Ring of Honor Wrestling
Glory By Honor XVIII: Night 1
August 20, 2021
Glory By Honor Night 1 is the first ROH show outside the City of Baltimore and the second with fans since the COVID-19 Pandemic, returning to the 2300 Arena for the first time since December 2019. On the same night as SmackDown with John Cena, Impact and GCW also running shows, and the long-awaited return of CM Punk to wrestling on AEW Rampage, this show was blessed and cursed on a day where wrestling was everywhere.
Night 1 offers an 8-match card headlined by new ROH World Champion Bandido in his first title defense. His opponent, Flip Gordon, has waited for a year and a half to get his opportunity at the World title that he won at Free Enterprise back in February 2020.
Note: The first half of the show had technical issues with the video zoomed-in.
Silas Young def. Rey Horus
Before the match, Young cuts a promo that looks like it’s going to fire up the audience but, of course, the Last Real Man tears into them. Young has the strength advantage over Horus working the match at his pace. Young shows off moments of agility as the battle goes to the outside. Horus has moments of gaining the upper hand, including a dive to the outside on Young. Back in the ring, Young hits the superplex while Horus counters with a powerbomb. Young turns Horus’ mask, among other dirty tricks, and puts Horus down with Misery. A decent opener to begin the show. ***1/4
Six-Man Mayhem Match for a spot in the ROH World Championship rankings: Demonic Flamita def. Danhausen, PJ Black, Dak Draper, Eli Isom & Mike Bennett
Dalton Castle and his crew arrive from the crowd and enter the ring. He’s trying to motivate Draper. He then heads to the commentary table. Lucha rules apply to the match. When a wrestler gets ejected from the ring, another one can enter. The stipulation lends itself well to the opening with fast-paced acrobatics and strikes sequences. Danhausen tries to overpower his opponents with little success. Isom, showing grit in his moment of one-on-one confrontations with Flamita and Draper. Crazy superplex spot that takes out everyone involved. Black accidentally knees Draper in his Mile High Magnum.
Danhausen thinks he’s won but then goes, is on a tear with suplexes. Danhausen hits Bennett with the Goodnighthausen, but Castle distracts the competitors. Flamita attacks Danhausen in the confusion and nails him with El Retador for the three. The match started strong and had a lot of fun moments. Flamita, Bennett, and Isom stood out. ***1/2
Vita VonStarr & Max the Impaler (w/Amy Rose) def. The Allure (Angelina Love & Mandy Leon)
Chelsea Green is out for guest commentary. VonStarr has the advantage early on, showing her flips and flexibility. The Allure starts to isolate VonStarr from her corner, not wanting anything to do with Max. VonStarr evades Leon Max gets the tag. Leon is getting destroyed. Love abandons Leon as Max tags VonStarr for the roll-up pin. This match felt too long. If the intention was to highlight Vita VonStarr then have Max squash Mandy, then the Allure didn’t need to control half of the match. **1/4
Post-match, VonStarr, attacks Leon and Max slams her hard through the table.
EC3 def. Brian Johnson
Brian Johnson gets the standing ovation from his hometown Philly crowd. EC3 is dominating this match with his strength, but Johnson has several hope spots throughout this match. EC3 tells Johnson to stay down, but Johnson still fights back. Johnson hitting the essential character hard and fast. EC3 was sent to the outside and hit with Johnson’s tope. With every high-powered strike on EC3 and every blow EC3 landed on him, Johnson’s body would severely weaken. Johnson went for the low blow and roll-up combo for two. EC3 slams Johnson with the ECD then makes him tap to the Promise. This match surprised me. Both wrestlers played their parts well. Johnson was the driving force of this match, with his intensity and selling. EC3, to his credit, kept the pace in spots. The Philly fans were fantastic. ***3/4
Mark Briscoe def. Bateman (w/Dutch)
Due to COVID protocol, The originally scheduled Briscoe Brothers (Jay Briscoe vs. The Righteous (Bateman and Dutch) was changed to this match after Jay Briscoe contracted COVID. Stiff chops by Briscoe to Bateman to begin. This match is two guys looking to hurt each other, and I dig it. Briscoe tries to dive on Dutch after he interferes. Duch catches him and slams him into the steel barricade. Back in the ring, Briscoe stops Bateman from capitalizing on Dutch’s actions. Elbow strike exchange from both men. Mark grounds Bateman with the Spicolli Driver and hits the Froggy Bow to pin and win. Under the circumstances, this match came off pretty well. I loved the strike exchanges between the two throughout. ***1/2
Post-match, Dutch and Bateman attack Briscoe but Mike Bennett comes in for the save.
ROH Pure Championship: Jonathan Gresham (c) def. Rhett Titus (w/Jay Lethal & Tracy Williams)
Josh Woods is guest commentary for the match. The Foundation allies are trying to feel each other out to start this match. Gresham works on Titus’ left leg causing Titus to grab the rope. Titus feels that Gresham held the hold longer than needed and is pissed. Titus targets Gresham’s lower back, but Gresham regains control. Titus hits a belly-to-belly suplex and pin, forcing Gresham to use his first rope break. Titus lifts Gresham over the top rope, and they both spill out on the outside. Both men make it in before the 20-count and enter a series of pinfall attempts. Gresham gets the final pinfall for the win. Bringing back the Pure Division was one of Ring of Honor’s best decisions. Gresham is so great, and he carries the division well. He and Rhett had a great match. ****1/4
Philly Street Fight: Violence Unlimited (Brody King, Tony Deppen, Chris Dickinson, & Homicide) def. La Faccion Ingobernable (Rush, Dragon Lee, Kenny King, & Bestia del Ring)
Shane Taylor is doing commentary, planning on getting back at Kenny King for costing him his World title shot. This match was just a regular 8-man tag, but it breaks down fairly quickly. Rush wants to make it a No Disqualification Match. Brody King ups the ante and calls for a Philly Street Fight in the ECW Arena. ROH approves it, and the match is on.
Lee and Deppen battle inside the ring as the rest of LFI and Violence Unlimited fight outside. The two exchange successive, rapid-fire chops the exchange suplexes. Deppen hits a clothesline on Lee, but Rush stomps on him after. The remaining members make their way into the ring to mix it up. B. King is suplex through two chairs then chopped hard by LFI. Homicide is taking multiple trash can shots. B. King fights out of another LFI gang-up attempt. Bestia and Homicide mix it up several times in the match. Homicide airplane spinning the ladder into LFI. Homicide kicked into the ladder by K. King, then Kenny splashed Dickinson into a table! Deppen loses a tooth trying to fight off LFI. Brody King power bombs Bestia through another table, and after dealing with the rest of LFI, Brody hits Bestia with a lariat for the pin and win. A good healthy dose of violence that once again energized the crowd. ****
Shane Taylor Promotions picks the bones of LFI after the match. Talyor gives a menacing look to Violence Unlimited as security drags LFI away.
ROH World Championship: Bandido (c) def. Flip Gordon
EC3 joins commentary for the main event, making it clear he wants to challenge the winner for the ROH World Championship. Bandido and Gordon start by seeing who was better in terms of mat work and holds. Gordon pokes Bandido in the eye and gains the upper hand. Bandido hits Gordon with two dives to the outside. Gordon is hitting Bandido with what he can to beat him but to no avail. Gordon unleashes Kinder Surprise, Samoan Pop, and Submit to Flip in the center of the ring on Bandido. Bandido grabbed the rope, but Gordon hits the Flip 5 for two. Bandido with the Revolution Fly for 2. Gordon gets caught by the Standing Destroyer, and Bandido folds him with the 21 Plex to retain. This main event was good, but it left me wanting more. It reserved the flying only for a handful of spots, making the match feel like it was going for a more well-rounded type of match. I get Flip is trying not to be as flashy because he’s a heel now, but Bandido doesn’t have that issue. If there were just a little bit more aerial moves from him, the match would have been a bit more exciting. ***3/4
EC3 leaves the commentary desk to make his position clear to the champ. Brody King comes out to tell EC3 that he’s not next in line to challenge Bandido. EC3 and Brody King get into it outside the ring as Demonic Flamita, newly ranked in the World title scene, attacks Bandido from behind.
The show ends with a vignette of Matt Taven for his match against Vincent for Glory By Honor Night 2.
Glory By Honor Night 1 had its issues, several of which were out of the company’s control. However, the show was good despite them.