Friday, July 21, 2023

ROH Death Before Dishonor 2023 Preview & Predictions

This Friday it's the most afterthoughtiest Ring of Honor PPV in history, Death Before Dishonor 2023!

I kid, I kid.  Tony Khan has a lot on his plate right now, from back-to-back PPV-level shows in August to last night's Blood and Guts Dynamite (which I got to see in person and it was AWESOME), but this ROH show has been rather haphazardly tossed together, thanks partly due to one guy being unavailable and another being injured.  The original main event was to be Claudio Castagnoli defending the ROH Title against Eddie Kingston but with Eddie being in Japan for the G1 Climax that was out.  Thus Mark Briscoe was slated to get the shot instead and he got hurt.  So now it's Claudio vs. Pac, which might actually be a better match than either of the other two.  There are also five other title matches and a couple fun undercard bouts.  Let's get into it.

ROH TV Championship: Samoa Joe vs. Dalton Castle

Yeah, this one doesn't blow my skirt up as they say.  Castle won a four-man Eliminator tournament to get this shot but he's never really been my cup of tea as wrestlers go.  He's amusing and all, but hard to take seriously as a title contender.  I imagine Joe gets a pretty one-sided win here.

Pick: Joe retains

ROH Pure Championship: Katsuyori Shibata vs. Daniel Garcia

This should be a fine contest, both are legit grapplers.  Garcia's title shot comes from a tag match on Dynamite where Garcia stole a pin over Shibata.  The title has jumped around pretty consistently over the last year, with each champion only getting 3-4 months with it.  I could see that trend continuing I guess.  Maybe Shibata regains it in December?

Pick: I'll go with Garcia

Fight Without Honor: The Righteous vs. Dark Order

This trios match is meant to further the split between Stu Grayson and his former friends in The Dark Order.  I know nothing about Vincent or Dutch, but the new stable is obviously winning this.  Should be chaotic.

Pick: The Rightous

Komander vs. Gravity

This is just a lucha showcase and I could see it opening the festivities to get the crowd going.  I know nothing about Gravity but Komander is quite entertaining.  This should be fun.  I think Komander probably wins it.

Pick: Komander

ROH Six-Man Tag Team Championship: Mogul Embassy vs. Master Wato/Ryusuke Taguichi/Leon Ruffin

Another trios match, this one for the Six-Man Titles, has Brian Cage and Gates of Agony against a trio comprised of two NJPW guys and a former NXT dude.  I think The Embassy keeps the belts.

Pick: The Embassy retains

ROH Women's Championship: Athena vs. Willow Nightingale

Big fan of this pairing.  Willow earned a title shot by beating Athena in the Owen Hart Cup semis.  I like both of these women a lot and this should be a hard-hitting match.  I feel like Willow is too valuable on AEW TV right now to have her concentrating on ROH, and Athena could keep it till she breaks the one-year mark.  I'll stick with her to retain for now.

Pick: Athena retains

ROH Tag Team Championship: Lucha Brothers vs. Best Friends vs. The Kingdom vs. Aussie Open

This will be a wild one.  Lucha Bros are awesome, as is Aussie Open.  The other two teams are quite capable.  I don't see Penta and Fenix dropping the belts just yet, but it'll be an entertaining schmozz.

Pick: Luchas retain

ROH World Championship: Claudio Castagnoli vs. Pac

This should be fantastic.  Just a great, stiff fight between two of the most consistently great workers out there.  Nice to have Pac on TV again; I hope he ends up joining the Don Callis family as he'd fit right in.  I think Claudio is being saved for Eddie, who should get a huge heartwarming title win in either August or December.

Pick: Claudio retains

So there's your lineup, I'll add matches as they come in, if they come in, but for now it's a solid five-bout card.

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