After what must be an all-time low of 2 women’s matches across this week’s AEW Dark & Dark Elevation, we got 3 women’s matches (instead of the regular 2) on ROH this week!
Skye Blue, who commentary puts over as being undefeated in ROH, takes on Kelly Madan who I’m not familiar with and I’m not seeing a CageMatch profile on her either. Her gear is very similar to Skye’s except her gear is lilac coloured. Skye Lilac? I joke but aesthetically, Madan looks polished, fit, and showed personality.
Skye early on puts Madan in a Hammer Lock which Kelly repeatedly tries to get out of but Skye maintains. Kelly momentarily puts together a string of offence but Skye reverses the momentum with a really great looking kick to the face in the corner and eventually finishes Madan with the Skye Fall but not my preferred version of the Skye Fall where she holds her opponent off the ground.
It’s hard to tell what Madan has as this was only a 2-minute match with limited moves but everything was executed well at least.
Winner: Skye Blue (2:06)
Ian & Caprice are so on fire on Willow’s entrance rap! Truly a highlight of ROH for me. Little Mean Kathleen (LMK) bites Willows hand early in to escape a hold and she manages to stomp severally shallow mud holes on Willow in the corner. But it’s not long before the unstoppable smiling monster runs LMK over, finishing her with a Stampede Powerslam. It was interesting to see Willow finish the match in this way. I’ve always pitched that wrestlers should have an “ETF” or “Enhancement Talent Finisher” that they regularly finish matches with but don’t put away top level talent with it. That way when someone kicks out of it, it signals to the crowd that they’ve levelled up.
LMK is a fun character. It’s not hard to imagine her developing a couple of comedic sequences—even ones where it’s her taking the damage—that really get over with a crowd, and that’s no slight. Ric Flair used to always get thrown off the top rope. Rick Rude used to look like a cartoon character when he’d get atomic dropped. Comedy wrestling is no joke.
Winner: Willow Nightingale (1:49)
Ashley D’Amboise is one of my favourite unsigned wrestlers but perhaps that’s “was” as, rumour has it, she’s signed with AEW. Athena, meanwhile, is just a monster. Perhaps the best Champion across all of AEW & ROH. This is a “Championship Proving Ground Match” in which D’Amboise can earn a shot by either beating Athena or simply lasting 10-minutes, which is a concept that I love.
Athena reverses out of a hold using her incredible athleticism only for D’Amboise to return the favour 10x over showing off her own athleticism. Ashley gets caught up celebrating and Athena dropkicks her. And then Athena, because she knows exactly what I like, just spams the Dropkick button over and over because it keeps working.
Ashley makes her way back in utilizing her… I want to call it a “Leg Lariat”? Athena throws D’Amboise off a top turnbuckle onto the apron HARD and then baseball slides her in the back off the apron, followed by a diving forearm through the ropes which catches D’Amboise FLUSH in the jaw and then hits her with another elbow to the jaw, whips her into the barricade, toss on the floor, knees to D’Amboise’s head against the steps. Damn, this whole sequence was incredible. And then Athena wins with the O-Face which is sold with incredible effect by D’Amboise.
Winner: Athena (5:14)
After the match, Ashley has an interview with Lexy Nair expressing that she didn’t find Athena to be very ‘honourable’. Athena must’ve overhead this because she runs in and kicks Ashley’s ass before welcoming her to Ring Of Honor.
I really liked this match and I really liked the post-match segment. Ashley has a couple matches on Dark/Elevation that haven’t been televised yet that I’m really looking forward to. I hope Athena “welcoming” her to ROH wasn’t just a throwaway line!