This week, Ring of Honor television is LIVE (in a way) from Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, as this episode was taped during the Honor Rising weekend of events. It should be a different look and a fun feel, so let's get right down to business!
Jushin Liger & Matt Sydal def. Dalton Castle & Ryusuke Taguchi
Right off the bat, things are amazing, as Japan gets its first taste of the one and only Dalton Castle. And these aren't the normal Boys! These are some international Young Boys! Kevin Kelly and Mr. Wrestling III play this up on commentary in a nice touch. And then Taguchi gets in on the Dalton Castle act!
They're facing the super team of Liger and Sydal, so RIP Castle and Taguchi. Still, this should be a lot of fun. And guess what: IT IS TOTALLY FUN.
Just a good comedy match with a lot of very talented performers. One of the highlights is Taguchi continuing to injure himself attempting butt attacks until Castle shows him how it's done.
Liger hits a dive on Taguchi, allowing Sydal to slip out of Bangarang and hit a high kick, reverse rana and shooting star press for the victory. Commentary (who are always on top of their game when dealing with international talent) point out that Liger innovated the SSP and it got the win for their team. Nice.
What we learned: Dalton Castle is great! I mean, this match isn't going to be furthering any storyline or anything, it's just a sort of "dream partners" tag match. Sometimes it's just wrestling for wrestling's sake. Stop being so serious.
We get a neat little video package of the ROH wrestlers arriving in and walking around Japan, as well as Korakuen Hall getting set up for the event. We could use more stuff like this on ROH television week in and week out, honestly.
Delirious def. Gedo
Holy crap, it's Delirious. Nice idea here, as the bookers of both Ring of Honor and New Japan meet up in a wrestling match. Good thing they're both wrestlers!
Apparently this is the debut of Delirious on the current incarnation of the ROH television show. (I don't really know how to investigate this, but he almost certainly appeared on ROH on HDNet.) I haven't seen Delirious in a long-ass time. He comes to the ring repeating the word "Eggplant," which is fun. He's still in good shape and is still doing the "immobile until the bell rings, then goes nuts" bit.
During the match, the announcers hype Delirious and Cheeseburger vs. the Young Bucks, coming up in San Antonio. Well, that should be something.
A second straight comedy match in a row, which is unusual for Ring of Honor. But I'll allow it.
Coming back from commercial, we get a video package of Moose's first-ever trip to Japan, which is more of the good stuff.
Delirious misses Shadows Over Hell, but manages to reverse a rollup and handful of tights and gets a crucifix pin for the three-count.
What we learned: Well, we learned about Delirious and Cheeseburger vs. the Young Bucks! See above. We're in Japan (months ago), so we're not going to get much storyline advancement here. Nice to see both of these guys in action. Just like candy, it's a good once-in-a-while treat.
Backstage, Roderick Strong admires his television title. Bobby Fish pops up to taunt him about their upcoming (at the time) match in Vegas. Roderick says he's not worried, but I think he might be.
Another video package, this time of Dalton Castle's first trip to Japan. Worth watching this episode for his peacock posing in busy streets alone.
Ring of Honor World Television Championship Match: Tomohiro Ishii def. Roderick Strong (c)
And now the ROH title holders on television will finally be caught up to our present-day timeline. Things can get confusing sometimes.
This is a good match, obviously. Things get nutty coming back from commercial, as Strong hits an insane Falcon Arrow-ish suplex on Ishii from the apron to the floor. That could have gone south in a bad way, but as with the best crazy moves, really added to the match.
Roddy actually manages to hit both End of Heartache and the Sick Kick, but Ishii kicks out. Roddy pulls down the kneepad and hits a knee strike to Ishii's shoulder, but Ishii hits two big lariats. Roddy hits two more knee strikes to the head, but Ishii won't go down. Ishii hits a headbutt and his sliding lariat, but Strong STILL kicks out.
Finally, Ishii picks up Roddy and hits a delayed brainbuster for the victory and the title.
What we learned: New champ! I'm looking forward to more title defenses from Ishii on weekly ROH TV. Although, given that as of this writing, ROH is gearing up for more New Japan co-branded shows, we might very well be dealing with some more confusing chronology in the near future.
That's it for this week. You can watch ROH's weekly television on Comet or in syndication on Sinclair stations, or with a Ringside Membership on ROHwrestling.com.