Pre-Show: Colt Cabana def. Blake Christian
Were any of these pre-show matches announced ahead of time? If they were, I didn't see them on social media or anywhere else. It doesn't matter if they were or weren't, but I was pleasantly surprised to see Cabana in action given his ties to Ring of Honor over the last two decades. It was also cool to see Christian, who was released from WWE NXT late last year and is very talented in his own right. This was a nice opener for the evening.
Pre-Show: AQA def. Miranda Alize
AQA recently debuted in AEW to challenge Jade Cargill for the AEW TBS Championship. Of course, she came up short, and she hasn't been on TV or even the Dark shows a whole lot since then, which is weird to me. I think she still has a ways to go in the ring, but you'd think she'd be used more. Nonetheless, this was a good spot for her against an opponent ROH fans will know well in Alize. Both women would be perfect fits for ROH's women's division, assuming there is one when ROH starts running regular events again.
Pre-Show: Gates of Agony (Kaun and Toa Liona) def. Shinobi Shadow Squad (Eli Isom and Cheeseburger)
I loved that Shinobi Shadow Squad made an appearance on this (pre-)show. Granted, they've never been my favorite faction, but both guys have been with ROH for years. However, this was a total showcase for the new team of Kaun and Liona, collectively known as Gates of Agony, with Tully Blanchard as their manager. Kaun was a standout in ROH last year, so I'm happy he's sticking around. They made quick work of Shinoni Shadow Squad as they should be.
Pre-Show: Dalton Castle def. Joe Hendry
These two obviously have history as partners, but I don't remember them ever going one-on-one after their alliance ended. Then again, Hendry was gone for most of the pandemic due to travel issues I believe and only returned for the four-way at Final Battle. They had a quality contest. Castle is still over with the audience after all these years, though I was surprised to see him go over since Hendry is the fresher face of the two.
Swerve Strickland def. Alex Zayne
This match was announced well before Strickland debuted on AEW TV. He's only been in AEW for a few weeks, but I honestly wouldn't mind him being an ROH regular to ensure he doesn't get lost in the shuffle. Zayne would be awesome in ROH as well. He made a few appearances before signing with WWE in 2020 and returned after being released last year. This was the entertaining opener you'd expect from these two.
Brian Cage def. Ninja Mack
I've been watching ROH regularly for several years and know nothing about Ninja Mack. I've only ever heard of him. Isn't he a GCW guy? At any rate, this was all about the returning Brian Cage, who is a part of this new faction Blanchard is going to be leading. He needed a mouthpiece following his split from Team Taz and Blanchard will work well in that role. I thought a search party was about to be sent out for him because we haven't seen him on AEW TV in almost six months, but I'm happy he's back and he can really thrive in ROH if that's where he'll mainly be slotted going forward.
Jay Lethal def. Lee Moriarty
This was a battle between two guys I desperately want to see more of on AEW TV, and no, I'm not talking about Dark and Elevation. I'm talking about Dynamite and Rampage. Moriarty is an exciting young prospect that is only going to benefit from working with seasoned veterans like Lethal. This was a very enjoyable affair and Lethal cheating to win was well done. The heel turn was much needed considering he's done nothing since signing with AEW in November.
Mercedes Martinez def. Willow Nightingale to Become the Interim ROH Women's World Champion
Deonna Purrazzo is the current ROH Women's World Champion but couldn't make the show due to wrestling at IMPACT's Multiverse of Matches event later in the night. As a result of her victory, Martinez will face Purrazzo at a future event to determine an undisputed champion. I know AEW did it with the AEW TNT Championship earlier this year, but I still think the idea of an interim champ in wrestling is stupid when they could have easily made this a number one contender's match instead. Nightingale has a ton of upside and gets better every time I see her, but this was Martinez's matchup to win. The crowd came alive once they picked up the pace and it was a solid outing overall.
AAA World Tag Team Champions FTR def. The Briscoes to Win the ROH World Tag Team Championship (AAA World Tag Team Championship Was Not Defended)
If you haven't seen this masterpiece (and how the hell could you not have), everything you heard or read about it is true. This was an instant classic that exceeded the hype. FTR and The Briscoes wrestle two totally different styles yet are tremendous teams in their own way. This had a big fight feel right out of the gate, They had stellar chemistry and the crowd was hot every step of the way. I've said this about a lot of FTR's matches over the years, but this was tag team wrestling at its finest. I don't care where it happens, but I need a rematch eventually. In the meantime, we have FTR vs. The Young Bucks II to look forward to this Wednesday on Dynamite.
Minoru Suzuki def. Rhett Titus to Win the ROH World Television Championship
Suzuki was such a random yet sweet addition to this card. Apparently this marked his first title win ever in the United States, as wild as that sounds. There wasn't much to this, as it was basically booked as an extended squash for Suzuki. I feel bad for Titus because him winning the TV title at Final Battle was a nice moment for him, but there was no follow-up and he lost it in his first defense here. Then again, I don't think many people will complain with this being six minutes long because I doubt it was going to be a barn burner, anyway.
Wheeler Yuta def. Josh Woods to Win the ROH Pure Championship
Interestingly, Yuta was a part of the initial tournament to crown a Pure Champion in late 2020. He went on to compete in AEW and become a regular over there alongside Best Friends, so it's now all come full circle for him. He's a super skilled competitor and feels like the right person to be carrying that title in AEW. I'm super high on Woods' potential, though. Hopefully they can find a spot for him in the new ROH. This was very well wrestled despite not being the flashiest of matches.
Jonathan Gresham def. Bandido to Become the Undisputed ROH World Champion; Samoa Joe Confronted Jay Lethal and Sonjay Dutt
Both Bandido and Gresham were technically ROH World Champions coming into this contest. Chavo Guerrero is Bandido's new manager, by the way, which is interesting if Bandido isn't going to be a heel. This was the quintessential ROH main event in that the wrestling was crisp and clean and there were plenty of excellent nearfalls. Gresham has been the traveling champ since capturing the title at Final Battle, so he made the most sense to win. Then, out came Lethal and Dutt to attack Gresham, only to be stopped by the returning Samoa Joe. That was a fantastic surprise to close the show with and a hell of a hook heading into Dynamite next week to get fans talking about this event if they weren't already.
My favorite part of this pay-per-view was that it genuinely felt like an ROH show, just with talent on it from AEW and elsewhere. For those unaware, Supercard of Honor was already announced prior to AEW buying the company, so there's a decent chance the event wouldn't have happened if tickets weren't on sale. That said, I'm stoked it did because this turned out to be a blast. All of the key ROH names and voices were brought back and I hope that remains the case when (or even if) ROH lands a television deal of some sort and starts filming fresh content again.