SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
ROH HONOR UNITED
MAY 27, 2018
DONCASTER, ENGLAND AT THE DONCASTER DOME
AIRED ON ROH HONOR CLUB
REPORT BY HARLEY R. PAGEOT, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Commentary: Ian Riccaboni, BJ Whitmer
The Addiction were out first for the opening contest. Christopher Daniels said Doncaster is the worst town they’ve ever been in. Whitmer said they say that in every town. Frankie Kazarian said the toothbrush was invented in Doncaster and took shots at the fans’ teeth. (Actually the modern toothbrush originated from China.) Daniels gave the crowd permission to worship them.
After both teams came out ring announcer Bobby Cruise introduced the special referee. Everyone, including the commentators, seemed to know nothing about this. Very curiously, it was Tenille Dashwood. She wore her own black “It’s all about me” t-shirt and black yoga pants rather than referee clothes. She checked all four men for foreign objects, which actually makes a lot of sense as Daniels had brass knuckles in his tights last night.
(1) THE ADDICTION (Christopher Daniels & Frankie Kazarian) vs. TORU YANO & KENNY KING
Yano immediately tried to cut off a turnbuckle so I guess Dashwood missed the scissors in his tights. Yano ran away from Daniels and quickly tagged out to King. Kaz also tagged in. When Kaz ran the ropes next to Dashwood she hit him with a hip toss and then acted surprised at herself. Whitmer said it was just instinct. The Addiction got hot at Dashwood and told her she’s “just a woman” so she shoved Daniels backward into a roll-up from King. He kicked out at two. Yano tagged in and got fired up so Daniels and Kaz begged off. Kaz offered the code of honor but Yano kicked him instead. Daniels tripped Yano as he ran the ropes. They double-teamed Yano until he got his knees up on an Arabian moonsault and made the tag to King. King took out both opponents and put down Kaz on the floor. Dashwood checked on King, then got pulled into a selfie with King and some fans. Meanwhile Yano was removing a top turnbuckle. Daniels blocked a low blow from Yano. He and Kaz looked to give Yano a taste of his own medicine but Dashwood got in the way and told the illegal men to get out of the ring. As they argued with her, Yano and King both hit low blows on Kaz and Daniels. Yano rolled up Daniels.
WINNERS: Yano & King in 8:51.
(Pageot’s Perspective: An entertaining comedy match, though I find it odd to use a comedy match as the opener instead of a buffer later on. I still don’t know what to make of Dashwood as guest referee. The women and the men very rarely interact with each other in ROH. Is this the start of some crossover? Was she a last-second addition to this match, which is why they didn’t have a referee shirt in her size? Will SoCal Uncensored add a woman to their stable to try to get revenge on Tenille?)
(2) SILAS YOUNG vs. DOUG WILLIAMS – ROH WORLD TELEVISION CHAMPIONSHIP
Riccaboni called it a hero’s reception for the veteran British wrestler, which was a very apt description. “Dougie’s gonna kill you” chant from the crowd. He sent Young scurrying to ringside early on. Young jawed at the fans. Williams showed off the technical prowess that earned him the ROH Pure Championship back in 2004. Young sent Williams over the top rope to the floor and then into the guardrail. At 7:00 Williams caught Young with a belly to belly suplex. Williams hit a flying back elbow that put Young down. Boot in the corner and another back elbow off the top rope for a two-count. Young yelled at Williams about trying to embarrass him as Williams hit a back suplex. Exploder suplex for another two on Young. Williams went up top for Bomb Scare but Young crotched him on the ropes. Young tried to steal a pin like last night with his feet on the ropes but Williams still kicked out. Young with a roll-up for two. Williams avoided Misery and looked for Chaos Theory but Young grabbed the referee to stop it and hit a low blow at the same time. Misery sealed it.
WINNER: Silas Young in 11:07 to retain the TV title.
(Pageot’s Perspective: 2 matches, 3 low blows so far for those counting. Williams looked great for someone who’s been wrestling 30 years. I’d love to see ROH bring him back again to face people like Jonathan Gresham and Marty Scurll. Young’s résumé of names he’s successfully defended the TV title against continues to grow and I guess the record books don’t really show how he won, just that he did.)
-Dalton Castle & The Boys came out for a six-man tag. Castle is still banged up with his right hand and left thigh taped. Bully Ray, Shane Taylor, and Punishment Martinez were their opponents. Ray interrupted Bobby Cruise’s introduction and told him to shut up. He bullied Riccaboni again at the commentary table and stole his glasses. Ray took a mic and addressed Castle. “Do you know who I am?” As Castle glared at Ray, Taylor nailed Castle with his knockout punch. Martinez shoved The Boys into one corner and Ray whipped Castle with his chain. Medics checked on Castle and helped him to the back. Ray suggested it was now a handicap match. The crowd sang for “Dalton Castle’s boys” to encourage them into accepting the handicap match.
(3) ROH WORLD CHAMPION DALTON CASTLE & THE BOYS (Brandon & Brent) vs. BULLY RAY, SHANE TAYLOR, & PUNISHMENT MARTINEZ
Taylor slapped Brandon’s chest and threw him across the ring. Whitmer giggled on commentary. Brent tagged in, then Martinez. Brent chopped him but it had no effect. Martinez clapped his ears and nailed him with a forearm that knocked him out. Martinez tossed Brent with a falcon arrow. Ray asked for the tag. Brent dodged an attack and opened with right hands on Ray. Ray shoved him off and yanked Brandon into the right over the top rope. Ray held both Boys by the hair. The heels went for a triple splash but the Boys ducked and the big men bounced off each other. Castle staggered down to the ring and grabbed the tag rope. He tagged in and unloaded on everyone with right hands. Martinez was clotheslined over the top rope to the floor. Taylor took a back elbow. Castle threw eleven Boys onto the guys at ringside in succession. Castle ducked Ray and Ray clotheslined Martinez. Castle also avoided Taylor and Taylor splashed Martinez in the corner. The Boys hit stereo top rope splashes on Martinez. Castle and the Boys all covered but Ray pulled the referee out at two. Castle and Ray fought to the back. The Boys were left alone with Taylor and Martinez. South Of Heaven chokeslam to Brent. Second rope splash from Taylor to Brandon. They both pinned the Boys simultaneously.
WINNERS: Ray, Taylor, & Martinez in 8:54.
(Pageot’s Perspective: At least Taylor and Martinez got a bit of a rub this time instead of it being solely the Bully Ray show. It looked for a while like we were heading to Ray vs. Flip Gordon at Best In The World but, if so, that’s on pause until Gordon returns from Best Of The Super Juniors.)
(4) ROH WORLD SIX-MAN TAG TEAM CHAMPION MATT TAVEN vs. JAY LETHAL
Lethal is looking to avenge two losses to Taven back in November and October. This is Lethal’s road to redemption. At 7:30 they fought at ringside with Taven going through the guardrail into the crowd and the cameraman sent scurrying. Taven hit a suplex in the ring for a two-count. Lethal hit a suicide dive and Lethal Combination for two. Taven hit a superplex for two. Just The Tip of the knee to Lethal but Taven made a lackadaisical cover and Lethal kicked out. They traded fists at 13:00. Lethal countered The Climax into a cutter. Lethal Injection a moment later and Hail To The King dotted the i.
WINNER: Jay Lethal in 13:51.
(Pageot’s Perspective: The only people remaining with ROH victories over Lethal in the past 12 months are Chuckie T, Dalton Castle, Silas Young, and Bobby Fish. That last one will probably have to remain unavenged but the other three are an interesting mix, especially since two of them are current champions.)
-With the next match, Sumie Sakai makes the first international defense of the Women Of Honor Championship, thus officially turning the title into a world title.
(5) SUMIE SAKAI vs. CHARDONNAY – WOH WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
Chardonnay has probably half a foot on Sakai and teased her with a test of strength but Sakai was able to reach her hands and made Chardonnay pay for it. Sakai wrapped Chardonnay’s ankles in the ring apron and spanked her. Chardonnay grabbed her by the hair to take control. Sakai with a roll-up for two. Chardonnay sent her to the floor and dropkicked Sakai into the guardrail. Sakai came back with chops but missed a crossbody off the guardrail. Chardonnay locked in a Boston crab in the center of the ring. Sakai made it to the ropes but Chardonnay saw the chance to target her back. Sakai hit a fisherwoman’s neckbreaker for two. Saito suplex with a bridge for another two on Chardonnay. Spinebuster from Chardonnay. Butterfly suplex but Sakai kicked out at two. Chardonnay went for The Tower Of London but Sakai countered into a rear naked choke. Sakai missed a top rope moonsault. Chardonnay hit a flying knee. Sakai kicked out at 2.8. Smash Mouth sealed it.
WINNER: Sumie Sakai in 8:20 to retain the WOH world title.
(Pageot’s Perspective: I’ll be the first to admit I wasn’t fully on board with Sakai being the inaugural champion when the WOH tournament concluded. I thought Purrazzo, Dashwood, or Klein made more sense for different reasons. I was wrong. Maybe they would have each been fine fits as champion but Sakai has won me over with her two title defenses thus far. I’m very much looking forward to seeing who she faces at Best In The World especially if it ends up being one of the Stardom competitors Riccaboni has said will be on the card. Sakai and Mayu Iwatani would be incredible.)
(6) “THE AMERICAN NIGHTMARE” CODY (w/Brandi Rhodes) vs. SCORPIO SKY
The crowd chanted alternately for Cody and Brandi. Brandi danced at ringside in appreciation. Her arm remains in a sling following surgery. Cody asked Sky to kiss the official ring of honor but he refused so a fan did. Sky rolled to ringside for a breather at 2:00 and Brandi offered him a water bottle. He took a sip suspiciously, then she did too and sprayed it in his face. Sky clocked Cody with a fan’s beer just like Cody did to Jay Briscoe on Thursday in Edinburgh. Sky worked over Cody in the ring. Cody came back with a superplex at 7:20. Beautiful Disaster kick but Sky rolled to the floor. Sky kneed Cody off the ropes as he attempted to re-enter the ring and hit a jumping splash over the ropes onto Cody. Slingshot cutter for two. Sky with a jumping hurricanrana on Cody off the top rope. Cody locked in the American deathlock. Brandi pulled a can of hairspray out of her sling and looked to spray Sky like she did to Jay Briscoe on Thursday but Kaz ran down to the ring. He raked her eyes, stole the hairspray, and sprayed Cody. Sky hit a fisherman’s brainbuster for a near-fall but Cody came back with CrossRhodes a minute later.
WINNER: Cody in 12:54.
-Cody played to the fans as Brandi staggered around blindly at ringside.
(Pageot’s Perspective: Sky has the worst record of anyone in ROH in 2018 with a singles record of 0-5 now. He always looks impressive in the opportunities he gets, though, and it doesn’t hurt him in the long run as he’s principally a trios wrestler these days. I’ll be interested to see what ROH does with him after Kaz and Daniels are fired in December.)
(7) HANGMAN PAGE vs. HIROSHI TANAHASHI
They traded shoulder blocks early on. Page dropped Tanahashi with a neckbreaker on the apron at 3:30 and whipped him into the guardrail. Page mocked Tanahashi’s air guitar playing to boos from the crowd. Page swept the legs and hit a running shooting star press. Tanahashi hit a neckbreaker of his own and went on the offense. They traded blows at 8:00. Page caught him with a superkick but Tanahashi countered a Rite Of Passage into a neckbreaker. Page was headscissored to the floor. Slingblade in the ring. Tanahashi went up top for High Fly Flow so Page shoved the referee into the ropes to knock him off. Buckshot lariat for a two-count. Page missed a top rope moonsault. After some back and forth reversals Tanahashi caught him with a bridging pin.
WINNER: Hiroshi Tanahashi in 11:26.
-They obeyed the code of honor after the match.
(Pageot’s Perspective: Not the star-making classic you were probably hoping for but these events are just televised house shows so that would have been asking too much. Page playing a heel was weird since we see face vs. face matches in ROH all the time.)
(8) ROH WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS THE BRISCOES (Jay Briscoe vs. Mark Briscoe) vs. IWGP TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS LOS INGOBERNABLES DE JAPÓN (Evil & Sanada) vs. ROH WORLD SIX-MAN TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS THE KINGDOM (TK O’Ryan & Vinny Marseglia) vs. NEVER OPENWEIGHT 6-MAN TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS THE YOUNG BUCKS (Matt Jackson & Nick Jackson) – NON-TITLE MATCH
The Young Bucks are challenging Evil & Sanada for the IWGP tag titles on June 9 at NJPW Dominion and (breaking news courtesy of Riccaboni) also challenging The Briscoes for the ROH tag titles on June 29 at Best In The World. Evil and Nick started. Double sharpshooters from the Bucks to the Kingdom at 2:30. The Bucks took out everyone with their signature offense. Evil targeted Matt’s leg and tagged in Sanada to do the same. Sanada put O’Ryan in the paradise lock, then Marseglia. Matt tried to do the same to Sanada but couldn’t figure out how it worked so Matt was put into the paradise lock instead. Sanada freed them all with dropkicks. The Kingdom and then the Briscoes worked over Matt at 8:00. Superkicks at 9:30 but Mark prevented Matt from making the tag. Hot tag to Nick at 10:06, who cleared the house. The Briscoes caught Nick with Redneck Boogie. O’Ryan hit a blind tag making himself and Mark legal. Redrum from Marseglia to Mark but Sanada made the save. O’Ryan avoided a Magic Killer from L.I.J. They hit it a moment later but Marseglia broke it up. Matt tagged in. Sanada and O’Ryan teamed up to try to stop him but failed as Matt went on a flurry of offense. The Bucks and Briscoes faced off at 16:00. The team traded superkicks, then gave four to L.I.J. who responded with two double clotheslines on the two teams.
O’Ryan threw one of his title belts into the ring, then tried to hit Matt with the other behind referee Todd Sinclair’s back. Matt avoided it. Everyone took turns hitting their signature moves on everyone else. O’Ryan brought the belt in again, Marseglia popped a balloon in Matt’s ear, and O’Ryan nailed Matt with the ROH six-man belt. Matt kicked out at two. The Kingdom double-teamed Nick at 19:20. Nick splashed onto a herd of people at the foot of the ramp and bounced back up to hit the Meltzer Driver on O’Ryan for the win.
WINNERS: The Young Bucks in 19:47.
(Pageot’s Perspective: Not quite as memorable as last night’s nine-man main event but still a fun showcase of four top tag teams that furthers a couple different feuds. Cody is set up now to possibly walk out of All In as both ROH and NWA world champion and the Bucks could end up walking into that show’s main event as both ROH and IWGP tag champions. Everything All In will really start gelling at NJPW Dominion in two weeks. It’s going to be a fun summer.)
Find Harley on Twitter @talkinghonor and listen to he and Emily Fear talk all things ROH every Tuesday on the PWTorch Livecast “Talking Honor.”