Monday, March 25

NJPW Honor Rising Results (2/22): Lethal, Tanahashi & Okada Form Dream Team, 3 Title Matches, Scurll Returns & More

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NJPW Honor Rising Results
February 22, 2019
Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan

— Our commentary team for the evening is Chris Charlton and Kevin Kelly. The ring is all black, representing Ring of Honor here this morning/evening/whatever time it is for you in the world.

REN NARITA vs. MARTY SCURLL

The Villain is back in Japan! He’s going it alone here as Brody and PCO are back home in the U.S. due to visa issues. Some nice back and forth grappling to get things started, as Narita surprised him by being able to counter ever hold and stay one step ahead. The Young Lion kept bridging his way out of pins so Scurll just punched him in the face instead, which started an exchange of elbow strikes he wasn’t ready for.

Scurll finally got some momentum going and hit his signature superkick out on the apron before slowing things down with a few nasty holds, at one point trying to stretch his opponent’s jaw apart. Narita came back with a big dropkick and a charging European uppercut in the corner. He’s all kinds of fired up! The Boston Crab was applied in the center of the ring, but Scurll was able to pull himself to the ropes, broke the hold and connect with an enzuigiri.

Scurll tried for a Half Nelson but Narita fought out with stiff elbow strikes. He went low for a kick to the knees, went for the Half Nelson again but instead just threw him overhead with a big suplex for a nearfall. Scurll put him on the top rope and connected with a superplex, before signalling for the Chicken Wing. Narita rolled him up with a small package counter and nearly stole it, but Scurll kicked out, countered into the Chicken Wing and got the victory.

Winner: Marty Scurll


SHOTA UMINO vs. ZACK SABRE JR.

Taka cut a promo repeatedly calling Umino a “young boy” until he eventually got sick of it and DESTROYED Taka with a running kick that sent him flying out of the ring. Here we go! Umino surprised everyone early on by repeatedly catching Sabre in submission holds, and countering every single counter the Suzuki-Gun specialist tried to throw at him. Umino looks like he’s ready to kill someone tonight, and the crowd is here for it!

After several minutes of being made to look like a fool, a pissed of Sabre threw his usual game out the window and started delivering brutal kicks, finally taking control. He brutalized Umino’s leg before applying submissions and wrenching away at it, creating a weakness to target any time the Young Lion got any momentum going. Umino still got in some incredible shots including some very stiff elbow shots and impressive dropkicks, but ZSJ repeated answered with even harder uppercuts and went right back to his submission sequences.

Umino actually locked in his own cross armbar, Sabre rolled him up, and the two went back and forth with close pinning combinations. The Young Lion fired away with slaps cross the face, pretty much out of desperation, but was caught in a front-mounted guillotine. Umino somehow powered him all the way up into a deadlift vertical suplex, and the crowd went nuts. Missile dropkick from the top rope found its mark, sending Sabre flying, but Sabre countered a Fisherman’s Buster into Orienteering With Napalm Death on the bum leg, and Umino was forced to tap out.

Winner: Zack Sabre Jr.


JONATHAN GRESHAM & JUSHIN THUNDER LIGER vs. ROBBIE EAGLES & TAIJI ISHIMORI

Eagles tried to grapple with Gresham early on, which is generally something I would recommend avoiding, in particular because he came to the ring looking like Bryan Danielson. Gresham was absolutely toying with him, literally wrestling circles around him at one point and somehow mocking him with every single piece of offense. Ishimori finally tagged in to put an end to the mockery, prompting Liger to tag in and… LIGER ROLLED HIM UP FOR THREE IMMEDIATELY! The champion is absolutely livid! The crowd loves it!

Winners: Gresham & Liger


DAVID FINLAY, JUICE ROBINSON, TOA HENARE & TOMOAKI HONMA vs. THE BRISCOES & GUERRILLAS OF DESTINY

The third Tongan brother Hikuleo is back from injury, and ringside for GoD during this one. I’m sure he won’t be a factor at all… Finlay and Juice worked over Mark early on, playing to the crowd before the babyfaces cleared the apron and ran a train of signatures. Honma, of course, missed his Kokeshi, leading to Mark taking over and an all-out brawl erupting on the floor. Good luck, ref.

Tanga Loa tagged in and GoD went to work on Honma, hitting him with all sorts of combinations while The Briscoes kept everyone else busy. There was a bit of miscommunication as Jay accidentally took out Tama Tonga and things nearly broke down, but they worked it out and went back to picking apart Honma before things got out of hand.

Honma eventually hit the Kokeshi and made the hot tag to Henare, who ran wild with flying shoulder tackles and running splashes for all. He hit a Samoan Drop on Tama for a nearfall, lined up for a spear, but the double team tactics of GoD were too much for him. Out of pure desperation Henare nearly killed him with a headbutt and got the tag to Juice. The Briscoes ate a pair of Spinebusters, but once again the double team was too much. Story of the match. They hit a crucifix powerbomb/jumping neckbreaker combo, but Honma made the save and once again a huge brawl broke out.

Briscoes set up Juice for the Doomsday Device, but he fought out and systematically took out everyone one by one. Jado accidentally smashed Mark with a kendo stick on the outside, and Juice took advantage with Pulp Friction to score the win for his team. After the match GoD and Hikuleo attacked The Briscoes, along with Jado, but Mark fought them off with a chair! All hell has broken loose in Tokyo!

Winners: Robinson, Finlay, Henare & Honma


NEVER OPENWEIGHT 6-MAN CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
RYUSUKE TAGUCHI, TOGI MAKABE & TORU YANO (c) vs. CHEESEBURGER, COLT CABANA & DELIRIOUS

Cabana shockingly traded blows with Makabe and managed to stomp a mudhole in the corner, screaming at him in Japanese which popped everyone. Cheeseburger tagged in and immediately got destroyed by the Unchained Gorilla. The champs took turns bullying the Burger for several minutes despite the fans willing him back into the match. Burger is always so inexplicably over in Japan. It’s ridiculous.

Cabana made the hot tag and cleaned house. Burger was suddenly fine and hit a double foot stomp on Taguchi, followed by a diving senton from Delirious, and the fake-out splash from Cabana for good measure. The coach came back with flying hip attacks and made the tag to Yano, who immediately went after the turnbuckle pads. This was hilarious because it’s the ROH turnbuckles which take about 10x longer to remove than the NJPW ones. Yano turned around and Colt already had a turnbuckle pad, and the challenger took turns hitting him with it.

Delirious ran off all the ropes, over and over, tiring out Yano. He tried for a Cobra Clutch but Yano fought out and sent him into Taguchi’s hip attack. Things broke down into pure chaos (as if they weren’t already pure chaos) resulting in Yano hitting a low blow on Delirious and rolling him up for the win. The others had no idea what happened after the match, so Delirious hit Cabana with a low blow and left him there. In a bizarre moment, Cabana raised hands and celebrated with the victorious champions.

Winners and Still Champions: Taguchi, Makabe & Yano


NEVER OPENWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
WILL OSPREAY (c) vs. DALTON CASTLE

Lots of dipping and dodging early on from both men, until Castle hit his peacock pose and stopped the champion in his tracks. Ospreay seemed not to really know how to deal with him, until taking him with a snap hurricanrana and rebounding off the ropes into his own peacock pose. Castle went into his trunks teasing a “foreign object”, but instead just slapped his opponent in the face — at this point Ospreay was just done playing and went after him with brutal forearm shots and a flurry of kicks.

Both guys went for finishers early and came up empty. Castle nearly killed him with a release Saito suplex that sent him flying to the outside, then followed up with another nasty suplex on the floor with his head bouncing hard off the ground. Yikes. Castle slowed things down for a beat with a body stretch, working over the back and drilling his elbows into pressure points. Ospreay came back and fought to the outside, connected with a moonsault off the barricade right into the Sasuke Special! Great sequence from the champ.

Ospreay took things back into the ring and hit a flash kick off the ropes, into a springboard forearm strike. He signaled for the finish but Castle grabbed his trunks and saved himself with an elbow to the back of the head. A sick knee strike connected in the corner, followed by a second, third, fourth, fifth — he must have hit ten consecutive knees to the jaw before the ref got in there to check on Ospreay. The champ fired back with an elbow, did a backflip off his opponent’s chest, nailed him with a superkick, and hit the Robinson Special.

Oscutter coming, but Castle once again saw it coming and threw him into a big back body drop that nearly dropped him on his head, and absolutely would have if Castle didn’t see it and push him the rest of the way over in midair. The two struggled in the ropes and traded shots. Castle with a running dropkick while Opsreay was hung up in the ropes, but he only got two. He tried for the Bang-a-Rang but Ospreay countered into a headscissors and a running Spanish Fly.

Both men slowly got to their feet. The champion went for the killer elbow to the back of the head that beat Ibushi, but Castle ducked the blow and hit a German suplex. He tried to hang on for more, but Ospreay wouldn’t have it and struggled free, connecting with a series of superkicks. The elbow to the back of the head connects this time, but he wasn’t satisfied, hoisting up the challenger and dropping him with Stormbreaker for good measure. 1…2…3.

Winner and Still Champion: Will Ospreay


ROH WORLD TELEVISION CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
JEFF COBB (c) vs. HIROOKI GOTO

Cobb came out with his shoulder taped up, which became an instant target for the challenger who went right after him. They brawled to the floor with Goto stomping on the shoulder and drawing boos from the crowd, so much so that he took a Young Lion and literally suplexed him on top of Cobb just to get more heat, before throwing him back into the ring and continuing to kick away at the injury. He’s not playing around!

Days turned into weeks, which turned into months, but still Cobb had not mounted any offense in this match. Goto continued his assault with running uppercuts and a big elbow strike, but he made his first mistake going to the top rope and came up empty on a big knee drop. Cobb, clutching his shoulder, began to fire off with stiff strikes and chops, backing Goto into the corner and pummeling him with blow after blow. A belly-to-belly suplex sent the challenger flying cross the ring, followed by a standing moonsault for a two-count.

Goto came back with strikes and tried for a running splash, but Cobb caught him out of the air, rotated one way, the rotated all the way back around throwing him overhead with a big suplex. Goto was finished though and got the big man up for the Ushigoroshi, bringing the fans back in his corner. They’ve been going back and forth all match for which man is in control. FICKLE!

The two collided in the center of the ring multiple times trying to wear each other down, and Goto got the better of the exchange with a giant lariat turning him inside out. He tried for the GTR but couldn’t get it, and had to settle for the reverse GTR for a nearfall. He tried for it again, but Cobb rolled him up for a nearfall.. Standing switch from Cobb, into the Tour of the Islands, and he gets the win in a good, physical match.

Winner and Still Champion: Jeff Cobb


JAY LETHAL, KAZUCHIKA OKADA & HIROSHI TANAHASHI vs. THE KINGDOM (MATT TAVEN, TK O’RYAN & VINNY MARSEGLIA)

Lethal wanted to start things off with Taven ahead of their upcoming title match, and the crowd wanted it too, but Taven refused and tagged out to Vinny. Lethal with a quick armdrag into a dropkick, before everyone spilled into the ring and all three babyfaces lit up Vinny with dropkicks, clearly having a bit of fun together. Okada got in Taven’s head and tried for an early Rainmaker, but the challenger bailed to the floor and immediately tagged out again. The crowd is not happy with him.

TK wanted the Ace so in came Tanahashi, who quickly took him down to the mat in a grappling exchange. Second rope crossbody connected, prompting a bit of early air guitar. TK rushed him but ran right into a series of snap armdrags for his haste. The Kingdom eventually had enough and put the boots to the Ace on the floor. They slowed things down, alternating with quick tags and isolating Tanahashi in their corner, using all of the five-counts to take as many cheap shots as possible.

With Tanahashi beaten down the cowardly Taven finally tagged in and dropped him with a DDT, mocking the Ace as he put the boots to him. Vinny came in and applied a side headlock, wrenching away at his eyes, nose, mouth — any way he could cheat, he tried. Eventually Tana hit Dragonscrews to all three guys, one after another, and made the hot tag to Okada. A big DDT for Taven followed by a dropkick from Jay Lethal, who launched into his signature series of suicide dives to keep everyone busy.

Lethal climbed the ropes but Taven sent Okada into the ropes, crotching him on the top turnbuckle. The triple team down out the ROH World Champion until Tanahashi hit the ring and…faired exactly the same. Double dropkick sent Tana back to the floor, and they set up for Rockstar Supernova on Lethal, but Okada made the save taking out the Kingdom. Lethal Injection connected on Vinny, and the champion scores the three-count.

Winners: Lethal, Okada & Tanahashi

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