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NJPW/ROH Honor Rising results: Roderick Strong defends TV title against Tomohiro Ishii

Roderick Strong vs. Tomohiro Ishii

New Japan has teamed with Ring of Honor in the past couple of years in the United States and has delivered some amazing matches and moments to the United States crowd. But what happens when Ring of Honor comes to Japan? Well, we're about to find out as Ring of Honor and New Japan held their first of two televised shows tonight. In the main event, ROH TV champion Roderick Strong defends his title against Tomohiro Ishii. Will Strong, who has held the title since October, be able to keep hold of his title, or will the stone pitbull Ishii bite him and sink his jaws into his title?

Dalton Castle and Ryusuke Taguchi vs. Jushin Thunder Liger and Matt Sydal

Perfectly acceptable opener. Nothing big, kind of short but a nice way to start the show. Castle did in fact have the boys with him, but not The Boys. Taguchi had a cape as well and did all of Castle’s poses. They did the spot where Castle poses with the boys, but then Liger lays him out and poses with the boys for the funny pop. Even though his gimmick is mostly comedy Castle held his own with Sydal and looked pretty good. Sydal laid him out and pinned him with the shooting star press.

Gedo vs. Delirious

This is an interesting match - it’s the battle of the bookers! Keep in mind I wrote that last sentence before actually witnessing the match. Delirious acted completely bonkers to start things off. Gedo had an expression on his face that was completely gif-worthy, and in fact was the only good part of the match. Delirious worked over Gedo by doing a lot of biting. Wasn’t good, lots of stalling, and the action was just so-so, even when Gedo regained offense. Seems like they tried everything in their power to stall and thus resulted in a lame match. Delirious got the win after a roll up.

Frankie Kazarian vs. Kushida

Good match. Not out of this world but they did a very well worked match. Kazarian looked to go for a superplex but Kushida kept fighting him, jumped off the top rope and smacked Kazarian’s elbow into the mat. Kazarian went to grab him but Kushida floated around and tried the kimura. He eventually locked it in and Kazarian tapped.

Tomoaki Honma, Hiroshi Tanahashi, Michael Elgin and Moose vs. Tama Tonga, Bad Luck Fale, Yujiro Takahashi and Cody Hall

Moose and Fale did the big stare down. It’s surprising because Fale’s been pushed as this giant, but Moose was just as tall as he was. I guess it’s all about illusion. Typical eight man NJPW tag. Lots of fun action but nothing extraordinary. Moose got over pretty big as everyone did his gesture and everything. Goal of the match was to put him over strong, and they did their job well here. He pinned Cody Hall with the spear.

Kenny Omega and The Young Bucks vs. Katsuyori Shibata and reDragon

Very good match. Shibata and Omega looked really good and reDragon and the Bucks have terrific chemistry with one another. This is such an odd match when you think about it, though. You look at it on paper and think this is a match that could never happen a few years ago, but now here we are. Omega and the Bucks were putting themselves over as The Elite, which I guess is like the Wolfpac within the Bullet Club or something. Fits the gimmick. I wonder if they’re teasing Shibata as the next IC title challenger, but he has the NEVER title so it doesn’t make much sense unless it’s not being defended for a while. Bucks and reDragon had some really great exchanges towards the end. Omega cut him off and tried for the One Winged Angel but O’Reilly countered with a sleeper. Matt took out hairspray (?) and sprayed it in O’Reilly’s eyes. Omega pinned him with the One Winged Angel.

ROH vs. NJPW

Karl Anderson and Doc Gallows vs. The Briscoes

Good match while it lasted. These two teams really gel well and had a fun back and forth match. Weird thing is that they weren’t given a ton of time to have a really good match, but was still pretty good anyway. Mark got the win over Karl Anderson after pinning him with the froggy bow. Anderson and Gallows made their exit after the match to chants.

Tetsuya Naito & Jay Lethal vs. Kazuchika Okada & Yoshi-Hashi

Good match. Naito again made Milano open the ring ropes for him. I wonder if it’s just an angle to stall for time as Naito’s gimmick is always having these long, drawn out entrances. Fans were actually totally into Lethal, chanting “Let’s go Lethal”. That’s so weird to hear in a New Japan crowd. Lethal and Okada had really good chemistry in the ring, kind of a bummer we can’t have a champion vs. champion match. Lethal got the win for his team, pinning Yoshi-Hashi after the Lethal Injection while Okada was laid out with the Book of Truth. Naito seemed very interested in the contents of the book after the match, and he and Lethal posed for pictures.

ROH TV Champion Roderick Strong (c) vs. Tomohiro Ishii

Really good match, the best of the night. It didn’t have the intensity that a big time Tomohiro Ishii match usually brings, but they told a good story here and both guys looked really good. Expectations were not exactly met, but still a really good match. Big spot at the beginning of the match where Strong grabbed Ishii and slammed him back first on the apron. That is the ROH special, after all. He sold his back as he worked over Strong. They went back to the apron where they teased a few spots before Strong gave him a big time backbreaker off the apron and to the floor. Some really great sequences towards the end. Strong hit the sick kick but Ishii kicked out. Ishii gave him a lariat but he also kicked out. Strong tried some more offense but Ishii knocked him down, hit the sliding D plus a brainbuster and pinned Strong to win the title.

I did not see that coming at all, but makes sense. He’ll be in Vegas later this month and will probably switch the title back then.