Updated: Dec 13, 2022
Ring of Honor's year draws to a close with the third Tony Khan helmed PPV and the closing of the Ring of Jericho storyline. In this article we will evaluate the performances of the 26 wrestlers who wrestled on the main PPV card. Below you will find the rationale for this article:
These wrestlers are professional wrestlers who 'compete' in the ring. However, as you know(!), the 'contests' are scripted and the finishes are pre-determined. This does not mean that the athletic feats and performances of the wrestlers are any less impressive than those of many profession athletes. So we are going to treat them as such and in the spirit of how professional football players are given numerical ratings after matches by journalists, we are going to attempt to do the same here.
We will be using a ten point scale:
10 - Perfection
9 - Outstanding
8 - Excellent
7 - Great
6 - Good
5 - Fine
4 - Below Average
3 - Poor
2 - Terrible
1 - Unwatchable
0 - Incompetent
Rush - 6
Transforms the match every time he comes in. He carried himself with intensity and was spitting fire as he smothered the babyfaces. The naturalness of him performance was almost to the detriment of his brother.
Dralistico - 2
Tried to antagonise his oppnents early on but seemed lacking. The mask may make this difficult but guys like Penta and El Desperado manage. He often looks lost and as if he's looking to Rush for direction. The finish looked awful.
AR Fox - 6
Emoted really well when coming in to take over from his 'beaten down' partner. The smoothness and grace that he displayed when hopping on to the ropes or rolling in transition stands out. His Superman Dives over the top rope were special.
Blake Christian - 3
His stuff looks ropey quite often throughout this match. Some Suplexes look like he's just getting them over his head and some of his aerials seem poorly times. This is especially true of the pin break up towards the end.
Athena - 7
With Athena's recent work and Martinez's absence from TV, putting her opponent over hard, early was important. And that she did; she sold as if those strikes were murder. The rest of the match saw her heavy striking, emoting by howling as if at the moon and a terrific piece of punch drunk selling after a Half and Half Suplex. Selling on the outside; the wail and the finger moving as if to check feeling, was a particular highlight. Using the Oface sparingly is a good idea.
Mercedes Martinez - 6
Emotes a confident poise early on but this grows into becoming more vocal and histrionic towards the end. To her credit she took big offense and starts to lean into the reaction to aid her opponent. However her submission work could look laborious at times.
Swerve Strickland - 6
Puts over Griffey early, convincingly scurrying to Lee. His athleticism is so fast and springy her; taking the physical gifts of gymnastics and applying convincing speed without losing torque. His physical acting sold Lee's misfire perfectly.
Keith Lee - 6
The ease with which he caught Taylor early on, off the ropes was a feat and a half. Was that the first Moonsault since WWE? If so, it didn't look out of practice! He took Taylor's strikes so convincingly.
Shane Taylor - 4
He didn't always match the speed of his opponents; even in terms of the rate they went from move to move. However he injected the match with his convincing intensity. He also sold the misfire with physically convincing.
JD Griffey - 4
Samoa Joe esque captures from Griffey at the start in the manner at which he snapped Swerve into holds. His use of submission holds, especially the Triangle, is convincing however a lot of his striking lacks conviction. Tremendous knee buckle sell of a big Keith Lee forearm.
Triangle is well executed
Brian Cage - 5
Perfectly acceptable performance. He did everything functionally well.
Bishop Kaun - 5
Tremendous ring owning presence. Threatening facials during Slam. The star of the team in small bursts. He's convincing, something that bizarrely Cage doesn't always achieve.
Toa Liona - 4
Full bodied Senton on apron was different and impressive. A few other nice moments.
Dalton Castle - 5
Unconvincing strikes against such big men. Suplexes for everyone. They're controlled and bit rushed. So slow running the full width of the ring. Not his best, but the Suplexes are so impressive.
Brandon - 5
Terrific bump for an early clothesline. Took a lot of big bumps, the majority of the bigger bumps. He performed much better than Brent.
Brent - 3
There was a bad spot where he obviously climbed onto Toa's back after fluffing the initial ascent. He did some good aerials but looks less comfortable and less competent than his partner.
Daniel Garcia - 7
The snarky attitude post forced rope break was great. His strike game was blistering, very loud! Great physical acting for a discombobulated collapse post strike battle. He sold well in a raw spot to end the match.
Wheeler Yuta - 7
The returned closed fist was done so with vigour. Incredible piece of body control to collide with multiple turnbuckle attachments on the outside. His High Angle Slam is beautiful. Some proper convincing intensity to finish.
Mark Briscoe - 7
Senton off the stage had impressive torque. Great selling during the Gory Bomb chain situation. Incredible bump onto the chairs.
Jay Briscoe - 8
Terrifying manner as he bludgeoned Harwood. Ferocious strike based fire up post ref bump. That Jay Driller was as impactful a move as you'll see. Looked like an absolute monster by the end.
Dax Harwood - 8
Impressively readjusted mid-Suplex to ensure the chain didn't catch his foot. Excellent selling of strikes to the face with the camera full on. The headbutt spot was ill conceived. The exhausted legs-only pin as a cool touch.
Cash Wheeler - 7
His impressive frame adds so much to his striking. Great character work to add to Dax's clash with Jay. His physical selling was on point as per. Convincing emoting in a 'very-FTR' ending spot.
Samoa Joe - 6
Joe remains an intensely convincing wrestler via strike exchange and his verbals. His dive to the outside still looks convincing because of the angle he uses to cover for his lack of propulsion. That back elbow follow through continues to look tremendous. His transitions into and between submissions are still so so smooth. He sold too soon for Juice's high arching kick, it was clear on camera. I liked the no fuss Muscle Buster.
Juice Robinson - 6
Sells the hell out of Joe's chops. Juice is in great shape; he reaches great speeds and sells heavy. The Juice chants with the well-delivered jabs (with the well performed stomp) are exactly the kind of thing that fans could run with. The Ishii style corner strike combo works for him. Those cannonballs rule.
Chris Jericho - 6
That Ocho chant was wonderful. The histrionics after hitting an uppercut were wonderfully snarky. Jericho's 'New Japan Dad' strikes are his best form. He took over 30 rotations during the swing and his performing of the tap out were well done too.
Claudio Castagnoli - 7
After a fast start, Claudio's response to the Neutraliser kick out was significantly more realistic than NXT-shocked faces. The measures but fighting through selling of the backmoost missed Cannonball was another realistic bit of performing. Claudio's strength with that swing and his disbelief at winning, great stuff.