Last week on Honor Club, the ROH faithful were treated to a pair of championship matches with Christopher Daniels failing to dethrone Katsuyori Shibata as ROH Pure Champion, and Miyu Yamashita falling a bit short against ROH Women's World Champion Athena! Plus, the new ROH World Tag Team Champion Lucha Brothers teamed up with Mark Briscoe for Trios action, Konosuke Takeshita was back in ROH action, The Righteous of Dutch and Vincent made their return to the fold, and so did “The Franchise of ROH” Jay Lethal!
This week, the best pound-for-pound pro wrestling on the planet returns to Rhode Island for the first time since 2016's CONQUEST TOUR: NIGHT 3 event (available with an Honor Club subscription), and presents Claudio Castagnoli defending this ROH World Championship against “The King of Rope” Metalik, two former partners colliding in Wheeler Yuta and “Hot Sauce” Tracy Williams, Athena welcoming Ashley D'Amboise into her Proving Ground, ROH Pure Champion Shibata and his pupil Alex Coughlin in action, and so much more! The action gets started at 7pm ET/6pm CT exclusively on Honor Club, the home for hundreds of hours of Ring of Honor history, as well as new episodes every single Thursday night!
ROH WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH...
Claudio Castagnoli(c) vs. Metalik
Coming out of his successful ROH World Championship defense against Eddie Kingston at SUPERCARD OF HONOR 2023, Claudio Castagnoli has essentially stated that anyone worthy can have an opportunity, anyone that is but “The Mad King”.
So with that in mind, this Thursday night a very special athlete has stepped up to the challenge, a man nearly became a ROH World Six Man Champion at SoH 2023, the high-flying Metalik! Having trained with the legendary Skayde, Claudio is quite familiar with the Lucha Libre style of professional wrestling, and has even incorporated aspects of it into his own game over the years. In addition, Metalik and Claudio are no strangers to one another, having competed in multiple matches opposite one another during 2020, including one singles match won by Claudio back in September of that year.
That being said, the competitive style of Metalik makes him a hard wrestler to prepare for; you never know what direction he's going to be coming from, or from which rope he may come flying at you. This battle is very much one of speed versus power, strength versus agility, and it is certainly going to test the mettle of both champion and challenger! Could the ROH faithful see the crowning of a new ROH World Champion this Thursday night on Honor Club?
Wheeler Yuta vs. Tracy Williams
The early years of Wheeler Yuta and Tracy Williams wrestling careers are inexorably tied together; although Williams has a few years more experience than his opponent for this Thursday, Williams started in late 2009 while Yuta in 2014, the two men have been part of each other's lives since even before their first bout in July 2016. They trained together at The Wrestle Factory in Philadelphia, and then following their first collision, actually formed a successful tag team dubbed Hot Wheelz, facing teams like Ortiz & Santana, Joey Janela & Orange Cassidy, and Alex Reynolds & John Silver, just to name a few.
They even returned to competition against one another when Tracy reigned as the IWTV Independent Wrestling Champion in 2018, and revisited it one more time at the end of 2021. In their three singles collisions, Tracy holds two of the victories, but that was before Yuta earned his way into The Blackpool Combat Club and began his tutelage under a collection of the greatest fighters in modern pro wrestling. Yuta, though recently dethroned as Pure Champion by the legendary Katsuyori Shibata, has more than proven himself as an elite competitor over the last year, especially when he made history be becoming the only 2-Time Pure Champion in Ring of Honor history.
As for Tracy Williams, he is a former ROH World Tag Team Champion with Rhett Titus as well as a former ROH World Television Champion, and heads into this bout after matches with Jeff Cobb at SUPERCARD OF HONOR 2023: ZERO HOUR and against Daniel Garcia on last week's edition of ROH ON HONOR CLUB. Much like Yuta, pure wrestling is a style that hits Williams' sweet spot, the man was on the losing side of the Pure Tournament finals to crown a new champion back in October 2020, fought in multiple Pure Rules matches that did not involve the championship, and even in ushered those rules over to tag team wrestling alongside Titus.
So while this is not a Pure Rules match, given the bond between these two men and the style in which both excel, it may be the style this match takes on...but then again, the violent tendencies of The Blackpool Combat Club come come to the forefront and show Tracy a side of Yuta he's never experienced...
PROVING GROUND MATCH...
ROH Women's World Champion Athena vs. Ashley D’Amboise
After defeating Yuka Sakazaki at SUPERCARD OF HONOR 2023 and Miyu Yamashita just days later during ROH ON HONOR CLUB, ROH Women's World Champion Athena is on a tremendous roll. She's won 18 consecutive matches in Ring of Honor, successfully defended her championship on 8 occasions, and turned away nine different potential challengers in Proving Ground/Eliminator Matches. Athena is well on her way to becoming one of the most dominant champions in Ring of Honor history, across all divisions; she's one win away from tying Rok-C's record of nine defenses, and less than 100 days away from topping Mercedes Martinez's record for longevity as champ, but how she has accomplished her success so far is what marks her as a dominant force above those aforementioned former champs.
That doesn't mean it's going to stop other competitors from coming after the crown though, or at least trying to earn their way into a championship fight. The next woman looking to take on that challenge will do so this Thursday night on Honor Club, and that is Ashley D'Amboise! Despite having just under two years experience, Ashley has been inside the ring with some of the best competition AEW has to offer, as well as putting in the work honing her craft around the independent wrestling scene. Now, in her Ring of Honor debut, D'Amboise is looking to take down the top dog and earn herself a future Women's World Championship opportunity! Will the lessons learned Nyla Rose, Thunder Rosa, Kris Statlander, and Emi Sakura manifest into victory against “The Fallen Goddess”?
ROH Pure Champion Katsuyori Shibata & Alex Coughlin vs. The Workhorsemen (Anthony Henry & JD Drake)
Skye Blue vs. Kelly Madan
Mark Briscoe vs. The Varsity Athletes' Ari Daivari
Willow Nightingale vs. LMK
The Dark Order's Stu Grayson vs. The Varsity Athletes' Tony Nese
Top Flight's Darius Martin vs. The Kingdom's Mike Bennett
ROH ON HONOR CLUB comes at you this Thursday night starting at 7pm ET/6pm CT and will feature MATCHES AND STUFF!!! The fights are available exclusively with an HONOR CLUB subscription, which nets fans each new episode every Thursday night, as well as classic events like FINAL BATTLE 2008 with Bryan Danielson versus Morishima in a Fight Without Honor, as well as Straight Shootin' with Mick Foley, and the Creating Excellence series!