Death Before Dishonor is ROH’s second pay-per-view of the year. It might have been a bumpy road to get the card booked, but the show delivered from Zero Hour to the main event.
Zero Hour set the tone with four great matches. From top to bottom, Death Before Dishonor was a great show. The talent did an excellent job. There was only one title change on the show. Aussie Open defeated the Lucha Bros., Best Friends, and The Kingdom to become ROH tag team champions. On any other night, that would be the big story coming from the pay-per-view.
On Thursday’s show, it was announced that Claudio Castagnoli vs. PAC would be the main event. During Zero Hour, it was announced that their match and Athena vs. Willow Nightingale would be a double main event. Later in the show, it was announced that the women would actually main event.
During the media scrum following the show, Athena indicated that they found out two weeks ago they were headlining. Tony Khan said that they wanted to wait until after the tournament ended to make the announcement. It is unclear why the ROH World Championship was announced as the main event and then why it was billed as a double main event if this was the plan for a couple of weeks.
Athena and Nightingale earned their spot. They had an amazing match way back in episode two that saw Athena retain her title. On Rampage, the women faced each other again in the final of the Owen Hart Cup tournament. Nightingale evened the series and won the tournament.
Originally, Castagnoli was set to face Mark Briscoe in the main event for the ROH champion until Briscoe was injured. On Thursday’s episode, it was announced that Castagnoli would still be in the main event of the pay-per-view. The internet was quick to express their displeasure with many saying Athena vs. Willow was their main event.
Athena earned the main event spot with her incredible work since last year. She has gotten buzz for what she’s been doing, which turns into buzz for ROH. On Thursday, she became the longest-reigning ROH Women’s Champion. She has made herself the front-runner for best women’s champion in the world.
The story between Athena and Nightingale has spanned between two promotions. Both women are fan favorites. They are both doing special things in different ways, but they are moving women’s wrestling forward. The rubber match of their trilogy deserved to close the show.
During their match, they paid homage to the women before them in Women of Honor and SHIMMER. MsChif, Sumie Sakai, Daizee Haze, Alexia Laree, and Daffney were some of the women that honored.
At one point, chants of “Fight forever!” and “Women’s wrestling” broke out. The women battled for twenty minutes and had the crowd in the palm of their hands all match long. Nightingale came close to handing the champion her first ROH loss. In the end, Athena moved to 32-0 and is now 2-1 against “The Babe with the Power”.
Athena and Nightingale have made history in each match of their trilogy. They are the first Black women to main event ROH and Rampage. They are also the first women to ever headline an ROH pay-per-view.
As far as Athena is concerned, Nightingale is no longer in the title picture. She would like to check wrestling in Japan off of her bucket list, but said they could send women to her so she could break them and send them back. She also hinted that she would like to hold multiple titles at once.
For now, Athena is your Forever Champion.