ROH Pure Champion Katsuyori Shibata def. Nick Wayne in a Pure Rules Match
This was announced last week on AEW Collision (the same night this was taped). Wayne hasn't done a damn thing to earn an opportunity at the ROH Pure Championship, but it was a nice attraction, I suppose. They had a well-worked opener and Wayne was able to score an ample amount of offense before eating defeat. Ring of Honor would be a good landing spot for Wayne once he's done with his current storyline with Darby Allin, Christian Cage and Luchasaurus.
Diamante def. Catie Brite
I'm all for Diamante winning more matches after being relegated to enhancement duty for almost her entire AEW run. The question is if these wins will actually amount to anything since another shot at the ROH Women's World Championship doesn't appear to be in her future. This was a basic bout and didn't overstay its welcome with Diamante going over decisively. If nothing else, I just appreciate Diamante being used regularly.
Lee Moriarty def. Lee Johnson
This was a logical match to do after Shane Taylor beat Johnson last week and Lee Moriarty was announced as the newest member of Shane Taylor Promotions afterward. Unsurprisingly, they worked extremely well together and had a hell of a sprint. Moriarty winning was the right call if the idea is to build up Shane Taylor Promotions (and it should be), though I'm glad Johnson had a chance to show what he can do for the second straight week.
Mercedes Martinez def. Trish Adora
Diamante accompanied Athena to ringside. I thought Athena would be a part of their little faction (which originally seemed to be the case in early August), but Athena is busy doing her thing with Billie Starkz. Nonetheless, this was a nice match while it lasted from Martinez and Adora. Martinez lends a lot of experience to the division and Adora is always impressive. Both have already failed against Athena, so they're basically treading water for now.
ROH Women's World Champion Athena def. Angelina Love
What a random match. Yes, Love is a former ROH Women's World Champion (though I'd like to forget about those reigns because it was the lowest point in the history of ROH's women's division), so it wasn't that random, but they couldn't have bothered to build this up a bit or announce it in advance? Athena wasn't in her usual ring gear but had no trouble putting Love away. This was one of Athena's weaker defenses, but it was still solid. I really don't need to see this be more than a one-off for Love.
Skye Blue, Willow Nightingale and Kiera Hogan def. "Legit" Leyla Hirsch and The Renegades
This was your usual showcase for the women with a fun final stretch. The crowd was into the babyfaces, but it'd be great if we could see Blue do something other than tag team matches and pointless squashes for a change. She's improving in the ring but won't improve on the mic until she's able to cut more promos. Nightingale shouldn't be relegated to ROH TV at this point coming off her women's Owen Hart Cup victory. This marked Hirsch's first loss since returning from injury. Maria Kanellis-Bennett again stood on the stage. She sure stands a lot, doesn't she?
"All Ego" Ethan Page def. VSK
I assume Jeeves Kay is no more if he went back to being VSK for this match. That would also mean The Trustbusters is no more, which is terrific news because the stable sucked. This was a standard squash for Page, who said last week in a backstage interview that he wants to hit the reset button on his career with a run in ROH. They're trying him out as a babyface and I think he can do well in the role if that promo and match with MJF on Collision two months ago was any indication.
AAA Mega Champion El Vijo del Vikingo, Gravity and Metalik def. Tony Nese and Spanish Announce Table (Angelico and Serpentico)
Vikingo is in a similar spot as Blue and Nightingale in that he's competed in a ton of meaningless tag team matches on ROH TV, though the biggest difference is that Vikingo isn't a full-time competitor with ROH or AEW. I suppose that's the reason why, but it's hard to care about these matches if they're always the same and don't accomplish anything. If nothing else, the action was enjoyable and the three luchadors had fun chemistry together.
Darius Martin and Action Andretti def. Griff Garrison and Cole Karter
Maria is trying to get Garrison and Karter on the same page so they can be a part of this new group she's putting together. Ultimately, they were unsuccessful. Collectively, they're two super generic guys who can hold their own in the ring but aren't very interesting. It looks like it's going to take them time to find their footing as partner, assuming this sticks. The match itself was serviceable. How much do these wins for Martin and Andretti really mean if they aren't going to be in the running for a shot at the ROH World Tag Team Championship?
ROH World Six-Man Tag Team Champions Mogul Embassy (Brian Cage and The Gates of Agony) def. Willie Mack and The Infantry
I was hoping Mack and The Infantry would eventually challenge for the ROH World Six-Man Tag Team Championship, but not this soon, especially one day before The Elite are set to challenge for them on the Grand Slam edition of Rampage. That was pretty poor timing because it made the outcome of this outing incredibly obvious when it didn't have to be. I liked the match and thought it turned into an entertaining main event in the second half, but I hope they're able to mix it up eventually in a rematch (provided The Elite don't take the titles on Friday night).
Once again, having the episode exceed the 90-minute mark was unnecessary. Even 90 minutes for ROH TV is excessive in my opinion. The brand has done a better job of progressing stories in recent weeks, but they're far and few between and I still feel like I'm watching AEW Dark reincarnated. There's a serious lack of star power and the main men's titles being held hostage on AEW programming is an obvious issue. Since this was taped last Saturday, the only fallout we got from Eddie Kingston capturing the ROH World Championship on Wednesday night was the quick video that aired at the beginning. Everything else was business as usual. The opener and the main event stood out among everything else.