Ring Of Honor – August 24, 2023
By Thomas Hall on 25th August 2023
Ring Of Honor
Date: August 24, 2023
Location: Bridgestone Arena, Nashville Tennessee/Rupp Arena, Lexington, Kentucky
Commentators: Ian Riccaboni, Caprice Coleman
Last week’s show was another long edition and that didn’t exactly make for the most thrilling edition. The biggest story seems to be Athena and Billie Starkz teaming up, or at least Starkz becoming Athena’s new minion. That likely ends in a Women’s Title match and we are probably well on the way there. Let’s get to it.
Dalton Castle/The Boys vs. Dark Order
Silver (with his back covered with those weird suction spots) and Castle start things off, meaning Castle gets to pose a bit. Hold on though as Silver wants a Boy so he gets to wrestle Brent down. A hot shot drops Brent again and it’s Reynolds coming in to take Brent into the corner. Uno chops away and Silver snaps off a German suplex to cut off a comeback bid.
A hard clothesline gives Reynolds two and we hit the chinlock. Brent fights up and elbows his way out of the corner, allowing the hot tag off to Castle. House is quickly cleaned, with Castle firing the Boys outside onto the villains. The falling splash gets two on Uno but Reynolds and Silver double team Castle down on the floor. The triple flipping slam finishes Brandon at 10:11.
Rating: C+. So Castle, who seems to be on the way to a TV Title shot, loses a match (not by getting pinned, but on the losing team) to the Dark Order. I’m not sure why Castle needed to be involved here, but it wouldn’t surprise me to see the Dark Order getting pushed towards a Six Man Tag Team Title shot. Then again I’m not sure why they’re regularly featured or why those titles continue to exist in the first place.
Athena thinks there is tension between Lexy Nair and Billie Starkz so she makes them shirts! Nair’s says Athena’s Bestie while Starkz’s says Minion 400,237 ¾. As for tonight, they’re fighting the Renegades.
Lady Frost vs. Kiera Hogan
They both miss kicks to the head to start until Frost knocks her out to the floor. Back in and Hogan hits a running elbow in the corner but gets kicked in the face for her efforts. Hogan shrugs it off and hits a fisherman’s neckbreaker for the pin at 2:51 (Coleman: “That was fast!”). Kind of a weird one here as Hogan just beat her out of nowhere.
Matt Sydal vs. Serpentico
Serpentico gets tripped down to start and a standing moonsault gives Sydal two. A hurricanrana out of the corner into a jumping Downward Spiral drops Sydal for two more Serpentico misses a top rope double stomp though and Sydal kicks him in the face. A fisherman’s buster gives Sydal two of his own, followed by the Lightning Spiral finishes Serpentico at 4:33.
Rating: C. They didn’t have time to do much here and Sydal is only so interesting most of the time in the first place. At the same time, Serpentico seems to be getting a bit better, but after so many losses, it’s a little hard to get invested in anything he’s doing. This was another match between two people without much going on and that’s not exactly interesting.
Stokely Hathaway wants an apology from Lexy Nair after he and Samoa Joe won last week. Nair doesn’t think anyone around here respects him and walks off. Hathaway: “D***. I was going to ask you to go to TGI Fridays. TK left his card on the table.” As usual, his one liners are great.
Video on CM Punk vs. Samoa Joe. After one of the matches they had and how much they put ROH on the map, they get about thirty seconds here.
Leila Grey vs. Leyla Hirsch
Hirsch kicks away the offer of a handshake before the bell and wrestles her down into a waistlock without much effort. Grey is back up with a shotgun dropkick but Hirsch takes her right back down. Cue Maria Kanellis-Bennett to watch as Hirsch grabs a waistlock. Grey fights up with some clotheslines and a Death Valley Driver, only to have Hirsch cross armbreaker her for the tap at 3:50.
Rating: C. The Maria stuff continues for Hirsch and as tends to be the case, that is taking its sweet time to get anywhere. I approve of Hirsch getting to do some more though, as it would make sense for her to go after the Women’s Title at some point. Other than that, it’s nice to see Grey getting to do something other than being Jade Cargill’s lackey, as she’s a bit better than that.
The Mogul Affiliates are ready to beat up Action Andretti/Darius Martin/Lee Moriarty because they’ve beaten them up so many times already. That’s not the best way to hype up a feud. Why Lexy Nair changed clothes in between interviews isn’t clear.
Blake Christian vs. Brandon Cutler
Colt Cabana is here with Cutler. A headlock doesn’t get Cutler very far as Christian snaps off a running hurricanrana to send him into the ropes. They head to the apron where Cutler can’t hit a piledriver. Instead Christian knocks him outside for the big flip dive. Back in and Cutler hits a Falcon Arrow, setting up a dancing elbow for two.
An airplane spin leaves them both dizzy (Ian thinks Bob Backlund did it better) so Christian hits a Death Valley Driver. Some kicks to the chest are countered into a pumphandle slam, followed by the Superman Pin for two (so not a pin). Christian is right back with a 619 into the springboard 450 for the pin at 7:05.
Rating: C+. Well at least Cutler didn’t win here. Christian is someone who has done well elsewhere and it wouldn’t be the worst idea to see him getting to do more around here. Then you have Cutler, and as usual with the non-Omega Elite members, they’re not exactly the most thrilling people, though at least he isn’t around very often.
Tony Nese and Mark Sterling still want to do group training, with Nese yelling at a production worker for drinking a soda.
Athena/Billie Starkz vs. Renegades
Apparently it’s Charlette rather than Charlotte. Since when? Anyway, the Renegades are sent outside to start and get taken down with dives. Athena tells Billie to throw Robin “into something” and like a good minion, Billie does just that. Back in and a double suplex sets up a swinging Boss Man Slam for two. Billie kicks Charlette away and brings in Athena for a kick to the head.
Everything breaks down and Athena Alabama Slams Billie onto Charlette. Athena’s rollup (with tights) gets two but Robin tosses her outside. Billie gets dropped on her head for two and a double chokeslam gets two on Athena. Back up and Athena drops Robin again, setting up the O Face. Billie tags herself in though and hits a Swanton for the pin at 8:40.
Rating: C+. It’s nice to have this match get some time as Athena and Billie are probably the best thing going on the show right now. They’re one of those wacky teams that are good for a chuckle while pretty clearly setting up for something bigger down the line. That’s all you can ask for here, save for maybe the Renegades losing a bit less often.
Post match Athena isn’t done and grabs Charlette, but Billie won’t get a cheap shot. Athena yells at Billie for disobeying.
Video on Adam Cole. Again, thirty seconds.
Here is Ryan Nemeth to say it’s his appreciation night so get him someone out here to fight. Even a World Champion!
Ryan Nemeth vs. Claudio Castagnoli
Non-title Proving Ground match, meaning if Nemeth wins or lasts the ten minute time limit, he gets a future title shot. Nemeth didn’t realize Castagnoli was here and tries to back out of it, earning himself the Swing. The uppercut finishes for Castagnoli at 1:05.
NJPW TV Title: Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Christopher Daniels
Daniels is challenging and the winner defends against Metalik next week. An early grapple exchange doesn’t last long and doesn’t go anywhere so Daniels grabs a headlock takeover. Sabre slips out and starts twisting the wrist to damage the grip. Daniels comes back with a cravate and a neck twist, as Sabre apparently has a bad neck (as commentary does its job by telling us about that).
Sabre is right back with a nasty arm crank before pulling him into a hammerlock. It’s quickly off to Daniels’ leg (as explained by commentary, who said Sabre will switch body parts if a wrestler doesn’t give up in 3-5 seconds of a hold) but he fights up with a Death Valley Driver.
Sabre takes him right back down by the arm and gets in a stomp before they slug it out. A quick Downward Spiral into the Koji Clutch has Sabre in more trouble. With that broken up, Sabre twists the arm again but Daniels slips out as well. The Angel’s Wings doesn’t work as the arm gives out, allowing Sabre to pull him into a double arm crank to retain at 9:35.
Rating: B-. This was a technical display with the neck vs. the arm working just fine, as Daniels got in a lot of damage but couldn’t hang with Sabre as a submission master. Daniels is still someone who is perfect as a challenger like this as he can still go and offers just enough of a threat to win something, but ultimately comes up short. Best match of the show here.
Respect is shown to end the show.
Overall Rating: C+. As is usually the case when they go in this direction, the show being that much shorter (less than 90 minutes this week) makes all the difference in the world. They only had eight matches and a few of them were rather short. It makes the show so much easier to watch and I can absolutely appreciate the change. I know it’s not likely to last once the London trip is over and they can get back to the usual hour and forty minute tapings because quantity equals quality around here, but I’ll take what I can get for now.
As for the show itself, Athena and Billie Starkz are by far the most entertaining thing on the show, as Athena being a little goofy for a change is rather entertaining. Other than that, there isn’t much in the way of stories on this show, save for Maria Kanellis-Bennett coming out to stare at various wrestlers. The rest of the stories are often rather quickly put together and ended, but at least there is one nice thing going on and as usual, the wrestling was completely fine at worst. Much easier show to watch this week.
Dark Order b. Dalton Castle/The Boys – Triple flipping slam to Brandon
Kiera Hogan b. Lady Frost – Fisherman’s neckbreaker
Matt Sydal b. Serpentico – Lightning Spiral
Leyla Hirsch b. Leila Grey – Cross armbreaker
Blake Christian b. Brandon Cutler – Springboard 450
Athena/Billie Starks b. Renegades – Swanton to Robin
Claudio Castagnoli b. Ryan Nemeth – Uppercut
Zack Sabre Jr. b. Christopher Daniels – Double arm crank
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