Tenille Dashwood, Rey Mysterio Make Waves in ROH, NJPW

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Photo via WWE

WWE alumni Tenille Dashwood – formerly known as Emma – and Rey Mysterio made headlines last night when they appeared at seperate major wrestling events.

Dashwood made her Ring of Honor debut at Honor Reigns Supreme and was announced she would be participating in the promotion’s Women of Honor tournament. The 16-womn tournament will serve as a mechanism to crown its first Women of Honor Champion.

Across the Pacific Ocean, Mysterio appeared at the New Beginning in Osaka event, via video screen, to challenge Jushin Thunder Liger to a match at Strong Style Evolved in March.

ROH announced they were going to pull the trigger on crowning a women’s champion this year. In addition to Dashwood, the other 15 participants in the tournament are Brandi Rhodes, Jessie Brooks, Karen Q, Kelly Klein, Madison Rayne, Mandy Leon, Deonna Purrazzo, Holidead, Sumie Sakai, Jenny Rose, Stacy Shadows, HZK, Hana Kimura, Kagetsu, and Mayu Iwatani.

Dashwood’s first foray on a Ring of Honor broadcast wasn’t limited to just her announcement. Bully Ray forced Dashwood to team with Mandy Leon and the duo went on to defeat Stacy Shadows and Kelly Klein.

With Dashwood no longer under the WWE banner, she has the opportunity to make a name for herself on her own merits in the professional wrestling world. Competing – possibly winning – the Women of Honor title is the first step to really raising her stock.

Ring of Honor has slowly been growing their women’s division and having a championship is the last step in solidifying their division. Having Dashwood win the title may bring it some legitimacy in the eyes of casual fans, but the fact that she’s appearing in Ring of Honor and chasing the championship shows how appealing it is to women wrestlers outside of ROH.

Meanwhile NJPW fans are chomping at the bit to see Mysterio and Liger get in the ring. This won’t be the first time these two legends have squared off – Liger defeated Mysterio at Starrcade 1996.

In their first match, Mysterio was younger and had far less experience. Since that time, the King of Mystery has evolved as a performer and built up a fantastic career that includes a successful run in WWE.

Although it’s been over 20 years since Liger and Mysterio first faced off in the ring and while they’ve crossed paths in different promotions over the years, New Japan will make it a big fight feel. Is this match on the level of Kenny Omega vs. Chris Jericho in terms of hype? Probably not, but wrestling fans who have followed the careers of both competitors will be excited for this contest nontheless. 

Mysterio has been active in 2018, including an appearance in this year’s Royal Rumble. Fans were hoping his participation in the match would lead to him returning full time to the company, especially since negotiations between him and Impact Wrestling ended. He’s said before that he doesn’t want to work a full-time WWE schedule, which means part-time appearances from Mysterio on WWE programming is probably what fans will get for the next year.

Wrestling in New Japan won’t hurt Mysterio’s relationship with WWE despite the perceived rivalry between the two companies.

WWE seems fine with their legends appearing in other promotions for part-time gigs – after all, wrestlers need to make money. If anything, this match could lead to Liger possibly to WWE at some point in the future.

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