March 2nd, 2023 kicks off a new era for ROH with Tony Khan’s first batch of episodic television—4 episodes that lead up to Supercard of Honor on March 31st.
I had pondered whether I would review ROH Women’s matches. On the one hand, it’s technically a separate brand, but it’s still so tied into AEW and uses wrestlers who appear on AEW that it felt like I couldn’t ignore it. Besides, there’s some very good action in this new ROH!
Let’s get into it…
ROH – Episode 1 (Mar 2, 2023)
The first women’s match in this era of ROH is Madison Rayne & Skye Blue taking on the Renegade Twins. With no real build to this match, there wasn’t much heat to it but I will say, we usually don’t see the Renegades get much time on Dark/Elevation so it was good to see them actually get some time to work and get a better evaluation of what they can do. This was by far, in my estimation, the Renegades’ best match on a Tony Khan property. The sequences were very fluid and the action was hard hitting.
I’m curious if Skye Blue’s lack of All Elite graphic has to do with Tony Khan wanting her to be a fixture in ROH?
Skye Blue ends up scoring the pinfall victory following a Skye Fall.
Winner: Skye Blue & Madison Rayne (6:30)
This is really cool (no pun intended) to see Lady Frost on the debut episode of ROH, although she didn’t get her own entrance. She’s immensely talented and would be a great get for ROH’s exclusive roster.
Willow lights up HonorZone (or whatever they’re calling it). Willow is entertaining and infinitely likeable but early into this match she’s in rare form just hitting all her spots to everyone’s delight.
Lady Frost gets to shine doing an impressive handspring kip up as a reversal out of the corner. She’s an awesome athlete. Frost goes for her beautiful Moonsault but Willow kicks out at 2. Frost doesn’t get much offence in but she does make those moments count.
This match has a pretty spectacular finish after Lady Frost tries to Spear Willow but Willow catches her whole body and turns it into a Babe Bomb for the win.
Winner: Willow Nightingale (4:38)
Willow gives an superb post match interview, putting over ROH, her time in ROH, herself, and then challenges Athena for her World Title all while being so entertaining and loveable. What a babyface.
Athena comes out and accepts the challenge. She also calls ROH’s women’s division, her division. This was a good start to the new ROH. I don’t think the crowd was as hot as they eventually will get for this product. It reminds me of when Lucha Underground first started. Those first few episodes the crowd-piped in sound was obvious but it didn’t take long for The Temple to heat up.