Ring Of Honor
Supercard Of Honor 2024
April 5, 2024
Liacouras Center
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Watch: HonorClub; YouTube (Zero Hour)

Before I kick off this review, I just want to note that I did see this show live in-person at the Liacouras Center. It was my first time seeing a show in this building (this is the venue that AEW regularly runs in Philadelphia), and it was fourth show I had attended over the course of two days in Philadelphia, as I had already been to DEFY, STARDOM, and the WrestleCon SuperShow on Thursday. My seat provided me with a pretty good view, and I loved the fact that I was able to get some Chickie’s & Pete’s Crab Fries and Cheese Sauce (they absolutely rock if you’ve never had them). I haven’t gone back to watch the show on Honor Club to see how it came off, so when it comes to my thoughts on all of these matches, they’re strictly from an in-person perspective.

Zero Hour

The Premiere Athletes (Ariya Daivari, Josh Woods, & Tony Nese) (with Mark Sterling) def. Adam Priest, Rhett Titus, & Tony Deppen

Starting things off on the Zero Hour was a Six-Man Tag that saw The Premiere Athletes pick up a victory over two former ROH World Television Champions (Rhett Titus and Tony Deppen) and current indie standout Adam Priest. This was a perfectly solid trios contest and honestly…I don’t have much else to say about the match itself. I suppose this could be setting up The Premiere Athletes for a shot at the ROH World Six-Man Tag Team Titles, but given that a heel team are the current title holders (Bullet Club Gold, who haven’t even appeared in ROH since winning those titles), I don’t foresee that happening. If you missed the pre-show, you’re not missing anything if you skip this match. ***

The Beast Mortos def. Blake Christian

So because AAA owns the rights to his name, the luchador formerly known as Black Taurus won’t be allowed to be billed as that going forward in ROH (I’m not sure if that’s the case for everyone outside of AAA, or just in the United States, or what the actual specifics are). He’s now going as The Beast Mortos, and in his first ROH appearance since Final Battle 2023, he scored a win over Blake Christian in what was a very entertaining contest. Some really solid action throughout, and while Christian definitely had various moments to shine, Beast Mortos (going to take time to get used to that one) was the main focus here, and he looked good doing all of his usual spots. This isn’t a match you need to go out of your way to see, but it was easily the best match on Zero Hour, and definitely better than some of the matches we got on the PPV. ***1/2

Cole Karter & Griff Garrison (with Maria Kanellis) def. Spanish Announce Project (Angelico & Serpentico)

Angelico and Serpentico were looking for some payback after the trio of Cole Karter, Griff Garrison, and Maria Kanellis stole Serpentico’s mask. Unfortunately, things didn’t exactly go their way here. The heels jumped them during their entrance (which led to the remnants of Serpentico’s streamers being stuck in the ring for most of the match), and while Spanish Announce Project did fight back, they ultimately came up short after the heels once again ripped off Serpentico’s mask and stole the pin. This was about as average as it gets. I don’t have any issues with little undercard feuds like this (and Zero Hour is a perfect spot for a match like this), but I really don’t see anything in this Cole Karter/Griff Garrison tag team. There’s just no juice there whatsoever. I’m sure we’re building to Serpentico getting some revenge at some point, so there’s that to look forward to. An ok match, but super forgettable outside of the finish. **1/2

Mariah May def. Momo Kohgo

After wearing her normal gear for her match on the STARDOM show on Thursday, Mariah May is back to her Toni Storm attire as she took on Momo Kohgo in the final bout on Zero Hour. Mariah would score the victory in what was a very solid contest that went just over six minutes. This weekend was the first time I had seen Momo Kohgo in action and, based on what I saw (both here and at the STARDOM show), I came away impressed with her for sure. There was some good back-and-forth action between the two before Mariah ultimately put Momo away. Not a match that was super outstanding by any means, but if you’re curious to see another match involving STARDOM talent on this card, I’d say it’s a quick and easy watch. I would also say that this was another match on Zero Hour (along with Beast Mortos vs. Blake Christian, which I mentioned earlier) that was better than a number of matches on the actual PPV. ***1/4

Main Show

ROH World Television Title – Kyle Fletcher © def. Lee Johnson

The PPV proper kicked off with the ROH World Television Title bout, as Kyle Fletcher defended against Lee Johnson, who (as I mentioned in the preview I wrote for this PPV) had been on a several match winning streak coming into this show. Now on paper, I knew this match had the potential to be really good, but when the dust settled, this far surpassed my expectations. This was an excelling opening contest that (in terms of the stuff I had seen in-person up to this point) was easily the leading contender for match of the weekend. The tone for this bout was set pretty quickly as Fletcher gave Johnson a freaking brainbuster onto the barricade within the first few minutes. From there, this match was just packed with awesome back-and-forth action that saw both men bust out some major moves as they tried to put each other away.

Johnson seemed to survive everything Fletcher could throw at him, and came close to winning on a few occasions. The closest Johnson came to capturing the title occurred after a Canadian Destroyer off the top rope, followed by a pair of frog splashes that got a super close nearfall. Ultimately, Fletcher was able to survive the best Johnson could throw at him, and finally managed to put him away after connecting with the El Generico Top Rope Brainbuster (the move of the weekend apparently). An absolutely incredible match from start to finish. Fletcher continues to show why he’s well on his way (as he gets more and more experience) to being one of the best wrestlers in the world, while Johnson had what was easily the best outing of his career to date. Your WrestleMania Weekend viewing won’t be complete without seeing this match. ****1/2

STARDOM Showcase – Mei Seira & Empress Nexus Venus (Mina Shirakawa & Maika) def. Tam Nakano & Queen’s Quest (Saya Kamitani & AZM)

Up next on the card was the STARDOM showcase, which everyone in my section seemed pretty excited about. The match lasted just under fifteen minutes, and ended when Mina Shirakawa put away Saya Kamitani with one of her finishers. In hindsight, I should’ve seen that Mina was going to get the win here. Not only was she the first STARDOM talent in AEW/ROH since the recent STARDOM exodus, but the angle from the STARDOM show the night before with Toni Storm should’ve been a tipoff. While this wasn’t the great match that some people thought it could’ve been, I thought it was still a very entertaining bout on the whole. There was really good action right from the opening bell, and all six women had various moments to shine. The closing few minutes were particularly strong, before the last sequence between Mina Shirakawa and Saya Kamitani that led to the finish. I had seen all six of these women at the STARDOM show on Thursday, so I sort of knew what to expect here, but for anyone in the crowd that hadn’t seen any of these women live before, I think they came away liking what they saw. I’m not sure if it was enough to get these people to become regular watchers of STARDOM, but still, the match was very entertaining for what it was. ***1/2

Following the match, Mariah May came out, and after it looked like she might attack her former Club Venus stablemate, the two embraced, and Mariah shared champagne with Mina and the rest of the winning team. On the STARDOM show, they clearly teased a future match between Toni Storm and Mina Shirakawa with Mariah May stuck in the middle. Will the relationship that Mariah has with Mina finally give us the beginning of the rift between Mariah and Toni, or will Mariah ultimately side with Toni when that match with Toni and Mini eventually happens? My hope is that they don’t drag out the eventual Mariah turn, but I guess time will tell on that one.

ROH World Tag Team Titles – Undisputed Kingdom (Matt Taven & Mike Bennett) © def. The Infantry (Carlie Bravo & Shawn Dean) (with Trish Adora)

The Infantry earned this title shot by going to a Time Limit Draw with Undisputed Kingdom on the final episode of ROH television before the PPV, so a hastily put together title match in that regard. Early on in the bout, a table was set up by the entranceway (it was the elevated ramp that goes straight to the ring instead of the traditional ramp), and that table would come into play in the closing stages of the match, as Carlie Bravo put Matt Taven through the table with a running splash off the ramp. As the referee went to check on Bravo and Taven on the floor, Wardlow ran in and just destroyed Shawn Dean with a clothesline. Mike Bennett then took advance and covered Dean as the referee returned to the ring, and got the pin. Undisputed Kingdom retained the ROH World Tag Team Titles with Wardlow’s help.

This was a decent match, but not much more than that. The action throughout was fine enough, and while it definitely picked up a bit in the closing few minutes, it never crossed over into the territory where I could call it a good match. Part of the issue for me is that I’m just not that invested in The Infantry right now. It’s not that I don’t think they’re solid in-ring talents, because they are. They just haven’t reached that point with me in terms of being a credible tag team that can hang with the bigger names in the current AEW/ROH tag team divisions (they had a good match with FTR, but the match against House Of Black didn’t exactly leave a great first impression). I totally respect the attempt to elevate a fresh act, but they’re just not there yet. Another issue with this match was the length. Nearly fourteen minutes is entirely too long for a match at this point in the card, and one involving an act that isn’t totally over with the audience yet. This was by no means a horrible bout. However, it wasn’t that memorable outside of the table spot and Wardlow’s interference at the end. **3/4

ROH Women’s World Television Title Tournament Final – Billie Starkz def. Queen Aminata

I mentioned this in the PPV preview I did for the site, but this was one of the matches I was looking forward to the most on this show, solely from the standpoint that the result was unpredictable. Given the ongoing storyline that Billy Starkz is in with Athena, and the focus that Queen Aminata has gotten this year, this one could’ve gone either way.

Up until the finish, I thought this had been a very solid match, with good action and a crowd that actually seemed pretty invested at points (I was honestly shocked that we got loud dueling chants for these two). I’ve seen Billie Starkz live before, so I pretty much knew what to expect from her. However, this was my first time seeing Queen Aminata in-person. Even though I had seen her plenty of times on AEW television, it wasn’t until I saw her live that it finally clicked with me. I now totally get why people are high on her and the potential she has. In particular, I thought some of her running kicks while Billie was up against the ropes were absolutely brutal in the best way possible.

Of course, what everyone is going to be talking about here is the finish. Billie went for a Swanton Bomb in the ring, but Aminata got her knees up. The doctors soon got in the ring as Billie screamed in pain, complaining that she couldn’t get up. Now while the crowd did go quiet here, pretty much everyone sitting around me figured almost immediately that this was likely a work. Sure enough, we were proven right, and when Billie finally went on the attack, the crowd exploded. A German Suplex and one choke hold later, Billie Starkz was the first-ever ROH Women’s World Television Champion.

To say this finish is controversial would be an understatement. A big issue with doing this kind of finish is that we know that if someone is actually hurt in a wrestling match these days, they either go right to a finish (as was seen with the recent match on AEW Collision with Ricky Starks and Top Flight), or the match is called off. The fact that they didn’t call the match off at all immediately signaled that this was not a real injury. As it pertains to the actual storyline, I don’t have any issues with telling the story that Billie is finally taking on the heelish influence of Athena, but that story could’ve been told in so many better ways that don’t come off as fake and silly as this one. Just off the top of my head, I remember the Johnny Gargano heel turn in Dragon Gate USA from 2013 during WrestleMania Weekend where (in a move of desperation) he used a string to choke out Shingo and retain the DGUSA Open The Freedom Gate Title. Simple cheating would’ve been a much more effective way to tell this story than a convoluted fake injury angle. At the same time, as I mentioned, Billie revealing the injury was fake got BY FAR the biggest pop of the entire match, so what do I know? I would still consider this a good match, but it was definitely taken down a bit by the finish. ***1/4

ROH World Six-Man Tag Team Titles – Bullet Club Gold (“Switchblade” Jay White, Austin Gunn, & Colten Gunn © def. Monster Sauce (Alex Zayne & Lance Archer) & Minoru Suzuki

So Bullet Club Gold won the ROH World Six-Man Tag Team Titles back on the January 17th edition of AEW Dynamite. This Open Challenge is not only the first time that Bullet Club Gold has appeared in ROH since they won the titles, but it’s also their first title defense period. That’s right. They won these titles nearly three months ago, and they’re only just defending them now. I understand that they were involved in that storyline with The Acclaimed, but that is just asinine.

After Jay White cut a promo, Lance Archer and Alex Zayne came out to answer the challenge, and Archer talked about how he formed a tag team with Alex Zayne in New Japan called Monster Sauce. He then introduced their third man for tonight…Minoru Suzuki (who’s fresh off his match from Joey Janela’s Spring Break, which was running at the same time as this PPV), who got a huge pop when he came out. I know a lot has been said about Suzuki and how his style of matches have gotten stale (particularly in these appearances in the United States), but the guy is still incredibly over with these crowds. Plus, I feel like matches such as this can help better hide Suzuki in some respects, where you can get him in spurts, and the match isn’t totally reliant on him.

The match itself was perfectly solid for what it was. Archer, Suzuki, and Zayne all had moments to shine before White eventually pinned Zayne with the Blade Runner. You probably could’ve shaved two or three minutes off of this, but beyond that, I don’t have a ton of complaints about this one. Afterwards, The Acclaimed’s music hit, and they came through the crowd and attacked Bullet Club Gold from behind. Despite getting the jump on Bullet Club Gold, The Acclaimed were the ones that got the worst of it, as Bowens got laid out with a Blade Runner. In a quick live note, Billy Gunn grabbed the mic and it looked like he was going to cut a promo, but the arena immediately went to black as they started airing the video package for the next match. He looked pretty annoyed, but thankfully that video package saved us from a Billy Gunn promo. ***1/4

Fight Without Honor – Dalton Castle def. Johnny TV (with Taya Valkyrie)

At this point in the show, it was starting to get late (in my case, I was being picked up by my father right after the show, and we had a two hour road trip home ahead of us), and while I knew that a Fight Without Honor was going to require a decent amount of time, I was hopeful that it wouldn’t last too long. Boy was I wrong.

I’m not going to go into painstaking detail about this one, because the sooner I can forget that this match even happened, the better. It was entirely too long (it did not need twenty two minutes), and really had no redeeming qualities to it whatsoever. It was about as mid of a hardcore match as you’ll ever see (aside from the thumbtacks at the end, you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between this and a standard WWE hardcore match), and it just absolutely died the longer it went. A leaf blower was even used as a serious weapon at one point. Eventually, Castle did the spot where he threw his boys as his opponent, and all of the replaceable boys (not The Tate Twins, who were part of the recent AEW releases) came out for Castle to throw at Johnny TV. This all led to a moment where a giant fat boy just fell flat on his face when Castle tried to throw him at Johnny TV (that pretty much sums up the entire match, to be honest). A boy who was very obviously Jack Cartwheel then came cartwheeling down the ramp and connected with a big dive to the floor.

The finish saw yet another boy, who was clearly Paul Walter Houser, come out and meander in the ring for what felt like an eternity (to the point where I thought he came out WAY too early) before he helped Castle set up a pile of thumbtacks for the finish. I knew it was Paul Walter Houser straight away (mainly because I saw the first few minutes of match with Sami Callihan the night before at the WrestleCon SuperShow), but nobody else in the crowd had any idea who this guy even was. I understand he’s an actor who’s won a fair amount of awards in the last few years for some of his work (and someone who is a big wrestling fan), but this man is NOT famous in the eyes of the populace at large. The average person on the street would not be able to pick this man out of a lineup, so expecting his reveal to get a pop was wishful thinking at best. Castle finally pinned Johnny TV to end what was one of the worst Fight Without Honors in the history of the company. An absolute waste of everyone’s time, and one of the worst matches of the weekend without question. *

ROH Women’s World Title – Athena © def. Hikaru Shida

Athena had a special entrance where she came out dressed as a character from a video game called Baldur’s Gate 3. I’ve never heard of it, but given that it’s a role playing game, I imagine it’s something that’s right up her alley. Some people will find this entrance stupid, but eh…I didn’t mind it. Let people do what they want for their special entrances.

There were a number of matches on this show that were much longer than they needed to be. The previous bout with Dalton Castle and Johnny TV was the most egregious example by far, but this match wasn’t that far behind. I’ve been a fan of Hikaru Shida ever since she came to AEW in 2019, and in general I feel Athena has delivered in most of her big title defenses. While they ultimately had a very good match here, the time it got and its placement on the show were major detriments. The crowd was not that into the first portion of this match, but they absolutely got them back once they started to get into that next gear, so credit to the both of them in that regard. If you chop off the first seven or eight minutes, this match improves drastically (especially since the second half of the match was actually really strong, and had a lot of good action that the crowd was into).

The placement of this match on the card didn’t help them out either. This show was already running long, and it didn’t need another twenty plus minute match. The two would trade finishers before Athena finally put Shida away with a second O-Face to retain her title. I felt this had the potential to be a great match, and even though this definitely had elements of a great match in there (particularly in the closing stages), the factors I mentioned earlier worked against it in a major way. ***3/4

ROH World Title – Mark Briscoe def. Eddie Kingston ©

Part of me was hoping that Tony Khan would be able to get Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Gimme Back My Bullets” for Mark Briscoe’s entrance here, and sure enough, he managed to pull it off. I didn’t start watching ROH until the HDNet Era, so I never got to see The Briscoes come out to this song in real time (they had moved on to different entrance music by the time I started going to ROH events). This made me so happy and, for the most part, made up for the fact that the show was running long.

The PPV had started off hot with an incredible opener, but we hadn’t gotten a great match since then. Especially given how long the show had been at this point, we really needed a strong match to close things out on a high note. Fortunately, Eddie Kingston and Mark Briscoe delivered, as they gave us a great main event. It was an absolute slugfest from start to finish that saw Mark get busted open very early on. Despite the bloodloss, as well as some of the crazy bumps he took at the hands of Kingston (which included an exploder off the ring apron to the floor), Mark continued to fight on.

After more back-and-forth action, Mark lifted Kingston up for an attempted Cutthroat Driver that ended up being more like an Angle Slam (Kingston was probably a little too heavy for Mark to lift at that point, but it still sort-of worked in the sense that it could be easily be sold as Mark being exhausted…plus it still looked like he hit an actual move). Then, with his family at ringside, Mark finally connected with the Jay Driller, and scored the pin to capture the ROH World Title. Streamers flew into the ring, and Mark celebrated with his family and other members of the ROH locker room as the show came to a close. Eleven years to the day that Jay Briscoe won his first ROH World Title, his younger brother was finally a World Champion.

Again, the match itself was fantastic. These two absolutely beat the crap out of each other, and they definitely managed to end the show on a high note after a fair amount of the stuff on the undercard didn’t exactly land. I can definitely understand some of the complaints about how we got to this point. Would it have been better had Mark gone through a more obvious and built-up chase, against (perhaps) a heel champion? Yeah, that’s a fair critique. Was this main event hurt by the fact that it felt thrown together? Yes. Those are all valid points to be sure, and I do believe they could’ve better maximized the chase and eventual title win for Mark. All that being said though, the match still delivered in a big way when it happened, and as a longtime ROH fan, it was incredibly cool to see this moment live. ****1/2

Final Thoughts

While it was certainly far from a bad show, Supercard of Honor 2024 was easily the weakest PPV that we’ve gotten in the Tony Khan era of ROH. The show did start and finish with two of the best matches of the entire weekend, but most of the stuff we got in between definitely dragged the show down. Aside from the STARDOM Showcase (which I felt worked well for what it was), everything in the middle portion of the show had either one or multiple issues. The common theme with all of them was that a lot of those matches were too long. I understand that being on HonorClub allows you to go longer since you’re not restricted by a PPV window. However, I feel that a number of these matches suffered from the fact that they were too long, and would have benefited greatly if several minutes were shaved off (Athena vs. Hikaru Shida was the biggest victim in that regard). You easily could’ve fit this show in at three hours on the dot. I would absolutely avoid watching Dalton Castle vs. Johnny TV at all costs, but that was the only match on the show that was outright bad. Definitely watch the opener and the main event, and the STARDOM match if you’re interested in that. Beyond those three, if you’re pressed for time, I can’t say you need to see anything else.