For the first time in decades the legendary Madison Square Garden is hosting a non-WWE pro wrestling event. Ring of Honor and NJPW have teamed up for G1 Supercard of honor with nearly every belt on the line. Follow the live updates here.
Main Event No. 2: IWGP Heavyweight Championship – “Switchblade” Jay White (c) w/ Gedo vs. “The Rainmaker” Kazuchika Okada
Jay White gets the Muta Lock on Okada during their IWGP Heavyweight Championship match. Photo: NJPW.
As the video of the former champions is shown, the crowd boos hard for Brock Lesnar and marks out for AJ Styles and Kenny Omega.
Here comes the Rainmaker! There is a noticeable lack of Okada dollars falling from the sky. But he has the shorts, so I’ll allow it. We’re reminded that Okada has NEVER beaten Jay White. 0-for-2 in singles and 0-for-whatever in tag matches.
White comes out in his all-white attire. Red Shoes is our referee as he should be for this one. Red Shoes gets a chant from the crowd. Crowd is clearly in Okada’s corner. White rolls out of the ring once the bell rings to anger the crowd. He steps out a second time before the two men lock up.
Okada fakes his chest slap. Gedo provides a visual, not physical distraction, allowing White to get a headlock. Crowd chants “F*ck you, Gedo!” White grabs Okada’s hair and brings him down to another headlock. We get a third headlock and Jay White is not letting the crowd get into this match.
We’re at the 5-minute mark. Okada gets a little offense and White escapes the ring to get a breather. Okada reverses an Irish whip outside and knocks White into the barricade with a front kick. Gedo again provides a distraction to prevent Okada from DDT’ing White onto the floor. White pushes Okada into the ring post and tells the ref to start the 20-count.
Okada gets in at the count of eight but eats a slingshot to the throat and kicks out of the pinfall attempt. A back bodydrop by White, a DDT and a mocking of the crowd allows Switchblade to go for a Muta-Lock. We’re at the 10-minute mark.
The crowd cheers for Okada after he knocked both Jay White and Gedo into the crowd. Photo: NJPW.
Okada makes it to the ropes, White breaks at five. Okada punches while White chops. Okada hits a flapjack. The crowd comes alive for the Rainmaker. He kips up and hits a running shoulder on White to pop the crowd. Okada’s chest is starting to redden from the chops. He hits a DDT but White kicks out.
Okada shrugs off a few kicks by White and hits his million-dollar dropkick to send Switchblade outside the ring. Okada goes for the outside DDT, Gedo tries to block but Okada tosses him outside the barricade and hits both men with his running crossbody. Okada gets cheered by the crowd. I would like to mention the biggest cheerer for him is wearing a Bullet Club shirt of some kind.
Okada returns White to the outside of the ring and tosses him back in the ring. We’re at the 15-minute mark. For reference, it took White only 14 minutes to beat Okada at WrestleKingdom 13 in January.
White hits a Saito suplex, followed by a running European uppercut for a two-count. White goes for an uranage but Okada counters it into a neckbreaker. Okada goes for a Tombstone but White escapes it. White makes it to the corner and Okada starts elbowing Switchblade. He goes for the Tombstone again but White escapes it and makes it to the ropes.
A shotgun dropkick by Okada drives White down. Okada goes to the top rope and hits a perfect doublekick but can’t get a two-count. Okada slams White and returns to the top turnbuckle and hits an elbow drop. The crowd is hyped. Rainmaker calls for his signature and the Garden is unglued. White collapses to avoid the Rainmaker. Okada kicks White in the face and forearms him twice. We’re at the 20-minute mark.
White hits a flatliner out of nowhere and then hits a German suplex on Okada. White’s Blade Runner is countered but White tosses Okada into the corner and hits an uranage. Okada kicks out at two. White’s Kiwi Crusher is countered he hits Okada with a snap Saito suplex. White doesn’t want a countout victory and tosses Okada back in the ring. He hits a Kiwi Crusher but the Rainmaker kicks out. Okada looks glassy-eyed now and White locks in a chokehold.
White gets caught and eats a Tombstone piledriver. Both men are down. They get up and trade forearms. Okada gets the better of it but misses a dropkick. White chops Okada twice, ties him on the ropes and unloads four more chops before Okada catches him with a dropkick. We’re at the 25-minute mark.
Gedo goes to the ring but Okada catches him with a forearm. Okada goes for a Rainmaker that’s countered into a sleeper suplex by White. White calls for the Blade Runner. Okada avoids it, White counters a Tombstone and two start trading shots. A dropkick to the back of the head by Okada allows him to hit a spinning clothesline, not a Rainmaker. That’s just temporary as Okada loads up and hits a Rainmaker.
He goes for the cover and White kicks out at the last moment. A fan actually tossed one of those streamers in prematurely and the crowd is stunned that that wasn’t a three-count. No Gedo distraction. Just White kicking out.
Gedo is up again but staying outside the ring. Crowd chats “Okada”. White counters a Tombstone into a Blade Runner. Both men are down and White can’t capitalize. Both men are crawling and get to their knees together. White and Okada trade forearms. Both men get vertical and continue trading shots. We’re at the 30-minute mark.
Gedo plays interference while White low-blows Okada. Another “F*ck you, Gedo!” chant. White goes for the Blade Runner that’s countered into a German suplex. Okada still has wrist control, White counters into a backslide, Okada escapes and counters a Blade Runner into a backslide of his own. White escapes but eats a dropkick.
Okada calls for the Rainmaker again. White elbows Okada a bunch and kicks him in the head. Okada clotheslines White, maintains wrist control. He walks White around, clocks another Rainmaker. He goes for a third, White counters, Okada repositions into a Tombstone, hits another Rainmaker and pins White to regain his title!
Winner… AND NEW IWGP HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION… KAZUCHIKA OKADA
The Drive for Five has been completed for the Rainmaker. Okada gets the belt and all is right in the world of professional wrestling once again. Congrats champ.
Main Event No. 1: 3-Way Ladder Match for the Ring of Honor World Championship – “The Villain” Marty Scurll vs. Matt Taven vs. Jay Lethal (c)
Matt Taven celebrates winning the 3-way ladder match for the Ring of Honor World Championship. Photo: NJPW.
Not even two minutes into this match and the ladders already come in to play. Marty hits a nice Tornado DDT on Tavern outside the ring. The Villain puts a second ladder into the ring and sets the ladder on the corner. Tavern is sent into both ladders twice. Marty then back body drops the ladder after Lethal tosses him.
Marty shows his genius when he is the first one to go for the belt. He decides to grab his umbrella and use that to help grab the title. It doesn’t work, but a good idea. This may play a role in the ending. Marty starts chopping Jay Lethal and then Taven clocks Lethal. Taven and Marty fight with Marty hitting a clothesline and then superkicks Taven off the turnbuckle.
Lethal prevents Marty from reaching the belt and then uses the ladder for a Figure 4. Taven climbs the ladder, forcing Lethal to break the hold and stop Taven. Jay hits a cutter on Marty on the ring apron. Taven then grabs Lethal and powerbombs him through a ladder that Lethal had set up on the outside to start the match.
Marty is alone in the ring and sets up the ladder. He hobbles on the ladder and has to stop climbing because Tavern comes back into the ring. Taven stops a chicken wing and then avoids Marty’s finger breaker. Taven is hated by this New York crowd. Him being from Boston probably has something to do with that.
Marty superplexes Taven off the top of the ladder, but both are hurt. Lethal gets into the ring and gets hit in the back by Marty’s umbrella.
Lethal gets his fingers on the title, but Taven stops Lethal. Lethal spits on him and knocks him off the ladder. Lethal needs one more rung but Marty catches him with a chicken win atop the ladder. Lethal has to fall off the ladder to break the hold. Taven and Marty fight at the top. Marty then grabs Matt’s left hand, snaps the fingers atop the ladder. Then does the same to his right hand. Lethal hits Marty to knock him off the ladder and all three men are down. Lethal tries to impale Marty but misses and two ladders form an X. Marty takes the X ladder and then Matt tires to suplex Marty onto the ladder. Marty avoids the move and tosses Matt into the ladders. While Marty is distracted, Lethal hits the Lethal Injection.
Lethal tosses the X ladder out, it actually hits a fan in the front row but nothing bad happens. “That’s a lawsuit” is chanted. A table is brought out. Marty hits Jay with a brainbuster outside the ring and then sets up a table.
Marty Scurll breaks the fingers of Matt Taven during their 3-way ladder match. Photo: NJPW.
The camera misses it, but Taven spears Marty through the table on the outside. Lethal gets a larger ladder and goes outside to splash Matt on the table. We get a Macho Man elbow and both men are down. Where is Marty?
Oh, he’s crawling into the ring and grabs a smaller ladder. Lethal starts to crawl into the ring. Both men slowly climb the ladder and start punching each other. Taven gets a purple ladder and brings it in. This is a massive ladder that just so happens to be as tall as the belt. Matt climbs the purple one.
He’s knocked down and Marty uses another ladder to set up a brace. Lethal has the same idea. This is going to be crazy whatever happens. Matt hits Jay with a chair and then cuts Marty’s legs from under him.
Matt climbs the purple ladder and gets in a quick punching duel with Lethal. Matt grabs the title, clocks Lethal with it, which drops Lethal through the bracing ladder. Taven simply grabs the belt and becomes a Grand Slam ROH Champion.
Winner… AND NEW RING OF HONOR WORLD CHAMPION… MATT TAVEN
Preshow: New Japan Rumble
It takes a ton of people to toss Bad Luck Fale out of the ring. No. 29 is a member of the Bullet Club but we don’t know who. It’s King Haku! Wearing a green BC shirt.
Haku goozles Colt Cabana and Yano heads to the ring for the breakup. Yano’s not a member of the rumble but whatever.
Entrant No. 30 gets the “Holy Sh*t” chants. It’s Great Muta! As in one of the original Three Musketeers Muta. Coming decked out in his samurai gear. We’re told Yano counts as an entrance so there will be 31 in the rumble.
Muta beats down Delirious and tosses him out of the ring.
Suzuki eliminates Colt and Yano in succession. Muta eliminates Grissom. Suzuki and Goto fight on the apron and he eliminates Goto. We now get Ishii and Suzuki throwing bombs at each other.
The crowd goes silent as Suzuki smacks the Stone Pitbull. Suzuki tries a rope assisted submission but Ishii powers out and tosses Suzuki out of the ring.
Haku takes on both members of the Kingdom and eats a double dropkick for his efforts. He’s eliminated. We’re down to five men: Kingdom, Ishii, Liger and Muta and Ishii gets tossed.
Muta and Liger eliminate the Kingdom and we’re down to two legends of Liger and Muta. Another “Holy Sh*t!” chant.
Apparently, Kenny King never got eliminated. He jumps in and eliminates both men in rapid succession.
Winner… Kenny King
King wins, but he eats Muta’s mist. Muta leaves the ring and Liger stands alone. Liger bows to the crowd as he soaks in the “Thank you, Liger” chants.
We get a little opening with various wrestlers talking about rewriting history tonight at MSG.
Colt Cabana, Ian Riccaboni and Kevin Kelly are our English commentators tonight.
Match 1: Winner Takes All – NEVER Openweight Champion Will Ospreay vs. ROH World TV Champion Jeff Cobb
Cobb starts off on fire, showing off his strength. Ospreay goes for a Sasuke Special but Cobb catches Will. Will counters it into a DDT outside the ring. Will goes and shakes the hand of the fan he almost hit in the crowd and the fight goes into the ring.
A ridiculous delayed vertical suplex from the second rope, the crowd counted to 10 before Cobb hits Will with the move, gets a two-count.
A bearhug by Cobb slows down Ospreay. Kevin Kelly mentions the history of an Olympic wrestler (Kurt Angle) wrestling at MSG (Taz’s debut during the King of the Ring from the 1990’s).
Pip-pip Cheerio gets Ospreay a two-count. Cobb gets a standing moonsault for a two-count. Wow.
Ospreay hits a One-Man Spanish Fly to buy him some time avoiding a clothesline. Will loses his cover and goes for his elbow finisher. Cobb avoids it and Will hits a sunset flip but only gets a two-count.
Will’s attempt at the Os-Cutter is blocked and then Cobb unloads a massive clothesline. Cobb goes top rope and misses a frog splash attempt. A Robinson special by Will sets him up for another Os-Cutter chance. Cobb powers through it and tosses Will into the turnbuckle.
Will regains himself and hits the Os-Cutter but Cobb barely powers out of it. The crowd thought that was it. Will calls for the Hidden Blade again, he goes for a hook kick instead and drops Cobb. Will goes for a Stormbreaker but Cobb gets on the ropes to break the chance. A Cheeky Nandos kick allows Will to set up for an Avalance Stormbreaker. Cobb headbutts Will to break the hold and then hits a massive slam and finishes Will off with Tour of the Islands to become the double champion.
Winner… Still ROH World TV Champion… AND NEW NEVER OPENWEIGHT CHAMPION… JEFF COBB
Michael Todd of the World Arm Wrestling League is in attendance.
Match 2: Singles – RUSH vs. Dalton Castle
The Boys are back for Dalton. RUSH comes in without any real fanfare while Dalton comes out with peacock feathers etc. RUSH doesn’t do the Code of Honor handshake and starts insulting Dalton’s mother in Spanish.
A shotgun dropkick by RUSH, 2 Bull’s Horns and this one is over. That’s less than 30 seconds from bell to bell.
Winner by pinfall… RUSH
We’re told that one of Dalton’s feathers was in the ring and while Dalton was waiting for his boy to remove it from the ring, RUSH took advantage. The two original boys come to the ring to console Castle.
The boys offer a chair. Rather than sit down, Dalton takes out his anger on Boy No. 1 while Boy No. 2 tries to cover. A Bangarang by Castle on Boy No. 2 may signal a breakdown by Castle. He’s trying to hold back tears and he walks to the back.
Before the Women of Honor match we go backstage to see Juice Robinson laid out under a couple of chairs. Nothing else is explained.
Match 3: Women of Honor World Championship – Mayu Iwatani (c) vs. Kelly Klein
Kelly Klien raises the Women of Honor Championship after her match. Photo: NJPW.
Mandy Leon is at commentary. We get a quick Code of Honor handshake and Camp Klein gives Klien some additional advice. She tells her camp she wants to do this one-on-one and sends her camp back to the back. We now get the real handshake and the two square off.
This starts off methodical with Klein on the offensive using her MMA background. Kelly works on Mayu’s injured left leg. Mayu gets Klein in a chokehold. The speed picks up and Klein goes outside the ring for a breather. Mayu gets to the top rope and hits a dive outside on Klein that pops the crowd.
Both women get back in the ring before the 20-count and the trade shots. Both women start unloading clotheslines and both are down while the ref starts his count. A stiff superkick by Mayu sets up a bridging Dragon suplex but Klein gets her foot on the rope before a pinfall can be attempted.
Mayu calls for a moonsault. She misses but Kelly can’t get the pinfall. A powerbomb by Klein gets a two-count. A K-Power, make that two K-Powers with an airplane spin added to the second is all she needs to win the title.
Winner by pinfall… AND NEW WOMEN OF HONOR CHAMPION… KELLY KLIEN
Nobody was expecting these ladies to show up for a ROH/NJPW show. Photo: NJPW.
No controversy here. The two women embrace. While Kelly celebrates the Beautiful People (Velvet Sky and Angelina Love) make their way to the ring. While the three women are in the ring Mandy Leon sneaks behind Kelly and clocks her with the heel to her shoe. Love hits a pump kick. Jenny Rose and Stella Grey go to the ring but both are taken out quickly.
Crowd boos the evil trio and they leave. As they pose we get a new graphic marking these women as The Allure with a Dean Ambrose ‘A’ design that they already marked Kelly with using makeup.
We’re told that Juice won’t be competing in his match. Darn.
Caprice Coleman joins the commentary team. Juice and Bully Ray were supposed to fight now, but we go to a musician named Mega Ran. He kind of reminds me of Ron Funches, the comedian.
Bully Ray comes to the ring during the song and we get “ECW” chants. Ran asks to leave the ring peacefully. Rather than actually leaving the ring, Mega Ran starts goading Bully asking if the fans are chanting for Devon.
Rather than giving Ran a chance to leave Bully decks him, Ran stands up and then eats Bully’s chain. Bully takes the microphone and issues another an open challenge.
Match 4: New York Street Fight – Bully Ray vs. Flip Gordon
Flip Gordon taunts Bully Ray. You can see two welts on his back after willingly getting hit by two kendo sticks moments before. Photo: NJPW.
Flip answers the call and he looks incredible. Looks like he put on 10 pounds and is still jacked.
A superkick and springboard spear by Flip starts out the match. Flip eats a one-man 3D. Bully goes under the ring to look for a table and adds a kendo stick to the mix. Bully eats another superkick. Flip picks up the kendo stick and two men help Bully.
The lights go out and we get another entrance. Lifeblood shows up and it’s now a 6-man match.
Match 4: 3 vs 3 New York Street Fight – Lifeblood (Juice Robinson and Mark Haskins) and Flip Gordon vs. Bully Ray, Silas Young and Shane Taylor
Juice and Bully Ray go nose-to-nose in the center of the ring. Juice unloads his left. Things go bad for Juice as Ray, Young and Taylor surround Flip with kendo sticks. Flip allows his three opponents to each smack his back with the kendo stick. Flip then flips off Bully, telling Bully to hit him harder.
Lifeblood shows up with kendo sticks and we have a 6-man kendo stick battle. After Young and Taylor are taken out, Bully leaves the ring. Juice returns him. Bully hits a low blow to buy his team some time.
Things go back for Flip as he goes through a table. Bully gets his jewels driven into the ring post. Now we have anarchy. Bully gets the Wassup headbutt by Haskins. Flip hits his 450 for the win.
Winners by pinfall… Juice Robinson, Flip Gordon and Mark Haskins
We now switch from hardcore to the Jr. Heavyweight division.
Match 5: 3-way for the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Championship – Dragon Lee vs. Bandito vs. Bone Soldier (Taiji Ishimori) (c)
Dragon Lee is the new IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Champion. Photo: NJPW.
Bone Soldier’s got a cool black mask. His white mask is on the back of his entrance jacket. If you’ve seen these three guys before, you know what to expect. A crazy fast start that includes Dragon Lee hitting a hurricanrana on Bandito out of the ring with Ishimori following up with a moonsault on Dragon Lee.
There’s no real way to give a play-by-play with this one. All three men continue to hit each other with everything they’ve got. Rather than a typical 3-way with two men in the ring and the odd man out coming in to break up the counts, the three men are either all in the ring or within striking distance the whole time.
Ishimori hits a Bloody Cross on Lee but Lee kicks out at two. He goes for Bloody Cross again but Bandito stops it. Bandito then picks up both Ismiro and Lee from the top turnbuckle and drives both into the mat.
Lee knees Bone Soldier and goes for a modified powerbomb on Bandito. No kickout and we have a new champion!
Winner by pinfall… AND NEW IWGP JR. HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION… DRAGON LEE
Bandito and Dragon Lee embrace following the match and both men raise each other’s arms.
Bandito puts the belt on Dragon and then raises his arm again. Great respect shown by both men.
We now go from the quick juniors to the hard-hitting heavyweights.
Match 6: Winner takes All – LIJ (EVIL and Sanada) vs. The Briscoes vs. ROH World Tag Team Champions Villain Enterprises (Brody King and PCO) vs. IWGP Heavyweight Champions G.o.D. (Tama Tonga and Tonga Loa)
Toru Yano stole G.o.D.’s IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team titles during their unification 4-way match. Photo: NJPW.
Villain Enterprises comes to the ring as individuals. We get an electric chair delivered to the entrance ramp. PCO locks Destro up in the chair and has a car battery used to shock his neck. IT’S ALIVE!
Tiger Hattori is the ref so that tells you how crazy this match is.
The one note is that PCO FINALLY hits a senton on Mark Briscoe, allowing Brody King to hit the Gonzo Bomb. Destro hits a moonsault and G.o.D. breaks up the pinfall attempt. G.o.D. powerbombs PCO out of the ring and Tama Tonga starts dropping f-bombs. PCO sits up.
Tama hits a Gun Stun on Brody. A Superpowerbomb is hit on Brody and G.o.D. wins. Winners… still IWGP Heavyweight Champions and NEW ROH World Tag Team Champions… G.o.D.
So much for G.o.D. actually walking out of MSG with both belts. Looks like Yano, the sublime master thief stole the IWGP belts during the match. Yano leaves with the IWGP belts.
Match 7: British Heavyweight Championship – Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Zack Sabre Jr. (c) w/ Taka Michinoku
I so want Taka to be my hype man for just a day. That would be awesome. The corners of the rope have two sides with the NJPW pads and two of them with the ROH turnbuckles.
Tanahashi tries to skin the cat but his left arm gives out. ZSJ goes for a submission and we’re now at the 5-minute mark. Zack keys in on the Ace’s left arm.
The Ace gets back on the offensive and locks in a Cloverleaf, forcing ZSJ to grab the ropes. Tana is in control and hits a forward-facing slingblade. He calls for High Fly Flow but ZSJ cuts him off with a running kick. Zack gets a kamura and then kicks the Ace’s left arm.
Tana misses a dragon screw and Zack gets a creative bridge pinfall attempt (look at the photo) because that’s hard to describe. Tana kicks out. Zack hits a PK and then he calls for a Zack Driver. Tana counters into a bridge of his own but Zack kicks out.
Now Zack eats an inverted dragon screw for his troubles and the Ace and Zack each try to bridge pin each other. ZSJ eats three Twists and Shouts in a row. The Ace is in control as he hits another slingblade. Zack kicks out.
Zack counters a dragon suplex and locks in an octopus-esque hold. He gets both of Tana’s arms but the Ace tries to power out but can’t and has to submit.
Winner by submission… AND STILL BRITISH HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION… ZACK SABRE JR.
Match 8: NJPW Intercontinental Championship – Kota Ibushi vs. Tetsuya Naito (c)
Kota Ibushi is an instant away from Naito kneeing him in the back during their Intercontinental Championship match. Photo: NJPW.
With Kenny Omega no longer in NJPW it’s time to see if the Golden Star can turn into his own solo heavyweight star.
After some back-and-forth, Kota falls into Naito’s plan and is sent out of the ring. Naito irish whips Ibushi into either a cameraman or a tech guy. Naito stares him down, to the guy’s credit he doesn’t flinch. It looks like Naito offers a hand to the guy as a peace offering. No violence comes of it, so that was probably just an accident.
Naito then tosses Ibushi into the front row of the crowd. Naito hits his Tranquillo pose in the ring and the fans help Kota get over the barricade into the ring with plenty of time to spare.
Naito hits a neckbreaker and goes for a lackadaisical cover that Kota kicks out of. Both men continue to drop the other on their heads and Kota has glassy eyes now. Naito hits a running knee attack to Kota’s upper shoulders and loads him up on the top rope. Kota hits a flip kick to buy himself some time. We’re at the 10-minute mark.
Kota catches Naito with a running hurricanrana which earns a “Mamma Mia” chant from the crowd. Wow.
Naito takes control and loads Kota up for Destino. Kota avoids it and levels Naito with a clothesline. Kota starts lightly kicking Naito channeling his sadistic side. Kota goes for the deadweight German suplex. He hits it, but Naito kicks out.
Kota takes off his right knee pad. Kota locks up Naito, hits a straightjacket German. Naito kicks out, but Kota holds on to the wrists. A Kamigoye is blocked and Naito drops Kota on his head. Kota kickout out at two.
Kota holds his newly won Intercontinental championship.. Photo: NJPW.
Naito gets up first and starts hitting forearms. The two men start trading shots. Naito smiles during the trading. Naito spits on Kota and kicks him. This just frustrates Kota who gets nasty, but Naito planed on that and hits Destino. Kota just kicks out.
Naito goes for another Destino. Kota counters and kicks Naito in the face. Both men fall to the ground. “This is awesome!” chants begin.
Kota calls for the Bomaye knee. He hits it another time and goes for a lazy cover. Naito kicks out. We’re at the 20-minute mark. Kota sets Naito up for a Last Ride. Naito can’t escape the move, but kicks out. Ibushi still holds onto the wrists and hits the Kamigoye for the win. Wow.
Winner by pinfall …AND NEW INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPION… KOTA IBUSHI