Mark Briscoe def. Ari Daivari
I'm tired of seeing so much of The Trustbusters and Varsity Athletes on this show. Is it really necessary, especially when they lose a majority of their matches? That said, this was a nicely-paced opening match with an energetic crowd. Varsity Athletes attempted to attack Briscoe afterward before FTR made the save, so that appears to be the next multi-man match involving Briscoe. Does this mean his feud with Samoa Joe is already over?
Skye Blue def. Kelly Madan
Blue was officially made "All Elite" last week, even though she's been regularly appearing for AEW since mid-2021. I'm glad she's getting reps on multiple platforms (Dynamite, Rampage, Dark, Elevation and now ROH TV), but the problem is that a majority of her matches are exactly the same unless she's facing someone on the roster. This was a standard showcase for her, but the only way it ends up being worthwhile is if she's built up for an opportunity at the ROH Women's World Championship.
Darius Martin def. Mike Bennett by Disqualification
Dante will be out for a while and Darius needs a new partner for the time being. Enter Action Andretti, who helped even the odds afterward. Andretti's push in AEW fizzled out once Ricky Starks vs. Jericho Appreciation Society ended, so I'm all for putting him in this role because he and Darius should work well together as partners. The match itself didn't get a ton of time, but it didn't need to because it was all about the post-match angle.
Wheeler Yuta def. "Hot Sauce" Tracy Williams
Yuta showed more of an mean streak than usual due to his loss of the ROH Pure Championship to Katsuyori Shibata at Supercard of Honor. He's also a big part of the Blackpool Combat Club vs. Elite feud playing out on Dynamite at the moment, so props to him for pulling double duty so well. I enjoyed this match and liked what we got, but I appreciate that it was kept on the shorter side because Yuta needed to be the focus and it wasn't necessary for this to be competitive given Williams' spot on the card right now.
ROH Pure Champion Katsuyori Shibata and Alex Coughlin def. The Workhorsemen
Shibata has ties with Coughlin from New Japan Pro-Wrestling's LA Dojo, so that was the connection. I don't know if we'll be seeing Coughlin again in ROH or if this was simply a one-off, but I thought he did well. There was no doubt they were winning because Workhorsemen never win anything of importance, but Workhorsemen gave them quite the fight and looked good in defeat as they always do.
Willow Nightingale def. Little Mean Kathleen
Nightingale has been racking up wins in ROH and that shouldn't go unnoticed. I believe her only loss in the last year came at the hands of Athena last month when she unsuccessfully challenged for the ROH Women's World Championship, so she should be working her way toward another title shot. This felt like a match you'd see on Dark in that it was essentially a showcase for Nightingale and nothing more.
Stu Grayson def. Tony Nese
We saw Grayson in singles competition on the Zero Hour pre-show at Supercard of Honor and this was more of the same. Nese was a fine opponent for him to beat because he's also talented and they were able to have a nice little match in the time they were allotted. The Righteous emerged afterward once again, this time telling Grayson that he shouldn't trust his Dark Order pals. In other words, we're getting a Righteous vs. Dark Order feud. It's something, I suppose.
ROH Women's World Champion Athena def. Ashley D'Amboise in an ROH Women's World Championship Proving Ground Match
D'Amboise received a televised entrance as well as a post-match backstage promo, so the reports about AEW signing her could very well be true despite nothing being officially announced yet as far as I know. She's always been impressive any time I've seen her in action on the Dark shows, so she'd be a quality addition to ROH's women's division. D'Amboise wasn't completely squashed, but Athena was on offense for a majority of the match per usual.
ROH World Champion Claudio Castagnoli def. Metalik
No, there was no reason to think Metalik had a shot in hell of beating Castagnoli for the championship, but I have no issue with random championship main events like this without much buildup as long as the matchup delivers and this did. As an attraction, this was entertaining and only served as a reminder of how great Metalik is. There was no tease for who Castagnoli's next challenger will be, but I'm hoping we haven't seen the last of him and Eddie Kingston.
It didn't take long, but ROH TV has quickly settled into a rhythm of focusing on the same people and giving them showcase wins. I'm fine with that formula (it's very NXT-esque from the black-and-gold days), but it's not sustainable for a two-hour program. The above-average wrestling is welcomed, but if every match is predictable, why should viewers care? More storylines and character development are ultimately going to be what makes ROH TV more than a glorified edition of Dark. This was a solid show, but it felt like filler with minimal new directions.