2023: ROH Stars to Watch Out For
Most Promising ROH Stars in 2023
It’s been a few weeks since the relaunch of ROH TV in its new era. Momentum from three PPVs in 2022, and spilling from AEW crossovers, has culminated in this brand-new weekly program. While they still share a good amount with AEW (i.e. venue, talent), the ROH presentation is unmistakable, if a tad bit clean. In any case, a handful of stars will likely adapt best to this new environment and seem primed for a great 2023.
The Kingdom, Top Flight, Dalton Castle and The Boys
Mark Briscoe is a joy to watch. He has such a unique and captivating voice for promos, which he’s recently been able to showcase on AEW. That’s on top of all the brutal ROH classics he and his brother Jay have had against FTR. Even with a glimpse of either facet of his work, many new fans have grown to love and be inspired by Mark.
Most recently, he has his eyes on singles gold, in the form of the World Television title. I know I, along with hundreds of thousands of others, am rooting for him.
ROH weekly TV has featured Blake Christian in varied match types, and he has delivered each time. From optimizing his high-flying moveset against submission master Zack Sabre Jr, to besting the wealthy weasels of ROH in tag action; his quickness and general unassuming demeanor make him easy to root for. Christian has definitely made the most of the position he’s been given. And with a handful of potential teammates, he’s got choices with regard to title aspirations, as well.
Willow Nightingale first won the hearts of ROH fans in 2021. Despite coming up short in title matches against Rok-C and Mercedes Martinez, she would go on to build her name in AEW, where she was wholeheartedly welcomed and adored by fans. So much so that her loss in the Owen Hart Cup 2022 resulted in a rare display of vocal discontent by the AEW crowd.
Since then, Nightingale’s losses have been almost exclusively to current or former champions of both promotions. It definitely seems like she is only a handful of big wins away from wrestling for the ROH Women’s World title again — and doing so on a PPV stage. And if the crowd that watched her scrap with Athena was any indication, the people are ready for it, too.
Between scuffles with Sammy Guevara, and losing his temper on one of his best friends Ortiz, Eddie Kingston has been on quite a self-destructive path, which would culminate in his quitting AEW. Kind of sad to think about, Kingston’s personal bucketlist match against Jun Akiyama being sandwiched by all these events.
Still, he hasn’t stopped talking crap, whether that’s dunking on AEW World Champion MJF online, or getting in the face of ROH World Champion Claudio Castagnoli. Kingston has insinuated on multiple interviews dating back years that he sees Castagnoli as a coward. The very first thing Kingston does on ROH TV is to no longer insinuate.
The Mad King is done waiting, and that’s the Eddie Kingston we get the most excited for. As lost as he was in AEW in latter 2022, he feels in his element in ROH. At least for the foreseeable future, this is Kingston’s show.
All the freelancers
Perhaps more than any one particular person, the stars to watch out for are the freelancers. In the very first month of the relaunch, a who’s who of freelancers have already made ROH must-see.
ZSJ casually calling out Bryan Danielson after a terrific NJPW TV title defense. Katsuyori Shibata, of all people, wrestling for the Pure Championship. Princess of Princess Champion Yuka Sakazaki, being called out by World Champion Athena. Billie Starkz solidifying her status with thousands of fans as a promising wrestling prodigy.
All these amazing things, just because.
Wrestling is great.