Hangman Page vs. Kota Ibushi
Let’s start off fast with a match that has its roots in Japan. The Bullet Club and the Golden Lovers aren’t on the best of terms as Kenny Omega’s allegiance has been called into question. What better way to advance that feud than by having the Bullet Club’s problem solver solve the problem of Omega’s new partner?
Since this is a New Japan vs. Ring of Honor match, I’ll be taking Ibushi in a closer match than you may be expecting. Page has been on a heck of a roll as of late and has really come into his own, but at the end of the day Ibushi is in a special place right now and there’s not much that Page is going to be able to do to stop him. The match should be a lot of fun, but Ibushi wins here and moves on to more important stuff with Omega.
Six Man Tag Team Titles: So Cal Uncensored(c) vs. Young Bucks/Flip Gordon
Oh of course it’s a ladder match and literally the announcement of the match taking place saw enforcer Bully Ray throwing in the stipulation like a free prize in a cereal box. The match is going to be nothing but a spot fest, though I continue to have headaches over the idea of a team being thrown together and having their first match be a championship opportunity. Can they at least team together once? Just for the sake of giving it a chance?
Anyway I’ll be taking the champs to retain here, even if it’s hard for Ring of Honor to not give the Bucks a title again. I’m sure it’s going to be fun to watch everyone go crazy as So Cal Uncensored does their best to keep their jobs (nine months from now because that’s how time works in wrestling) but I’m rather tired of hearing about the Bucks in ladder matches. Yeah they’re good at them but show us what else you have.
Kelly Klein vs. Mayu Iwatani
It’s time for the first of two Women of Honor Championship tournament semifinal matches and that means Stardom needs to come in and help us out. Klein has been the star of the division (as limited as that has been) for months now. Iwatani seems to be here for the sake of giving Klein a big win on her way to the title match. Is there really anything else going on?
Not really no, and that’s why Klein is winning here and moving on to the title match later in the night. There’s not much of a reason to expect much else, as Klein is one of the best things about the division. Give her a win and let her move on to the spot she’s earned in the biggest match the women’s division has had yet.
Tenille Dashwood vs. Sumie Sakai
This is the other semifinal and again, it might not be the biggest surprise in the world. Sakai has been around for years now and I couldn’t tell you the first thing about her. She’s just there happens to be able to wrestle a decent match. Dashwood might not be the in-ring performer (though she’s certainly not bad) but she has much more of a presence to her and that makes her more valuable.
So in case you’re rather slow, I’ll be taking Dashwood here as there’s not much of a reason to go with Sakai. Dashwood already has a background that makes people care about her and it wouldn’t be out of the question for her to get the title in the end. This should be a fun match, but Sakai bows out and Dashwood moves on.
Women of Honor Championship Tournament Final
Obviously I’ll be going with Klein vs. Dashwood here in what I see as the only possible final. They’re the two biggest stars and the two best performers the tournament has left so it would make sense to put them together. Dashwood has hit the ground running in Ring of Honor as she’s playing the evil Emma character even better than she did in WWE. However, Klein has been the top star of the division for a long time now and becoming champion would make sense.
I’m actually going with Klein here as I think Ring of Honor would be more interested in rewarding her for what she’s done. The reputation of giving everything to ex-WWE performers isn’t nearly as strong in Ring of Honor and it would be the right move to stick with Klein and give someone a big win over her later. Her undefeated streak is a big deal around here and it would be a waste to have Dashwood get the first win. Klein wins a good match.
TV Title: Kenny King(c) vs. Silas Young
So…wasn’t this supposed to be Austin Aries? He showed up at the “16th Anniversary Show” to challenge King and that’s the last we’ve heard of him. Are they saving that for later or did it just fall through? Anyway, these two have been feuding for a few months now and I really haven’t been feeling the matches so far. This time around it’s a Last Man Standing match, which really should be the blowoff to the feud.
I’ll go with King retaining and hopefully setting up the match against Aries down the line. There’s more to King as champion that Young, who didn’t exactly do much with the title. King is fine for a flashy champion who can have good matches against most people and I’m not sure how much longevity there is in having Young as champion. I’m not sure why this isn’t Aries (scheduling is always a possibility) but King should win here and move on to something bigger.
Tomohiro Ishii vs. Punishment Martinez
Oh now this could be fun. Martinez hasn’t quite lived up to the awesome potential I’ve seen from him over the last year or so but he could have a heck of a match against a hard hitting monster like Ishii. It should be great to see two guys beating the heck out of each other like they’re more than capable of doing, and if that’s what we get it’s going to be a lot of fun.
It’s another New Japan match though and that means I go with Ishii. He’s a bigger name and I don’t think Martinez is ready to beat someone on his level yet. There’s something fun about watching two big, tough guys beat the heck out of each other and Martinez’s insane athleticism for his size should make it even more entertaining. Ishii wins, but it’s a good time for everyone.
Tag Team Titles: Briscoes(c) vs. Jay Lethal/Hiroshi Tanahashi
This interests me more than I thought it would as there’s no hiding the fact that Lethal and Tanahashi are thrown together as a team for the sake of giving the Briscoes something to do. The Briscoes are just so far ahead of everyone else right now that I’m almost counting the days until they’re given another match with the Bucks, hopefully where they beat those flipping twits’ heads in.
Of course I’m taking the champs to retain here, but Lethal and Tanahashi could make things fun. It’s going to be two more talented individuals working together to try and fight a team, but that makes for a fun match under the right circumstances. I have no reason to believe this won’t be entertaining, even if the title change isn’t really much of a possibility. The Briscoes win, after a good match.
Cody vs. Kenny Omega
This match annoys me in a way, even though it has some serious potential. I don’t like it when a wrestling promotion makes me watch other stuff to know the story, but that’s what we have here. Whether it’s “Being the Elite” or New Japan, it feels like I have all kinds of other material to watch if I want to know what’s really going on. I know it’s the Bullet Club Civil War but I’m not sure I’m going to know enough to really appreciate the match.
That being said, I’m going with Cody winning here as it’s his promotion, followed by a rematch in New Japan so Omega can win in his promotion, followed by the big blowoff at “All In” later this year (I wish I could take credit for that but I read it somewhere else. I also wish I could remember where.). You know this isn’t it between the two and I don’t see the point in the matches continuing if Cody loses here, so Omega takes the fall instead.
ROH World Title: Dalton Castle(c) vs. Marty Scurll
As soon as I heard about this, I was excited to see it. Scurll is on a roll right now and that makes me want to see more of him in the ring. He’s a great character and can back it up in the ring, which is about all you can ask for. If nothing else this can be the battle of the chicken vs. the peacock. My goodness imagine the posters.
I’ll take Castle to retain, though I’m not sure who is going to be next for him. He’s beaten Lethal clean and if he takes Scurll out, he’s going to be waiting for someone to finish their current job and give him a challenge. You can imagine him getting back to Cody at some point, but Omega is going to take a lot of time to dispatch. There are challengers there, but I’m not sure how big they are.
That’s a heck of a show and they could do a lot of good with it if they do things properly. There are several matches that could steal the show and word on the street is that they’ve almost sold all 6,000 tickets. I hope they pull that off as Ring of Honor has been doing a lot better lately than I can remember them doing in a long time now. There’s enough talent to go around and the New Japan guys don’t feel like the focus this time around. Let the talent showcase what they can do and give us yet another great show over an already stacked weekend.
Thomas Hall has been a wrestling fan for over thirty years and has seen over 50,000 wrestling matches. He has also been a wrestling reviewer since 2009 with over 5,000 full shows covered. You can find his work at kbwrestlingreviews.com, or check out his Amazon author page with 26 wrestling books. His latest book is the WWE Grab Bag.
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