New Japan Pro Wrestling is expanding its presence outside of Japan in exciting ways. They gained international attention for Wrestle Kingdom 12 with the Chris Jericho vs. Kenny Omega feud and sold out their next show in the U.S. in 20 minutes, before anyone even knew it would include Rey Mysterio.
NJPW has also cooperated with wrestling promotions in the Western Hemisphere over the past decade through supershows like Fantastica Mania with Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre (CMLL); War of the Worlds with CMLL, Revolution Pro Wrestling, and Ring of Honor; and Global Wars and Honor Rising, also with ROH.
And speaking of those annual Honor Rising shows, Ring of Honor and NJPW just announced the card for the next such show, Honor Rising: Japan 2018 on February 23–24 at Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, and it looks like it should at very least exacerbate the Bullet Club drama everyone’s been talking about.
Here’s the current match lineup for Honor Rising, which will stream on NJPW World at 6:30 p.m. local time in Japan:
Night 1, February 23
1. Katsuya Kitamura and Toa Henare vs. Yujiro Takahashi and Bad Luck Fale
2. Cheeseburger, Delirious, and Jushin Thunder Liger vs. HIKULEO, Tanga Loa, and Tama Tonga
3. David Finlay and Juice Robinson vs. the Young Bucks (Nick Jackson and Matt Jackson)
4. KUSHIDA vs. Hiromu Takahashi vs. Flip Gordon
5. Ryusuke Taguchi, Jay Lethal, and Dalton Castle vs. Chuckie T, Beretta, and Jay White
6. NEVER Openweight Championship match: Hirooki Goto (c) vs The Beer City Bruiser
7. Kenny Omega, Kota Ibushi, and Chase Owens vs. Marty Scurll, Hangman Page, and Cody
Night 2, February 24
1. Toa Henare vs. The Beer City Bruiser
2. David Finlay, Juice Robinson, and Jay Lethal vs. HIKULEO, Chase Owens, and Yujiro Takahashi
3. Ryusuke Taguchi and Flip Gordon vs. BUSHI and Hiromu Takahashi
4. NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Championship match: Tama Tonga, Tonga Loa, and Bad Luck Fale (c) vs. Cheeseburger, Delirious, and Jushin Thunder Liger
5. ROH World Championship match: Dalton Castle (c) vs. Beretta
6. Kota Ibushi and Kenny Omega vs. Marty Scurll and Cody
What do you think of the lineup? Do you think there are any missed opportunities for crossover matches here? My brain short circuited after I saw that we’re getting a Golden Lovers reunion that involves actual wrestling and not just intense hugging in ONLY TEN DAYS, so I don’t have any objective thinking capacity right now, but you should share your thoughts in the comments!