Big Bill def. Serpentico
As I've mentioned many times before, I'm all for Bill being used in singles competition more. The tag team with Lee Moriarty is a waste of what he can do. He showed in IMPACT that he can be a significant singles star and hopefully this was meant to signal the start of that. Serpentico sold well for his offense in this glorified squash, but this could have been over a bit quicker and it would have had the same effect.
ROH Women's World Champion Athena def. Ava Lawless (Non-Title)
I should just copy and paste everything I say about Athena's matches in my reviews because it's essentially the same thing every time. That isn't necessarily a bad thing because she obviously plays the heel role really well, but they happen so often on ROH TV that they've become stale and not progress anything other than giving Athena another win to pad her record. She'll be facing Willow Nightingale in a women's Owen Hart Cup semifinal match on Friday's Rampage, so at least this gave her a victory before then.
The Righteous and Stu Grayson def. Levi Knight, Michael Allen Richard Clark and Evan Rivers
Michael Allen Richard Clark is a stupidly long name for a jobber. AEW could have easily given him a shorter name, but I realize that's not something they typically do. At any rate, this was total domination from The Righteous and Grayson. They continue to rack up wins ahead of an inevitable rematch with The Dark Order. Evil Uno attacked Rivers with a chair afterward, which made sense because Dark Order recently turned heel, but who are viewers supposed to cheer for in this feud now?
"Legit" Leyla Hirsch def. Bambi Hall
Hirsch returned to the ring last week with a win over The Infantry and Trish Adora. This was her first singles match back. She was missed as she brings a certain, well, legitimacy to her matches. This was a brief bout that allowed her to showcase her skills and go over in definitive fashion. I know I'm looking a little down the road, but if Nightingale is the one to unseat Athena as champ eventually, I'd be down for Hirsch being the one to take the title from her.
Dalton Castle def. Tony Nese in an ROH World Television Championship No. 1 Contender's Tournament Semifinal Match
So, Samoa Joe's opponent at Death Before Dishonor is being determined in a just-announced four-man tourney that will culminate next week a day before the pay-per-view. Talk about lazy. Nese and Mark Sterling keep cutting promos before his matches, but I still can't bring myself to care about the guy. I'm surprised this was as competitive as it was, but it was well wrestled and at least Castle won as he should have.
Shane Taylor def. "Captain" Shawn Dean in an ROH World Television Championship No. 1 Contender's Tournament Semifinal Match
This was even more obvious than Castle vs. Nese. I've always praised Dean as being impressive whenever I've seen him in action, but he never wins whenever it matters most, not to mention Taylor is a former ROH World Television Champion in his own right. This was a nice match while it lasted, though. As much as I'd love to see a hoss fight between Taylor and Samoa Joe for the title, Castle seems to be the most likely candidate and that should be a quality contest as well.
The Kingdom def. The Boys
The Boys have consistently been utilized as enhancement talent, so I didn't understand why they needed to score so much offense here. They had a fun dynamic, but it felt like it dragged on to kill time. The Kingdom should be next in line for a shot at the ROH World Tag Team Championship and this gets them one step closer to that. On a side note, Maria wasn't ringside as it was explained her reasons for not being medically cleared last week were being "investigated."
ROH World Six-Man Tag Team Champions The Mogul Embassy (Brian Cage and The Gates of Agony) def. Matt Sydal, Christopher Daniels and Darius Martin
I know Sydal and Daniels have been teaming on and off since ROH TV relaunched earlier this year, but them recruiting Martin (who has already unsuccessfully challenged for the ROH World Six-Man Tag Team Championship) came out of nowhere and made it pretty predictable that they weren't winning. This was an enjoyable main event as the two trios worked well together, but is it too much to ask for The Mogul Embassy to be inserted into an actual rivalry soon?
The best part about this episode was its length. At under 90 minutes, this was a breeze and a formula most editions of ROH TV should follow. Anything over 90 minutes is overkill, specifically if there's going to be an abundance of squash matches. My top takeaway from this show was the stunning lack of hype for Death Before Dishonor. Samoa Joe's going to defend his ROH World Television Championship against the winner of a tournament that culminates a day before the pay-per-view and Claudio Castagnoli needs a new opponent for his ROH World Championship defense because Mark Briscoe got hurt. Considering how many lengthy episodes of ROH TV we've gotten since Supercard of Honor, the weak build for Death Before Dishonor has been inexcusable.