ROH World Tag Team Champion Jay Lethal def. Dalton Castle in an ROH Pure Championship Tournament First-Round Match
It was cool that Castle and Lethal brought up their history over the ROH World Championship from 2018 when they both beat each other on different occasions because it made this match feel that much more meaningful. Lethal was excellent as always, but Castle was equally impressive as he's been off his game for a while due to a nagging back injury (among other things). He was teaming regularly with Joe Hendry as of earlier this year, but I was glad that we got to see his serious side again here. This was a strong match and Lethal moving on in the tournament was the right call.
ROH World Tag Team Champion Jonathan Gresham def. Wheeler Yuta in an ROH Pure Championship Tournament First-Round Match
I knew nothing about Yuta prior to this show (though I believe he previously had a run in MLW), but he had a hell of a performance here. Lethal said during his sit-down interview that he wants it to be him and Gresham in the finals, so while I figured Gresham would win here, I hope this tourney doesn't play out that predictably. As for the match itself, it was a lot of fun and saw both guys shine. Yuta scored plenty of offense and it was only after Gresham got frustrated and went to that next gear that Yuta had to give up. It's awesome that ROH is bringing in fresh faces like Yuta to use for this tournament and exposing them to an entirely new audience.
This was the first episode of Ring of Honor Wrestling to feature first-run content in over six months since before the pandemic. Even without an audience in attendance (and let's face it, ROH hasn't had a packed house in a few years), this might have been one of my favorite shows of theirs in a long time, largely because actual effort was put into making it feel special. The updated intro song was a nice touch as a way to establish that it's a new era of sorts for ROH and the overall presentation of the episode was exceptional. Quinn McKay did a terrific job at the start of the show running down the rules for the Pure Rules matches in the ROH Pure Championship Tournament (which will take place entirely on ROH TV over the next few months) and acknowledging the precautions the company is taking to ensure the safety of the competitors, the crew and everyone else in the building. The video packages highlighting each competitor were well done and gave viewers a reason to care about them and why they should want to see them win. On top of all that, the matches themselves were very good. It's so great to have ROH back and I love the approach it appears they'll be taking with every episode for the foreseeable future.