The crowd was hot for this match, and the venue looked really good. ROH and NJPW have a bad habit of making it look like there are a few thousand people in the arena when there are over 10,000.
Highlights of this include the Ali sitout side slam, and Takagi got an awesome reaction. Fale, Taguchi, Romero, Owens with big pops. Cheeseburger is caught and saved from elimination, but Fale beats up the guys who saved him. PJ Black wrestling Bret Hart at the Garden was a good note. I liked that.
Delirious is in. I mean he's gotta do something these days, right? Liger of course, gets an unbelievable ovation, and stomps Milonas' foot to gain the advantage. Toru Yano comes over and gives his entry to Colt Cabana and works commentary instead.
All things considered this is a pretty stacked Honor Rumble. Fale, Goto, Suzuki, Gresham, Liger, Ishii, Cabana. HAKU in the Honor Rumble!!! That gets topped when the GREAT MUTA is in. I didn't see that coming. ROH and NJPW had better Rumble surprises than WWE this year.
Notable eliminations include a bunch of people having to toss out Fale. Kingdom eliminate Cheeseburger. Kingdom even get pushed in the Rumble -- Haku out, too. It gets down to Muta and Liger! Kenny King re-emerges though. He eliminated Muta and Liger and wins. WOOF. Muta at least spits the mist in his face.
ROH World Television Title
Jeff Cobb (c) defeated Will Ospreay
They tell the story of Ospreay dialing back the high risk. Unfortunately for him, any time he utilizes it during this match, Cobb catches him and heaves him. This particularly shines through after Ospreay slaps him and a Cobb fallaway slams him across the world. Ospreay really is a perfect opponent for Cobb. I don't know if it's the case vice-versa (not taking away from Cobb's skills), but anything Cobb wants to do to someone, Ospreay can do.
Ospreay catches Cobb with a C4. Cobb misses one of the biggest Frog splashes I've ever seen. Cobb catches Ospreay mid Os-cutter, and throws him into a turnbuckle. However, Ospreay manages it anyway. A Super Tour of the Islands is followed by a regular one and Cobb wins. Pretty solid opener with a good crowd.
Rush defeated Dalton Castle (w/ The Boys)
Rush capitalizes on the Boys leaving a feather in the ring and squashes Dalton Castle. Domination. This was really good for what it was. The Boys try to apologize, but Dalton Castle attacks them. This accomplished a lot. It kept the card going and the pace up, got Rush a dominant win over a former champion and turned Castle heel.
Women Of Honor World Championship
Kelly Klein defeated Mayu Iwatani (c) (w/ Sumie Sakai)
Klein gets a really nice entrance with her gatekeepers. They're acting as an MMA team. There's a forward roll that I don't quite get working as a granby roll early on. Kelly utilizes her power to control Iwatani. Mayu WIPES KLEIN OUT with a body press to the outside. She can be seen checking on Klein, which took away a little bit. This is going head-to-head with a controversial Hart Foundation induction. Iwatani and Klein end up slugging it out. Eventually Klein gets the win with a Samoan Driver. Klein shows respect to Mayu after the match.
The Beautiful People -- Angelina Love and Velvet Sky -- confront Klein. They're now led by Mandy Leon it would appear.
Flip Gordon & Lifeblood defeated Bully Ray, Shane Taylor & Silas Young
Before the WOH title match, we saw Juice Robinson laid out. Mega Ran is performing and is interrupted by Bully Ray, then attacked. Flip Gordon -- in incredible shape -- is out to battle with Bully Ray. Juice Robinson and Haskins help Flip, but Shane Taylor and Silas Young are there to support Bully. Young impresses with that handstand sprinboard moonsault.
Flip Gordon gives his back to all three heels to cane him, and Shane Taylor WALLOPS him. He flips off Bully. Everyone has canes and just swings it out. The heels almost Dudley Bomb Flip through a table but Bully's BALLS get destroyed. The lack of pins here don't make a whole lot of sense.
There's a very cool pallet spot -- something you don't see every day. Bully ends up getting pinned. This was fine for what it was, and a fair payoff to all the heeling Bully Ray has been doing.
IWGP Junior Heavyweight Title
Dragon Lee defeated Bandido and Taiji Ishimori (c) to become champion
It may surprise you that there were some FLIPS to start this one off. The crowd has calmed down a little bit. Ishimori gets the Bloody Cross, but the highlight of the match was Bandido doing a moonsault double fallaway slam on both opponents.
Production completely misses Bandido dropping Ishimori across his knee. What the hell? Everything else about the production is a big positive in my book. Dragon Lee ends up getting the win with Desnucadora. Bandido puts the title on him after the match.
Winner Take All
GOD defeated Villain Enterprises, LIJ and the Briscoes
The entrances take forever for this one, but PCO in particular deserves it. He's over huge. Tonga Loa getting put in a Paradise Lock was strangely entertaining. The Briscoes start diving, and it's a nice contrast of opponents than they usually get to work with. Caprice Coleman does a good job pointing out that the Briscoes are the only team that has experience with all the others.
Spot of the match is PCO taking a filthy powerbomb over the top rope to the floor. Horrifying. He's vindicated by finally hitting his apron senton on Mark Briscoe! Wow. They almost win following a PCO moonsault, but PCO is pushed from the top rope to the floor. PCO SITS UP!!! GOD eventually get the win. I couldn't do this one justice.
Enzo and Cass just tried to invade G1 Supercard and got the shit kicked out of them. They don't show it on the broadcast. This looks like a work, but they got some LIVE ROUNDS in there. If Enzo and Cass stay straight, I see no problem with them joining ROH. Lots of people won't like it, but that's half the battle sometimes
Zack Sabre Jr. (c) (w. Taka Michinoku) defeated Hiroshi Tanahashi to retain the title
I really like them still telling the story of Tanahashi's oft-injured shoulder. His age is starting to show a little bit. They slug it out, and Tanahashi does a very cool inverted Slingblade. Not sure he meant to do it, but I liked it. Tanahashi's twisting attacks look great under the bright lights -- the Slingblade, leg whip and Twist and Shout. Sabre gets a win with a fantastic Octopus double armbar. That was SICK. A nice finish, that got a great reaction from the crowd.
IWGP Intercontinental Championship
Kota Ibushi defeated Tetsuya Naito (c) to become champion
The action spills outside pretty early. I think Ibushi might be selling a little too much at this point. Naito goes through his offense including the foot sweep and neckbreaker. Naito's offense isn't as crisp as usual. Ibushi fights back and teases going for the Riddle-Velveteen German suplex spot. It doesn't happen and Ibushi gets a double foot stomp instead.
Ibushi does a huracanrana off the apron that was great. Eventually Ibushi DOES get the Riddle German suplex. At one point Ibushi landed on his SURGICALLY REPAIRED NECK off of a Naito Rocket Kick. I'm not sure what his neck is made out of, but it withstands a reverse spiked rana and a Destino. Ibushi ended up winning a good match.
ROH World Championship
Matt Taven defeated Jay Lethal (c) and Marty Scurll to become champion
Taven immediately dives onto Scurll and Lethal outside. Scurll hangs Taven upside down in a tree of woe inside a ladder and slams it with a chair. Scurll cleverly tries to grab the belt with his umbrella. There's a sick Figure Four in the ladder from Lethal on Marty Scurll.
They're having some really violent, hard hitting spots with the ladders. Scurll is selling the knee but still does the 619. I'm wondering why he didn't do just literally anything else. There are huge "fuck you, Taven" chants from the crowd. He gets finger stomped inside the ladder by Scurll, a brilliant way to set that up.
A couple of good spots -- a ladder superplex, and a rolling neckbreaker. Taven is doing his part in this match and working his ass off. ROH out here having an incredible ladder match. The ladders are "X'd up" and Taven front suplexed across them. Taven and Marty go through a ringside table in an outstanding spot where Taven YOLO dives him. Taven eats more wood when Lethal does an amazing elbow drop of a ladder.
Taven brings in a purple ladder that is about one-third taller than the others. He ends up knocking Lethal off the ladder onto a bridged one. This spot was psychotic. Taven wins, and this is his second incredible performance in three weeks. He's earned this title.
IWGP Heavyweight Championship
Kazuchika Okada defeated "Switchblade" Jay White (c) (w/Gedo) to become champion
White stalls out to start, which drives the MSG crowd nuts. He's in control early on, and after a brief Okada offense -- complete with dropkick -- he regains that control. There's a great spinning brainbuster from White, followed by the Reverse Neckbreaker from Okada.
Okada hits a badass shotgun dropkick, but can't get the Rainmaker. Jay White went for the Kiwi Crusher, but had to settle for a snap Saito suplex over the top rope. He wouldn't take a countout for some reason and eats a Tombstone. A sleeper suplex hits, as does a Rainmaker. The crowd explodes in disbelief when White kicks out.
A strike trade goes down, and White ends up cracking Okada in the BALLSACK. There are huge "fuck you Gedo" chants that break out. Okada is able to rally back and hits the Rainmaker and picks up the win to a huge ovation. Four IWGP Heavyweight Champions in just over three months. Wild