ROH Death Before Dishonor: FTR retain titles, Claudio Castagnoli wins ROH title

John Pollock's coverage of ROH Death Before Dishonor featuring the rematch between FTR and The Briscoes, and Gresham vs. Castagnoli.

Photo Courtesy: Ring of Honor

Welcome to POST Wrestling’s coverage of ROH Death Before Dishonor.

Immediately after the pay-per-view, tune into the ROH Death Before Dishonor POST Show with Wai Ting & Kate from Montreal – available to all members of the POST Wrestling Café.

ROH Death Before Dishonor
*ROH Tag Team Championships, 2-of-3 Falls Match: FTR (champions) over The Briscoes in 43:27
*ROH Television Championship: Samoa Joe (champion) over Jay Lethal in 12:20
*ROH Women’s Championship: Mercedes Martinez (champion) over Serena Deeb in 17:20
*Rush over Dragon Lee in 15:50
*ROH Pure Championship: Wheeler Yuta (champion) over Daniel Garcia in 15:57
*ROH Six-Man Tag Team Championships: Dalton Castle & The Boys over Vincent, Bateman & Dutch (champions) in 9:40
*ROH World Title Match: Claudio Castagnoli over Jonathan Gresham (champion) in 11:30
*Zero-Hour: Willow Nightingale over Allysin Kay in 7:54
*Zero-Hour: Brian Cage & Gates of Agony over Alex Zayne, Blake Christian & Tony Deppen in 11:35
*Zero-Hour: Ari Daivari & Slim J over Cheeseburger & Eli Isom in 5:34
*Zero-Hour: Colt Cabana over Anthony Henry in 9:56

Colt Cabana vs. Anthony Henry

They had a nice opener and Cabana was very popular inside the building. Henry worked on Cabana’s neck and led him to a piledriver where Cabana got his foot on the rope. Cabana dropped JD Drake, who was in Henry’s corner, but Drake came back with a cheap shot that led to Henry sending Cabana into the guardrail with a dropkick. After several tries, Cabana got the Billy Goat’s Curse applied but released the hold when Drake got on the apron. Cabana recovered and landed a top rope moonsault for the pin.

WINNER: Colt Cabana in 9:56

Cheeseburger & Eli Isom vs. Ari Daivari & Slim J

This was short and designed as a showcase for the Trust Busters. Slim J got a lot of offense in with the announcers citing his history at NWA Wildside. Slim J hit a spinning cutter on Isom and came off the top with a reverse elbow followed by Daivari with a frog splash to win the match.

WINNERS: Ari Daivari & Slim J in 5:34

Lexy Nair interviewed Prince Nana, who just closed a deal and has purchased Tully Blanchard Enterprises.

Brian Cage & Gates of Agony vs. Blake Christian, Alex Zayne & Tony Deppen

Zayne flipped over Toa Liona in the corner attempting a ‘rana to Kaun off the buckle, but it didn’t go smoothly. Zayne was attacked for several minutes and led to a big tag to Christian, who ran wild.

Christian’s Fosbury Flop was caught by the Gates of Agony and followed by Deppen with a tope con giro to the floor and a big reaction. Christian continued with a springboard 450 splash on Cage and Deppen hit a Shining Wizard for the big near-fall on Cage.

Cage, Liona & Kaun triple-teamed Deppen and ended with Liona flipping him off his shoulders into a running knee from Cage, who pinned Deppen.

WINNERS: Brian Cage & Gates of Agony in 11:35

Allysin Kay vs. Willow Nightingale

The audience loved Nightingale and was the loudest reaction of anyone on the pre-show.

Kay got the heat after snapping Nightingale’s neck on the middle rope. Kay continually went for the kimura unsuccessfully.

Nightingale used a Death Valley Driver and Kay responded with an Omori Driver. Nightingale hit the Pounce (Period) for a big reaction and followed with a cannonball in the corner that looked clumsy with Kay on her feet by the time Nightingale hit it.

Nightingale won with a gut-wrench powerbomb.

WINNER: Willow Nightingale in 7:54

There were no matches on the pre-show to drop what you’re doing and seek out. All the matches were fine and showcased a lively audience from Lowell. The opener between Cabana and Henry was a very nice professional wrestling match and worked well in the opening slot. There were some spectacular moments in the six-man tag but overall, this was a warm-up series of matches and nothing was a must-see.

Jonathan Gresham vs. Claudio Castagnoli for the ROH World Championship

They explained they held a coin flip for the two main events regarding their placement.

William Regal joined Ian Riccaboni and Caprice Coleman on commentary while Prince Nana was in Gresham’s corner.

They shook hands at the beginning with Gresham immediately attacking Castagnoli’s knee with lots of creative attacks on the injured body part, including Gresham chopping the knee. Castagnoli struggled but did hit a gut-wrench suplex from the edge of the apron sending Gresham into the ring.

Castagnoli hit a load of European uppercuts with Regal noting Castagnoli surpassed Dave Taylor as having the hardest uppercut.

Gresham ran into a pop-up uppercut, Castagnoli followed with a lariat and after the Neutralizer was countered, Castagnoli rained down elbows before the Ricola Bomb for the win.

WINNER: Claudio Castagnoli in 11:30 to win the ROH World Championship

It was shorter than I expected and having the world title switch hands in the opener was a bit jarring but the audience reacted like it was a big win. Technically this was very good and just needed more time, but they gelled well. Gresham is an exceptional talent but Castagnoli is the bigger star to build the brand around.

Lexy Nair interviewed Daniel Garcia and said sports entertainers are above the Pure Championship. Garcia said no one watches sports and says, “this needs more rules”, which was a great line.

Vincent, Bateman & Dutch w/ Vita VonStarr vs. Dalton Castle & The Boys for the ROH Six-Man Tag Team Championships

There was a lot of action compressed into this one and another title change on the card.

The Boys are now being identified as Brent and Brandon instead of Boy #1 and Boy #2.

Castled used Brandon & Brent as weapons repeatedly tossing them over the top rope to land on their opponents.

Vita VonStarr got involved by hitting an Asai Moonsault followed by a tope con giro by Dutch.

Vincent hit Death from Above (Swanton) on Brent but Castle broke the cover. They went into a series of slams and suplexes and ended with Castle alone with Bateman where he hit the Bang-a-rang for the victory.

WINNERS: Dalton Castle & The Boys to win the ROH Six-Man Tag Team Championships in 9:40

It was a fast-paced match and the size disparity between The Boys and The Righteous worked well with Castle as the ringleader directing traffic.

Wheeler Yuta vs. Daniel Garcia for the ROH Pure Championship

This was an excellent match and it was a high bar set last summer when they had their sixty-minute draw for the IWTV championship.

Ace Steel, Josh Woods (who Yuta beat for the title), and John Walters were the three judges if they went the distance.

William Regal was on commentary and was exceptional during this match.

Garcia wore maroon tights in the style of Regal and Bryan Danielson as a message to the group.

Garcia worked on Yuta’s ear after biting it and using his wrist to rub against the cartilage and was clever as hell in terms of working over a different body part.

Riccaboni mentioned that based on early buys, this will be among the “top four” (presumably in ROH’s history).

They had a huge exchange of slaps with Garcia having a flash knockout and Yuta telling the referee to count. The intensity picked up in the final minutes with Yuta applying a crossface, Garcia countered with a Sharpshooter but leaned back too far and was caught in a Bulldog Choke but then Garcia turned it into the Regal Stretch. It ended with Yuta applying a Boston Crab that they compared to the Lion Tamer of Chris Jericho.

Garcia held the wrists and went to stomp Yuta, who avoided the stomps and rolled up into the seatbelt and caught him with a three-count.

WINNER: Wheeler Yuta in 15:57 to retain the ROH Pure Championship

This was terrific and a well-worked match within the confines of the Pure Rules. It didn’t have the drama of their match last year, which was a unique circumstance but technically, this was off the charts and Regal was so impressive on commentary and explaining the various stories of the match.

Rush vs. Dragon Lee

This match had its ups and downs with some spectacular moments mixed with the occasional sloppiness.

They hugged at the beginning with Rush quickly taking over and playing the overt heel throughout the match and having no sympathy for his younger brother.

Lee set up Rush on a table at ringside and proceeded to hit a tope suicida that put Rush through the table and looked awesome. Lee followed with a double stomp for a two-count.

The two traded snap German suplexes and then, Rush charged at Lee and just took him down in mid-air and both were down, it looked clunky and something was off.

The audience got into the two when their chop exchange intensified on the apron. Lee was hit with a belly-to-belly off the apron to the floor.

Rush hit the Bull’s Horns and Lee kicked out, which was a big spot, but the announcers reacted louder than the audience did.

Lee hit the Incinerator knee strike for a two-count, Rush stumbled on his feet, kicked out at one, then just landed a forearm and immediately raced to the finish with the Bull’s Horns and pinned Lee.

WINNER: Rush in 15:50

There were some strong aspects to the match but it was also marred by the two missing several spots and the ending felt extremely rushed (no pun intended) and didn’t follow the flow of the match with the abruptness of it.

Mercedes Martinez vs. Serena Deeb for the ROH Women’s Championship

These two had a very strong match built around their arsenal of submissions.

Martinez hit the Spider German suplex and Deeb’s landing looked brutal on her neck.

Deeb was placed on her knees as Martinez came off the rope but Deeb collapsed before Martinez could land. Martinez went for the Brass City Sleeper but Deeb stopped it by biting the arm of Martinez.

Deeb applied the Serenity Lock but Martinez countered. Deeb drilled Martinez’s knee into the mat repeatedly before being hit with the OG Drop out of the corner and applied the Brass City Sleeper for the submission win.

WINNER: Mercedes Martinez in 17:20 to retain the ROH Women’s Championship

Very strong work from the two, the audience was captivated and the submission work was well laid out.

Samoa Joe vs. Jay Lethal for the ROH Television Championship

This was another very strong match and the two clicked so well with all the unique counters to their key spots.

Lethal sent Satnam Singh and Sonjay Dutt to the back, although both would appear during the match. Lethal and Joe brawled ringside and this led to Singh returning and attacking Joe’s previously injured shoulder before the bell rang. Singh was ejected.

Lethal attacked the shoulder and hit the Lethal Combination for a two-count. Lethal tried to hit the Muscle Buster on Joe but it was thwarted as Joe attempted one off the second turnbuckle but settled on a leg lariat off the buckle.

Joe lifted Lethal for the Muscle Buster, Lethal popped off the shoulders and hit the Lethal Injection for a big near-fall and the audience was hot.

Joe went for another Muscle Buster but Sonjay Dutt ran down with a pipe. With the referee dealing with Dutt, Lethal hit Joe with the belt and got another two-count.

Lethal went for another Lethal Injection but landed in a rear-naked choke, Lethal used a jawbreaker to escape and went for a roll-up with his back toward Joe and into the match-ending rear-naked choke as Joe submitted Lethal.

WINNER: Samoa Joe in 12:20 to retain the ROH Television Championship

I thought this totally delivered and the audience loved the match. These two worked seamlessly with each other and I loved the constant counters and answers each had for the other. It really picked up in the closing minutes as the audience reached a fever pitch.

FTR vs. The Briscoes in a 2-of-3 Falls Match for the ROH Tag Team Championships

In the first fall, they went about 16:30 and saw Dax Harwood take a back suplex early in the match and was checked on by the doctor after Harwood rolled to the floor.

They had the heat on Cash for a long time until Dax was tagged and hit his rolling Germans on Jay. Dax stopped a Jay Driller attempt and connected with a DDT for a two-count.

The fall occurred after Dax was catapulted into the corner and hit with the Doomsday Device and pinned by Mark.

The audience was chanting for FTR as they recovered and began the second fall.

Dax is bleeding from the chest from the chops and strikes. Dax landed a belly-to-back suplex off the top turnbuckle on Jay. Dax was so close to tagging his partner when Mark yanked Wheeler off the apron to a chorus of boos. When Dax finally made the tag, the place exploded.

After brawling, Jay hit Wheeler with the ring bell which led to a big near-fall with Wheeler beginning to bleed.

Jay went for a lariat, Cash ducked and led to the Big Rigg on Jay as they evened it up. The second fall lasted around 13:00 and Bobby Cruise was frequently giving time updates as they teased going sixty minutes.

The third fall was reserved for the dramatic moments. Dax accidentally connected with referee Paul Turner and led to both teams getting visual falls on the other after a Jay Driller on Dax and then the Big Rigg on Jay, which led to Turner returning and only counting two. Riccaboni and Coleman emphasized how no one has kicked out of the Big Rigg ever.

Briscoes hit the Doomsday Device on Dax but Cash saved. The Briscoes applied camel clutches to FTR with the champions locking hands to prevent each other from tapping and was a cool spot.

Out of nowhere, Cash sprung up on the apron and suplexed Mark off the turnbuckle through a table on the floor and the crowd went wild.

Dax kicked out of the Jay Driller and it was the two of them left standing.

Dax battled Jay on the turnbuckle and hit a piledriver off the second buckle to secure the winning fall.

WINNERS: FTR in 43:27 to retain the ROH Tag Team Championships

This was an incredible match to close the show and felt like the two best teams in the world squaring off and thus, the belts felt ultra important.

They went all out in this one and kicking out of all their major moves and building the drama over a lengthy period of time.

I didn’t think this match had the sustained heat of the match from Supercard of Honor and I think the audience believed they were going to tease going sixty minutes once they started giving the updates of how much time had elapsed.

It was a gripping and engaging match and all four worked super hard in this one, capping off a great pay-per-view.

FTR brought The Briscoes into the ring to shake hands and Dax cut a passionate promo about how much he loves professional wrestling and the fans.

To close the show, William Regal walked out with Claudio Castagnoli and Wheeler Yuta to tease the two as the next challengers for FTR.

Overall, this was a really strong show and I’d highly recommend FTR vs. The Briscoes, Samoa Joe vs. Jay Lethal, and Wheeler Yuta vs. Daniel Garcia as the top three matches on the show.

About John Pollock 4263 Articles
Born on a Friday, John Pollock is a reporter, editor & podcaster at POST Wrestling. He runs and owns POST Wrestling alongside Wai Ting.