SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
ROH Global Wars PPV Report
May 8, 2016
Report by Mike Metzger, PWTorch ROH contributor @mD0uble
A video package aired, touting the mutual-respect between Ring of Honor and New Japan Pro Wrestling. It then broke into a full-blown preview of the ROH World Title match between champion Jay Lethal and Colt Cabana.
Ringside: Kevin Kelly and Mr. Wrestling III ran down tonight’s card.
1 – RODERICK STRONG vs. DALTON CASTLE (w/“the boys”) vs. ADAM PAGE vs. A.C.H. – #1 contender match for the ROH TV Title
Mr. Wrestling III spoke highly of Adam Page on commentary. A.C.H. was sporting a cowboy hat and a vest with sunflowers on it. More Kurt Angle-esque, than, say, The Blackjacks. A.C.H. took control early with a nice dropkick to Page. Strong tagged in and pounded on Page. Page came back with a dropkick from the second rope and then Castle tagged Strong. “Dalton Castle” chants from the crowd, as Castle did his lean-all-the-way-back routine. Castle clotheslined Page out of the ring, but Strong had made a blind tag and nailed Castle why he was show-boating. Strong hit a back suplex, which was good for a one-count.
Page tagged in and nailed Castle with a powerslam, but Roddy broke up the pin attempt. Strong tagged in and chopped Castle in two of the corners. Castle tried to fight back, but ate a dropkick from Roddy. Castle was fanned by “the boys,” but Strong continued to dominate. Castle came back with an exploder suplex. Page ran in, but was suplexed by Castle. Strong came off the top, but Castle caught him and tossed him overhead!
A.C.H. tagged in and nailed Castle with Get Over Here. Castle dodged A.C.H. and Page, and then dove onto Strong in one fluid motion! Meanwhile in the ring, A.C.H. nailed Page with a stiff chop. Page then hit a running Shooting Star Press onto everyone else at ringside! A.C.H. appeased the fans and hit a huge Air Jordan dive onto everyone! “Go Go A.C.H.” chants, as A.C.H. climbed to the top. Strong cut him off, though. Strong then started hitting everyone with running knees. He went back to A.C.H. on the top rope, and nailed him with a superplex! He immediately transitioned into double knee gut buster. Page came in with his flipping clothesline, but missed. Castle grabbed Strong and Bangaranged him onto Page. Castle then covered Page for the victory!
WINNER: Dalton Castle via pinfall in 9:27 to become #1 contender for the ROH TV championship. Strong match with fast-paced action throughout. The right guy went over and the match told a good story with Castle stealing the match after a match-stealing performance from Strong. I would have liked Castle to go over stronger, but a Castle-Strong feud could really help Castle get to the next level. (***)
After the match, Strong complained to the announcers, claiming that Castle’s win was “b.s.”
2 – THE ADDICTION (FRANKIE KAZARIAN & CHRISTOPHER DANIELS) vs. JUSHIN “THUNDER” LIGER & CHEESEBURGER
The announcers reminded fans that Liger had taught Cheeseburger how to execute the dreaded palm strike last year. Daniels refused to shake Cheeseburger’s hand. Burger responded with a shove. The bell rang and then they jockeyed for position for the opening moments. Kaz tagged in early, and Liger followed to a huge pop from the crowd. Liger applied his signature surfboard, but Daniels broke it up. Cheeseburger tagged back in and the babyfaces double-teamed Kaz.
Burger and Kaz were alone in the ring. They traded slaps. An assist from Daniels allowed Kaz to clothesline Cheeseburger. “That’s why we’re the best in business,” Kaz yelled as The Addiction worked on Burger in their corner. The Addiction hit their slingshot elbow/legdrop combo, but Burger kicked out of the pin attempt. They continued to toy with Cheeseburger for the next few minutes. Cheeseburger eventually caught Daniels with a hurricanrana from the mat and then made a tag to Liger!
Liger was a house afire. He clotheslined Daniels in the corner and hit a running Liger Bomb, but Kaz broke up the pin attempt. Liger tried to fight off his opponents, but The Addiction was too much for him, They hit celebrity rehab, but Burger broke up the pin attempt at the last second! Cheeseburger low-bridged Kaz and then nailed him with a palm strike. Daniels was right there with a couple of STOs. He called for the Best Moonsault Ever, but Cheeseburger hit him with a victory roll out of nowhere.
WINNERS: Cheeseburger & Jushin “Thunder” Liger via pinfall in 6:57. The Addiction is one of the only true heel acts in the entire company, yet here they are losing in a lower-card comedy match. (**1/4)
The Addiction attacked Cheeseburger and Liger after the match. The Addiction hit their new Best Meltzer Ever move (Best Moonsault Ever into a Tombstone) on Cheesburger.
Video package: War Machine defends the ROH World Tag Team Titles against The Briscoes.
3 – ROH World Tag Team champions WAR MACHINE (RAYMOND ROWE & HANSON) vs. THE BRISCOES (MARK & JAY BRISCOE) – ROH World Tag Team Title match
The Briscoes were in all-black, instead of their usual camouflage. All four men shook hands and then Hanson and Mark started the match. Hanson tossed Mark to the outside. Rowe threw Mark around ringside a bit and then threw him back in the ring for Hanson. Rowe then tagged in officially and War Machine continued to dominate Mark. The Briscoes eventually regained control on the outside, and then they hit a double-suplex on Hanson in the ring.
The Briscoes took control for the next several minutes. Eventually Hanson tossed a charging Mark to the outside! Hanson made the hot tag and then The Briscoes brawled at ringside. Hanson was right there with a huge dive to the outside! Back in the ring, Mark hit a uranage, as Jay stomped Hanson through a table at ringside! The Briscoes continued to work on Rowe in the ring. Rowe fought back with a big forearm, but Briscoe nailed him with a uranage! Both men then no-sold each other’s big moves. They charged at each other and Rowe came out on top with a stiff forearm to the jay. Hanson and Mark came in. Mark temporarily blocked a cartwheel clothesline, but then ate a huge lariat from Hanson!
Reset at 8:00, as all four men stared each other down. The Briscoes isolated Rowe and then clotheslined him to the outside. Jay was right behind him with a dive to the outside! Mark followed up with a blockbuster from the apron to Hanson! Briscoe speared Rowe in the ring. He hit a huge lariat, but Rowe kicked out at two. Jay went for theJay Driller. Hanson tried to break it up. The distraction allowed Rowe to hit a couple of superman forearms. He kicked Jay in the face and went for the cover, but Jay kicked out at two! War Machine went for Fallout, but Mark broke it up. The Briscoes then hit a frogsplash/Froggy Bow combo, but Hanson somehow kicked out at two!
Hanson fought his way out of enemy territory with the Path of Resistance. War Machine then hit a powerbomb/moonsault combo, but Hanson took too long and Jay moved out of the way. Jay then hit the Jay Driller, but Hanson again kicked out! The Briscoes positioned for the Doomsday Devise, but Rowe brought it up and hit Mark with a pop-up German suplex! Jay fought back against both his opponents, but Rowe caught him and held him for a Spin Kick of Doom from Hanson! War Machine then hit Fallout on Mark for the victory!
WINNERS: War Machine via pinfall in 15:17 to retain the ROH World Tag Team Titles. Stellar match that certainly elevated War Machine. All four men worked really hard and had the crowd on their edge of their seats with several compelling false finishes. (****)
4 – IWGP Hvt. champion TETSUYA NAITO vs. KYLE O’REILLY – non-title match
Naito would not adhere to the Code of Honor. O’Reilly shook the ref’s hand, instead. They felt each other out. O’Reilly nailed Naito with several strikes and then applied an early cross arm-breaker, but Naito quickly got to the ropes. Naito spat on O’Reilly and then sent him to the outside. He posed in the ring for a moment. O’Reilly re-entered and locked up Naito’s arm in the ropes, but had to break. Naito nailed O’Reilly with a basement dropkick, while Mr. Wrestling III commented on how the crowd was surprisingly behind Naito instead of O’Reilly.
Naito dominated for the next few minutes. O’Reilly eventually fought back with some kicks and strikes, and then exploded into a flurry of offense that took Naito off his feet! O’Reilly applied a choke, but Naito snapmared him over. O’Reilly persevered with a guillotine choke! Kyle then transitioned into a modified ankle lock! Naito was in pain, as he tried to climb toward the ropes. O’Reilly again repositioned into an arm lock. Naito got free and fought back with a Tornado DDT! Naito followed up with a top-rope hurricanrana, but O’Reilly kicked out at two!
Reset at 8:30, as both men traded blows in the center. O’Reilly got the upper-hand with a knee strike. O’Reilly went for his Ax and Smash combo, but Naito broke it up. O’Reilly bounced right back, though, with a rebound lariat! They traded blows again, as the crowd tried to get into it. Naito hit a flying forearm, but O’Reilly came back with a Regal Plex for two! Naito eventually regained control. O’Reilly fought back and then both men jockeyed for position. Naito came out on top with Destino for the win.
WINNER: Tetsuya Naito via pinfall in 12:03. The match was just okay, as it never really got to the next gear. There was no surprise that Naito would be going over, but this match shouldn’t have been booked in the first place. The announcers even talked about O’Reilly finally beating Cole to win their feud, but here he is losing in his first big match afterward. (**3/4)
After the match, Naito kicked O’Reilly low. The stupid fans cheered for him, anyway.
5 – MOOSE & KAZUCHIKA OKADA vs. MICHAEL ELGIN & HIROSHI TANAHASHI
Okada and Tanahashi started the match to the delight of the crowd. They teased their big moves before a stalemate at 1:10. “New Japan” chant from the crowd, as Moose tagged in. Elgin followed and then both men met in the center. They did the “irresistible force meets the immovable object” routine until Elgin lifted him up for a delayed vertical suplex. The crowd countered to 30 and then Elgin dropped Moose to the mat! Moose no-sold it, and then nailed Elgin with some fists. Elgin came out on top with a couple of big forearms and then tagged his partner.
Tanahashi mocked Moose’s gimmick, as the crowd chanted along while he punched Moose. Moose knocked him to the mat with a shoulder tackle. All four men entered the ring, and then Moose and Okada both dropkicked Elgin and Tanahashi off of separate top turnbuckles! “Okada/Moose” chants as Moose hit a huge leaping clothesline to the outside! In the ring, Okada stretched Tanahashi and then hit him with a swinging neckbreaker. Tanahashi kicked out of the pin attempt. Moose came in and both he and Okada continued to work on Tanahashi.
Moose nailed Tanahashi with a huge sit-out powerbomb, but Elgin broke up the pin attempt. Tanahashi dodged a spear from Moose and then tagged in Elgin! Elgin hit a flying shoulder tackle from the top rope and then worked on Moose. Elgin hit Moose with an enziguri that sent him to the outside. Elgin hit Okada with a slingshot powerslam and then hit Moose with a German suplex, which was good for a nearfall. Both men collided in the center, and then traded blows. Elgin came out on top with a clothesline!
Okada and Tanahashi both tagged in at the 10:00 mark. They traded blows in the center. Tanahashi eventually came out on top with a dragon screw legwhip. Tanahashi mocked Okada’s “Rainmaker” pose (including the zoom-out from the camera). Okada fought back with a stiff DDT and an uppercut. Okada went for a Tombstone. Tanahashi went for a Rainmaker, but Okada ducked. Tanahashi was then able to reverse into a sling blade!
Elgin tagged in and then he and Tanahashi double-teamed Okada. Elgin wheelbarrowed Tanahashi onto Okada, but Moose broke up the pin attempt. Tanahashi nailed Moose with a big dive to the outside and then Elgin hit a Buckle Bomb. Okada countered, though, with a neckbreaker over his knee! “This is awesome” chant, as Elgin hit Okada with a discus clothesline to the back of the head. Okada fought back with a dropkick. He went for the Rainmaker, but Elgin fought out. Moose hit Elgin with a spear and then Okada hit the Rainmaker for the victory.
WINNERS: Kazuchika Okada & Moose via pinfall in 14:46. Fun match with great action throughout. Some memorable sequences, too, especially toward the end. I wish there was something more on the line, but it told a great story with each team’s respective histories. (***1/2)
Video package: The ROH TV Title situation.
6 – ROH TV champion TOMOHIRO ISHII vs. BOBBY FISH – ROH TV Title match
Both men jockeyed for position to start. Fish was working stiff to match Ishii’s strong-syle. Fish worked on Ishii’s leg, but Ishii no-sold it. Lots of that tonight. Fish persevered with more kicks in the corner. Ishi stood up and nailed Fish in the corner with several chops and strikes. Ishii dominated the next couple minutes. Fish began to fight back, and then hit Ishii with a swift kick to the back of the head. Ishii came right back with a brainbuster and then resumed control.
Dueling chants, as Fish asked Ishii for more. Ishii responded by continuing to dominate Fish. Fish tried to fight back with a headbutt, but it had no effect on Ishii. Fish was positioned on the top turnbuckle, but fought back and nailed Ishii to the mat. Fish went for a diving headbutt, but missed. Fish came right back with a standing hurricanrana. Fish continued his attack with several kicks that took Ishii off his feet. Fish went for the cover, but Ishii kicked out. Fish continued to dominate with an exploder suplex that was good for another nearfall.
Fish’s momentum was cut off with a stiff headbutt from Ishii. Ishii went for another superplex and hit it, despite a struggle from Fish. Ishii went for the cover, but Fish kicked out. Ishii missed a sliding lariat, but was able to recover with a Saito suplex. Ishii hit a powerbomb/pin combo, but still couldn’t put Fish away. Reset at the 10:30 mark, as both men traded blows in the center. Ishii came out on top with a release-German suplex. Both men were down. Fish eventually got up first and mockingly kicked Ihsii on the apron. They traded blows in the apron, until Ishii came out on top with a chop. Fish took out Ishii’s legs from under him, and both men were on the floor at 12:45.
The ref counted all the way to 19 before Fish finally re-entered the ring. Both men traded blows yet again, this time with Ishii coming out on top with a huge clothesline. Fish fought back with a sleeper. Ishii started to go down, but eventually fought his way out. Fish nailed Ishii with several elbows. Ishii tried to roll out, but Fish applied a rear naked choke. Ishii passed out and Fish won by referee stoppage!
WINNER: Bobby Fish via referee stoppage in 15:34 to win the ROH TV Title! Great match that built well. They went to the trading blows sequence a lot, but that is par for the course for an Ishii match. I don’t think it hit the high notes of a typical Ishii strong-style match, but Fish certainly held his own. And, wow, an ROH wrestler gets a huge win! (***1/2)
Before the next match, the announcers teased a new Bullet Club member would be revealed tonight, according to The Young Bucks.
7 – BULLET CLUB (IWGP World tag champions TAMA TONGA & TANGA LOA & NEVER Openweight Six-man Tag champions YOUNG BUCKS – NICK & MATT JACKSON) vs. MATT SYDAL & TIME SPLITTIN’ MOTOR CITY MACHINEGUNS (CHRIS SABIN & ALEX SHELLEY & IWGP Jr. Hvt. champion KUSHIDA) — eight-man tag match
Mr. Wrestling III introduced a “superkick counter” graphic on the screen. Shelley and Matt started the match by wrestling on the mat. Crowd firmly behind the Bucks. Matt hit an eye-rake. The Machine Guns took advantage of Matt on the outside, and then the “babyface” team stood tall in the ring. The Guns followed up with a pair of dives to the outside with the help of their partners. Things settled down, as the “faces” worked on Matt. Nick entered and then the Bucks attacked all of their opponents! The Bucks called for the Terminator clap, but Sabin and Shelley nailed them with a pair of superkicks! The Guns then hit the Gorillas of Destiny with a pair, but the Gorillas fought right back. They knocked Sabin and Shelley to the outside, and then Nick Jackson dove onto all four men at ringside!
The Bullet Club isolated Shelley. The running gag so far is that the Bucks have yet to hit a superkick five minutes in. The Gorillas worked on Shelley a bit. Matt re-entered, but still no superkicks at the 8:00 mark. A miscommunication caused Matt to nail the Gorillas with a dropkick through the ropes. Shelley hit a combo on both Bucks and then finally made the hot tag to KUSHIDA! KUSHIDA cleaned house and had both Bucks in a German suplex pinning combination that was good for a nearfall! Sydal entered and held the Bullet Club at bay. The Gorillas fought back against Sydal. Sabin made the save and then the Guns dominated The Bucks with some double-team offense.
All four “babyfaces” continued to hammer on Matt Jackson, but the Gorillas were able to break up a huge pin attempt. KUSHIDA dove onto the Gorillas on the outside, while the Guns hit a huge double-team on Matt. Nick broke up the pin attempt, however. Nick did the “s*ck it” routine, but The Guns fought them off. The Bucks reversed a sliced bread attempt from Shelley into a Meltzer Driver out of nowhere for the victory. Superkick Counter (for the Bucks): Zero.
WINNERS: The Bullet Club via pinfall in 13:20. A notch below the Bucks’s typical multiple-man spotfest. The match was still good and action-packed, but it lacked any true purpose as nothing was on the line. (***)
Ringside: B.J. Whitmer under a mask appeared at the commentary desk. Whitmer took off his mask and pulled out a flash drive. He told “Corino” that he better look at the contents of the flash drive later and “make the right decision.” Great.
Video package: Colt Cabana returns to ROH to challenge Jay Lethal for the ROH World Title.
8 – ROH World champion JAY LETHAL (w/Taeler Hendrix) vs. COLT CABANA – ROH World Title match
Big fight feel. Huge “Colt Cabana” chant during intros. Lethal went for a kick off of the handshake, but Colt caught him. Cabana hit a headscissors takeover for the early advantage. Lethal came back with a cartwheel dropkick. They ran the ropes and then wrestled on the mat. Taeler seductively distracted Cabana on the outside. Lethal went for a dive, but Colt side-stepped it! Taeler tried to slap Colt, but he caught her. Taeler then grabbed Colt, which allowed Lethal to hit a baseball slide and then a big dive to the outside! On commentary, ROH matchmaker Nigel McGuinness was incensed at Taeler’s interference. He had referee Todd Sinclair eject her from ringside, before dragging her backstage himself!
Lethal dominated Colt on the outside for a bit. He threw him back into the ring and dominated there some more. Lethal applied a chin lock at roughly the 7:00 mark. Colt fought back with some headbutts and a roll-up, but Lethal kicked out at two. Lethal hit some big forearm strikes, but Cabana came back with a big lariat! Colt threw some right hands and then some bionic elbows. Colt followed up with a big splash, but Lethal kicked out of the pin attempt. “Colt Cabana” chant, as Lethal fought back with an enziguri. Colt hit a flying assh*le, but Lethal reversed with a Lethal Combination. He went up top and hit his Hail to the King elbow smash, but Cabana kicked out at two!
Lethal positioned Colt on the top turnbuckle. He went for a superplex. but Colt fought him off. Lethal persisted, but Cabana again knocked Lethal to the mat. Lethal came right back with an enziguri and then tried again. Cabana picked up Lethal, though, and dropped Lethal across the top turnbuckle, a move he calls the Chicago Skyline. Lethal kicked out of the pin attempt, however. “Boom boom” chants, as Cabana set up Lethal for a Tombstone. They kept reversing each other until Lethal nailed Cabana with the Tombstone, which was good for another nearfall. Lethal went for the Lethal Injection, but Cabana reversed into Billy Goat’s Curse! Lethal struggled and feigned tapping, but Taeler Hendrix ran out and yanked Todd Sinclair out of the ring!
The Young Bucks ran down. They aimed a double-superkick at Taeler, but nailed Todd Sinclair instead! They proceeded to nail Taeler with a double-superkick. The Bucks brought out Bullet Club t-shirts for both Lethal and Cabana. All of a sudden, the lights went out! They went back on, and Adam Cole was in the ring with a Bullet Club t-shirt! He did the “Adam Cole, bay bay” pose and then the Bucks nailed Lethal with a double-superkick!
Cole grabbed a mic and announced that he was “Adam Cole, bay bay and we are The Bullet Club!” Cole and The Bucks superkicked everyone in sight, including security who ran down to the ring. The superkick counter graphic reappeared, as The Bullet Club nailed 23 consecutive superkicks! The rest of The Bullet Club members ran out. The carnage continued for several minutes. The Gorillas brought out the can of spray paint, sprayed “BC” on the table, and then powerbombed a staffer through it! The Bucks then superkicked both Kevin Kelly and Mr. Wrestling III at ringside! The Bucks got on the headsets and mockingly called the continuing beat-down in the ring.
The Gorillas zip tied Lethal to the ropes. Cabana tried to make the save, but was cut off by the Gorillas. Cole then proceeded to nail Lethal with several superkicks while he was tied to the rope. Cole danced around the ring with the ROH World Title belt, before nailing Lethal with several more superkicks.The Bucks continued to superkick around ringside. Nick and Matt Jackson’s father entered the ring to try and stop his sons, but the Bucks and Cole triple-superkicked him! They proceeded to superkick the camera man. The Bullet Club then posed in front of the fallen camera on the mat. The tone-deaf fans chanted “too sweet” as the show faded to black.
WINNER: No contest when The Young Bucks interfered around the 15:00 mark. Wow, what a post-match angle. Bullet Club’s beat-down was both NWO and Nexus-esque, as they created absolute pandemonium around ringside. It also reminded me of the S.C.U.M. faction from a few years back, but let’s not talk about that right now. This was masterful work that [finally] gives ROH a bigger picture direction. (n/a, but a five-star segment)
FINAL REAX: This was an above-average show that was taken to another level with the angle during the main event. ROH has doubled-down on a clear direction for the company, and I love it. It creates a new challenger for Lethal, sets up The Young Bucks as top heels, and breathes new life into the NJPW partnership with the Bullet Club faction “invading” ROH. Compared to WWE Payback last week, ROH actually pulled the trigger on their big angle.
One of the major things I noticed from attending the ROH live event last week in Rhode Island was the lack of heels on the ROH roster. The company tried to correct that in a big way tonight, although the fans still seemed behind the too-cool-for-school Bullet Club. There is obviously some work to be done, but I have faith in Cole and the Bucks as top heels. Ring of Honor has had a hard time generating a buzz in the past year or so, but people will be talking about tonight’s show for sure.