This review of NJPW: Honor Rising will be as broadcast by AXS TV.
Therefore, all images are courtesy of AXS TV.
- 6 Man Tag: The Bullet Club’s “Hung Bucks” VS Chaos’ Jay White, Yoshi-Hashi & Chuck Taylor; Bullet Club wins.
- The Golden Lovers VS Cody & Marty Scurll; The Golden Lovers win.
PLAY BY PLAY
AXS TV and NJPW review what led to tonight’s main event.
The Bullet Club has been torn at the seams! The Cleaner lost the IWGP United States Championship to the Switchblade, and an argument ensued. Kenny then lost his cool and shoved the Young Bucks, but the American Nightmare escalated it by attacking Kenny. Cody would’ve went even further, but an old friend in Kota Ibushi came to the rescue! Tonight marks a #GoldenReunion, can Omega & Ibushi continue where they left off and defeat Cody and the Bullet Club’s Villain, Marty Scurll?
At the same time, the Problem Solver, Adam Page, already stakes a claim to the IWGP US Championship. Jay White welcomes the challenge, but for now they’ll ally with fellow Bullet Club and Chaos members to wage war! Will the Hangman string up the Switchblade? Or will he be cut down short of a title opportunity?
6 Man Tag: The Bullet Club’s “Hung Bucks” VS Chaos’ Jay White, Yoshi-Hashi & Chuck Taylor!
No time to waste as the ROH World Six Man Tag Team Champions take on the Switchblade, the Head Hunter and the Kentucky Gentleman. Chuckie T and Nick Jackson start, and already hear the fans dueling for them both.
Nick and Chuckie circle and tie up, then back off, but Chuckie gets the takedown. He runs and things speed up, Chuckie acrobatically arm-drags Nick. Nick chops back and returns the favor with even more acrobatics to arm-drag Chuckie. Nick tags in Matt, and the Bucks both whip Chuckie to ropes. They kick, Nick runs and alley-oop for the missile dropkick. Chuckie ends up outside of the ring, and the Bucks dare Chuckie to come back in. He does, but tags out to Jay White. White takes his time to enter, so Hangman Page tags in to meet him. The Switchblade and Problem Solver start brawling with forearms back and forth!
White gets the edge but Page rakes the eyes. He whips White but White ducks to run Page over. White chops Page to a corner, then gives chops and forearms. Page turns things around but White dodges to chop him more. White rains down rights, then whips Page corner to corner but Page reverses. Page runs in but White dodges, so White chops him again and again. Page shoves White away but White keeps chopping. White whips Page but Page reverses and kicks, only to run into a stiff dropkick! White drags Page up and Chuckie T tags in. Chuckie whips and dropkicks Page, then covers, ONE. Chuckie keeps his cool as he brings Page up and over. Yoshi-Hashi tags in, and clubs on Page’s back. Hashi suplexes Page up and over, then covers, TWO.
Hashi stomps Page, then tags White back in. They whip Page corner to corner but Page fires out to run Hashi over. Page lifts White, then dumps him and uses Hashi for the Dropsault! Hashi stumbles all the way out of the ring and to the floor. Nick runs in and triangle dropkicks Chuckie down, Matt adds on a wrecking ball dropkick to send Chuckie into barriers. The Hung Bucks control the ring and start up a “The! Elite! The the Elite!” chant. Page brings White up and chops him back down, then covers, ONE. He stays on White but White fights back, so Page clobbers him down. Page tags in Nick and Nick tags in Matt, the Bucks double whip and kick White. Nick sweeps the legs, Matt hits a low dropkick, then Page returns for the standing Shooting Star!
Matt covers, ONE, but he keeps on White with a chinlock. White endures, working to find a way out. He stands up as the fans rally, and fights back, but Matt clubs him back down. Matt brings White up and suplexes, but White resists, slips around and DDT’s Matt! Both men are down, reaching and crawling for their corners. The fans rally while White tags Hashi and Matt tags in Page. Hashi rallies but Pgae slips out of the scoop. Page runs, but Hashi dodges to hit the running blockbuster!
Nick comes back in to kick Hashi, then runs but Hashi flapjacks him onto the top rope. Hashi runs to dropkick Nick in the ass! Nick tumbles out to the floor, Hashi hits Page with a running chop in the corner. He suplexes Page and hangs him up, then runs to dropkick his back. Page falls to the mat, Hashi covers, TWO. The fans rally while Hashi drags Page up. Hashi tries to lift but Page resists. Page slips out and chops Hashi, then whips Hashi to the ropes. Hashi holds on, then dumps Page to the apron before running. Page slingshots and hits Hashi with the Buck Shot!
The Hangman almost took the Head Hunter’s head off with that, and both men are down while we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns as Hashi and Page hot tag to Chuckie T and Nick Jackson. Chuckie rallies with jabs and kicks, but Matt comes in to kick Chuckie back. Nick runs and Matt alley-oops but Chuckie ducks under. Chuckie throws Matt out, Nick swings but Chuckie catches him into the Half Crab! Matt returns but Chuckie is ready, and puts Matt in a Half Crab now. Nick returns and roundhouses Chuckie, then regroups with Matt. Hashi returns, Nick catches him with the back elbow, then Nick spins to roundhouse Chuckie again. Matt puts Chuckie in a corner while Nick goes to Hashi in the opposite. The Bucks whip Hashi and Chuckie at each other, but they get the reverse. The Bucks do-si-do, for SUPERKICKS!
Fans cheer while Matt grabs Chuckie and with Nick’s help, hits Sliced Bread. Nick adds the Shining Wizard, then covers. TWO, but the Bullet Club gets the fans rallying. Nick tags Page but they all regroup. Matt runs in at Chuckie but Chuckie hops up and over. Nick runs in but Chuckie throws him overhead and onto Matt! Page runs in but Chuckie turns him around for Sole Food! Chuckie tags in White, and White chops Page. He chops and chops then whips but Page reverses. Things speed up, White runs Page over with a back elbow. Matt returns but White throws him with a saido suplex. Nick returns and fights with elbows, but still ends up thrown with a saido suplex! White runs at Page for a running European Uppercut, then turns Page for a half-hatch suplex into buckles! Cover, TWO, but White keeps focus as the fans chant.
White drags Page up again, but Page resists the Fisherman. White chops him but Page slips out the second try. Another chop sends Page to a corner, but Page boots White away. Page runs out and slips through White’s counter, to lift White up and throw him for the buckle-boot bomb! Nick clears Chuckie out of the way while Page covers, TWO! The Bucks coach Page up, and he brings White into the Rite of Passage position. Nick and Matt climb up, but Chuckie and Hashi trip them up! White rolls Page into a high stack, TWO, and Page rocks White with a roaring elbow. White runs at Chuckie, but into the jumping knee. Nick hits the corner Shining Wizard, but Chuckie feeds him to Hashi’s lariat!
Hashi drags Nick up and suplexes into the neckbreaker, but Matt SUPERKICKS Hashi before he can finish. Matt handsprings and headscissors Chuckie for Nick’s dropkick! The Bucks aim at Chuckie and Hashi and hit double slingshot planchas!
White and Page return into the ring, and Page takes off the elbow pad. He takes aim at White, slingshots but White catches the Buck Shot into a Complete Shot! Then the deadlift for a German Suplex! White calls for it, drags Page up in position, but the Bucks SUPERKICK White! Page lifts White now, Rite of Passage!
Cover, The Hung Bucks win!
Winners: The Bullet Club (Hangman Page & The Young Bucks)
Page pins the IWGP United States Champion in this Six Man match, but it’ll be very different when things are 1v1. Can Hangman grab hold of his first singles title when it’s just him and the Switchblade?
But wait, Hangman grabs a chair!
He takes the chair of one of the front row fans, and brings it into the ring. Page attacks Chuckie and Hashi, but the Bucks won’t let him go after White. They tell Page winning was enough. The trio low-five, but then Page demands he still be given a chair? Page puts the chair down, and lifts White up, Rite of Passage onto the chair!
The Problem Solver sends his message to the IWGP US Champion. If this is how far he’ll go to issue the challenge, how far will Hangman go to make the title his?
Backstage interview with Hangman Page.
“You got questions?” No questions for him? Because he had 1000 questions for everyone else before. Here’s a question: What the Hell is going on? Page dropped Jay White on his head on a chair, and stood over him with the IWGP US Championship. No matter how hard White hits Page, Page wants that title more than White has wanted anything in his entire life! Whenever Page’s shot is, he knows that after what he did, it’ll be soon. Still no questions? Then the reporters are useless.
Jay White responds.
“Page, I see you. I see you, Page.” A simple message of acknowledgement, but will it lead to a brutal battle of revenge?
The Golden Lovers VS Cody & Marty Scurll!
While the Bullet Club slowly falls apart, the “Allied Powers” of the American Nightmare and the British Villain stick together so that the self-proclaimed “Undisputed Leader” Cody has someone to take Kenny Omega & Kota Ibushi on in tag team action. If “Bullet Club is Fine”, then can Cody & Marty ruin the #GoldenReunion?
Cody tosses a chair into the ring even before the match, to which Kota takes offense. Scurll grabs Kota’s shirt from where it fell and offers it to someone in the front row, only to throw it to the far rows. Cody keeps throwing chairs in the ring, to which fans boo. Things calm down, but Scurll asks if Omega is with Bullet Club or with Kota. Omega says that’s not what this is about. Scurll knows, he’s not picking sides, but it just seems that Omega has, and he’s picked Kota. Omega and Scurll continue to argue while we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns, and this star-studded match finally begins with Kota and Cody. The fans are clearly behind in Ibushi, though. Cody doesn’t care, he spits at the fans, then tags out to Scurll. Fans “Woop Woop!” for the Villain as he flaps his wings and circles with Kota. A rally starts and the two tie up. Scurll gets Kota’s arm but Kota rolls and reverses to an arm wrench. Scurll reverses back but Kota gets another reversal, and they go move for move. Kota gets a face, Scurll reverses to the wristlock but Kota reverses back. Scurll rolls and spins, then whips but Kota reverses. He headstands in the corner, Kota runs in, so Scurll hops down and chops Kota in the corner.
Scurll whips Kota corner to corner but Kota reverses, Scurll turns around and slips under the boot, then ties up to double wristlock and bring Kota down by his hair. Scurll flaps his wings and fans “Woop Woop!” Things speed up, Kota dropkicks Scurll down! The fans chant for “Ibushi! Ibushi!” as he heads for Omega, but Cody rushes in to scare Omega off! Fans boo, but Cody turns around into Kota’s roundhouse! Omega hops up and tags in, and fans fire up as Cody cowers away to the barriers. Cody even demands the fans move over so he can have more room to retreat. He takes a seat from one of the fans, because while Omega is glaring at him, he’s not returning.
Omega turns around and Scurll is upon him with a European Uppercut. Scurll runs but Omega elbows him away. They both run, Omega puts Scurll on the apron, then swings but Scurll blocks and shoulders in. Scurll slingshots up and over but Omega resists the sunset flip to springboard onto Cody!
They both crash and burn in the chairs, and fans fire up, chanting for “Kenny! Kenny!” Omega clobbers away on Cody but Cody throws him into the barriers. Cody brings Omega up, Scurll gives Omega an apron mule kick. Scurll flaps his wings while Cody continues on Kenny with clubbing forearms. Cody feeds Omega to Scurll for a clothesline, then Scurll holds Omega for Cody as he tags in. Cody kicks Omega in the ribs, then punches him in the corner. He kicks Omega while he’s down, and gives a headlock punch. Cody cartwheels over and blows a kiss to Kota, but turns around into Omega’s chop! Cody kicks back and brings Omega to a corner, but Omega blocks the buckle bump to give Cody one.
Omega goes corner to corner for another buckle bump, and Cody rolls on the mat. Cody begs for mercy, but fans boo, not trusting him. Omega doesn’t, either, he kicks and stomps Cody out. Scurll protests, but it doesn’t matter as Omega tags Kota! The Golden Lovers both whip Cody, double leap frog leads to the roundhouse kick and the leap frog bulldog! Kota takes Scurll out, then Cody ends up outside the ring. Fans sense what’s coming as Omega and Kota go to corners. They call for it, and run crisscross, but the Cross Slash is tripped up. Scurll puts Omega into barriers but Kota counters and shoves Cody instead. Kota drags Cody up and in, but Scurll anchors Kota’s foot. Kota kicks him away, but Cody pounces with a kick on reentry! Scurll returns, they double kick Kota, and then Cody hits the Complete Shot!
They don’t let up, as Scurll drags Kota back out of the ring. He holds Kota while Cody gets moving. Cody takes aim, and jumps across the corner for the flying clothesline on Kota!
Cody’s foot hooks the apron so it’s a bit more crash and burn for both of them, but Scurll is fired up for him. He checks on Cody, “He’s okay!” Scurll rallies the fans while Cody stands. They get Kota up and into the ring, then Scurll brings Kota up again. He rocks Kota with a EuroUpper, then Cody adds a straight right. Cody grabs the legs and stomps Kota’s stomach before stomping a hand. Kota writhes while Cody smirks at Omega. Cody drags Kota up and into a corner, tag to Scurll. Scurll gives an uppercut to Kota, then takes his time suplexing Kota. Scurll holds Kota up there for a good 15 seconds before dropping him, then stomps the hand again.
Tag to Cody, Cody taunts Omega before standing over Kota. The fans cheer for “Ibushi! Ibushi!” but Cody stomps Kota and mocks the fans. He brings Kota up, suplexes him, and holds him up for a good 10 seconds before dropping him on his face. Cody grins at Omega, then drags Kota up again. Scurll puts up a foot for the buckle bump, but Kota back suplexes Cody! Cody slips out, and triangle dropkicks Omega down, then shoves Kota to his corner. Kota uses that to knock Scurll down, then he runs corner to corner at Cody. Cody evades up and over, but Kota fakes out the spinning powerslam. Cody runs in at Kota but now Kota goes up and over, and Kota catches Cody in the spinning powerslam!
Both men are down but the fans fire up. Cody and Kota sit up, Cody crawls after Kota, but Kota tags! Omega hurries up and leaps for the crossbody! Omega knocks Scurll down, then rallies on Cody. Cody kicks low but runs into the headscissors from Omega! Cody tags Scurll, but Omega gets him in the full nelson. Scurll slips down and around to a waistlock, but Kota’s missile dropkick saves Omega! Thumbs up between them, then Omega brings Scurll up in the fireman’s carry. Omega runs around before saying, “You Can’t Escape!” Rolling senton from Omega, standing Shooting Star from Kota, then a moonsault from Omega and one from Kota! Golden Lovers cover, TWO! Scurll surprises Omega and Kota, but the fans are chanting for “Golden Lovers! Golden Lovers!”
They both come back in and bring Scurll back up, but Cody drags Kota out and into barriers, then Scurll grabs Omega’s fingers! “Shh…!” SNAP! Even Scurll feels the pain from that. Meanwhile, Cody has exposed the floor and lifts for the powerbomb, but Kota flails and safely stands on the apron. Kota goes to kick but Cody trips him up. Cody joins Kota on the apron, drags him up, but Omega saves Kota with the V-Trigger! Cody falls to the floor but Scurll returns with his umbrella! Omega dodges the sneak attack, and lifts Scurll onto his shoulders. Omega reaches up, but Scurll still smacks him with the umbrella! The referee never saw it so the match continues. Scurll grabs Omega in the dragon sleeper, and borrows Cross Rhodes!
Cover, TWO! Scurll can’t believe it, but the fans rally for “Kenny! Kenny!” Cody returns as Scurll brings Omega up onto his shoulders. Cody springboards, and it’s dropkick Doomsday Device! But Scurll only fires up more, calling for his finish. He does his spin, calls for it, and gets Omega in the Chickenwing! Kota returns but Cody gets him into the American Deathlock!
The holds are side by side, but the Golden Lovers both endure. Omega starts rolling around and gets to his feet. He lifts Scurll up with him, and sees Kota in trouble, so he backpack sentons onto Cody! Kota is freed but everyone is down while we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns with the fans thunderous for the action. Omega and Cody stand, and brawl with heavy haymakers. Omega gets the edge but Cody kicks and drops down for the uppercut. Cody runs but into the the knee! Omega runs, Scurll gets Cody out of the way, and fakes Omega with one kick to hit the mule kick. Kota returns and gets Scurll with the Pele! Fans fire up again with Kota as he drags Scurll up. Powerbomb lift but Scurll escapes the last ride to back slide. Kota slips out but Scurll mule kicks him in the head. Scurll runs, but into the roundhouse. Kota runs, but into Scurll’s lariat! Scurll calls to Cody while fans “Woop Woop!” Scurll shovels Kota onto his shoulders while Cody takes aim, they hit another dropkick Doomsday!
But Kota lands on his feet! And hits Scurll with a Half ‘n’ Half! Omega adds on with the snap Dragon Suplex! Cody returns, swings but misses, and Kota unleashes a strike fest on him. Omega lifts Cody up, powerbomb German Suplex! Fans are thunderous again as The Golden Lovers see Scurll and Cody on the outside again. Omega and Kota catch their breaths, then get to corners. They try to figure out who goes where for a second, then call for it. They run crisscross, and hit the Cross Slash!
Cody and Scurll go down, and the fans chant for “Golden Lovers! Golden Lovers!” Omega brings Scurll in, cross-leg Fisherman neckbreaker! Kota tags in, Omega loads and “BANG”, but Cody runs in! Omega sees him coming and intercepts, but Cody still turns that around into Cross Rhodes! Kota swings a kick but Cody ducks under, and feeds him to Scurll’s mule kick. Scurll suplexes Kota up, Cody adds a SUPERKICK, and then Scurll hits the Ghostbuster!
Cover, TWO!! And Scurll can’t believe it. The fans cheer for Kota again, but Cody wants Scurll to stand Kota up. Scurll does, Cody comes over and toys with Kota while fans boo, but Kota fights out! Cody dodges, and KISSES KOTA?!
Cody steals a kiss from Kota, but it only angers Kota. Kota slaps and kicks Cody to then powerbomb him down. Scurll returns and rolls Kota, holding tights, TWO! V-Trigger from Omega! Omega gets Kota back into things before lifting Scurll on his shoulders. Omega pops Scurll off and into Kota’s kick! The Golden Lovers sit Scurll up, and together, they hit Golden Trigger!!
Cover, Golden Lovers win!
Winners: The Golden Lovers (Kenny Omega & Kota Ibushi)
Reunited and it feels so good, and so does winning. But one win does not end the Bullet Club civil war, it will take Omega and Cody fighting 1v1 to do that. Will the Cleaner still be Bullet Club leader after going against the American Nightmare alone?
Kenny Omega speaks in the ring.
In perfect Japanese, Omega says that while he said this before backstage, he wants everyone to know that “The Golden Lovers are back!” The fans love to hear that. Omega is from Canada, and ROH fans are watching, so he switches to English to say, “This has been one of the best weekends of my life.” After four years, the Golden Lovers have returned. There was a point in 2017 that Omega thought he reached the peak. But his “very first dream” is coming true. The Golden Lovers are “the best tag team in the world!” Fans also like the sound of that. Whether it’s ROH, NJPW or- Wait, the Young Bucks reappear to respond!
Omega tries to continue his statement, but Matt takes the mic from him. “No no no, we didn’t have a problem with you guys.” Obviously Omega and Ibushi are best friends, and have known each other for years. They reached out a peace offering to them in the hotel, and the Bucks accepted. But now the Bucks have a problem because Omega went on the mic to say they, the Golden Lovers, are the best tag team in the world. The Golden Lovers are NOT the best tag team in the world, THE YOUNG BUCKS ARE!! Which brings them to why they’re out here: “From this day forward”, the Young Bucks are moving up to the HEAVYWEIGHT Tag Team Division! In other words, they’ll be seeing each other around. Omega tries to work things out, but the Bucks leave before he can speak again.
Omega explains for Japanese fans, so either that’s a challenge or a joke. But the Golden Lovers will surely face the Young Bucks in the future. Omega isn’t sure how to feel about that, but thinking about it, that’s a dream match! The fans want to see that, right? The fans applaud to say yes. What is KOta’s opinion on that? “Kenny, that would definitely be an awesome match.” Kota wants it, and Omega thinks it could win another “Best Bout” award. It’s been awhile since he and Kota got one of those. “With that being said, I must bid you all ado.” The Golden Lovers wish us “Good bye and good night! BANG!” The Bullet Club civil war complicates, but one thing is sure: a dream tag match is coming! Who will win this immediate instant tag classic?
Marty Scurll knows Bullet Club is for life, but he doesn’t understand what’s going on. He doesn’t understand where he stands. Cody comes over to check on Scurll. Scurll is in no mood, and blames Cody for this turmoil. They lost, but Cody still laughs over the look on Omega’s face when Cody kissed Kota. Or as Cody insists, Kota kissed Cody. Kota wants Cody more than Omega. Scurll doesn’t laugh along, are there more cracks forming inside Bullet Club?
As for the Golden Lovers, Omega says that this is far from over. Cody is an embarrassment! He tries to manipulate people, but that’s not what Bullet Club is about. Omega thinks this is more an “ego project of a WWE reject” than anything. Then for the Young Bucks, Omega meant to talk this out. They’re his friends, like brothers to him. He’s sorry to have upset them, but he won’t run away from his beliefs. He believes the Golden Lovers are the best, but if the Bucks want to say otherwise, then they’ll have no choice but to fight. Kota takes over in Japanese to say he’s ready for the Bucks at any time. The Golden Lovers will show they are the best in the world, they want to prove it. When and where will this ultimate tag match-up happen?
Another stellar hour of action, especially with both NJPW and ROH using their business partnership to do this together. There’s good continuity in the Six Man Tag in the various stories from both promotions. The Hung Bucks go out to represent ROH as the World Six Man Tag Champions, which implies that if the Chaos trio had won, they could put themselves on the list of contenders for those titles. Instead, Page wins to make it clear it’ll be him and White for the IWGP US title while also building more of the “Bullet Club is (not) Fine” story. Page and White are both great young stars who have years ahead of them to become even greater, maybe two of the best in NJPW/ROH.
The stories compound with the Golden Lovers’ return match. There’s the story between Cody and Omega, and then that crazy kiss spot. Cody is a mad genius for using something like that as a Heel tactic, especially because there is surely controversy created. But controversy aside, the Golden Lovers obviously had to win this to keep the story going with Cody while also setting up for the next phase: Golden Lovers VS Young Bucks. We know now that it will happen at Strong Style Evolved, but this moment is still great in the present. The Bucks really have dominated the tag team world, and in NJPW, they’ve done all they can in the Junior Tag Division so it’s time to see what they can do in the Heavyweight. Starting off their Heavyweight run against Golden Lovers is going to be great for the Bucks, that match could go either way.
My Score: 8.5/10