Cody vs Suzuki: Minoru Suzuki’s First US Match in 25 Years
Cody Rhodes won the Ring Of Honor World championship at ROH Best In The World in June as a free agent against veteran Christopher Daniels. Ever since, Cody has been antagonistic to fans and wants to prove he is the best ROH World champion to date, defending it at independent wrestling shows against all-comers. The son of Dusty Rhodes has the biggest test of his life on September 22 when he faces Minoru Suzuki at ROH Death Before Dishonor live on pay-per-view.
Not only does Minoru Suzuki have the experience edge after over 30 years in the ring, Suzuki comes from an MMA background in Pancrase. UFC tried to book Suzuki on the early UFC PPV’s but Pancrase would not allow it. Suzuki formed the dangerous Suzuki-Gun faction and has become the NEVER Openweight champion recently for New Japan Pro Wrestling. That makes this Ring Of Honor match a champion vs champion match but Suzuki’s belt will not be on the line.
At 49 years old, one can assume Suzuki is the master-technician but his age doesn’t mean he is any slower than he once was. The hypermobile offense of Suzuki could make Suzuki the first Japanese ROH World champion since Takeshi Morishima almost 10 years ago. Suzuki is a former GHC Heavyweight champion for Pro Wrestling NOAH and a former AJPW Triple Crown heavyweight champion. The most interesting factor may be Suzuki-Gun and Bullet Club if they choose to involve themselves in this main event. The biggest factions in all of wrestling will collide but who will come out on top?
The subsequent tapings on September 22 and 23 after ROH Death Before Dishonor will feature Minoru Suzuki and ROH TV champion and IWGP Jr. Heavyweight champion KUSHIDA so it is not out of the realm of possibility of Suzuki winning the prestigious championship. KUSHIDA and Suzuki will miss NJPW Hiroshima on those dates to be at ROH Death Before Dishonor. Suzuki was not even booked for the NJPW G1 In USA shows in Long Beach in July, so this is a special night for Ring Of Honor. Suzuki can still have excellent matches – Suzuki vs A.J. Styles in the New Japan G1 Climax tournament in 2014 was voted match of the year by The Wrestling Observer.
Wrestling’s most evil man has not had a match in the United States in 25 years – he fought Ken Shamrock back in 1992. Suzuki’s only matches outside of Japan recently have been matches with Joe Coffey for WCPW in the UK. When Suzuki’s theme,“Kazi ni Nare” hits in Las Vegas, it may only be a Gotch Piledriver away from history being made. Cody is going to have to be as sly and smart as ever to defeat a living legend.