New Japan Pro Wrestling and Ring of Honor held the first night of Honor Rising 2019 in a sold out Korakuen Hall on Friday in Tokyo.
Aside from the novelty of seeing inter-promotional matches, the card was nothing special. The show featured three title matches, which all saw the champions retain.
Full results and match recaps are below:
MARTY SCURLL DEFEATED REN NARITA (11:34)
Lots of mat work at the outset. Each worked the other’s left arm. Narita did an awesome bridge. Scurll hit his superkick down the line on the apron. Narita ate a shot to the throat. Narita made a comeback with a superkick, a back elbow, and a vertical suplex.
Narita used a crab, but Scurll reached the ropes. Narita teased his bridging belly-to-belly, but Scurll escaped and hit an enzuigiri and a powerbomb. Scurll used a crab, but Narita crawled to the bottom rope.
Scurll stomped on Narita’s hand. Narita hit another dropkick. Scurll hit a suplex, dropping Narita on his head. He followed up with a superplex. Narita escaped a chicken wing attempt and used a cradle, but Scurll kicked out at two.
Scurll then got the chicken wing applied, and Narita tapped out. Good opener.
ZACK SABRE JR. DEFEATED SHOTA UMINO (13:58)
This was excellent. Sabre gave Umino a lot.
Umino attacked TAKA Michinoku after he did his introduction for Zack.
Umino held his own as they traded holds early. He used a full nelson, and Sabre tried a variety of escapes, but Umino kept re-applying the hold. Sabre got frustrated and started using strikes to set up his holds. Sabre targeted the left leg with kicks.
Umino went for a dropkick, but Sabre side-stepped and used a crab. Umino reached the ropes. Umino dodged a charge into the corner, and hit a dropkick. He used a back elbow, a forearm, and a vertical suplex for a near fall.
Umino went for a crab, but Sabre turned it into a kneebar. Umino used a bridging suplex for a near fall. Sabre applied a modified STF, but Umino got to the ropes. Umino missed a missile dropkick, but recovered and turned it into a cradle for a near fall.
Umino dropped Sabre with an uppercut. They traded near falls. Umino applied an armbar, but Sabre made it to the ropes. Sabre hit a series of kicks, and Umino followed with palm strikes. Sabre got a guillotine, but Umino reversed it into a vertical suplex.
Umino hit a missile dropkick and made a cover, but Sabre kicked out at two. Sabre locked on Napalm Death, and Umino tapped.
JUSHIN THUNDER LIGER & JONATHAN GRESHAM DEFEATED TAIJI ISHIMORI & ROBBIE EAGLES (5:28)
Gresham made his NJPW debut here. He looked great in out-wrestling Eagles on the mat.
After their sequence, Liger and Ishimori tagged in. Liger immediately used a rolling crucifix and got the flash pinfall on Ishimori.
TOMOAKI HONMA, TOA HENARE, JUICE ROBINSON & DAVID FINLAY DEFEATED TAMA TONGA, TANGA LOA, JAY BRISCOE & MARK BRISCOE (12:16)
The crowd was into this, but the match itself was kind of a cluster.
Hikuleo made his return, accompanying Tonga and Loa to the ring, along with Jado.
Finlay outwrestled Mark at the start. Honma missed a kokeshi, allowing Mark to take over. Tonga got a tag, and nailed Honma with a dropkick. Jay tagged in and hit a couple of dropkicks of his own.
Mark got a tag, and Honma bit him. Honma ducked a boot from Jay, and Jay accidentally hit Tonga. Tonga tagged in, and Honma hit a diving kokeshi, then tagged Henare. Henare hit a double Samoan drop on both Tonga and Loa, but Tonga recovered and hit a gun stun.
Juice and Mark tagged in. Juice hit a series of jabs, then a spinebuster. The Briscoes doubled up on Juice, but Finlay jumped in to even the odds. Juice and Finlay hit stereo dropkicks. The Briscoes hit a tandem neckbreaker on Juice for a near fall.
Juice escaped a doomsday device attempt. Mark got sent into the ropes, where Jado nailed him with a kendo stick. It wasn’t immediately clear whether he meant to hit Juice or Mark.
Juice used a roll-up for the pin.
Tonga and Loa turned on the Briscoes after the match.
TORU YANO, TOGI MAKABE & RYUSUKE TAGUCHI DEFEATED COLT CABANA, CHEESEBURGER & DELIRIOUS TO RETAIN THE NEVER OPENWEIGHT 6-MAN TAG TEAM TITLES (10:16)
With Yano, Taguchi and Cabana, you know you can expect a lot of comedy, and that’s what the bulk of the match consisted of.
Yano and Delirious started out with some comedy. Makabe and Cabana tagged in and traded strikes. Cheeseburger tagged in and missed with a crossbody, allowing the champions to take control.
Makabe worked over Cheeseburger in the corner. Taguchi entered and hit some hip attacks. Taguchi tried for three amigos, but Cheeseburger was able to block the third amigo, then tagged Cabana.
Cabana hit some jabs, and a bionic elbow. Cheeseburger hit a double stomp off the top. Delirious hit a splash off the top, and Cabana hit a splash on Taguchi. Yano and Makabe broke up a pinfall attempt.
Yano untied a turnbuckle pad. Cabana grabbed the pad while Yano untied another. They faced off with the pads, and Cabana won. Delirious and Cabana nailed Yano with the pads. Yano sent Delirious into the exposed buckle. Delirious hit a clothesline for a near fall on Yano.
Taguchi used Cabana to distract the referee, allowing Yano to hit a low blow, then schoolboy Delirious for the pin.
Delirious hit Cabana with a low blow after the match.
WILL OSPREAY DEFEATED DALTON CASTLE TO RETAIN THE NEVER OPENWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP (17:29)
I haven’t seen Castle in a while, and he doesn’t look like the same guy to me. He has always had incredible charisma, and I thought he was going to be a massive global star. I’m not sure if he’s lost confidence since his back injury, but none of that was on display here.
This wasn’t bad, but it was one of the weaker Ospreay matches you’ll ever see. They kept going and going, and I thought they were staying out there until they got the crowd fully into it, but that never happened.
Yota Tsuji and Yuya Uemura came to the ring with Castle, dressed as his Boys.
Ospreay sent Castle to the floor with a headscissors, then taunted him with his pose. Castle reached into his trunks, pulled out nothing, then slapped Ospreay. Castle hit a throw, and Ospreay rolled outside. Castle hit a back suplex on the floor. Ospreay got sent into the barricade.
Back inside, Castle rolled into a bridge, and earned a near fall. Castle attacked Ospreay’s lower back with strikes. They rolled to the floor, and Ospreay hit pip pip cheerio off the barricade. Ospreay hit a space flying tiger drop.
Ospreay hit a handspring enzuigiri, then hit pip pip cheerio in the ring. Ospreay called for the OsCutter, but Castle was able to hit a DDT. He followed with a series of knees in the corner. Ospreay escaped a Bang-A-Rang and hit a step-up enzuigiri, then a Robinson special.
Ospreay missed an OsCutter. They traded hard strikes. Castle missed a charge into the corner and flipped to the floor. Castle teased suplexing Ospreay off the apron, but Ospreay blocked him. Castle draped Ospreay over the top rope, then hit a running knee on the apron. Castle hit a slingblade for a near fall.
They traded near falls. Ospreay hit a Spanish fly. Ospreay took a flip bump off a lariat. Castle hit a gutwrench throw for a near fall. Ospreay hit a frankensteiner, a hidden blade, then a storm breaker, and got the pin.
JEFF COBB DEFEATED HIROOKI GOTO TO RETAIN THE ROH TELEVISION CHAMPIONSHIP (13:52)
They had a BIG HOSS match.
They traded strikes. Cobb got a shoulder block takedown. Cobb chopped and headbutted Goto, then hit a dropkick. Cobb missed a splash in the corner, and Goto clotheslined him onto, and then off, the apron.
On the floor, Goto posted Cobb. Goto suplexed a Young Lion onto Cobb. Back inside, Goto used a chinlock, then a headscissors on the mat. Goto hit a Russian leg sweep. He went back to the headscissors, but Cobb reached the ropes.
Goto hit a leg lariat in the corner. He went to the top, but missed with an elbow drop. Cobb connected with a series of chops and short strikes. He hit a big flying uppercut in the corner, then dumped Goto with an exploder. Cobb kipped up, then hit a standing moonsault for a near fall. The crowd really got into it here.
Cobb hit a black hole slam for a two count. Goto fired back with two clotheslines, then an ushigoroshi. They exchanged lariats. Goto hit a big one, and Cobb took a flip bump. Goto hit a mid kick and got a near fall.
Goto hit a reverse GTR for a near fall. Cobb used a schoolboy for a near fall, then hit tour of the islands and got the pin.
HIROSHI TANAHASHI, KAZUCHIKA OKADA & JAY LETHAL DEFEATED THE KINGDOM (MATT TAVEN, TK O’RYAN & VINNY MARSEGLIA) (14:10)
This was a house show main event that was probably a lot of fun live, but nothing special on TV.
Lethal wanted a shot at Taven. Taven acted like he would start the match, but immediately tagged out to Marseglia. Tana, Okada and Lethal tripled up on Marseglia, then posed.
Okada and Taven got tags. Okada had his left leg taped, and sold like he tweaked his knee after an aborted dropkick.
Tana and O’Ryan tagged in. Each pulled the other’s hair. Tana hit a crossbody off the second, then played air guitar. O’Ryan used a distraction, and The Kingdom triple-teamed Tana on the floor. Back inside, The Kingdom cut the ring in half, working Tana over on their side.
I’m not making this up. They did a sequence where The Kingdom worked over Tanahashi’s nipples.
Marseglia used an iron claw, then raked Tana’s eyes across the top rope. Tana hit dragon screws on O’Ryan and Marseglia. Okada and Taven tagged back in. Okada hit a back elbow, and used a DDT for a near fall. Lethal hit a dropkick, then a suicide dive on Taven, then sent him back in to Okada. Okada hit an air raid crash for a near fall.
The Kingdom hit a rolling senton on Okada, then Taven hit a knee strike to Lethal for a near fall. Tana broke up the pin. Tana got sent to the floor with a double dropkick.
The Kingdom went for a triple powerbomb. Tana and Okada broke it up with a slingblade and a dropkick. Lethal hit the Lethal injection on Marseglia for the pin.
The Kingdom jumped Lethal after the match. Lethal cut a promo on O’Ryan, who he defends the ROH title against on tomorrow’s show.