The Righteous def. Christopher Daniels and Matt Sydal
I'm glad The Righteous are starting to build momentum again following their failure to win the ROH World Tag Team Championship at WrestleDream. It's a shame they've gotten zero exposure on AEW TV since then, but they're a very talented team and belong on the bigger stage. This was a quality contest and served as a solid opener. Daniels and Sydal are two notable names for them to beat.
"Legit" Leyla Hirsch def. Robyn Renegade
Hirsch is in the process of racking up victories again after failing to unseat Athena as ROH Women's World Championship a few weeks back, so booking her in short-and-sweet squashes is smart. This was exactly what it needed to be. The Renegades teamed up on her afterward and Rachael Ellering made the save. Hirsch told her later backstage that she didn't want her help despite Ellering telling her she was just doing "the right thing." Ellering said it was nice to see her again, but it wasn't explained where they would've known each other from.
Darius Martin def. Lee Moriarty
Martin's tag partner Action Andretti and Moriarty's tag partner Shane Taylor weren't at ringside. I appreciated that it was a straightforward singles match with no shenanigans. Both of these guys are great and they had an enjoyable outing. It didn't really matter who won, but it was designed to keep the rivalry running and it accomplished that. The ROH World Tag Team Championship being nonexistent on ROH TV right now has hindered the division, but this non-title tag feud has at least kept these teams busy.
Josh Woods def. Ethan Page
Page wanted a rematch with Tony Nese but got Nese's tag partner instead. Losing to Nese is definitely worse than losing to Woods, but Page probably shouldn't be losing at all at this point if he's trying to get over as a babyface. Yes, having him loss to these goofs forces him to face adversity, but the problem is that Woods and Nese are looked at as stepping stones, so Page losing to them doesn't send a strong message. They had a good match, though.
Angelico def. Slim J, Metalik and Gringo Loco in a Four-Corner Survival Match
They may as well have made this a number one contender's match for the ROH World Championship to make it worthwhile. Okay, so Slim J, Metalik and Loco have done nothing to earn an opportunity at the title, but at least it would've explained why this match happened. On the bright side, it was all action and they worked well together. I don't mind how Kingston has a rival on ROH TV in Angelico while he also feuds with Jay Lethal on AEW programming.
Rachael Ellering def. LMK
Considering we already saw Ellering twice on this episode between helping Hirsch and the backstage segment, I don't think this match was necessary as it could have easily been saved for next week. Establishing Ellering with wins is key, but the problem is that there's nothing about her so far that stands out as special. In fact, the crowd was much more behind LMK here than Ellering, which can't be considered an encouraging sign that she's getting over.
ROH World Six-Man Tag Team Champions The Gates of Agony def. The Wingmen ("Pretty" Pretty Avalon and Ryan Nemeth), The Infantry, and Iron Savages (Bronson and Boulder) in a Four-Corner Survival Tag Team Match
It's worth noting that this was taped last weekend before Mogul Embassy regained the ROH World Six-Man Tag Team Championship from The Elite on Wednesday's Elite, so while they weren't technically the champions at this point and didn't come out with the belts, I'll list them as the champs for the sake of consistency and clarity. At any rate, this was no different than any other multi-team match we've gotten on ROH TV recently. Once again, Gates of Agony went over and, once again, there were no stakes. Can they be given a shot at the ROH World Tag Team Championship at this point to get it over with?
Action Andretti def. Nick Comoroto and Lee Johnson in a Three-Way Match
This was very random. Not bad by any means, but random. The only thing that added intrigue was Shane Taylor being shown watching from backstage. The commentators assumed he was scouting for Shane Taylor Promotions, so maybe he'll have Andretti in his sights. Then again, Andretti and Martin have been feuding with Taylor and Moriarty as of late, so that would make more sense. This was a well-wrestled three-way.
Kiera Hogan def. Charlette Renegade
I'm all for showcasing the women, but these matches need to have meaning. It felt like this only existed to fill time and to get them on the card, not because there are any significant plans for Hogan (at least not right now). Why can't Tony Khan get this many women's matches on the main AEW shows? This was perfectly fine for what it was, but without much meaning, it was difficult to care and felt like something you'd see on Dark.
Dalton Castle, The Boys and Gravity def. Cole Karter, Griff Garrison and The Workhorsemen
It hasn't been very long, but this new team of Karter and Garrison just isn't working. They've been booked to lose a lot and both will need character overhauls in order to be taken seriously. No, Karter being infatuated with "hot moms" doesn't count as an effective gimmick change. I actually find The Workhorsemen more interesting. This was your standard eight-man tag affair with the right team going over.
ROH Women's World Champion Athena def. Mercedes Martinez
This was obviously a rematch from last year's Final Battle event where Athena beat Martinez to win the title and kick off the excellent reign she's been on ever since. Mohegan Sun Area was the perfect place to do it with Martinez being a Connecticut native. Unsurprisingly, their match was top-notch, and I liked the twist ending with Billie Starkz helping Athena retain. That's definitely one way to shake up their story and extend it long enough so Starkz can eventually go back to being a babyface and potentially dethrone Athena (ideally, anyway).
Admittedly, I attended AEW Collision last Saturday night when this show was taped, and I only ended up watching the Righteous tag match and Ellering's match because those were taped prior to Collision. The rest were taped afterward, and although I'm bummed I missed Maritnez vs. Athena live, I don't regret not sticking around for everything else. It's rinse and repeat with ROH TV these days, especially with the multi-person matches. It's the same stuff every week. This was yet another decent show, but thankfully, it had an above-average main event. They're telling some stories and the shows aren't a total slog to sit through, but it's clear Khan doesn't see ROH as a priority right now and the brand has lost whatever identity it once had.