A Pay-Per-View Event by Ring of Honor
If ROH Supercard of Honor XV was the glimmer of hope that fans needed to ensure Tony Khan was serious about taking the ailing company and turning it back towards its former glory, Death Before Dishonor XIX is the blueprint for what we can assume are the plans moving forward. This show had a little bit of everything – classic ROH stars, previous era ROH stars to preserve continuity, and even a new wave of young talent that will surely fill in the roster as this gets moving. The main draw here is definitely the follow-up to April’s instant-classic of a tag-team match between FTR and The Briscoes, a match that lived up to every biot of the hype that preceded it and then some. This focus on the tag team division may have caused Tony Khan, the new owner of the company and AEW alike, some issues that I will discuss shortly. It seems like no show can avoid behind-the-scenes drama nowadays, and this one is definitely no exception.
The main thing that is hurting this re-luanch is still a lack of any sort of weekly TV / streaming presence to help build storylines. This has caused a great deal of time to be used on AEW TV to further ROH business, which I know has ruffled some feathers with some fans. Granted, those vocal fans are the same ones that seemingly hate wrestling, despite watching it, so I won’t place too much emphasis on that. I would prefer ROH be a tad more self-contained when not doing obvious cross-over stuff, but either way it has been great to see the matches coming from this.
For anyone wanting to watch this in the US, It is sadly on B/R Live which I am not a huge fan of, but you do what you do sometimes. For anyone internationally, I would recommend Fite.TV. you can get some FITE credits (10 dollars I believe) with the following code: “6m6lyyn”. I’m sure there are other ways to watch it, but FITE has a solid interface and has been worth it so far.
As with many shows nowadays, there is a pretty solid Pre-show for free on YouTube.
- 1P Colt Cabana defeated Anthony Henry (with JD Drake) by pinfall Singles match 10:00
- 2P The Trust Busters (Ari Daivari and Slim J) defeated The Shinobi Shadow Squad (Cheeseburger and Eli Isom) by pinfall Tag team match 5:30
- 3P The Embassy (Brian Cage and The Gates of Agony (Jasper Kaun and Toa Liona)) (with Prince Nana) defeated Alex Zayne, Blake Christian, and Tony Deppen by pinfall Six-man tag team match 11:35
- 4P Willow Nightingale defeated Allysin Kay by pinfall Singles match 7:50
- 5 Claudio Castagnoli (with William Regal) defeated Jonathan Gresham (c) (with Prince Nana) by pinfall Singles match for the ROH World Championship 11:30
- 6 Dalton Castle and The Boys (Brandon Tate and Brent Tate) defeated The Righteous (Vincent, Bateman, and Dutch) (c) (with Vita VonStarr) by pinfall Six-man tag team match for the ROH World Six-Man Tag Team Championship 9:40
- 7 Wheeler Yuta (c) (with William Regal) defeated Daniel Garcia by pinfall Pure Wrestling Rules match for the ROH Pure Championship 15:55
- 8 Rush (with José The Assistant) defeated Dragon Lee by pinfall Singles match 15:50
- 9 Mercedes Martinez (c) defeated Serena Deeb by submission Singles match for the ROH Women’s World Championship 17:20
- 10 Samoa Joe (c) defeated Jay Lethal by submission Singles match for the ROH World Television Championship 12:20
- 11 FTR (Cash Wheeler and Dax Harwood) (c) defeated The Briscoe Brothers (Jay Briscoe and Mark Briscoe) 2–1 Two-out-of-three-falls match for the ROH World Tag Team Championship 43:25
As I’ve stated before, my methodology for this is to avoid giving arbitrary star ratings or anything resembling the typical ratings people give in wrestling reviews. I usually go through the show and pull a half-dozen or so things that I thought were significant or that I liked. You might think some of my choices are dumb and that’s okay – we all like different things!
This ought to put some wrestling “fan-fiction writers” to rest. For months, many have speculated that the bad blood between CM Punk and Colt Cabana had somehow pushed Colt into pariah status, and with no information to corroborate or deny it, fan speculation went insane throughout the year. We’ll never know about that situation backstage, but at least from the standpoint of Colt’s career it looks like he has a place as one of the pillars of this new version of ROH. With him being one of the cornerstones of the company at various times in the past, it’s great to see him having awesome one-on-one matches here. I mean, I love me some Dark Order, but he’s able to shine more here. Anthony Henry was able to evolve from being AEW Dark canon fodder to show this is the pace for him. I’m excited to see where this goes moving forward, and would love to see Colt get a solid feud soon.
I Guess Tully is Gone?
Well, that was fast. No sooner than they printed those Tully Blanchard Enterprises shirts, the dude already left the company. There’s speculation online as to what happened, but honestly I think a new version of The Embassy has more prestige and could work better anyway. Seeing Prince Nana take over as de facto owner of the stable and lead the Gates of Agony w/ Brian Cage to victory was awesome, and a great way to look back at the past of the company. With the likes of guys such as AJ Styles, Abyss, Alex Shelley, Claudio, and even Tomasso Ciampa once flying The Embassy flag, the sky’s the limit!
First up, Congrats to Claudio Castagnoli for becoming the next ROH World Heavyweight Champion! Next up – what the hell Jonathan Gresham? While we may never know the real story, word around the internet is that Gresham flipped out at Tony Khan prior to the show and demanded his release. One can surmise that he was likely upset the world title match was the opening bout, felt disrespected, and tried to pull some “Big dog” antics on Tony. If any of that is true, I have lost a ton of respect for him. Yes, losing the belt sucks, and yes having the world title match seemingly devalued is a shame, but let’s face it – opening the show with a title match makes the show pop, and everyone knows the main draw is that tag match. Here’s hoping everything can be smoothed over, because if not I can’t imagine too many jumping to sign Gresham despite being one of the most technically sound guys out there. This drama hangs over the show a bit unfortunately, a blemish on an otherwise amazing product.
Of all the guys in those waning Sinclair Broadcasting years that Tony NEEDS to pick up, The Righteous should be right up there. With their loss to Dalton Castle and “The Boys”, there’s always that fear that the match just happened to get control over the ROH Trios belts, but here’s hoping Tony sees the need for his own version of something akin to The Wyatt Family, minus all the paranormal stuff.
It’s crazy how much Yuta excels at these Pure Championship matches. Not to say he was a “jobber” or anything prior to his inclusion into the Blackpool Combat Club, but he has really come into his own these past few months. With the major storyline here being that Daniel Garcia thinks adding more rules to wrestling is stupid, then getting owned by him by those rules was great. Always a fun match-type.
Brother Against Brother:
I’m not sure I’ve ever seen Dragon Lee and Rush ever wrestle against each other in the past. This is a shame because this match was very good!
A Feud 17 Years in the Making:
This is one of the few feuds to actually get a substantial amount of plot and character building since April. Basically, When jay Lethal was just starting out, Samoa Joe was his mentor and helped him a lot. After losing the belt to Gresham, then having to cheat to win against Moriarty, he was already unstable and looking for a way to weasel his way back into the main event, then Joe came out and stole his thunder. After employing a strategist and a muscle in Sonjay Dutt and Satnam Singh, he seemed ready to take it to his old mentor. Solid match, and hopefully the start of even more!
Everytime you see FTR and think “man, these guys are great” and assume they have hit the peak of their abilities, they always seem to top themselves. To think that Vince Mcmahon felt that the only way he could utilize these guys was to slap lipstick, drumsticks, and goofy hats on them goes to show how little he obviously likes wrestling, and how out of touch with what fans want he is. FTR are the best tag team going right now, and a venerable team like The Briscoes seem to get a “second wind” just being in the ring with them. I like The Briscoes, but at one time I felt that I had basically seen them do everything they have ever done, and they were starting to downslide – that is NOT evident here at all. These guys always go hard, and I want them to keep on one-upping themselves. I’m not sure which was “better” between this and the last match because they were so different, but this was a hell of a match, and a can’t miss for wrestling fans.
This was a great show, with every match showing what Ring of Honor is all about and why there is still a place for them amongst all of the other federations out there. They have had a lot of speedbumps as of late, but the light is at the end of the tunnel, and with (hopefully) some sort of TV deal they are on the path to be AEW’s answer to NXT to a degree. I LOVE how Tony Khan is obviously using the vibe of pre-Sinclair ROH from around 2005 as a template as to where he wants the company going. This was when the show was critically adored, and despite the lack of eyes on it, it both became a cult phenomenon and created almost every big wrestling star of our time. Hopefully this new version does the same and generates a whole generation of new ROH stars, with the hiatus in 2021 a mere footnote in the history of the company. With the Jonathan Gresham situation moved aside, this was a solid show with that one hiccup that was well worth the cost. Glad to see these guys are back!