ROH Women's World Champion Athena def. Allysin Kay
I appreciated that the setup for this was explained with the video that aired beforehand. Kay is both talented and accomplished. She should have been signed to Ring of Honor a long time ago, and even if she isn't signed after this, at least she got this opportunity and made the most of it. This was quite the entertaining affair that could have felt bigger if they bothered to build it up ahead of time. By the way, I believe Billie Starkz isn't medically cleared at the moment and that's why we haven't gotten her against Athena yet.
Tony Nese def. Silas Young
Young was a heel the last time I checked, so putting heel heat on Nese by having him do his shtick beforehand only to have him face a fellow heel was a weird choice. This was an adequate outing, though. I don't see Nese as anything other an undercard competitor at this point, so I'd rather see his push go to someone like Young. Nese isn't winning anything of actual importance, so these wins are a waste.
Spanish Announce Project (Angelico and Serpentico) def. Adam Priest and Schaff
Luther was back in SAP's corner. Ugh. I have no idea why they've been racking up wins as of late. They should be strictly slotted at an enhancement level. I can't imagine they'll be getting an ROH World Tag Team Championship opportunity any time soon with MJF and Adam Cole as the champions, so these matches don't serve much of a purpose. This was passable albeit pointless.
Skye Blue and Willow Nightingale def. The Renegades
Being the Chicago native, Blue was the star of the match. She and Nightingale have teamed up several times before, but this didn't feel like it existed for any other reason than to get Blue in front of the Chicago crowd. This was a decent match despite not accomplishing anything. If Nightingale's not going to dethrone Athena, she may as well be put on AEW's main shows full-time. She's definitely outgrown ROH at this point.
ROH World Six-Man Tag Team Champions Mogul Embassy (Brian Cage and The Gates of Agony) def. Metalik, Gravity and Griff Garrison
Week after week, Mogul Embassy defend against random trios and the titles never feel like they're truly in jeopardy as a result. Yes, it's nice that they're fighting champions, but these aren't actual trios and therefore there is no division. The matches are well wrestled, but all of them blend together and this was no exception. Maria Kanellis-Bennett approached Garrison later on in the night, so he might be the latest addition to whatever group she's putting together separate from The Kingdom.
Kiera Hogan def. Leila Grey
Hogan put the ROH women's division on notice with a backstage promo earlier in the episode. I'm glad she's getting more exposure since joining the brand, but it feels like she's treading water at this point now that she's unsuccessfully challenged Athena for the ROH Women's World Championship. She's on a winning streak, so there's that. She and Grey had a fine match, though I don't know that it needed as much time as it got. Grey will only improve with more reps.
Willie Mack and The Infantry def. Davey Bang, August Matthews and Jah-C
It's been a bit since we last saw Mack in action on ROH TV. He actually just challenged Alex Kane for the MLW World Heavyweight Championship at MLW's Fury Road event last weekend and fell short. Hopefully that means he'll continue to split his time between the two promotions. He and The Infantry can be a great trio if this turns out to be more than a one-off. As previously discussed, Mogul Embassy need competition and they can be credible challengers. This was a fairly standard showcase for them.
"Legit" Leyla Hirsch def. Lady Frost
Frost has had some really good showings on ROH TV so far this year, so it was logical for it to take longer for Hirsch to put her away. They had a well-worked match and Hirsch winning was the correct outcome. Maria and Cole Karter entered the ring afterward to welcome her into their aforementioned faction, but Hirsch kept walking. She'll probably end up joining, but I think she's better off on her own.
NJPW Strong Openweight Champion Eddie Kingston and ROH Pure Champion Katsuyori Shibata def. Gringo Loco and Blake Christian
Kingston and Shibata teamed up to take on Claudio Castagnoli and Wheeler Yuta at All Out and this was designed to be a warm-up for them. The issue is that this was taped prior to the pay-per-view but aired afterward, but I can't complain about getting Kingston on this show. He and Shibata work well as partners and Loco and Christian put up a fight before losing. It was one of the better bouts on the show.
ROH World Champion Claudio Castagnoli def. Lee Johnson in an ROH World Championship Proving Ground Match
I know Castagnoli had that quick squash against Ryan Nemeth a few weeks ago, but beyond that, he has barely had a presence on this show in recent months despite being the ROH World Champion. He's the perfect fit as champ, but if he's not going to be associated with the brand much, he should probably drop the belt to someone who will be around more often. At any rate, Johnson scored some offense and they had a fun little sprint. Castagnoli winning with the uppercut was a cool touch.
Iron Savages (Bronson and Boulder) def. Caleb Konley and Ren Jones
Iron Savages will have the occasional impressive showing, but then they'll return to doing nothing but squashes. They won't ascend the tag team ranks until they can start building real momentum, and these matches will only take them so far. It was what it needed to be, but I can't think of a single contracted team they've beaten. At the very least, this didn't overstay its welcome. It was a shame to see Konley treated like just another jobber instead of getting to show what he can do.
Best Friends, Darius Martin and Action Andretti def. The Workhorsemen and The Outrunners
I would've much rather seen Castagnoli vs. Johnson in the main event spot over this. That's not to say it was bad, but it was your average eight-man tag team match with no established issues between the teams involved. The babyfaces got a win out of it and the crowd was behind them, but nothing about the match stood out at all and, again, I doubt any of these teams contend for the ROH World Tag Team Championship any time soon due to the current circumstances.
ROH TV was under two hours this week and had some star power with Castagnoli and Kingston competing, but it was still a chore to sit through. I genuinely thought it was over after Castagnoli vs. Johnson, but then it continued for another two matches. As is the case with most editions of ROH TV, a majority of these matches were basic and unnecessary. I'm actually shocked so many were taped during a busy week/weekend in Chicago. The show started strong with Athena vs. Kay and I liked Castagnoli vs. Johnson while it lasted, but this was your usual inconsequential edition of ROH TV otherwise.