What is perhaps the biggest show in Ring of Honor history takes place at the UNO Lakefront Arena in New Orleans tonight.
With nearly 6,000 tickets sold, the Bullet Club's issues will come to a head as Kenny Omega takes on Cody Rhodes. It's being billed as a double main event, with Marty Scurll also challenging for Dalton Castle's ROH World Championship.
The Young Bucks are teaming with Flip Gordon against Six-Man Tag Team Champions SoCal Uncensored (Christopher Daniels, Frankie Kazarian & Scorpio Sky) in a ladder match for the titles, The Briscoes' tag belts will be on the line against Hiroshi Tanahashi & Jay Lethal, the first Women of Honor Champion will be decided, and Kenny King and Silas Young are facing off in a last man standing match for the TV title.
Both the finals and semifinal matches in the Women of Honor Championship tournament are scheduled for tonight. The semis will be Mayu Iwatani vs. Kelly Klein and Tenille Dashwood vs. Sumie Sakai.
Other matches on the show are: Kota Ibushi vs. Hangman Page, Tomohiro Ishii vs. Punishment Martinez, and Chuck Taylor vs. Jonathan Gresham. The show is streaming live on ROH's HonorClub subscription service, and our coverage starts at 8:30 p.m. Eastern time, with a pre-show starting at 7:30 p.m. Eastern time.
Kelly Klein defeated Mayu Iwatani
They start off with some back and forth action. Klein catches Iwatani and goes on offense, striking her with a big boot. Iwatani came alive after hitting a hurricanrana off the top rope and followed with a missile dropkick. She missed a double foot stomp, but then superkicked Klein and hit the foot stomp. She followed with a frog splash, but Klein kicked out.
Klein went to powerbomb Iwatani but Iwatani countered with a reverse rana. Klein hit a driver but Iwatani followed with a northern lights suplex. Klein gets in a guillotine choke, and while Iwatani resisted, she eventually passed out, giving the win to Klein as she advances to the finals. A bit sloppy at times, but otherwise a solid match.
Sumie Sakai defeated Tenille Dashwood
This starts off hot with Dashwood immediately coming after Sakai. Dashwood took out Sakai with a giant crossbody off the top rope to the floor. Dashwood puts Sakai in a submission, but Sakai manages to counter with an armbar.
Dashwood hits the Taste of Tenille in the corner, but Sakai makes a comeback until Dashwood plants her with a powerbomb. Sakai came back with the smash mouth. Dashwood goes for the spotlight, but Sumie Sakai dodged the spotlight and rolled her up in a crucifix for the win. Another good match, which makes it Sakai vs. Klein later tonight for the Women of Honor title.
After the match, Klein came down to the ring and the two finalists posed for pictures. Klein laid out Sakai with a punch in a heel move and was escorted out by referees.
Chucky T defeated Jonathan Gresham
Gresham did a big suicide dive to the floor, but overshot and really just kind of pushed Chucky T to the floor. When mat wrestling, Gresham is really smooth and good at everything he does. Gresham kept working on the leg, then went for a springboard DDT. Gresham went back to the leg but Chucky T cradled him for the win. Solid opener.
Punishment Martinez defeated Tomohiro Ishii
Martinez used his size early to dominate Ishii and absorb his offense. Martinez did a crazy running plancha to the floor, wiping out Ishii then followed with a tope con hilo and a spinning dropick off the top rope. He took Ishii to the top rope and hit a hurricanrana for a near fall.
Ishii came back and launched off the top rope with a superplex. He followed with the sliding D, but Martinez grabbed him. Ishii escaped and hit a lariat. The two traded back and forth offense until Martinez hit a kick to the side of the head and hit the south of heaven chokeslam for the win. Very good back and forth match, an intense back and forth brawl. Some of the spots Martinez did were scary, but he’s very underrated at this point at how much he’s improved.
Kota Ibushi defeated Hangman Page
Good back and forth action to start. Ibushi went for the Golden Triangle moonsault but Page pulled him off. Hangman Page went for the shooting star shoulder block on the outside. Ibushi then took Page, who was on the barricade, and German suplexed him to the floor in a crazy spot. He followed up with a giant Golden Triangle moonsault.
Back in the ring, Page hit a package powerbomb. Ibushi escapes the right of passage as they go to the apron. Ibushi teased a piledriver, but Page countered with a back body drop. Page hit a giant moonsault to the floor. They give each other forearm shots and slaps until Page hits a roaring elbow. Ibushi connects with a kick and a press powerbomb. Page kicked out and dodged the kamigoye, but Ibushi gave him a German suplex then hit the kamigoye for the win. Excellent, crazy match.
Sumie Sakai defeated Kelly Klein to win the Women of Honor title
Sakai immediately jumped Klein, probably in retaliation for the cheap shot earlier, but was immediately laid out with a suplex. They go to the outside where Klein dominates. Sakai tries to rally back, but Klein nails her with a German suplex. The rest of the Women of Honor roster come to the ring as Sakai comes to life and hits a moonsault. She follows with a DDT and pins her to win the match and becomes the first ever Women of Honor champion. Match was fine, but finish felt like it came out of nowhere.
All the women, including Daffney who was at ringside, came to the ring and posed for photos.
SoCal Uncensored defeated The Young Bucks and Flip Gordon in a ladder match to retain the ROH Six Man tag team titles
Flip Gordon and Frankie Kazarian fought each other early, which led to a big cutter to the ground. First crazy spot of the night was when the Bucks assisted Gordon in doing a 450 splash on Daniels who was on the ladder. Kazarian tries to do the ladder on the neck spot, but Flip kept dodging and hit him with a superkick.
Daniels pins Gordon on the ladder and tries to climb up, but the Bucks make a save. They rally back and isolate Flip for a while until the Bucks come in and lay everyone out. During all this, Flip did a one legged tope to the floor. The Bucks climb the ladder, but The Kingdom come in and start to beat on the Young Bucks. They lay out Gordon with their finish.
At first, the Kingdom allow SoCal Uncensored to get the titles, but they turn on them and just join the match because, well, I guess they can. O’Ryan goes to get the belts but the Bucks send him to the floor. The Bucks, Gordon and SoCal Uncensored all meet each other on the ladder. Someone grabs Flip and takes him to the floor, knocking his head on the ladder on the way down in a crazy spot.
Lots of crazy dives on the outside followed, capping off with Flip doing a double blockbuster to a sea of people on the outside. Tables are introduced and set up as Flip and one of the Bucks do stereo 450 splashes. Daniels and Matt Jackson meet on the ladder. Daniels falls to the floor, but shakes the ladder enough that Matt (who took off his weight belt supporting his bad back) is shoved off the ladder to the floor and through a table. Daniels climbs the ladder and grabs the titles to retain them. I don’t know if this was good as other recent Young Buck spectacle matches, but it had just as many crazy, unique spots that made it stand out during a weekend of crazy action.
After the match, The Kingdom steal the six man belts and escape into the crowd, so the next title match will probably be between these three teams.
The Briscoes defeated Hiroshi Tanahashi and Jay Lethal to retain the ROH tag team titles
Lethal worked a lot of the match until making the hot tag to Tanahashi. Briscoes then worked on Tanahashi forever. Lethal was finally tagged in and hit the lethal combination on Jay. Lethal applied the figure four as Tanahashi went to go for the high fly flow, but Mark shoved him to the floor. Lethal came back and hit the Lethal Injection on Mark but he kicked out.
Lethal next went for the Injection on Jay, but as Lethal went to plant him Jay countered with a German suplex. Briscoes then lifted him up and hit the Doomsday Device for the win. This was fine, and the last few minutes were good, but the bulk of it didn’t do much for me.
Silas Young defeated Kenny King to win the ROH Television title
Silas gets the advantage early by throwing King out of the ring and onto a table. He then throws him into the barricade not once but twice. Silas was on offense until King came back with a blockbuster to the floor. Young fired back and started to introduce trash cans into the ring. King escaped being suplexed from a chair but walked right into a trash can lid shot to the head.
King sets up a table on the outside and puts Young on top. He’s about to launch off the top rope when the Beer City Bruiser comes in. King beats him up, then Silas goes after him. King responds by suplexing King on a ladder. He finally gets the spot he was looking for by doing a shooting star press off the top turnbuckle onto a table on the outside in a crazy spot.
As the referee counts to ten, Silas makes it to his feet but King can’t, so Silas wins the match and the title. Immediately after, it was revealed the Beer City Bruiser was under the ring the whole time and had tied up King’s feet. Just kind of a standard weapons match with a dead crowd until the big spot.
Young and Bruiser beat up King until Aries made the save with a steel chair.
Cheeseburger and Eli Isom were about to have a match with The Dawgs when The Dawgs jumped them with steel chairs. Bully Ray came in and told Cheeseburger that his partner can’t compete. Cheeseburger wanted Bully Ray to be his partner. After a lot of talking, Bully Ray accepted.
After doing some spots that took care of the Dawgs, Bully Ray turned on Cheeseburger and laid him out with a chokeslam. He told him how dare you put him on the spot. You are what is wrong with the pro wrestling business, you and all of your kind, your selfish generation, you entitled, you think it’s all about you. Guys like Will Ospreay, Flip Gordon, Ricochet and so on.
Joe Koff comes out. Bully Ray taunts him. He says this is the reason wrestling sucks, because of guys like this, and you make these people think it’s okay. Flip Gordon comes out, but Bully Ray grabs Cheeseburger and says he’ll piledrive him and shut down the show, because the piledriver is banned in Louisiana. Gordon backs down and listens to Bully Ray when he says to stand in the corner.
Bully Ray says he’s a WWE Hall of Famer. Then he powerbombed Cheeseburger and left the ring. Cool.
Cody defeated Kenny Omega
First big spot of the match is Omega taking out Bernard the Business Bear with a baseball slide. His head fell off, but apparently it wasn’t important as to who was under the mask. Cody cut Omega off and teased he was going to hit the shattered dreams, but instead flipped off the crowd. Cody told Brandi at ringside to “throw him the gimmick”. The referee took away the gimmick, but in the process low blowed Omega.
Cody took him to the outside and threw him into a chair. Back in the ring, Omega fires back with a crossbody and eventually lands a giant tope con hilo to the outside. Omega continues his offense in the ring, hitting a snap dragon suplex. He hits another, then goes for a third but Cody connects with a disaster kick. American death lock follows but Omega fights back, trades punches with Cody and reverses it.
On the outside, Cody get a table and cuts off Omega on the apron. Cody tries for a piledriver, but Omega escapes and hits a dragon suplex on the apron. Cody somehow fights back and drives Omega’s gut through the edge of the table with a reverse suplex.
They’re back in the ring again as Omega plants Cody with a reverse rana. Brandi gets on the apron as Cody stirs. Omega goes for the v-trigger but Cody dodges and instead Omega smashes his knee into Brandi, sending her through a table. Omega tries to revive Brandi, but once he re-enters the ring Cody plants him with the crossroads for a nearfall. Flip Gordon comes out and helps Brandi to the back.
Cody makes a comeback and starts whipping Omega with the weight belt but Omega dodges a moonsault and connects with a v-trigger. He hits another and goes for the One Winged Angel but Cody reverses and hits a vertebreaker. This brings out the Young Bucks, who are conflicted and think about who they're going to assist. They appear like they are about to superkick Cody, but as they do he ducks and they strike Omega instead. Cody revives, hits the crossroads and pins Omega.
I think this was pretty good, with some strong storytelling and pretty cool spots. It was exactly what it needed to be at this stage of the game to what they’re building to later in the year -- not an all out awesome match, but a very good, dramatic match that the crowd were invested in.
The Bucks tried to explain to Kenny what happened, but Kenny wouldn’t hear any of it and shoved Matt as he headed to the back.
Dalton Castle defeated Marty Scurll to retain the ROH World title
They showed NWA World Heavyweight champion Nick Aldis at ringside. Announcers put over that he and Scurll were friends and have known each other for a long time.
After some back and forth, they go to the outside and exchange blows. Castle goes to clothesline Scurll but he dodges and Castle connects with the turnbuckle instead. Scurll starts working on the arm and fingers, but Castle fights back and starts hitting a series of suplexes. Castle takes him to the outside and hits a German suplex.
In the ring, Scurll went for the bangarang but Scurll countered with a rolling pin. Scurll took Castle back out of the ring but Castle started to fight back. They went over to the stairs where Castle took a big back body drop onto the stairs. Scurll continued his momentum by throwing Castle into the barricade.
Castle came back and planted Scurll on the apron and followed with a great deadlift bridging German suplex for a nearfall. Aldis gives Scurll the powder and tries to use it on Castle, but is blinded by it instead. He breaks the referee’s finger on accident and can’t make the count when Castle hits the bangarang. Scurll takes the umbrella and smashes everyone in sight with it. He gets a visual pinfall on Castle but when a new referee comes in Castle kicks out.
Scurll locks in the chicken wing but Castle gets to his feet and slams Scurll to the floor. Scurll comes back and locks it in again. Castle tries to get to the ropes but Scurll grabs his fingers and breaks one of them again. Scurll repeatedly stomps on Castle’s head as he looks for the chickenwing again but Castle turns it into a rollup. Castle fires back with a third bangarang and scores the win. This was a great match on a technical level, but the crowd was dead for it save for the last few minutes.
I’m not sure what to make of this show overall. There’s lot of good stuff early on, but the two matches and angle after the intermission dragged forever -- the pacing for the show felt way off. This felt every bit of a 4-5 hour show, and then some. The two main events, Ishii/Martinez and Ibushi/Page were all very strong matches, so they’re worth a look for those watching the replay.