ROH 05/20/2017 TV Review

ROH 05/20/2017 TV Review
Honor Rising 2017
Korakuen Hall

The show this week was culled from the ROH/NJPW Honor Rising 2017 event from February. Ian Riccaboni introduced us to the show before Kevin Kelly and Rocky Romero took over on commentary.

First Match: Los Ingbobernables de Japon (Sanada, Bushi & Evil) vs. Tiger Mask, Jushin “Thunder” Liger & Delirious
We joined the contest was underway with Delirious wrenching EVIL’s arm, quickly tagging out to tiger mask. Sanada tried to rip off  Tiger Mask’s headgear before tagging Bushi in. Tiger Mask returned the favor on Bushi, trying to rip his mask off before Tiger Mask tagged out to Liger. Evil stopped Liger from throwing Bushi off the top rope and LIJ dominated on the outside, tossing their opponents into the barricade. LIJ stayed on control until a shotei by Liger allowed him to tag out to Tiger Mask before the break. As we returned to the action, Delirious and company seemed poised for the victory, but a chair shot from EVIL allowed Sanada to lock on a dragon sleeper for the submission victory. Nothing stuck out here as being awful, but it also wasn’t special in anyway. It was good for what it was, however neither the participants, nor the match itself seemed to belong on this episode, aside from being part of the Honor Rising show.

Winners: Los Ingbobernables de Japon (Sanada, Bushi & Evil)

Second Match: Hirooki Goto vs. Punisher Martinez
This match started off a bit slowly, but definitely built to a crescendo as the match wore on. Martinez has been on a tear as of late and this match was a bout that had people buzzing about his bright future. Goto was able to weather the larger man’s attack and hit GTR for the victory. Despite taking the loss in this one to Goto, Martinez looked strong in the loss, even leaving ringside upright and hungry for more. Punishment was never going to win the title here, but as has been the case in the past, a strong showing against a NJPW champion can go a long way to legitimizing an ROH star and that was accomplished here.

Winner: Hirooki Goto

Main Event: Bullet Club (Nick Jackson, Matt Jackson, Cody & Kenny Omega) vs. CHAOS (Will Ospreay, Kazuchika Okada, Mark Briscoe & Jay Briscoe)
I generally abhor 8 man tag matches. That may be sacrilege, but often times, unless the match is pitting two solid groups against each other the endeavor feels unimportant. This match did have a larger story, that of Chaos vs. the Bullet Club. The match and different parts to it that allowed everyone to get a fair amount of time in the ring and everyone had a chance to get their spots in during this one and the end was seriously in question throughout. Ospreay took a suplex to the outside courtesy of Cody, landing on the rest of the pack and not the arena floor, but the visual of the bump was something to behold and the audience responded in kind. The end came when Ospreay missed an Oscutter and Cody hit the Cross Rhodes for the pinfall victory.
Winners: Bullet Club (Nick Jackson, Matt Jackson, Cody & Kenny Omega)

Final Reaction: C-/D+
I’ve never been a fan of airing matches that occurred three months prior unless the episode is a best of special. This would have been a good time to throw on a Women of Honor or even Future of Honor special, instead of simply relegating that to the Youtube channel. What was different this time was that the event aired was not an ROH VOD, but rather a NJPW event, so if a fan doesn’t subscribe to both, this was at least something that they had not seen before. The blurring on the top left of the screen which removed something NJPW had placed on the video and simply affixing the ROH branded seal was distracting and sloppy. I would have much rather watched the match with the original text than having an amorphous blob on the screen. The Martinez match was fun to watch, but the rest of the show is unimportant and skippable all together- I enjoy watching ROH week to week, this feels like a lapse in the continuity of the product and was not the best use of the weekly show.

Thanks for stopping by again this week and look for more Ring of Honor coverage the same time next week. Until then, please go over to Running Wild Podcast and take a listen to a show that covers oodles of wrestling news and ridiculous conversations. You can find us on iTunes, Stitcher, Soundcloud and Google Play store.