Ring Of Honor presented the Honor For All show last night, and I thought it was a very good show. It was a short show, and given that it was a Sunday night, I’m very thankful for that. The event clocked in at the two hour mark as it only hosted a total of six bouts, one of the shortest special ROH events in recent memory.
The show also featured a “what-could-have-been” scenario, as Game Changer Wrestling stars Effy and AJ Gray made their presence known. Obviously the partnership between the two companies won’t ever get to “bloom”, but it’s interesting to think about what could have been.
As we head into Final Battle, let’s break ROH Honor For All match by match and give grades for the show.
Note: For a more detailed recap, check out my live results piece at F4WOnline.
Taylor Rust vs. Tracy Williams
The opening bout between Rust and Williams was hard hitting, gritty, teeth-clenching, and just very good in all aspects. I wish that Rust was able to showcase this level of intensity in NXT, as he’s very good when he doesn’t have the proverbial handcuffs on.
I’ve been of the belief that Tracy Williams is one of the best wrestlers in the world for a long time. That was on display in this match as well, as he nearly triples the intensity that Rust brings.
The match was mainly focused around Rust targeting the shoulder of Williams, which has taken a lot of damage over the years.
Rust made Williams verbally give up in about eleven minutes. I’m not sure if I agreed with the winner here, but it was still a great opener.
Match Grade: B
Holidead vs. Quinn McKay vs. Trish Adora vs. Vita VonStarr
This match, despite being the longest one of the night, never really got into “that” gear. It lacked a real flow or story to it, although all women got their spots in and had a chance to shine.
I can’t say enough good things about Trish Adora. She’s not only excellent, but easily one of the best free agents in the world. She was the standout performer in this match as well.
Holidead had a few spots where she looked good, especially on her series of powerbombs early on. She ended up pinning VonStarr with an underhook facebuster.
Although I’m not sure I agree with the winner again here, it’s good to see Holidead pick up a win. I would have picked Adora to win.
Match Grade: C-
The Briscoes vs. AJ Gray & Effy: GCW World Tag Team Championship match
I was really excited for this match leading up to the event, and while it was a really fun eight minute bout, that’s exactly what it was. An eight-minute match. It was the shortest match of the night, which is disappointing.
Shifting to the positives, it was a weapon-filled match—as it should have been. There was a brutal point about half way through where Effy hit a blockbuster neckbreaker on Jay onto a table, only for the table not to break.
AJ Gray had this twenty second exchange with Jay Briscoes that got a really good reaction out of me, as they were just beating the snot out of one another.
If this match even had three or four more minutes, it would have been my favorite of the night.
Match Grade: B+
Jonathan Gresham vs. Brody King
This match told a near perfect David vs. Goliath type of story, with the only difference being that Jonathan Gresham is the strongest “David” has ever been.
King’s usage of his environment, specifically on the outside of the ring, is fantastic. Within the first 90 seconds of the match, he sandwiched Gresham into the barricade with a crossbody.
Gresham’s climb back was excellent as well and resembled a 2014 Daniel Bryan match.
Overall, just really good and fun stuff. The match was a number one contender’s match for the ROH World Championship, meaning we’ll be seeing Gresham vs. Bandido at Final Battle.
Match Grade: A-
The OGK (Matt Taven & Mike Bennett) vs. LFI (Dragon Lee & Kenny King) – ROH World Tag Team Championship match
Another solid match. Not my favorite, by any means, but it told a great story and tied up some loose ends storyline-wise.
Matt Taven has significantly improved in-ring in recent years and I don’t think he gets enough credit for that. He also had a pre-match promo that was very emotional and definitely showed his emotions in this match.
Dragon Lee threw some of his best strikes ever in this match, including an unbelievable incinerator knee near the end of the match. Kenny King played his role well also.
The OGK captured the tag titles here, which made for a touching moment. Good stuff. They were able to pick up the titles after Amy Rose distracted Kenny King, which was fitting given that King attacked Rose a few months back.
Match Grade: B
Bandido vs. Flamita – No Disqualification Match
It’s Bandido and Flamita in a wrestling match. There wasn’t ever a very good chance that this would have been a bad match.
Another weird table spot happened early on. Bandido tried to back-body drop Flamita onto a table, but it refused to break for the second time tonight.
There wasn’t a shortage of moments to go around here either. Flamita at one point hit a 450 splash onto Bandido who was just casually laying on the arena floor.
Bandido would go on to beat Flamita with a low blow, something that Flamita has bested Bandido with in the past.
Overall a very good main event that closed a chapter in a rivalry that spanned over ROH in 2021.
Match Grade: B+