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ROH TV recap & reactions (May 11, 2023): Eddie Kingston surprise return

Week eleven in the ROH TV revival (May 11, 2023) featured Eddie Kingston back on the show, Skye Blue with a star-making performance against Athena in a title match, and much more.

The Mad King is back. Eddie Kingston returned to ROH in a surprise appearance. It wasn’t much, but it popped the crowd.

The moment came in the aftermath of AR Fox versus Anthony Henry. JD Drake was ringside to help his partner. Fox overcame to rally with a Spanish Fly and a 450 splash to win. Henry adhered to the Code of Honor post-match handshake, but he did so in a way to angle Fox to turn his back on Drake. Boom! The Workhorsemen put the boots to Fox. Shane Taylor ran in to join the fun.

FTR! Dax Harwood and Cash Wheeler rumbled out for the save. They assisted Fox in clearing the ring. Henry bailed before FTR could execute the Big Rig. That’s when Kingston’s music played. He cut off Henry’s path of retreat and forced him back into the ring to take FTR’s finisher.

That was the end of the segment. Piecing together the timeline in real life, this Kingston cameo comes a few days before hernia surgery, which will keep Kingston out for roughly six weeks. One thing this segment did make me hope is that we see a future clash between Kingston and Taylor. That would be hard-hitting sweetness.

ROH also played through a few storylines. Skye Blue had her big shot at Athena for the ROH Women’s World Championship in the main event. No matter how much Athena pounded Blue, the challenger had no quit to put up a strong fight. The high spot of the match was Athena powerbombing Blue onto the ring steps.

That wasn’t enough to keep Blue down for the count. She scored an inside cradle trying to steal the win. Athena transitioned to a crossface submission. Blue inched toward the ropes with her foot, so Athena pulled back to center to work a Camel Clutch variation. The champ cranked hard to earn victory. Afterward, Athena showed respect for Blue. That was a facade though to lull Blue into another violent attack.

Blue really shined in this match. Off the top of my head, I’d say it was the best of her televised career. Blue showed grit and determination in defeat. Her offensive flurries gave the crowd hope, and they erupted on Blue kicking out for false finishes.

All is not well in the land of the Dark Order. Vincent and Dutch have their eye on recruiting Stu Grayson into the Righteous. The horror duo were in action against the Infantry. Vincent and Dutch handled business to defeat Shawn Dean and Carlie Bravo via cutter. The interesting part was Grayson on stage watching the match. The Righteous passed by upon exiting to sweet-talk Stu. They claimed he was one of them.

Grayson had a match of his own later in the show. He tagged with the Dark Order in 8-man action against Josh Woods, Slim J, Sonny Kiss, and Jeeves Kay. The Dark Order was rocking and rolling for the finish. Grayson and Evil Uno hit Fatality on Slim J. Since Alex Reynolds was the legal man, he shoved Stu out of the way to make the pin to win. The Dark Order celebrated victory, but Grayson was on the outside with mouth agape. The rest of the team did not notice. It would seem that Grayson took exception of Reynolds pushing him, and now a rift might be wedging within the group. The idea is that could lead to Grayson ditching the Dark Order to join the Righteous. We shall see how this story develops.

Darius Martin and Action Andretti have had enough of the Kingdom. The high-flyers challenged Matt Taven and Mike Bennett to a Fight Without Honor next week. The youngsters plan to make the Kingdom bleed.

Dalton Castle accused the Embassy of attacking his Boy. Brent was covered in bruises and sent to the hospital. Prince Nana denied any wrongdoing. As soon as Castle exited, Nana pulled out the Boys peacock mask to imply that Kaun and Toa Liona were indeed guilty. Bring on the shrimp cocktail.

ROH TV quick results for the rest of the card:

Mark Briscoe defeated Shane Taylor. Briscoe dug deep to deliver a thunderous clothesline, then he lifted Taylor as best he could for the Jay Driller to win. Afterward, Briscoe spoke into the camera to send a message to Samoa Joe. He is coming to fulfill his destiny and win the ROH TV title.

Claudio Castagnoli & Wheeler Yuta defeated Rhett Titus & Tracy Williams. Divide and conquer to isolate Yuta for a near pinfall broken up by Claudio. The Swiss Superman flipped the switch to take control by tossing Titus out of the ring. Claudio smashed Titus on a European uppercut into the barricade. Inside the ring, Yuta shoved Williams toward the referee. Williams stopped short, then he turned around into an eye-poke from Yuta. Claudio planted Williams on the mat, and Yuta finished with a rocket launcher flying splash to win. This was a statement victory by the Blackpool Combat Club beating former ROH tag champions.

ROH World Television Championship: Samoa Joe retained against Blake Christian. Christian came in with a gameplan of using his speed to attack Joe’s knee. It was only a matter of time before Joe swatted Christian like a fly. Joe snatched Christian off the turnbuckles for a musclebuster to win.

Robyn Renegade defeated Vertvixen. Charlette Renegade was ringside to cause distractions. Robyn earned the win on a submission. The hold started as an abdominal stretch then was taken down to the mat to crank the shoulder.

Willie Mack defeated Ninja Mack. Two Macks enter, one Mack leaves. Willie caught the ninja in the air for a sitdown powerbomb to win.

The Embassy defeated Adam Priest, Lucky Ali, & Victor Benjamin. Power domination from Brian Cage, Kaun, and Toa Liona. The Gates of Agony slammed Priest onto Benjamin for the final blow as Kaun made the cover.

Kyle Fletcher defeated Tony Deppen. Mark Davis was ringside to support his Aussie Open partner. Deppen hit his flying double stomp finisher. Fletcher kicked out. Deppen kept on the pressure, but he ran into a Michinoku driver from Fletcher for the finish.

This episode of ROH TV had very strong action in the ring. No duds in the bunch. There was a lot of competition for the best matches. My picks for the top watch list are Mark Briscoe versus Shane Taylor, Claudio Castagnoli & Wheeler Yuta versus Rhett Titus & Tracy Williams, and Athena versus Skye Blue. Plenty of undercard wrestlers did good work as well. It was the type of effort to land on the radar and earn new fans.

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

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