ROH: Three championship matches on the show’s second episode


The second episode of ROH featured three title matches. The show was bookended with championship matches.

Samoa Joe defended the ROH Television Championship against Tony Deppen. Deppen previously held the title back in 2021. Last week, Deppen said he was going to beat Joe by pinfall or submission and that after sitting front row at Final Battle, he knew all of his opponents weaknesses. Although he gave a good effort, Deppen came up short.

After the match, Joe said that a champion needed contenders and told the locker room to challenge him. Mark Briscoe answered the challenge, but a date hasn’t been set. Briscoe has made it known that he has always wanted to be the ROH Television Champion.

The second title match saw Timothy Thatcher challenge Wheeler Yuta for the ROH Pure Championship. Thatcher challenged Yuta on the first episode of the “new era” of ROH. This was his in-ring debut for ROH and what a debut it was. They put on a great match that saw some more heel tactics we’ve seen from Blackpool Combat Club of late.

Yuta retained his title and was running his mouth about NJPW’s LA Dojo. This led to LA Dojo graduate, Clark Connors, coming out to challenge him to a future match.

In the main event, Athena defended the ROH Women’s Championship against Willow Nightingale. This match was set up last week. This was an awesome match that saw them go nearly 15 minutes. These two pulled out all the stops and had a hard-hitting match. Although Athena retained, Nightingale has gold in her future.

ROH is setting the tone early with both title matches and future challenges. They’re delivering great matchups and fantastic matches.

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In an encouraging sign, there were once again two women’s matches on the latest episode. The women’s title getting the main event slot on the second show is really important, too. The fact that they got so much time seems to indicate that the women’s championship is important for them to showcase. As we’ve seen AEW struggle with its own women’s division since the beginning, it is best to be cautiously optimistic as ROH grows in this “new era”.