During this past weekend’s TV tapings for Ring of Honor television, ROH World Champion Dalton Castle lost his belt to Jay Lethal in a Fatal 4-Way that also included Cody Rhodes and The Kingdom‘s Matt Taven. No word on if the match will air on ROH TV on Sinclair Broadcasting, but it ends Castle’s World title run at 197 days. The match is available to stream on ROH’s Honor Club streaming service, with ROH announcing the title change today.
— ROH Wrestling (@ringofhonor) July 3, 2018
Following the loss, Dalton Castle tweeted his disappointment in the losing his World title.
It’s hard to swallow, but things are certainly different now… Beaten. But not finished
— Dalton Castle (@theDALTONcastle) July 1, 2018
Shortly after, Jay Lethal gave an interview with ROH for their YouTube channel.
This marks Jay Lethal’s second reign as ROH World Champion, after holding the belt for 427 days from 2015 through 2016. But it also ends a disappointing World title run for Dalton Castle, who emerged as one of ROH’s most popular characters since he debuted as a regular in 2015.
Sadly, Castle’s run was tainted by a series of injuries, including a broken hand and compounding issues with an injured back, that he needed to take time away to heal. While he still defended the title on several occasions, including recent defences against NJPW’s EVIL during the Honor United tour in the UK in May, against Marty Scurll at ROH Supercard of Honor XII in April and Jay Lethal at the 16th Anniversary Show in February, he’s been protected in tag matches for a large part of his reign due to injuries.
The story leading up to his title victory at Final Battle last December was one of Ring of Honor’s best stories, as Castle systematically defeated the ROH Bullet Club contingent, knocking off the Young Bucks (in tag action with Lethal), Marty Scurll, Hangman Page, and even Kenny Omega (in a 6-man tag that saw Castle team with Lethal and Kenny King against The Elite), before dethroning Cody Rhodes as ROH World Champion.
It will be interesting if Lethal’s first feud leads to Cody Rhodes, as Cody is still on a quest to win the ROH World title again before heading to ALL IN to face NWA World Heavyweight Champion Nick Aldis on September 1. One way would be for Cody to win the recently announced ROH International Cup at Honor Re-United in the UK in August, which would guarantee him a title shot against Lethal on night three.