Thursday night is upon us and that means a new episode of ROH ON HONOR CLUB coming to the ROH faithful at 7pm ET/6pm CT, exclusively on Honor Club, and featuring a ROH World Championship match between Claudio Castagnoli and Rocky Romero! Plus, Ethan Page makes a return to ROH competition for the first time in nearly a decade to face Griff Garrison, The Gates of Agony are in action, as is former ROH Women's World Champion Mercedes Martinez, and Cleveland's own Shane Taylor comes home to fight “Big Shotty” Lee Johnson! All that and more is coming to you on Thursday, only on Honor Club, the home for the history of the most influential pro wrestling company of the 21st century!
ROH WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH...
Claudio Castagnoli(c) vs. Rocky Romero
It's been a long time since Claudio and Rocky Romero have gone one-on-one, since April 17th of 2007 to be exact, specifically the FIGHTING SPIRIT event in Edison, NJ, where Rocky bested Castagnoli. Their one other singles match, taking place a month prior for PWG, saw Claudio pick up the victory, and though they would meet a couple other times on the indies, as well as their one trios match here in AEW, this is essentially the rubber match for their career with both men having experienced so much since the spring of '07.
Now while Rocky always has a lot on his plate between his own wrestling career and his work with New Japan, Claudio has a particularly heavy weight to carry at the moment as AEW barrels towards GRAND SLAM 2023 where Castagnoli is set to fight Eddie Kingston with both the ROH World Championship and the NJPW STRONG Open Weight Title on the line. Rocky Romero could play spoiler to that fight though, and rob Eddie of the opportunity to take the ROH title from Claudio himself, he's certainly proven capable of beating the ROH World Champ in the past, but Double C is operating on a whole other level right now, going undefeated in ROH singles competition since FINAL BATTLE 2022 when he beat Chris Jericho to become champion. In fact, the only ROH-centric battle that Claudio has lost was when he and Wheeler Yuta challenged The Lucha Brothers for the ROH World Tag Team titles four months ago.
Rocky, on the other hand, has been inconsistent in his ROH competition since the dawn of the new era, alternating between success and defeat, potential championships and standard clashes, but this is his biggest opportunity to date, as well as his first ROH World Championship opportunity since facing Cody Rhodes at ROH ELITE on 11/11/17. Can Rocky rock the boat for GRAND SLAM 2023, or will Claudio carry his crown to Arthur Ashe?
Griff Garrison vs. “All Ego” Ethan Page
ALL STAR EXTRAVAGANZA VI, 9/6/14, that was the last time Ethan Page stepped inside a ROH ring after competing on ten or so events that year, but this Thursday night he makes a return to that realm, and against another young man limited ROH competition prior to his AEW introduction, but who's been fighting to earn his spot in the new era over the last several weeks: Griff Garrison.
Now if one were to go check out some late 2019 events on Honor Club, they might catch a glimpse of a very young Griff Garrison trying to earn his stripes in the tag team division alongside Marcus Kross. At ROH: THE EXPERIENCE 2019, their The Master & The Machine tag team even had the opportunity to challenge The Briscoes for the ROH World Tag Titles, a fight that obviously did not go their way, but it showed the potential they carried. Then a worldwide pandemic shut down ROH for months, and a few months after his last ROH match, Griff would make his first AEW appearance on a June 2020 episode of DARK.
But a few weeks back, after rehabbing an injury for some eight months, Griff Garrison returned to the Ring of Honor landscape looking to pick up where he left off in February 2020, and establish himself as a force within these ropes. Ego, having come up during the time when ROH was heavily influencing every bit of wrestling, has always wanted the chance to plant his flag here as he's done so many other places, and now perhaps this will be the beginning of the opportunity to do just that!
Shane Taylor vs. Lee Johnson
Though he'd hoped to be coming home with the ROH World Television Championship once more in his possession, Shane Taylor is excited to be back in Cleveland for this Thursday night's edition of ROH ON HONOR CLUB, and for the opportunity to compete in front of the fans who've rallied behind him since day one. If nothing else, at least he can return with his head held high, knowing that he put Samoa Joe on the ropes in that fight at ALL OUT 2023, and gave the champ everything he had in that losing effort to regain the crown.
So it is with the motivation to make-up for that loss that Taylor returns home to Cleveland, and it's unfortunate for Lee Johnson that he's drawn this lot for Thursday night's edition of ROH ON HONOR CLUB! Lee Johnson is fairly fresh to ROH competition, but just last week he did his level best to earn a ROH World Championship match when he met Claudio Castagnoli on the Proving Ground, but like everyone else who's tried that route, he failed.
But it did give him a taste of what it means to rock with the best in Ring of Honor, and now Lee gets that once more in this meeting with one of the most dominating TV Champions in ROH's history. Can Shane T make up for his Chicago loss with the support of his hometown people, or will Big Shotty's taste last week motivate him to get back into that position?
-Gates of Agony (Bishop Kaun & Toa Liona w/ Prince Nana) vs. Cole Radrick & Matt Brannigan
-Josh Woods in action!
-Lady Frost vs. Willow Nightingale
-Former ROH Women's World Champion Mercedes Martinez!
-And so much more!!!!
ROH ON HONOR CLUB is back this Thursday night at 7pm ET/6pm CT, exclusively on Honor Club, and will include a ROH World Championship defense as Claudio Castagnoli puts his title on the line against Rocky Romero! Two-thirds of the ROH World Six-Man Champions The Gates of Agony will be in action, so will former ROH Women's World Champion Mercedes Martinez, and Cleveland's own Shane Taylor returns home for a match “Big Shotty” Lee Johnson! It's all coming your way on Honor Club, the home for over two decades of professional wrestling's most influential 21st century promotion!