Puroresu Review: Ring of Honor in Tokyo (7/16/07)

Ring of Honor in Japan

Date: July 16th, 2007
Location: Tokyo Differ Ariake
Announced Attendance: 1,800

In a daring adventure for an independent wrestling group, Ring of Honor did something that even TNA hasn’t done earlier this summer by running a pair of shows in a different continent. True, they had help from Dragon Gate and NOAH, but they were still billed as ROH shows and most of the stars from ROH were featured. Their first show saw heavy participation from NOAH, but without their biggest stars (Misawa, Akiyama, and Taue). This show is a great opportunity for American wrestling fans to become familiar with some of the stars of Japan while still watching a product that they recognize. Here is the full card:

– Davey Richards and Rocky Romero vs. Kotaro Suzuki and Jack Evans
– Ippei Ota vs. Shuhei Taniguchi
– Special Challenge Match: BJ Whitmer vs. Jimmy Rave
– Special Attraction Match: Bryan Danielson vs. Go Shiosaki
– Fight Without Honor: Delirious vs. Roderick Strong
– Naomichi Marufuji, Jay Briscoe, and Mark Briscoe vs. Ricky Marvin, Matt Sydal, and Atsushi Aoki
– ROH World Heavyweight Championship: Takeshi Morishima vs. Nigel McGuinness

Let’s get started. The review will be written the same style I do puroresu reviews, so I hope that doesn’t throw off ROH fans too much. The first few matches are clipped so we are going to breeze through them real quick.

Davey Richards and Rocky Romero vs. Kotaro Suzuki and Jack Evans
Suzuki and Romero start things off. Tie-up, Suzuki gets Romero into the ropes, snapmare, Romero bumps Suzuki but they avoid each others attacks. Monkey flip attempt by Romero but Suzuki lands on his feet. Both wrestlers go for dropkicks but neither can connect and both end up facing off again. Our first clip, as now we have Richards in the ring with Evans. Trip by Richards, leapfrog by Evans when Richards charges and he kicks Richards in the face. Corner hurricanrana by Evans, he goes off the ropes but Romero connects with a missile dropkick. Clip, as now Romero and Richards are double teaming Evans. Evans kicks them both back however and makes the hot tag to Suzuki. Irish whip by Suzuki on Romero, reversed, but Suzuki hits the handstand rebound elbow strike. Back up, Suzuki avoids a pair of Romero kicks and dropkicks Romero in the face. Clip, as now Richards and Suzuki are in the ring. Both wrestlers uppercut each other and Suzuki makes the tag to Evans. German suplexes by Richards, Evans blocks the third but Richards kicks Evans and hits a third German suplex for a two count. Richards puts Evans onto the top turnbuckle and joins him, but Evans punches him down and hits a Tree of Woe double knee drop. Cover by Evans but it gets a two count. Evans goes for a cartwheel elbow strike, Richards catches him and gets Evans on his shoulders, but Evans reverses it with a reverse hurricanrana for a two count cover. Clip, Evans goes for the 630 Splash on Richards but Richards rolls out of the way. Side slam by Richards and he makes the tag to Romero. Romero charges Evans but Evans back bodydrops him over the top turnbuckle onto the apron. While Richards hits a running strike, Romero goes to the top turnbuckle and hits a missile dropkick. Release German suplex by Romero and he hits a trio of face kicks. Cover by Romero and he picks up the three count! Your winners: Davey Richards and Rocky Romero

Match Thoughts: Too clipped to get a real feel for it, but Evans offense was terribly contrived here. Even more so then usual. I like Evans for his high flying but a lot of his in-ring offense looks goofy. The rest of the wrestlers looked fine but this was too butchered to see how they really worked the match. Score: N/A

Ippei Ota vs. Shuhei Taniguchi
JIP, Taniguchi picks up Ota and goes for a backdrop suplex, but Ota lands on his feet. Vertical suplex by Ota and he hits a running lariat in the corner. Neck breaker by Ota, cover, but it gets a two count. Ota picks up Taniguchi but Taniguchi slides down his back. Taniguchi goes off the ropes but Ota catches him with a spinebuster for a two count cover. Ota picks up Taniguchi, scoop slam, he goes up to the top turnbuckle but Taniguchi avoids the body press. Irish whip by Taniguchi to the corner but Ota kicks him as he comes in. Powerslam by Taniguchi, cover, but it gets a two count. Taniguchi picks up Ota and they exchange forearms, kick to the stomach by Taniguchi and he hits a fishermans buster for a two count. Taniguchi goes for a German suplex but Ota rolls him up for a two count. Another roll-up by Ota but again it only gets two. Ota goes off the ropes but Taniguchi catches him with a big boot. Overhead belly to belly suplex by Taniguchi, cover, but Ota kicks out. Deadlift German suplex by Taniguchi and he hits a second one for the three count cover! Your winner: Shuhei Taniguchi

Match Thoughts: Again too clipped to rate as the first seven or so minutes were cut out, but I think that Taniguchi has potential (hard to say about Ota just from this sampling). Sometimes Taniguchi looks a little rough around the edges but he is still young and I think he could be a very solid heavyweight in the future. I would have liked to have seen the full thing, but this match obviously wasn’t the focus and it really doesn’t fit in with the rest of the card as it is the only match with no Ring of Honor wrestlers present. Score: N/A

BJ Whitmer vs. Jimmy Rave
JIP, as Rave pushes Whitmer against the ropes. Irish whip by Rave but Whitmer catches him with a powerslam. Clip, and Whitmer hits an elbow on Rave. Rave charges Whitmer in the corner, Whitmer kicks him back, but Rave knocks him to the mat. Clip, Rave goes for a vertical suplex but Whitmer reverses it, and they go over the top rope down to the floor. Another clip, as Rave charges Whitmer but Whitmer hits an exploder. Another clip (this is like a move highlight video) and Whitmer hits a high kick. Rave elbows Whitmer when he charges in but Whitmer hits a spinebuster for a two count cover. Next move shown is a German suplex by Whitmer, he goes for a dragon suplex but Whitmer rolls out of it and hits a spear. Clip, Whitmer tries to powerbomb Rave into the corner but Rave reverses it with a rana. Clip, takedown by Whitmer and he connects with a running knee. Clip, as Whitmer powerbombs Rave in the corner and hits a big boot. Whitmer picks up Rave and goes for as suplex, but Whitmer knees him in the head. Exploder attempt by Whitmer but Rave gets out of it with a arm drag. Backslide attempt by Whitmer but Rave reverses it with the Greetings From Ghana for the three count pinfall. Your winner: Jimmy Rave

Match Thoughts: I don’t really like either one of these guys, and nothing from this clip-fest changed my mind. At least with Taniguchi and Ota they showed a continuous clip, I hate it when clipped matches just show various moves from the match without showing the impact from them. Score: N/A

Bryan Danielson vs. Go Shiosaki
They circle each other to start, tie-up, Shiosaki gets Danielson into the ropes and goes for a chop but Danielson dodges out of the way. Tie-up, takedown by Danielson and he applies a leg lock to Shiosaki. Modified bow and arrow by Danielson but Shiosaki eventually gets a hand on the bottom rope to break the hold. Back up, takedown by Shiosaki and he drops an elbow on Danielson’s leg before applying a leg lock. Danielson goes for a cross armbreaker but Shiosaki blocks it and gets back to his feet. Tie-up again, side headlock by Shiosaki, Danielson Irish whips out of it, leapfrog by Danielson, he ducks a Shiosaki lariat and hits arm armdrag. Shiosaki hits an armdrag of his own, both wrestlers go for dropkicks but neither connects. Tie-up, hammerlock by Danielson and he takes Shiosaki to the mat. Shiosaki struggles back to his feet but Danielson puts his knee onto Shiosaki’s arm and pushes him back down. Shiosaki slowly gets to his feet again, hammerlock by Shiosaki but Danielson flips out of it. Shiosaki goes off the ropes but Danielson catches him with a dropkick. Shiosaki rolls out of the ring, Danielson goes for a pescado, Shiosaki moves but Danielson lands on his feet. Chops by Shiosaki outside the ring and he knocks Danielson to the other side of the guard rail. Shiosaki chops Danielson back to ringside and Irish whips him into the railing before throwing him into the ring post. Shiosaki finally rolls Danielson back into the ring, cover, but it gets a two count. Irish whip by Shiosaki and he connects with the elbow strike. Shiosaki applies a reverse chinlock into a stretch hold, Danielson struggles back to his feet but Shiosaki keeps the hold applied. Danielson finally is able to roll out of it but Shiosaki rotates him over and puts Shiosaki right back in the hold. Danielson reaches the ropes and Shiosaki chops him in the chest. Scoop slam by Shiosaki and he hits a knee drop. Cover, but it gets a two count.

Shiosaki applies an armlock, Danielson slowly gets to his feet and pushes Shiosaki into the corner. Chop by Danielson but Shiosaki absorbs the blows and chops him back. Snapmare by Shiosaki, cover, but Danielson kicks out at one. A reverse chinlock is applied by Shiosaki but Danielson gets out of it with a jawbreaker. Chop to the back by Shiosaki but Danielson hits an uppercut. They trade strikes, Shiosaki puts Danielson in the Tree of Woe and goes for a dropkick, but Danielson lifts himself to avoid it. Shiosaki chops him back down however and this time is able to connect with the dropkick. Cover by Shiosaki but it gets a two count. Irish whip by Shiosaki from the corner, reversed, Shiosaki kicks Danielson when he charges in and goes to the top turnbuckle, but Danielson dropkicks him off the top turnbuckle down to the floor. Danielson tries to Irish whip Shiosaki into the guard rail but Shiosaki reverses it and Danielson goes into the steel. On the apron, waistlock by Shiosaki and he delivers a German suplex, but Danielson lands on his feet on the floor. Shiosaki goes to dive onto Danielson but Danielson moves and Shiosaki goes into the railing. Danielson picks up Shiosaki and rolls him back into the ring, cover, but it gets a two count. Danielson twists on Shiosaki’s injured shoulder but Shiosaki gets a foot on the ropes to break the hold. Uppercut by Danielson but Shiosaki comes back with a chop. Danielson taunts Shiosaki since Shiosaki is chopping with his injured arm before he takes Shiosaki back to the mat and kicks him in the shoulder. Mexican surfboard attempt by Danielson but he lets go and tries for the cross armbreaker. He gets it locked in but Shiosaki is too close to the ropes and forces the break. Back up, armbreaker by Danielson and he uppercuts Shiosaki in the arm. Shiosaki blocks the next armbreaker attempt with a sleeperhold, he goes for a backdrop suplex but Danielson lands on his feet. Irish whip by Danielson but Shiosaki hits a diving shoulder block. Shiosaki chops Danielson into the corner, Irish whip, and he hits a jumping knee. Scoop slam by Shiosaki, he goes to the second turnbuckle and delivers a knee drop for a two count cover. Shiosaki goes for the fisherman buster but Danielson blocks it. Shiosaki then goes for a vertical suplex and reverts it into a modified death valley driver. Cover, but Danielson kicks out at two.

Irish whip by Shiosaki to the corner but Danielson flips over him when he charges in. Running forearm strike by Danielson and Shiosaki falls out of the ring. Danielson hits a baseball slide and then hits a springboard plancha over the guard rail onto Shiosaki. Danielson tosses Shiosaki back to ringside and slides him back into the ring, he goes up to the top turnbuckle and delivers a missile dropkick. Wrist-Clutch Northern Lights Suplex by Danielson but it only gets a two count. Danielson goes up to the top turnbuckle and hits a diving headbutt, cover, but Shiosaki barely kicks out. Cross-face Chicken Wing by Danielson but Shiosaki gets a foot on the bottom rope to break the hold. Danielson picks up Shiosaki and puts him onto the top turnbuckle, uppercut by Danielson and he climbs up top, but Shiosaki picks him up and and hits a bulldog off the top turnbuckle to the mat. Cover, but Danielson gets a shoulder up. Back up, the two trade strikes, superkick by Shiosaki and he chops Danielson to the mat. Shiosaki goes off the ropes but Danielson catches him with a clothesline. Lariat by Shiosaki, Danielson hits a backdrop suplex, but Shiosaki follows that with a superkick. Both wrestlers are down and slow to get up, Shiosaki charges Danielson but Danielson catches him with a German suplex hold for a two count. Chops by Shiosaki and he hits a German suplex hold of his own but it also gets two. Another German suplex hold by Shiosaki but again Danielson kicks out. Shiosaki picks up Danielson and goes for the Go Flasher, but Danielson gets out of it and hits a backslide for a two count. Back up, Shiosaki goes for the Go Flasher again and this time is able to connect. Cover, but Danielson is too close to the ropes and grabs the bottom one to stop the count. Shiosaki picks up Danielson, scoop slam, he goes up to the top turnbuckle but Danielson is up and clubs Shiosaki in the back. Danielson joins Shiosaki on the top turnbuckle and hits an avalanche-style backdrop suplex. Cover by Danielson but Shiosaki barely gets a shoulder up. Danielson picks up Shiosaki and hits a series of uppercuts but Shiosaki sneaks in a backslide for a two count. Chops by Shiosaki and he ends with a lariat, scoop slam by Shiosaki and he goes for the moonsault, but Danielson rolls out of the way. Cattle Mutilation by Danielson but Shiosaki barely gets a foot on the ropes. Danielson picks up Shiosaki and goes for it a second time, Shiosaki headbutts out of it but Danielson avoids his charge and hits a tiger suplex hold for a two count. Rapid elbow strikes to the shoulder by Danielson and he re-applies the Cattle Mutilation. Trapped in the middle of the ring, Shiosaki has no choice but to submit! Your winner: Bryan Danielson

Match Thoughts: This was a very solid match. I am not going to go nuts for it like some people did since it was pretty slow developing, but the action picked up towards the end and the crowd really got into it. Shiosaki’s selling of the arm was very good throughout the match but at times the selling was suspect such as Danielson’s quick recovery from the Go Flasher. I really do think that Shiosaki is the future for NOAH if they ever actually let him pick up any big wins, for he shows all the necessary traits to help lead the company. Overall I enjoyed the match as these wrestlers are both top notch, but they could have cut out some of it and not hurt the overall story that they were telling. Score: 7.5

Delirious vs. Roderick Strong
This is a Fight Without Honor. Delirious charges Strong to start the match and knocks him back into the corner. Elbows by Delirious, Irish whip, reversed, but Delirious hits a jumping lariat. Clip, Strong is outside the ring and Delirious sails out onto him with a somersault plancha from the top turnbuckle. Clip, and Strong throws Delirious into the ring post. Strong grabs a table and throws it at Delirious. Back in the ring, Irish whip and Strong hits a jumping kick. Clip, Strong chops Delirious in the corner but Delirious rolls him up for a two count. Modified Yokosuka Cutter by Delirious, we get a clip, as Delirious grabs a ladder from under the ring. He sets it up bridging the apron and railing and throws Strong into it. Another clip, Delirious climbs up to the top turnbuckle but Strong cuts him off. Superplex by Strong, he sets the ladder up in the corner and tries to suplex Delirious into it, but Delirious blocks it. Irish whip by Strong to the opposite corner, but when he charges in Delirious drop toeholds him into the chair set up in the corner. Delirious dives off the top turnbuckle, Strong moves, but Delirious throws Strong into the ladder. Delirious grabs the ladder and rams Strong with it, he bridges it again between the apron and railing. Delirious tries to suplex Strong over the top turnbuckle onto the ladder, Strong blocks it, but Delirious rolls him up for a two count. Half Nelson backbreaker by Strong and he hits the fireman’s carry into a double knee gutbuster. Clip, Strong and Delirious are on the apron and Strong throws Delirious off the apron onto the ladder. Back in the ring, Strong puts Delirious onto the top turnbuckle but Delirious knocks Strong back and the Shadows Over Hell. Cover, but it gets a two count. Cobra Clutch suplex by Delirious but Strong comes back with a running kick. Clip, Chemical Imbalance by Delirious and he picks up the three count. Your winner: Delirious

Match Thoughts: I think I would have enjoyed this match if it was shown in full, but just watching a series of moves isn’t overly enjoyable. Score: N/A

Naomichi Marufuji, Jay Briscoe, and Mark Briscoe vs. Ricky Marvin, Matt Sydal, and Atsushi Aoki
Marufuji and Sydal start things off. Tie-up to start, waistlock by Marufuji, Sydal rolls out of it and both men are back on their feet. Tie-up again, side headlock by Marufuji, Sydal Irish whips out of it but Marufuji shoulderblocks him down. Marufuji goes off the ropes, arm drag by Sydal and he hits a head scissors takedown. Sydal tags in Marvin and Marufuji tags in Jay. Marvin goes off the ropes, Jay avoids the handstand springboard attack but Marvin kicks him out of the ring. After a moment Jay comes back in, arm wringer by Marvin and he tags in Aoki. Wristlock by Aoki, Jay rolls out of it but Aoki gets it re-applied. Jay tags in Mark, shoulderblock by Mark in the corner and he hits a snapmare followed by a Cobra Clutch. Knee drop by Mark and he hits a second one for a two count cover. Punches by Mark in the corner and he hits a belly to belly suplex for a two count. Mark tags in Marufuji, forearms by Marufuji but Aoki returns fire. Aoki goes off the ropes and hits an elbow but Marufuji doesn’t go down. Dropkick by Aoki and he tags in Sydal. Kicks by Sydal in the corner, Irish whip, and Sydal hits a charging elbow followed by a jumping knee. Sydal tags in Marvin, double Irish whip to Marufuji and they hit a double elbow drop followed by a face crusher for a two count. Marvin picks up Marufuji, Irish whip, reversed, and Marufuji hits a lariat in the corner before tagging in Jay. Jay chokes Marvin in the corner with his partners’ help, Jay picks up Marvin, Irish whip from the corner and he hits a lariat followed by a snapmare and dropkick to the face. Cover, but it gets a two count. Jay tags in Mark, cover, but it gets a two count. Mark goes for a suplex but Marvin goes over his back and hits a release German suplex. Marvin throws Mark in the corner and tags in Aoki. Irish whip by Aoki and he delivers a dropkick for a two count cover. Keylock by Aoki, Irish whip, reversed, and Mark connects with an elbow. Mark tags in Jay, Aoki knocks them both back but they double team him ending in a Complete Shot/Jumping Knee combination. Cover by Jay but it gets a two count. Irish whip by Jay and he nails a dropkick for a two count cover. Jay applies a reverse chinlock but Aoki makes it to the ropes. Scoop slam by Jay and he makes the tag to Mark. Slingshot double stomp by Jay, he tags in Marufuji and Marufuji hits a slingshot elbow drop. Cover by Marufuji but it gets a two count. Marufuji picks up Aoki and applies a neck crank, snapmare by Marufuji and he hits a dropkick through the ropes. Cocky cover but it gets two. Marufuji tags in Mark and all three hit strikes in the corner followed by a triple dropkick to Aoki. Cover by Mark but it gets a two count.

Fireman’s roll into a rolling senton by Mark, cover, but Marvin breaks it up. Mark picks up Aoki and hits a backdrop suplex before making the tag to Jay. Double Irish whip to Aoki and they hit a double shoulder tackle. Cover, but Sydal breaks it up. Scoop slam by Jay and he hits an elbow drop for a two count cover. Jay picks up Aoki and makes the tag to Marufuji, double Irish whip to Aoki and all three hit a super kick. Cover by Marufuji but Aoki barely gets a shoulder up. Cobra Clutch by Marufuji into a cross-face chicken wing, but Aoki makes it to the ropes. Aoki elbows Marufuji but he gets hit from the apron and Mark is tagged in. Cover by Mark but it gets a two count. Gutwrench slam by Mark and he hits a knee drop for a two count cover Mark tags in Jay, Jay goes up to the top turnbuckle and they hit the Decapitation (with a leg drop) for a two count. Jay picks up Aoki but Aoki applies a cross armbreaker until it is broken up. Aoki almost makes the tag, he is grabbed from behind, but Aoki hits a backdrop suplex onto Jay and makes the hot tag to Marvin. Irish whip by Marvin, reversed, Marvin kicks Jay from the apron and hits a springboard moonsault for a two count. Irish whip by Marvin, reversed, and he hits a handstand springboard into a DDT for a two count. Scoop slam by Marvin, he goes up to the top turnbuckle but hits a rope-running dropkick on Mark on the apron. Enzigieri by Marvin onto Jay, cover, but it gets a two count. Back up, Jay and Marvin trade elbows but Jay hits a headscissors takedown. Complete Shot by Jay into the turnbuckle and he tags in Marufuji. Marufuji throws Marvin into the corner and hits a jumping knee, he puts him onto the top turnbuckle but Marvin knocks him off and hits a hurricanrana. Powerbomb by Marufuji, he goes for a second one but Marvin lands on his feet. Marufuji goes off the ropes and stomps Marvin’s face into the mat, he goes off the ropes again but Sydal kicks him from the apron. Roll-up by Marufuji, Marvin dropkicks him in the face but Marufuji returns the favor. The wrestlers then trade superkicks and both are laid out on the mat. Marvin tags in Aoki, who knocks both Briscoes off the apron. Marufuji grabs him, Irish whip to the corner and Marufuji hits a high kick. Aoki ducks the superkick attempt by Marufuji and hits the Northern Lights Suplex for a two count. Irish whip by Aoki to the corner and he hits a jumping elbow. Roll-up by Aoki but it only gets a two count. Drop toehold by Marufuji and he delivers a dropkick to the face.

Marufuji tags in Mark, who comes in the ring with a missile dropkick. Throat thrusts by Mark, Irish whip, reversed, Mark is kicked from the apron by Sydal, Sydal comes in the ring but Mark fights them both up. Superkick by Mark and he hits a springboard corkscrew splash for a two count. Irish whip by Mark from the corner, reversed, but Mark kicks him back and hits a double jump moonsault for another two count. Mark goes for a powerbomb, Aoki slides down his back and applies a waistlock, but Mark reverses it. Aoki elbows out of it and goes off the ropes but Mark catches him and hits a powerbomb for a two count. Irish whip by Mark to the corner but Aoki elbows him as he charges in and hits a double jump missile dropkick. Aoki tags in Sydal, armdrag by Sydal and he hits an enzigieri followed by a moonsault into a leg lariat for a two count. Sydal picks up Mark, Irish whip to the corner, Mark kicks him back but Sydal hits a hurricanrana while Mark is on the top turnbuckle for a two count cover. Sydal goes for the Here We Go Driver but Mark elbows out of it, leg sweep by Sydal and he hits a standing moonsault. Cover, but Mark kicks out at two. Irish whip by Sydal from the corner and he hits a jumping lariat. Springboard by Sydal but Mark catches him with an exploder. Marvin comes in the ring, waistlock by Sydal on Mark and Marvin hits a sunset flip onto Sydal, helping Sydal hit a German suplex onto Mark. Marufuji comes in the ring, Sydal and Marvin go off the ropes but Marufuji goes off the ropes as well and hits a double lariat. Aoki comes in the ring with a missile dropkick onto Marufuji, Jay delivers a Yakuza Kick to Aoki but Sydal drops Jay with a bodyscissors into a DDT. Mark and Sydal battle on their knees and Mark tags in Jay. Sydal hits a hurricanrana onto Jay, Irish whip by Jay but Sydal avoids the dropkick and rolls him up for a two count. Irish whip attempt by Sydal but Jay slides through his legs and puts Sydal on his shoulders. Mark goes to the apron and goes for the springboard Doomsday Device, Sydal rolls up Jay as Marufuji is in the air but Marufuji hits Marvin with a lariat instead. Marufuji and Jay hold Sydal on their shoulders while Mark goes out to the apron, Mark delivers the springboard Doomsday Device and Jay covers Sydal for the three count! Your winners: Naomichi Marufuji, Jay Briscoe, and Mark Briscoe

Match Thoughts: A very different match then the last (full) match, which I think really helped it a lot. For such a long match with wrestlers not too familiar with each other it was shockingly smooth. There were no noticeable botches which says a lot for the skill of the wrestlers. I’ve said before that six man tag matches shouldn’t even bother trying to do any long-term selling since it never works anyway and they took my advice here as most of it was a sprint. Of course the weakest link was targeted, but he wasn’t the one that was pinned in the end as they got the better of Sydal in the closing minutes. Sydal wasn’t the most hurt wrestler in the match but he was hit by a series of power moves and didn’t have his teammates available to save him, so he took the loss. The only real knock on the match is that some of the moves during the beat down of Aoki got repetitive and they really did nothing to Aoki that was strong enough to put him away. But overall for a six man tag I found it very enjoyable as the execution was top notch and they kept things interesting the entire 20 plus minutes. Score: 7.0

(c) Takeshi Morishima vs. Nigel McGuinness
This match is for the ROH World Heavyweight Championship. Tie-up to start, side headlock by Morishima and he shoulderblocks McGuinness down. McGuinness goes for the Pendulum Lariat, Morishima blocks it and goes for the Backdrop Driver, but McGuinness lands on top of him and both wrestlers get back to their feet. Tie-up, wristlock by McGuinness and he stomps on Morishima’s shoulder. Back up they trade blows, shoulders to the arm by McGuinness and he takes Morishima to the mat. Hammerlock by McGuinness, Morishima struggles to his feet but McGuinness hits the Guvnor’s Crumpet. McGuinness picks up Morishima and delivers an uppercut, sending Morishima to the apron. McGuinness snaps Morishima’s arm over the top rope, gets a running start in the ring and goes for a sunset powerbomb to the floor, but Morishima sits down onto him to block the move. Morishima throws McGuinness into the railing and delivers a running boot to the face. He then sits McGuinness down in a chair, gets a running start and delivers a hip attack. Back in the ring, Morishima stands on McGuinness’ midsection while using the ropes for extra leverage. Morishima picks up McGuinness, snapmare, and he applies a sleeper. Cover by Morishima but it gets a two count. McGuinness rolls out of the ring but Morishima comes off the apron with a diving shoulderblock. Morishima tries to roll McGuinness in the ring but McGuinness rolls right back out and hits a lariat. McGuinness goes up to the top turnbuckle while Morishima is still out of the ring and hits a plancha to the floor. Back in the ring, cover by McGuinness but it gets a two count. McGuinness kicks Morishima repeatedly in the arm, he picks him up and goes off the ropes but Morishima catches him with an elbow smash. Running butt smash by Morishima while McGuinness is in a seated position, he goes off the ropes and he gives him a second one. Morishima picks up McGuinness and chokes him against the second rope, he then puts him in the corner and chokes him some more. With McGuinness in the corner Morishima goes for a cartwheel splash, but McGuinness moves out of the way. Close range lariat by McGuinness, he picks up Morishima and hits an uppercut and throat thrust combination, knocking Morishima into the corner. Running uppercut by McGuinness and he hits a lariat, cover, but it gets a two count. McGuinness picks up Morishima, Irish whip from the corner, reversed, McGuinness does a handstand in the corner but Morishima sees him and kicks him in the head. Lariat by Morishima, he goes up to the top turnbuckle but McGuinness is up and hits the Tower of London for a two count cover.

McGuinness picks up Morishima, Irish whip from the corner, reversed, but McGuinness does a handstand in the corner and kicks Morishima back. Lariat by Morishima, he goes up to the top turnbuckle and hits a missile dropkick. McGuinness fires back with a lariat however, cover, but it gets a two count. McGuinness picks up Morishima, elbow by Morishima, McGuinness goes for the Pendulum Lariat but Morishima blocks it and delivers the Backdrop Driver. Back up, Morishima goes for a second one but McGuinness grabs the top rope. Irish whip by Morishima, McGuinness goes for a sunset flip, Morishima tries to sit on him to block it but McGuinness moves out of the way. McGuinness hits a trio of superkicks but Morishima absorbs the blows and and lariats McGuinness to the mat. Morishima picks up McGuinness, he puts him up on the top turnbuckle and joins him, but McGuinness blocks the suplex attempt. Elbows by McGuinness while still on the top rope and he lariats Morishima off the top rope to the mat. Cover, but it gets a two count. McGuinness goes up to the top turnbuckle but Morishima is up and joins him. Morishima goes for a superplex but McGuinness blocks it and (kinda) hits the Tower of London from the top turnbuckle to the apron down to the floor. McGuinness gets back in the ring first and Morishima slowly follows, cover by McGuinness but it only gets a two count. McGuinness puts Morishima onto the top rope (not the turnbuckle, but the rope), he goes to the top turnbuckle but Morishima ducks his lariat attempt. McGuinness goes out to the apron with Morishima but Morishima grabs him and hits a sidewalk slam from the apron down to the floor. Morishima gets back in the ring first, cover by Morishima when McGuinness gets back in the ring but it gets a two count. Irish whip by Morishima to the corner and he hits a running lariat followed by clubbin’ blows. He pushes back the referee when he tries to stop him, then covers, but the referee is out so he can’t make the count. Backdrop Driver by Morishima, cover, but McGuinness gets a shoulder up. Morishima goes for a lariat but McGuinness blocks it, lariat by McGuinness, he goes off the ropes but Morishima knocks him back with a hip attack. McGuinness rebounds back however with the Pendulum Lariat, cover, but it only gets a two count. McGuinness waits for Morishima to get up and goes for the Pendulum Lariat again, Morishima blocks it, but McGuinness gets a small package for a two count. Back up they trade blows, and a lariat by Morishima wins him the battle. Morishima goes off the ropes and hits another lariat, cover, but McGuinness gets a shoulder up. Morishima quickly picks up McGuinness and nails a Backdrop Driver, cover, and he picks up the three count! Your winner and still champion: Takeshi Morishima

Match Thoughts: This match wasn’t offensively bad, but it certainly wasn’t good either. First, they started boring me with the bland moveset, as the lariat was hit or attempted 18 times (by my count) in this match. That is almost one per minute. To make matters worse, the Pendulum Lariat is perhaps the most contrived move in professional wrestling done by a popular wrestler, and while him hitting it out of the blue in a match makes sense, here it just seemed too forced. I try not to be a “yay moves!” type of fan but 18 lariats in one match is simply excessive. Also, Morishima still seems too tentative in the ring. For example, on McGuinness’s top rope plancha he really didn’t catch him and on the Tower of London to the floor (hell, he did it on the regular Tower of London as well) he hung onto the top rope and thus killed the whole effect (I don’t blame him, it would have really hurt, but if the spot was planned it should have been done with full gusto). He showed that same tentativeness in his title match with Misawa, and if Morishima is going to cement himself on the next tier he has to seem less hesitant in the ring. Add in the meaningless early arm work by McGuinness (which Morishima didn’t even pretend to sell), and the match had far more negatives then positives. The action in general was hard hitting and the crowd stayed into it, but I just couldn’t get into the match. Score: 4.5

Final Thoughts:

I salute Ring of Honor for doing something so risky and I am glad that the shows were well received in Japan. Sadly, how the event aired didn’t do it any favors as only three matches were shown in full. The other matches were so clipped (and not clipped well, as I hate clippings that only show random moves with no meaning behind them) that it was impossible to get a good feel for how the matches were. I am only giving the show a Mild Recommendation because Shiosaki/Danielson was a very entertaining match as was the six man, and those two matches saved the show. The title match was a big disappointment for me, but if you are a big fan of McGuinness then perhaps you will disagree with me. I would have liked to have seen the show in full, but as it is now it is too hard to really rate the show properly. I fully expect the official DVD release from Ring of Honor to not have the matches clipped, so don’t let this stop you from buying the event.

Mildly Recommended

Visit Puroresu Central for clips and pictures from this event. Feel free to email me at purocentral@gmail.com if you have any questions, comments, or snide remarks.

The Inside Pulse
1. Davey Richards and Rocky Romero vs. Kotaro Suzuki and Jack Evans – (clipped)
2. Ippei Ota vs. Shuhei Taniguchi – (clipped)
3. Special Challenge Match: BJ Whitmer vs. Jimmy Rave (clipped)
4. Special Attraction Match: Bryan Danielson vs. Go Shiosaki – 7.5
5. Fight Without Honor: Delirious vs. Roderick Strong – (clipped)
6. Naomichi Marufuji, Jay Briscoe, and Mark Briscoe vs. Ricky Marvin, Matt Sydal, and Atsushi Aoki – 7.0
7. ROH World Heavyweight Championship: Takeshi Morishima vs. Nigel McGuinness – 4.5

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