Ring of Honor: The “new era” begins on Honor Club


One year to the day that Tony Khan announced he bought the promotion, the new era of Ring of Honor launched on Honor Club.

The matches were filmed at Universal Studios, home of AEW Elevation and Dark. There’s a new color scheme. Khan mentioned on the media call today that they wanted an updated look for TV and streaming. He noted that Universal Studios has improved its seating capacity.

ROH veterans and newcomers

The new era of ROH kicked off with two familiar faces: Slim J and Mark Briscoe. While Slim J is frequently in AEW with Trustbusters, he was a member of the ROH roster in the early 2000s as part of the faction, Special K. The next match featured ROH fixtures, The Kingdom. The show was a good mixture of ROH regulars and newer talent across eight matches.

Zack Sabre, Jr. made his ROH debut when he defended the NJPW TV Title against Blake Christian. It was cool to see that NJPW has involvement with both brands and that they send a star of ZSJ’s stature to ROH.

During the match, he address Bryan Danielson in the camera. He told him that he hoped he was watching because he (Sabre) is the best technical wrestler in the world. Hopefully, we finally get that match this year.

The new era’s first impression

Since it’s streaming, there are no commercial breaks. This is great for pacing and flow of matches, but it doesn’t give you chance to catch your breath or have a bathroom break. One big perk is that there were no commercial breaks during the women’s matches. That’s a big change of pace from other companies.

Speaking of women’s matches, ROH had two on this show. They also had an in-ring segment with Willow Nightingale where she challenged Athena for the ROH Women’s Championship. Athena came to the ramp to respond and they will face off next week.

In another title match, Timothy Thatcher challenged Wheeler Yuta for the ROH Pure Championship. We’ll be getting that next week as well.

In addition to a couple of in-ring promos, there were several backstage segments. This seems to be how they’ll build storylines and future matches. Lexy Nair has moved over to the ROH brand to carry out these duties.

Ian Riccaboni and Caprice Coleman are still on the call for ROH broadcasts. This brings a level of comfort and familiarity. Both men are well-versed in ROH history which is great for newer viewers or for those of us that might need a reminder here and there.

The show only featured one title match, but it was a great one. Claudio Castagnoli defended his ROH Championship against AR Fox. It was a hell of a main event and an excellent way to cap off a new show.

Before the show went off air, Eddie Kingston showed up. He “quit” AEW after Dynamite  last night. “The Mad King” said he’s an independent contractor and just because he couldn’t wrestle Castagnoli in ROH didn’t mean he couldn’t challenge him in ROH. He wants a title match.

The champ grabbed the mic and went to the ramp. He put his title around his waist, nodded at Eddie, and left. It looks like this match will be made official for Supercard of Honor at the end of the month.

Next. AEW: The women should get their own ladder match. dark

Overall, it was a really enjoyable show. There were some really great matches. It moved quickly, but didn’t make you feel like you were getting left behind. Make room in your schedule for two hour shows because that looks like the format for future shows. One concern is that it will become Dark with ROH wrestlers. It’s too early to know if that’s valid. The new era of ROH is off to an excellent start.