At Impact Wrestling’s Emergence special in August, Honor No More will be in a 10-man tag against the BULLET CLUB quintet of Karl Anderson, Doc Gallows, Chris Bey, Ace Austin and Hikuleo. Should Honor No More win, Matt Taven and Mike Bennett will get a World Tag Team title match. If they lose, however, the faction must permanently disband.
If you think that sounds a bit familiar, it’s because it probably does; since debuting at Hard to Kill in January, Honor No More has been involved in four 10-man tag matches on big Impact shows – No Surrender, Under Siege, Slammiversary and Against All Odds.
While some might feel that Honor No More’s issues with the BULLET CLUB have gone on a bit too long or they’ve seen too many of these kind of matches involving Honor No More in 2022, I’ve no objections. There’s two reasons for that, the first being that they’ve all been fun at a bare minimum and in the case of the Slammiversary match, notebook-worthy. The second is because I think Impact has nailed Honor No More’s presentation from day dot.
They were introduced as a bunch of outlaw opportunists, taking advantage of the hospitality afforded to some of the former Ring of Honor talents early this year. While they snuck their way into being permanent roster members, they’ve not become part of the furniture. For example, they’ve never been stopped in the interview area backstage for a chat with Gia Miller. Instead, when you hear from them, it’s because Eddie Edwards or Maria Kanellis-Bennett have commandeered a camera in some broom cupboard or closed-off hallway in the venue. Notable, too is that Tom Hannifan and Matthew Rehwoldt never shill their merch on commentary.
The setup for the Emergence match is a prime example. After their protestations and demands to Scott D’Amore fell on deaf ears, Eddie Edwards led the rest of Honor No More to the production trucks to derail the broadcast. While there’s an obvious logic hole in that Impact is pre-taped so they could just edit that chicanery out, it was a touch I liked. It furthered this idea of them as an outlaw band but it also drew on Eddie Edwards’ smarts of having been in Impact a long time – it was plausible that he’d know where everything was and what removing certain cables would do. They forced Scott D’Amore’s hand through their deeds, not through their in-ring exploits.
In promotions that don’t utilize units or factions as part of their DNA (so not Dragongate, New Japan, AEW), we’ve been conditioned by the thankfully departed VKM that to be effective, big heel factions should be these dominant monoliths that sweep up titles and recruit loads of new members in fairly short order before crumbling to dust.
If a promotion is properly booked, that doesn’t need to be true. Honor No More has attested as much through the first seven months of 2022. They haven’t won any titles this year and, Eddie Edwards (12-4) aside, their win-loss records – Matt Taven (9-8), Mike Bennett (9-7), Kenny King (7-7), PCO (4-8), Vincent (4-8) – aren’t particularly strong. However, they’ve been important parts of most shows, been the same six guys all the way through, and their stories have bled through to various parts of the roster.
Taven and Bennett have been jockeying for a World Tag Team title match for months and while I felt that they probably should have had it by now, I see that that would be missing the wider story. Impact has tried to show that they’re a good team but not a great one. A competitive one but not a dominant one. One that on their day can beat anyone but on any given day can be beaten by anyone; they beat the Good Brothers as part of an eight-man tag recently, only to lose to Ace Austin & Chris Bey the following week, for example. While some will bemoan it as just 50/50 booking, it’s 50/50 booking that’s worked and has meaning to it. It enables them to be frustrated with not having had an opportunity but not so in the right that you question why they’re the heels in the first place (*cough* WWE’s portrayal of Ronda Rousey at Summerslam *cough*).
Honor No More has also just brought a freshness to Impact’s product. It’s given Eddie Edwards a new lease of life, for a start. The well had run very dry on his happy-go-lucky jean-wearing babyface routine, but this turn has freed him up to work with a different half of the roster, work a different style and cut different promos.
The others, meanwhile, have all been fun to varying degrees. I think Taven and Bennett are a very good tag team and the sort Impact can refresh the post-Good Brothers division around. PCO brings something unique to the table, even if his style is bound by increasingly diminishing returns, and Kenny King is the sort of solid hand I feel they need more of to flesh out the X-Division. Vincent is someone I’ve never seen anything much in at all but, at the end of the day, he doesn’t need to be at this point as he’s there to eat pins.
Even if their match with BULLET CLUB at Emergence is more of the same, I’m looking forward to it. It’ll be solid at a bare minimum from an in-ring perspective and there’s a level of drama regarding the booking direction. While I don’t expect Impact to disband Honor No More at this stage, the angle they’ve got with Heath as the Honor No More Hunter (which is considerably better than Frankie Kazarian’s Elite Hunter gimmick, by the way, and has far more chance of an actual payoff) does give them a way to do it. If Honor No More win, they’ve already got a lot teed up for the rest of the year – Eddie Edwards’ long chase for a World Title match, Taven and Bennett finally getting a shot at the Tag titles, the rising tensions between Eddie and PCO and the inevitable plunder chaos that’ll follow between those two and also the Heath thing.
Impact Wrestling has rightly received a lot of praise for being a very well-booked promotion in 2022. For me, Honor No More is one of their more underappreciated successes.