Thursday, March 30, 2023

ROH Supercard of Honor 2023 Preview & Predictions

Not to be overlooked this WrestleMania weekend, this Friday is Ring of Honor's annual mega-show, marking the first anniversary of ROH's resurgence under Tony Khan's ownership.  

This lineup is another stacked one, with a long-brewing ROH Title feud coming to fruition, a couple of NJPW stars joining the party, a wild AAA Mega Title match, and a special ladder match to crown new tag team champions, dedicated to Jay Briscoe.  This should be one spectacular show in front of 4000-plus fans, so let's take a dive....

ROH Six-Man Tag Team Championship: The Embassy vs. AR Fox, Blake Christian & Metalik

Could this be Brian Cage's swan song under the Tony Khan umbrella?  No one's really sure, but if the Embassy drops the straps here that could be our answer.  This will be a lot of nonstop action and would make sense as the opening match to get the crowd revved up.

Pick: I foresee a title change to kick things off with a bang.  Fox/Blake/Metalik 

Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Daniel Garcia

Just announced last night, this one pits the AEW up-and-comer against the NJPW all-time great.  Must be a dream come true for young Daniel.  I assume he'll more than happily do the job for the vaunted legend, but Tanahashi will do everything he can to make him look like a million bucks before it's over.

Pick: Tanahashi

ROH Pure Championship: Wheeler Yuta vs. Katsuyori Shibata

This might be the one I'm most excited about.  The young Blackpool Combat Clubber vs. one of the toughest bastards in wrestling.  If Shibata were physically able to wrestle a full schedule he'd fit right in as a BCC member.  These two will beat the piss out of each other and it will be glorious.

Pick: Yuta is part of a red-hot AEW angle right now so it doesn't make sense for him to lose.  Wheeler retains.

ROH Women's Championship: Athena vs. Yuka Sakazaki

I assume this one is still happening but it's not listed on the ROH website for some reason.  I only know Sakazaki from her few AEW appearances, but Athena is a total badass and this should be a lot of fun.  Athena would be a fine addition to the Outcasts group, since they're outnumbered against the AEW originals.  Food for thought.

Pick: Athena retains

ROH TV Championship: Samoa Joe vs. Mark Briscoe

Another one I'm very excited about.  Joe's 2004 match against Jay Briscoe inside a cage is still one of the most brutal cage bouts I've ever seen.  This one should be very bittersweet but also a helluva fight.  And the crowd will be electric for it; two of the most respected ROH stars of all time fighting in honor of a fallen ROH icon.  There's zero chance Mark comes up short here.

Pick: Mark Briscoe is your new TV Champ

AAA Mega Championship: El Hijo del Vikingo vs. Komander

Holy shitballs this is gonna be wild.  Two crazy luchadores pulling out all the stops for the top prize in AAA.  Vikingo is hot off the heels of his stunning showing on Dynamite last week, and Komander has already begun to make a splash with that audience as well thanks to the Casino Ladder Match.  This is gonna be a tough act to follow.

Pick: Vikingo retains

ROH World Championship: Claudio Castagnoli vs. Eddie Kingston

Speaking of tough acts to follow, these two are gonna pound the snot out of each other for the company's top prize.  Claudio and Eddie have had their issues for years and while they coexisted for last year's Blood and Guts match, they never resolved their beef.  It's the super-athlete vs. the street fighter for ROH dominance.  I'm picking this as the most brutal match of the night.

Pick: Claudio retains

ROH World Tag Team Championship Ladder Match: Lucha Brothers vs. Top Flight vs. The Kingdom vs. Aussie Open vs. Rush & Dralistico

I'm not sure which match will go last, but if I'm booking the show, the Jay Briscoe ladder match for the tag belts has to headline.  The Briscoes and FTR stole the show at the last three PPVs, there's a new set of belts made for this occasion, and who the hell wants to follow a ladder match between these five teams?  For my money it's between Lucha Bros and Top Flight, and it kinda comes down to how busy Penta and Fenix's schedule is likely to be.  Considering they're AEW and AAA mainstays I'm not sure having them appear often on ROH TV as the champs is feasible.  Therefore I'm gonna pick Top Flight as the upstart new champions.  It would be the biggest win of their young careers and they'll be around plenty to be on the weekly shows.  

Pick: Top Flight

And there's the lineup.  Once again TK has put together a strong slate of matches.  The live crowd will be the second-biggest in ROH history (not counting the G1 Supercard attendance in 2019, which was really NJPW's doing), and a huge leap over last year's Supercard of Honor attendance.  Hopefully the buyrate will be at least commensurate with that of Final Battle.  Either way, this should be a tough act for WrestleMania to follow.

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