SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
SEPTEMBER 1, 2018
CHICAGO, IL AT SEARS CENTRE
AIRED ON PAY-PER-VIEW, FITE.TV, & ROH HONOR CLUB
REPORT BY HARLEY R. PAGEOT, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Commentary: Don Callis, Excalibur, Ian Riccaboni
We opened in the arena with a shot of the crowd. The Being The Elite theme played and Cody and The Young Bucks jogged out on stage with the ROH World Six-Man Tag Team Championship. They asked the crowd if they wanted some pyro. They pretended it wasn’t working, then it went off in spurts, seemingly malfunctioning. Nick said every big show needs a random cameo. Matt said “ohhh what a rushhhh” and Road Warrior Animal rode out to the side of the ramp on a motorcycle. Staff from Pro Wrestling Tees walked out with t-shirt guns and shot some shirts into the crowd. [C]
-SoCal Uncensored’s music hit. Justin Roberts was handling the ring announcing as Ian Riccaboni checked in and welcomed us to the show. He introduced Don Callis and Excalibur. Sky and Kaz wore Rocky-themed gear as an homage to the recent training video posted on the BTE channel. They spoke about being part of a revolution and hit their catchphrases.
(1) ROH WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS THE BRISCOES (Jay Briscoe & Mark Briscoe) vs. SOCAL UNCENSORED (Frankie Kazarian & Scorpio Sky) – NON-TITLE MATCH
ROH official Paul Turner was the referee. The Briscoes dominated the opening minutes. Quick tags in and out as they worked over Sky at the 5:30 mark. Kaz made the hot tag and went to town. He hit a bridging northern lights suplex on both men for a two-count. Sky with a belly to belly that sent Mark over the ropes to the floor and Kaz followed by leaping over into a hurricanrana. Sky followed with a leaping splash over the ropes onto both brothers. Stereo dragon sleepers from SCU to the Briscoes. Jay crawled over to rake Kaz’s eyes for the break. The Briscoes took control again on Kaz while Sky was down on the floor. Redneck Boogie for a two-count on Kaz. Sky returned to toss Jay into the guardrail and a leaping hurricanrana that took Mark off the top rope. Tornado DDT from Kaz to Jay. Assisted lungblower to Mark but he kicked out at two. Jay Driller to Kaz + froggy-bow from Mark but Sky broke up the pin! The Briscoes set up a Doomsday Device but Kaz caught Mark and turned it into a powerslam off of Jay’s shoulders to the mats. Sky dropkicked Jay out of the ring and Kaz covered Mark for the pin.
WINNER: SCU in 12:32. [C]
(Pageot’s Perspective: Solid opening contest and a great taste of the Ring Of Honor tag division. At Death Before Dishonor on Sep.28 it’s Kaz and Christopher Daniels challenging The Briscoes for their titles so expect that one to be even better. Production-wise, things look good. The arena’s nice and big, Riccaboni’s directing traffic on commentary, and the crowd is hot. Love that they didn’t go to commercial during the match but waited until it was over.)
-Alicia Atout was backstage with IWGP Heavyweight Champion Kenny Omega. She was standing spread-eagle to make Omega look taller but he told her she doesn’t have to do that here. Omega addressed Pentagón. Atout asked if he’s nervous. Omega put over Pentagón for his popularity and his sadism but Omega draws his power from the fans. He vowed today will be a day we all remember. [C]
-Short video package on the Cody-Nick Aldis feud. [C]
-Dalton Castle was on commentary for the battle royal. All the entrants were already at ringside surrounding the ring. No one was officially announced or introduced. Among those previously unadvertised were Best Friends, Bully Ray, Tommy Dreamer, Cheeseburger, and Hurricane Helms.
(2) THE OVER BUDGET BATTLE ROYAL – WINNER EARNS AN ROH WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH LATER IN THE SHOW
Entrants: Beretta, Colt Cabana, Cage, Cheeseburger, El Hijo De Chico, Brandon Cutler, Jordynne Grace, Austin Gunn, Billy Gunn, Hurricane Helms, Jimmy Jacobs, Punishment Martinez, Moose, Ethan Page, Bully Ray, Rocky Romero, Marko Stunt, Chuckie T
Bully Ray put Chico’s son through a table at ringside and whipped Chuck Taylor into the guardrail. Beretta took out Ray with a suicide dive. Grace took out Beretta with a dive too, then Page with a big boot to Grace, and Cabana with an Asai moonsault onto everyone. Billy Gunn and Dreamer teased dives of their own but instead just jumped off the apron. Everyone returned to the ring and Moose went to town with right hands. Everyone else teamed up against him. Marko Stunt dropkicked Moose off the apron for the elimination.
Martinez kicked Stunt through the ropes to the floor. Page tried to suplex Taylor to the floor but Best Friends teamed up on him. Helms tried to dump Ray but couldn’t lift him. Stunt returned and jumped onto Cutler’s back. Sidewalk slam from Cutler. Ray slapped Stunt off the apron but he went through the ropes. Cutler was eliminated by someone.
Best Friends double-teamed Page. Page came back but Romero appeared to save them. Best Friends hugged mid-ring only for Martinez to toss them both at the same time.
Romero with a springboard hurricanrana to Martinez. Romero hit a clothesline train on a series of men before getting waylaid by Cage and eliminated.
Burger jumped off the ropes but was caught by Cage. Shotei to Cage and some others. Cage tossed Burger.
Martinez and Cage faced off and brawled. They traded punches and kicks. Cage avoided the South Of Heaven chokeslam but Martinez took a Hurrichokeslam, as did Cage courtesy of Helms. Dreamer dumped Page to the apron. Helms wound up on the apron too. They traded punches and Page kicked Helms off.
Flying Apple from Cabana eliminated Page.
Dreamer threw a garbage can and baking sheets into the ring. He unloaded on people. Dreamer and Martinez squared off. Dreamer with the Bionic Elbow and death valley driver but Ray tossed his old friend.
Stunt chopped away at Ray who didn’t even register the attack. Billy Gunn saved Stunt from Ray and Austin Gunn took down Ray. Jacobs worked over Austin and hit the Five Knuckle Shuffle. Billy saved his son. Jacobs kissed him. Billy threw out Jacobs.
Martinez took out Billy but turned around into a clotheslines from Austin, eliminating Martinez.
Ray with a garbage can lid to Austin’s back and tossed him.
Fameasser from Billy to Ray. Gunn and Cage squared off. Cage gorilla pressed him for the elimination.
Stunt with a lungblower to Cage but Ray picked him up and threw him out.
Cabana, Cage, Grace, and Ray were your final four. Grace hoisted up Cage in a firewoman’s carry but he escaped. Buckle bomb to Grace. Running power bomb to Cage and Grace clotheslined him out.
Ray spun Grace around and she got in her face. Ray set Grace on the top rope. She pushed him off and Cabana grabbed Ray in Whassup? position. Grace hit the headbutt but Ray threw her out a moment later.
Cabana and Ray were your final two. Ray missed a top rope senton. Cabana grabbed a steel chair and hit Ray with it. Ray came back and tossed Cabana seemingly for the win.
As Ray celebrated Chico El Luchador’s son suddenly reappeared. He was never eliminated. El Hijo De Chico tossed Ray over the top rope and then unmasked to reveal Flip Gordon.
WINNER: Flip Gordon in 16:56 to earn a shot at the ROH World Championship.
(Pageot’s Perspective: Well, that was probably the most boring way to cap off the whole “book Flip” story. He comes in cheaply through the back door and eliminates one person to earn a world title match. The lack of televised introductions for everyone also made everything feel less than important. The match was half over before I even realized Cheeseburger was in the ring. Ray got the highest profile, continuing his bully story with Marko Stunt and furthering his ROH feuds with Cabana and Flip. Cage also looked good but most of the others only got a moment or two at most.)
Justin Roberts introduced Shalandra Royal to sing the American national anthem from the stage while the American flag appeared on the video tron.
-Riccaboni, Callis, and Excalibur ran down the card from the commentary table.
-Joey Janela’s match had been previously advertised as the opening match but instead we got a bonus addition to open the show.
(3) MATT CROSS vs. MJF
ROH senior official Todd Sinclair was the referee. Cross hit a big flip over the ropes onto MJF early on. MJF used Sinclair as a shield and ran Cross into the ring post. MJF with a gut-wrench powerbomb for two. Cross with a top rope hurricanrana that left both men down on the mat. Springboard crossbody for a two on MJF. Package shoulderbreaker from MJF for two. Cross with some right hands but MJF spit in his face. Eye poke. MJF flipped off the fans. Cross with a roll-through into a double stomp. Armbar from MJF. Cross rolled him up for two. MJF yanked the sore arm across the ropes and hit a pendulum piledriver for two. Cross with a back flip into a cutter and his patented shooting star press.
WINNER: Matt Cross in 10:07.
(Pageot’s Perspective: The crowd was fairly quiet for the opening contest on the main card but that could likely be attributed to the fact that this match and Cross were both unadvertised. Opening the show with an unadvertised match is a questionable decision in itself. MJF and Cross did their best, though, and showed off their strengths.)
-Sean Mooney was backstage with NWA World’s Heavyweight Champion Nick Aldis. Aldis said the sellout and all the buzz around All In is because of the NWA title. Cody wants to take the first step towards immortality but Aldis doesn’t feel like extending that opportunity at this time.
-Bullet Club music hit and Stephen Amell made his entrance, accompanied by Arrow co-star Josh Segarra. Musician John Mayer was shown seated in the crowd.
(4) “ALMIGHTY” CHRISTOPHER DANIELS (w/Frankie Kazarian & Scorpio Sky) vs. STEPHEN AMELL (w/Josh Segarra)
Jerry Lynn was your special guest referee. Amell chopped away at Daniels and hit a take-down before walking across Daniels’ back. Amell leapt from the second rope, rolled through, popped up, and hit a dropkick. Amell through Daniels into the guardrail and pulled a table out from under the ring. Riccaboni reminded us that SCU and Flip Gordon put him through a table at ROH Survival Of The Fittest back in November. Daniels intervened and they returned to the ring with the table still set up on the floor. Overhead back suplex from Daniels. “Fallen angel” chant from the crowd. Daniels worked over Amell. Daniels with a shoulder to the gut. Arabian moonsault but he chose to play to the fans rather than make the cover. The feed cut out. When we came back Amell hit a falcon arrow for two. He went up top for a coast to coast and hit it for a two-count. Daniels avoided an enziguiri and went for the Best Moonsault Ever. Daniels completely missed Amell but they sold it like he hit. Daniels looked to suplex Amell from the top rope through the table on the floor but Amell fought back. Daniels fell to the apron, rolled off, staggered over, and lay down on the table. Amell went for a top rope elbow drop but Daniels was playing possum. He rolled out of the way and Amell crashed and burned.
Lynn started to count out both men but decided he didn’t want the match to end this way so he rolled both men into the ring instead. Daniels threw a fit. Lynn took off his referee shirt and shoved Daniels into a schoolboy from Amell for two. Daniels punched away at Amell. Lynn continued to call the match without his referee shirt on. Amell gave Daniels two middle fingers. Amell reversed Angel’s Wings into a bridging pin for another two-count. Best Moonsault Ever connected this time for the win.
WINNER: Christopher Daniels in 11:44.
-Daniels and Amell followed the code of honor and Amell raised Daniels’ arm.
(Pageot’s Perspective: Amell definitely held his own and didn’t look out of place in the least. I’m very glad that the Lynn shenanigans didn’t play into the finish. Amell for the next ROH Top Prospect Tournament?)
-Callis said Kenny Omega needed him for something and left the commentary booth to head backstage. Tenille Dashwood and Mandy Leon waltzed out to replace him in the booth.
(5) IMPACT KNOCKOUTS CHAMPION TESSA BLANCHARD (w/Tully Blanchard & Magnum T.A.) vs. “THE HOT MESS” CHELSEA GREEN vs. MADISON RAYNE vs. DR. BRITT BAKER D.M.D. – NON-TITLE MATCH
ROH official Paul Turner was the referee. Green sold having a split personality and fighting with herself. Rayne and Blanchard fought on the floor with Rayne going into the guardrail. Baker and Green exchanged roll-ups and arm drags. Blanchard speared Green and clotheslined her to the floor. Blanchard took out Baker but Rayne caught her with a roll-up for two. Blanchard with a gorilla press that sent Rayne onto Green and Baker on the floor. Green with a pump-kick to Baker in the ring and a suicide dive to Baker and Blanchard. Blanchard awkwardly ran and threw herself over the top rope onto Baker and Green. The three women stood together to wait for Rayne to crossbody them. Faint “All In” chant from the crowd. Rayne rolled Baker into the ring. Baker hit a series of slingblades on all three women. Ripcord cutter from Rayne to Baker. Blanchard with a delayed vertical suplex to Baker. Green hit her boyfriend’s Broski Boot. Green with a missile dropkick to Blanchard. Rayne sat Baker on the top rope and hit a top rope cutter. Baker kicked out at two. Green hit the Unprettier, Blanchard hit the Magnum, but Baker hit a kick and tried to steal the pin. Kick out. Crucifix bomb from Rayne to Blanchard but Baker broke up the pin. Fisherwoman’s neckbreaker from Baker to Rayne but Green broke it up. First “this is awesome” chant of the night. Unprettier from Green to Baker but Baker got her foot on the rope. Green with a Canadian Destroyer to Blanchard but Blanchard kicked out. The crowd came alive and gave a standing ovation. Loud “All In” chant. Blanchard with a hammerlock DDT to Green. Baker lunged to break up the pin but she was half a second too late.
WINNER: Tessa Blanchard in 12:46.
-Group hug after the bell.
(Pageot’s Perspective: Great showing from Baker and the Impact Wrestling women. The opening minutes were WWE formula with two people fighting in the ring and the other two lying on the floor dead for ages after taking one move but things definitely picked up. They worked hard to earn the first “this is awesome” chant of the night. Five matches in and the wrestling quality has been solid, though people hoping for
-Chico El Luchador and Fat Ass Masa were shown sitting in the front row.
-Brent Tarring joined the commentary booth for the next match. He apparently called Cody’s first match ever in Ohio Valley Wrestling and was calling this next one per special request.
-Video package on the Aldis-Cody feud.
-Brandi Rhodes got her own solo entrance with videotron wearing a glittery outfit. Cody was accompanied by the extended Nightmare Family including Diamond Dallas Page, Tommy Dreamer, Glacier, his brother-in-law, his father-in-law, and his dog Pharaoh. Aldis was accompanied by Tim Storm, Shawn Daivari, Jeff Jarrett, and Sam Shaw. Bobby Cruise handled the ring introductions.
(6) “THE NATIONAL TREASURE” NICK ALDIS (w/crew) vs. “THE AMERICAN NIGHTMARE” CODY (w/Brandi Rhodes & The Nightmare Family) – NWA WORLD’S HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP
Earl Hebner was the referee. The crowd was electric. Back and forth in the early minutes. Cody sent Aldis to ringside with a dropkick and followed with a suicide dive. Aldis suplexed Cody on the floor and ran his back into the ring post. Aldis worked away on Cody’s back. Double lariat left both men down. Aldis avoided CrossRhodes. Double crossbody put both men back down. Springboard splash attempt from Cody but Aldis caught him with a forearm on the way down. Aldis rolled into the ring as Hebner checked on Cody. Hebner put up the X with his arms. DDP ran back out to check on Cody. Daivari also returned. He shoved DDP out of the way and told Hebner to call for the bell. Hebner wouldn’t so Daivari shoved him. Page dropped Daivari with a Diamond Cutter.
Cody bladed off-camera and came up bleeding down his face. Excalibur tried to claim it came from the forearm earlier. Aldis rolled Cody back in. Cody came back to life and hit a powerslam. Cody missed a top rope moonsault. Aldis lay him across the top and hit a knee strike. Fallaway slam from the second rope. Aldis with a top rope splash for two. Cody with a figure four. Aldis rolled it over and Cody made the rope break. Aldis with a running powerslam on the floor. Aldis rolled in. Brandi tried to power her husband up. Cody looked for an Alabama slam but he didn’t have the strength. He tried again and nailed it for a two-count. Aldis ducked a Beautiful Disaster kick and hit a powerbomb into the King’s Lynn Cloverleaf. Cody crawled for the ropes but Aldis pulled him back to the center of the ring. Aldis sat down to wrench it in as Cody faded. Cody powered back up and grabbed the bottom rope to a roaring ovation. Brandi spoke words of encouragement to him.
Aldis with a gut-wrench piledriver. Aldis looked to go up top but Brandi slid into the ring and begged him to stop the match. She threw herself onto Cody’s body so Aldis came down with an elbow drop onto both Brandi and Cody. It wasn’t clear whether or not Aldis saw she was there before he leapt. At first he appeared shocked but he quickly made the cover. Cody kicked out thanks to Brandi taking the brunt of the impact. Beautiful Disaster kick. CrossRhodes but Aldis kicked out! Cody wiped the blood from his face. They traded blows. Aldis avoided Din’s Fire and hit a sunset flip. Cody dropped down and hooked the legs.
WINNER: Cody in 22:01 to capture the NWA world title.
-Cody’s music didn’t play, rather the arena stayed silent while Hebner handed a kneeling Cody the title. Cody was bawling as he looked around the arena. Brandi pounded on the mat and hugged him. Cody’s music finally hit. DDP and the rest of Cody’s team returned to celebrate and hug him. Brandi and Dreamer helped fix the belt around Cody’s waist. Riccaboni said Cody is now the 94th NWA Champion.
(Pageot’s Perspective: A perfect end to the months-long build and this will have to end up being the emotional peak on the show. Strange that it happened so early in the card but we’ll see how the rest plays out. This was a classic NWA-style title match and they clearly aimed for it to feel like an old school Dusty match. Will this lead to more NWA involvement on ROH television? That could be a fun partnership. Where Cody goes from here as champion will be very interesting.)
-Don Callis returned to the commentary booth.
-Video package on the extended Adam Page-Joey Ryan story from Being The Elite.
-Nick Jackson found Page sleeping backstage. He woke him up to tell him he was next and Page flipped out and attacked him before coming to his senses and heading to the ring.
(7) “HANGMAN” ADAM PAGE vs. “BAD BOY” JOEY JANELA (w/Penelope Ford) – CHICAGO STREET FIGHT
Todd Sinclair was the referee. Page wore wrestling boots. Page hit a top rope moonsault to the floor at 1:30. Fallaway slam sent Janela flying into an opened chair. Page pulled a sheet off something at ringside which was revealed to be a literal Cracker Barrel barrel. Janela threw Page into the barrel. Janela set up a chair and ran, leaping from the chair to the barrel into a cannonball that took out Page among the fans. Janela rolled the barrel at Page. Page made a Super Mario leap over the barrel. Buckshot lariat over the guardrail to Janela. Page pulled a table out from under the ring and set it up on the floor. Janela with a death valley driver into the turnbuckles. Janela and Ford found a ladder and lay it across the ring apron and the barrel. Janela laid Page across the ladder and went up top. Page sprang to life and met him up top. Burning hammer from Page to Janela off the apron onto the ladder. Page brought in a garbage bag. Riccaboni thought he might try to suffocate Janela. “It’s a Chciago street fight. He can murder whoever he wants!” Callis exclaimed.
Ford jumped onto Page’s back. He shoved her off. She slapped him. Page looked to hit her but she backflipped away from his strikes and hit Page with a stunner. Ford with a high crossbody from the top rope to Page at ringside. She punched Page onto the table and Janela followed with a top rope elbow. Janela dragged Page up the ramp to the stage. He ran the length of the stage and hit Page with a clothesline. Janela found another folding table. Ford helped him set it up in the entrance ramp. And a second, side by side. Page met him on the stage with a kick. Page threw Janela ten feet through the air and off the stage. Janela plummeted through the first table and hit the ground hard. “Joey killer” chant from the crowd.
Page dragged Janela back to the ring. Rite Of Passage but Ford broke up the pinfall at two and a half. She had a second garbage bag in her hand. Page grabbed it from her and shook out the bloodstained cowboy boots that he’d previously thrown away. Page went white but regrouped to superkick Ford. He picked up one of the boots and turned into a superkick of Janela’s own. Page kicked out. Janela brought the ladder into the ring and set it up. Janela set up a fourth folding table. He laid Page across the table and climbed the ladder. “Safety first” chant from the crowd. Janela had cuts and welts up his legs and back. Page went into the first garbage bag and pulled out a telephone like the one Joey Ryan was supposedly murdered with. Page bludgeoned Janela with the phone, wrapped the cord around his neck, and hit a Rite Of Passage off the ladder and through the table.
WINNER: Adam Page in 20:09.
-Post-match the lights went out. A video played of a bloodied Joey Ryan lying in his death bed. His penis slowly became erect in his sweatpants. Funeral music played and a group of Undertaker-esque monks walked out in giant penis suits. Joey Ryan’s music hit and lit up the videotron. Ryan danced out on stage with lollipop in mouth. Page was agape in the ring. Page posed on the apron and played to the fans as the penis brigade collected at the foot of the ramp. Ryan lathered up with baby oil. Page was still frozen, mouth open like he was seeing a ghost. Page finally confronted him and said “I know you’re not real!” Page grabbed Ryan’s crotch and Ryan powered up to hit the dick flip. He put his lollipop in Page’s mouth and superkicked him. Ryan rolled Page’s body into the arms of the penis disciples at ringside. They carried him off to the back as Ryan played to the fans.
(Pageot’s Perspective: The match was exactly what you’d hope for. Dangerous, memorable, and fun. Janela took a couple crazy bumps, Page looked vicious, and Ford looked badass. BTE is going to have a bit of work to explain why Ryan isn’t dead. Is this leading to a penis-shaped casket match between Ryan and Page at some point in the future?)
-Jay Lethal was walking backstage in his regular gear when someone off-camera handed him a pair of Macho Man sunglasses. He reluctantly took them. The person slapped him on the shoulder and Lethal seemed to transform.
-Flip Gordon made his entrance wearing camouflage gear. Brandi accompanied him while dressed like an old-fashioned army pin-up. “Pomp & Circumstances” played and Lethal made his entrance in full Macho Man gear with tassels, cowboy hat, and sunglasses. Macho Man’s brother Lanny Poffo was at his side. Poffo threw his signature Leapin’ Lanny frisbess into the crowd. ROH ambassador Cary Silkin was introduced and held up the ROH title for the crowd. Lethal did the Macho Man handshake with Flip to follow the code of honor.
(8) “BLACK MACHISMO” JAY LETHAL (w/Lanny Poffo) vs. FLIP GORDON (w/Brandi Rhodes) – ROH WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
Todd Sinclair was the referee. Machismo thought Brandi was Miss Elizabeth so he grabbed her by the wrist and marched her from Gordon’s corner over to his own corner. Machismo tossed Gordon but Gordon skinned the cat. He was immediately clotheslined back to the floor. Brandi got in the way so Machismo chased her back around the ring. They ended up in the ring and he lifted her up onto his shoulders just like Savage and Elizabeth. She slapped him, which transformed him back into Jay Lethal. Gordon returned. He and Lethal tussled. Gordon with two suicide dives and a corkscrew flip. Twisting frog-splash for a two-count. Pinfalls exchanged. Kinder surprise caught Lethal on the top rope. Lethal avoided a 450. Lethal Combination. Gordon with a falcon arrow for two. “Nobody kicks out of the falcon arrow!” Callis exclaimed, though I’m fairly certain that’s not even a little true. Lethal with a torture rack. Poffo climbed on the apron and did the Macho Man finger twirl. Lethal seemed confused so Poffo slapped him on the shoulder.
Lethal transformed back into Black Machismo. Body slam. Machismo went up top. Hail To The King. He went up top again. He hit a second flying elbow drop but he wasn’t done. He hit a third but Gordon kicked out and Hulked up. Oh brother. Machismo hit some punches but Gordon no-sold. They traded punches. Gordon with a big boot as Machismo came off the ropes. Pelé kick. Star-Spangled Slingblade. Samoan pop. Running shooting star press. Twisting corkscrew. Machismo kicked out at two. Faint “Flip” chant from the crowd. Gordon tried for a top rope hurricanrana but Machismo blocked. Top rope cutter. Lethal Injection.
WINNER: Jay Lethal in 14:22 to retain the ROH world title.
-Code of honor after the match and a hug from Gordon. Bully Ray ran down to the ring and clotheslined both men. He whipped Gordon with his steel chain. Poffo jumped into the ring and put his dukes up. Ray kicked him between the legs. Ray looked under the ring for yet another folding table and set it up in the ring. Cabana hit the ring and speared Ray. Cabana, Gordon, and Lethal surrounded Ray. Lethal and Gordon lifted Ray onto Cabana’s shoulders for a triple power bomb through the table.
(Pageot’s Perspective: I stand by my preview column that this match would have been more fun with Colt Cabana in lieu of Gordon but I guess they wanted to give Flip a match since this show is mostly about showcasing and putting over younger talent. A lot of this show has felt largely like an ROH event which is and isn’t surprising. Let’s just say it’s kind of curious how straight-forward things have gone outside of Joey Ryan’s return and the Machismo stuff.)
-Pentagón Jr. was introduced as Penta El Zero and there was no mention of him being Lucha Underground Champion. Omega was introduced as the IWGP champion but also walked out without a belt or any elaborate gear, simply wearing black pants and white wrist tape.
(9) IWGP HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION KENNY OMEGA vs. LUCHA UNDERGROUND CHAMPION PENTA EL ZERO – NON-TITLE MATCH
Paul Turner was the referee. Penta hit the first kick of the match at 1:08. Lungblower sent Omega to the floor. Omega leapt into a hurricanrana. Slingblade from Penta. Leaping flip over the top rope onto Omega. Penta whipped Omega into a chair at ringside. Powerslam to Omega on the floor. Omega with a second rope moonsault but Penta got his knees up. Tornado DDT to Penta. Springboard crossbody to Penta on the floor. Missile dropkick from Omega. Penta avoided the v-trigger with a kick. Discus elbow from Omega. Dragon Rush. Penta avoided the One-Winged Angel into a lungblower. Death valley driver from Omega. V-trigger in the corner. Double stomp from Penta on Omega hung up in the corner. Omega avoided Fear Factor. Another v-trigger. A third. A fourth. Penta grabbed the bottom rope to break the count. Penta avoided One-Winged Angel, Omega avoided Fear Factor. Penta with the Pentagon Driver for a two-count. They fought on the apron. Penta kicked him between the legs and hit Fear Factor on the apron! Penta went up top for Lanza. Omega kicked out at two and a half. Omega hit a package piledriver of his own. A fifth v-trigger. Penta fought out of One-Winged Angel again. Penta hit his Sacrifice arm breaker. Fear Factor again but Omega kicked out! Excalibur blamed Penta for not hooking the leg. The crowd was riotous. A sixth v-trigger. Poisonrana. A seventh v-trigger. One-Winged Angel!
WINNER: Kenny Omega in 17:47.
-The lights went out. They eventually came back on with nothing having happened. Penta leapt to his feet and unloaded on Omega with offense, concluding with a codebreaker. The mask was pulled off to reveal… Chris Jericho! Jericho stripped off the Penta gear and hit a second codebreaker while dressed in a black tank top, black pants, and the Pentagón face paint. Jericho took a mic to say he’d see Omega on the Jericho cruise.
-Callis bragged about Winnipeg, Manitoba (the hometown of himself, Jericho, and Omega) being the talk of wrestling again. Jericho walked past the commentary table at that moment and took a swipe at Callis that knocked him out of his seat.
(Pageot’s Perspective: Terrific match as we all expected. Cody will take home the title of most emotional match but Omega and Pentagón will likely win Best Singles Match. Jericho appearing was a big surprise. Is the Jericho cruise being set up as the next “international waters” event with wrestlers from different promotions meeting outside of an ROH, NJPW, or Impact ring?)
-Marty Scurll was shown walking backstage. His former record company bosses appeared off-camera. As usual Arthur was a loudmouth so Scurll broke his fingers before grabbing the other guy’s hand and breaking his fingers too.
(10) “THE RAINMAKER” KAZUCHIKA OKADA vs. “THE VILLAIN” MARTY SCURLL
Tiger Hattori was the surprise special guest referee. Okada towered over Scurll. Dueling “Let’s go Marty”/”Okada” chants. Scurll with a shoulder block at 2:45 that had no effect. Scurll encouraged Okada to try and Okada knocked him down. Scurll with some chops in the corner. Okada with a suplex. Uppercuts sent Okada to the floor. Superkick from the apron. Suicide dive. Okada took over again. DDT to Scurll on the floor at 8:15. Straitjacket lungblower to Okada at 11:20. Swinging DDT for a two-count. Okada avoided The Graduation and hit a back elbow. DDT for two. Scurll with a brainbuster at 14:40. Air Raid Crash from Okada. They fought on the second rope in the corner. Scurll hit a superplex. Pinfall roll-ups exchanged. Scurll with a power bomb but Okada kicked out. Okada blocked Graduation again and hit a shotgun dropkick. A second top rope shotgun dropkick but Scurll rolled his shoulder up at two. DDT from Scurll. Tombstone piledriver to Scurll. Okada set up for The Rainmaker and mocked Scurll with a 205 hand gesture. Scurll grabbed his hand and snapped his fingers. Dropkick from Okada. Scurll countered the Rainmaker into a chicken-wing attempt. Okada fought it. Scurll played possum and then locked it in. Okada rolled through into a pin for two. Scurll shoved Okada and Hattori went down.
Scurll grabbed his umbrella. He swung, Okada ducked, and Scurll clocked him across the head on a second attempt. Scurll hit his own Rainmaker and Hattori recovered to count two before Okada kicked out. Scurll called for the chicken-wing again but Okada hit a Rainmaker that left them both lying. “This is awesome” chant. Scurll ate some blows from Okada but refused to stay down. Scurll spit in Okada’s face and slapped him. Okada with another Rainmaker and a third.
WINNER: Kazuchika Okada in 26:04.
(Pageot’s Perspective: Surprisingly long. I don’t think anyone would have expected this to be the longest match of the night. After the opening minutes they largely dropped the heavyweight vs. junior heavyweight story, which is fine by me. It seemed like a weird story to fixate on going into this match. I’ve watched Scurll wrestle guys like Punishment Martinez, Shane Taylor, and Jay Lethal in ROH and never once thought of him as being small or junior. I know the weight division is a big thing in Japan, though. Scurll held his own against one of the greatest NJPW champions, which seemed to be the intended takeaway here.)
-Okada’s music played for about five seconds before they immediately went into plugging the main event so we were likely running long. Mysterio’s music played. Fénix and Bandido entered first to his music before Mysterio ran out in a yellow X-Men Wolverine outfit. Ibushi and the Young Bucks entered to the Bucks’ music
(11) THE GOLDEN ELITE (Matt Jackson, Nick Jackson, & Kota Ibushi) vs. REY MYSTERIO, FÉNIX, & BANDIDO
Rick Knox was the referee. Matt and Bandido started things off. There’s no way I’m calling this one move for move so let’s try to stick to the big spots. Tag to Nick. Double dropkick to Bandido. Fénix and Nick squared off. Jumping cutter from Fénix for an early two-count. Ibushi and Mysterio tagged in to a deafening ovation and a “holy shit” chant. They ran circles around each other. Mysterio with a hurricanrana. Ibushi with a kick but Mysterio avoided a standing moonsault. Tag to Matt. Tag to Fénix. Facebuster from Matt. Tags to Ibushi and Bandido. Bandido missed a standing shooting press and Ibushi caught him with a standing moonsault. Ibushi with double Pelé kicks to Fénix and Bandido. Tag to Nick. He and Ibushi hit stereo flips onto Bandido and Fénix on the floor. Mysterio with a springboard moonsault onto all three opponents. Fénix with a twisting corkscrew and Bandido with one of his own. “All In” chant. Nick and Bandido fought in the aisle. Matt ran off the stage with a cannonball that took out Bandido and Fénix.
Matt and Bandido wound up as legal men in the ring. Double-team offense from the Bucks. Tag to Ibushi and a German suplex for two. Bandido avoided a triple superkick and hit a triple hurricanrana. Mysterio in. Hurricanrana sent Matt knocking Nick off the apron. Matt caught Mysterio on a 619 attempt. Mysterio set up for a Meltzer Driver but Bandido and Fénix saved him. Matt back into 619 position. Fénix with a Canadian Destroyer. Bandido with a poisonrana. Fénix and Bandido with suicide dives to take out Nick and Ibushi. Springboard frog-splash from Mysterio to Matt but he kicked out!
Bandido hit a top rope powerslam to Matt but Nick broke up the pin. Superkicks from the Bucks to all three opponents. More Bang For Your Buck to Bandido capped off with a 450 by Nick. Fénix sort of broke up the pin. Meltzer Driver to Bandido with Matt covering for the win.
WINNERS: The Golden Elite in 11:45.
-Ian Riccaboni was in the process of thanking everyone for watching as the show went off the air right at 11:00.
(Pageot’s Perspective: Another really fun match as expected. Fast-paced from the start with them racing the clock. We’ll likely never know how long they’d intended for this one to go but it was obvious they had ran long in other areas. I’m genuinely surprised to see the Golden Elite win as I would not have pegged Matt and Nick to have themselves win in the main event of their own show. It didn’t come off as self-aggrandizing, though. They’ve been clearly established in ROH, NJPW, and PWG as being the best tag team on the planet and their opponents had never teamed together before so, in retrospect, their win should have been obvious. Scurll ended up being the only Bullet Club member to take a loss tonight.
All things said and done it was a good show full of quality wrestling. For the most part it didn’t feel all that different from an ROH/NJPW co-presentation with some Impact knockouts and a few other guest stars mixed in. I was personally expecting more Being The Elite-type videos and for it to feel like more of a culmination of something. There were a couple short videos and the extended Joey Ryan sequence but that was mostly it. Also kind of weird for people like Atout and Mooney to be advertised and flown into Chicago for just one brief backstage segment. People who expected huge surprises like Pac wrestling or C.M. Punk appearing are undoubtedly complaining all over social media right now about how the show sucked. It didn’t. We got eleven quality wrestling matches showcasing some of the best names in independent wrestling. Yes, it didn’t break any new ground or do anything particularly innovative within the confines of a traditional wrestling pay-per-view but to a certain extent those kinds of expectations can never be met. There will be a lot of discussion in the following days about what the show did or didn’t do and what it means for the larger wrestling landscape going forward. That this show even managed to exist at all is possibly the most important thread from that story. The fact that we got five hours of great wrestling on top of that? That’s just the cherries in the cola.)
Find Harley on Twitter @talkinghonor and listen to he and Emily Fear talk all things ROH every Tuesday on the PWTorch Livecast “Talking Honor.”