ROH/NJPW Honor Rising 2017: Night 2
By Big Red Machine
From February 27, 2017
SILAS YOUNG & JADO vs. DAVID FINLAY JR. & KUSHIDA - 4.75/10
Kevin Kelly and Rocky Romero are doing commentary for this match. Because Silas Young is in the opener, Kevin Kelly decides to ask Rocky Romero where various wrestlers would rank on the "real man scale." Not even WWE announcers would do something this annoyingly stupid, and on the chance that they would it would almost certainly be either the heel purposely making himself look like a goof, or it would be Byron Saxton saying it and Corey Graves immediately burying him for being such an idiot. But f*cking Kevin Kelly decides that this is a subject that is worthy of actual discussion.
Apparently Jado is a "real man" with Silas now. Silas cut a short heel promo on the fans, but it was mostly to create an opportunity for he and Jado to jump the babyfaces before the bell when they weren't expecting it. Actually, speaking of babyfaces... isn't Jado a babyface? He's Gedo's tag partner and Gedo is a babyface because he's Okada's manager, so shouldn't Jado now being a heel have actual ramifications and stuff? (Of course, given the two bookers in involved, we know it won't, so I have to ask: why even do it in the first place? Why do we HAVE to have a heel tactic to start off this match? Why can't Silas and Jado just wrestle the match normally as partners and maybe Silas cheats a little but leave Jado out of it so that we're not turning someone for one match and then just pretending it never happened?)
At one point Silas was pounding on KUSHIDA while repeatedly shouting "YOU AIN'T SH*T!" at him. Apparently those are some of the English words that KUSHIDA does know because he fired up and started to take it to Silas hard after that.
The match was what you would expect from a New Japan opener. The heels won when Silas pinned the young Finlay. After the match Silas Young, "Wrestling's Last Real Man" not only hugged Jado several times, but also did a dorky celebratory handshake. This was totally out of character.
LOS INGOBERNABLES DE JAPON vs. JUSHIN "THUNDER" LIGER, TIGER MASK IV, DELIRIOUS, RYUSUKE TAGUCHI, & DALTON CASTLE (w/the Boys) - 5.5/10
So if Taguchi was one of Dalton's boys last night, why is he not one tonight? That's why it's stupid to pointlessly have some of the wrestlers be Dalton's boys. It just opens up logical questions that otherwise wouldn't be open.
Instead Taguchi went out and got his own boys tonight, so I guess he's a switch. Dalton seemed to like that Taguchi had his own boys, but it kind of feels out of character for Dalton to be pleased at someone essentially stealing his gimmick. We can only focus on one peacock at a time, and any competition for our attention takes that attention away from Dalton. He seems like the kind of guy who wouldn't be okay with that.
Delirious got tied to the barricade by the tassels of his mask. He eventually came back and tried to use a chair on EVIL because EVIL hit him with one last night but apparently this time it's not okay to use chairs in New Japan. EVIL pinned Delirious with an STO.
They did some stuff during the match with Tiger Mask IV and BUSHI going after each other's masks, and one member of LIJ actually managed to rip Tiger Mask's mask off after the match (we didn't see who because the camera missed it), but we did get to see Naito toss it into the crowd. Naito also went after Liger's mask a bit later after the match, so it might have been him. This is a feud I can dig.
WAR MACHINE vs. GUERRILLAS OF DESTINY - 6/10
HIROSHI TANAHASHI, JAY LETHAL, & JUICE ROBINSON vs. BULLET CLUB (Bad Luck Fale, Adam Page, & Yujiro Takahashi) - 6.5/10
Adam Page gets the shocking win on Jay Lethal. So... how long do you think it will take Delirious to start jobbing Page out again and making this win meaningless?
NEVER OPENWEIGHT TITLE MATCH:
Hirooki Goto(c) vs. Punishment Martinez- 6.5/10
ROH WORLD TITLE MATCH:
Adam Cole(c) vs. YOSHI-HASHI- 6.75/10
BULLET CLUB (Kenny Omega, Cody Rhdoes, & the Young Bucks) vs. THE BRISCOES, WILL OSPREAY, & KAZUCHIKA OKADA (w/Gedo)- 8.5/10
This was a really awesome match in which everyone was given a chance to shine and it was really exciting and you should definitely go watch it, but...
There were moments in this match- all involving Bullet Club- that absolutely infuriated me, and not in the "grrr... I hate those Young Bucks and want to see them get beaten up" way. I mean infuriated me in the Jim Cornette "I wish someone would teach Nick and Matt Massie and Tyson Smith how to be actual heels and teach them that a main event in an appropriate time for comedy" way. Seriously! They've got the IWGP Heavyweight Champion down, but instead of follow up on him they decide to engage in a prolong Three Stooges spot, all so Okada can also look like an idiot by getting up again only to eat a triple superkick.
And the FANS... IN JAPAN of all places... just ate it up and reacted to them as if they were the babyfaces this whole time. What has this business come to that in Japan the fans are cheering the gaijin heels for cheating, and meanwhile, in Ring Of Honor, two of the most-pushed acts in the company are Dalton Castle and Matt Hardy, who are over pretty much exclusively because the fans like to laugh at the goofy sh*t they say and do. This was, like, a reality-shattering moment for me where I really have to wonder how the hell it all went so wrong. Anyway, go watch this match.
This was a one-match show. It shouldn't have been, but it was. That match is definitely worth going out of your way to see, though. Now if you'll excuse me, I have an existential crisis to solve.