Who will face Bandido at Ring Of Honor’s Honor Reigns Supreme?
The holidays are officially behind us now and many wrestling promotions look ahead to their first events of the year, which for Ring Of Honor take place on January 12th in Atlanta, followed by Honor Reigns Supreme on January 13th.
With less than two weeks remaining until the event in Concord, North Carolina, only a few matches have been revealed thus far, including ROH World Champion Jay Lethal defending against Dalton Castle (more on that here) and Jenny Rose challenging Kelly Klein for the WOH World Title (read more on that here).
Today, ROH has announced that one of their newest signings, Bandido, will also be in action at Honor Reigns Supreme when he takes on ‘The Darewolf’ PJ Black:
The Best Wrestling on the Planet returns to Concord, N.C., on Sunday, Jan. 13 for Honor Reigns Supreme at Cabarrus Arena. The top stars in Ring of Honor will do battle on a can’t-miss show that will be streamed live worldwide for HonorClub.
All roads lead to the G1 Supercard, co-promoted by ROH and New Japan Pro-Wrestling, at sold-out Madison Square Garden on April 6, 2019, and the happenings in Concord undoubtedly will have an impact on the historic show.
Bandido was the fastest rising star in professional wrestling in 2018, going from spectacular but relatively unknown athlete from Mexico to international star headlining the All In event seen on HonorClub! Bandido has signed an exclusive ROH contract and now HonorClub will get to see much more of this high flying athlete, including a first-time match-up against a man who has competed in 63 countries and 48 states, PJ Black, in Concord!
BANDIDO vs. “THE DAREWOLF” PJ BLACK
Bandido was the talk of the professional wrestling world when he went from relative unknown to main event of the biggest independent wrestling event of all time. A fourth-generation wrestler, Bandido has made a name for himself around the globe. In addition to wrestling in his native Mexico, the 23-year-old luchador has competed extensively in Japan as well as the UK, Australia and on U.S. independents, most notably Pro Wrestling Guerrilla.
In September, Bandido competed in PWG’s Battle of Los Angeles and advanced to the finals, where he was defeated by current ROH World Television Champion Jeff Cobb. Earlier that month, he teamed with fellow masked stars Rey Mysterio and Fenix against The Golden Elite (The Young Bucks and Kota Ibushi) in the main event of the All In pay-per-view.
But while Bandido has seen his stock rise rapidly, he faces an opponent who has been competing globally since the age of 16, a man who left everything in South Africa to pursue and obtain international superstardom in “The Darewolf” PJ Black!
Black has competed in main events all over the globe, wrestling in more countries, 63, than just about any other wrestler and in nearly every state, 48. Black’s rise to the top in some ways mirrored Bandido’s but now both are in ROH, looking to climb the Championship ladders!
Who will pick up the victory in this first-time one-on-one match? Join us in Concord or watch live on HonorClub to find out!
ROH HONOR REIGNS SUPREME
Sunday, Jan. 13, 2019
Cabarrus Arena in Concord, N.C.
Meet & Greets: 5 p.m.
Bell time: 7 p.m.
ROH WORLD TITLE MATCH
ROH WORLD CHAMPION JAY LETHAL vs. DALTON CASTLE
WOMEN OF HONOR WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
WOMEN OF HONOR WORLD CHAMPION “THE GATEKEEPER” KELLY KLEIN vs. JENNY ROSE
VILLAIN ENTERPRISES (“THE VILLAIN” MARTY SCURLL, BRODY KING, & PCO) vs. SILAS YOUNG & ROH WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPION THE BRISCOES (JAY & MARK)
BANDIDO vs. “THE DAREWOLF” PJ BLACK
ROH WORLD SIX-MAN TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS THE KINGDOM (MATT TAVEN, TK O’RYAN, & VINNY MARSEGLIA) vs. SHANE “HURRICANE” HELMS, LUCHASAURUS, & DELIRIOUS
SIGNED TO COMPETE:
BEST FRIENDS (BERETTA & CHUCKIE T.)
“HOT SAUCE” TRACY WILLIAMS
CARD SUBJECT TO CHANGE
News From Cook’s Corner 11.22.21: Happy Eggsgiving
A few shows, some big news, and some more releases. This week had everything! For better or worse… – and Cook gives you the lowdown!
Hi, hello & welcome to News From Cook’s Corner! This is the week where we think about all of the things we’re thankful for. So I might actually do a Fave Five this week, considering the annual Thanksgiving column was the inspiration for the gimmick anyway! Gonna be a pretty busy week though, so we’ll see how that goes.
Before you gorge yourself on turkey, here’s the latest going on in the rasslin world…
More WWE Releases!
There’s a pretty good chance that this will become a regular section of the ol’ column. Eighty wrestlers have been released by WWE during 2021, with one (Samoa Joe. Remember him?) being rehired. Let’s put this in perspective for a minute, as looking at the numbers can explain a lot of what’s going on here.
Raw currently has forty-three wrestlers. SmackDown has thirty-six. NXT has forty-one male wrestlers & twenty-one female wrestlers. NXT UK has forty-three wrestlers. Wikipedia lists four wrestlers under 205 Live, six wrestlers as free agents, then twenty-two wrestlers as Performance Center trainees. If I had to guess, Wikipedia doesn’t have a complete list of Performance Center trainees, so we really have no idea how many people are still hiding there. I seem to recall Nick Khan talking about signing a bunch of people when he was doing that media tour around SummerSlam.
The point I’m trying to make is that WWE has a ton of people under contract and really doesn’t have that many spots. Most of those people listed under Raw & SmackDown haven’t done much of anything in quite some time. The NXT & NXT UK rosters are freaking immense, and NXT is where a lot of the recent cuts have come from. There are going to be more people coming in, therefore there will be more cuts. It’s just best to accept this now instead of getting all sad & depressed every time it happens over the next few months or however long we have before Nick Khan engineers a sale. Don’t spin this as me being happy about people getting canned, I’m just saying “it is what it is”.
So who was it this time?
A few of them were connected to the previous releases. John Morrison would be the longest tenured wrestler of this batch, considering his wife (known as Franky Monet on NXT & Taya Valkyrie elsewhere) was part of the last crop of releases this wasn’t as big of a surprise as one may think. Kind of a dick move from WWE since they’d just moved from California to Florida to facilitate her training at the Performance Center. Other people will have to learn from these events. Johnny has been more entertaining during his stints outside of WWE than he has been in WWE, so I think he’ll do just fine.
It's beautiful that in kayfabe, Jinder & Shanky released a diss track so hard and so fire that it caused Hit Row to never show their faces again in embarrassment.
— Toru Yano Fan Account (@ToruYanoFanAcct) November 22, 2021
Remember when B-Fab was released and everybody thought it was kind of random to get rid of one of Hit Row’s members right after they debuted on SmackDown? Now they’re all gone. Isaiah “Swerve” Scott had been a featured act in NXT and was a top star in the indies before signing with WWE. Ashante thee Adnois was fairly new but had potential, and then there’s Top Dolla. This seems to come down to Top Dolla rubbing people the wrong way, including burying colleagues on social media & complaining to management about B-Fab’s dismissal.
It’s easy to understand why Top Dolla might have gotten a big head & thought his opinions mattered. He was featured on the Most Wanted Treasures show before ever appearing on NXT, so he was obviously a favorite of Paul Levesque’s. He also became the featured member of Hit Row upon their arrival on SmackDown, as his 6’5 330 pound frame played better with main roster decision makers than Swerve Scott’s lack of size. Dude moves pretty well for his size too, so there’s some potential there. Apparently he didn’t show enough potential to make up for whatever headaches he was causing, and the other two guys didn’t have enough appeal without him.
It’s tough, because I like it when people cause trouble backstage & stand up for themselves. Gives me more to write about here. However, I can’t recommend such things in today’s WWE. They’re looking for excuses to fire anybody. Oh, and I also wouldn’t recommend talking smack about the competition’s executive vice presidents like Top Dolla did either. Maybe it’ll impress Tony Khan, who knows.
Tegan Nox’s NXT tenure had more ups & downs than anybody else’s, I’d figure. Whenever she was about to get a push, she tore her knee up. They kept her around though, and finally moved her up to the main roster in July. She was placed in a team with Shotzi and they beat the Women’s Tag Team Champions multiple times, but never got a title shot. Then they got split in the draft, and Nox never even made an appearance on Raw. I don’t have any clue what happened other than somebody wasn’t impressed with Nox for some reason. Seemed like a solid talent to me, but I’m just a dork with a column.
Drake Maverick was released back in April 2020, but was kept around to work the NXT Cruiserweight Championship Tournament and ended up getting his job back due to popular appeal. Of course, he didn’t do a damn thing of note before getting released again, but I think we expected that. Got an extra year & a half of paychecks though, so there’s that. Seems like a nice bloke, he’ll land on his feet.
Shane Thorne disappeared from television once Retribution split up. He did a couple of dark matches recently with a Outback Jack-style Aussie gimmick, but nothing came of it. One would expect him to re-form the TMDK tag team with Mikey Nicholls at the earliest possible opportunity.
Jaxson Ryker was the final name of the list, and was another one that hadn’t done anything notable in awhile. He did outlast his fellow Forgotten Sons in the company, but did not outlast his tag team partner after that group split, Elias. Ryker got some heat back in 2020 when he tweeted political views that his boss agreed with, but it turns out that was the most attention he ever got while working for WWE. How bout that.
We’ll be back with more releases soon enough, I’m guessing. Again, we’re not celebrating these things, but we’re not going to act shocked either. As people have told me, it’s the wrestling “business”.
Did anything interesting happen at Survivor Series?
— WWE (@WWE) November 22, 2021
Becky Lynch beat Charlotte Flair by holding the ropes on a roll-up. In fairness, Charlotte tried to do it first. Also in fairness, it was the same referee that Charlotte took issue with and beat up back in April, so she probably should have seen it coming. Who says WWE doesn’t do long-term storytelling? Prior to the show, Fightful reported the match order, which had this as the main event and everything else in the reverse of which it happened. It’s a good thing Fightful got some egg on their face, as this sure wouldn’t have worked as the finish of the event.
Seth Rollins was the sole survivor in the Men’s Survivor Series Elimination Match, because he needed the win. Of note here was Austin Theory having a pretty long run in the match, Kevin Owens walking out on his team like he was Bad News Brown, and Drew McIntyre & Bobby Lashley doing a double countout spot because they didn’t need to lose.
Omos won the Rock 25th Anniversary battle royal, eliminating twelve people in the process. My takeaway from the match was they were trying to make Omos a star. Then I realized the the match was for Pizza Hut pizza, like how kids read books in school so they can win the Book It contest and get a class pizza party, I guess. I’m confused. How does The Rock feel about Pizza Hut? Never mind, one of the few things worse than political conversation is pizza conversation. If we go down this road we have to talk about pineapples and various cities’ styles of pizza, and I just don’t care about all that.
RK-Bro beat the Usos, and I think I’m the only person that doesn’t go completely crazy whenever Randy Orton does an RKO. We know he’s going to do it in a weird spot. It’s been a thing for like a decade now. Maybe I’m just jealous of these people that are able to react like they saw something for the first time evry time. In any event, Randy Orton has now wrestled more WWE PPV matches than anybody in the history of the universe.
Bianca Belair was the sole survivor of the Women’s Survivor Series Elimination Match. I thought the crowd was a little harsh, but it was a pretty sloppy piece of business & the booking was hella questionable. At least Bianca got to win.
Roman Reigns beat Big E to become the Universal Ultra Mega Champion of the Galaxy. Dude needs a few more nicknames so I’m trying to help him out. Big E got to do a big things, but we all knew what was going down here. Seems to hurt the drama factor to me. I may be wrong though, saw a bunch of people online calling it the best thing they ever saw. So what do I know?
The Rock didn’t show up. Apparently I was supposed to expect him to? People sure seemed mad about it.
The big tease for Monday night? Oh, this is one for the books. Vince McMahon got a Cleopatra Egg from The Rock, apparently part of his Netflix movie. Allegedly worth $100 million. Somebody stole it. All the WWE Superstars get to go to Raw tomorrow night so Adam Pearce can question them about it. If this doesn’t equal a record rating, I don’t know what will.
To answer my question of whether or not anything interesting happened at Survivor Series…I’d lean towards no, but it wasn’t an awful show or anything.
Kenny off of TripleMania Regia?
Kenny Omega might have lost his AEW & Impact Championships fairly recently, but he still has the AAA Megachampionship to his name. Omega was scheduled to defend that title against El Hijo del Vikingo at the upcoming TripleMania Regia event in Monterrey, but Dave Meltzer reports that the champion will be pulling out of the event due to upcoming surgeries.
Yep, surgeries. Kenny has a torn labrum, an abdominal hernia, a bad knee, and a septum issue as well. He’s been working through the pain for awhile now, and is expected to be out at least through February. Seriously though, if anybody deserves some time off it’s Kenny Omega. Dude has put the work in, whether you like him or not. It’ll also give him some added time to focus on the AEW video games division.
New Japan & NOAH Working Together
NJPW v NOAH at Wrestle Kingdom January 8 pic.twitter.com/X8eqsnMDcd
— Super J-Cast (@thesuperjcast) November 20, 2021
Last week in this column, I wondered why New Japan was holding three different Wrestle Kingdom events, including one in Yokohama on January 8 that didn’t have a fun IWGP Heavyweight Championship match announced for it yet. Turns out that the January 8 show will be a cross-promotional effort also involving Pro Wrestling NOAH. New Japan is reportedly planning on running a number of cross-promotional events in 2021 as part of celebrating the company’s 50th anniversary. DDT, All Japan & Dragon Gate have apparently talked with NJPW about participating.
These reports indicate to me that NJPW isn’t exactly bullish on the idea of borders being opened up anytime soon. It’s good news for Japanese wrestling fans though, and will help New Japan fill some cards. It’ll be fun to see Keiji Mutoh back in a New Japan ring, won’t it?
Well, that’s all we have time for this week. Thanks for reading, and until next time, keep your stick on the ice.
(NOAH) NOAH WEEKLY NEWSLETTER VOL.150 ~ 21ST NOVEMBER 2021
With their own big Budokan event coming up, and the huge crossover news, Hisame tells us all about the events in Pro Wrestling NOAH!
With their own big Budokan event coming up, and the huge crossover news, Hisame tells us all about the events in Pro Wrestling NOAH!
New Japan vs NOAH
On November 18th NOAH and New Japan both announced that they would be making a press conference on both of their respective YouTube channels on Saturday 20th November. Kaito Kiyomiya fueled further speculation by posting a picture of himself holding a picture of Kazuchika Okada, which had appeared on the front of Weekly Pro in June 2020, and captioning it “The Future”. At the press conference on the 20th, New Japan announced that as part of their 50th anniversary celebrations, they would be holding a joint Wrestle Kingdom show on January 8th 2022 at the Yokohama Arena. No mention was made of either side about the disaster of the “Suzuki Gun” era when Bushiroad owned NOAH, which indicates that both companies want to wipe the slate clean for the sake of the future. NOAH are not the company they were in 2015 and New Japan too have undergone a lot of changes.
The press conference was attended by Kaito Kiyomiya (ironically the only person in the room who was part of the fight against the Suzuki Army) and Hiroshi Tanahashi. A VTR was shown of three New Japan wrestlers (Hiroshi Tanahashi, Kazuchika Okada and current champion, Takagi Shingo) and three NOAH wrestlers (Kaito Kiyomiya, Keiji Mutoh and current champion, Katsuhiko Nakajima). Shingo said he had two names in mind, Naomichi Marufuji and Katsuhiko Nakajima, Nakajima whom he debuted the same year as and had lost to twice in the past, so “it’s time for some revenge”. Nakajima said he had no idea who their champion was, and Okada said he had no idea who was even in NOAH, and that if Kiyomiya really had wanted “to experience the Rainmaker”, he should have been more persistent. After Kiyomiya and Tanahashi had their say to the press with Kiyomiya vowing to make New Japan regret competing against NOAH, and Tanahashi saying he wanted to fight the one who represented NOAH the most, the two squared up before leaving the stage. Kiyomiya says that his original goal was Okada, but now he has a new focus, Tanahashi. No card has been announced as of yet, but KENTA has posted a picture of himself as GHC Heavyweight champion saying “See you there”
“The biggest announcement in history ever made”
For the New Year’s day event at The Nippon Budokan, NOAH have said they have five to make, with number four being what they are calling “the biggest in history”. This will be announced at this Tuesday. Kenoh says that the fifth announcement will be him walking out of The Budokan as a double champion.
Perros Del Mal De Japon vs STINGER; No Touch Tag Rules
In a recent interview, Yoshinari Ogawa verified that he never actually intended to challenge for the GHC Junior Heavyweight tag belts with Yasutaka Yano. He had told Yano to return the belts to NOSAWA Rongai and Eita as a way of humiliating them, but Yano had gotten a little carried away. Ogawa says that Yano needs more experience in the ring before he can start challenging for titles. He did feel sorry for him though being attacked and drenched in water. Ogawa stated that if he was going to challenge for the tag titles, then it was going to be with HAYATA and HAYATA only, but he also had a proposal for Eita. Why wasn’t the tag done under the DragonGate No Touch rules? What this basically means is that a tag partner does not have to tag in, he can get legally in the ring once his opponent is at ringside. Perhaps both NOSAWA and Eita should have thought more about accepting, as Ogawa rarely comes up with anything like this that will seemingly benefit his opponents and not himself, without having some kind of plan in mind. Title match will take place on the 28th November, with a handicap match between Ogawa and Yano vs NOSAWA taking place on the 23rd.
ELSEWHERE IN NOAH
– Kaito Kiyomiya endured a bit of teasing online due to appearing at the New Japan vs NOAH press conference in an oversized green jacket. Takashi Sugiura almost echoed Giant Baba when he wondered about the fashions of young people these days.
– Keiji Mutoh says he has an ambition to be GHC National Champion for his 60th birthday.
– Kenoh is convinced that by “this time next week” he will be heading to The Nippon Budokan as both the GHC National and the GHC Heavyweight Champion
– Hirooki Goto said he wanted to fight Takashi Sugiura at Wrestle Kingdom. Sugiura said he wanted anyone but Goto.
– Naomichi Marufuji was at an appearance/talk recently, and said that red used to be his color but he had to change it due to Kongoh, which meant that fans were still using the red penlight color for him. He was kind of irritated that he’d had to change!
– Yoshiki Inamura has resumed prowling Tokyo and photographing dogs and cats.
– Hitoshi Kumano hinted that he will be returning to the ring.
– Money raised from NOAH THE Home has bought some new equipment to the dojo. However, Yoshiki Inamura still seems to be used as weight by Daisuke Harada.
- GHC Heavyweight Champion: Katsuhiko Nakajima
Challenger: Kenoh – LEC Cleanup! presents NOAH the BEST 2021, Yoyogi National Stadium Second Gymnasium, Sunday, November 28th
- GHC Junior Champion: HAYATA
Challenger: Tadasuke – THE WARROAD 2021 in NAGOYA, Aichi / Nagoya Congress Center Event Hall, Sunday, December 5th 2021
- GHC Heavyweight Tag Champions: The M’s alliance (Naomichi Marufuji and Keiji Mutoh)
- GHC Junior Tag Champions: Perros De Mal Del Japon (NOSAWA Rongai & Eita)
Challengers: STINGER (HAYATA & Yoshinari Ogawa) – LEC Cleanup! presents NOAH the BEST 2021, Yoyogi National Stadium Second Gymnasium, Sunday, November 28th
- GHC National Champion: Kenoh
Challenger: Katsuhiko Nakajima – LEC Cleanup! presents NOAH the BEST 2021, Yoyogi National Stadium Second Gymnasium, Sunday, November 28th
THIS WEEK IN NOAH
Monday, November 22nd: Hitoshi Kumano (30)
Monday, November 22nd: Bison Smith memorial (2011)
PREMIUM PRELUDE 2021
Tuesday, November 23rd
Niigata / Bandaijima Multipurpose Plaza Large Kama
Start time: 17:30 JST
LEC Cleanup! presents NOAH the BEST 2021
Sunday, November 28th
Yoyogi National Stadium Second Gymnasium
Start time: 3pm JST
Broadcast: ABEMA, WrestleUniverse
With thanks to: Nodapooh
GIFS taken from NOAH Official YouTube
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