ROH Death Before Dishonor XVIII
September 12th, 2021
7:00 PM EDT (Free Hour) / 8:00 PM EDT (PPV)
2300 Arena
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Watch: HonorClub, PPV, FITE, Facebook (Free Hour), YouTube (Free Hour)

A few weeks after the 2300 Arena hosted two nights of Glory By Honor, ROH returns to the famous arena in Philadelphia for their first PPV outside of Baltimore in two years. It’s the eighteen edition of Death Before Dishonor. Of course, this show was originally scheduled to take place in Lakeland, Florida. However, due to Florida being an absolute COVID disaster zone right now. Ring Of Honor continues to be in a fascinating situation, especially when compared to other major promotions in the United States. They’re pretty much the last holdout in terms of fully returning to shows in front of fans. We had the Baltimore PPV in July, the Glory By Honor shows in August, and now this PPV. However, there are zero shows announced after this PPV, which means (presumably) that ROH will be going back to the bubble tapings in Baltimore, at least for a few more months. As I’ve mentioned in past preview/reviews, I totally commend ROH for being by far the safest promotion in the US when it comes to COVID, but now that pretty much every other notable promotion in the country is back in front of fans, it’s really hurting them at the moment. They just seem like a promotion that’s been left behind by everyone else, especially in this new world where you have all these promotions working together. I definitely think ROH can get in on that (and probably will), but it likely won’t happen until they start running in front of fans regularly again.

As with previous ROH PPVs, there will be a free hour that will start at 7:00 PM Eastern, and it will be available to watch on YouTube and Facebook. The only announced match thus far is the Honor Rumble, so if you’re interesting in checking out the free hour, that’s what you’re going to see.

ROH World Title: Four-Way Elimination Match – Bandido © vs. Brody King vs. Demonic Flamita vs. EC3

Ever since Bandido won the ROH World Title at Best In The World, ROH has been building up a variety of title challengers for him to face. He already has a title defense against Flip Gordon, which took place on the first night of Glory By Honor a few weeks ago. Now, he’s taking on three challengers at once in a Four-Way Elimination Match. I knew that Brody King, Demonic Flamita, and EC3 were all being built up for eventual title shots, but it still surprised me to see ROH announce this as the main event of the PPV. From a match quality standpoint, this has the chance to be a strong bout to close the show with. However, EC3 really sticks out like a massive sore thumb. You have Bandido and Demonic Flamita, who are two awesome luchadores, and then you have Brody King, a great powerhouse who can bust out a few lucha moves himself, if the occasion calls for it. This bout would have so much more potential if EC3 wasn’t in it, but the best we can hope for is that he’s the first one eliminated. In terms of the result, Bandido is definitely making it to the final two, and ultimately, he’s probably retaining the title here, though his chances of retaining (in my view) will vary depending on who makes it to the final two with him. It’s a real tossup. If it’s Demonic Flamita, there’s no question that Bandido retains. If it’s Brody King in the final two, then it could be more of a tossup. King definitely has “future ROH World Champion” written all over him, but it feels like too soon to take the title off Bandido. It wouldn’t totally shock me if it went to King, though again, it just seems a little too early to move off Bandido right now. Prediction: Bandido

ROH Pure Title: Jonathan Gresham © vs. Josh Woods

Once Josh Woods was finally able to put Silas Young in the rearview (following their Last Man Standing Match at Best In The World back in July), he put his focus back towards the Pure Division, and eventually earned this shot against Jonathan Gresham. There’s no personal grudge to speak of here, but the story has more to do with their previous encounter, and the dominance of the champion. These two met in the semifinals of the Pure Title Tournament in a match that was won by Jonathan Gresham. Of course, Gresham would go on to win the tournament, and he’s been undefeated in Pure Rules bouts (with a 12-0 record) since ROH’s return from the pandemic. He also hasn’t lost a singles match of any kind since December 2019. Certainly Gresham has been on an impressive streak, but I feel that this could be the night where he finally gets beaten. Part of my reasoning is that there really doesn’t seem to be anyone new on the horizon for him to face if he wins. Plus, the current storyline with The Foundation as a whole seems to be that they’re in a rough spot, and Gresham losing the Pure Title here would continue that trend. As far as Josh Woods is concerned, I really think he’s hit his stride since ROH came back following the COVID shutdowns. He had a great showing in the Pure Tournament, and won a feud with his former tag team partner Silas Young. I was never solid on Woods prior to the pandemic, but since then, he’s managed to win me over, and I feel this would be the perfect time to do a title change. Him being the first one to beat Gresham in a Pure Rules Match since the return would be such a big deal. Prediction: Josh Woods

ROH Women’s Title: Quest For Gold Tournament Finals – Miranda Alize vs. Rok-C

This is the culmination of the big Quest For Gold Tournament to crown a new ROH Women’s Champion. If you’re curious about the title history, this is technically a completely different title than the Women Of Honor Title that previously existed. That title was vacated, and later retired, following Kelly Klein’s departure from ROH and all the controversy that surrounded that. As far as this tournament goes, I have to be completely honest…..I didn’t see this final coming at all. I thought Nicole Savoy, Allysin Kay, and (*sigh*) Angelina Love were the strongest contenders to go all the way. Instead, the finals consist of Miranda Alize and Rok-C, who (as was announced just a few days ago) have both signed deals with the company. Right off the bat, I have to give ROH a load of credit here for going with two fresh talents in this tournament final. It really shows their intent to go with new blood in the women’s division, and it’s an opportunity for ROH to make women’s stars that are uniquely their own. As far as the match quality and the eventual winner are concerned, I honestly have no idea how this is going to turn out. Miranda Alize is the more experienced of the two, and I could see why they would want to put the title on her. At the same time, Rok-C has gotten a strong push in this tournament for someone who is only nineteen years old (having scored wins over Sumie Sakai, Quinn McKay, and Angelina Love). This is a real tossup. Ultimately, I’m going to go with Rok-C, but I could easily see this going the other way. Prediction: Rok-C

ROH World Six-Man Tag Team Titles: Shane Taylor Promotions (Shane Taylor & The Soldiers of Savagery) © vs. LFI (ROH World TV Champion Dragon Lee, Kenny King, & La Bestia del Ring)

LFI began targeting Shane Taylor Promotions and the ROH World Six-Man Tag Team Titles on ROH TV, but of course, all of that occurred in Baltimore during the bubble tapings. Since then, the situation with LFI has changed greatly, as RUSH (who was originally going to be in this match) is now off the PPV due to a “knee injury”. I put that in quotations because the validity of the knee injury has…..been brought into question, lets just say. Apparently we might’ve already seen the last of RUSH in ROH, as his contract expires at the end of the year (or around that time period). That led to RUSH and Dragon Lee’s father, La Bestia del Ring, stepping in to fill the open spot. They’re very lucky that LFI had a fourth member in the form of Bestia (he also was a late replacement for Dragon Lee on the Anniversary Show earlier this year). Before RUSH got pulled from the match, I would’ve said this was the biggest tossup on the entire card, as I could easily see the RUSH/Dragon Lee/Kenny King team getting a run with these titles. With RUSH out and Bestia in, the result really isn’t in much doubt anymore. The match should be solid enough, and you do have the added element of the history between Kenny King and Shane Taylor, but I see the champions retaining their titles in the end. Prediction: Shane Taylor Promotions

Jake Atlas vs. Taylor Rust

So my speculation on who the two free agents wrestlers would be in this bout ended up being totally wrong (my first guess was Buddy Murphy and Tony Nese). The two mystery men turned out to be two guys who have made appearances in ROH in the recent past. Taylor Rust (formerly Tyler Rust, who appeared on NXT TV briefly as a member of Diamond Mine before getting fired) competed in the ROH Pure Title Tournament last year, while also being a semi-regular on New Japan Strong. On the other side is Jake Atlas, who had a match in ROH against Batemen (prior to Bateman joining The Righteous), and was a top indie prospect before deciding to sign with WWE. I don’t see this as having match of the night potential, but it does have the chance to be really good. Both of these men will be looking to prove something after their short WWE stints, and both are really solid wrestlers. The result will probably be based on which one of them would be sticking around in ROH (which could be both of them, to be fair). I feel like Atlas is the favorite here, since he’s the more known name of the two, but if Rust is sticking around and Atlas is not, I could see it going the other way. Prediction: Jake Atlas

The Briscoes vs. The OGK (Matt Taven & Mike Bennett)

Believe it or not, this tag team bout is actually the renewal of a long feud between The Briscoes and The Kingdom in 2014-2015, which culminated in an excellent Armageddon 2/3 Falls Match on a ROH show in Atlanta from 2015 (you can check that out here on HonorClub). Now they’re facing off again, but under much different circumstances. The Briscoes are trying to work their way back up through the tag team ranks, as Jay Briscoe makes his return after missing the Glory By Honor events due to COVID protocols. Meanwhile, The OGK are trying to bounce back after Matt Taven’s devastating loss to Vincent in a Steel Cage Match a few weeks ago. This should be a really good tag team affair, though I’m intrigued to see the result here, and how they end up handling it. The Briscoes are almost a lock to win this one in my view, given their current storyline. That being said, I’m very intrigued to see how they handle Matt Taven after losing to Vincent. I wasn’t expecting Taven to lose the Steel Cage Match, but now that he’s in this position, I have absolutely no idea where he’s going from there. Could we get some hints here? I guess we’ll see. Prediction: The Briscoes

Violence Unlimited (Tony Deppen & ROH World Tag Team Champions Chris Dickinson & Homicide) vs. John Walters, LSG, & Lee Moriarty

Back on Night 2 of Glory By Honor a few weeks back, Chris Dickinson issued a challenge (following a Violence Unlimited beatdown of The Foundation) to any past, present, or future pure wrestlers to fight Violence Unlimited. It was confirmed about a week or so ago that the challenge was answered by John Walters (a former ROH Pure Champion), LSG, and Lee Moriarty. Now, the status of Moriarty was thrown into question this past Wednesday during the AEW tapings in Cincinnati, when Moriarty accepted a contract offer, on stage, from Tony Khan himself. However, we’ve since learned that Moriarty will be honoring this booking, which is nice to see. That news of Moriarty signing with AEW definitely adds a unique….twist to this match, I guess you can say. The guy who’s the “future” of pure wrestling on this past, present, and future team got signed by another company. Regardless of that situation, this should still be a really good match with a ton of action. I’ve really enjoyed the Violence Unlimited stable since it formed, and this should be a very solid win for them here on this PPV. I’m also curious to see if we get some sort of interaction with members of The Foundation here, since they’re not booked for anything on the show aside from Gresham. So that’s something to potentially look out for in this one. Prediction: Violence Unlimited

Dalton Castle vs. El Isom

A few months back, Dalton Castle (through some unusual means) recruited Dak Draper and Eli Isom to team with him in an attempt to capture the ROH World Six-Man Tag Team Titles. The trio never really got along, and that (predictably) led to their defeat. Since then, Draper did end up forming an alliance of sorts with Castle, while Isom was still upset with Castle. Not only does this bout involved previous issues between the two, but it also has ramifications on the ROH World TV Title rankings, with Castle being ranked #1, while Ison is ranked #3. So Castle is trying to keep his spot, while Isom is looking to potentially move one step closer to claiming that top spot. I’m expecting this to be a fine undercard bout that will probably feature some strange Dalton Castle shenanigans with his “baby chicks”. This seems like a really good spot to give Eli Isom a win over a former ROH World Champion. With this current character, I can’t see Castle as a title challenger anytime soon. Plus, given that Dragon Lee is the current ROH World TV Champion, a title defense against Eli Isom makes more sense solely from a babyface vs. heel perspective. Prediction: Eli Isom

Honor Rumble: Winner Receives A ROH World Title Shot

This year’s Honor Rumble (which is basically a Royal Rumble in terms of the format) will be taking place on the Free Hour of Final Battle, and it features pretty much everyone who wasn’t already booked on the card. They’ve announced ten of the fifteen participants thus far, and that list includes Beer City Bruiser, Brian Johnson, Brian Milonas, Dak Draper, Danhausen, Joe Keys, PJ Black, Rey Horus, Sledge, and Silas Young. The remaining five spots will (presumably) be left open for surprise entrants. Who could those be? I have a few random guesses in mind, but I guess we’ll see once the match actually gets going. As for the winner, if one of the surprises isn’t a notable name, and we’re just talking about the announced names, I could definitely see Brian Johnson winning this. It’s an unconventional choice, sure, but he is from Philly (he was SUPER over on the Glory By Honor shows in Philly a few weeks ago) and if he was ever going to get a World Title shot (particularly if it ends up happening on TV), this would be the way to do it. Silas Young is also another strong contender, as he’s the perfect kind of heel that you can put up against Bandido. I think I’m going to stick with Johnson, but Young would definitely be my second choice. Prediction: Brian Johnson