KELLER & POWELL FLAGSHIP (12/5)
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ROH WAR OF THE WORLDS
MAY 9, 2018
LOWELL, MA AT LOWELL MEMORIAL AUDITORIUM
AIRED ON ROH HONOR CLUB
REPORT BY HARLEY R. PAGEOT, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Commentary: Colt Cabana, BJ Whitmer
(1) ROH WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS THE BRISCOES (Jay Briscoe & Mark Briscoe) vs. FLIP GORDON & JUSHIN “THUNDER” LIGER – NON-TITLE MATCH
In the end Gordon hit a 450 on Mark but Jay broke up the pin. Jay kicked both opponents between the legs and hit a neckbreaker on Gordon but he kicked out at two. Kinder Surprise to Jay but Mark caught him on the top rope. They followed with Redneck Boogie from the second rope on Gordon.
WINNERS: The Briscoes in ???.
(Pageot’s Perspective: Another show, another technical issue. This time it was the ROH channel on my Roku TV saying “service is currently unavailable.” If a reason was given for Ian Riccaboni not being on commentary, I missed it along with the first half of this match. The crowd was hot for what I did see. The Briscoes are now 9-0 in 2018, the best record in the promotion.)
(2) WOMEN OF HONOR CHAMPION SUMIE SAKAI & TENILLE DASHWOOD vs. DEONNA PURRAZZO & SKYLAR
This is the ROH debut for Skylar. Brandi Rhodes was supposed to team with Dashwood initially but she has broken her clavicle and will need surgery so we’re getting the WOH Champion instead. Purrazzo and Sakai started. Some back and forth ended with Purrazzo begging off in the corner and tagging out to Skylar. Sakai tagged out too. Dashwood and Skylar engaged in a long series of waistlock exchanges that eventually ended with Dashwood taking Skylar down by the leg. Sakai tagged in for a double suplex. Crossbody from Sakai off the top rope for two. The referee admonished Purrazzo for grabbing Sakai’s hair and she knocked Dashwood off the apron moments later. Both Skylar and Purrazzo got two-counts on Sakai. Sakai looked for a tag but Dashwood wasn’t paying attention. Dashwood finally got the tag. Tarantula on Skylar. Missile dropkick from Sakai to Purrazzo. Spotlight from Dashwood to Skylar.
WINNERS: Sakai & Dashwood in 7:59.
-After Sakai and Dashwood left, Kelly Klein hit the ring and clubbed Skylar and Purrazzo from behind. Skylar cleared out and Purrazzo and Klein went nuts while six security guards and a referee tried to separate them.
(Pageot’s Perspective: Purrazzo playing a heel here was odd. I highly doubt it’s a permanent turn and was simply intended to put some heat on this match but we see face vs. face matches in ROH all the time so it was very much unnecessary. I do appreciate how ROH keeps their champions strong, even in matches when the titles aren’t on the line. The post-match pull-apart was also great. Purrazzo vs. Klein has become one of the most heated feuds in all of ROH.)
-ROH World Champion Dalton Castle came out on stage in a suit with the title on his shoulder and The Boys at his side. The Boys formed a chair for him to sit down and rest momentarily. Castle said today is almost six months since he won the world title. He’s been to Switzerland, Germany, Montréal, Japan… even the far away tropical land of Pittsburgh… but he is not defending the title against Matt Taven here tonight. He sent The Boys away and took off his sunglasses, going serious. Shortly after winning the title he got injured. When his back hurt he ignored it, when he broke his hand he taped it up. Did you know that when you ignore a bunch of problems they don’t just go away? He saw a doctor recently and they said “my back is garbage.” They also said the problems will get worse if he doesn’t deal with them. If he can’t wrestle at top capacity he shouldn’t be in the ring. The championship deserves better than that. It sounded at this point like he was forfeiting the title so he quickly shot that idea down. He’s going to get healthy, return, and kick some ass. If he can’t give them the match they deserve, he’ll give them the brunch they deserve. The Boys ran back out with trays of croissants and threw them into the crowd.
(Pageot’s Perspective: The “fans” were totally obnoxious here, heckling and yelling over Castle the entire time, even when he got serious and it seemed like he was about to forfeit the championship. It’s positive to hear that he isn’t being stripped of the title so hopefully he’s healthy again by Best In The World. What that means for the main event tonight or when Matt Taven will get his title shot is unclear. The Boys and the croissants felt too much like a New Day ripoff.)
-Taven accompanied The Kingdom to the ring for their tag match. He was understandably hot on the mic about his world title match being scratched from the card. He said ROH officials should hand him the title right now. It’s The Kingdom conspiracy. Taven vowed that he won’t leave tonight until the conspiracy has been killed. He joined the commentary team for the tag match.
(3) THE KINGDOM (TK O’Ryan & Vinny Marseglia) vs. COAST 2 COAST (LSG & Shaheem Ali)
O’Ryan and Marseglia worked over LSG in the opening minutes. Ali tagged in and chopped away at Marseglia. O’Ryan with a tag and a spinebuster. Marseglia followed with a diving headbutt. C2C looked for a suicide dive but Marseglia disappeared under the ring. As Ali looked for him, he was pulled under the ring and also disappeared. LSG went in after him. Referee Paul Turner paced ringside, wondering where everyone was, when he got pulled under too. O’Ryan returned to the ring and looked around for everyone. The red balloons floated out from under the ring and Turner escaped to send O’Ryan in. C2C escaped and Marseglia reappeared with his ax and more balloons. Turner grabbed the ax away from Marseglia and C2C used the opportunity to take down Marseglia. LSG with a butterfly suplex to O’Ryan for two. Marseglia hit a flurry of offense on LSG and got a two-count. Ali dumped O’Ryan to the floor. O’Ryan cut off a coast to coast attempt. Cutter from O’Ryan on LSG and Marseglia with a top rope senton. SoCal Uncensored suddenly ran through the crowd, grabbed the six-man title belts, and took off with them. C2C used the distraction to grab a roll-up.
WINNERS: Coast 2 Coast in 8:36.
-Taven screamed at SoCal from the ring. He challenged them to put the titles on the line tonight. Christopher Daniels and Scorpio Sky threw bits of croissants down the ramp at them but apparently accepted.
(Pageot’s Perspective: Not a great match. It was in a difficult spot due to the deflating segment before but the sequence with everyone disappearing under the ring didn’t seem to go over as comically as the wrestlers likely would have hoped and the rest of the match was disappointingly forgettable. I suppose that was purposeful since O’Ryan and Marseglia are doing double-duty now. SoCal were supposed to face Jay Lethal, Chuckie T, and Jay White so we’ll see where they end up.)
-Colt Cabana was vocally disgusted with Bully Ray’s recent actions, which Ray overheard while making his entrance. He headed over to the commentary table and yelled at Cabana to shut his mouth.
(4) CHEESEBURGER vs. BULLY RAY
Ray shoved Burger halfway across the ring. Burger fired up and got in his face. He got one right hand in before Ray power bombed him. Burger struggled to his feet and took another Last Ride-esque power bomb with Ray essentially just throwing him across the ring. Referee Todd Sinclair was torn as to whether or not he should call the match. Power bomb #3 from Ray. Ray grabbed his chains from where they were hanging across the ring post. Sinclair grabbed them away. Ray picked up Burger and low blowed him. Sinclair clearly saw it but didn’t disqualify Ray. Instead Ray went to ringside and stood with his back to the ring, staring down a fan with his arms crossed.
WINNER: Cheeseburger in 5:04 by count-out.
-Once the bell rang Ray re-entered the ring, held up Burger’s arm in victory, and hit power bomb #4. He threatened ring announcer Bobby Cruise not to play Cheeseburger’s music. He pulled Burger to the floor and set up for another power bomb. Cabana called for anyone from the back to stop this. Ray tossed Burger away without hitting a fifth power bomb, seemingly deeming him not worth his time. Ray approached the commentary table and got in Cabana’s face again, warning him to mind his own business.
(Pageot’s Perspective: Ray has received the most heat out of anyone so far tonight, which I guess is something.)
(5) ROPPONGI 3K (Rocky Romero, Sho, & Yoh) vs. BULLET CLUB (Cody, Hangman Page, & Marty Scurll w/Burnard The Business Bear)
Scurll started but Cody immediately tagged himself in and went leader vs. leader with Romero. When Cody got sent to the floor, Scurll tagged himself in as did Sho. Chain wrestling. Yoh tags in and Roppongi mock Scurll’s arm flapping. Scurll with a headbutt to Yoh’s chest. Yoh ran the ropes but Burnard tripped him and Scurll hit a backcracker. Page in and he stomped away at Yoh in the corner. Page and Cody worked well together, taking turns beating down Yoh. Cody mocked him by doing push-ups mid-match. Scurll and Page set up Yoh for Shattered Dreams but the crowd wanted it so Cody refused. Tags to Sho and Scurll. Bridging fisherman’s suplex from Sho for two. Double knees from Sho and Yoh to Scurll for two. Page pulled down the top rope, sending Yoh to the floor. Scurll with the Ghostbuster on Sho but he kicked out. Scurll called for the chicken-wing but Cody hit a blind tag. Sho avoided a CrossRhodes and tagged Romero. He poked Scurll in the eyes and ran around in circles, clotheslining each opponent in a different corner. Cody with a Beautiful Disaster kick. Everyone takes turns hitting their signature offense. Burnard held up Romero for a superkick from Scurll but Romero moved and Burnard went down. Cody was pissed at Scurll and they started shoving each other. Page tried to break it up. All six men teed off in the middle of the ring. A trio of high knees from Roppongi and a trio of dives onto Bullet Club on the floor. CrossRhodes from Cody to Romero in the ring ended it.
WINNERS: Bullet Club in 14:37.
-Scurll threw a garbage can and a chair around before storming off in a huff. He exchanged words with Cody from the stage.
(Pageot’s Perspective: Ian Riccaboni is missed tonight. Whitmer’s not bad on commentary but he tends to be pretty reserved. And I can’t help but remember Cabana on a recent episode of The Art Of Wrestling saying that he still feels nervous and a little flustered when doing live commentary on these events. I can’t imagine how he’s feeling tonight being out there without Riccaboni and in the position of carrying the bulk of the narrative.
This was your typical good Bullet Club match. All of their matches tend to immediately have an advantage over other ROH matches simply due to the fact that the crowd is guaranteed to be engaged. That said, the whole night has felt a little bit off and disjointed due to Brandi and Castle having to be pulled and the replacement matches being announced while the show is in progress.)
-Intermission. Our intermission match was Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Kevin Steen from War Of The Worlds on May 17, 2014 in New York City.
(6) ROH WORLD TELEVISION CHAMPION SILAS YOUNG, BEER CITY BRUISER, & BRIAN MILONAS vs. LOS INGOBERNABLES DE JAPÓN (Tetsuya Naito, Evil, & Sanada)
Young and Evil started. Evil took him down with a kick and tagged in Naito. As Naito posed in the ring Bruiser and Milonas stomped away on him. The big men worked over Naito in their corner. Young choked him while Bruiser distracted the ref. Bruiser bit him but he’s missing so many teeth that it’s been deemed legal. Naito put down Bruiser with a tornado DDT. Sanada came in for the first time and hit a series of dropkicks. My stream froze and we came back with a triple power bomb on Milonas from the second rope. Sanada catapulted himself over the top rope onto Bruiser and Young at ringside. Evil pinned Milonas.
WINNERS: L.I.J. in 9:09.
(Pageot’s Perspective: This was all about the Lowell crowd getting to see the L.I.J. crew in person. These Honor Club events are still being presented and treated as televised house shows rather than being on the level of a pay-per-view or even a television episode. Decent wrestling but nothing outstanding and not much in the way of continuing storylines.)
(7) JAY LETHAL vs. “THE KENTUCKY GENTLEMAN” CHUCKIE T vs. “SWITCHBLADE” JAY WHITE
These three were scheduled to be teaming against SoCal Uncensored but with SoCal being thrust into a main event title defense ROH officials decided to have them battle one another instead. Taylor and White went after Lethal together while he tried to fight them off with chops. He hit his trio of suicide dives onto both men. Taylor prevented Lethal from suplexing White. Saito suplex from White to Lethal, which Taylor cheered for. Lethal rolled to the floor and Taylor encouraged him to go after him. As soon as White rolled out, Taylor goaded the referee into counting out both men. White broke the count and Taylor continued to stand around while watching White work over Lethal. Another saito suplex sent Lethal to the floor again. Taylor asked for a hug from White but White tried for a move, which Taylor avoided. Lethal returned. Cutter to White. Figure four. Taylor cannonballed over the top rope onto Lethal and White on the floor. Sit-out power bomb to Lethal. White returned and he and Taylor started fighting each other for the first time at the 9:40 mark. Sole Food to White. Lethal Injection to White. Taylor with a surprise jackknife pin on Lethal.
WINNER: Chuckie T in 10:41.
(Pageot’s Perspective: An interesting take on a triple threat match as it was basically a handicap affair for most of it. It reminded me of Lethal’s recent TV match with Caprice Coleman where they surprised us by spending half the match battling around ringside. Taylor picking up the win was definitely a surprise. That’s only Lethal’s second loss this year and he just spoke on television this past weekend about needing to pick up more wins and wanting to avenge his past losses. He’ll get his chance to avenge this one on Sunday at the Chicago TV tapings when he and Taylor face off in singles competition.)
(8) SOCAL UNCENSORED (Christopher Daniels, Frankie Kazarian, & Scorpio Sky) vs. THE KINGDOM (Matt Taven, TK O’Ryan, & Vinny Marseglia) – ROH WORLD SIX-MAN TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP
SoCal cleared The Kingdom from the apron and the teams fought on the floor. Taven dove over the ropes onto SCU. Marseglia disappeared under the ring again. He returned with more red balloons, which ended up wrapped around Kaz’s throat. SCU took turns working over O’Ryan. Kaz spit at Taven. Taven tagged in and took out Kaz and Sky. Taven and Marseglia double-teamed Daniels. Moonsault from the second rope got Taven a two count on Daniels. Rockstar Supernova was thwarted by Kaz. Taven blocked an Angel’s Wings from Daniels and hit Just The Tip. Everything broke down. Kaz and Sky were dumped. Daniels was triple-teamed. Kaz and Sky returned and hit their signature offense. Best Moonsault Ever from Daniels on Marseglia but Taven pulled referee Todd Sinclair from the ring to break the count. Sky takes out Sinclair on the floor by accident. Daniels’ title belt and O’Ryan’s baseball bat were both brought into the ring, people went down, and Taven hit a frog-splash on Daniels as Sinclair recovered.
WINNERS: The Kingdom in 14:29 to capture the six-man titles.
(Pageot’s Perspective: This feud started with The Kingdom whining that they never “really” lost the six-man titles since O’Ryan was out injured at the time and the match when they lost the titles featured temporary replacement Silas Young. They then went on to interfere in the Supercard Of Honor six-man title match and steal SCU’s title belts. So you’d expect that they were the clear heels here, right? Apparently not, since Taven lives in the state and had family in the front row. The title change was obviously totally unexpected considering this match wasn’t even scheduled to happen as of this afternoon.)
-We crossed the three-hour mark during the entrances for our new main event.
(9) THE YOUNG BUCKS (Matt Jackson & Nick Jackson) vs. LOS INGOBERNABLES DE JAPÓN (Hiromu Takahashi & Bushi w/Daryl Jr.)
Bushi and Takahashi immediately knocked Nick off the apron and stomped away on Matt to boos. The Bucks with stereo splashes over the ropes onto their opponents. Bushi with a missile dropkick to Matt, then he choked Matt with his t-shirt behind the referee’s back. Matt was isolated by the heels during the first seven minutes. Bushi and Takahashi attempted to suplex him on the stage but he escaped and hit a stage dive onto both of them. Bushi prevented a tag to Nick. Nick tagged in at 8:40. Stereo sharpshooters from the Bucks. Bushi and Takahashi hit a sunset flip + German suplex combo on Matt for a two count. Tower of doom took down Matt, Bushi, and Takahashi. Nick hit a top rope senton but Matt was the legal man. Superkicks to Takahashi. Bushi prevented a Meltzer Driver. Bushi sprayed mist in the face of Matt behind the ref’s back. A blinded Matt superkicked Bushi anyway, then Takahashi, and then Nick. Sharpshooter to referee Paul Turner. Turner tapped out! Nick poured a bottle of water into Matt’s eyes. Matt released the hold. Sunset flip bomb from Takahashi sent Nick crashing to the floor. Canadian Destroyer from Bushi to Matt but he kicked out. Bushi with a suicide dive to the Bucks. Meltzer Driver to Bushi.
WINNERS: The Young Bucks in 15:22.
(Pageot’s Perspective: Match of the night. Are you surprised? On a show that was almost entirely tag matches they still managed to stand out with not just the speed and the flow of the action but the intensity as well.)
Find Harley on Twitter @talkinghonor and listen to he and Emily Fear talk all things ROH every Tuesday on the PWTorch Livecast “Talking Honor.”