Ring of Honor came into 2022 with a lot of uncertainty. The company went on hiatus following Final Battle in December of 2o21 and the future seemed uncertain for the storied promotion. They planned to return in April for Supercard of Honor. When the show took place the promotion had been purchased by AEW President Tony Khan, becoming sister promotions with AEW. The event was produced by Tony Khan but the purchase was still being finalized. Now coming out of Death Before Dishonor, the first event fully under the control of Tony Khan we have a better idea of the landscape of ROH. Let’s see what could be next for Ring of Honor in 2022.
What’s Next for Ring of Honor in 2022?
Six-Man Tag Team Division
Dalton Castle and the Boys defeated The Righteous (Vincent, Bateman, and Dutch with Vita Von Starr) at Death Before Dishonor to win the ROH World Six-Man Championships. With Vincent being tied up in IMPACT Wrestling as part of the Honor No More stable it is not likely we will see an instant rematch. This division seems to be in a bit of a rebuilding phase as is much of ROH following the purchase from Tony Khan. The next viable challengers seem to be the team of Brian Cage and Gates of Agony.
With the team now being coached by ROH veteran Prince Nana following his purchase of Tully Blanchard Enterprise, this trio would be a great team to challenge for the belts. Based on the competitors we have seen for the new era of Ring of Honor so far, they would be the only constant competition. Although we did see the team of Alex Zayne, Blake Christion, and Tony Deppen at Death Before Dishonor it isn’t clear if they will be regulars in ROH. One other option could be the Shinobi Shadow Squad if Eli Isom and Cheeseburger can find a third person to tag with as we have not seen Ryan Nova in this iteration of Ring of Honor.
Wheeler Yuta defended the ROH Pure Championship against Daniel Garcia at Death Before Dishonor. Prior to the report from Fightful Select that Jonathan Gresham had requested his release, I would have said that Gresham could go back to anchor the Pure division in ROH. If by a longshot he does not get his release and stays with ROH this could be a viable option.
In the more likely scenario that Gresham is out of the picture we could see the feud with Daniel Garcia extend. Garcia left Death Before Dishonor and the following media conference with plenty to say about Wheeler Yuta. The Blackpool Combat Club and Jericho Appreciation Society have been at each other for quite some time now so this extension of the larger feud could play out further in ROH/AEW.
Josh Woods returned to Ring of Honor as one of the judges for the Pure Title match at Death Before Dishonor. The former champion lost the championship to Yuta at Supercard of Honor and lost his subsequent rematch on AEW Dark. Although he did not compete at Death Before Dishonor, his MMA background and prior experience in the Pure division and ROH make him a solid challenger for Yuta.
Television Title Division
The feud between Jay Lethal and ROH Television Champion Samoa Joe kicked into another gear at Death Before Dishonor. Although Joe walked out with the win it was hard fought and Lethal did not go down easy. This feud has played out heavily in AEW and given the ROH history with Joe, Lethal, and Lethal’s accomplice Sonjay Dutt this feud could contunie.
We also saw a hard-fought battle between brothers RUSH and Dragon Lee. Both were key parts of La Facción Ingobernableprior to Tony Khan purchasing ROH. If the feud with Lethal and Dutt is in the rearview both men would be great contenders for the title. RUSH is a former two-time ROH World Champion and Dragon Lee has held the Television Title twice. Both men are more than qualified to take on Joe with the Television Championship on the line.
Mercedes Martinez retained her ROH Women’s World Championship in a tough match against Serena Deeb at Death Before Dishonor. Martinez also made successful defenses against Trish Adora, Hyan, Mazzerati, and Viva Van all of which took place on AEW Dark and AEW Dark Elevation. She dethroned Deonna Purrazzo on AEW Dynamite back in April to become the undisputed champion. Martinez was the interim champion prior to defeating Purrazzo and unifying the titles. Martinez defeated Willow Nightingale at Supercard of Honor to become the interim champion.
Mercedes has not had a televised title defense since dethroning Purrazzo. If Ring of Honor is going to establish the women’s division as part of the new ROH the title needs to be defended on Dynamite and Rampage more often. Having it defended on AEW pay-per-view until ROH gets a distribution deal locked down would also go a long way to building the championship up.
We still aren’t sure who will make up the women’s division in Ring of Honor but we have seen Willow Nightingale, Allysin Kaye, AQA, and Miranda Alize all step in an ROH ring since the relaunch. Alize, Kaye, and Nightingale all previously competed in the inaugural Women’s World Championship tournament. Alize made it to the finals but lost to Rok-C in the finals. Nightingale has competed on AEW television recently as well as on AEW Dark. All of these competitors could be great competition for Martinez.
Tag Team Division
The tag team division has been centered around FTR and The Briscoes since the ROH re-launch. FTR has come out victorious in both matches, including the 2 out of 3 falls match at Death Before Dishonor. Both matches have been incredibly well received by fans. If we do see one more between these two I would personally love to see them in a 60-minute iron man match. If this is the end between the two teams for the foreseeable future then maybe we will see FTR take on long-time rivals The Young Bucks.
The Bucks have won the ROH World Tag Team Championships three times in their careers. They have faced FTR twice and the series is currently split at one win a piece. Although The Young Bucks recently lost the AEW Tag Team Championships to Keith Lee and Swerve Strickland they do still have a score to settle with FTR. Considering the Young Bucks’ history with ROH this could be a logical next step for FTR and the ROH Tag Team Championships.
If we are looking at Ring of Honor exclusively and excluding anyone in AEW, Gate of Agony seems to be the next choice. They are one of the only dedicated tag teams to Ring of Honor and have recently been aligned with Prince Nana as the newest iteration of The Embassy. With the division still growing they are one of the only teams that could challenge FTR without looking outside of who has competed on the two Ring of Honor shows in 2022.
World Title Picture
Last but not least we have a new ROH World Champion in Claudio Castagnoli. With Jonathan Gresham requesting his release from ROH/AEW it is unlikely he will be receiving a rematch anytime soon. We saw Jonathan Gresham defend the title in AEW. He defeated Lee Moriarty on Rampage as part of Fyter Fest which lead to the match against Claudio. With ROH not having a television deal yet, defending the title on AEW television is the next best thing. With Claudio already being a key part of AEW television we will likely see more televised title defenses.
As far as competitors there is no shortage of AEW wrestlers with a history in Ring of Honor. Names such as Adam Cole, Jay Lethal, Adam Page, Frankie Kazarian, Christopher Daniels, Bryan Danielson, CM Punk, and many others have a decorated history in ROH. With ROH still finding its footing in this new era, there are plenty of ROH veterans in the AEW locker room that can bridge the gap between the past and present.
What’s Next for Ring of Honor in 2022: In Conclusion
Ring of Honor is off to a hot start in 2022. With the return of ROH veterans such as Claudio Castagnoli, Samoa Joe, and Jay Lethal back in the mix and well-received matches from FTR and The Briscoes ROH is as newsworthy as ever. Although there is still plenty of rebuilding to do, the future seems bright for the storied and historic promotion.
For all things ROH, check out Honor Club. or their YouTube channel. Stay tuned to the Last Word on Pro Wrestling for more on this and other stories from around the world of wrestling, as they develop. You can always count on LWOPW to be on top of the major news in the wrestling world. As well as to provide you with analysis, previews, videos, interviews, and editorials on the wrestling world.