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Hall’s ROH TV Review 11.30.23

December 1, 2023 | Posted by Thomas Hall
ROH TV Billie Starkz vs. Marina Shafir Image Credit: ROH
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Hall’s ROH TV Review 11.30.23  

Ring Of Honor
Date: November 30, 2023
Location: Wintrust Arena, Chicago, Illinois
Commentators: Ian Riccaboni, Caprice Coleman

So how do you follow up on Ronda Rousey making a surprise appearance last week and having a pretty solid match? There’s a good chance you don’t, as Rousey’s appearance seems to be a one off. In a way that might be a good thing though, as we have three shows left before Final Battle, meaning it’s probably time to mostly burn off a show before we get most of the card announced with about ten days before the pay per view. Let’s get to it.

Athena yells at Billie Starkz for last week’s loss but this week, she can make it up against Marina Shafir. With Starkz gone, Athena yells at Eddie Kingston, saying you can’t backfist her to the future because her back is heavy from carrying this place. Lexi Nair as a not great hype woman for Athena is great.

Opening sequence.

Eddie Kingston vs. Lee Johnson

Non-title Proving Ground match, meaning if Johnson wins or survives the ten minute time limit, he gets a shot….at the North American Triple Crown. Well that closes a bit of a loophole. Feeling out process to start as the fans are behind Kingston. Johnson has to flip out of a wristlock to give us a standoff. Kingston snaps off a belly to belly for two and another suplex gets another two.

A DDT gives Johnson a breather but Kingston elbows his way out of a suplex attempt. Kingston’s t-bone suplex gets two more, only to have Johnson come back with a neckbreaker. The frog splash gives Johnson two of his own and that’s enough for Kingston, who snaps off a half dragon suplex. The backfist finishes Johnson at 6:30.

Rating: C. What matters most here is Kingston actually wrestling on this show on something of a regular basis. The show felt like nothing with the champions mostly missing so it’s very nice to have the top star around. That being said, it’s not quite as good with the title basically held in limbo until the end of the Continental Classic, but I can’t imagine ROH was high on the list of priorities when the tournament was announced.

The Boys vs. The Infantry

Bravo and Brent fight over wrist control to start until Brent snaps off some armdrags into an armbar. The Boys pick up the pace with a enziguri into a Backstabber for two. Bravo manages a block though and it’s Dean coming in to…well actually get armdragged a few times as well. An atomic drop gives Brandon two as everything breaks down. We settle down to Brandon getting stomped down in the corner until a roll over allows Brent to come back in. That doesn’t last long though as Boot Camp finishes Brent at 5:49.

Rating: C+. It was a fast paced match, though I couldn’t help but chuckle at commentary trying to say this might play into the Tag Team Title picture. They’re right in that it could, though there is no reason to believe that it will for a good while. The lack of having the titles around makes these tag matches feel a lot less important and that’s never a good sign.

Rachael Ellering says Leyla Hirsch’s knee is healing….and here is Maria Kanellis-Bennett to interrupt. Maria says Leyla is in good spirits but Ellering wants to know why Maria was talking to the Renegades last week. Leyla comes in to ask if one of them will have her back this week. Maria and Ellering: “Yes.”

Emi Sakura vs. Trish Adora

A collision goes nowhere to start so they try it again, with Adora knocking her down. Sakura is right back with a drop toehold into the ropes though and some chops have Adora’s eyes bugging out. The surfboard has Adora in more trouble but she’s right back up with a Bully Bomb. They chop it out again until Adora boots her in the ace for two. The Lariat Tubman connects but Sakura rolls to the ropes in a smart move. Sakura’s elbow to the face gives her two of her own and the butterfly backbreaker finishes Adora at 4:32.

Rating: C+. It was a hard hitting match and that’s the best thing you can ask for from this kind of a match. Neither of them have much going at the moment and that doesn’t give them a ton to work with in the match. The good thing is that both of them got in enough to look strong and it was a nice match as a result.

Leyla Hirsch vs. Heather Reckless

Maria Kanellis-Bennett and Rachael Ellering are here with Hirsch. Reckless is actually shorter than Hirsch and commentary says that isn’t something you see very often. Hirsch powers her down to start without much effort and a backbreaker puts Reckless down again. A suplex into a release suplex sets up the cross armbreaker to finish Reckless at 2:08. Total squash.

Post match Hirsch leaves on her own, as commentary pushes the idea of her needing to choose a side. Well at least that’s something.

Willie Mack vs. Robert Anthony

Mack snaps off some armdrags to start but Anthony elbows him in the face to take over. Some elbows have Mack down again but Mack is right back with a swinging slam. A sitout powerbomb finishes Anthony off at 3:10.

Rating: C. Not much to this one but it’s nice to see Mack getting a win for a change. He’s been beaten so many times in recent months that he needs a win like this to rebound a bit. Mack is more or less a glorified jobber to the stars around here but that might be his ceiling unless he is given the chance to do something else. This won’t be the big change, though it’s better than another loss.

Billie Starkz vs. Marina Shafir

Shafir shoves her out to the floor to start, leaving Starkz to do some jumping jacks. Back in and Shafir hits some knees to the ribs, only to get shoved outside instead. This time Starkz rips at Shafir’s face and snaps off a suplex to keep Shafir in trouble. The Swanton is broken up so Starkz kicks her in the head and grabs a German suplex for two. A hard forearm knocks Shafir silly but she’s back with a kick to the head for two of her own. Shafir ties her up in a nasty arm/leg twist until Starkz kicks her way to freedom. The Swanton only hits raised knees and Shafir plants her for two more. Starkz manages to come back with Gory Bomb and the Swanton connects for another near fall. Starkz’ End (arm trap faceplant) finishes Shafir at 8:13.

Rating: B-. They had a good fight here and it’s nice to see Starkz getting one of the biggest singles wins of her career. It still seems like she is perfect for the title shot at Final Battle but for some reason we haven’t gotten there yet. For now though, it’s nice to see her get a win, though it needs to lead somewhere.

Post match Starkz attacks her again so here are Athena and Lexi Nair, the latter in a graduation cap and gown, for their Minion In Training graduation ceremony. Athena introduces the valedictorian, who sucked when Athena met her but got better: Lexi Nair! She gets a Minion shirt and is now known as Minion: Bestie! Commentary mocks the two of them for their attire (Nair in red and Starkz in yellow, meaning we get ketchup and mustard chants) as Nair is rather pleased, while Starkz is wished the best in her future endeavors.

Starkz yells at Athena, who tells her to back down. Athena gets her way again….but then Starkz decks her and grabs the title. I’m not sure if “I turned you evil, but you’re not evil enough” is an all time face turn but it seems we’re FINALLY getting to the match that has been building for months.

Survival Of The Fittest Qualifying Match: Evil Uno vs. Dalton Castle

The Boys are here too. Feeling out process to start with Castle chopping away but getting sent to the floor. That means a fanning off, followed by Uno offering him some free chops. Instead Castle drops him with a running clothesline, followed by a standing splash to send Uno outside. Back in and Uno scores with a backbreaker and, after blocking a Bang A Rang, send Castle outside for a change. This time Uno decks the Boys, which is enough of a distraction for Castle to hit a suplex. The reverse Sling Blade sets up the Bang A Rang to finish Uno at 7:27.

Rating: C. While I wasn’t going to buy Uno as a serious threat to beat Uno, this could have been a lot worse. Uno made Castle work for the win, which sends him on to the match that he should absolutely be in. Castle should be a favorite to win the title as he has been building to it for months. Nice enough match, even with a not so shocking ending.

Tony Khan congratulates Lexi Nair on her graduation when Billie Starkz comes in. Starkz wants a shot at Athena so she is given the Final Battle shot. So what was Khan there to announce?

Brandon Cutler/Colt Cabana vs. GPA/Trevor Outlaw

Cabana and GPA grapple around to start until Cutler comes in for a double hiptoss. Cutler’s neckbreaker drops GPA again but he’s back with a jawbreaker to put Cutler down for a change. The villains take over on Cutler in the corner but he kicks his way to freedom. Cabana comes in to clean house and it’s a side slam/STO combination to finish GPA at 4:31.

Rating: C. I’m assuming that this was the match designed to warm up the crowd, because AEW fans are well known for being quiet and uninterested until someone steps in to wake them up. Cabana and Cutler aren’t likely to be much more than a low level team, if they are anything at that, but at least it wasn’t anything taking up much time here.

Survival Of The Fittest Qualifying Match: Komander vs. Gringo Loco

Loco flips away from him to start and gets taken down by the arm for his efforts. Komander sends him outside, where Loco chops away at him and gets in a posting for two back inside. Loco misses a dropkick though and gets catapulted to the floor, setting up the big flip dive. Back in and a springboard 450 gives Komander two, followed by a hurricanrana driver for the same.

They go to the apron, where Komander’s hurricanrana is countered into a hard powerbomb. Back in and they go to the top, with something like an inverted super Spanish Fly planting Komander hard. Loco misses a springboard moonsault though and gets kicked in the head. A backbreaker into Cielito Lindo sends Komander to Final Battle at 11:03.

Rating: B-. You know all the times where some of the luchadors have gone out there and had an entertaining match for a little while? Well this is the most recent edition, though at least there was something on the line for a change. Komander being in a multi-person match is no surprise, though at least Loco got a chance to shine again as well.

Respect is shown post match.

Tony Nese and Mark Sterling demand that Jerry Lynn (hey he still works here) let Sterling be at ringside for Nese vs. Ethan Page. Works for Lynn, though Sterling will be handcuffed to the post.

La Faccion Ingobernable vs. Spanish Announce Project

Dralistico and Preston Vance for the Faccion. Dralistico and Serpentico start things off with an exchange of chops. Stereo flip ups to their feet mean it’s off to Vance vs. Angelico for a change. Serpentico comes in to stomp on the arm but Vance fights up without much trouble. It’s back to Dralistico to go after Serpentico’s arm, followed by an exchange of Canadian Destroyers. Angelico comes back in to kick Vance in the head but the leglock is broken up. Dralistico makes the save and hits a springboard Codebreaker into Vance’s discus lariat for the pin at 8:04.

Rating: C. This was the most nothing match I can remember in a very long time. It was a pair of low level teams having a completely average match that won’t change much of anything they’re doing going forward. This is a show that could have been dropped from a show that is running about two hours and fifteen minutes without missing much and that’s not a good sign. Also, it’s nice to see Angelico right back where he was a month and a half ago after building him into something a bit more interesting.

Nyla Rose vs. Zoey Lynn

Lynn tries to jump her to start and gets taken into the corner for her efforts. A running elbow knocks Lynn silly but she manages to strike away. Rose doesn’t mind and knocks her out of the air, setting up a chokeslam and the Beast Bomb for the pin at 3:03.

Rating: C. This was Rose’s Ring Of Honor debut and she did what she has done several times in AEW. It was a total squash and did just fine, but it’s a match that could have been postponed to next week and taken away from an already long show. Rose in Ring Of Honor is better than no Rose at all, but dang this show is getting longer and longer and that isn’t helping things.

Iron Savages vs. Butcher and the Blade

Bronson wants Butcher and is driven into the corner for his efforts. A running shoulder works a bit better for Bronson so it’s off to Blade, who is sent face first into Boulder’s chest. Boulder comes in and muscles Blade up for a suplex. A discussion of Savage Sauce takes too long though and it’s Bronson getting caught in the corner for a change. Everything breaks down and Butcher hammers away on Boulder, who is back with a kick to the face. A splash gives Boulder two but the electric chair splash is broken up. The powerbomb/neckbreaker combination finishes Bronson at 6:37.

Rating: C+. It was a nice power match and it’s good to see Butcher and the Blade get a win for once. Much like Rose, if they aren’t doing anything in AEW, put them in ROH and see if they can do anything here. The Savages continue to be a fun team who never win much of anything and their value is only going to last so long.

Brian Cage vs. Action Andretti

Prince Nana is here with Cage. Andretti tries to pick up the pace to start but can’t get very far with a tornado DDT attempt. Instead Andretti kicks him in the face, only to get sent hard to the floor. Back in and we hit the chinlock, followed by a quick belly to belly. Andretti fights up and strikes away, setting up a springboard clothesline.

Cage grabs a reverse suplex faceplant (that’s a new one) and the apron superplex gets two. Andretti is right back with the tornado DDT but has to fight out o Weapon X. The torture rack neckbreaker drops Cage and the standing shooting star press gets two more. Nana offers a distraction though and a powerbomb into Weapon X finishes Andretti at 10:21.

Rating: C+. Power vs. speed worked as usual here, which is something that Ring Of Honor certainly seems to understand. Cage is the bigger star, though I’m still not quite sure what the point is in having he and the Gates of Agony win the Six Man Tag Team Titles when the Gates were on their way to Japan for the World Tag League. Not much of a main event here, but it could have been worse.


Eddie Kingston b. Lee Johnson – Spinning backfist
The Infantry b. The Boys – Boot Camp to Brent
Emi Sakura b. Trish Adora – Butterfly backbreaker
Leyla Hirsch b. Heather Reckless – Cross armbreaker
Willie Mack b. Robert Anthony – Sitout powerbomb
Billie Starkz b. Marina Shafir – Starkz’ End
Dalton Castle b. Evil Uno – Bang A Rang
Brandon Cutler/Colt Cabana b. GPA/Trevor Outlaw – Side slam/STO combination to GPA
Komander b. Gringo Loco – Cielito Lindo
La Faccion Ingobernable b. Spanish Announce Project – Discus lariat to Serpentico
Nyla Rose b. Zoey Lynn – Beast Bomb
Butcher and the Blade b. Iron Savages – Powerbomb/neckbreaker combination to Bronson
Brian Cage b. Action Andretti – Weapon X



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The final score: review Not So Good
The 411
This is a show where the problems are entirely in the presentation and not in the wrestling. The matches themselves ranged from good to decent, but there were thirteen matches on this show and three of them felt like they had any kind of impact. Other than that, it was a bunch of stuff that was put on the card seemingly or no other reason than to extend the show. It wasn’t a fun show to watch and most of it feels like it could have been heavily trimmed down or cut entirely. Rather bad presentation and a waste of some good action.

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ROH TV, Thomas Hall