ROH Death Before Dishonor 2023 HOT TAKE
Noun - a state of shame or disgrace.
Verb - to bring shame or disgrace on.
Since the day Ring of Honor exploded upon the world back in February 2002, the word Honor has not been a buzzy marketing term or a vain attempt to galvanize the audience. It has been, indeed, a way of life for the men and women who step forth weekly in their pursuit of being the best professional wrestlers on Planet Earth, seeking victory and all the financial rewards, championship gold and infinite glory that comes with it.
Like all sports populated by alpha athletes and strong-willed, dominating personalities, tempers flare in professional wrestling, forging dislikes into blood feuds as disagreements and losses fester jealousy, anger and outright rage.
In a promotion where Honor is priced above all, naturally, dishonor comes forth from within, the rage that comes forth when one is pushed too far or perhaps feels the other competitor deserves to be pushed off their perch.
For 20 years, Death Before Dishonor has been branded one of the true signature nights on the Ring of Honor calendar for a reason.
Traditionally, it is a night where the spiking temperature explodes, where the blood pressure hits its apex, where scores are settled. It is the big fight moment where all the blood and bile steps forth as competitors wait for that anticipated moment to step onto the battlefield. When that bell rings, competitors can finally take their most hated rival down a notch.
Death Before Dishonor is the night where legacies are cast in stone forever and the time capsule of what truly exemplifies ROH and sets it apart.
This Friday, Ring of Honor brings Death Before Dishonor back to its roots in the Northeast, invading the CUREInsurance Arena in Trenton, New Jersey, presenting a card as tumultuous as the very road all of the competitors traveled en route to FITE's live presentation from the Garden State.
ROH Women's World Champion Athena has perhaps been the most vicious and cunning of every competitor in Ring of Honor in recent years, leaving a wake of chaos and broken bones in her wake. As challenger after challenger has been left laying, the sheer brazen and violent nature of Athena's crimes have risen exponentially, leaving everyone to wonder whether anyone could rise up and stand tall against the dark reign of Athena.
That competitor has proven to her Willow Nightingale, who over the last few months, captured the Owen Hart Foundation Tournament and who shocked the world with a victory over Mercedes Mone to become the first ever New Japan Pro Wrestling Strong Women's Champion. Infectiously electric and beloved for her charisma and never-say-die positivity in the ring, Nightingale won't be far from her native New York when she steps into the ring at Death Before Dishonor, but more importantly, is one of the few fighters to hold a victory over Athena.
With Athena seeking to wipe that red from her ledger, one has to wonder how extreme the lengths she will attempt in order to take out Nightingale and retain her World Championship. Will Death Before Dishonor be Nightingale's fairy tale ending or a nightmarish realm that will see the worst of Athena reign supreme? With the ROH Women's World title in the balance, FITE fans will witness this classic battle between good and evil unfold before the world Friday evening!
ROH World Champion Claudio Castagnoli is also guaranteed to defend his title this Friday, but the real questions are who will he be facing and what will be his condition after enduring the 2023 AEW Blood and Guts match on Dynamite? With original challenger Mark Briscoe out with an untimely injury, the Swiss Superstar awaits word from the championship committee of Jerry Lynn and Stokely Hathaway as to who he will enter war against this Friday in Trenton!
The Ring of Honor World Tag Team Champions The Lucha Brothers, Penta El Zero Miedo and Rey Fénix, will be led to the ring at Death Before Dishonor by Alex Abrahantes against a cavalcade of dangerous tandems, all bringing their own unique style and presenting a clear and present danger to the lucha superstars. Chief among them this Friday live on FITE will be former ROH Champions The Kingdom, Matt Taven and Mike Bennett, accompanied as always by the sultry and dangerous Maria Kanellis-Bennett, who have sought to regain their throne since returning to ROH. Will this cunning trio finally get their moment of glory?
Beloved Best Friends, Chuck Taylor and Trent Beretta, have fought with their hearts and souls since aligning as a team, but championship gold has eluded them. Could this Friday finally be their miracle moment? International stars Aussie Open, Kyle Fletcher and Mark Davis, have terrorizing rings from Japan to their native Australia and back again but will Davis' return from injury show he's up to snuff against such massive competition? Fenix and Penta shocked the world with their win in the Reach for the Sky Ladder Match at Supercard of Honor in Los Angeles, but can they maintain their intensity and momentum with so many obstacles thrown at them at the same time? FITE fans will exclusively learn this Friday live!
Out of every competitor in ROH history, perhaps none is as fearsome as the former ROH World Champion and the current reigning and defending ROH World Television Champion Samoa Joe. Having literally defined the importance of the ROH World title all the way back in 2003, he remains the measuring stick for greatness in Ring of Honor. If you can compete against Joe, much less become one of the rare individuals to defeat him, you are an ROH legend.
This Friday, Joe is slated to step into battle with one of the most eclectic and eccentric former ROH World Champions ever in Dalton Castle, bringing his bedazzled brutality and unorthodox spectacle to the ring, seeking to wrest the balance of power away from Joe while reminding the world of his own impressive championship glory. It'll be the Bangarang against the Coquina Clutch, live for the world to see on FITE!
Additional Ring of Honor competitors and fights will be announced in the hours to come, so stay tuned to FITE and ROH programming to learn all the latest additions of this star-laden combat sports cavalcade!
For over 20 years, Death Before Dishonor has been the measuring stick of greatness in Ring of Honor and this Friday, FITE will be your exclusive home to experience the difference, live as it happens, as yet another chapter will be written in blood, sweat and tears. ROH rises above all in all its defiant glory, live on FITE!
Mike Johnson is the lead reporter for PWInsider.com and has been writing about professional wrestling since 1996. He can be found on Twitter @MikePWInsider and MikeJohnsonWrites.com.