Starting with this current weekly episode we’re treated to footage from February’s Honor Rising event. For matches of this caliber to be available (however long after the fact) for free is gift from the Wrestling Gods. Let us ascend the stairway to the squared circle, Jack!
ROH TV (April 21, 2016)
Taped Feb. 19/20, 2016 at ‘Honor Rising’ Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan
Dalton Castle & Ryusuke Taguchi vs. Reborn Matt Sydal & Jushin Thunder Liger
Dalton Castle is such an amazing weirdo. His in ring style reminds me of Lanny Pofo AND Randy Savage: flamboyantly violent. It is only a matter of time before the Overground catches wind of this singular talent.
The storytelling in the match is so refreshing thanks to clearly defined personalities and a harmony of wrestling styles. Taguchi and Matt Sydal are absolutely unreal. Sydal scores a clean pin over Castle after a perfect Shooting Star Press. Jushin Thunder Liger using The Boys to mock Dalton in the center of the ring might be the best thing that has happened anywhere in 2016 so far. This match would be a great entry point for someone trying to get a friend or reluctant viewer into the best of Professional Wrestling.
Delirious vs. Gedo
As far as gimmicks go, Delirious might be the most so-bonkers-it-works idea I’ve ever seen. I’m all for the Feral Human wrestler (George Steel, Missing Link, Brody etc.) and Delirious’ particular madness is tempered with excellent wrestling.
It is heartening to imagine this being some kid’s first wrestling on television experience. The sight of a masked lunatic versus and badass Gedo beating the daylights out of each other would cement anyone as a life long adherent to the craft of Pro Wrestling. Delirious picks up the victory here in his ROH TV debut, which after 12 years in the company is quite a milestone.
“Stone Pitbull” Tomohiro Ishii vs. Roderick Strong (c)
ROH World Television Championship Match
In the past one might not get to see Ric Flair defend the Heavyweight title, but odds are one would get to see Tully Blanchard put up his NWA Television Championship on a regular basis. ROH’s version of the championship is, as of this match, a true World’s title and with matches as stellar as this, the holder of the belt is among the elite of the sport.
Strong is a superlative wrestler and Ishii is a unshakeable badass. After an exhausting and masterfully fought battle, Ishii executes a brutal Brainbuster on Strong, becoming the 11th ROH Television Champion. Heaven help the poor souls in line for a title shot from the Stone Pitbull.
- The interstitial ads and segments are pretty delightful: Kenny Omega hawking t-shirts…Dalton Castle out on the town in Tokyo? Yes please, and thank you!