RADICAN’S 5/12 ROH “War of the Worlds” PPV report – Cole-Tanahashi, Ospreay-White, Daniels vs. Lethal vs. Cody main event

By Sean Radican, PWTorch columnist

New Japan & ROH logos (c) ROHWrestling.com


MAY 12, 2017

(1) Bobby Fish vs. KUSHIDA vs. Silas Young (w/BCB) vs. Dalton Castle (w/The Boys) in a Four Corner Survival match. Young got on the mic and ran down KUSHIDA before nailing him with a cheap shot to kick off the action. The action was good from start to finish here. Castle got the win with the bang-a-rang on Fish.

Winner: Dalton Castle

Star rating: (**3/4)

(2) Frankie Kazarian vs. Hangman Page. Kazarian started the match quick by nailing Page with a flip dive to the floor as Page made his entrance. The announcers mentioned the match still had not officially started and both men could do whatever they wanted on the floor without getting DQ’d. Page fired back inside the ring a short time later. Kazarian ended up on the floor and Page hit him with the SSP should block. That looks like a lot of effort to do something that’s simplistic in the end. Page had the upper hand, but Kazarian fired back with a back cracker and the unprettier and both men were down. Both men began spitting at each other. This is disgusting and makes me want to just ignore the rest of the match. Page shoved the ref and hit a low blow for a near fall. Page won with a pinning combination while holding the ropes for leverage.

Winner: Hangman Page

Star rating: (1/4*) – This was short and they lost me with the gross spitting spot not to mention the crap finish for a short match.

(3) IWGP Hvt. Tag Team Champions War Machine (Hanson & Rowe) vs. L.I.J. (SANADA & EVIL vs. Search & Destory (Chris Sabin & Jonathan Gresham w/Alex Shelley) in a Non-Title match. War Machine has improved their look recently with better entrance gear and face paint. SANADA tied up Gresham and then Sabin into little balls. He then placed them next to each other before hitting a double dropkick. Gresham got worked over for a long period of time. He made the hot to Sabin, who ran wild taking out L.I.J. and War Machine. War Machine went for fallout on Sabin, but he slipped away from Rowe and shoved him into Hanson, who was perched up top. Rowe fired back at Gresham and Sabin by head butting their forearm attempts. He then hit a double overhead belly to belly suplex on them. SANADA distracted the ref a short time later and EVIL wrapped a chair around Hanson’s head and hit him with another chair and the crowd gasped. The match was just getting going when Rowe tossed Sabin to Hanson for a pop up power slam. Hanson wiped out a pile of men with a dive through the ropes as Rowe made the cover for the win.

Winners: Hanson & Rowe

Star rating: (***) – The action was good here. It seemed like the match was just getting going when they went to the finish. The commentators talked a little bit about the IWGP Hvt. Tag Team division in Japan, but this match didn’t seem to accomplish much to set anything up down the line.

(4) Jay White vs. Will Ospreay. This was hyped as a match between future legends. Both of these guys have huge potential. They had a crazy exchange near the apron. Ospreay got the upper hand and went for a dive, but White managed to catch him and all in one motion he slammed him into the barricade. White worked over Ospreay for a long period of time, but Ospreay fired back with a sick handspring kick. They went back and forth and White ended up hitting a double under hook suplex into the turnbuckles. They went back and forth out of opposite corners. Ospreay charged at White and went for a hurricanrana, but White caught him and hit a Liger bomb for a 2 count. The announcers mentioned that White has put on a lot of size since starting his excursion from Japan. They had a great exchange of strikes that saw White deck Ospreay with a big forearm. The fans gasped and white went on the attack with some big forearms in the corner, but the ref backed him off. Ospreay fired back with a flurry of strikes out of the corner. He went for a big punch, but White hit a flatliner. They went back and forth no-selling big moves until Ospreay caught White with a one man Spanish fly and both men were down! Ospreay went up top for a 630, but White got out of the way. Will landed on his feet and eventually hit a code red for a near fall. Ospreay went for a flying space tiger driver and White caught him and hit a brainbuster on the apron. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

Ospreay went for a reverse hurricanrana, but White blocked it and slammed him into the mat. He then hit a cobra clutch suplex and the fans fired up! Ospreay countered White and hit a stunner out of the front face lock position when White tried to flip him. Ospreay went for the OsCutter, but White caught him with a crucifix and hit several elbows! He then lifted Ospreay into a double under hook and slammed him into the mat for a near fall and the fans applauded! Ospreay got a running start and hit a step-up SSP press to the floor. He tossed White into the ring and hit the OsCutter for the win. WHAT. A. MATCH!

After the match, both men shook hands and White signaled he was one move away from winning. Kevin Kelly inexplicably drew a correlation between this match and the match earlier between Page and Kazarian.

Winner: Will Ospreay

Star rating: (****3/4) – This was an incredible match that should raise White’s profile a ton all over the world. The match was built around White countering Ospreay’s high flying and it wasn’t until Ospreay hit an insane SSP to the floor that he was able to put White away. Go out of your way to see this match.

Punishment Martinez came down to the ring and wiped out both men as the fans booed.

CHAOS came out first for the ROH World Six Man Tag Team Championship match. The Briscoes came out next. Bully Ray then came through the crowd in the upper balcony. Of course, he had a mic. He said he had good news and bad news. He said the bad news was that CHAOS was going to get the ass kicking of a lifetime. The good news is that they are going to give the people what they want to see. He then announced that this was a NO DQ match. Jay hit a dive through the ropes to wipe out CHAOS. Mark then hit a moonsault to the floor.

(5) ROH World Six Man Tag Team Champions Bully Ray & The Briscoes (Mark & Jay Briscoe) vs. CHAOS (Rocky Romero & Trent Baretta & Hirooki Goto). The bell rang and Bully Ray made his way down to the ring as The Briscoes ran wild. Bully went after Goto with a chair, but he cut him off with a headbutt to the jaw. Both teams started throwing chairs at each other. CHAOS dominated the action for a long period of time. They used the chair to their advantage, but it wasn’t like the No DQ stipulation added a lot to the match. Romero and Trent went for the tandem double knee spot in the corner, but Jay tossed a chair at them to prevent it. Bully and Goto finally squared off alone in the ring and traded blows. They went back and forth until Goto blocked the flip, flop, and fly and hit a DVD. RPG Vice went for strong zero on Jay, but Mark hit a running dropkick causing Jay to hit a code red on Trent. Bully and The Briscoes stood tall after hitting the what’s up elbow to Goto’s groin. Bully sent The Briscoes to get the tables. Bully then put Trent through the table with a powerbomb off the top. Bully called for the 3D and he hit it with the Briscoes on Romero for the win.

Winners: Bully Ray & The Briscoes to retain the ROH World Six Man Tag Team Championship

Star rating: (**1/2) – This was fine for what it was, but nothing in the match was all that exciting with the brawling on the floor and the standard chair spots in the ring followed by the Dudley Boys spots to close the match.

After the match, Bully Ray got on the mic and started a ROH chant.

(6) ROH World TV Champion Marty Scurll vs. Matt Sydal. Scurll has the best ROH entrance right now and it’s not even close. Sydal went for a standing moonsault and Scurll went for a chicken wing a short time later. Sydal eventually rolled Scurll up for a 2 count, but Scurll got right up and nailed him with a kick. Sydal got the upper hand and went to work on Scurll. Scurll eventually ducked a sliding dropkick to the floor, slid into the ring, and stepped on Sydal’s fingers. He then hit his signature superkick from the apron to the floor and the fans fired up. Scurll went after Sydal’s arm. Sydal returned fire and went after Scurll’s leg with a some kicks. They went back and forth and Sydal hit the there it is driver for a 2 count. Sydal hit a meteora a short time later for a 2 count. Sydal countered the chicken wing into his leg slice driver for a near fall a short time later. Scurll got a hold of Sydal’s fingers and snapped them apart. Sydal blocked another chicken wing attempt and hit a cop killa. Sydal went up top for a SSP, but Scurll got his knees up and go the chicken wing submission for the win.

Winner: Marty Scurll to retain the ROH World TV Championship

Star rating: (***) – The match got good late, but was fairly ordinary in other spots. The final quarter of the match woke the crowd up.

(7) ROH World Tag Team Champions (Matt & Nick Jackson) vs. L.I.J. (IWGP IC Champion Tetsuya Naito & BUSHI). Naito and BUSHI made their entrance first. Naito kicked his IC Championship down the aisle. He then tossed it into the ring and the fans applauded and chanted his name. The Young Bucks came out next to a big pop. The Young Bucks responded by throwing their titles when they were introduced. Naito offered a handshake, but The Young Bucks blew him off. Naito hit his signature slingshot dropkick on Nick during the early going. BUSHI hit a dive to wipe out the Young Bucks. Naito teased a dive, but hit his pose in the ring instead. BUSHI went to work on Nick back inside the ring. The Young Bucks fired back and Nick hit his signature dive over Matt, who was handing upside down to wipe out L.I.J. BUSHI got isolated, but he eventually tagged in Naito. They worked together to take out both of The Young Bucks. The Young Bucks fired back and hit an assisted sliced bread that caused BUSHI to DDT Naito. Matt made the tag to Nick, who ran wild on L.I.J. Both teams went back and forth as the pace picked up. Naito ate a superkick from Matt as he came off the ropes, but he fired right back with a poison hurricanrana and everyone was down. Matt blocked Destino. The Bucks set up for a Meltzer driver, but BUSHI blew mist into Matt’s eyes. Matt was blind, but hit a superkick on Naito and then BUSHI. Nick then took a superkick and so did the ref and the fans fired up. That was great! The fans chanted superkick as Matt tried to get his vision back. Matt poured water in his eyes and looked surprised at what he had done. Naito hit destino on Matt, but Nick broke it up with a swanton. Matt hit a DDT on the apron on Naito. The Young Bucks hit tandem high flying moves on BUSHI, but he kicked out at the last second. The Young Bucks finally hit a Meltzer driver for the win.

Winners: The Young Bucks to retain the ROH World Tag Team Championship

Star rating: (***1/2) – This took a little bit to get going, but it was a lot of fun late. The crowd wasn’t super into the match at first, but Matt got them into it with the blind superkick spot.

The announcers talked about the July 1 and July 2 G1 Specials. They said before the show that it was announced the IWGP and IC Championships would be defended. Footage was then shown of the NJPW U.S. Championship. The first man announced for the U.S. Championship Tournament that will take place over the course of the two G1 Special shows in Long Beach was Jay Lethal.

(8) Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Adam Cole. The fans chanted for Cole and then they chanted Ace at Tanahashi. The announcers framed this as a match between two of the best champions between their respective companies. Both men grabbed each other’s hair during the early going. Cole backed Tanahashi into the corner and backed away to hit his pose. Tanahashi fired back and hit Cole’s pose and the crowd said Tanahashi bay bay, which was great. Cole got the upper hand and went to work on Tanahashi. Tanahashi mounted a comeback and went to work on Cole. Tanahashi had the upper hand, but Cole fired back with a neck breaker over his knee. Cole hit a straightjacket German with a bridge for a near fall and both men were down. They went back and forth. Tanahashi ate two superkicks and blocked a third. He hit roll the dice and then a sling blade for a 2 count. The crowd has been very quiet for a NYC crowd. Tanahashi went for a high fly flow, but Cole got his knees up and hit the last shot for a near fall. Cole hit a high fly flow, but Tanahashi kicked out at 2. Tanahashi went up top, but Cole hit a superkick. He then hit a shining wizard for a near fall. Tanahashi fired back and hit a high fly flow for the win.

Winner: Hiroshi Tanahashi

Star rating: (***1/4) – This felt like an exhibition in the end with Tanahashi taking all of Cole’s offense and then pinning him after hitting a single high fly flow. I was really looking forward to this match, but this was a letdown.

The fans chanted thank you Cole after the match. This felt very much like a goodbye. The Young Bucks snuck into the ring behind Cole. They teased jumping him and then gave him a hug. They did a curtain call to recreate the original one in WWE. The lights went out and Kenny Omega came on the screen. He asked for quiet because this was Adam’s special moment and curtain call. He said he wish he could be there, but he can’t. He said he was disappointed in The Young Bucks. He said the same man that tried to fire them was standing in the middle of the ring being showered with adulation from the crowd. Omega said he had to send his special thanks. He said Cole’s tenure in Bullet Club and wrestling had been long. He said like all fairy tales there has to be a hero and a villain. Umbrellas came on the screen after Omega was shown with part of Scurll’s mask sticking into the picture. He said Cole was fired.

Cole asked what Scurll was doing in the ring once the lights came back on. Scurll popped his umbrella and showed The Bullet Club symbol. The Bucks hit Cole with stereo superkicks. Scurll revealed a BC shirt. This feels very cliché at this point. Scurll waited for Cole to get to his knees and hit him with another umbrella. Matt and Nick then kissed Adam’s cheeks. Matt said he knew Adam had poisoned him all along.

(9) ROH World Champion Christopher Daniels vs. Jay Lethal vs. Cody in a Three-Way match. The crowd was dead as Lethal wiped out Cody and Daniels with a dive to the floor during the early going. A short time later, Cody was about to crotch Jay on the ringpost, but Daniels ran into the picture and speared him into the barricade. The crowd was flat for the action at this point. The action picked up and Cody hit Lethal’s injured knee with a dragon screw around the middle rope. Daniels went for an Arabian press a short time later on Cody, but he blocked it and went to work on Daniels. Cody hit the disaster kick on Daniels, but he kicked out at 2. The announcers said Cody had threatened to take the title wherever he wants as a free agent. Daniels and Lethal worked together to suplex Cody from the apron back into the ring. Daniels fired up and went to town on Lethal and Cody. Both men ended up on the floor and Daniels hit an Arabian press to the floor. Cabana mentioned on commentary that Daniels is 46, which is unbelievable. All three men went back and forth and Daniels hit a STO on Cody that left everyone down on the mat. The crowd gave a mild applause as they did a reset. Cody went for a moonsault on Lethal a short time later with Daniels down on the outside, but Lethal side-stepped it. Lethal then slowly set up for hail to the king. Cody hit cross-Rhodes on Daniels. He made the cover, but Lethal went for hail to the king. Lethal made the cover and Cody broke it up. Cody then made the cover and Lethal broke it up. Lethal whipped Cody towards the ropes and he ran into Daniels on the apron. Daniels crashed through a table and they didn’t show it. Cody then kicked Lethal into the ref. He hit a low blow and went for a disaster kick, but Lethal hit a cutter for a near fall. Cody had a figure 4 on Lethal. Daniels then came out of nowhere and hit the BME on Cody for the win.

Winner: Christopher Daniels to retain the ROH World Championship

Star rating: (**3/4) – This was a slow and dull main event. There were some good spots late in the match, but the crowd just didn’t care and they even gasped in disappointment when Daniels got the win in the end.Overall score: (6.5) – This was a solid night of wrestling. Ospreay vs. White is worth going out of your way to see, but not much else on the card stood out outside of the angle with Scurll replacing Cole in Bullet Club. The Three-Way main event was a letdown and with the crowd flat for most of the second half of the show, this was a comedown from ROH’s recent big shows.

Contact Sean at pwtorchsean@gmail.com. Follow him on twitter @sr_torch. Follow and like the Radican’s Wrestling Community Audio fan page at facebook.com/seanradicanrwca.

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