JULY 23, 2022

Watch: Bleacher Report (U.S.)/Fite (International)


Griffin Peltier: Griffin hopes Chris Hero is signed to the Ring of Honor roster. Follow him on Twitter @Hollywd12.

Jeri L. Evagood: The magic writing girl of Voices Of Wrestling has come to review Ring Of Honor in hopes of a magical night. She is in absolute love with the card and is excited to see how it all turns out. You may follow her for lukewarm wrestling takes (and um, other things) @TheJerriest_Jer 

Gerard Di Trolio: Let’s see what the first major show of the post-Vince McMahon era of pro wrestling brings us. Check out and his follow his podcast @EmeraldFlowShow   



Griffin: It’s great seeing Colt Cabana in his 271st ROH match. A good veteran hand for this roster. Anthony Henry had some good showings in his brief 205 Live run and his AEW matches. There was some fine back-and-forth technical wrestling for most of the match that built to Colt coming back from an extended beatdown. Colt played the hits until Drake interfered that led to a close nearfall but Colt once again fought back to hit a beautiful Moonsault for the win. A solid pre-show opener. Henry looked good and the match re-established Colt as something more than a Dark Order jobber. ***

Jeri: Solid opening affair which was everything it needed to be. Nothing fancy, nothing stand out, but a decent match with a crowd pleasing ending. Colt did Colt things and Henry looked alright despite losing in the end. You won’t remember this when the night is over, but it warmed the crowd up and got things started. No complaints. ***

Gerard: So Colt is curtain jerking the pre-show. Find someone who loves you as much as Tony Khan loves CM Punk. Also Tony, if you’re reading this, please push The Workhorsemen more. They’re above being jobbers.

This was solid opening match wrestling. Henry worked Colt over then Colt made a heroic comeback that the crowd got into. Colt survived interference from JD Drake and won with a Moonsault. This was exactly what it needed to be. ***¼


Griffin: Ari Daivari and Slim J is one of those random Fire Pro teams that you didn’t know you needed until they get paired together. Eli Isom looked good and I think he has a lot of potential. I’m interested in seeing how he grows in this new Ring of Honor. Other than that, this was a pretty basic match that established both teams. Fine for a pre-show. **1/4

Jeri: Not much to this match, but it did it’s purpose of establishing The Trust Busters. Really thought Isom looked good in this match, always enjoyed him and always glad to see more of his work. There’s not a lot to talk about, it was a very basic lay out of a match where Isom looked good, The Trust Busters got a victory, and this definitely belonged on the pre-show and nothing else. **1/4

Gerard: Cheeseburger got a good pop. I’ve always thought Isom had potential from the first time I saw him so I hope he’s a regular in the new ROH.

This was about establishing The Trust Busters as a new heel threat. Simple match layout with the heels doing their thing and the faces theirs. Isom looked really good on offense. Some will say he tries too much flashy looking stuff but I thought it looked cool.

Daivari pinned Isom with a Frog Splash. **¾


Griffin: Prince Nana bought Tully Blanchard Enterprises and managed his new trio. Kaun looks FANTASTIC. Future star. Gates of Agony worked well together and Zayne and Deppen made them look good. After a long period of heel control, Blake tagged in for the first time and impressively flew all over. The match picked up after that with the faces taking turns to do dives but it wasn’t enough to put Nana’s group away. The Embassy took out Zayne and Christian, leading to a triple team on Deppen to end the match. This was pretty good. I think Zayne and Christian could be a fun tag team in the future. ***½ 

Jeri: Can I swoon over Kaun? Cause I find myself swooning over Kuan. “swoons”. Um, oh yes wrestling, pro wrestling, the thing we are reviewing. This was a pretty darn good match that served it’s purpose well of putting over the Embassy. That’s right The Embassy as Prince Nana has bought Tully Blanchard Enterprises. Zayne and Deppen did a great job making them look awesome and Blake Christian when he finally got in the match did very well and was over. This was good stuff when it was all said and done and I really enjoyed it. *** 1/4

Gerard: There was a backstage interview before this match where Prince Nana announced he has purchased Tully Blanchard Enterprises. He accompanied his new clients to the ring for this match. Christian has cut his hair and looked far less indy.

I thought this was pretty good. But you could also make an argument that The Embassy should have won in a squash here.

Anyway, The Embassy controlled this like an extended squash for a while before the faces made a comeback with a bunch of high flying stuff and this match got really good. The Embassy did win in a dominant finishing sequence of course. ***½


Griffin: Willow Nightingale is very over and got a good pop. Her entrance theme is a bop. Willow has improved a lot over the last year and her offence looked good. I will always pop for a Pounce spot but the execution was awkward. Willow hit a powerbomb for the win. Kay tried, I have to give her that. They have something with Willow.

Jeri: Match wasn’t good, so let’s focus on Willow. Tony Khan needs to see he has something in Nightingale. I don’t care if you have to force his eyes open A Clockwork Orange style to make him see it, HE HAS TO SEE IT. She is so likable, lovable, charismatic, and has such a wonderful charming personality. She gets over with the crowd and she wrestles really well. Kay tried, but she was sloppy tonight and it just didn’t click. People love Nightingale though and that’s a huge positive and something that needs to be built on. KEEP GIVING US MORE WILLOW! **

Gerard: Willow got a huge pop. This was a straight forward back-and-forth match with a bunch of near falls. Willow’s charisma and the crowd’s response to her helps draw you in whenever she’s in the ring. There was some sloppiness in this match, and that was mostly due to Kay. 

Willow got the win with the Doctor Bomb. Hopefully this is the beginning of a big push for her in ROH. I’m not clamoring for more Kay in ROH, however. ***⅓



Griffin: I was not expecting this to be the opener of the show. What a way to start the PPV. The FITE feed crashed at the start of the match and kept redirecting me to the Full Gear 2021 Countdown show. The FITE website stopped loading for me. That’s it for me tonight. Hope the show is good!

Jeri: Got to be honest, I was disappointed over all in this match. It wasn’t bad mind you. In fact it was as solidly wrestled as you’d expect. But I felt it spent well to much time in first gear before deciding to pick up. Then once it did decide to pick up Claudio would just straight up win decisively. Not that I am against him winning decisively, I just thought there be more of a closing stretch, some more near falls, some more excitement in this match, and instead it was pretty close to pedestrian to me which was not what I wanted. Claudio winning the title is a feel good moment though and one I cannot help but smile at, and there was some nice moments in the match, but in the end I thought this fell flat of what it could’ve been  and did not come close to achieving expectations. I’m sorry to have to type that. All that said, it sitll made it above *** stars.  ***1/4

Gerard: My Fite stream shit the bed several times early on in this match. Gimme a refund, Tony.

Gresham did a low dropkick then Muto’s finger motion, which will win you points in my book regardless of what Muto is doing these days. 

They didn’t reinvent the wheel here, but this was great wrestling from two of the best wrestlers in the world. I have long believed Gresham is on that level, and I think by the end of the year, we’ll be talking about Claudio that way too.

My only real issue with this match is I thought it could have used more time with Gresham getting more near falls. Claudio just whipped out the rapid elbows then hit the Ricola Bomb with not a lot of build. Also it was weird to have Claudio win his first world title in the opening match. That is a moment that could have been built up a lot more. ***¾ 


Jeri: The boys are back in town, the boys are back in town! I didn’t expect with this match and it just BARELY got into the positive range with me. The best part of this match was Dalton throwing Brandon and Brent over the top rope unto members of THe Righteous while Coleman lost his damn mind. This turned out be a decent affair, nothing special but worked well enough and Dalton and The Boys are a fun enough act I guess. The first half of this match was nothing worth while but once some spots and urgency was added to the match it got better and ended up being okay. ***

Gerard: This match had no build and as a result, the crowd was dead for the first half. I’m not actually enamored with The Righteous but this ended up being decent in the end when everyone started working hard with some flying and other big spots. 

With Castle and The Boys winning, it looks like Castle will be part of the new ROH which wasn’t always clear in the beginning. However, I happen to like Castle so I think that’s cool. Strangely there are a lot of people who seem to hate him but they aren’t particularly persuasive. I’m not saying he’s a mega star or mega worker, he’s a nice little act. Whatever. ***


Jeri: At last, this show brings the good shit. Garcia was excellent as the heel of this match. He did head butts, he bit ears, Garcia once again showed off how tremendous of a talent he is, and he still continues to grow. Wheeler Yuta though, once again shows he belongs as a member of the B.C.C and has added another notch in his belt under his budding star. This was great, well paced, picked up when it needed to, and while it may of ended suddenly the sudden ending felt earned and worked for. Sometimes I worry pure rules is going to hamper a match, this did not, they rarely came into play honestly. Only one rope break the entire match which showed how both men rather rely on their skill and knowledge of holds and escape than give each other the satisfaction of going to the ropes. Hell when Garcia had to go to the ropes it felt like a victory for Yuta, and that was kind of cool. This built well, was layed out well, and ended well. This was just great. ****

Gerard: Oh god, this was great. Hard hitting technical action where every move mattered. William Regal was also tremendous on commentary. Garcia was a tremendous heel in the context of the pure rules with his headbutts and even biting the ear. Yuta, despite a pretty rough style of his own these days, was a great face. 

I can’t say this was a star-making performance for either man, as both have long been identified as future stars. But this added to their resume. The transitions between submissions were superb and Yuta getting the win with a flash pin and Garcia giving him the finger in the aftermath, was a great way to leave the door open for a re-match. Another nice touch was only one rope break being used. I would hope in any re-match, each man uses up all of their rope breaks. ****¼

RUSH w/ Jose The Assistant DEF. DRAGON LEE

Jeri: Things continue to be awesome as we get the best match of the show (so far). Rush came to work tonight thank goodness and he worked his ass off. Dragon Lee is always great and he was in near top notch form tonight. Lee at one point did a crazy dive to Rush who was sitting through the table putting both of them through the table and it was insane. Hard bumping, hard hitting, hard flying, this match went hard and it never let up, or at least let up very little. They both clearly know each other well and they used that knowledge of each other and ability to work with each other to put on one hell of an effort. This is the kind of match you want more of once it’s said and done but are absolutely glad you got what you got. This was excellent pro-wrestling. ****1/4

Gerard: Brother vs. brother. Carny vs. carny. Whatever you may think of Rush, he can be an awesome wrestler when he wants to be. 

This was wild, both men did some crazy flying early, with Lee doing an insane Tope Suicida into a table. Rush took some crazy bumps here, the kind you only take for your brother. Lee once again also showed he has little regard for his body.

Rush, ever the worker, acted like he may have been knocked out but he simply lured his brother in and this allowed him to strike back and hit the Bull’s Horns to get the win. If Lee’s mission was to get a contract, that mission was probably accomplished here. ****¼


Jeri: I appreciate this match was given plenty of time. I was worried that would not be the case. I am glad for that. Not everyone digs Deeb’s kind of matches, but I dug this. I thought her and Martinez gelled very well. I quite enjoyed this match. It did have moments well I felt it stalled or was slow, but then it would pick back up and things would progress at a nice pace. Martinez has clearly lost a step or two, but she was able to use what steps she still have to put on a good performance along with Deeb who was consistent and talented throughout the match. Good defense, and I was pleasantly surprise to see Martinez get the win and continue her reign. ***1/2

Gerard: On commentary, Ian Riccaboni called this a war of attrition, and that’s what it was. I know that a lot of people think Deeb is overrated, but I disagree. However, her more methodical style isn’t for everyone. This might be a hot take, but I think the usual go-go-go joshi style has convinced some people that a slower paced women’s match is somehow boring. Martinez, for her part, worked hard here too, though she was a little sloppy at times, I think the years are catching up to her.

That being said, I really enjoyed this match. It was back-and-forth action that felt like a real struggle. There was also a good number of near falls in this and I really liked Deeb escaping from the Brass City Sleeper by biting Martinez’s arm. I do think it was a mistake to have Martinez retain here. I think Deeb as champion could have provided a lot of more interesting matches moving forward. ****


Jeri: Better than I was anticipating all things consider. I wasn’t expecting much, but the crowd loved Joe and that helped a lot, and I thought the match built well. They went right at it before the bell even rang which established the hate, Singh got his moment of getting invovled before getting ejected, and then the body of the match was solid. They actually convinced me at least twice Lethal was going to get the victory which is a testament to how solidly the match was built. Won’t be near the match of the night or anything, but I thought they worked hard and was able to give us an good affair. Good stuff. ***1/2

Gerard: They brawled a lot around ringside and there was Satnam Singh interference before the bell even rang. I thought it worked though to establish the hate between these two. 

The intensity continued and I think they did a good job building a heated match despite Joe’s limitations these days. It helped that the crowd loved Joe and hated Lethal. 

The interference from Sonjay Dutt during the finish wasn’t necessary. You could have had Joe kick out of the Lethal Injection and reverse Lethal’s roll up into the Coquina Clutch without it. That being said, this was a lot of fun with great crowd heat. ***¾ 


Jeri: I was highly anticipating this match all night and I was giddy with excitement once we got to it. I was glad to see it get the main event spot which it richly deserved. 

You could feel the tension before the match even began and all four men stare downed each other. The first fall was well wrestled by both teams. Hard hitting, well paced, both men evently matched until the Briscoes were able to get the first fall with a Doomsday device. I thought the first fall went really well and the ending felt like it was well timed. It was under twenty minutes but felt like both teams had done enough damage to realistically be able to put down their opponents for the first fall. It felt like an entire match done in one fall where a lot of times the first fall feels incomplete and missing parts of the match in the name of just wanting to get to the first fall. 

The second fall was all about Harwood surviving getting beaten by the Briscoes as he got worked over really hard, to the point his chest was bleeding. The Briscoes kept keeping the ring cut off to prevent him from getting the tag. The crowd popped when Wheeler finally get tagged into the ring and went off on the Briscoes. The match would eventually spill with all four men on the outside brawling and fighting over the place. Briscoes even go to a bell shot to get the pinfall to no avail. FTR would eventually hit big rig to bring the match predictably but excitedly to the final fall.

The third fall was desperation. Both teams tired, both teams exhausted, both teams doing what they can to get the final pinfall victory. We get the dreaded ref bump that costs both teams an attempt at a pinfall and was a ref bump I felt was unessecary and not needed in this match. Wheeler would put Mark through a table on the outside leaving Jay and Harwood to finish the match. Harwood would end the match with a second rope piledriver to give FTR The victory. An excellent and exciting main event that while may not of lived up to the original, still stands on it’s own as an awesome outing. Great closing moments. ****1/2

Gerard: With this being the main event, it’s time to say that I think Caprice Coleman and Ian Riccaboni are the best commentary team today. Coleman in particular has been doing some excellent work. His perspective as a wrestler really adds to the explanations of why a wrestler may attempt a move or strategy in the ring. In fact, tonight I’m starting a campaign for him to win Best Television Announcer in the Observer Awards.

This was worked at a frenetic pace from the beginning. The Briscoes won the first fall after a Doomsday Device on Harwood in less than 20 minutes. My issue with that was that given how much of a war their first match was, I think the first fall should have come after a longer time and a much bigger sequence. If time is an issue, you could have even done the second fall after a shorter period. That makes sense within the context of these teams absolutely beating the shit out of each other.  

The second fall was a lot better. Harwood got the shit kicked out of him then finally made the hot tag to Wheeler. There were also a lot more exciting near falls in this before Harwood pinned Jay after the Big Rig. 

For no real reason at all, referee Paul Turner ate a right hook. This led to Jay hitting the Jay Driller and getting a phantom pin for a long time. I hated that. This match didn’t need it. Jay would kick out of a Big Right when Turner got back in the ring which was cool, and the first ever kick out of that move, but it didn’t erase that referee bump. In fact you could argue that it hurt the first ever kick out of the Big Rig.  

The last few minutes were damn good. Wheeler hit a Back Suplex on Mark off the top rope to the outside through a table. Harwood pinned Jay after a top rope Piledriver. Absolutely wild stuff.

This could have but didn’t surpass their first match because while the work was incredible, I thought some of the booking choices in this match hurt it. This is the second time I’ve given this rating to a match this year because of bad choices within incredible work.

Despite my reservations on some things, this was still another great ROH show. ****⅖