New ROH TV Champion crowned at War of the Worlds Philly


Four years ago during the inaugural War of the Worlds Tour, KUSHIDA challenged Jay Lethal for the ROH World Television Title. While KUSHIDA came up short, both challenger and champion saw their stocks rise dramatically following the bout. KUSHIDA would win the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Championship four times following that tour, including defeating Kenny Omega and Kota Ibushi for the championship. 

But during Final Battle 2016 weekend, KUSHIDA told ROH officials that it was his goal to compete for and win Ring of Honor’s singles gold in 2017, something Kevin Kelly mentioned at the time on Ring of Honor Wrestling television. In the spirit of friendly competition, ROH and NJPW officials signed dream matches throughout the War of the Worlds 2017 Tour and KUSHIDA accepted perhaps the most challenging slate of bouts. 

And what a week it was for KUSHIDA! In Toronto, KUSHIDA defeated Jay Lethal via his signature Hoverboard Lock. And just one week later, KUSHIDA defeated Marty Scurll to become the 13th ROH World Television Champion following a Small Package Driver in front of a jubilant sold-out Philadelphia crowd in a match that will air on ROH TV!

KUSHIDA had the Hoverboard Lock locked in before Scurll transitioned and countered into his signature Crossface Chicken Wing. The two traded submissions before the lights went out. When the lights returned, Adam Cole appeared on the apron, distracting Scurll enough for KUSHIDA to take advantage!

With the win, KUSHIDA becomes just the second Japanese star to hold the coveted championship and the fourth out of the last five champions to be foreign born. KUSHIDA will wear the ROH World Television title proudly as part of the B Block beginning on Wednesday May 17. KUSHIDA looks to win his second BOSJ in three years with ROH and NJPW watching to see who, if anyone, will defeat KUSHIDA in the grueling round-robin tournament to potentially interject themselves in the ROH World TV Title scene.

Two men that have already petitioned for a shot at KUSHIDA are Silas Young, who defeated KUSHIDA in Dearborn, and the former champion Scurll, who believes Adam Cole cheated him out of his championship. Keep it locked on to see who will challenge KUSHIDA first!