A new era for Ring of Honor begins as Supercard of Honor takes place at the Curtis Culwell Center in Garland, Texas tonight.
Supercard of Honor will be the first ROH event since Tony Khan purchased the promotion. The show is being headlined by Jonathan Gresham vs. Bandido in a match to determine an undisputed ROH World Champion. Both Gresham and Bandido have staked a claim to being the rightful title holder.
The Briscoes and FTR will finally collide as they face off for the ROH Tag Team titles. An interim ROH Women's World Championship match will also take place, with Mercedes Martinez facing Willow Nightingale. Impact Wrestling's Deonna Purrazzo is the current ROH Women's World Champion.
Josh Woods vs. Wheeler Yuta for the ROH Pure title, Rhett Titus vs. Minoru Suzuki for the ROH Television title, Lethal vs. Lee Moriarty, and Shane Strickland vs. Alex Zayne are also set for tonight's main card. Plus, a new client managed by Tully Blanchard will debut in a match against Ninja Mack.
The four-match Supercard of Honor pre-show will air for free on YouTube starting at 7 p.m. Eastern time. The main card will then begin on HonorClub, Fite TV, and pay-per-view at 8 p.m. Eastern.
ROH Supercard of Honor opened with a video highlighting the main event between Jonathan Gresham and Bandido to determine who the true ROH World Champion is. Ian Riccaboni and Caprice Coleman opened the show, running down the card.
Colt Cabana defeated Blake Christian
This was a really good opening match with Cabana giving some light comedy and Christian getting a showcase of some of his more spectacular moves.
Cabana hugged Riccaboni and Caprice and told him he loved them as he entered the ring, which was nice.
This was a really fun match to start the preshow, with Cabana and Christian exchanging some World of Sport style exchanges that ended with Christian hitting a huge kick to Cabana’s face and a standing frog splash for a 2-count. Blake Christian went for a Fosbury Flop, but Cabana moved and Christian landed on his feet.
Cabana blocked an armdrag and went back into the ring, hitting a chop and a splash for a 2-count. Cabana went for a pinfall repeatedly so much that he faked the referee out, who dropped to his knees and Colt pointed at him and laughed. That was great. Cabana turned Christian inside out with a clothesline.
Blake Christian hit a handspring kick, a dropkick, then an enziguri before going for the Fosbury Flop again, landing on Cabana and then transitioning into an inverted DDT. That was awesome. Christian hit a 450 splash for a 2-count, but missed a second 450 and ate a Bionic Elbow from Cabana who followed up with a Chicago Skyline on Christian for the 3-count. The Code of Honor was upheld at the end of the match.
--A fantastic promo with Jonathan Gresham aired where he talked about how he was carrying the legacy of ROH forward by holding the original ROH World Championship, and despite Bandido’s skill he was going to win and be the undisputed ROH World Champion.
AQA defeated Miranda Alize
AQA is very green, as seen in several spots in this match where she was out of place or botching, but she does have potential. Alize is great, and did what she could to make AQA look good, and the finish was spectacular.
Alize worked heel in this match, despite the early exchanges being clean. Alize took the advantage with a hair pull and bit the hand of AQA. Alize hit a huge boot scrape in the corner and then a dropkick and a butterfly suplex for a 2-count. AQA charged at Alize, but Alize tried to hit a low rana.
AQA hit a DDT on Alize for a 2-count. AQA’s cheek was bleeding a little bit, presumably from the boots in the corner earlier. AQA fired up with a few forearms and hit a dropkick and a sling blade for a 2-count. Alize pulled AQA off the top rope and then hit a ripcord cutter and transitioned into a crossface. AQA rolled out into a two count, and went for an enziguri and missed, but Alize sold it. AQA picked her up and hit it again before going for a shooting star press and getting the 3.
--WON/F4W’s own Denise Salcedo interviewed The Foundation, who all introduced themselves and talked about their upcoming title matches.
The Gates of Agony (Kaun & Toa Liona) w/ Tully Blanchard defeated Shinobi Shadow Squad (Eli Isom & Cheeseburger)
This was a basic squash, with Liona being a little reckless, but it introduced the Gates of Agony well.
Tully Blanchard came out to introduce his new tag team, The Gates of Agony. Kaun is a former ROH Six-Man Tag Team Champion, so he is familiar to the ROH audience. Kaun refused the Code of Honor with Cheeseburger, slapping him. Kaun and Liona threw Cheeseburger around before taking out Isom.
Blanchard taunted Cheeseburger from the outside, and Cheeseburger superkicked Kaun before Isom blind tagged in. Liona hit a pounce on Cheeseburger before hitting a Samoan Spike on Isom, leading Kaun to the victory.
Blanchard grabbed a mic and said that he was going to introduce the 3rd member of Tully Blanchard Enterprises.
--Willow Nightingale and Mercedes Martinez talked about their interm ROH Women’s Championship match, and both of them spoke about wanting to fight Deonna Purrazzo.
Dalton Castle defeated Joe Hendry
This was a solid match. Joe Hendry’s entrance video is ridiculous and awesome, but had far more charisma than his actual in ring character. If he could translate the charisma in that video to the camera, he’d be nearly as charismatic as Dalton Castle, which is saying something.
Hendry and Castle exchanged some technical wrestling to open this one, with Hendry using superior speed to send Castle to the outside. Castle did a lap around the ring with his chickens then did an ankle pick on Hendry. Castle hit a DDT on Hendry and then a splash for a 2-count. Castle did a gator roll, but Hendry grabbed the ropes.
Hendry scooped up Castle and dumped him over the top rope and Castle hit the floor hard. Hendry threw Castle into the barricade and continued to work over the back of Castle. Hendry hit a lariat for a 2-count, an then a vertical suplex. Hendry tried to pull Castle onto the top rope, but Castle fought out and hit a running knee from the apron onto Hendry who was on the top rope.
Hendry hit a tilt-a-whirl sidewalk slam for a 2-count. Castle went for another knee in the corner, but Hendry dodged and Castle crashed to the floor again, but managed to get up and hit a rana on the floor. Castle hit a corner knee and a bulldog for a 2-count. Hendry caught Castle and hit a huge one handed bomb type move for a 2-count. Castle countered and hit a bang-a-rang for the 3-count.
--Denise Salcedo was with Bandido and Chavo Guerrero Jr. Chavo claimed that Bandido was the true ROH World Champion, and that he was going to do anything to win his title back. Bandido made it clear he wanted no cheating, but was glad Guerrero was in his corner.
The show wasted no time hitting Swerve Strickland’s music, as he walked out to a good reaction from the crowd who chanted his name.
Swerve Strickland defeated Alex Zayne
This was an awesome opening match for the main card. Strickland is awesome, and Alex Zayne is right there with him. Fantastic match from both guys here.
Swerve and Zayne started this match with a fast pace, countering each other several times. Zayne caught Swerve with a dropdown and hit a senton for a 2-count. Zayne went for a flipping hurricanrana on Swerve who was on the top rope. Swerve caught him and hit a TKO off the top rope, necking Zayne on the ropes.
Zayne threw Swerve onto the top rope and hit the rana this time before hitting a flipping kick to the back of Swerve’s neck. Swerve hit a knee of Zayne before hitting a stomp to the back of Zayne’s knee. Swerve then hit a dropkick the knee and locked on a half crab. Zayne dodged a basement dropkick and flipped into the ring off the apron, but his knee went out.
Swerve cut him off when he went for a dive, but Zayne countered and did a poisonrana off the apron to the floor. That was an absolutely insane spot. Zayne hit the Crunch Wrap Supreme on Swerve for a 2-count. Swerve went back to the knee to stop Zayne before hitting the flatliner and then the Swerve Stomp for a 2-count.
Zayne hit a popup knee and then went for his sideslam, but Swerve rolled through and hit a double stomp right onto Zayne’s knee. Swerve hit the JML Driver for the pinfall.
Brian Cage w/ Tully Blanchard defeated Ninja Mack
Brian Cage moving to ROH was a good call from Tony Khan, as Cage would fit in very well there and help establish the roster. It also gives him more screentime, which he wanted in AEW, but now he can get in ROH, especially being higher on the card. This was a quick squash and exactly what it needed to be.
Ninja Mack tried to hit a Space Flying Tiger Drop on Tully Blanchard’s new client, but Cage caught him and powerbombed him on the apron to start the match. Cage hit several lariats in the corner on Ninja Mack before continuing to beat him down. Cage hit several German suplexes on Mack. Mack went for a spinning kick and Cage just caught him and then hit the Drillclaw for the pinfall.
--A video aired of Jay Lethal and Lee Moriarty’s history in ROH, with Moriarty promising that he is not the same wrestler he was when he lost to him the last time they fought in ROH.
Jay Lethal defeated Lee Moriarty w/ Matt Sydal
Jay Lethal’s heel turn was perfect here, with him getting increasingly frustrated as Moriarty was countering everything he did. Perfectly timed and well done.This was a fantastic match with an even better heel turn.
Both men upheld the Code of Honor to start the match. Moriarty and Lethal exchanged some fantastic technical wrestling to open the match, with Moriarty able to match and frustrate all of Lethal’s efforts. Lethal went for the Lethal Injection, but Moriarty was waiting for it and rolled him up with a school boy.
This frustrated Lethal again, and he showed a little edge shoving Moriarty before hitting some hard forearms after a lockup. Every attempt to get the advantage over Moriarty was countered, further frustrating Lethal. Moriarty was doing all the little things right, including stepping on Lethal’s fingers as he tried to stand up.
Lethal finally found something that worked, attacking the knee of Moriarty, hitting a knee crusher and then a dragon screw leg whip. Lethal was vicious in his attack, finally finding an opening. Lethal hit a springboard dropkick and then hit 2 dives to the floor, but got cut off on the 3. Moriarty tried for a dive, but his knee wouldn’t let him run. That didn’t stop him from an attack, as both men spilled to the floor.
Lethal continued to kick and attack the knee back in the ring, stopping Moriarty short several times, but Moriarty finally hit a forearm that rocked lethal before hit a hammerlock clothesline for a 2-count. Lethal went for a superplex but Moriarty shoved him off. Lethal was not deterred and pulled Moriarty from the ropes before hitting the Lethal Combination for a 2-count.
Lethal went for the figure four, but Moriarty fought out and ate a superkick and a cutter. Lethal hit Hail to the King, but Moriarty caught him and cradled Lethal for a 2-count. Moriarty countered everything Lethal tried with pinfall attempts, including a figure four and Lethal Injection. Moriarty pulled the apron into the ring when he countered the figure four, and as the referee was putting it back, Lethal low blowed Moriarty and hit the Lethal Injection for the pinfall.
Matt Sydal came in and protested the cheating of Lethal, so Lethal kicked his crutch out from under him, causing Sydal to fall to the mat. Lethal then started beating on Sydal. Sonjay Dutt ran in, one of Lethal’s best friends, to try and talk sense in to him, and Lethal yelled at him and left the area to a chorus of boos. This was an excellent heel turn.
Mercedes Martinez defeated Willow Nightingale for the Interim ROH Women’s World Championship
This was a fine match, though Martinez and Nightingale had some trouble getting on the same page throughout the match. That said, it was a good match overall, with both women working very hard. The crowd popped for the finish as well, meaning they were paying attention, though they were not too loud in the early portions due to the miscommunications.
Nightingale and Martinez exchanged some technical wrestling at first, but Martinez was able to hit two butterfly suplexes and an inverted full nelson submission. Martinez locked on a dragon sleeper, but Nightingale managed to get out and hit two short arm lariats before Martinez hit a code breaker and a flying knee for a 2-count.
Martinez went for a fisherman’s buster, but Nightingale hit a superkick and both women fell to the mat. Both women exchanged kicks on the ground, and then exchanged forearms standing, with Nightingale firing up. Nightingale managed to hit a pounce and hit a cannonball in the corner. Martinez seemed a bit out of position on the pinfall attempt, but got back up to try and hit the OG Drop on Nightingale in the middle of the ring but Nightingale kicked out and the crowd woke up here.
Nightingale hit a charge while Martinez was in the tree of woe and then followed up with a moonsault, but Martinez kicked out. I think something went wrong there, as Martinez was holding her shoulder like it was hurt. Martinez might have been winded from it, but recovered fast and locked on the Brass City Sleeper for the submission victory.
FTR (Dax Harwood & Cash Wheeler) defeated The Briscoes (Jay & Mark Briscoe) for the ROH World Tag Team Championship
Oh my goodness, this match was fantastic. What a great tag team match, with the Briscoes and FTR easily stealing the show. This was everyone wanted to see, and it did not disappoint. Go out of your way to watch this match.
The crowd was going insane before the match started, popping huge for both teams. This turned to boos for FTR when they refused the Code of Honor. FTR had their logo stylized like the old ROH logo on their tights.
Mark Briscoe started the match with Cash Wheeler, and the pitch in the arena got even louder with the crowd chanting and cheering both teams wildly. Harwood hopped off the apron to high five fans as Wheeler and Mark Briscoe locked up to a huge pop. They clearly see this as a dream match based on how crazy they are going.
The fans cheered the exchanges here and then chanted a very vulgar chant about WrestleMania. Mark Briscoe hit a throat thrust and locked Wheeler up with a headlock. The fans chanted “Tag Team Wrestling.” Harwood and Jay Briscoe came in and they didn’t’ have to do anything to have the fans going nuts again.
Harwood spit into the face of Jay, and the crowd erupted into boos for FTR. Jay Briscoe hit two shoulder tackles, but Harwood hit a hard forearm that dropped Briscoe. Harwood hit a chop but ate a rana and a kick before Briscoe sent Harwood to the floor. Dax Harwood tried to throw a chair into the ring, but the referee caught it effortlessly which popped the crowd.
Harwood and Wheeler were able to isolate Jay Briscoe after considerable effort and work him over a bit, but Jay Briscoe is never down for long, hitting a big back elbow on Wheeler and tagging out to Mark. Mark Briscoe killed Wheeler with several chops in the corner before hitting a vertical brainbuster for a 2-count.
Wheeler hit a European uppercut on Mark and was able to drag him back to his corner as Harwood hit some hard strikes in the corner. Harwood and Mark Briscoe exchanged some chops, with Briscoe getting the best of it, but Harwood closed his fist and punched him right in the face. Jay and Mark again picked up the pace, hitting a running kick on Wheeler after he tagged in.
I noted this in my recap of the Crockett Cup, but the Briscoes maintain such a crazy pace in their matches that can only really be matched by the Young Bucks. The action spilled to the outside with Wheeler slingshoting Jay Briscoe into the timekeeper’s table, flipping the entire table over, and Jay came up bleeding.
Harwood went right after Briscoe’s bleeding head, punching to open the cut more. Jay Briscoe shoved Harwood off the top rope, but as he went for a dive off the ropes, Harwood recovered and cutting him off on the top rope before hitting a superplex off the top rope. Wheeler tagged in and continued to beat on Jay Briscoe. Harwood flipped Briscoe off and Wheeler hit him with a back suplex.
Mark Briscoe came in and ran wild, hitting suplexes on Harwood and sending Wheeler to the floor. Mark hit an Iconoclasm for a 2-count. Harwood staggered Mark Briscoe with a right hand, but Mark sent him into the ring post and then hit Redneck Boogie on Wheeler for a 2-count. FTR hit a combo powerbomb and splash for a 2-count. Harwood was busted open at some point, but I’m not sure when.
The Briscoes hit the Big Rig on Harwood for a 2-count. Wheeler hit a tornado DDT on Mark Briscoe on the floor, but Jay Briscoe came in and hit a Death Valley Driver on Wheeler on the floor. Harwood and Jay Briscoe fought over a suplex on the apron ending with Jay Briscoe hitting a vertical suplex to the floor on Dax Harwood. That was brutal.
Mark and Jay Briscoe were both bleeding now, and all four men came to the middle of the ring and started exchanging forearms. Mark Briscoe dumped Wheeler to the floor and then hit a corkscrew senton to Wheeler on the floor. Harwood and Jay Briscoe were left facing off, both covered in blood, exchanging forearms.
Jay Briscoe hit a neckbreaker on Harwood and Mark Briscoe hit a Froggy Bow for a 2-count. The Briscoes called for the Doomsday Device, but Harwood fought out and they dumped Jay Briscoe to the floor before hitting the Big Rig on Mark Briscoe for the pinfall! FTR and the Briscoes shook hands after the match as the fans chanted ROH.
As FTR went to the back the fans chanted “Thank you, Briscoes!” and the Young Bucks ran in and attacked the Briscoes to a massive reaction from the crowd. FTR ran back to the ring to make the save, and they chased them away. Dax Harwood grabbed a mic and challenged The Young Bucks to a match right there and then.
The Young Bucks then refused the match, with Matt Jackson saying that the ROH fans could watch them on Wednesday night, and not here tonight, because they left ROH and then bought it. FTR shook their head and then promised to fight and beat them on Wednesday.
Minoru Suzuki defeated Rhett Titus for the ROH World Television Championship
This was a quick one, with Minoru Suzuki putting Titus away early, and left with the fans singing Kaze Ni Nare. It makes me wonder if Titus was injured at some point in the match, as I expected it to go a few minutes longer.
Minoru Suzuki, who wrestled Tomohiro Ishii earlier, is now here to wrestle Rhett Titus, which is insane. Suzuki and Titus wasted no time, grappling and striking. Suzuki trapped the arm of Titus with an armbar over the top rope, and the action spilled to the outside. Suzuki didn’t do much there, but went back to torturing Titus in the ring with joy on his face. Suzuki had chop marks all over his chest, presumably from Tomohiro Ishii earlier. Titus hit a belly-to-belly on Suzuki and then hit a pump kick and a corner kick. Titus hit a back suplex for a 2-count.
Suzuki laughed as he kicked out of Rhett Titus’ dropkick, smiled at Titus tried to hit him with several forearms to no effect, hit the ropes, and Suzuki ducked behind right into the rear naked choke and hit the Gotch Style Piledriver for the pinfall. Minoru Suzuki has won his first title on North American shores to the delight of the fans.
Wheeler Yuta defeated Josh Woods to win the ROH Pure Championship
Good technical match. While it didn’t get a great crowd reaction in the match, the crowd paid attention and applauded everything, but then again, it wasn’t the kind of match designed to pop the crowd.
Yuta was forced into a rope break within the first few seconds of the match, leaving him with 2 breaks left. Yuta went for a trip, but Woods just took Yuta’s back. Yuta ended up reversing it after a shuffle, and then grapevine the leg, but Woods slipped out. Yuta slipped out of Woods going for a cradle with a grapevine, to applause from the crowd.
Both men continued to exchange basic holds for the next few minutes, as Ian Riccaboni and Caprice Coleman called it like a golf match in soft spoken voices except for when the action picked up, which I actually really liked. Yuta leaned back in a deathlock on the knee of Woods, which forced Woods to grab the ropes and lose his first rope break.
Woods worked over the arm of Yuta, wrenching the wrist and hitting Scott Hall shoulder blocks to Yuta’s shoulder. Yuta hit forearms to Woods, and Woods hit uppercuts right to Yuta’s injured arm. Woods ended the exchange with an open hand strike to Yuta, which dropped him. Woods and Yuta exchanged forearms again, but Yuta picked up the pace with an enziguri and then a huge flying forearm on Woods, who rolled to the floor.
Yuta hit a dive to the floor and dropped Woods again. Yuta went for a dive off the top rope onto Woods, who countered with a flying knee to Yuta for a 2-count. Woods hit a German suplex on Yuta and went for a TKO, but Yuta blocked it. Woods kicked Yuta, but Yuta rebounded off the ropes into a German suplex of his own.
Woods hit a spiral suplex into the turnbuckle but Yuta got his foot on the ropes, which was his final ropebreak. After an exchange of pinfall attempts, Yuta was able to counter woods and score the pinfall. Both men shook hands after the match, and Yuta got a big win here, furthering his ascent.
Jonathan Gresham defeated Bandido w/ Chavo Guerrero Jr. to become the undisputed ROH World Champion
This was a fantastic match to close the show, with Gresham and Bandido going long, but keeping the crowd interested. It wasn’t as good as the Briscoes and FTR, but this was still a very great main event match,
Both men adhered to the Code of Honor as the bell rang. The commentators played up how Chavo Guerrero Jr. was not getting along with Tony Khan, so they questioned his motivation for being in the corner of Bandido. The fans chanted “Eddie” as Bandido did the Latino Heat shuffle, which Guerrero did the same on the outside.
Gresham was able to take down Bandido at will, but Bandido was able to get up every single time, and after an exchange both men faced off again. Gresham went for a kimura, but Bandido shoved Gresham to the ropes to escape. Gresham did a lucha armdrag on Bandido, psyched him out and stomped on his foot before hitting dropkick.
Bandido hit a knee strike, a rana, and a dropkick before faking out Gresham himself. Gresham dropkicked Bandido off the apron and sent him to the floor. Gresham worked over the arm of Bandido, transitioning into a crossfacec, but Bandido made it to the ropes. Bandido did a surfboard stretch on Gresham, but Gresham used his leg muscles to sit back into a pinfall attempt before transitioning into an ankle lock.
Bandido made the ropes to escape while Gresham tried to transition to an octopus stretch. Gresham was able to lock on a brutal looking hammerlock. Bandido managed to fight out and hit a corkscrew body press and then a deadlift vertical suplex. Bandido stalled the suplex to a count of 60, holding him up for a full minute, which got the crowd cheering.
Gresham and Bandido exchanged a series of running chops until Gresham hit a lariat that dropped Bandido. Gresham hit a straight jacket suplex on Bandido for a 2-count. Gresham hit an enziguri and a snap German suplex for a 2-count. Gresham started hitting hammer fists on Bandido before transitioning into a crossface again, but Bandido didn’t get the change to make the ropes as Gresham pulled him back and locked on the Octopus stretch.
Bandido tried to fight out, but Gresham crucifixed the arms and hit more hammer fists which made Bandido collapse into the ropes. Gresham went for a dive to the floor on Bandido, but Chavo Guerrero Jr. shoved him out of the way, which Bandido protested. Bandido hit a vertical suplex in the ring and bridged into a 2-count, then followed up with a shining wizard for another 2-count.
Both men started to exchange a series of pinfalls so fast it was hard to keep up with. Gresham and Bandido exchanged strikes, but Gresham accidentally hit the referee when he fell backwards. Chavo Guerrero hit Gresham with the ROH World Championship, but Bandido go upset at it and asked the referee to eject his own manager. Bandido hit a pop up cutter on Gresham for a 2-count.
Gresham countered the 21-plex and went for a bridge pinfall, but Bandido kicked out, hit a superkick and a Fosbury Flop before hitting the 21-plex but Gresham kicked out! Bandido superkicked Gresham twice and hit a third, but Gresham countered with a springboard moonsault and then a counter into a cradle for the pinfall.
Jonathan Gresham grabbed the mic as he celebrated with both ROH World Championships. Jay Lethal interrupted him and walked out saying that Gresham wanted to send everyone home happy. Lethal said he would help and challenged Gresham for the ROH World Championship. Gresham said that Lethal had changed, and he acted without honor.
Lethal said that no one would know who Gresham was if it wasn’t for him, and Sonjay Dutt ran out to try and break them apart. Dutt then turned around and attacked Gresham. Dutt and Lethal beat on Gresham and cut of Lee Moriarty, who tried to make the save. Lethal then grabbed the ROH World Championships and posed with them.
Then the Godzilla music hit and Samoa Joe entered the arena! Samoa Joe has returned to ROH! Jay Lethal was the mentor to Jonathan Gresham, and Joe was the mentor to Jay Lethal. Samoa Joe then choked out Sonjay Dutt and faced off with Lethal, who looked shocked on the outside of the ring.
The first ROH show under the direction of Tony Khan felt like an ROH show in all the right ways. While the AEW contracted talent were a significant part of the show, this still did not feel like an AEW show. The debut of Samoa Joe at the end of the show was a fantastic way to fade out, with the greatest ROH Champion returning to the company. I don’t know what the future of ROH holds, but I do hope it continues to run, and we continue to get great shows like this.