This will be the second ROH/NJPW Honor Rising show and will be live on New Japan World. 8 more rather interesting matches, so let’s get right into things:
David Finlay vs. Jay White:
A match we will see quite a few times in the coming months, because that’s just how the Young Lions work. Still nothing wrong with that, since those two can put on a good match under any circumstances and each of these outings is a chance for them to impress Gedo (if that isn’t done already). Normally they would just trade victories during these matches, but I expect White to go over once more since he’s been leading the charge on the Young Lion’s revolt against Naito’s abuse. Should be another solid match.
Winner: Jay White
Jushin “Thunder” Liger and Matt Sydal vs. Gedo and Delirious:
On day one, we will have the Battle of the Bookers, this time the bookers are teaming up against the Legend and the High-flier. Probably even more inside jokes here, but the result shouldn’t be a surprise, not only are the bookers going down, they will have a lot of fun doing it.
Winner: Jushin “Thunder” Liger and Matt Sydal
Dalton Castle vs. Frankie Kazarian:
Perhaps Micheal McMonigle could help me out here, but I find it a bit surprising that these two have the sole ROH-only singles battle on this shows since they don’t seem to have much going on. Or perhaps Gedo wants to invite one or both to NJPW in the future, that’s also possible, even if they are not the most obvious candidates. Difficult to call this one, I’m gonna go with Castle for the sole reason I wanna see how the Japanese crowd reacts to his, undoubtedly outrageous, victory celebration.
Winner: Dalton Castle
Hirooki Goto, Katsuyori Shibata, Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly vs. Tama Tonga, Bad Luck Fale, Doc Gallows and Karl Anderson:
Two stories in this match, first it will be the last NJPW appearance of Anderson and Gallows and secondly we will have the continuation of the Goto/Shibata storyline. That all leads to the Bullet Club boys going over (allowing them and the crowd to give Doc and Karl a proper send-off) by pinning the hapless Goto, which will no doubt provoke Shibata’s anger (who isn’t really happy with him to begin with). AND we’ll get to see Shibata and reDRagon team up again, which I hope will happen more often in the future. All in all, this should give us a quite entertaining NJPW 8-man tag match.
Winner: Bullet Club
KUSHIDA and Moose vs. Tetsuya Naito and BUSHI:
While this might seem like a continuation of the KUSHIDA/Los Ingobernables feud, I don’t think we will see naito and BUSHI go over here, and the reason for that is the presence of Moose, who has a big match against Okada next week. So everybody involved will no doubt do their utmost to present Moose as a credible that, which means we know the winners already. Also it will be interesting to see how Moose copes with this, for him, new environment. Aside from that expect more of Naito abusing everyone he can get his hands on, which is always fun.
Winner: KUSHIDA and Moose
Hiroshi Tanahashi, Michael Elgin and Roderick Strong vs. YOSHI-HASHI, Tomohiro Ishii and Kazuchika Okada:
Typical NJPW 6-man tag involving the big names. It will be interesting to see hoow Okada and Tanahashi interact since they have been more or less avoiding each-other since WK10 (give or take a few matches here and there). The Strong and Ishii interactions will be about the aftermath of their ROH TV Title match the previous day, while Elgin is there to back up his team with is power-moves. Which leaves poor YOSHI-HASHI to take the pin. I’m also gonna keep an eye on Ishii in this one as I still think something is up between him and CHAOS.
Winner: Tanahashi, Strong and Elgin
NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Championship – Toru Yano and The Briscoes (c) vs. Kenny Omega and The Young Bucks:
I’ve been saying that the already frequent title changes did not help the credibility of those newly created belts, but, amusingly, I could actually get behind another title change here. Omega and The Young Bucks have been calling themselves The Elite lately, so those belts could actually benefit from a stint around their waists, while accentuating their claim. Besides, if The Briscoes stick around in NJPW it’s only a matter of time before they target tag team Champions GBH, so that would make sense on that side also. Think about it, a 3-man team, with an actual, specific name could give those belts at least a reason to exist and could also bring more excitement and intrigue to those traditional NJPW multi-man tag matches. If I was Gedo’s shoes…
Winner: The Elite
ROH World Championship – Jay Lethal (c) vs. Tomoaki Honma:
It seems ROH and NJPW are intent on rectifying their WK 10 mistake with this one. At that show, the plan was to introduce Lethal the heel champion to the Japanese crowds by putting him in a match with beloved face Elgin. That didn’t work out well, because the Japanese crowd knew little about Lethal, in fact, all they wanted to see was Elgin dominating with his power moves and go over at he end. So when Lethal dominated during the match, the crowd lost interest. They would wake up a bit for Elgin’s comeback, but, in the end, when Lethal won, they again showed little interest. Now, how do you rectify that? Simple, by putting Lethal against heroic loser Honma. Honma is the super-over guy who is expected to be dominated, especially against an heel. he’s also expected to make a comeback, to the crowd’s delight, but in the end, he’s expected to lose. So, in this match, Lethal will get the right kind of heat by dominating the beloved Honma, they will get the crowd on their feet with Honma’s comeback and the crowd will HATE Lethal for pinning their Heroic Loser (even if everyone knows that will happen anyway). In other words, classic wrestling storytelling and a good way to establish Lethal as an heel the Japanese crowds will love to hate. Should be fun.
Winner: Jay Lethal
And there you have it, this show will conclude ROH’s first tour of Japan, before they fly back home, accompanied by some of NJPW’s biggest stars, for their 14th Anniversary show. Reviews of both Honor Rising shows on Friday and Saturday (if all goes well).
Tags: bullet club, Dalton Castle, Delirious, doc gallows, Frankie Kazarian, Gedo, hiroshi tanahashi, Jay Lethal, Jushin "Thunder" Liger, Karl Anderson, Katsuyori Shibata, kazuchika okada, Kenny Omega, Kushida, Matt Sydal, Michael Elgin, Moose, njpw, redragon, Roderick Strong, ROH, Ryusuke Tagushi, Tama Tonga, Tetsuya Naito, The Briscoes, Tomoaki Honma, Tomohiro Ishii, Yoshi Hashi, Young Bucks