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ROH TV recap & reactions (July 20, 2023): Dark Order will have no mercy fighting Stu Grayson

Death Before Dishonor goes live Friday, July 21, so week twenty-one of the ROH TV revival (July 20, 2023) on Honor Club acted as the go-home episode hyping the marquee bouts and announcing the full PPV card.

Starting at the top, Claudio Castagnoli will defend the ROH World Championship against PAC. That beef was ignited when PAC walked out on the Blackpool Combat Club during Blood & Guts. Claudio didn’t want to wait to put hands on the Bastard, so a challenge was made for Death Before Dishonor.

Willow Nightingale was granted a shot for the ROH Women’s World Championship. Athena was not happy, but Tony Khan overruled her protests. Athena was in action for a Proving Ground match against Nikita. The Fallen Goddess arrived in her street clothes and sulked in the corner refusing to fight. Nikita pressed the champ by pie-facing her. Athena huffed, puffed, and blasted Nikita with a one-hitter quitter to win.

With Athena’s rage unleashed, she continued the attack after the match. Willow eventually entered the scene with a smile. The champ teased fisticuffs with the challenger, but Athena bailed before contact.

Dalton Castle defeated Shane Taylor in the ROH World Television Championship Eliminator Tournament final to punch his ticket for a shot at Samoa Joe. Castle weathered the storm Taylor pounded upon him to rally with suplexes and the Bang-a-rang for victory. (Full details here.)

Daniel Garcia has his eye on Katsuyori Shibata and the ROH Pure Championship. Garcia wants his respect, and he won’t let Shibata walk over him.

Daniel Garcia had a tuneup against Jason Geiger. Pure rules were in effect with Matt Taven, Christopher Daniels, and Jerry Lynn as the judges in case of a draw. The only rope-break of the match came from Garcia to escape an armbar. Later, Geiger locked in a triangle choke, but Garcia powerbombed his way free. That led to the Sharpshooter with Garcia cranking back to earn the submission victory. Garcia had more trouble than expected, but he did use his dance moves with purpose.

Afterward, Shibata entered the ring for a tense staredown.

The Lucha Bros are set to defend the ROH World Tag Team Championship in a four-way against The Kingdom, Best Friends, and Aussie Open.

The Kingdom competed in a four-way against the Bollywood Boyz, the Workhorsemen, and Action Andretti & Darius Martin on ROH TV. The match was built for the Bollywood Boyz finally getting in the match to pop the Canadian crowd. The Kingdom were too savvy and picked their spot amidst the chaos for the Proton Pack finisher to win. Matt Taven and Mike Bennett have momentum heading into the tag title fight.

The ROH Six-Man Championship contest was put together without any story. Brian Cage, Bishop Kaun, & Toa Liona will defend against Master Wato, Ryusuke Taguchi, & Leon Ruffin.

You want a grudge match? The Dark Order is giving you a grudge match. Evil Uno, Alex Reynolds, & John Silver are set to face off against Vincent, Dutch, & Stu Grayson at the PPV. The Righteous had a match on ROH TV and handled business against The Boys. Dutch did the power work, and Vincent closed with a cutter. Uno came out with a chair after the match. Stu was roaring for a fight. He viewed the Dark Order as soft and made an example of the violence he seeks. Stu shouted, “No mercy,” as he hit a Nightfall backbreaker on the Boy.

The Dark Order are ready to engage the Righteous in a Fight Without Honor. That stipulation is considered the most dangerous in ROH. They agree with Stu that they grew weak wasting time on fake friends. The Dark Order are going to take out their frustration on the Righteous. No mercy, no remorse, no honor. This is a good promo that sums up this story.

Tony Khan added a lucha libre contest to complete the PPV lineup. Komander will take on Gravity, who is Bandido’s brother.

The Zero Hour pre-show includes Action Andretti & Darius Martin vs. JD Drake & Anthony Henry, Leyla Hirsch vs. Trish Adora, Josh Woods vs. Tracy Williams in Pure rules, and AR Fox vs. Shane Taylor.

ROH TV also had a handful of other matches on the show.

Utami Hayashishita defeated Trish Adora in a battle of attrition. Utami turned the tide by ducking the Lariat Tubman to counter for a clothesline. Utami followed with an Argentine powerbomb and a spinning crucifix bomb to win.

Josh Woods dismantled James Stone in a Pure rules contest. Dalton Castle, Christopher Daniels, and Jerry Lynn were the judges. Stone used a rope-break early when overwhelmed by Woods’ aggression. Stone grabbed the ropes for a second time when trapped in a grapevine ankle lock. Woods finished with a blitz of offense. A big knee strike to the chin was followed by a suplex into the corner for the win.

Leyla Hirsch battled Nicole Matthews. Hirsch’s amateur wrestling made the difference in this competitive contest. Hirsch transitioned from a backslide to a powerful knee strike for victory.

The cream of the crop watchlist for this episode is the Kingdom four-way and Dalton Castle versus Shane Taylor. The tag bout had exciting action and played well to create a crowd reaction. Castle earned the kind of win that builds him as a believable threat to dethrone Samoa Joe. I wouldn’t bet on Castle taking the TV title at Death Before Dishonor, but he displayed the blueprint and grit to show why he has a chance.

Josh Woods was the standout of rising prospects. He has been underused so far in the new era of ROH, and this Pure win was pure domination to open eyes.

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

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