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ROH TV recap & reactions (May 4, 2023): Samoa Joe & Claudio Castagnoli title fights

Week ten in the ROH TV revival (May 4, 2023) featured a pair of title bouts. Samoa Joe and Claudio Castagnoli were fighting champions to defend the ROH World Television Championship and the ROH World Championship, respectively.

Joe met a familiar foe in Christopher Daniels. The TV champ used powerhouse offense to grind Daniels. The Fallen Angel scored a flurry of roll-ups and chained together a string of offensive maneuvers. The challenger tried to finish with Angel’s Wings, but Joe countered into a back body drop. A belly-to-belly suplex into the corner set the table for a musclebuster victory.

Joe’s TV title reign stands at 381 days and counting. He has the third-longest run with that belt behind Dragon Lee at 469 days and Jay Lethal at 567 days.

Claudio entertained a ROH world title challenge from NJPW wrestler Robbie Eagles. The speedy high-flying blueprint continued to cause trouble for Claudio. The Swiss Superman used rugged physicality to answer Eagles’ spunkiness. Claudio countered into a powerbomb lift. The champ pounded powerful knees into the spine while still holding Eagles in the air. That tenderization diminished Eagles’ resistance to finish with the Ricola Bomb. This finish was very cool. Claudio used a straitjacket hold so Eagles was unable to block the knees.

ROH TV quick results:

Rocky Romero defeated Lee Moriarty. Pure rules in effect. Big Bill Morrissey was ringside. Romero immediately snatched Moriarty for an armbar to start the match, so Moriarty used his first rope-break. A hammerlock from Romero caused Moriarty to use his second rope-break. Romero was warned for a closed-fist punch when he unloaded his frustration on Moriarty’s face after Bill was messing with the action. Moriarty used his third and final rope-break to escape an armbar. Romero finished with a flying armbar. Moriarty could not escape, so he tapped out. This match was more competitive than the summary sounds, but Moriarty was clearly outclassed. Romero was impressive enough that he could believably parlay this victory into a Pure title shot against Katsuyori Shibata, if ROH chooses to go that route.

Athena defeated Angelica Risk. Proving Ground match. Risk was frisky, however, Athena was too menacing. The champ turned to the tide on repeated steamrollers. The closer was a crossface submission. Afterward, Athena mocked Skye Blue by using the Skyfall maneuver to drop Risk onto the women’s title belt.

Darius Martin, Action Andretti, Trent Beretta, Chuck Taylor, & Stu Grayson defeated Matt Taven, Mike Bennett, Tony Nese, Josh Woods, & Ari Daivari. Evil Uno, Alex Reynolds, John Silver, Mark Sterling, and Maria Kanellis were all ringside. This ten-man tag had a frenetic pace of action. The Righteous duo of Vincent and Dutch came out on stage. Stu was completely distracted and left Andretti hanging on a finishing combo move. Andretti rebounded to pin Daivari on a neckbreaker. Backstage, the Kingdom attacked Martin and Andretti.

Preston Vance defeated Rich Adonis. Jose The Assistant was ringside. Perro Peligroso dominated with a discus lariat to win.

Skye Blue defeated Robyn Renegade. Renegade’s aggression was a problem for Blue, but Blue was able to hit the Sky Fall to win.

An exchange of interviews backstage set up Blue for a title shot at Athena next week. Blue was tired of the disrespect. Athena accepted the unworthy challenge for the ROH Women’s World Championship to prove a point that Blue doesn’t belong in her division. (Full details here.)

Brian Cage defeated Brock Anderson. Prince Nana was ringside. Anderson made an impact with old-school offense, but Cage’s raw power was too much to handle. The Machine cracked a discus lariat to set up the Drill Claw for victory.

Willow Nightingale defeated Steph de Lander. Commentary openly acknowledged de Lander as the hired muscle for Matt Cardona on the indie circuit. Willow’s muscle was greater, and she executed a spinebuster for victory. Enjoy a rap freestyle from Ian Riccaboni during Willow’s entrance.

Komander defeated Angelico. Serpentico was ringside. The main event was high-flying versus technical submission skills. Angelico twisted the luchador into a pretzel, but it didn’t prevent Komander from executing his aerial arsenal. Komander finished with a rope-walking shooting star press. After the match, Serpentico attacked Komander.

This week’s episode of ROH TV was much better than last week’s. The matchmaking was interesting, even though, most had obvious results. The action was exciting with energy. I’m giving the nod to Rocky Romero and Lee Moriarty as the best match. The Pure rules strategy often adds an interesting wrinkle. Both title fights for Samoa Joe and Claudio Castagnoli are worth a peak to see champions rise to the occasion to stomp an uprising from challengers. The way Joe and Claudio earned victory shows why they deserve to be put on a pedestal as top guys.

Preston Vance and Brock Anderson caught my eye with their performances. Perro Peligroso is looking good as a wrecking ball. He is so dominant lately that it makes me want to see him move up a step in competition to see if this winning streak is for real. Anderson used classic moves to ground Brian Cage. Anderson’s offense has a hook of feeling different in comparison to the wild and crazy style we see on the regular.

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

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