Ring Of Honor – November 9, 2023
By Thomas Hall on 12th November 2023
Ring Of Honor
Date: November 9, 2023
Location: InTrust Bank Arena, Wichita, Kansas
Commentators: Ian Riccaboni, Caprice Coleman
Another week, another Ring Of Honor title change taking place on AEW TV. This time around that would be Samoa Joe vacating the TV Title after more than a year and a half as champion. Odds are we’ll hear a quick mention of it this week, though we won’t be seeing much else about it for a little while. Let’s get to it.
We open with a recap of Billie Starkz helping Athena defeat Mercedes Martinez last week to retain the Women’s Title.
Lexi Nair calms Starkz down before Athena comes in. Starkz tells Athena that she is trying but Athena says if she has to beat Starkz up to get some violence out of her, so be it. Athena is impressed though and for now, Starkz is no longer a Minion In Training.
Here’s what’s coming on the show.
Tony Nese vs. Serpentico
Mark Starling is here with Nese, who mixed it up a bit by saying the group training will be AFTER the match. Nese drives him into the corner to start and gets in some much needed jumping jacks. Some slams and a hard whip into the corner have Serpentico in more trouble, followed by the situp kicks to the ribs. Nese loads up a pumphandle slam but cue Ethan Page (in some rather flashy workout gear) to say he’ll do his own group training. That’s enough for Serpentico to grab a rollup pin at 3:32.
Rating: C. This was a squash until the ending, as Page’s feud with Sterling and company continues. Serpentico isn’t likely to become a major part of the story and is little more than someone who beat Nese so Page can laugh at him about it. Again though, the best thing here is that the story is actually moving, which is more than can be said for several feuds around here.
Post match Page and Serpentico say group training is canceled.
Darius Martin and Action Andretti are ready for their eight man tag with the Infantry.
Athena vs. Heidi Howitzer
Non-title Proving Ground match, meaning if Howitzer wins or survives the ten minute time limit, she gets a future title shot. Howitzer shoves her down to start and Athena needs a breather on the floor. Athena manages a whip into the steps though and the beating is on back inside. There’s a German suplex for two and the big right hand finishes for Athena at 3:33.
Rating: C. Remember when Athena has done this about twenty times before? Well this is the latest version. At some point they really could go with having one of the challengers survive the time limit to give these things at least a little drama. Then again why do that when you could do the exact same thing over and over?
Post match Athena beats Howitzer up even more.
Kyle Fletcher vs. Lee Johnson
Fletcher pulls a posing Johnson off the ropes and we start fast. They fight over a lockup with Johnson driving him into the corner until a small package sends Fletcher bailing to the floor. Back in and Johnson dropkicks him right back outside, where Fletcher wants a timeout. Fletcher comes back inside and takes over for a change, with stomping and a slam putting Johnson down.
A shot to the face rocks Fletcher so commentary talks about how bad a broken nose can be. Johnson hits some running clotheslines and a Blue Thunder Bomb gets two. Some running chops in the corner have Fletcher in more trouble but he’s back with a Michinoku Driver for two of his own. Fletcher gets caught on top and superplexed back down, setting up a frog splash for another near fall. Back up and Fletcher scores with a kick, setting up the jumping tombstone for the pin at 11:32.
Rating: B-. This was starting to roll near the end as Johnson got to showcase some of his talents for a change. Other than that though, it was another Fletcher match, meaning the wrestling was good but it wasn’t so interesting. There is only so much you can get out of a guy in tights doing good enough moves and that was on display here.
Final Battle ad.
Charlette Renegade vs. Leyla Hirsch
Robyn Renegade is here with Charlette. Hirsch powers her into the corner to start but Charlette takes it over to the ropes for a cheap shot from Robyn. A fisherman’s suplex gives Charlette two but Hirsch is back with a German suplex. Robyn’s distraction lets Charlette get in a right hand and it’s time for a chair. Cue Rachael Ellering for the save though, allowing Hirsch to grab the cross armbreaker for the win at 3:45.
Rating: C. This didn’t have time to go very far but they did manage to get in two people interfering and a teased chair shot in less than four minutes. The Renegades being featured a bit more often is a good thing, but as usual, it would be nice if they actually won something. Otherwise, these wins over them don’t have nearly the impact.
Athena demotes Lexi Nair from Bestie status and gives Billie Starkz a pep talk.
Iron Savages vs. Cole Karter/Griff Garrison
Maria Kanellis-Bennett is here with Karter and Garrison. Bronson shrugs off some running shoulders from Garrison but it’s too early for the Nasty Boys’ Pit Stop. Boulder comes in to flapjack both villains at the same time. Everything breaks down and Bronson hits a dive to take both of them out, meaning it’s time for some Savage Sauce. Bronson gets dropped onto the ramp, which has Ian trying for a Ghostbusters reference but he can’t quite pull it off.
We settle down to Karter suplexing Bronson for two and Garrison hammers away. The abdominal stretch goes on but the referee catches the cheating. Bronson fights away and brings Boulder back in to clean house. A powerbomb/World’s Strongest Slam combination gets two on the villains but Boulder misses a middle rope moonsault. Karter’s 450 gets two so he and Garrison strike away at Boulder, who crossbodies them down. The electric chair splash finishes Karter off at 9:50.
Rating: C+. If there is a point coming to this Garrison/Karter team coming anytime soon, I’d be delighted to see it. These two have been doing the same mediocre stuff for months now, with the only changes being whether or not they’re getting along that week. I’m still not sure what the point is in wasting Maria on them, but it would be nice for this story to go somewhere sooner than later.
We look at Samoa Joe retaining the ROH TV Title on Dynamite and then vacating the title after his win. Tony Khan will have an announcement about the title next week. If this is another Final Battle ladder match, I will not be even the slightest bit surprised.
Rachael Ellering vs. Billie Starkz
Athena (fourth appearance tonight) is here with Starkz. Ellering powers her into the corner to start before cranking on the wrist. Starkz comes back with a running sunset flip for two but Ellering takes her down without much trouble. A suplex into a backsplash has Starkz crawling into the corner, followed by a brainbuster for two.
Starkz strikes back but gets dropped with a single right hand. Some German suplexes have Ellering in trouble for a change but she catches Starkz going up. A TKO gives Ellering two, only to have Starkz send her outside for a not great looking suicide dive. Back in and a Swanton gives Starkz the pin at 7:49.
Rating: C+. Starkz continues to look more and more polished in the ring and we should be in for an interesting showdown with Athena, likely at Final Battle. On the other hand, I’m a bit surprised that Ellering lost here. She’s been on a bit of a roll as of late but losses clean here. I’m fine with Starkz getting a win, but Ellering was the only option for an opponent?
Post match Athena demands and gets violence from Starkz but Leyla Hirsch runs in for the save.
Full Gear ad.
Josh Woods vs. SK Bishop
Mark Sterling is here with Woods. Bishop knees his way out of a suplex to start but Woods unloads with knees in the corner. A jumping knee knocks Bishop out of the air and rolling Chaos Theory finishes for Woods at 1:18.
Infantry/Action Andretti/Darius Martin vs. Shane Taylor Promotions/Wingmen
The villains jump them to start but get sent outside for quadruple dives. Back in and Bravo slugs away at Taylor, who sends him face first into the corner for a nasty crash. The Wingmen come in for a double fist drop and a near fall. Bravo fights out of trouble though and hands it off to Andretti for a double handspring elbow. Everything breaks down and Boot Camp finishes Avalon at 4:38.
Rating: C+. Much like the recent four way tag matches, there is only so much that can be done with so many people and so little time. The Wingmen taking the fall was the only good option as the other three teams are either doing something or just not the Wingmen. There was good action here, but they need more time and less people.
Rachael Ellering didn’t have a good night but she hopes she getting through the Leyla Hirsch. Cue Hirsch to say they’re even and not friends. Maria Kanellis-Bennett comes in to suggest they should both join her team.
Dralistico vs. Gravity
Dralistico (who looks a lot like a mini 2002 Kane) flips him off to start and they trade some rapid fire armdrags. Gravity is sent outside and taken down with a dive, followed by a ram into the barricade for two. A dropkick knocks Dralistico outside and there’s a no hands dive to take him down again. Dralistico is back up with a sitout powerbomb for two before winning a strike off. Gravity fights back but gets caught with a springboard spinning Canadian Destroyer for the pin at 8:52.
Rating: B-. Dralistico recently signed with AEW so it makes sense that he would get a nice first win here. This was your normal lucha match with a bunch of dives and a crazy big move for the finish. It’s nothing that hasn’t been done before, but for a match that went just shy of ten minutes and popped the crowd, it could have been much worse.
Ring Of Honor World Title: Eddie Kingston vs. Angelico
Kingston is defending with his suspension lasting one week. So they did a suspension angle to explain why someone who is almost never here in the first place was gone for one week before his title match? They go with the grappling to start until Kingston is allowed to chop away. Angelico gets the better of things and they go to the mat for an exchange of kicks to the head.
Kingston actually manages to out kick him and strikes away in the corner to put Angelico down. The chinlock goes on but Angelico reverses into a choke to slow him back down. Angelico kicks him to the floor and hits the big flip dive. Back in and a high crossbody gives Angelico two and a rolling cradle gets the same. Kingston’s spinning backfist gets two, followed by another backfist and the Northern Lights Bomb to retain at 10:04.
Rating: B-. The most important thing about this match is that it felt like a main event. It was very nice to have a show that hyped a traditional main event match and then delivered on said match. It wasn’t a great one or anything but Kingston’s charisma shined through and Angelico has been built up (not overly well but he has been built up) in the last few weeks. In other words, it was nice to do this like other shows do it for once and that was a rare treat.
Respect is shown post match.
Dalton Castle (with a taped up nose because he headbutted the window at a fondue restaurant (Castle: “I WANTED SOME CHEESE!”)) wants Kingston for the title. Kingston is giving the fans too much ordinary and that is NOT cool with Castle.
Overall Rating: C+. Say it with me: Athena is great, the show runs too long, we’ve seen these people before, you don’t need to have everyone on the show every week, wrestlers who weren’t interesting last time aren’t interesting this time. That should cover the usual issues with this show, though Castle vs. Kingston is interesting. We have five shows left before Final Battle, which makes me think at least three of them will have nothing to do with hyping up the show. Look for the match announcements on AEW, like almost everything else important around here (save for Athena oddly enough).
Serpentico b. Tony Nese – Rollup
Athena b. Heidi Howitzer – Right hand
Kyle Fletcher b. Lee Johnson – Jumping Tombstone
Leyla Hirsch b. Charlette Renegade – Cross armbreaker
Iron Savages b. Cole Karter/Griff Garrison – Electric chair splash to Karter
Billie Starkz b. Rachael Ellering – Swanton
Josh Woods b. SK Bishop – Rolling Chaos Theory
Infantry/Action Andretti/Darius Martin b. Shane Taylor Promotions/Wingmen – Boot Camp to Avalon
Dralistico b. Gravity – Springboard spinning Canadian Destroyer
Eddie Kingston b. Angelico – Northern Lights Bomb
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