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Maria Kanellis pulls a fast one to usher the return of Leyla Hirsch in ROH debut

Leyla Hirsch is back in Tony Khan enterprises. Hirsch had been absent from AEW programming since April 2022 after suffering a torn ACL. Legit returned to debut in ROH thanks to maneuvering from Maria Kanellis.

Maria was supposed to wrestle with the Kingdom duo of Matt Taven and Mike Bennett in a mixed tag bout against Shawn Dean, Carlie Bravo, and Trish Adora. Maria entered on stage for the contest, but the First Lady of Professional Wrestling claimed that she was not medically cleared to compete. Maria weaseled out of the match to introduce Hirsch as her replacement.

Mixed tag rules were in effect. When Hirsch finally entered the ring for combat, she was a little rusty getting schooled on the mat by Adora. Hirsch turned the tide with a German suplex to find her groove on offense.

Down the stretch, the men were flying around taking each other out. That left Hirsch and Adora alone to settle it in the ring. Adora was working to secure an armbar, so Maria hopped onto the apron. Bennett came to the side to distract the referee. Adora released the hold to confront Maria. Maria slyly pulled Adora down into the ropes. Adora bounced back into an armbar from Hirsch to win. Legit didn’t stick around to celebrate with the Kingdom.

Backstage, Hirsch made it clear that she was not teammates with the Kingdom. Legit was just filling in on an opportunity and got the job done. Hirsch is here to stay in Ring of Honor. The ROH style is about innovation and high flying. Good luck flying high against a shooter.

Hirsch should be a good fit for the current ROH model. In theory, she’ll be given consistent matches with enough time to work her game and rebuild her stock. It is too soon to pair her against Athena, but that would be a heck of a matchup for the ROH Women’s World Championship that I’m looking forward to in due time.

What’s your reaction to the return of Leyla Hirsch?

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