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ROH SUPERCARD OF HONOR REPORT
MARCH 31, 2023
LOS ANGELES, CALIF.
STREAMED LIVE ON PPV ON BLEACHER REPORT
ZERO HOUR PRE-SHOW
Commentary: Ian Riccaboni, Caprice Coleman, and Nigel McGuinness.
(a) TRACY WILLIAMS vs. JEFF COBB
Cobb lifted Williams up and walked around the ring with him in the suplex position before landing a suplex for a 2 count. Cobb went for a standing moonsault, but missed. Williams went for an arm submission right away as Cobb tried to get up. Cobb eventually shook Williams off. Cobb got the win with Tour of the Islands.
WINNER: Jeff Cobb in 6:00. (**½)
(b) WILLIE MACK vs. KONOSUKE TAKESHITA
Takeshita went for a dive to the floor, but landed on his feet. Mack avoided the dive and wiped him out with a clothesline. Takeshita mounted a comeback and sent Mack to the floor. He then wiped out Mack with a huge flip dive to the floor. Mack fired right back with a flip dive of his own and the fans fired up big time and chanted Holy s–t. Mack hit a standing shining wizard and Takeshita was out on his feet. Mac hit a Samoan Drop and stayed down with Takeshita. Mack jumped to his feet, but favored his back before connecting with a standing moonsault for a two count. Takeshita took a lariat, but fired right back a short time later and connected with one of his own for a two count.
Takeshita blocked a stunner attempt. Mack connected with a pounce. He hit a stunner, but Takeshita fired back with a running knee and a stunner of his own. Mack then decked Takeshita with a shining wizard and both men were down as the fans applauded. Riccaboni said this was the largest ROH crowd in southern California history. Mack ducked a lariat and hit a T-bone suplex. Mack missed a frog splash. Takeshita then hit a blue thunder powerbomb. He then hit a big running knee strike to Mack’s head for the win.
WINNER: Konosuke Takeshita in 10:00. (***½)
(Radican’s Analysis: This was a fun back and forth match. It is the type of match that will get fans to order the show if they’re on the fence. The atmosphere was fun with the hot crowd supporting both men.)
A video package aired for the ROH Women’s Championship match.
(3) MIRANDA ALIZE vs. WILLOW NIGHTENGALE
Willow went for a dive during the early going, but Alize caught her with a forearm as she came through the ropes. Alize dominated the action for several minutes. Nightengale fired back and the fans fired up behind her. She got Alize up on her back, but she fought free and caught Nightengale with a neck breaker for a 2 count. Nightengale hit a Spiccoli Driver for a two count. Alize went for the Drive By a short time later, but Nightengale got out of the way. She then connected with The Pounce. NIghtengale then hit a Doctor Bomb for the win.
WINNER: Willow Nightengale in 8:00. (**¾)
(Radican’s Analysis: This was solid. They had some good exchanges down the stretch leading into the finish. Caprice and Ian were hilarious on commentary with their enthusiastic commentary towards Nightengale and dancing to her music before and after the match. Nigel’s expression during the match while Coleman and Riccaboni were having fun was hilarious.)
A video package aired for the Reach for the Sky Ladder match.
A video package then aired for the Mark Briscoe vs. Samoa Joe ROH World TV Title match.
A video package also aired for the Claudio Castagnoli vs. Eddie Kingston ROH World Championship match.
(d) STU GRAYSON (w/Evil Uno) vs. SLIM JAY (w/Ari Daivari & Mark Sterling) 7:47
Grayson took Slim J down and he bailed to the floor. Sterling got up on the apron. Uno went after him. Davari distracted Stu from the apron and Slim J wiped him out with a dive off the top for a two count. Grayson fired up and began no-selling Slim J’s strikes. He eventually took him down with a big uranagi. He hit a springboard twisting Asai moonsault for a nearfall. Sterling got up on the apron and Uno eventually took care of him and Daivari on the outside. Grayson then connected with his Nightfall finish for the win.
WINNER: Stu Grayson in 7:00.
Dark Order was still in the ring when Dutch and Vincent of The Righteous came out to their music. Riccaboni asked what they were doing there.
The announcers did their final plugs for the main card of the PPV.
Bobby Cruise introduced the fans to the show.
(1) EL HIJO DEL VIKINGO vs. KOMANDER – AAA Mega Championship match
The opening bell rang and the fans popped huge. A big lucha chant broke out as they locked up and went at it. The fans then chanted lucha libre as Vikingo and Komander traded holds. Komander hit a 450 off the stage to the floor. Vikingo hit a crazy headscissors takedown out of an inverted SSP. Komander managed to block a dive attempt with his knees. He tossed Vikingo into the ring. He walked the ropes and went for a dive, but Vikingo got his legs up. They traded counters and Vikingo hit a Frankensteiner for a 2 count. Komander went for a springboard dive, but Vikingo dropped him with a uranagi. Vikingo came off the post with a dive, but Komander turned it into a sit out powerbomb for a nearfall that had the crowd gasping.
Vikingo pushed Komander off the top to the floor. He climbed to the ringpost and dropped down onto the middle rope and hit a springboard spinning dive to the floor. I don’t know what the hell he calls it, but it was amazing. WOW! Vikingo set up facing away from the ring and hit an inside out corkscrew 450 for a near fall. Oh my god!! The fans fired up and chanted this is awesome. They traded blows on the apron a short time later. Vikingo caught Komander running at him, but Komander turned it into a code red on the apron.
Vikingo favored his leg on the floor. Komander got up on the ropes and walked all the way across the ring and hit a jumping springboard moonsault to the floor. This match is crazy! Komander walked across the top rope again and hit a SSP for a nearfall. He went to the ropes again, but Vikingo tripped him. Vikingo went up top and Komander stood up on the ropes and Vikingdo nailed him with a jumping code red!. He then put Komander on a table on the outside and nailed him with a 630 Air Jordan to the floor to put him through the table!
Komander went up top and threw playing cards to set up the Hidden Ace. He hit it, but Vikingo got his hand on the rope at the last second! They went up top and Vikingo hit a swinging Urangi off the top. Vikingo looked like he hurt himself on the landing. The fans fired up as Vikingo regrouped. Vikingo hit a running double knee strike in the corner. He then hit a 630 for the win.
WINNER: Vikingo in 15:00 to retain the AAA Mega Championship. (****½)
(Radican’s Analysis: This match featured unbelievable action from start to finish. These two put on an incredible display of junior/lucha libre action in the ring.)
(2) THE EMBASSY (Brian Cage & Kaun & Toa Liona w/Prince Nana) vs. A.R. FOX & BLAKE CHRISTIAN & METALIK – ROH World Trios Championship match
Fox, Blake, and Metalik connected with a triple dive during the early going to wipe out The Embassy. The pace slowed down briefly with The Embassy in control, but it wasn’t long before Fox was hitting dives all over the place. He eventually ended up inside the ring with Cage. Cage hit a big forearm on Fox and tagged in Liona. Christian eventually got tagged in, but he got cut off and Kaun dropped him back first over the top turnbuckle. Metalik and Fox ran into the picture to save Christian. Christian hit a springboard moonsault on Cage and the pace continued to pick up with action all over the place. Metalik came off the top and hit a DDT on Liona and everyone was down to end the big sequence. Cage and Metaliz went back and forth, but Cage caught him with the drill claw and it was good for the win.
WINNERS: The Embassy in 8:00 to retain the ROH Six Man Tag Team Championship. (***½)
(Radican’s Analysis: This match featured some tremendous action, but it didn’t have the same impact it might have had elsewhere on the card following the Vikingo vs. Komaner opener. It was still a really fun match to watch.)
Athena made her entrance and destroyed a doll dressed like Yuka Sakasaki. The announcers said she was on a pace similar to Samoa Joe during this title reign.
The referee held up the new ROH Women’s Championship title before the match began.
(2) ATHENA vs. YUKA SAKAZAKI – ROH Women’s Championship match
Sakazaki is from Tokyo Joshi Pro. Sakazaki hit a dive to the floor during the early going to wipe out Athena. For some reason, Athena went into the crowd, but Sakazaki dragged her back to the floor. They went back and forth and Sakazaki eventually went for a missile dropkick, but Athena got out of the way. Athena got on top of Sakazaki and hit several punches. Sakazaki looked to be out of it, but the match continued. Athena slammed Sakasaki into the mat and it looked like she had a rough landing out of the corner. Sakasaki fired back and hit a diving lariat for a two count.
Athena continued to dominate the action, but she couldn’t put Sakazaki away. Sakazaki was crawling on the mat and favoring her neck when Athen nailed her with a dropkick that sent her to the floor. Athena hit a wheelbarrow suplex on the floor and pounded her chest as Sakazaki favored his neck. The fans booed Athena. McGuinness said watching this match made his neck hurt. Athena missed a running double knee strike and went into the guardrail. Sakazaki then hit a bodyslam on the floor. Sakasaki got a running start and hit a big splash off the stage. Athena and Sakasaki went back and forth until Athena hit a spinning strike. She went for the cover, but Sakasaki used the ropes to break up the pin.
Athena went up top, but Sakasaki cut her off and hit a superplex. She then hit a hammerlock spinning slam for a near fall. Sakazaki ended up set up on the ropes and Athena connected with the O-Face off the ropes from the tunrbuckle for the win.
WINNER: Athena in 12:00 to retain the ROH Women’s Championship. (***½)
(Radican’s Analysis: This was a great match made even better by a great call from Ian Riccaboni on commentary. Riccaboni filled in the blank spaces with facts about both women and just the perfect amount of enthusiasm at the right times to enhance this match tremendously.)
Mark Briscoe came out for the last time with the ROH World Tag Team Championship. The Briscoe family was shown at ringside. Mark got a big pop coming out to face Samoa Joe.
(3) SAMOA JOE vs. MARK BRISCOE – ROH World TV Championship match
The fans chanted dem boys for Mark and Joe rolled to the floor to stall. Riccaboni mentioned that Mark has never beat Samoa Joe in singles competition. Mark went for a springboard from the apron, but Joe nailed him with a chop. They then began trading heavy chops in the middle of the ring. The fans gasped with each strike by both men. Mark hit a Spicolli Driver on Joe and went up top, but Joe rolled to the floor. Mark charged at Joe on the floor,but he countered and hit an overhead throw. Joe hit several punches in the corner and he turned around. The fans booed and Mark popped up and surprised him with a punch, but Joe took him down with an elbow to cut off Mark as he charged at him.
Joe dominated the action and smiled as Mark ended up on the floor. He went for a dive through the ropes a short time later and connected with a big forearm. Mark fired back and used a chair that Joe introduced into the match to hit a big flip dive to the floor and the fans fired up. Mark went under the ring and grabbed a table. He tried to set it up, but Joe cut him off. Mark hit a blockbuster through the table on the floor on Joe. They traded big chops in the middle of the ring once again. Mark eventually connected with a forearm off the turnbuckles and both men were down. Mark went to the corner and Riccaboni said he might have been looking for Jay. Mark fired up in the corner and turned around and hit a uranagi on Joe. Coleman said it was like he tagged to the spirit inside of him.
Joe hit a headbutt and then a big powerslam for a nearfall. Joe hit a powerbomb and then locked in a STF when Mark kicked out. Mark fired up with several chops, but Joe caught him with a suplex. Mark got to his feet, but Joe nailed him with a clothesline for a two count. Mark blocked a muscle buster attempt and nailed Joe with a running kick. Mark went up top and pointed to the sky. He then connected with the Froggy bow for a nearfall. WOW! Mark signaled for the Jay-driller, but Joe countered it. Mark went for the cutthroat driver, but Joe grabbed a choke. Mark faded and then began reaching towards his family in the stands. Joe hit a sleeper suplex and locked in the choke and Mark was out.
WINNER: Samoa Joe in 15:00 to retain the ROH World TV Championship. (****)
(Radican’s Analysis: This was great with Mark constantly firing up thanks to the spirit of Jay Briscoe and his family at ringside. Ultimately Mark came up short, but this was one hell of a match.)
After the match, Joe followed the Code of Honor and shook Mark’s hand.
The fans gave Mark a big ovation after he left the ring. Mark went to ringside and hugged his family members.
(4) DANIEL GARCIA vs. HIROSHI TANAHASHI
Tanahashi offered a clean break against the ropes, but Garcia did not return the favor a short time later. Garcia went after Tanahashi’s hair and slammed him to the mat by the hair and the fans booed. They went to the floor and Garcia went after Tanahashi’s knee. He then mocked Tanahashi’s air guitar toss into the crowd before doing what I can only describe as a wacky dance. Garcia got upset when the fans chanted you’re a wrestler at him. Garcia hit Nakamura’s vibration boot in the corner and then hit Nakamura’s pose against the ropes and the fans booed. Tanahashi finally hit a flying forearm off the ropes and the fans applauded. They began trading kicks to the knee. The fans cheered Tanahashi and booed Garcia. Garcia eventually took Tanahashi down and began working over his leg. He went for a sharpshooter, but Tanahashi fought him off. Garcia then hit several kicks to Tanahashi’s leg.
Tanahashi applied a Liontamer style cloverleaf on Garcia. He couldn’t really sit down on it because of the damage to his legs and Garcia got to the ropes. Garcia hit a stunner to Tanahashi’s knee. He then wiped him out with a flying boot to the head for a 2 count. Tanahashi countered Garcia and hit Twist and Shout. He then hit a Slingblade. Tanahashi went up top and hit High Fly Flow for the win.
WINNER: Hiroshi Tanahashi in 12:00. (***½)
(Radican’s Analysis: This was a nice change of pace from the other matches so far on the card. Garcia picked apart at Tanahashi’s leg the entire time, but it wasn’t enough in the end as Tanahashi got the win. Garcia was great here playing up to the crowd to get heat during the match. He’s growing rapidly as a performer.)
(5) LFI (Dralistico & Rush w/Jose the Assistant) vs. THE LUCHA BROS (Rey Fenix & Penta El Zero Miedo. w/Alex Abrahantes ) vs.AUSSIE OPEN (Mark Davis & Kyle Fletcher) vs. THE KINGDOM (Matt Taven & Mike Bennett w/Maria Kanellis) vs. TOP FLIGHT (Dante & Darius Martin) – Reach For the Sky Ladder match to determine the new ROH World Tag Team Champions
LFI set up Top Flight in the corner. They stacked a ladder on top of them and Rush nailed them with a running dropkick. The Lucha Bros. set up Aussie Open on both side of the ladder and then hit them with a tandem code red. The Kingdom nailed Darius Martin with an over the top to the floor Doomsday Device as a tribute to Jay Briscoe. WOW! Aussie Open countered a double Jay-driller attempt and hit The Kingdom with stereo piledrivers (traditional and tombstone). Bennett was shown bleeding from the head on the entrance ramp. LFI cleared the ring and slowly climbed the ladder, but Taven cut them off. Bennet went right up the ladder and met Rush at the top. They both backed down and decided to go at it on the mat.
Bennett and Rush traded bombs in the middle of the ring. Dralistico eventually caught Taven with a belly to belly suplex into a ladder that was in the corner. Taven was also bleeding from the head. Top Flight worked together to wipe out Dralistico. Dante then jumped off Darius’s back and kicked a chair into Rush’s face and the fans fired up. A ladder was set up between the corner and the ladder in the middle of the ring. Darius wiped out Taven with a move off the latter. Dante and Bennett went at it up top and Dante took Bennett to the floor with a sunset bomb! Dante climbed the ladder, but Aussie Open cut him off and hit him with Coriolis.
Dralistico ended up taking out Davis with a DDT. He was alone in the ring, but he went up top. Fletcher tried to cut him off up top, but Dralistico fought him off and hit a headscissors takedown to the floor. WOW! Taven went up top and hit a splash on Dralistico on the ladder. The ladder broke upon impact. Jose and Alex went at it. Alex sent Jose to the mat. There was action all over the place. Fenix nearly grabbed the titles, but Dante climbed up the ladder to cut him off. Fenix got behind Martin, as there was a ladder set up between the ropes and the ladder. Dante shoved Fenix backwards and he landed on the ladder. Fenix and Dante went at it up top. They went at it on the ladder and Fenix hit a code red off the ladder through two tables on Dante. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?!
Fenix went at it with Taven up top a short time later. He managed to shove Taven off and he grabbed the titles for the win.
WINNERS: Penta El Cero Miedo & Rey Fenix in 20:00 to become the new ROH World Tag Team Champions. (****3/4)
(Radican’s Analysis: This was a great tribute to The Briscoes with numerous sequences built into the match to honor them. There were some crazy spots and this was incredible overall.)
Mark Briscoe came out and he was joined by FTR. The fans popped big for FTR as they saluted The Lucha Bros. Mark was shown hugging Mike Bennett and Matt Taven at ringside.
Bobby Cruise went over the rules for the upcoming Pure title match between Wheeler Yuta and Katsuyori Shibata.
Jon Moxley came out Jon Moxley and the announcers acted surprised and referenced the despicable actions of the Blackpool Combat Club. Pat Buck, Madison Rayne, and Christopher Daniels are the judges for the match should it go to the time limit.
Apparently Dante Martin suffered a serious ankle injury on the code red spot into the ladder, which I missed watching the match live.
(6) WHEELER YUTA (w/Jon Moxley) vs. KATSUYORI SHIBATA – ROH Pure Championship match
Shibata worked a leg submission on the mat. Yuta eventually went to the ropes to use his first rope break. Shibata dropped several elbows Danielson style on Yuta a short time later. Yuta got the upper hand and went after Shibata’s arm. Wheeler held the ref and hit a low blow on Shibata while distracting him. They went back and forth and Yuta decked Shibata with a closed fist. Yuta got a warning and the fans chanted f–k you Yuta. Yuta hit several chops, but Shibata just kept walking at towards him. Shibata sent Yuta into the corner and nailed him with a face wash. He then kicked backwards at Yuta as the ref admonished him. Shibata then hit his signature stalling dropkick in the corner. Yuta ended up in the ropes and it counted as a rope break.
Shibata hit a belly to back suplex and went to work on Yuta with a series of big kicks to the chest. Shibata grabbed a sleeper. He let go and hit the PK for the win.
WINNER: Katsuyori Shibata in 13:00 to become the new ROH Pure Champion. (***¼)
(Radican’s Analysis: This was a good back and forth match while it lasted, but it felt like it was just getting started when Shibata got the win.)
After the match, Wheeler blew off Shibata’s handshake.
Ian Riccaboni ran down plugs for Dynamite next week.
(7) CLAUDIO CASTAGNOLI vs. EDDIE KINGSTON – ROH World Championship match
Kingston charged at Claudio as soon as the bell rang. Kingston kicked Castagnoli’s legs and made him do a split. Castagnoli began to favor his legs at this point. The fans chanted for Kingston and Castagnoli went to the floor favoring his leg. Kingston set up for a dive, but Castagnoli cut him off with an elbow as he came through the ropes. Kingston ended up caught up in the ropes. Castagnoli nailed him with some hard slaps before suplexing him to the floor. Castagnoli sold his leg as he worked over Kingston. Both men traded slaps to the face. Castagnoli went for the airplane spin, but he had to let go due to the damage to his legs.
The fans tried to rally behind Kingston. Kingston ended up on the top turnbuckle and Castagnoli hit several slaps before sending him down to the mat with a big dropkick. They traded blows up top, but Castagnoli managed to hit a superplex for a 2 count. McGuinness pointed out that Kingston rolled away and cost Castagnoli an opportunity to cover him quickly. Castagnoli hit a big stomp to Kingston’s face. He went to make the cover, but Kingston raked his eyes to block the pin.
Kingston hit a t-bone suplex on the floor. Kingston went for a backdrop driver, but Castagnoli fell on top of him and hit several elbows. Kingston ducked a clothesline and got the stretch plumb. Claudio struggled, but finally got to the ropes. Castagnoli came back and hit a backdrop driver successfully this time. Castagnoli managed to hit a German suplex out of nowhere to buy himself some time. Both men traded blows in the middle of the ring. Kingston hit a big boot, but Castagnoli wiped him out with a lariat for good near fall.
Castagnoli went for a Ricola bomb, but Kingston slipped out and hit a spinning backfist for a nearfall. Castagnoli rolled to the apron. The fans fired up and Kingston followed Castagnoli to the apron. They went back and forth until Castgnoli hit a gutwrench suplex off the apron to the floor. Castagnoli slammed a section of the guardrail into Kingston several times. He measured Kingston inside the ring and hit a big running uppercut for a nearfall. The fans fired up and chanted for Kingston. Claudio slapped Kingston and told him he’d never get his respect. Kingston hit a backfist, but didn’t get all of it. Kingston hit another backfist, but Castagnoli didn’t go down. Catagnoli grabbed a choke and swung Kingston around. He hit the neutralizer, but Kingston kicked out at one. He staggered right into an uppercut for another really good nearfall.
The fans fired up and chanted for Kingston. Castagnoli hit a series of strikes and an uppercut to the back of Kignston’s head. He then went for a Ricola bomb, but Kingston countered into a pinning combination. Castagnoli then rolled through and got the win with a pinning combination.
WINNER: Claudio Castagnoli in 21:00 to retain the ROH World Championship. (****)
(Radican’s Analysis: This was a really good match, but after seeing Mark lose earlier in the night, it felt like a real downer for Kingston to lose in the main event.)
After the match, Castagnoli offered a handshake to follow the Code of Honor. Wheeler Yuta came down to ringside and got up on the apron. They had Kingston in a corner. Shibata’s music played and he made his way down to the ring. Castagnoli and Shibata held their titles up. Shibata raised Kingston’s hand and the fans cheered. Castagnoli raised his title and the fans booed. Coleman said the feud was far from over.
Kingston said he wanted to get on the mic. He asked if they were still on PPV. Kingston used a bunch of foul language and said he didn’t care. He asked the fans to give it up for Shibata. The fans applauded. He asked the fans to give it up for Tanahashi. Kingston said he didn’t care how long he went. He said MJF gets 30 minutes on TV and he only gets five. He said he’s not going anywhere and he promised to beat Claudio’s ass to close the show.
Overall score: (9.0) – This was a great show with a ton of great matches. Vikingo vs. Komander, Mark Briscoe vs. Samoa Joe, The Reach For the Sky Ladder match, and Castagnoli vs. Kingston are all worth checking out.
Unfortunately there were no happy endings on this show. Mark channeled the spirit of his dead brother Jay, but he still fell short to Joe. The fans badly wanted to see Kingston beat Castagnoli, but he fell short, albiet he lost with a flash pinning combination reversal. Dante Martin also suffered a badly broken ankle on what initially appeared to be an all-time spectacular spot in a ladder match.
That being said, this was a really good show and the bright moments and hard work of the wrestlers carried through from start to finish. The replay is highly recommended.
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