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ROH TV recap & reactions (Apr. 6, 2023): Konosuke Takeshita proved he doesn’t need Don Callis

Week six in the ROH TV revival (Apr. 6, 2023) featured two title fights within ten matches total. Katsuyori Shibata bested Christopher Daniels to retain the Pure Championship, and Athena tapped into her aggression to dispatch of Miyu Yamashita to retain the women’s title. The real takeaway for me from the show was Konosuke Takeshita proving that he doesn’t need Don Callis as his manager.

Callis has been recruiting Takeshita over the past few months. The world sees high potential for Takeshita’s career, however, he has failed to earn the big win to date in AEW. Takeshita also suffered from being solo when running up against cheating factions. Callis aims to help him on both accounts. Well, Takeshita showed that he can overcome the odds when wrestling Tony Nese.

Nese was flanked by Mark Sterling, Josh Woods, and Ari Daivari. The bystanders provided persistent physical interference and distractions. Takeshita turned the tide with a leaping dive to the outside onto the Varsity Athletes.

The match continued in a competitive nature. Nese hit a slick outside in springboard moonsault.

In the end, the master of the German suplex struck with style. Nese charged for his running knee finisher. Takeshita dodged then grabbed a waistlock to roll on the mat into a bridging German suplex for the win. Impressive!

In terms of entertainment, that was a good match and a fun win from a babyface wrestler. If ROH wanted to stay with the Callis story, then this is a match that Takeshita should have lost. Since he didn’t, that proves to me that Takeshita doesn’t need Callis. He’ll get by just fine on his own. There are other teachers in the wrestling world that can help him reach the next level of success. And on that topic, commentary teased that several managers have been scouting Takeshita. Could that be a sign of things to come?

ROH TV quick results:

Mark Briscoe, Fenix, & Pentagon defeated Shane Taylor, JD Drake, & Anthony Henry via Jay Driller. Taylor and the Workhorsemen was an odd pairing slapped together with no reason. QT Marshall and Will Hobbs were in the front row scouting the Lucha Bros prior to the ROH tag title defense at Battle of the Belts. The bad guys blitzed Briscoe with a piledriver from Taylor, double knees from Henry, and a shining wizard from Drake. The Lucha Bros made the save on the pin. The good guys rallied with a jumping spin kick from Fenix to Taylor, Pentagon using Fenix as a stepping stool for a Mexican Destroyer to Drake, and Briscoe finishing Henry with a Jay Driller.

ROH Pure Championship: Katsuyori Shibata retained against Christoper Daniels via penalty kick. Shibata forced Daniels to use two rope breaks to escape submissions. Daniels did his best, but Shibata was on a higher level. Shibata wore Daniels out with a sleeper. The champion scored on a running penalty kick for victory. (Full details here.)

Claudio Castagnoli is a fighting world champion willing to wrestle anybody who proves themself worthy. One man who proved he is unworthy is Eddie Kingston. As Claudio predicted, Kingston imploded after losing at Supercard of Honor to rant in a profanity-laden promo that can’t be aired anywhere. That is not what ROH stands for. (Full details here.)

Brian Cage defeated Ortiz via Drill Claw. Ortiz was shifty with the speed advantage, however, Cage was too powerful. Ortiz had a nifty counter to the deadlift suplex by stepping through the ropes for a powerbomb. Cage kicked out on the cover. Ortiz went for a suplex, so Cage countered for the Drill Claw piledriver to win.

Jay Lethal defeated Darius Martin via Lethal Injection. Maria Kanellis, with the Kingdom, was on commentary mocking the injury of Dante Martin. Sonjay Dutt and Satnam Singh were ringside. When they distracted the referee, Matt Taven entered the ring to superkick Darius. Lethal shrugged then finished with a handspring cutter.

Rush & Dralistico defeated the Infantry via knee to the face. Easy win. Dralistico finished by picking his opponent up over his shoulder to drop onto his knee striking the face. Imagine a GTS variation.

Daniel Garcia defeated Tracy Williams via Codebreaker variation. The story was sports entertainer versus pro wrestler. Williams was close to victory when he DDTed Garcia onto the turnbuckles. A discus lariat followed, but Garcia kicked out. Williams transitioned to a facelock submission. Garcia barely reached the ropes for the break. The two battled for position trading waistlocks, then Garcia exploded for a suplex lift into a Codebreaker.

Willow Nightingale defeated Notorious Mimi via Doctor Bomb. Willow knocked Mimi silly on a big pounce. She finished with a gutwrench powerbomb.

Vincent & Dutch defeated Steve Somerset & Stephen Azure via Autumn Sunshine. Dominating squash. Vincent landed a swan dive. He could have won there, but the Righteous played with their food. Vincent used Dutch’s chest as a stepping point for a tornado cutter.

Konosuke Takeshita defeated Tony Nese via German suplex. Takeshita overcame interference from Mark Sterling and the Varsity Athletes to score a rolling German suplex for victory.

ROH Women’s World Championship: Athena retained against Miyu Yamashita via crossface submission. Athena turned the tide by shoving Yamashita off stage. The champ followed for a cannonball down to the floor. Yamashita still had some gas left in the tank however, it was only a matter of time before Athena bested her with a crossface submission to win. (Full details here.)

This episode of ROH TV had entertaining action throughout. I’d say 6 out of 10 were good with the other 4 on the short side as squashes or cheap tricks. The quality was a little off at times, such as sloppy movement or the feeling of light sparring rather than a fight. For example, Shibata and Daniels started real slow, and it looked like going through the motions without trying to hurt anyone. It picked up in excitement after a few minutes. On my top watch list, I’d pick Takeshita versus Nese, Garcia versus Williams, and Athena versus Yamashita.

When looking at this episode as a TV show, it was very poor. Zero matches were set up for next week. There were only two promos. ROH should have done a backstage promo for the Righteous reintroducing their gimmick. The story continuation from Supercard of Honor was minimal. There were moments like the Kingdom interfering with Darius Martin, but there was nothing exciting in that regard.

Quick thoughts. I like how Shibata has not used a rope-break yet in his two Pure matches. That aspect should be built up to a mythical nature, so it is a huge moment when someone finally forces Shibata to go for a break. It was funny to see Ortiz in ROH after Kingston ran away from him. Garcia was a delight as a sports entertainer. For some reason, the crowd started chanting for tables. Garcia took notice, exited the ring to reach under the apron, and pulled out two middle fingers. The crowd erupted in boos. Williams always delivers in the ring, and this outing was no exception. Athena is doing great work as a champion. She is entertaining but never gets close to the line of earning cheers for her work. It will be satisfying to watch whichever babyface ends up dethroning the champ. The commentary crew of Ian Riccaboni, Caprice Coleman, and Nigel McGuinness was a blast. Coleman was free-styling during Willow’s music. McGuinness reminded me of Bobby Heenan in the way he acted obtuse about any questionable deeds from heels and overexaggerated to frame things as heels being heroic. Best of all from the trio was the attention to detail in technical analysis.

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

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