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ROH TV recap & reactions (Mar. 30, 2023): Hijo del Vikingo amazes again

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Week five in the ROH TV revival (Mar. 30, 2023) acted as the go-home to Supercard of Honor on March 31. Tony Khan Enterprises delivered a few surprises, including Hijo del Vikingo in action. The luchador rocked the ring with amazing athleticism as only he can.

Hijo del Vikingo burst onto the scene for those with fresh eyes to his luchador skills when wrestling Kenny Omega in a dream match last week on Dynamite. Vikingo backed up that effort with an encore against Blake Christian on ROH TV.

Let’s get right to the highlights. Shout-out to Caprice Coleman for calling the moves. First is Vikingo with a double springboard front flip senton.

Second is an inside-out springboard 450 splash.

Christian had his own share of slick moves. His best chance at victory came when executing a standing Spanish Fly on the floor then following with a 450 splash in the ring. Vikingo kicked out, and the action carried forth.

In the end, Christian lifted Vikingo in a powerbomb position. The luchador countered for a rana driver pin to win.

Even though the super highlights are showcased here, this match wasn’t just a spotfest. There was strategy involved and gamesmanship for a little bit of an in-ring story. This performance from Vikingo was different from the debut versus Omega.

ROH TV quick results:

Aussie Open defeated Tony Nese & Ari Daivari via Corealis. Mark Sterling caused several distractions, so Aussie Open gave a double kick to knock the lawyer on his ass. The NJPW tag team pinned Nese on their teamwork finisher.

Miyu Yamashita defeated Shazza McKenzie via spinning head kick. Competitive contest. Yamashita was presented as the centerpiece of Tokyo Joshi Pro-Wrestling. They didn’t book her like it. This was an ordinary match that did little to put Yamashita over as an ace.

The Embassy defeated JD Griffey, Dak Draper, & Arjun Singh via destruction. Brian Cage, Kaun, and Toa Liona made quick work of their opponents. Cage pinned Singh on a deadlift suplex.

Metalik & AR Fox defeated The Infantry via flying elbow drop. Shawn Dean and Carlie Bravo isolated Metalik. Hot tag to Fox running wild. Bravo still had fight left in him until Fox executed a springboard Spanish Fly. Metalik finished with a rope-walking flying elbow drop.

ROH Women’s World Championship: Athena retained against Emi Sakura via choke submission. The challenger was flanked by Mei Suruga and Baliyan Akki. Physical action. Athena had the early edge, so Suruga tried a flying crossbody off the ring steps. Athena caught her to body slam on the floor. Sakura took advantage of the distraction to control the match. Sakura hit a delayed butterfly backbreaker and a moonsault, but Athena kicked out on the cover. Athena fired up with aggression, and Sakura fired right back for a battle of fisticuffs. Sakura went for her inverted swinging DDT finisher, however, Athena cartwheeled out to land a big boot. Sakura countered Athena’s flying stunner finisher into the inverted swinging DDT. Athena was in serious trouble and still kicked out. In the end, Athena slammed Sakura then transitioned for a cranking chinlock choke to win.

Athena’s streak of poor sportsmanship continued with a post-match beatdown targeting Sakura’s knee. Suruga jumped on Athena’s back, but that did little to stop Athena’s rage. Yuka Sakazaka ran in to clobber Athena in a tease for their title fight at Supercard of Honor. Security separated the melee, then the Magical Girl leaped for a flying crossbody onto the pile below. Sakazaki grabbed the title belt to stand tall.

The Kingdom & Los Ingobernables defeated Lucha Bros & Top Flight via Bull’s Horns. This was a tease for the tag title ladder match at Supercard of Honor. All four teams plus Aussie Open will compete for gold. The rudos managed to divide and conquer. Darius Martin was alone in the end. Dralistico hit a springboard Mexican Destroyer, and Rush finished with his signature running dropkick in the corner.

Mark Briscoe represented the Briscoe Brothers in his final night as tag team champion. Wrestling Samoa Joe for the ROH television title at Supercard of Honor will be the biggest singles match of Mark’s career. Winning the title is his destiny. Joe popped up on the big screen huffing and puffing about the disrespect. Joe advised that Mark focus on the reality of survival.

Jay Lethal was solo backstage. He had something to say face to face to Mark Briscoe, and it didn’t involve the rest of his crew. Lethal wanted to be the first person to wish Mark luck in bringing home the ROH TV title. This promo seemed genuine from Lethal, but I suspect it plants seeds for Lethal to be Mark’s first challenger. That is assuming Mark beats Joe.

ROH Pure Championship: Wheeler Yuta retained against Leon Ruffin via submission. Production added the Pure scoreboard and clock timer. Thumbs up for that. Ruffin used his first rope-break on an octopus submission and his second rope-break on a leg lock. Ruffin rallied with shifty movement until Yuta blasted him out of the air. The champ earned victory on a hammerlock crossface submission at 5:25.

Yuta cut a promo running down the failed challengers during his reign. Their efforts weren’t enough, and Katsuyori Shibata’s efforts won’t be enough either at Supercard of Honor. Enter the man himself in a surprise appearance. Shibata walked down to the ring, smacked the microphone out of Yuta’s hand, and stared the champ down cold. Yuta backed away out of the ring.

Hijo del Vikingo defeated Blake Christian via rana driver. Vikingo and Christian wowed the crowd with crazy moves. Vikingo countered a powerbomb into a hurricanrana driver for the roll-up pin to win.

Afterward, Prince Nana approached Christian backstage. Nana advised that Christian take the night off on Friday to avoid stepping in the ring against the Embassy in the six-man title bout. Christian stood by his All Heart nickname and refused to back down, so Nana called in the musclemen. Cage, Kaun, and Liona smashed Christian to send a message.

Eddie Kingston defeated Christopher Daniels via spinning backfist. Kingston did not look good for a man challenging for the ROH world title at Supercard of Honor. He was gassed early (which might have to do with catching COVID in real life) and fighting from behind for much of the bout. Kingston pulled through when it mattered most. He stunned Daniels on an enzuigiri and whacked a mole on two spinning backfists to win.

Afterward, Claudio Castagnoli entered the ring with the shiny world championship title. He held the belt high in Kingston’s face. Words were exchanged, and Kingston backed up in a fighting stance. Kingston wanted the match right now and demanded the official to ring the bell. Claudio calmly unbuttoned his shirt as if he was going to engage, then he rolled outside to play mind games. Claudio was content to wait for the PPV. Kingston whined about Claudio leaving him back in the day to find success in WWE. The Mad King plans to carry on the legacy of Xavier, Low Ki, and Homicide to win the ROH World Championship.

The first 37 minutes of this ROH TV episode made me angry as a waste of my time on a busy wrestling night. That was low effort from booker man of the year. The matches were adequate as a step up in quality from Elevation and Dark, but they were just random contests. The show really picked up for the ROH Women’s World Championship bout between Athena and Emi Sakura. That was worthy of being on Dynamite. Finally, the PPV stories kicked in for a go-home show. The skirmish with Yuka Sakazaki was spicy, the surprise appearance from Katsuyori Shibata was electric, and various promos hyped Supercard of Honor. Plus, we received the treat of Hijo del Vikingo. This would have been a darn entertaining show if ROH cut off the first 37 minutes.

For the watch list, I’m rolling two deep. Put eyes on Athena versus Sakura and Vikingo versus Blake Christian. The rest was fine as standard fare for this new era of ROH TV.

Supercard of Honor airs at 7 pm ET on Bleacher Report in the USA and on Fite TV for the rest of the world.

Share your thoughts on the latest ROH TV episode. Who were the standout performers?

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