By Jason Powell
Ring of Honor TV
Taped on February, 26-27 2017 in Tokyo, Japan at Korakuen Hall
Aired in syndication over the weekend, Mondays on the FITE TV app, and Wednesdays on Comet TV
The opening video aired… Ian Riccaboni welcomed viewers to the show and said they would be doing things differently this week by showing the best of Honor Rising. He noted that the two-night event was held in Japan in February, and hyped Kenny Omega, The Young Bucks, and Cody vs. Will Ospreay, Kazuchika Okada, and The Briscoes, and Hirooki Goto vs. Punishment Martinez, and the opening match…
1. Bushi, Evil, and Sanada vs. Delirious, Jushin Liger, and Tiger Mask. The match was joined in progress with Kevin Kelly and Rocky Romero on commentary. There was a graphic that showed the ROH and New Japan Pro Wrestling logos that noted the show was taped in February. There was a commercial break during the match. Delirious raked the back and chest of Sanada, who was wearing a t-shirt. This wasn’t played up for comedy, instead Sanada sold it. Odd. In the end, Evil struck Delirious with a chair from ringside while the referee was distracted. Sanada applied a submission hold for the win…
Bushi, Evil, and Sanada defeated Delirious, Jushin Liger, and Tiger Mask.
A Marty Scurll t-shirt commercial aired… [C]
Powell’s POV: I’m going a little lighter on the match detail simply because the show is so dated. The match was actually for the NEVER Openweight Six-Man Tag Titles, but that wasn’t acknowledged heading into the match aside from one of the title belts being shown.
2. Hirooki Goto vs. Punishment Martinez. The match was joined after introductions. Martinez looked at Goto and let out a villainous laugh. A short time later, Martinez flexed an grunted. Goto worked him over and then mocked him with his own flex and grunt. There was a commercial break during the match. Martinez performed a big dive over the top rope onto Goto on the floor for a nice pop. He followed up back in the ring with a spinning kick off the ropes for a two count. Goto fired up and threw a kick that Martinez caught and then responded to with a forearm shot. Goto performed his CTR finisher and scored the clean pin. Afterward, Martinez got up on one knee and smiled at Goto…
Hirooki Goto defeated Punishment Martinez.
Powell’s POV: This match was for the NEVER Openweight Championship, but that wasn’t acknowledged going into the match either. This was an odd choice to air on ROH television in that Martinez has been positioned as a dominant monster. It’s not that Martinez was dominated or looked bad. In fact, he looked impressive in every way aside from the outcome. It’s just that with so many other matches to choose from, why not go with one that doesn’t show Martinez losing if for no other reason than it will look impressive when one of ROH’s own wrestlers beats him on television.
3. Kenny Omega, Matt Jackson, Nick Jackson, and Cody Rhodes vs. Will Ospreay, Jay Briscoe, Mark Briscoe, and Kazuchika Okada. Only the Briscoes received a televised entrance. The Bucks performed an over the top celebration of their early offense heading into a break. Bullet Club ended up isolating Ospreay, who eventually performed a great tornado DDT and made a hot tag. Okada worked over Cody. Okada mocked the Bucks by doing “suck it” gestures before taking shots at them. The Briscoes worked over Matt Jackson heading into the final break.
Cody suplexed Ospreay from the top rope onto a group of the other wrestlers at ringside. Omega and Okada squared off and milked the moment, as it was the first time since their WrestleKingdom show. Omega connected with a running knee and set up for his finisher. Okada avoided it and set up for the Rainmaker clothesline, but Omega ducked it and the Young Bucks caught him with a double superkick. Omega and the Bucks followed up with a triple superkick.
It was rapid fire big spot time with the other wrestlers returning to the ring. Okada caught Omega with his awesome dropkick. Jay superplexed Omega. Mark performed a top rope elbow, then Okada did the same. Okada set up for the Rainmaker. Omega ducked it and blasted him with a high knee to the head. Ospreay cut off Omega before he could follow up. In the end, Ospreay went for a springboard move on Cody, who caught him and performed CrossRhodes for the win…
Kenny Omega, Matt Jackson, Nick Jackson, and Cody Rhodes defeated Will Ospreay, Jay Briscoe, Mark Briscoe, and Kazuchika Okada.
Riccaboni checked in and questioned whether Bullet Club was successful at War of the Worlds. He told viewers they would find out next week who left the show as ROH Champion…
Powell’s POV: A hot main event with great action and major star power. Overall, a fine show for what it was, though it is disappointing to me when the company airs footage taped a few months earlier rather than running first-run material. The in-ring action on the show was very good and it’s hard to top the star power in the final match. Call me crazy, but I would actually prefer to see new Women of Honor specials whenever there’s a bridge to gap between pay-per-view events and first-run shows. The WOH matches are taped on a regular basis, yet for some reason the company airs the WOH specials so infrequently that it’s hard to care about the talent or storylines. This year’s broadcast of Honor Rising lacked the charm of last year’s shows, which featured footage of some of the ROH talent at various locations in Tokyo. This was just three matches plucked from the two nights. Even so, the last two matches were certainly entertaining and it’s worth going out of your way to watch if you haven’t seen Honor Rising already. Haydn Gleed will provide his take in audio form for members tomorrow.