Posted on July 17, 2007 by Brian Streleckis
Brian Streleckis offers a quick preview of Ring of Honor’s Race To The Top Tournament, but not before relaying how the company did during their first tour of Japan, results of which have been rounded up from ROHwrestling.com and elsewhere.
After already holding two doubleshots in the UK and going to PPV, Ring of Honor continued to grow with a tour of Japan. These shows were scheduled for Monday the 16th in Tokyo and Tuesday the 17th in Osaka. Thanks to our different time zones, we have our results earlier than usual, as well as word of some strong crowds for both events. The first night in Tokyo, in conjunction with Pro Wrestling NOAH, saw:
1.Delirious introduce the show (wow, imagine that language barrier), only to get attacked by the No Remorse Corps. This led into the first match where NRC members Davey Richards & Rocky Romero defeated Jack Evans & Kotaro Suzuki
2.An unannounced match between two NOAH talent where Shuhei Taniguchi defeated Akihiko Ito.
3.An ROH-only exhibition where Jimmy Rave defeated the continually frustrated BJ Whitmer.
4.Bryan Danielson defeat young NOAH star Go Shiosaki
5.A Fight Without Honor (a typical feud-ender) where Delirious defeated Roderick Strong, finally gaining revenge for when Strong knocked him out in February.
6.Naomichi Marufuji join forces with The Briscoes to defeat Matt Sydal, Ricky Marvin, and Atsushi Aoki. Originally, KENTA was supposed to be Sydal & Marvin’s partner, but he had to sit out this weekend due to an injury.
7.Takeshi Morishima successfully defend the ROH World Title on his home turf against Nigel McGuinness. I had thought we might see Morishima’s title reign end on this show, so I’ll take a tall glass of WRONG! to go with my Sushi of Discontent.
The event the next night in Osaka was held in conjunction with the fine folks of Dragon Gate. I had thought we might see some unannounced gai jin who were in the area already for Dragon Gate’s WrestleJam Tour, including Austin Aries, El Generico, and PAC (conveniently all familiar to ROH fans), but no such luck. The card did end up looking differently than originally announced, due to KENTA’s injury and what not. Anyway:
1.Before making a scheduled title defense later in the show, Jay & Mark Briscoe retained the ROH World Tag Team Titles against challengers Jimmy Rave & Genki Horiguchi, both if which I believe are in the Muscle Outlawz faction.
2.Nigel McGuinness defeated BJ Whitmer.
3.Jack Evans defeated Roderick Strong in a Grudge Match. Big win for Evans after losing to Strong in two previous matches this year (the first of which, from “All Star Extravaganza III,” I wholeheartedly recommend checking out).
4.Matt Sydal, Ryo Saito, and Dragon Kid (all members of the Typhoon faction last time I checked) defeated Delirious, Naruki Doi, and Masato Yoshino.
5.Jay & Mark Briscoe made their scheduled defense of the ROH World Tag Team Titles against SHINGO & Susumu Yokosuka. Once again, the Briscoes man up and come out victorious.
6.CIMA, Bryan Danielson, and Naomichi Marufuji defeated Davey Richards, Rocky Romero, and Masaaki Mochizuki in what sounds like one hell of a main event.
ROH returns to the United States July 27th & 28th, in Deer Park, NY and Edison, NJ respectively. The company is offering a different format for these shows that will likely stand out from other shows this year, which I approve of. The format is a 16-man tournament dubbed the Race To The Top Tournament. The field is made up of guys in the midcard and new to the company, and the tournament apparently promises to shoot the winner into the main event scene. Granted some of these guys have already popped up in the main event scene, and two others are already shceduled to get World Title shots at the next two shows in August, but I like the idea of giving guys outside the main events a chance. The First Round, set to take place on the 27th in Deer Park, will see (in order of how they’re listed in brackets): BJ Whitmer destroy-err… wrestle Pelle Primeau, Davey Richards vs. Jigsaw, Chris Hero vs. Erick Stevens, Delirious vs. El Generico (a match that has happened twice and should offer plenty of fun), Claudio Castagnoli vs. Hallowicked, Matt Sydal vs. Mike Quackenbush (enticing), Jack Evans vs. Kevin Steen, and Brent Albright vs. Matt Cross. The Quarter-Finals, Semi-Finals, and Finals are set for the next night in Edison.
Also, Bryan Danielson & Nigel McGuinness, after defeating Morishima & Marufuji June 22nd in Dayton, OH, will team up again to challenge the Briscoes for the ROH World Tag Team Titles on the 27th. Austin Aries, Roderick Strong, Jimmy Rave, Gran Akuma, and Daizee Haze are also scheduled to appear/wrestle in some manner on these shows. As always, ticket and venue information can be found at ROHwrestling.com. Sayanara, readers.