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NJPW/ROH Honor Rising: Jay Lethal defends ROH title against Honma


On last night’s Honor Rising event, Tomohiro Ishii shocked everyone by beating Roderick Strong for the ROH Television championship. It’s one thing for a title to switch hands, but is it possible for both ROH singles titles to change hands on the same tour two nights in a row? It’s entirely possible as this morning, ROH World champion Jay Lethal faces off against perrenial underdog Tomoaki Honma. While Honma is known for getting the occasional big win when it matters, Lethal not only has been very strong as champion, but his manager Truth Martini is known for getting involved in matches. Will the same happen here tonight, or will Honma reign supreme as a double champion?

David Finlay vs. Jay White

Really nice back and forth match. These two will probably be facing off in singles bouts just like Komatsu and Tanaka, and those two always had nice, solid matches. Lots of back and forth with some nice uppercuts by Finlay. White continues to look very good as well. He gets the submission with the Boston crab.

Jushin Thunder Liger and Matt Sydal vs. Gedo and Delirious

Not really much of a match but there were some funny antics by the heels. There was a funny moment before the bell where everyone was wondering why Delirious turtled up in the corner. The bell rang, he went crazy...then promptly tagged in Gedo. Gedo was all nice and wanted to shake Liger’s hand twice. Everything was cool the first time, then he jumped him after the second. Babyfaces always seem to fall for that in New Japan. Delirious took a lady’s purse from the front row and used it as a weapon. That’s a new one. Matt Sydal won with the shooting star press on Gedo.

Delirious mentioned Stokely Hathaway and Cheeseburger (who should have totally been on these cards) after the match.

Frankie Kazarian vs. Dalton Castle

Nice match. It was a slow build kind of match, given a lot of time, but things got going pretty well towards the end. People liked Castle but there wasn’t a ton of heat for this which hurt it. There was some comedy to be had here as Castle did a lot of antics to start off the match, including posing with the boys as well as doing a bit with Tiger Hattori where he leaned all the way down to the floor and Hattori counted his shoulders. Fans tried to start some American chants, rooting for Castle, but they never lasted really long. Castle unleashed some great offense towards the end and pinned Kazarian after a tilt a whirl reverse facebuster.

Bad Luck Fale, Tama Tonga, Doc Gallows and Karl Anderson vs. reDragon, Katsuyori Shibata & Hirooki Goto

Bullet Club were all wearing new shirts. They had their usual eight man tag. They continued teasing something with Goto as he argued with Shibata at one point in the match. He’s had offers from Okada to join Chaos since losing the IWGP title match. Gallows and Anderson teased the Magic Killer but Goto came back and he and Anderson had some good comebacks. Gallows gave Shibata the Gallows Poll for a great near fall. Shibata came back, put him to sleep and hit the penalty kick for the win. Last few minutes were really good.

Bullet Club all got together and hugged after the match as it’s Anderson and Gallows last match with the company (I’m pretty sure, anyway). Tonga and Fale bowed to them and made their exit. Gallows and Anderson then bowed to all four corners of the ring, then knelt down at the last one. Fans were emotional and so were they. Anderson’s music then hit as they made their exit.

Moose and Kushida vs. Tetsuya Naito and Bushi

Fine tag team match. Again, this was to showcase Moose, who is very much over with the crowd in doing his chant. Evil accompanied Naito and Bushi on the outside and aided them in beating up the faces whenever possible. Moose looked really great on offense, especially when having to do the hot top. He even did the Okada dropkick to Naito, who tumbled out of the ring. He pinned Bushi with the spear.

Michael Elgin, Roderick Strong and Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Tomohiro Ishii, Yoshi-Hashi and Kazuchika Okada

Pretty good six man bout. It was shaped like a lot of New Japan tags as everyone worked with their rival (Tanahashi/Okada, Strong/Ishii, etc.). A lot of the focus was on Ishii and Strong. Everyone looked pretty good and worked well with one another. Crowd was here and there, but were really into the last few minutes of the match where Yoshi-Hashi got some near falls on Elgin. He overcame them and got the win for his team, pinning Yoshi-Hashi with the buckle bomb and spinning power bomb.

Ishii and Strong got pulled apart several times after the bell rang, making it clear that there’s probably going to be a rematch down the line for the title. Maybe at the TV tapings at the end of the month?

NEVER Six Man Tag Team titles: Kenny Omega and The Young Bucks vs. The Briscoes and Toru Yano (c)

Good match. Omega and the Bucks gel really well togther and helped make the match stand out. Kenny Omega came out wearing a New Day t-shirt saying he’s going to get Austin Creed (Xavier Woods). They have a rivalry going on for the Up Up Down Down show.Cody Hall accompanied the heels and freely interfere in the match, giving the Bullet Club the advantage. Lots of cool tandem work. Yano at one point undid the turnbuckle and laid out Omega with it. It played a part later in the match as all the heels ended up taking the turnbuckle spot.

Omega went for the hairspray but Yano rolled him up for a very close two count. Eventually the Bucks came back and laid out the Briscoes with a double Indytaker. They laid out Yano and gave him an extra More Bang for Your Buck (with Omega also hitting a swanton bomb) to win the titles. Makes sense as they’ve been building them as The Elite as of late.

These NEVER titles seem to be like the Hardcore title of New Japan at this point - we’re already on the fourth champions and the belt’s only existed for over a month!

ROH World Champion Jay Lethal vs. Tomoaki Honma

Good main event. Not great. Honma looked really good. Lethal looked good in places but the finish was kind of lame considering it happens in every Lethal match in Japan. Started off kinda slow. Good action, but nothing extraordinary. Lethal had him laid out and went for the Lethal Injection but Honma countered with a kokeshi. He took him to the floor and hit another one off the top rope. Honma hit all kinds of kokeshis but missed one off the top rope. Ref bump. In a surprise, suddenly Evil and Bushi came out and helped Martini lay him out with the Book of Truth...only to no sell it! He took out Martini but the distraction was enough as Lethal came back and laid him out with the Lethal Injection to retain the title.

Lethal wanted to shake Honma’s hand. There seems to be a theme to never trust the heels when it comes to shaking hands, but the babyfaces fall for it every time anyway. Of course, Honma obliged, and immediately Bushi sprayed him with the mist, leaving him a mess on the outside. Seems obvious the next tag title program is GBH and Naito/Evil.

Truth has the mic and says that Los Ingobernables and Lethal together are unstoppable. Naito then cuts a promo putting over Lethal, calling him his amigo, to end the show.

Pretty good show. There’s nothing absolutely you need to see, but for a live show this was pretty fun to watch. Hope ROH and New Japan do more shows together in the future as they both have some great talent that really shone on these last two shows.