Mark Briscoe def. JD Drake
The Workhoresmen are a very talented team, but Drake and Anthony Henry are also very good on their own as well. Granted, they never win their singles matches, but at least you can expect a quality contest whenever they're in action like we got here. Briscoe has mentioned before he still has his sights set on the ROH World Television Championship and this gets him one step closer to that.
ROH World Champion Claudio Castagnoli def. Serpentico in an ROH World Championship Proving Ground Match
Serpentico was in babyface mode here, despite seemingly being a heel last week as part of Spanish Announce Project. Uhm, okay. If this wasn't going to be a total squash, then this served no purpose. Granted, it didn't last too long, but I still don't think Serpentico needed to score as much offense as he did. It's been almost two months and we still don't know what formal feud is next for Castagnoli as ROH World Champion, which is ridiculous. The top champion should not be spinning his wheels in meaningless matches.
Kiera Hogan def. Vertvixen
I've criticized AEW not doing more with Hogan, who was dropped from being a "baddie" for Jade Cargill and was largely relegated to Dark duty soon after. I think she can do well in Ring of Honor's women's division, though. She may have more chances to shine. This was more competitive than I thought it would be and Vertvixen looked impressive in defeat, but it should have been a more straightforward win for Hogan if she's going to be challenging Athena for the ROH Women's World Championship next week.
IWGP World Tag Team Champion and NJPW Strong Openweight Tag Team Champion Kyle Fletcher def. AR Fox
Obviously, Aussie Open no longer hold either of those tag titles, but this was taped before they were stripped of the belts due to an injury to Mark Davis. Ian Riccaboni mentioned on commentary that officials allowed them to come out with the titles one last time, so I appreciated the effort to explain it. Fletcher already failed to beat Orange Cassidy for the AEW International Championship on Wednesday, so I don't know why this happened, but at least it was a great match with strong showings from both men. Fox loses way more than I'd like, so I would've preferred to see him go over.
Willow Nightingale def. Hyan
Speaking of Strong championships, Nightingale just became the first-ever NJPW Strong Women's Champion by beating Mercedes Mone at last Sunday's New Japan Pro-Wrestling event (it was acknowledged by Riccaboni on commentary). Reportedly, Mone was supposed to win, but an injury she suffered led to Nightingale winning instead. Hopefully it leads to more exposure for Nightingale across all promotions. This was another win for her as she works her way back to ROH Women's World Championship contention.
The Kingdom def. Ninja Mack and Willie Mack
This provided The Kingdom with a rebound win coming off their Fight Without Honor loss to Action Andretti and Darius Martin last week. It also marked the debut of Mack and Mack as a tag team coming off their recent one-on-one affair. They made for a fun team here and would be another welcome addition to ROH's tag team division, but a Kingdom win was necessary and that's essentially why this existed.
Mercedes Martinez def. Dream Girl Ellie
Martinez returned to the ring on last week's show and this was another dominant performance from her. Ellie played her role well, but this was all about Martinez. It would be nice if we heard from Martinez where she could explain where she's been for the last five months and what her goals are going forward, but until then, it's safe to assume she's being built up for a rematch with Athena for the title she lost to her.
Ashley D'Amboise def. Danielle Kamela
Kamela is one of those ex-NXT stars I'm shocked hasn't been picked up by a promotion. She's got a good look and is adequate in the ring. Considering D'Amboise is the one signed, you'd think she would've dominated a majority of the match, but it was actually the other way around. D'Amboise is skilled and has potential, but I don't know how much she gained from this outing.
Rocky "Azucar" Romero def. Titus Alexander
Romero is coming off a Pure Rules win over Lee Moriarty, so he has some momentum at the moment. There has to be a reason why he's being featured, right? An eventual opportunity at the ROH Pure Rules Championship would make sense. Either way, I'm not complaining about having Romero around in ROH as he's the perfect fit for the promotion and can lend a lot of experience to the rest of the roster. This match showed what he can do and kept his winning ways going.
Stu Grayson and The Righteous def. Marcus Kross, Vary Morales and LSG
From a storyline standpoint, I have no idea why Grayson would agree to team with The Righteous when he already has a faction backing him up in The Dark Order. Hell, they were shown afterward and they were pissed and I don't blame them. Why didn't we see Grayson accepting their offer to give them a chance? The match was whatever and this is clearly building to a match I don't care about because Dark Order have been a dead act for a while now, but at least it's a storyline and ROH needs more of that.
Shane Taylor def. "Hot Sauce" Tracy Williams
I'm all for more of Taylor in singles competition. Shane Taylor Promotions in the six-man tag team division works as well, but Taylor should be spotlighted on his own and he had a terrific opponent here in the always-reliable Williams. Granted, Williams has largely been losing in the new ROH, but he does have credentials as a former tag team champion and ROH World Television title holder. This was enjoyable while it lasted.
ROH Women's World Champion Athena def. Promise Braxton in an ROH Women's World Championship Proving Ground Match
Braxton didn't receive a televised entrance, so was she really much of a threat to Athena here? Nothing against her performance, but the outcome was obviously never in doubt and thus it was hard to care. As I've said before, less is more with Athena. She wrestles almost weekly on ROH TV when it really isn't necessary because most of her matches blend together when she's facing unknown enhancement talent. At least we have her vs. Hogan with the title on the line to look forward to next week.
Dralistico def. Tony Deppen
ROH's booking of Deppen has been so bizarre. His matches tend to be competitive, and yet he hasn't been properly introduced in the new ROH. He also never wins, so I have no idea what viewers are supposed to make of him. If nothing else, this was another nice sprint from him that he predictably lost. Unless Dralistico is going to be built up on his own, I'm not sure why this match existed.
Skye Blue def. Miranda Alize
Now that Blue has unsuccessfully challenged for the ROH Women's World Championship, I don't know what she does or where she goes from here. I'm fully in favor of her getting more reps so she can improve, but isn't that what the house shows are for? Putting her action every week on this show has gotten as tiresome as it has with Athena, especially when most of their matches blend together. This was every Skye Blue match you've ever seen. She needs more character development beyond just being an underdog.
Darius Martin and Action Andretti def. Cole Karter and Zack Clayton
The team of Martin and Andretti appears to be permanent for now, at least until Dante Martin returns from his injury. I wasn't sure if they'd just be teaming for the feud with The Kingdom, but apparently not. They have quality chemistry as partners, so why not? Karter and Clayton are as generic as it gets and therefore this was extremely average, but at least it allowed the babyfaces to pick up another victory.
Blake Christian def. Nick Comoroto
I could've sworn I've seen this match before, maybe on one of the Dark shows? Christian can go, but we know nothing about him as a character. As for Comoroto, he's been around long enough to where I've given up thinking he can be something. I mean, this new Tony D'Angelo-knockoff character he's doing is terrible. This was fine, but I don't care about this being a feud if that's where it's going.
Diamante def. Trish Adora
I can't complain about Diamante finally winning, but the problem is that she's been booked like a jobber for so long now that it's going to take a lot for her to really get going. I'd rather see Adora pushed instead since she may have a higher ceiling at this point. Either way, this was a well-wrestled affair. Diamante hasn't been on AEW TV in forever, so like Hogan and others, at least she's getting a new lease on life in ROH.
ROH World Tag Team Champion Penta El Zero Miedo def. Slim J
Have we seen The Lucha Brothers have a single tag team match on ROH TV since they became champions almost two months ago? Hilariously, they've defended the titles twice, but both defenses occurred on AEW TV. ROH has a ton of teams and Lucha Brothers haven't faced any of them. I'd be more interested in that than Penta taking on a member of The Trustbusters. This was passable but pointless.
ROH World Television Champion Samoa Joe and NJPW World Television Champion Zack Sabre Jr. def. Christopher Daniels and Matt Sydal
The stipulation was that if Daniels or Sydal pinned either of the champions, they would get a shot at that person's title. I appreciated the stakes because this show had none of that. The underlying tension between Joe and Sabre told a solid story and it made for an entertaining main event, the only bright spot on the entire episode. I'm curious if this is building to a clash of champions between Joe and Sabre and if both belts will be on the line.
Yes, there was a total of 19 matches on this show at almost three hours in length. I legitimately thought that was a joke when I saw it advertised on Twitter, but obviously not. Needless to say, that's completely ridiculous. This was basically a three-hour edition of Dark and you can't tell me otherwise. That's what ROH TV has turned into at this point and it's a shame. There were some well-worked matches, but the episode again mostly consisted of squashes and that's a problem. The main event stood out, but otherwise, do not waste your time with this one.