Dalton Castle def. Slim J
Kicking off any show with someone from The Trustbusters is never a smart call. Thankfully, Castle is over enough with the audience where it didn't matter. We've been getting a lot less of Trustbusters on ROH TV as of late, so that's also a positive sign. This lasted a little longer than it needed to, but that's likely because they wanted to kill time and it was decent enough. Castle should be headed for another shot at Samoa Joe's ROH World Television Championship after getting screwed at Death Before Dishonor.
Iron Savages def. Lucky Ali and Brady Pierce
Isn't Pierce a member of The Spectaculars in the NWA at the moment? He looks completely different if so. At any rate, Iron Savages fell short against Aussie Open on last week's episode and this allowed them to bounce back. I appreciated that this was kept short and sweet with Iron Savages winning decisively. They win a lot of squashes but not often when it matters most and that's the biggest issue with their booking.
The Infantry def. Zicky Dice and Movie Myk
Iron Savages have been spinning their wheels in AEW/ROH for years, but I do think The Infantry have potential to be credible challengers to the ROH World Tag Team Championship eventually if they continue to be built up. I also like Trish Adora is a part of the act, too. This was another straightforward showcase. On a side note, it was cool seeing Dice in action coming off his departure from IMPACT. The AEW and Ring of Honor rosters are bloated as it is, but I'm down for him making an occasional appearance as a jobber.
Lee Moriarty def. Andrew Everett
I'm stunned Everett isn't signed anywhere. He was under IMPACT at one point, but that was years ago. The guy's damn good, but then again, I haven't seen much from him as a character. At any rate, he did a nice job of selling for Moriarty here and it was one of the better squashes on the show. Big Bill has been teaming with Brian Cage as of late, so that might mean Moriarty will be branching off on his own and I'm not complaining.
Tony Nese def. Pat Buck
I don't know why Buck needs to be wrestling if he also serves as a producer (?) backstage and never had a notable wrestling career, but if he's in there putting someone over, I guess it doesn't make much of a difference. This was serviceable, but I continue to be completely disinterested in Nese's matches. He can go in the ring, but he'll never get beyond a certain level, so I don't understand why it's necessary to give him wins so often.
ROH Women's World Champion Athena def. Rachael Ellering in an ROH Women's World Championship Proving Ground Match
Ellering was a higher-profile opponent than we're used to seeing Athena face in her squash matches, so I was fine was this lasting a little longer as a result. They had a competitive match in the time they were allotted. As for Ellering, she had a brief in IMPACT in 2021 as Jordynne Grace's tag team partner, but she disappeared from the promotion soon after and I believe has been working indies since then.
ROH World Six-Man Tag Team Champions The Gates of Agony def. The Workhorsemen
The Workhorsemen notoriously do not win against any of the contracted talent despite appearing almost every single week, so I assumed this would be a quick squash for Gates of Agony. Instead, it exceeded my expectations by turning into an enjoyable sprint. Gates of Agony are in the middle of a big storyline right now with Darby Allin, Sting and Nick Wayne on Dynamite, so it's important to keep them looking dominant. They'll face Allin and Wayne next Wednesday.
"Legit" Leyla Hirsch def. Angelica Risk
Maria Kanellis-Bennett told Hirsch backstage that she lacked confidence but that she can help her work on that. Hirsch can speak perfectly fine, so I don't think she needs to be apart of whatever Maria is trying to do. Regardless, I'm happy Hirsch has been built back up since returning from injury and has been racking up wins. This was total domination from Hirsch. She made it clear she wants the ROH Women's World Championship, which is interesting because Athena is also a heel.
Cole Karter def. Rhett Titus
Titus is a hell of a hand, but it's been pretty apparent during ROH's relaunch that he isn't someone Tony Khan is interested in focusing on. I don't think he's won a single match on TV, and at one point, he appeared as a security guard backstage on Collision. I'd actually rather see him rack up a few wins over Karter, who continues to come off as generic. Maria is scouting him as well and I have no idea why.
Billie Starkz def. Robyn Renegade
The Renegades have won a few matches in singles and tag team competition in recent weeks and now we know it was because it would mean more when Starkz beat one of them. Putting others over is probably the best role for them for the time being. Starkz has a higher ceiling and will get over with the audience as an underdog babyface. The match was fine and it looks like we might be getting Athena vs. Starkz based on Athena making the save for Starkz afterward and sparing her a beatdown.
Shane Taylor def. Gravity in the Finals of the ROH World Television Championship Eliminator Tournament
Gravity may have made it this far in the tournament, but he lost to Pac two weeks ago on Dynamite and got squashed on Collision by the ROH World Television Champion a few days after that. In other words, it was pretty predictable Taylor was winning here, but it was the correct outcome, anyway. It hardly felt like the finals of a tournament considering how short it was, but they made the most of the time they had. Here's hoping Joe vs. Taylor is booked as the hoss fight it has the potential to be instead of a quick squash for Joe.
I was pleasantly surprised that this edition of ROH TV was completely devoid of the on-air authority figures and ran around 90 minutes. There were some backstage interviews in between the matches, but it was a fairly straightforward format otherwise. That's the way I like it personally, but it also didn't make for the most eventful episode. We now know who the number one contender to the TV title is and that's great, but the ROH World Champion hasn't had a presence on this show in weeks and ROH TV still largely consists of squashes. Is there honestly anything worth seeking out? The answer is no. This was simply more of the same.