Notes In Observance – NJPW English 2/26/17: Honor Rising Night One

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

By Nicholas Jason Lopez 


“Notes In Observance” features random thoughts and analysis on television shows. Quick results can be found at the bottom of the post.






(Aired 2/26/17)

Honor Rising Night One 

– The opening video was flashy as always, which actually showcased the spread of American culture in Japan, particularly the “This is awesome!” chant. This was Honor Rising, a two-night event that chronicled Ring Of Honor talent officially hitting the NJPW airwaves. We’d see the likes of Punisher Martinez, Delirious, Jay Lethal and “The Last Real Man” Silas Young in action. Also hyped was “The Cleaner” Kenny Omega, as he was back from his hiatus.

– The Six-Man Tag between KUSHIDA/Juice Robinson/David Finlay and Young/Gedo/Jado began as CHAOS embraced the luck of the “Real Men,” as Young made his NJPW debut and they all wore his shirt to the ring. Robinson also had a new shirt for what it was worth. How juicy. Oh, we kid. Young got on the mic and called Japan a disrespectful nation contrary to what he heard. Good way to score heat over there. He struck a cheap kick to Finlay to start things off. Finlay did a running array of uppercuts which knocked Gedo down, as he sold it in the style of Ric Flair. Young shouted the “S” word to KUSHIDA and showed off some agility with a headstand springboard corkscrew moonsault. He didn’t get all of it since he was derailed slightly by the softened padding. Robinson took a kick to the face and was busted open in his nose. He pinned Gedo with Pulp Friction after his partners dove outside onto the others. A decent opener that pumped up Juicy Juice’s resume further, broken nose or not.

– The NEVER Openweight Six-Man Tag Team Championship match between Delirious/Jushin Thunder Liger/Tiger Mask and Champions SANADA/EVIL/BUSHI began as they worked in Delirious’ “mood” as he got out of his trance once the bell rang. The Los Ingobernables de Japon ensemble had a keen strategy to unmask their opponents when applicable. TM did a top rope arm drag on BUSHI and a Tombstone Piledriver next. Delirious purposely ran the ropes all over the place. For what it was worth, he wrestled barefoot, which was a first for us. Good finish as Skull End made Delirious tap out as EVIL connected with a chair to the head from outside to let the Champs retain. Nothing fancy, but passable. LIJ continued to send messages to Commentator Milano Collection AT. It’ll be interesting to see if that develops into any special match down the road or if someone steps up in his honor.

– The Eight-Man Tag between IWGP Heavyweight Champion Kazuchika Okada/Hirooki Goto/YOSHI-HASHI/Will Ospreay and Bad Luck Fale/Yujiro Takahashi/Tama Tonga/Tonga Roa sounded good on paper. Ospreay did some flying, it goes without saying. He went for a handspring maneuver, but was dragged out of the ring by his arms at the moment he was upside down. He redeemed himself as he executed the handspring with a double kick while upside down. Okada launched Ospreay outside onto the other opponents while HASHI got the pin and a win over Bullet Club. This was smart since HASHI got a shot at the ROH World Championship the next night against Champion Adam Cole. Don’t think he’ll win, but you have to make him look good regardless and this did that.

– The War Machine-ROH World Tag Team Champions Young Bucks match stemmed from a recent ROH bout in Columbus, Ohio where WM had a visual eight-second pinfall over the Champs, but didn’t secure any gold because of BC shenanigans. YB did their fancy double-teams, which included Matt Jackson hitting a dropkick through the ropes. Nick Jackson did a double springboard swanton to the outside on WM. Damn. They broke out a double team with a double superkick that led to an accidental driver from Hanson to Raymond Rowe. Rowe stepped in and stopped the Meltzer Driver himself as he caught one of the Bucks. Some good moves towards the end as the Fallout scored the pin for WM, a honest surprise. Very good match.

– The Six-Man Tag between Castle/Hiroshi Tanahashi/Ryusuke Taguchi and Martinez/IWGP Intercontinental Champion Tetsuya Naito/IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion Hiromu Takahashi began as Castle had his “Boys” in the form of his partners. Hilarious. It took us a second to realize it was them and not his actual Boys. This was also Martinez’s NJPW debut. Glad to hear that they had him recently betray BJ Whitmer, as that prodigal son nonsense can come to an end now. Taguchi-Takahashi had a good face-off, being that they’re set to fight each soon over Takahashi’s belt. Naito spit on Commentator Rocky Romero during his entrance, right after he tossed his belt onto the floor. Just so much good stuff here. There are so many egos in this ring. In a weird way, Martinez fits the LIJ image, but ironically, he refused to join the LIJ fist bump before the bell. Castle used the Referee to separate himself whilst in a clean break from Martinez for a comedy spot. There were also a lot of chants for Castle, albeit muffled at times. Tanahashi used the Castle pose to play mind games when Naito initially refused to grapple up. Castle did the hip attack on Naito as the babyface trio did Castle’s pose together. Naito continued to slight Martinez when it came to tags. Eventually, Martinez just tagged himself in. He took a killer German suplex from Castle. It was noted that Martinez would take on NEVER Openweight Heavyweight Champion Hirooki Goto on the next night. With that, he pinned Castle with a chokeslam. Sudden, but we get why. Naito flipped Martinez off on the apron as he made his way out. We’ll see if that develops any further.

– The Lethal/Katsuyori Shibata-Cody/Hangman Page match had the interwoven history between Cody and Lethal. The two had a Texas Bullrope match signed for Supercard Of Honor on Apr. 1. Lethal did a tope onto Cody after repeated attempts to get at him. They noted that Cody worked WrestleMania, Wrestle Kingdom and Final Battle within the same calendar year. Funny they left TNA Bound For Glory out of there. Shibata shrugged off a missile dropkick by Cody. Lethal got the Lethal Injection on Page to score the pin, as Shibata/Cody fought outside after he hit the PK. We hope we get that match sooner than later.

– The Briscoes-Omega/Cole match first reviewed the four contenders for Cole down the line – YOSHI-HASHI, Bobby Fish, Christopher Daniels and Castle. Cole/Omega were obviously way over. There was a finely told story of the clash of the BC alpha males throughout the bout. Omega did a moonsault off the barricade in the crowd. Omega pulled Mark down before he could get tagged in. That even had us fooled. Sweet running knee by Cole for a two. Mark answered back with a pretty dropkick. Cole/Mark had a killer stiff exchange. All four men kicked each other at one point for a physical stalemate. Nice superplex/Froggy Bow combo for a near-fall. Can’t quite tell which way it’ll go and that’s a good thing. It was already past 20 minutes. Omega did a power slam in mid-air to counter a doomsday device. The Knee Driller/Last Shot combo was enough to get the win over the Briscoes. Post-match, Omega claimed this would be his year and would take over the world. Cole snatched the mic and put himself over as the true talking point. Omega argued that the people didn’t understand English, so Cole’s speech was pointless. You could just see the seeds planted here at the helm of leadership dissension in BC. They did shake off on it, but it appeared anything but amicable. We’ll see where it goes, as Cole defends against YOSHI-HASHI on the next show.






Quick Results 

  • Six-Man Tag – KUSHIDA/Juice Robinson/David Finlay def. Silas Young/Gedo/Jado via pinfall 
  • NEVER Openweight Six-Man Tag Team Championship – SANADA/EVIL/BUSHI (Champions) def. Jushin Thunder Liger/Delirious/Tiger Mask via submission to retain 
  • Eight-Man Tag – YOSHI-HASHI/Will Ospreay/Kazuchika Okada/Hirooki Goto def. Bad Luck Fale/Yujiro Takahashi/Tama Tonga/Tonga Roa via pinfall 
  • War Machine def. The Young Bucks via pinfall 
  • Six-Man Tag – Punisher Martinez/Tetsuya Naito/”Ticking Time Bomb” Hiromu Takahashi def. Ryusuke Taguchi/Hiroshi Tanahashi/Dalton castle via pinfall 
  • Jay Lethal/Katsuyori Shibata def. Cody/Hangman Page via pinfall 
  • Adam Cole/Kenny Omega def. The Briscoes via pinfall 

About Nicholas Jason Lopez

Just a 29-year-old Brooklynite. Nothing more, nothing less. Currently a freelance journalist with two websites - Pro Wrestling Opinion and The Music Bugle - he has also been published on sites such as The Bensonhurst Bean, Sheepshead Bites, Review Fix, College University of New York Athletic Conference, Dying Scene, Brooklyn News Service, All Media NY, and Yahoo Voices. He has also interned for The Home Reporter/Brooklyn Spectator based out of Brooklyn, NY.

Posted on December 5, 2017, in NJPW English and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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