ROH/NJPW Honor Rising 2018: Night 2
By Big Red Machine
From February 24, 2018
BEER CITY BRUISER vs. TOA HENARE - 4.75/10
Bruiser won, but I'm sure Henare will get that big win someday. The finish was pretty great.
JAY LETHAL, JUICE ROBINSON, & DAVID FINLAY JR. vs. BULLET CLUB (Chase Owens, Yujiro Takahashi, & Hikuleo) - 6/10
Fun match. The fans were very into Lethal, which is a change from Lethal's past trips to New Japan.
RYUSUKE TAGUCHI & FLIP GORDON vs. LOS INGOBERNABLES DE JAPON (Hiromu Takahashi & BUSHI) - 6/10
Flip Gordon annoys the hell out of me, so when he did a pointless, show-offy backflip, only to get clobbered from behind by BUSHI, it just made me laugh my ass off instead of booing like they wanted me to. Look... the dude is a spot-monkey who calls himself "Flip." If his last name was "Goofball" he would be the living embodiment of everything that sucks about in-ring wrestling in 2018. He's like if you had a stereotypical middle-aged white guy CEO of an unethical corporation as the villain of your movie and you named him "Mr. McGreedy." He's not even being f*cking subtle about it.
They found these section signs all the way at the back of the crowd that make a nice loud noise when you throw someone into them, so of course they fought all the way to the back of the arena just so the babyfaces could get thrown into these signs... and of course the referee didn't count them out. Yeah. That was totally worth sh*tting on logic, especially when they later showed us that a similar sound can be created by just throwing someone into the guardrails.
On the bright side, though, Hiromu and BUSHI are developing a nice little tag team arsenal for themselves, so hopefully we'll get some semblance of freshness in the Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Division soon.
NEVER OPENWEIGHT SIX-MAN TAG TEAM TITLE MATCH:
Bullet Club (Bad Luck Fale & the Guerrillas of Destiny)(c) vs. Jushin "Thunder" Liger, Cheeseburger, & Delirious - 4.5/10
The heels were mean, the babyfaces did some Shoteis. Another pointless match for these pointless belts. The heels pretended to be Cheeseburger's friend after the match but it was a set-up for Tama Tonga to hit him with a Gun-Stun.
BULLET CLUB (Adam Page & the Young Bucks) vs. CHUCK TAYLOR & CHAOS (Jay White & YOSHI-HASHI) - 8/10
Most of this was exactly the sort of fast-paced action you'd expect- maybe a little better- but the Page vs. White stuff was good enough to get me totally psyched for their match! After the match, Page hit White with a Right of Passage that was ostensibly performed onto a chair, but it was pretty clear that White's head hit the back of White's legs (if it even hit anything at all).
ROH WORLD TITLE MATCH:
Dalton Castle(c) (w/the Boys) vs. Trent Beretta vs. Beer City Bruiser - 7.5/10
This was originally supposed to be just Trent and Dalton but Bruiser wanted into the match. I was all ready to be happy that New Japan was basically telling him to f*ck off by having him escorted away from ringside, but Dalton Castle said he'd be happy with Bruiser getting added to this match so yet another undeserving loser is getting a shot at the ROH World Title. In hindsight, this appears to have been done because they thought Trent was too injured to put on a good enough match. It'd be nice if they had that sort of quality control with anything they do regarding the ROH World Title- or the shows in general- on the other two continents they frequent.
Trent did as much as he could- maybe even more than he should have- but he still felt like mostly an afterthought in this match. The action was pretty great and Dalton in particular had great fire, I expect more out of an ROH World Title match.
GOLDEN LOVERS (Kenny Omega & Kota Ibushi) vs. BULLET CLUB (Cody Rhodes & Marty Scurll) - 8.5/10
Marty is upset that Kenny "picked" Kota over him, which doesn't really make sense because Kenny doesn't book the matches, and it's not like he's left Bullet Club for Kota, either. Hell, he just teamed with a member of Bullet Club last night and Kota at the same time last night. More importantly, we have seen nothing that would make Marty change his mind about Kenny between last night and tonight. He was ambivalent at the end of last night's match, and now he is totally anti-Kenny, and had no problem breaking his fingers- something he hesitated at doing last night. Yes, Cody cut his "your either on Team Kenny or you're on Team Cody" promo, but we have seen nothing that would make Marty want to side with Cody over Kenny.
The action in the match was pretty awesome, aside from Cody's botched dive and whatever that ugly-ass double-team Kenny & Kota tried to hit on Marty towards the end (the one that wound up with Kenny tossing Marty out of an electric chair position so Kota could kick him in the back of the thigh on the way down). As a match it was awesome, but once again, nothing happened for the storyline other than Marty deciding to be on Cody's side, which seemed to randomly happen before the match rather than as a consequence of it.
POST-MATCH SEGMENT - Kenny said that the Golden Lovers are the best tag team in the world. This brought out the Young Bucks, who took exception to this for obvious reasons. The Bucks announced that they are going to be heavyweights now, and we are left with a tease of Young Bucks vs. Golden Lovers.
This was a much better show in the ring than last night, but the major point on this show- the development of the Bullet Club storyline- once again left a lot to be desired. This was an important show for the Young Bucks, but didn't really move the Kenny vs. Cody story along in any way.