Ring of Honor continued with matches from Best in the World. Fantastic stars from New Japan joined the RoH superstars to bring some of the best action to the fans.
Roll the opening montage!
Stills of Best in the World showed Michael Elgin defeating Adam Cole for the RoH World Title. They also showed video clips of the New Japan stars, including Jushin “Thunder” Liger.
Jedo and Shinsuke Nakamura vs Jushin “Thunder” Liger and Hiroshi Tanahashi
The fans really got into the New Japan guys. Liger got one of the largest pops that I’ve heard in Ring of Honor. The streamers were just sailing all over the place. Tanahashi looked like Marty Jannetty and Brutus Beefcake had a child. Grin.
Tanahashi and Nakamura started the contest. They tested the waters before locking up in the Collar and Elbow. Tanahashi worked over Nakamura’s arm. The two kept reversing Arm Bars. Tanahashi rose to stardom, in 2002, when his girlfriend stabbed him. Japanese Arm Drags by Tanahashi. Kevin Kelly compared Tanahashi to John Cena. Nakamura threw his opponent down and stomped away. Tag to Jedo.
Knife Edge Chops by the bald superstar, jedo. A chop dropped Jedo. Tag to Liger. The crowd just seriously exploded. Liger with the Baseball Slide Dropkick. Liger threw Nakamura out and hit his own Baseball Slide to him. Liger is my age (49). Corner attack by Liger on Jedo. Jedo caught Ligerwith a Low Blow. Break time.
Nakamura was in and stomping away on Liger. Boot Choke by Nakamura. Back Elbow by Liger. Jedo charged Tanahashi. Double Whip to Liger. Liger pushed both opponents into each other. Collision and tag to Tanahashi. Back Elbows to both men. Tanahashi with a Flying Forearm and Dragon Screw Leg Whip. Slam by Tanahashi. Swanton by Tanahashi. Shots to Nakamura’s ribs. Spinning Enziguri by Nakamura. Tanahashi was placed on the top roe and Nakamura hit the Running Knee. Liger was knocked off the apron. Gut Wrench Suplex by Nakamura. Tanahashi Dropkicked the knee of his foe. Enziguri by Nakamura. Tag to Jedo. The fans really hated the guy. Jedo rocked Nakamura with Knee Strikes and a Running Knee. Crippler Crossface by Jedo. Liger reached for the tag but was so far away. Steve Corino talked about how a Japanese ring was smaller than a U.S. ring. I’ve talked with a few friends in the business about the Japanese rings and they have all told me how it takes a major getting used to the 16 foot vs 18-20 foot ring. Tanahashi got under the ropes to force the break. Back Drop Suplex by Jedo but only got a two count. Ring-Assisted DDT by Jedo. Liger made the save. Nakamura took out Liger. Jedo psyched himself up but missed the Punt. Mosh Pit with Dropkicks all around. Liger with a Crossbody, to the floor, to take out Nakamura. Jedo went for a Strike but Tanahashi caught him with the Flying Neckbreaker. Tanahashi nailed the Frog Splash to seal the deal.
Your Winners: Hiroshi Tanahashi and Jushin “Thunder” Liger
Honor Roll Ranking: 3.75 out of a possible 5
Ring of Honor looked at the Bullet Club. They have the Young Bucks, A.J. Styles “Doc” Gallows, and Karl “Machine Gun” Anderson as members. Styles recently beat the reigning champion, Kazuchika Okada, to become the IWGP Heavyweight Champion. A.J. is in Japan, right now, defending the IWGP title. A.J. wants to hold both the IWGP and RoH top titles.
Gedo and Kazuchika Okada vs A.J. Styles and Karl “Machine Gun” Anderson
Okada’s robe is just freaking awesome. I’d give a year’s salary, almost, to have one like that to wear around the house. I could so see me riding my horse, Lacey, around the neighborhood, wearing that robe. The neighbors already thing I’m odd (due to the wrestling thing) and that would just secure their thoughts. Smile.
I haven’t seen Anderson since he left the NWA promotion in Las Vegas. Anderson partnered with Joey Ryan for quite some time. The crowd loved the Bullet Club.
Leg Lariat by Gedo to Anderson. Anderson came back and blasted both opponents. Crossbody by Gedo. Tag to Okada. “The Rainmaker” went after both Anderson and Styles. Front Drop by Okada into the Slingshot Senton. Okada missed a Corner Rush and Anderson nailed him. Modified White Noise Shoulder Breaker. Okada went to the top and hit the Savage Elbow! Okada missed the Rainmaker (his finisher). Flying Neckbreaker, by Anderson, after Okada blocked the Ace Crusher.
Styles with the tag and he hit the Flying Forearm. Okada blocked the Styles Clash. Both men unloaded with wild punches. Inside Out Dropkick by Okada. The Legendary, Tiger Hatori, was the ref. Gedo with the tag and a high Back Body Drop. Jawbreaker and DDT by Gedo. 1-2-no. Okada stopped Anderson. Double Team on Styles, including a Flapjack. Gedo with a Superkick that got him a two count. Gedo let loose with straight punches. Pele! Stun Gun (Ace Crusher) by Anderson. Brainbuster by Styles. Gedo was so out of it. Styles Clash!
Your Winners: The Bullet Club (Anderson and Styles)
Honor Roll Ranking: 3.5
RoH ran a promotional video about the joint RoH/New Japan tryout camp. Looks like a great group of kids at the try-out. I recognized a few of the kids at the camp and they are all excellent competitors. RoH and New Japan have a top notch crew of students to draw from.
The Young Bucks (Nick and Matt Jackson) vs Time Splitters (Alex Shelley and Kushida) vs Forever Hooligans (Alex Kozlov and Rocky Romero)
Triple Team Match for the IWGP Junior Tag Team Titles
My wife and daughter both love the Young Bucks. Both of them knew that Nick and Matt (or Max and Jeremy as they knew them) would go places. Smile.
The streamers made it like a rainbow snow storm in the ring. A huge “New Japan” chant broke out. All three teams have held the tag titles, one or more times.
Shelley opened against Matt Jackson. Hammerlock by Matt but Shelley reversed it. Shoving match but Shelley with a Knife Edge Chop and several punches. Shelley kicked Matt but Kozlov had blind tagged in. Nick with the D-X Crotch Chop. Tag to Nick. Whip by Kozlov but Nick survived. Nick dropped down to avoid Kozlov.
The Young Bucks are part of the Bullet Club. Tilt-a-Whirl Backbreaker by Kozlov and then a tag to his partner, Romero. Double Whip but Jackson tagged out to Kushida. Huh?
Kushida with the Shoulder Tackle. Deep Arm Drag by Kushida but he missed a second one. Dropkick by Kushida. Romero took Kushida to the corner. Kushida blasted both Hooligans and sent Romero into a Ping Pong Forearm situation with his Time Splitters partner. The Bucks also got taken out by the Time Splitters. Shotgun Knees and a variation of the Poetry in Motion. Shelley with the La Magistral Cradle. Romero flew off the apron to hit a Knee Strike to Shelley.
Tag to Kozlov. Snap Suplex by Kozlov into the Kossack Kicks to Shelley. I love that move. Kozlov Double Stomp but Kushida made the save. Romero tagged back in and went off on Shelley. Time for a quick break.
Romero and Shelley were still going at it. Shelley wanted the tag but Romero dropped Kushida. The Bucks with a wild Double Team to Romero. It broke down into a serious Mosh Pit. Shelley set it up so that the Brothers Jackson nailed each other. Shelley wanted a dive but got tripped. Miscommunication by the Bucks. Kushida with the Front Drop and then he went up top. He flew off…to the floor…to take out just about everyone. Shelley with the Frog Splash and Kushida went for the pin. Denied at two plus. The Time Splitters Double Teamed the Bucks. Kozlov tagged himself in and went off on one of the Bucks. The Hooligans with the Battering Ram Knees. I love that. Kozlov and Romero with a Top Rope Dropkick Double Team but Shelley made the save. The Hooligans were sent to the floor. The Bucks with a wild Corkscrew Plancha to the floor. Kozlov hit a ridiculous Corkscrew Dive. Kozlov unleashed a Spinning Enzigri. Nick missed the Trouble in Paradise but nailed the Superkick. Matt blocked Sliced Bread and hit a Superkick Double Tean by the Splitters. Dang! (nod to the Butcher Babe). Springboard Tombstone Piledriver by The Bucks. “Holy ****” by the crowd. The Bucks went after the Hooligans. Kozlov missed a Corner Splash. Romero flipped out and got Double Superkicked out of the ring. The Bucks with Double Superkicks to Kozlov. More Bang for your Buck!
Your Winners: The Young Bucks
Honor Roll Ranking: 4.25
I had the whole family in my tiny little office for the end of that match.