Death Before Dishonor XIX: What to Expect…
Death Before Dishonor XIX marks only the second ROH event under Tony Khan’s ownership. Following a successful Supercard of Honor XV, which saw the match of the year classic between The Briscoes and FTR, Minoru Suzuki’s first American championship win, and Samoa Joe’s return to ROH, expectations are healthy heading into this second event. Let’s look at what we can break down from the Death Before Dishonor card thus far.
Samoa Joe (c) v Jay Lethal (ROH World Television Championship)
The first match announced on AEW is between ROH World TV Champion Samoa Joe and Jay Lethal, marketed as “current TV champion facing the longest-reigning TV champion.” Going by each man’s prominence on the event poster, on top of being the first match announced, we could see ROH fixtures Joe and Lethal closing the show on July 23rd.
This rivalry has been building since Joe’s return to ROH, interrupting Lethal’s attempts to bully his way to the front of the line of an ROH World title match, held by Jonathan Gresham. Since then, Joe’s shoulder has been targeted and injured by Lethal (backed by Satnam Singh and Sonjay Dutt). Lethal and crew have been featured more on AEW programming since Joe has had to recover in May, and if the shoulder doesn’t hold up in time, we could be looking at Joe’s 3rd and final defense of the World TV title.
Wheeler Yuta (c) v Daniel Garcia (ROH Pure Championship)
The second match announced sees a battle between 2 of AEW’s prodigies, Wheeler Yuta (Blackpool Combat Club) defending the ROH Pure Championship against Daniel Garcia (Jericho Appreciation Society). Both Yuta and Garcia are gifted, young technical wrestlers, and both have learned how to implement aggression in their own preferred wrestling styles.
But each of them has very different mentorship and career directions: the former is being put in a position to gain as much experience as he can through ring time; the latter is being made to specialize in faction warfare and “the numbers game.” With this being only Yuta’s 3rd defense, there may still be more in store for Yuta’s reign, as well as Yuta and Garcia’s rivalry at this early stage of their careers, with Yuta taking this round under Pure rules.
FTR (c) v The Briscoes (ROH World Tag Team Championship)
The Briscoes v FTR at Supercard of Honor may very well be some fans’ uncontested MOTY at this point. It would be the first time the two teams faced off, and both sides gave it all they had in a near 30-minute match, which was a festival of brutal hits, suplexes from the ring apron onto the floor—just the simplicity of hard-hitting tag wrestling melting together to create a masterpiece you’re not sure you ever want to see again.
The Briscoes have been the top stars on ROH for years, and while a win for them in the rematch isn’t far-fetched, FTR’s momentum since winning the ROH World Tag Team titles from the Briscoes in April has been untouchable. At the rate FTR are going, winning and defending world titles left and right, they may have to resort to catching the Briscoes with a snug, well-timed pinning technique if they want to leave with 1/3 of their belt collection. The Briscoes will be the natural aggressors, coming in with virtually nothing to lose, and it’s going to be tough to out-tough them on this night.
The Rest of the Card:
Jonathan Gresham (c) v TBA (ROH World Championship)
As for the ROH World Championship, the best we can speculate on is a defense involving champion Jonathan Gresham and an unannounced challenger. Given this set-up, the match is likely to be given the semi-main event slot. Weeks prior on Rampage, the stipulation was set that if Tully Blanchard Enterprises beat Gresham and Lee Moriarty in a tag match, any member of TBE would earn a shot at the ROH World title. Well, on the July 8 episode of Rampage, they would get the win, thanks to Gresham and Blanchard double-crossing Moriarty. Where the situation with the ROH World title challenger at the PPV lies, however, still remains a question.
(All this, of course, under the assumption that Gresham even defends the title at all, as he is scheduled for a defense against Moriarty on the Rampage following the double-cross.)
Mercedes Martinez (c) v Serena Deeb (ROH Women’s World Championship)
Following weeks of playing the anything-you-can-do, I-can-do-better game in tag matches, the pair of ROH Women’s World Champion Mercedes Martinez and Serena Deeb finally came to blows on the July 8 episode of Rampage. The team would go on a short win streak against unsigned talent on Rampage, Dark, and Elevation, showing dominance with a variety of submission moves that the two would do unto their opponents simultaneously. A technical clash between the two veterans centered around veiled mutual respect seems all but confirmed for the PPV, with the result being the most unpredictable among all the title matches (which may simply be a point in favor of the champion).
Based on Supercard of Honor XV, we could also expect to see names like The Shinobi Shadow Squad, (all members of) Tully Blanchard Enterprises, Colt Cabana, Willow Nightingale, Bandido, Lee Moriarty, Swerve Strickland, and more surprises elsewhere on the card. The possibilities, some might say, are limitless.