Ring of Honor and New Japan Pro-Wrestling collaborate for a special show at Madison Square Garden. Ten titles are on the line as champions fight champions along with a ladder match, a rumble, an open challenge and some of the best pure professional wrestling on the planet. Let’s get started!
Kenny King @ 42:15 – ***
Entry Order: Kenny King, Minoru Suzuki, Cheeseburger, Beer City Bruiser, SHO, Shingo Takagi, BUSHI, YOH, Shaheem Ali, Rhett Titus, LSG, Ryusuke Taguchi, Will Ferrara, Chase Owens, Rocky Romero, Brawler Milonas, Bad Luck Fale, Jonathan Gresham, Tracy Williams, YOSHI-HASHI, PJ Black, Jushin ‘Thunder’ Liger, TK’O Ryan, Vinny Marseglia, Delirious, Tomohiro Ishii, Colt Cabana (sub. for Toru Yano), Hirooki Goto, King Haku, The Great Muta
Elimination Order: Beer City Bruiser @ 9:16 BUSHI @ 17:30 Shaheem Ali @ 18:34 LSG @ 18:34 YOH @ 19:36 SHO @ 19:36 Shingo Takagi @ 20:55 Taguchi @ 22:35 Will Ferrara @ 23:55 Chase Owens @ 24:19 Brawl Milonas @ 25:25 Tracy Williams @ 27:15 PJ Black @ 29:50 YOSHI-HASHI @ 32:20 Bad Luck Fale @ 32:45 Delirous @ 36:40 Colt Cabana @ 37:00 Toru Yano @ 37:05 Gresham @ 37:20 Goto @ 37:30 Minoru Suzuki @ 38:42 Cheeseburger @ 39:26 King Haku @ 39:55 Tomohiro Ishii @ 40:12 Vinny @ 41:10 TK O’Ryan @ 41:12 Muta @ 42:12 Liger @ 42:15
The overarcing story of the match was that Kenny King chose the number one slot as way to prove himself as the rightful number one contender. At one point there were over fifteen particpants in the ring and King was able to slip under the radar and under the ring. When the match was down to Liger and Muta, King made his way back in and eliminated the two legends to win the rumble. His plan was executed well, no one noticed him amongst all the chaos.
The rest of the match had several fun moments sprinkled throughout, the highlight being The Great Muta’s entry at number 30. Toru Yano subbed in Colt Cabana at number 27 and took over Cabana’s role on commentary. Fifteen plus ran train on BUSHI with forever clotheslines before Romero dumped him over. Suzuki and Ishii knocked each other around with forearms, always a good time. Rumbles are always served better live and they’re generally too long to recommended for repeated viewing. I won’t recommend taking the time but this was a good time live.
NEVER Openweight Championship vs ROH World Television Championship
Jeff Cobb (c) def. Will Ospreay (c) @ 12:53 via Tour of the Islands – ***1/2
The proper start to the show begins with a handshake between Cobb and Ospreay. Cobb is quick on the jump and pounces Ospreay into the corner. Ospreay bails, Cobb follows and sends Ospreay over the rails. Cobb catches Ospreay’s dive, looks for a slam but Ospreay counters into a DDT on the floor. He sends Cobb in, sets up for a springboard forearm but Cobb cuts it off and superplexes Ospreay from the second. Ospreay elbows his way free from Cobb, looks for a hurricanrana but Cobb puts on the breaks and transitions into a bear hug. Ospreay breaks free and flurries with a handspring enziguri, top rope 619 and springboard forearm.
Cobb escapes the Storm Breaker, catches Ospreay’s boot, eats a slap, wakes up and delivers a suplex followed by a standing moonsault. They trade forearms on their knees, Cobb slaps, Ospreay boots and lariats, Cobb blocks a second but takes a headkick before hitting a lariat of his own. Cobb goes in for another lariat but Ospreay transitions into a Spanish Fly and quickly heads to the top to deliver a dropkick to the back of Cobb’s head. Cobb ducks the Hidden Blade, pulls Ospreay in for Tour of the Islands but Ospreays turns it into a sunset bomb.
Ospreays looks enziguri, takes a lariat instead. Cobb goes to the top but misses the frog splash, Ospreay quickly responds with a Robinson Special. Ospreay attempts the Oscutter, Cobb catches and sends Ospreay to the ropes but Ospreay bounces off and lands the Oscutter. He sets Cobb up for Cheeky Nandos, hits it and meets Cobb on the top where Cobb lands a desperation headbutt and follows with Tour of the Islands off the second and finishes Ospreay with a second Tour of the Islands.
Rush def. Dalton Castle @ 0:16 via Skewer Dropkick
Castles makes a big entrance with his boys and a throne. Rush wastes no time making his way to the ring. While Castle is busy removing one of his boy’s fans from the ring, Rush fires off a John Woo into the corner. Rush follows with two more dropkicks into the corner and pins Castle in sixteen seconds. After the match the boys try to console Castle but he snaps and lays both of them out.
We’re taken backstage where we see Juice Robinson has been attacked.
Women of Honor World Championship
Kelly Klein def. Mayu Iwatani (c) @ 10:38 via K Power- **
Klein is seconded to the ring and doesn’t receive a handshake from Mayu until she sends her backup away. They trade wristlocks, headlocks for headscissors and a stalemate. Kelin sends Mayu over on a waistlock, kicks her leg out and applies a reverse figure four. She continues the attack of the knee but Mayu catches her in a sleeper. Klein powers up, sends Mayu into the corner, charges in and eats a boot from Mayu who follows with a crossbody off the second but is caught with a fallaway slam. Mayu avoids a corner attack, sends Klein over and dives from the top to the floor with a crossbody.
Mayu tries to bring Klein in from the inside but Kelin drives her into the buckle. They trade forearms, Mayu collapses but Klein brings her back up and Mayu again falls to the mat. The crowd rallies, Mayu hits a boot, looks for a hurricanrana, Klein puts the breaks on so Mayu decides posion rana instead. Her Dragon Suplex is turned into a German from Kelin but Mayu powers up, both hit a lariat, Mayu ducks second and lands a German, Klein’s boots are over the ropes. She looks to follow with a moonsault, Kelin moves and drops Mayu with a lariat, goes to pull Mayu up but is dropped with a jawbreaker. Mayu heads to the top, Klein cuts it off with a powerbomb and follows with two K Powers to become WOH Champion.
The Beautiful People come out post-match and Mandy Rose follows behind. They attack Klein, draw an anarchy sign on her forehead with lipstick and reveal their new faction name, Allure.
A man comes out to rap about the ROH/NJPW relationship at MSG. Bully Ray comes out to put an end to it and tells the fans Juice can’t fight tonight. His open challenge is still open, he welcomes whoever wants to come out. Flip Gordon’s music hits, he comes to the ring and lands a slingshot spear. Bully catches the cutter and pulls a table and cane from under the ring. Flip cuts him off with a superkick, grabs the cane but Silas Young and Shane Taylor run in for the save. They set Flip on the table when Lifeblood’s music hits. Juice Robinson and Mark Haskins enter with a cart full of weapons. Juice requests this be made to a six-man tag.
Bully Ray Open Challenge
Flip Gordon, Juice Robinson & Mark Haskins def. Bully Ray, Silas Young & Shane Taylor @ 15:01 via Flip Four Flippy Splash on Bully – **
Young and Taylor charge at Juice and Haskins but get taken out with the cart. They save Flip from a Bully powerbomb through the table. Juice and Bully trade their signature punches before Silas makes his way in with a chair and lands an Arabian Moonsault on Juice. Bully attacks Flip with the cane. Flip asks for all three to hit him and they all oblige. Flip slaps Bully, Juice and Haskin takes out Silas and Taylor, leaving Bully isolated in the ring, each of the faces holding a cane. Bully decides to leave but Juice chases him up the ramp and bring him back inside.
Bully begs for forgiveness and says this wasn’t his idea. He low blows Robinson and Flip’s slingshot spear is met with a trash can over the head by Taylor. They powerbomb Flip through a table from the second, Silas suplexes Haskins on a chair and takes him to the top. Haskins kicks Silas’s knee out and stomps him into some chairs. Taylor lands a nasty piledriver on Haskins, Juice gives Taylor a shot with the trash can and the faces set up for Wassup on Bully. The Wassup connects, Flip follows with a Four Flippy Splash and pins Bully for the win.
IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship
Dragon Lee def. Taiji Ishimori (c) & Bandido @ 8:55 via Desnacadora on Bandido – ****
The challengers start by booting the champion out of the ring. Bandido follows out with a fosbury flop, Lee catches him on the apron with a hurricanrana to the flop and Ishimori a moonsault off the second turnbuckle to the floor. Ishimori continues with his signature flurry in the corner, punctuated by a springboard sitout splash. Lee comes back in with a slingshot dropkick into the corner and Bandido uses his power to turn him inside out. Ishimori is quick to hit a handspring enziguri, followed by a Liger Bomb from Lee. Bandido lands a hurricanrana on Lee, Ishimori a headscissors slam on Bandido and Lee a destroyer on Ishimori.
Bandido pops Ishimori up for a cutter, Lee cuts him off on top and lands a draping double stomp. Ishimori turns a Desnacadora into a rana followed by a double knee gutbuster. Bandido cuts off Bloody Cross and takes Ishimori to the top. They trade forearms until Lee pulls Bandido off and begins trading with Ishimori. Bandido hits both with an enziguri, meets both on top and lands a double pudgyplex but only gets a two count. Lee fires up with a knee and posion rana on Bandido, knees Ishimori out of the ring and finishes Bandido with Desnacadora.
PCO receives an ellaborate entrance where he’s brought back to life by Destro.
IWGP Tag Team Championship & ROH Tag Team Championship
Guerrillas of Destiny (c) def. The Briscoes, EVIL & SANADA, PCO & Brody King @ 9:53 via Super Powerbomb on Brody – ***1/4
The Briscoes attack before the bell and the match turns into a brawl. PCO lands a senton to the outside. EVIL and SANADA go after G.O.D. but Jado cuts off with the cane. Loa gets trapped in the Paradise Lock and Milano thanks SANADA for doing the hold at MSG. Brody takes the Briscoes out with a crossbody and follows with a pumpkick, rana, cannonball and tope con hilo. Mark dropkicks him through the ropes and dives off the turnbuckle. The Bricoes look to take out Tama but he ducks a lariat into a dropkick.
EVIL sets up a chair over Loa’s face and smashes it off with another chair while SANADA distracts the referee. Jay Driller and top rope elbow drop by the Briscoes but Brody breaks up the win. PCO sentons off the top to the apron on Jay, Brody hits a piledriver but G.O.D. break the count. They take PCO up for a double powerbomb and drop him from inside the ring to the floor. PCO attempts to rise but collapses back down. Brody turns a Gun Stun into a German and lands a lariat on Loa but Jado uses the cane. G.O.D. finish Brody with a Gun Stun followed by a Super Powerbomb.
Some marks run in trying to make a name for themselves.
Before the Guerrillas of Destiny could claim their titles, Toru Yano runs in and steals them.
RevPro Undisputed British Heavyweight Championship
Zack Sabre Jr. (c) def. Hiroshi Tanahashi @ 15:13 via Modified Jim Breaks Armbar – ***3/4
They start off by rolling. Tanahashi sends Sabre off for a stalemate. They trade wristlocks, Sabre pie faces Tanahashi but eats an elbow followed by a second rope crossbody. Sabre catches an elbow drop and transitions to an armbreaker. Tanahashi rolls him up but Sabre transitions back into the hold and stomps the arm before pie facing Tanahashi again. Tanahashi up, forearms Sabre but gets sent over the top. He tries to skin the cat but Sabre cuts it off into an armbreaker in the ropes. Sabre sends Tanahashi to the corner, Tanahashi bounces off the pad and lands a dropkick to the knee followed by another dropkick in the corner, scoop slam and a senton off the second rope.
Tanahashi tries the Texas Cloverhold, Sabre escapes, they trade Cobra Twists and Sabre locks in a headscissors in between the ropes. He’s forced to break the hold ad Tanahashi capitalizes with a Dragon Screw through the ropes, tries the cloverhold but Sabre transitions to a triangle choke. Tanahashi turns it back into the cloverhold, Sabre reaches the ropes, Tanahashi lands the reverse slingblade and goes to the top. Sabre cuts him off with a running kick and pulls Tanahashi off the top by his arm and follows with an overhead kick to the arm.
Sabre looks for the PK, Tanahashi catches, looks for the Dragon Screw, Sabre transitions to the Japanese Leg Clutch, Tanahashi out at two. Sabre follows up with the PK for another two and TAKA signals for Zack Driver. Tanahashi rolls the Zack Driver into the Japanese Leg Clutch, Sabre counters into the European Leg Clutch, Tanahashi escapes at two. Sabre goes for a guillotine choke, Tanahashi turns it into Twist & Shout followed by a Slingblade and sets up for a Dragon Suplex. Sabre turns the Dragon Suplex into an armbar to wins the match.
IWGP Intercontinental Championship
Kota Ibushi def. Tetsuya Naito (c) @ 20:54 via Kamigoye – ****1/4
Naito takes his time disrobing. When the bell rings, he sidesteps two lock ups before finally meeting Ibushi in the middle. Ibushi backs Naito to the ropes, gives a clean break but Naito lands an elbow, catches Ibushi in a sunset flip, ducks the kick and hits his pose. Ibushi floats over the corner elbow, lands a rana, Naito bails, Ibushi looks to follow with the Golden Triangle Moonsault but Naito runs back in and sweeps the leg before dropkicking Ibushi to the floor. Ibushi is sent to the barricade when he collides with someone from production. Naito offers his hand to the man, all is good and he goes back to the ring where he poses.
Ibushi makes his way back in, takes repeated elbows followed by a slingshot corner dropkick from Naito. Ibushi elbows out of a headlock, lands a dropkick, hits a flurry of strikes, punctuated by a standing moonsault. Naito ducks the corner attack and hits a single-leg dropkick that turns Ibushi inside out. Ibushi tries to fire back, Naito catches his boot and hits both a neckbreaker and dropkick to the back of Ibushi’s neck. Ibushi blocks the top rope rana, slides out and overhead kicks Naito off the top to the floor. He sets up for the outside-in deadlift German, Naito pulls him into positon for an apron piledriver, Ibushi escapes and connects with a rana to the floor.
Ibushi sends Naito in and follows with a springboard double stomp. Naito elbows free, lands a slingshot DDT, top rope rana and Gloria for two. Ibushi ducks an elbow, turns Naito inside out with a lariat and lands the outside-in deadlift German for two. Straightjacket German for another two. Kamigoye is blocked, Ibushi looks to rolls through but Naito sits on his head for another two. They trade forearms on their knees, Naito spits on Ibushi, causing Ibushi’s eyes to go black. A flurry of palm strikes from Ibushi, Naito covers and lands Destino but Ibushi is out at two. Ibushi blocks a second Destino, followed by a headkick, Nakamura pose and two Boma Yes dor two. Naito attempts to fight out of Last Ride but Ibushi lands it and wins the IC title with Kamigoye.
ROH World Championship Ladder Match
Matt Taven def. Jay Lethal (c) & Marty Scurll @ 29:34 – ***
Lethal and Taven start off by trading shot while Scurll looks for a ladder. Lethal fights Scurll for the ladder, Taven dives on the ladder. Lethal sets the ladder on two chairs, Scurll lands an apron-assisted DDT on Taven, sets a ladder in the ring and slams Taven. Lethal drops Scurll on a ladder, sends Taven out and throws a ladder onto him. Scurll ties Lethal into a ladder and hits it repeatedly with a chair before heading up for the title, using his umbrella to assist his reach. Taven pulls Scurll off, fires a kick, Lethal pushes the ladder over. Taven puts it over Lethals head and gives it a kick before climbing. Scurll pull him off and lariats Taven over the top.
Lethal applies a figure four between the ladder on Scurll’s legs. Taven climbs while the hold is applied, Lethal lets go and dumps Taven. Scurll dumps Lethal but his leg doesn’t allow him to climb the ladder. He drops Taven between the ropes and connects with a 619 before calling for the chickenwing. Taven kicks his knee out, hits a DDT but Scurll responds by stomping the fingers of Taven on the ladder. Taven blocks the finger break, the battle on top of the ladder, Scurll wind the exchange with a superplex. Scurll turns Lethal Injection into the chickenwing, Lethal backs him into a ladder and climbs. Lethal touches the title but Taven cuts him off, Lethal spits on Taven and punches him down. Scurll climbs up and meets Lethal, applies the chickenwing and sends him to the mat.
Taven climbs, Scurll breaks his fingers, Lethal uses the umbrella to knock Scurll down. Lethal and Taven trade forearms before a Lethal Combination on the ladder. Lethal charges at Scurll with a ladder, he ducks and the ladder becomes locked into another. Lethal can’t untangle the ladders so he has to find a new set. Scurll sets up a table on the floor, comes back in only to be speared through the ropes and through the table. Lethal finds a twenty foot ladder and sets up a table of his own. He jumps off the top with an elbow, through Taven on the table. Scurll is in the ring with a ladder, Lethal cuts him off, Taven reveals a purple ladder and climbs his next to them.
Lethal punches Scurll off, Scurll hits both off with a third ladder and sets it between the ropes and the third rung. Lethal does the same on the other side. Taven pulls them both off the ladder and climbs. Lethal meets him back on the ladder and they trade punches. The title is swinging back and forth, Taven grabs the title and smashes it into Letha’s face. Lethal crashes down and through one of the ladders. Taven pulls the ROH title free and becomes the new champion.
IWGP Heavyweight Championship
Kazuchika Okada def. Jay White (c) @ 31:49 via Rainmaker – ****3/4
MSG chants for Okada to start so White bails outside. He comes back in and bails right back out. They finally lock up, Okada takes White to the ropes and gives a clean break. Okada catches the boot, elbows White’s knee and hits the ropes but Gedo cuts him off. White applies a headlock and grinds Okada down. Okada manages to elbow free, hits a boot and neckbreaker before setting up for the low dropkick. White bails outside before the dropkick, Okada charges outside after him but eats a boot. He reverses White into the barricade and boots him over, looks for the draping DDT but Gedo cuts him off. White sends Okada into the post and delivers a suplex into the barricade.
White sends Okada back in and applies a chinlock. Okada elbows free but quickly meets one from White in return followed by a backdrop suplex. White ducks a forearm, lands a DDT and applies the Muta Lock. Okada gets to the ropes and they trade forearms for chops where Okada wins the exchange, hits a flapjack, nips up and follows with a DDT. He heads to the top, jumps over White’s cut off, eats a boot, catches a second and sends White over the top to the floor. Okada looks for the draping DDT but Gedo again cuts it off so Okada sends Gedo over the rails, lands a crossbody onto both and high fives the fans.
Okada sends White back in, sets up for the neckbreaker but White escapes into a Saito suplex followed by corner Europeans and a twisting brainbuster. Okada elbows out of White’s control, lands the neckbreaker, looks for the tombstone but White escapes and cowers into the corner. Okada John Woos him back into the corner, hits another from the top rope followed by an elbow drop off the top and the Rainmaker pose. White sits down on the attempted rainmaker, Okada pulls him up and forearms him back down. Okada pulls White up again, White drops Okada with a Flatliner + German combo followed by a suplex into the corner and a uranage.
White sets up for the Kiwi Crusher, Okada blocks, White ducks an elbow and lands a Saito suplex over the top to the floor. He brings Okada in for the Kiwi Crusher, Okada elbows free of White’s hold and connects with the tombstone. They have a boot versus chop exchange that breaks into forearms. Okada sends White to the ropes for the dropkick, White holds on and chops Okada to the mat. He ties Okada into the ropes, looks for a running chop but Okada breaks free and hits the dropkick. Gedo climbs up to the apron, Okada knocks him off and hits White with another dropkick. White catches Okada in a sleeper suplex, Okada fights out of the Blade Runner and dropkicks White in the back followed by the discuss Rainmaker.
Okada sets up for the tombstone, White escapes and counters into the Blade Runner but he can’t make the cover. They trade forearms on their knees, they make it to their feet but White’s strikes have no power. Gedo distracts the referee, allowing White to land a low blow. The Blade Runner is turned into a German, Okada looks for Rainmaker, White ducks into a backslide and Okada a backslide of his own. White’s Blade Runner is countered into a dropkick, White tries to boot out of wrist control but is taken down with a lariat. White turns a second lariat into position for Blade Runner but Okada pulls him through into a tombstone and finishes White’s first reign with a Rainmaker.
This was a show of two sides. On one side you had NJPW completely living up to their standard, giving the fans at MSG a high quality show. On the other side was ROH completely baffling the crowd and not making anyone happy. This was painfully clear to everyone. There’s no way for a New Japan fan to walk away from this show not feeling like they got their money’s worth. An absolutely excellent showing from them.
Okada vs White
Naito vs Ibushi
Ishimori vs Lee vs Bandido
Sabre vs Tanahashi
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