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Supercard of Honor 2024 Preview


Since 2006, every year save 2012, 2020, and 2021, Ring of Honor Wrestling has presented SUPERCARD OF HONOR to the ROH faithful, and 2024 will be no different, but this year, for the very first time, ROH's marquee event will be held in the city of ROH's birth! Philadelphia be ready because this Honor Club exclusive event features five championship matches, including the crowning of the first-ever ROH Women's World TV Champion, as well as a Fight Without Honor, the involvement of six top-tier competitors from Japan's Stardom promotion, and so much more for your viewing pleasure!



SUPERCARD OF HONOR 2024 comes to you live from the Liacouras Center on the campus of Temple University in Philadelphia, with the action beginning at 7:00p ET with the ZERO HOUR on ROH's official YouTube channel, and the PPV proper starting at 8pm ET/7pm CT only on Honor Club! In addition to SUPERCARD OF HONOR, your Honor Club membership also gets you access to all the previous ROH pay-per-views since ROH joined the AEW family, as well as all previous episodes of ROH ON HONOR CLUB, and more than twenty years worth of history from the most influential wrestling promotion of the last twenty years! At $10/month, it's an absolute steal to watch the early years of competitors like Dryan Danielson, The Briscoes, Kenny Omega, Claudio Castagnoli, Kevin Steen, Christopher Daniels, Sara Del Rey, Daizee Haze, Allison Danger, and so many more athletes who shaped the sport of professional wrestling in this century!


ROH WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH...

Eddie Kingston(c) vs. Mark Briscoe



FINAL BATTLE 2003 versus Samoa Joe, ROH WAR versus Kevin Steen, BEST IN THE WORLD 2013 versus his own brother Jay, and A NEW DAWN in September 2013 versus Adam Cole; those are the only opportunities Mark Briscoe has had to challenge for the ROH World Championship despite being part of the promotion since day one in February 2002, and having his first ROH match at HONOR INVADES BOSTON six months later. Nine months ago, at DEATH BEFORE DISHONOR 2023, Mark was scheduled to fight Claudio Castagnoli for that championship, the renewal of a rivalry dating back to ROH circa 2006, but a knee injury to Mark cost him that opportunity, as well as four months of his in-ring career. As with any injury there's always two questions that linger in your mind, one being if you'll be able to come back from the injury and the other being how you'll come back from it.


In the case of Mark Briscoe, there was no if only a when, but as for the how, well he came back fighting hard, but also losing hard, dropping five straight singles matches in AEW's Continental Classic before finally beating Jay Lethal in each man's last match of the Gold League. But in the midst of that, during FINAL BATTLE 2023, he at least found some success with FTR fighting at his, success that came in the form of a Fight Without Honor victory over The Blackpool Combat Club, a match that started as an honorable fight in memory of Jay Briscoe before erupting into the violence party that took place.


Mark's in-ring life post-Continental Classic hasn't improved, in fact in some ways it has been made much worse thanks to the actions of The House of Black, but at least Mark has found allies in that fight, allies named TNT Champion Adam Copeland and ROH World Champion Eddie Kingston. That's right, the very man Mark Briscoe will fight at SUPERCARD OF HONOR 2024 is the very man who will stand by his side at AEW's DYNASTY 2024 in a Trios War against Malakai Black, Brody King, and Buddy Matthews. It's a complicated situation but Eddie Kingston is, if nothing else, a complicated man whose life as of late has been quite the complicated situation.



From the moment Kingston won the Continental Classic at WORLDS END up until March 20th when Kazuchika Okada defeated him for the AEW Continental Championship, Eddie had been responsible for the three different championships that made up this modern day American Triple Crown. He'd reigned as NJPW STRONG Openweight Champion since July 5, 2023 when he defeated KENTA and as ROH World Champion since September 20, 2023 when he bested Claudio Castagnoli, but then added the AEW Continental Championship on December 30th when he beat Jon Moxley in the Continental Classic Finals.


The responsibilities of three championships hung around the neck of Eddie Kingston, and though he fought every title fight with all three at stake in the form of the Continental Crown, he knew that at any given moment, one title could be taken away by the litany of competitors who wanted their shot, it just so happened that “The Rainmaker” was the first to rip asunder that Crown.


In the aftermath of that championship loss, Eddie Kingston was shockingly humble, asking Okada to carry the Continental Championship with the same respect he did the IWGP World Title, and honor the hard work Eddie had put into building that title up from the nothing into which it was born. Given where Eddie had come from, this response was an example of the growth Kingston had experienced as a man, but for his mentor Homicide, a former ROH World Champion and one of the most respected wrestlers of this generation, it was example of ways Eddie had grown soft. “The Notorious 187”, as Homicide has been dubbed, wanted to see the fire in Eddie's belly, the angry man who raged against loss and defeat, who responded by ripping at people's eyes, by throttling them around the neck, by cracking their heads with a chair and not caring about the consequences. Homicide essentially challenged Kingston to bring his inner demons out to play, and it looks like Mark Briscoe may have to contend with “The Last of a Dying Breed” iteration of Kingston rather than the man who carried the Continental Crown with respect, and who uttered the words “humble in victory, humble in defeat”.



That means war, that means a fight like the kind of hell Mark and Jay Briscoe would put each other through when they went head-to-head, and that's not a fight based on hate, envy, or jealousy, but one based on two men willing to do anything it takes to win. They can apologize to one another after the fight for the battle scars left behind, they can share a drink and toast to their fight after the final bell rings, but between the opening ding and the three count, Mark Briscoe and Eddie Kingston will be the worst of enemies simply because there is a championship at stake.


But not just any championship, it is the ROH World Championship that Jay Briscoe won from Kevin Steen in the Hammerstein Ballroom at SUPERCARD OF HONOR VII on April 5th 2013. It's the ROH World Championship that “The Notorious 187” Homicide won from Bryan Danielson at FINAL BATTLE 2006 inside the Manhattan Center's Grand Ballroom located seven floors above the Hammerstein. It's the ROH World Championship held by men that Mark Briscoe and Eddie Kingston have looked at as peers, as mentors, as friends, and as family, and a title that represents the most influential professional wrestling company of this century. To be the champion of Ring of Honor always meant being the absolute best professional wrestler on the planet, and even in this new era of honor that began in 2022, that has not changed. From Jonathan Gresham to Claudio Castagnoli to Eddie Kingston, and yes even “The Ocho” Chris Jericho, the men who've held that title since SUPERCARD OF HONOR 2022 have all been superb at their craft, and elevated that title in their own unique ways.



Is it Mark Briscoe's time to make his own mark on that ROH World Championship? After thirteen World Tag Title reigns with brother Jay, is it time for Mark to win that first ROH singles championship? Is this Friday night, eleven years to the day from Jay's first ROH World Championship victory, the night to simultaneously honor his brother's memory and for Chicken to begin forging his own championship legacy? Or is this the night Eddie Kingston lets his demons out to play and we see that man do his worst to continue building his legacy with the ROH World Championship his mentors Homicide, Low Ki, and the late-Xavier once carried with pride? This is going to be as visceral as it will be violent, as emotional as it will be brutal, but in the end these two warriors will hopefully shake hands, hopefully respect the Code of Honor for what it was meant to be all those years ago, and celebrate the victory together no matter who it is that leaves ROH World Champion...


ROH WOMEN'S WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH...

“The Fallen Goddess” Athena(c) vs. Hikaru Shida



“The Fallen Goddess” Athena has reigned over the ROH Women's Division since FINAL BATTLE 2022 when she bested Mercedes Martinez to claim the crown. Over the 480+ days since, Athena has successfully defended the title nineteen times over fifteen different women, including a rematch with Mercedes, a 2/3 Falls Table Match with Nyla Rose, a Chicago Street Fight with Kiera Hogan, and even a fight with her own Minion on Training Billie Starkz at FINAL BATTLE 2023. In addition to those title defenses “The Fallen Goddess” has turned away 28 Proving Ground/Eliminator challenges, is 48-0 in singles matches involving her championship, and has only tasted defeat twice in ROH, both times in tag matches where Starkz was on the losing end up the decision, making her 50-2 since December 10, 2022. As dominant as champions like Samoa Joe, Bryan Danielson, Nigel McGuinness, Jay Lethal, and RUSH were atop the Men's Division during their reigns, none of them fought as many times as Athena has during their first 480 days, certainly didn't win as many matches in that time frame, and neither Bryan nor Lethal even reached that many days in their respective reigns.


Athena is, in many ways, the most dominant performer that Ring of Honor has ever seen, but this Friday night on Honor Club, she's faced with someone who had her number once in the past, and who she is clearly worried may still have that number saved. The Hikaru Shida of today stands as a 3-Time former AEW Women's World Champion, a former 2-Time Regina Di WAVE Champion for Pro Wrestling WAVE, and 5-Time International Ribbon Tag Team Champion for Ice Ribbon, but in April 2013, when Shida defeated Athena as part of the SHIMMER VOL. 66 event, she was a relatively unknown commodity on just her second-ever tour of the United States, the first being in October of the previous year. Though by that point Shida was already a highly decorated champion in for Ice Ribbon, REINA X, OZ Academy, and WAVE, she'd only just begun to make an impression on the American audiences, but it wouldn't be until her breakout in All Elite Wrestling that she truly cemented herself in the conversation as one of the best women in the entire professional wrestling world today.


That is a conversation that Athena also became a part of as her ROH Women's World Championship reign grew in stature, and her in-ring presence became so utterly dominating. It was as if her status in Ring of Honor unlocked every bit of nastiness Athena had kept bottled up inside, and the longer her championship reign lasted, the worse it got for her opponents, whether they were well-traveled veterans or locals hoping for an opportunity, “The Fallen Goddess” treated them all with the same disdain, to the point that even her own M.I.T was on the receiving end of that attitude, but not Shida.


Try as she might to present that way, Athena was clearly shook when Shida stepped up as her next challenger several weeks ago, and after Thursday night left the defending champion laying in the shambles of a broken table with Shida hold the ROH Women's World Title belt, Athena may be coming into SUPERCARD off her game unlike she's ever been off before. For Hikaru Shida, this Friday is a chance to grow her legacy into something even greater than she already has through her work in AEW and around the world, while for Athena it's a match to show how far she's come since that 2014 fight, and demonstrate that she's no longer afraid of a fight with Shida.


A final thought, though it's likely been questioned every fight for the last year it once again needs to be posited; if this 3-Time AEW Women's World Champion ends up being unable to bring an end to the reign of “The Forever Champ”, who will be next to step up to challenge Athena's dominance? And if Shida can find the key to breaking the unbelievable run of Athena and claiming the title for herself, what will it do to Athena's psyche to no longer wear that title around her waist?


ROH WOMEN'S WORLD TV CHAMPIONSHIP TOURNAMENT FINALS...

Billie Starkz vs. Queen Aminata



For Queen Aminata, the path to this moment went through J-Rod, Taya Valkyrie, and Red Velvet and required a total of twenty-four minutes, twenty seconds of ring time.


For Billie Starkz, the road went through Robyn Renegade, Diamante, and Mercedes Martinez, and took a grand total of thirty-two minutes, fifty-seven seconds of fighting to get to this point.


Now those two journeys will converge this Friday night in Philadelphia when SUPERCARD OF HONOR 2024 hosts the finals of the ROH Women's World Television Championship tournament! It began February 15th with sixteen women all hoping to be the inaugural champion, and week-by-week it has been whittled down to just these two remaining warriors. Creeping on her seventh anniversary as a professional wrestler, Queen Aminata has demonstrated a poise beyond her years, and a fighting spirit that even veterans with multiple decades under their belt can't hope to match. She is a fighter on a mission to become the first African-born Women's Champion, and represent her home with the pride and passion she feels every time she sets foot inside the squared circle. The Queen wasn't feeling particularly juicy after her fight with Taya Valkyrie, but she had some time to recover, enough that she accompanied Hikaru Shida during the ROH Women's World Championship contract signing last night, and dropped Billie Starkz with a headbutt during the fracas.


It was quite the impactful last word, so to speak, before SUPERCARD OF HONOR 2024, but given the fight Billie Starkz has been putting up since first starting her career nearly six years ago, it's not going to enough to deter her from squaring up with Aminata Friday night. And though Athena may seem a bit frustrated that the Women's TV Title Tournament is taking any bit of focus away from her title, there's no question Billie Starkz has it in her mind that she needs to win the Women's TV Title as much to prove herself to “The Fallen Goddess” as she needs it for herself.



This tournament has come down to two hungry young women looking to make history as the first ROH Women's World TV Champion, and there can only ever be one first for any championship, but will it be Billie Starkz or Queen Aminata who etches their name in the history books? Tune into SUPERCARD OF HONOR 2024 this Friday night on Honor Club to see who is the first woman to raise that championship title up as their own!


ROH WORLD TELEVISION CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH...

Kyle Fletcher(c) vs. “Big Shotty” Lee Johnson



On the road to FINAL BATTLE 2023, Lee Johnson defeated Josh Woods to qualify for the Survival of The Fittest Elimination match while Kyle Fletcher bested Gravity to earn his spot in that battle to earn the vacant ROH World Television Championship. Unfortunately for Johnson, on December 15th he was the very first man eliminated in the bout, lasting nearly nine minutes before falling victim to Lee Moriarty, and heading to the back where he watched Kyle Fletcher put away Bryan Keith and Komander to earn the coveted title.


Now wearing a belt made famous by men like Samoa Joe, Jay Lethal, Adam Cole, Matt Taven, and Christopher Daniels, to name a handful, Kyle Fletcher stated his mission was to become the greatest ROH World Television in history, and he began that mission in earnest by successfully defending the title on three consecutive episodes of ROH ON HONOR CLUB, including one over Christopher Daniels. Then Don Callis came calling, and Kyle Fletcher got wrapped up in Family business on several All Elite Wrestling events, including a fight with Chris Jericho and battling DCF member Will Ospreay, but on the March 28th edition of ROH ON HONOR CLUB, the World Television Champion returned to the fold and got right back to work with a victory over “All Heart” Blake Christian. That win marked the fourth title defense of Fletcher's reign, and as he heads into SUPERCARD OF HONOR 2024, he is poised to break into the top half of the thirty-one all-time TV Title reigns.


Meanwhile, while Fletcher was splitting the time since FINAL BATTLE 2023 between Don Callis Family business and his responsibilities as ROH World Television Champion, “Big Shotty” Lee Johnson was quietly building a strong contender's resume in Ring of Honor. In his twelve matches since December 15th, Johnson has only lost two (one to Chris Daniels and one to Dante Martin) and is currently on a nine match winning streak, including one taking place on last night's edition of ROH ON HONOR CLUB over Nick Comoroto! That's two Trios victories, one Four Corner Survival win, and seven straight singles matches over men such as Comoroto, Aaron Solo, Mike Sydal, Sonico, and Gravity. With each victory, Lee Johnson's confidence has only grown stronger, and shows not only in his ring work, but it is also evident in the words he spoke to Renee Paquette in the above included interview.



So this Friday night at SUPERCARD OF HONOR 2024, Lee Johnson hopes to strike while the iron is hot, and while Kyle Fletcher is torn between his two worlds of responsibility. This could be the moment we watch a new star rise in the skies over Ring of Honor, and that star's name could be “Big Shotty” Lee Johnson! The eyes of the world are always on SUPERCARD OF HONOR, so there's no better moment for Lee Johnson to break through to that next level than this Friday night on Honor Club (www.watchroh.com)!


ROH WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH...

The Undisputed Kingdom (Matt Taven & Mike Bennett)(c) vs.

The Infantry (Capt. Shawn Dean & Carlie Bravo)



Congratulations are in order for The Infantry of “Bad News & Tattoos” Carlie Bravo and Capt. Shawn Dean; on Thursday night's edition of ROH ON HONOR CLUB, the duo became the first competitors, in any division, to earn a title match via Proving Ground since February 9, 2020. That's thirty-five Proving Ground matches, a great many of them featuring ROH Women's World Champion Athena, where the potential challengers could neither defeat the reigning champions, nor even last the time limit.


Thursday night in Worcester at the DCU Center, The Infantry broke that losing streak, and are set to reap their reward just twenty-four hours later here at SUPERCARD OF HONOR 2024! As mentioned prior to their Honor Club bout, The Infantry and The Undisputed Kingdom have a bit of history that dates back to the first episode of ROH ON HONOR CLUB when The Infantry lost to Taven and Bennett. It picked back up three months later when The Kingdom again defeated Bravo and Dean, but The Infantry would score a victory of their own just three weeks later, in part because of Trish Adora's addition to their unit helping to neutralize Maria's presence with Taven and Bennett.


This led to a Mixed Trios match where Adora and The Infantry lost to Taven, Bennett, and Leyla Hirsch, sending the two groups back down separate paths, a path that ultimately led to the formation of The Undisputed Kingdom for Taven and Bennett, as well as the beginning of their third ROH World Tag Team Title reign. For Carlie Bravo and Shawn Dean, the road took them to unexpected places like defeating The House of Black in the Wildcard round of the AEW World Tag Title Tournament, and coming close to also upsetting FTR in their Quarter-Final match.


Now, instead of finding themselves on the cusp of challenging for the AEW World Tag Titles, after surviving the time limit in Thursday's Proving Ground affair, The Infantry is now in contention for the ROH World Tag Titles for the very first time! They've proven in the past that they can beat Taven and Bennett, but can they repeat that feat at SUPERCARD OF HONOR 2024 when the pressure is at its highest?


STARDOM TRIOS ACTION...

Queen's Quest (AZM & Saya Kamitani) and Tam Nakano vs. Empress Nexus Venus (World of Stardom Champion Maika & Mina Shirakawa) and Mei Seira


Suffice to say there is a rich history intertwining the six women coming to Ring of Honor from Japan's Stardom promotion this Friday night to participate in SUPERCARD OF HONOR 2024. From the factions that comprise the Stardom roster that each woman is involved with, to the championship that have traded hands between them, these six women have a history that makes for an explosive combination in this Trios match.


Let's start with the trio of Cosmic Angel's founder Tam Nakano and Queen's Quest representatives AZM(pronounced Azumi) and Saya Kamitani; Nakano has held four different championship in Stardom, including being one of just two women to hold the World of Stardom (or Red Belt) and Wonder of Stardom (or White Belt) titles simultaneously. Her reign with the World of Stardom Title was brought to an abrupt end after 211 days when a knee injury forced her to vacate the championship in October 2023, leading directly to Maika claiming the title in December 2023, and holding said championship to this day. Nakano has serious ties that bind with a few of her opponents for this contest, as Tam was responsible for bring Mina Shirakawa into Stardom in the first place as part of her STARS faction prior to the two breaking off into the Cosmic Angels. Nakano even held the Artist of Stardom championship (Trios Championship) with Mina as one of her partners, but that didn't stop Shirakawa from splintering off into another faction, this one known as Club Venus, right alongside Mariah May and Xia Brookside. That betrayal created a long-standing rivalry between Mina Shirakawa and Tam Nakano, but it's one where Mina has never managed to score a singles victory, even losing her Wonder of Stardom belt to Nakano in a title-for-title bout with the World of Stardom also at stake.


As for the Queen's Quest pair, AZM began her wrestling training at the age of nine, debuted at twelve years old, and since then the now-21 year old prodigy has captured the Stardom High Speed Championship twice, a title for which she holds the record for most defenses at 12 during her second reign, and is a former 3-Time Artist of Stardom Champion. Saya Kamitani is a record-setting champion in her own right, notching 15 successful defenses during her 480 day reign as World of Stardom champion, and she also has some deep ties to the three women they'll be facing at SUPERCARD OF HONOR 2024. A November 2022 World of Stardom Championship match with Mina Shirakawa resulted in Mina sustaining a serious mouth injury from Saya's Phoenix Splash, an injury that put Mina on the shelf for the remainder of 2022, and made Kamitani gun shy about using the Phoenix for the remainder of her championship reign. But by early 2023, Saya would be back in action and ultimately end Mina's 480 day reign with the White Belt in April 23rd of last year.  Maika and Saya have fought over every title in Stardom, including a World of Stardom bout on February 4th of this year, and Saya's Goddesses of Stardom (Tag Team) Championship reign was ended just six days ago by Mei Seira and Suzu Suzuki.


As for the other side of the match, current High Speed and Goddesses of Stardom Champion Mei Seira is unaffiliated when it comes to the factions in the promotion, but she does have an on-going rivalry with AZM when it comes to the High Speed Championship and her Goddesses of Stardom partner, Suzu Suzuki, is the woman Maika beat to claim the World of Stardom Championship back in December. Now Maika, in addition to holding that championship, is also part of the current Artist of Stardom Championship trio along Mina Shirakawa and Xena, collectively known as The Empress NeXus Venus(or EXV). ROH fans also recently saw Shirakawa make her debut in a hard-fought victory over Anna Jay during the March 21st edition of ROH ON HONOR CLUB, and if match is any indication of what these women will bring to the table on April 5th, Ring of Honor fans are in for a treat!


As far back as 2006, when the original SUPERCARD OF HONOR presented a landscape-shifting Six-Man Tag from the players out of Dragon Gate Pro Wrestling, competitors from around the world displaying all styles of professional wrestling, have made an impact on ROH during SUPERCARD events, and this year looks to be no different as the athletes from Stardom come to town!


In late breaking news, just last night on the Stardom AMERICAN DREAM 2024 IN THE KEYSTONE STATE event, Mei Seira was dethroned as High Speed Champion by Saki Kashima!


***A special thank you goes out to Matt Turner of the Stardom Podcast for providing a plethora of information regarding this match.***


FIGHT WITHOUT HONOR...

Dalton Castle vs. Johnny TV



For months Johnny TV and Taya Valkyrie have lived in the head of Dalton Castle; ever since Castle beat him on the December 7th edition of ROH ON HONOR CLUB, Johnny and Taya have made life hellish for the former ROH World Champion. From being directly responsible for Dalton's elimination from the Survival of the Fittest Finals at FINAL BATTLE 2023, to driving Castle mad in his hunt to punch Johnny in the face, to taking his Boys away from him and, apparently, losing them in the woods to be possibly eaten by bears, Johnny and Taya have made life hell for Dalton Castle.


But now Dalton has a chance to right the wrongs, well maybe not The Boys possibly being eaten by bears, but at least right the humiliation and embarrassment that has been heaped upon his life these last four months, and he gets to do it under one of ROH's most potentially violent stipulations: the Fight Without Honor! Since the stipulation was first introduced at GLORY BY HONOR 2002 with Samoa Joe's ROH debut, there have been twenty-three such matches, seventeen of them in one-on-one bouts, and Dalton Castle actually earned the victory in one of those on the 4/9/16 edition of ROH WRESTLING that is actually available as part of an Honor Club subscription.



Since the AEW acquisition of Ring of Honor two years ago, there have been three Fight Without Honor bouts, but this Friday night will mark the first singles match under that stipulation since Shane Taylor collided with Kenny King at FINAL BATTLE 2021: END OF AN ERA, and that bout was quite the violent, hard-hitting affair. That's the beauty, and the horror, of what a Fight Without Honor can be once the bell rings; given it's a fight where the referee only exists to ring the bell to start and finish the match, anything can happen in between. The original FWH was a vicious striking affair, one devoid of weapons save the bodies of Samoa Joe and Low Ki, but then there's the FINAL BATTLE 2012 battle between Kevin Steen and El Generico that was as littered emotion as it was with weapons and blood. There's the Briscoes battling Haas and Benjamin and the latter two using ether to end the contest, or there's the absolute war from FINAL BATTLE 2023 between Blackpool Combat Club and FTR/Mark Briscoe; it's a stipulation that can become anything, so when it's two men like Dalton Castle and Johnny TV, it's going to be quite an interesting stipulation to watch unfold!



Then, perhaps when this is all said and done, Lexy Nair can finally get some peace, even if just for one week...


-Cole Karter & Griff Garrison (w/ Maria??) vs. Angelico & Serpentico



This Friday night, SUPERCARD OF HONOR 2024 hails from Philadelphia and the Liacouras Center on the campus of Temple University! Headlined by AEW Women's World Champion Athena putting her title on the line against Hikaru Shida and AEW World Champion Eddie Kingston inviting the challenge of Mark Briscoe, we will also see the first-ever ROH Women's World TV Champion crowned, as well as a Men's World TV Championship bout between Kyle Fletcher and Lee Johnson, and a ROH World Tag Team Championship contest! In addition, six women from Japan's Stardom promotion will grace the ROH ring with their own style of professional wrestling, and there will be a Fight Without Honor between Johnny TV and Dalton Castle to settle their score! The night begins at 7:00p ET with the SUPERCARD: ZERO HOUR on ROH's official YouTube channel, and continues with the PPV proper getting under at 8pm ET/7pm CT exclusively on Honor Club!



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