New Champions Crowned at ROH Best in the World 2021

ROH held its first show in front of a live audience in 15 months with Best in the World from Baltimore, Maryland. Five title matches headlined by RUSH defending the World Championship against Bandido. This is the first time two Mexican wrestlers have main evented an American pay-per-view in many years.

Continue reading “New Champions Crowned at ROH Best in the World 2021”

Revisiting A Night of Thunder

Jushin Thunder Liger announced last Wednesday at a press conference that he will retire in January. Liger, 54, said he wants to wrestle all over the world until the next Tokyo Dome event and hopes to get on the G1 Supercard event next month at Madison Square Garden.

Born Keiichi Yamada, had his debut match in 1984. However, it wasn’t until 1987 when Yamada adopted the popular character he is known for today. Liger was an innovator of the high flying style of wrestling and created the shooting star press.

Despite his age, Liger put on a stellar match where he was denied a 12th IWGP jr. heavyweight title in a losing effort to Taiji Ishimori at New Japan’s Anniversary show. During his near 40 year career, Liger captured numerous championships, won many tournaments and match of the year accolades.

It’s fitting I was working on this blog amid Liger’s retirement announcement. He’s been one of my favorite wrestlers ever since his WCW debut in 1991. I hope you enjoy my love letter for a moment. I never thought I would see.

 

-Jushin “Thunder” Liger vs. Bryan Danielson: Ring of Honor – Weekend of Thunder – Revere, Massachusetts – Greater Boston Indoor Sports Center. May 11, 2004.

WWE acquiring WCW in 2001 meant the end of seeing talent from New Japan Pro Wrestling appear in the United States. That all changed when ROH unexpectedly announced Jushin “Thunder” Liger was coming back to the U.S. for two nights only. One of those nights was in my home state of Massachusetts. Nothing was going to stop me from seeing this show!

For the uninitiated, Yamada Keiichi aka Jushin Liger, revolutionized junior heavyweight wrestling. While known for his death-defying highflying ability, Liger also mixed up his work with mat wrestling and martial arts to make for an exciting all around style.

While Liger was tearing it up in Japan, he made is American debut in 1991 for WCW when he feuded with Brian Pillman for the promotion’s light heavyweight championship. Liger appeared spasmodically over the years as fans were entranced by the red-clad anime-inspired character.

Third-row seats and the purchase of an authentic Liger action figure was all I needed to enjoy the show. The fans came unglued when the first notes of Liger’s entrance music hit the airwaves. Multicolored streamers cascaded the ring to provide the Japanese legend with a little taste of home.

Bryan Danielson (Daniel Bryan) was the perfect opponent for Liger. A five-star match was expected; however, what we got was a five-star show. It was a well-worked competitive match that exhibited how both wrestlers superbly apply their craft. As the match unfolded, things became clear. The goal wasn’t to convince the audience Danielson could win. It was to let Liger shine in all his glory.

Every single person in the building paid to see the masked lion/tiger hybrid. Everyone in the building paid to see Jushin Liger. It was a best of compilation unleashed before our very eyes. We held our figurative lighters in the air as Liger performed all of his signature hits.

Liger’s surfboard submission got things off to a nice start, and he followed up with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. After some time on the defensive, Liger nailed a bald heel Danielson with a thunderous shotei palm strike. Liger would follow up with another shotei in the corner and hit a top rope hurricanrana.

The audience popped as Liger unleashed his rolling koppu kick and delivered his patented running Liger bomb for a shocking nearfall. There was only one move left to make. One hit left to play on the set list. Danielson was propped up top, lifted up, and drilled with an avalanche brainbuster to close the show.

Not only was it a privilege to see Jushin Liger in the ring, but from an insider perspective, it was nice to see a promotion use a legitimate draw the right way. No shenanigans, no convoluted plot. Liger was the reason why we were all there, and once we got him, Ring of Honor produced a marquee performance.

ROH & NJPW Announce ‘G1 Supercard’ at MSG

The days of WWE having exclusive rights to Madison Square Garden are over. Four weeks after ROH was denied entry into MSG, it was announced last Thursday ROH and New Japan Pro Wrestling would hold a joint show at “The World’s Most Famous Arena” on Friday, April 6, 2019. The show is titled G-1 Supercard, which is a combination of each promotion’s marquee events.

G-1 Supercard will be the first non-WWE pro wrestling event ever to be held at MSG. The timing of this show is even more intriguing because it takes place the day before WrestleMania 35  at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey. The ROH/New Japan show will also run directly against the NXT TakeOver show at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

ROH CEO Joe Koff claimed MSG had canceled their original date after they received “communication from WWE.” Koff stated the lawyers were handling it from there and the show announcement came unexpectedly with a surprise addition of New Japan added to the mix.

Vince McMahon cannot be happy, as 58 years of exclusivity is now a thing of the past. McMahon was able to block WCW from holding a show in the Garden during the height of the nWo era. The closest WCW came was holding two shows at the Paramount Theater (now known as the Hulu Theater) in April 1993 and June 1996.

MSG has become a costly place to hold events. James Dolan (owner of the New York Knicks and MSG) has consistently raised the fee. WWE hasn’t held a televised show at the Garden since 2011. Former WWE announcer Jim Ross addressed the expensive cost of running the Garden on his podcast stating

“the cost of the TV would far exceed the cost of the gate. We (WWE) did million dollar shows there several times there – that are Raws – but you lose money more likely than not. If you’re lucky, you might break even.”

Reportedly, the combined influence of ROH’s parent company Sinclair Broadcasting and the new president of New Japan, Harold Meij is what opened the doors for the two promotions on April 6.

Tickets for the event will go on sale on Wednesday, August 8th at 10:00 AM ET for members of ROH’s HonorClub streaming service and Friday, August 10th to the general public.

New Japan’s Kazuchika Okada, Hiroshi Tanahashi, and Tetsuya Naito along with “all of the top ROH stars” are confirmed for the show. You know who is not confirmed for the show. Kenny Omega and The Young Bucks as their contracts are reportedly set to expire in January 2019.

ROH/New Japan running a show in the Garden during WrestleMania weekend in the same city is the most significant promotional blow WWE has taken since the demise of WCW. If McMahon wants to play hardball, he can offer Omega and the Bucks an exorbitant amount of money, as their absence would hurt the MSG show. WWE was probably going to make them an offer anyways, but now they have more incentive to do so.

Tickets for this show are not going to be cheap. Every show held at MSG is considerably more expensive than events held in other venues. No matter which way the cookie crumbles, April 6 will be a historic evening. The most important event in the history of ROH and New Japan Pro Wrestling could signal the start of another wrestling war.

 

-ROH & NJPW press release

Baltimore, MD [07/12/18] – For 16 years, Ring of Honor Wrestling has created some of the top stars in professional wrestling, and for nearly 50 years, New Japan Pro-Wrestling has brought Japanese Strong Style to the world. Together, these two companies have delivered world class shows such as “War of the Worlds,” “Strong Style Evolved,” “Global Wars,” “Honor Rising,” and the “G1 Special,” which NJPW has launched as a special kickoff in the United States to their annual “G1 Climax,” known as one of the most elite tournaments in professional wrestling.

ROH and NJPW are proud to announce that on April 6th, 2019, the companies will join forces to present the ultimate wrestling event, “G1 Supercard,” to fans from around the world, LIVE from Madison Square Garden in New York City!

“Three years ago, one of our best fans told me in confidence that Supercard of Honor just didn’t feel “super” anymore, said Greg Gilleland, ROH General Manager. “He was right and we took that to heart with the huge events we delivered in Lakeland, FL in 2017, and New Orleans, LA just a few months ago. With consecutive record breaking attendances, the question became, how can we top that in 2019? More importantly, how can we give the fans more of what they want and what they deserve? The G1 Supercard is an event that can only represent the absolute best possible matches with both NJPW and ROH stars, and Madison Square Garden is the perfect venue for them.”

“This is a historic initiative for ROH and New Japan Pro-Wrestling,” Harold Meij, President of NJPW proudly commented. “This gives us a great chance to expose fans to NJPW in the building which housed so many memorable and compelling matches.”

Already confirmed for this show from NJPW are Kazuchika Okada, Hiroshi Tanahashi, and Tetsuya Naito, in addition to all of the top ROH Stars. This show is set to be massive in magnitude including many matches to be announced with championships from both companies defended. Fans will not want to miss this marquee event at a venue with such an amazing storied history of wrestling.

“We are thrilled to welcome Ring of Honor Wrestling and New Japan Pro-Wrestling to Madison Square Garden for the much anticipated G1 Supercard,” said Joel Fisher, Executive Vice President, MSG Marquee Events. “We expect April 6th to be another memorable night of wrestling at The World’s Most Famous Arena.”

ROH Chief Operating Officer Joe Koff is equally proud. “This is destined to join a long list of historical wrestling moments and where better to hold it than at Madison Square Garden. I am extremely proud of what we have been able to achieve as a company and am very appreciative of how great our relationship with New Japan Pro-Wrestling has become. However, none of this would be possible without our fans, who are truly the best in the world. Madison Square Garden would not be possible without them and for that I am most grateful.”

G1 Supercard is sure to be a historical event in New York City that promises to exceed all expectations.

Tickets will go on-sale on Wednesday, August 8th at 10:00 AM ET for HonorClub members and Friday, August 10th for the General Public.

Stay tuned to ROHWrestling.com for more information on G1 Supercard and other important Ring of Honor Wrestling news. Visit NJPW1972.com to follow your favorite NJPW wrestlers and for any other NJPW news or event information.

Wrestling Show of the Year 2017

Another year in professional wrestling has come and gone. As we look forward to the squared circle magic in 2018, 2017 had several stellar events.

New Japan Pro Wrestling delivered the goods in spades while WWE churned out some fun moments. ROH and the independent scene are on fire like never before as a new era of wrestling is coming around.

All lists of this nature are subjective. My rankings don’t mean any more or less than anyone else’s rankings. These are my picks for the top five wrestling events of 2017.

Continue reading “Wrestling Show of the Year 2017”

Bullet Club Reigns Supreme at ROH ‘Best in the World’

The Lowell Memorial Auditorium hosted yet another historic night of professional wrestling as Cody Rhodes dethroned Christopher Daniels to become the ROH World Champion on Friday night. ROH’s ‘Best in the World’ was a fun pay-per-view event that your boy got to experience first-hand.

Excited fans in long lines and I mean loooong lines, encapsulated the enthusiasm people had for the show. Standing in said lines didn’t do any favors for my knee, but it was worth it thanks to Christopher Daniels.

Continue reading “Bullet Club Reigns Supreme at ROH ‘Best in the World’”

Daniels vs. Rhodes Headlines ROH ‘Best in the World’ on 6/23

It’s official folks, Christopher Daniels will defend the ROH World Championship against Cody Rhodes in the main event of Ring of Honor’s next pay-per-view event, Best in the World on 6/23 at the Lowell Memorial Auditorium in Lowell, MA.

This match stems from a previous encounter at last month’s War of the Worlds event where Daniels beat Cody in a triple threat match involving former champion Jay Lethal. Cody, however, argued that Lethal’s shoulders were on the mat while he had the figure four applied seconds before Daniels got the pin, making him the rightful champion.

Continue reading “Daniels vs. Rhodes Headlines ROH ‘Best in the World’ on 6/23”

Industry Moves: Will WWE Buy ROH?

The wrestling world is buzzing after Ryan Satin of Pro Wrestling Sheet broke the news that WWE has been in secret talks with Sinclair Broadcast Group since January about the potential acquisition of Ring of Honor. Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer elaborated on the report stating that WWE made their initial inquiry about purchasing ROH back in August.

While there is no deal on the table as of yet, WWE’s plan of acquisition seems to include the tape library, talent contracts and closing down the company. This move indicates that WWE is attempting to completely monopolize the professional wrestling market in the United States.

WWE purchased WCW and acquired ECW’s assets in 2001 because all three companies were competing for the same audience. In 2017, groups such as ROH and Impact Wrestling are competing with WWE for talent due to sub-genres in wrestling being more pronounced and defined.  Continue reading “Industry Moves: Will WWE Buy ROH?”

Christopher Daniels Wins ROH Gold

Yes, I know I’m late to the party once again, however, this is a topic that I didn’t want to ignore.

Christopher Daniels beat Adam Cole to win the World Title at ROH’s 15th Anniversary Show. Daniels was 0-8-1 in ROH Championship matches. At 46 years old he was facing a 27-year-old blue chip athlete in Cole who was in the midst of his third title reign.

Near falls, superkicks, blood, mid-match promos, the ultimate swerve on the Bullet Club and three BME (Best Moonsaults Ever) encapsulates what as a great moment that was long overdue and better late than never.

Christopher Daniels was one of the best wrestlers to never hold a version of the world title. That sounds weird considering the “Fallen Angel” has been one of the most sought after talents on the independent scene and abroad for the majority of his career.  Continue reading “Christopher Daniels Wins ROH Gold”

Wrestling Soapbox: Reigns vs. Undertaker, New Era of Impact Wrestling, Christopher Daniels and more

 

We’re back with another edition of the Wrestling Soapbox as Atlee Greene and Adam Kohn breakdown the following topics in the world of professional wrestling.

  • Roman Reigns vs. Undertaker
  • Christopher Daniels wins ROH gold
  • Future of Adam Cole and Kyle O’Reilly
  • State of the WWE Cruiserweight Division
  • WrestleMania: The Ultimate Thrill Ride = Pop Culture over Wrestling
    and more!

ROH All-Star Extravaganza Review

 

The Lowell Memorial Auditorium was once again treated to an action-packed night of squared circle mayhem as Ring of Honor brought their All-Star Extravaganza pay-per-view event to the Mill City. The best way to describe the ROH product for the uninitiated is to call it pro wrestling with a side of sports entertainment.

WWE’s presentation favors the reverse ideology, but there is a die-hard fan base that ROH caters to that’s not into all the pomp, circumstance, and melodrama. The storylines are simple enough to follow, but it’s the matches that keep the ROH faithful coming back for more.

My fellow wrestling promoting partner in crime, Ryan and I attended the show with piqued interest since neither us of go to Ring of Honor shows that often. In fact, this was only my third ROH live experience and my first in twelve years. Plus, some of the biggest moments in wrestling history have occurred in Lowell, and All-Star Extravaganza could provide another.  Continue reading “ROH All-Star Extravaganza Review”