and then scores with a dropkick. Brent doesn’t like Taven ordering Brent to call him daddy and hits Taven in the face, earning himself a bigger beating.
It’s off to Brandon, who gets chopped down by Bennett as the fans wonder where Maria is. Brandon gets knocked silly with a left hand and the backbreaker/elbow combination gets two. An armbar sends Brandon over to the ropes as commentary thinks the Boys are being taken lightly. Brandon manages to flip out of a belly to back suplex though and it’s time for Brent to clean house. Not that it matters as the Kingdom cleans house, setting up Just The Tip into Rockstar Supernova to finish Brent at 8:50.
Rating: C+. The Kingdom is still good in the ring, but you can really feel the lack of Maria here. She makes the team that much more interesting and it hurt a lot to have her gone. Hopefully she is back soon, as I could go for the Kingdom getting a title shot, perhaps even at the pay per view.
Six Man Tag Team Titles: The Embassy vs. Christopher Daniels/Matt Sydal/Darius Martin
The Embassy is defending. Kaun takes Daniels into the corner to start but gets hit in the face for his efforts. Daniels manages to knock him into the corner for a Downward Spiral and Sydal comes in. Martin hits a dropkick but gets dropped with a chop so Toa can come in. That doesn’t last long so Cage comes in for the curling all away slam to Daniels. A corner splash crushes Daniels and Cage suplexes him for two.
Daniels slips away and brings in Martin to clean house, including a bulldog to send Toa throat first into the middle rope (that’s a new one). Martin kicks Cage in the chest and hands it back to Sydal for the top rope Meteora. An F5 gives Cage two but Sydal counters a powerbomb into a hurricanrana for two. Everything breaks down and Sydal has to be saved from Open The Gates. Sydal small packages Cage for two but gets caught with the Drill Claw for the pin at 12:01.
Rating: C+. And so we continue to see how little these titles matter, as a group of challengers are literally thrown together and get their title shot on the same night. Other than giving Cage something to do, why are these titles here? Yes I know that they were around because New Japan had some years ago and Ring Of Honor copied them, but look around. There is no division and it isn’t like they make anyone look more important. Granted that has been the case for years and nothing has changed, but egads it’s getting worse every time they’re out there.
Overall Rating: C+. Now this is more like it. This show went just shy of 80 minutes, didn’t overstay its welcome, and never felt like it was dragging. I’ve said from the beginning that there is a nice hour to hour and a half show in there somewhere and that is what we were seeing here. This was WAY easier to watch and they even had something on the line in some of the matches. Now granted I’m scared of the huge card dump that we’re going to get because Death Before Dishonor is in eight days and has two matches, but that’s a Tony Khan production for you. This was a much better way of doing things and please keep it up.
Big Bill b. Serpentico – Chokeslam
Athena b. Ava Lawless – Crossface
The Righteous/Stu Grayson b. Levi Night/Michael Allen Richard Clark/Evan Rivers
Leyla Hirsch b. Bambi Hall – Cross armbreaker
Dalton Castle b. Tony Nese – Bang A Rang
Shane Taylor b. Shawn Dean – Forearm
The Kingdom b. The Boys – Rockstar Supernova to Brent
The Embassy b. Darius Martin/Christopher Daniels/Matt Sydal – Drill Claw to Sydal
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