ROH GLOBAL WARS
NOVEMBER 8, 2018
LOWELL, MA AT LOWELL MEMORIAL AUDITORIUM
AIRED ON ROH HONOR CLUB
REPORT BY HARLEY R. PAGEOT, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Commentary: Ian Riccaboni, Colt Cabana
We opened with a shot of the arena, which looked quite full. The commentators ran down three of the top matches on the card.
Out first was Boston’s Matt Taven, “the real world champion.” The crowd was firmly behind him. He acknowledged that he was supposed to face Dalton Castle for the world title the last time they were in Lowell only for Castle to be pulled from the card at the last minute. Now he’s back, the Kingdom conspiracy is dead, the Red Sox are the world champions, and he’s the world champion. Riccaboni was quick to clarify that no, he isn’t.
(1) ROH WORLD SIX-MAN TAG TEAM CHAMPION MATT TAVEN vs. BUSHI
Bushi blew off the code of honor to boos. They ended up at ringside early with Taven thrown into the guardrail. Bushi caught him with a see-saw DDT over the middle rope and into the apron. He choked Taven with his t-shirt. Sunset flip and just the tip (of the knee) from Taven. Taven unloaded with right hands, which refere Paul Turner warned him about. They traded enziguiris. Missile dropkick and swinging neckbreaker gave Bushi a two-count. Bushi pulled Turner in front of him. When Turner doubled over to avoid a kick from Taven, Bushi spit mist at Taven. Taven avoided it, though, and hit The Climax for the win.
WINNER: Matt Taven in 6:55.
-Taven held up Bushi’s arm and shook his hand only for Bushi to kick him between the legs.
(Pageot’s Perspective: Okay match that was elevated by the crowd’s engagement. I don’t mind leaning into a heel getting cheered in his hometown because it makes the ROH wrestlers seem like bigger stars by getting such a loud reaction and, especially in the case of a guest star like Bushi, there’s no harm done by having an ROH babyface undercut at the same time.)
-Some smooth jazz played in the arena suddenly. Rhett Titus strolled out in his tiny tights and baby oil and posed on the stage. He joined the commentary table and asked #wheresLittleWilly?
-The Bouncers came through the crowd, presumably straight from the bar. The Boys rolled a glittery platform onto the stage. Dalton Castle was in his peacock robe lying on his side while Juice Robinson stood above in a huge dressing gown of his own along with Macho Man sunglasses and a Hawaiian lei. Castle and the Boys did their usual peacock pose in the ring while Robinson stood on the turnbuckle and played to the crowd. Once he unrobed Castle’s left elbow, left knee, and ribs were all taped up.
(2) DALTON CASTLE & JUICE ROBINSON (w/The Boys) vs. THE BOUNCERS (Beer City Bruiser & Brian Milonas)
Robinson and Bruiser started. Robinson landed a jumping senton for a one-count. Bruiser pulled a Boy onto the apron after he noticed he had taken of Bruiser’s beers. Bruiser chased him around the ring and back in before tumbling to the floor. Milonas got a blind tag in the process, though. As Robinson nailed Milonas with a series of rights Castle posed victoriously in front of him. Unfortunately Milonas collapsed forward and squashed Castle to the mat. As he suffocated the Boys tried to fan Milonas off. That didn’t work so they attempted to push the big man. No luck so Robinson and referee Todd Sinclair pitched in too. They still couldn’t budge Milonas so they asked Bruiser for help. He drained a can of beer like Popeye with spinach, then powered his partner off Castle. “This is wrestling” chant from the crowd. Milonas avoided Pulp Friction and squashed Robinson in the corner. The Bouncers worked over Robinson. Hot tag to Castle at 8:40. Suicide dive to Bruiser. Double suplex from the faces to Bruiser. They looked for the same on Milonas and managed to just lift the 400+-pounder and roll him across Bruiser. Robinson avoided Last Call and aught an inside cradle on Bruiser. Castle tied Milonas up in the ropes and Robinson hit Pulp Friction on Bruiser.
WINNERS: Castle & Robinson in 11:40.
-The Bouncers followed their own code of honor by offering beers to the faces. Castle was hesitant. He had the Boys bring the cans over to them and the four wrestlers toasted and drank including Castle and Robinson pouring their cans into each other’s mouths.
(Pageot’s Perspective: Some great comedy, especially the Milonas squashing Castle bit. Castle and Robinson were a natural fit from a character standpoint and the Bouncers are fun foils for larger than life personalities.)
-Riccaboni claimed that someone backstage had seen Will Ferrara as a way to get rid of Titus.
-Frankie Kazarian came out alone for the next bout. The commentators addressed Kaz and Flip Gordon both starting their careers by training in the area.
(3) ROH WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPION FRANKIE KAZARIAN vs. FLIP GORDON
Gordon hit a falcon arrow at 7:00 but slingshotted himself into a cutter from Kaz. In the end Gordon looked for a 450 but Kaz got his knes up. They traded roll-ups and Gordon came out on top.
WINNER: Flip Gordon in 10:31.
-Brandi Rhodes joined the commentary booth for an unadvertised Women Of Honor match. Proving Ground rules are that if the challenger can defeat the champion or take her to the 15-minute time limit she will earn a future title shot. Riccaboni updated that that title shot would occur this Sunday at Global Wars: Toronto.
(4) WOH WORLD CHAMPION SUMIE SAKAI vs. JENNY ROSE – PROVING GROUND MATCH
Rose with a bow and arrow lock early on. Sakai got an armbar in but Rose managed to struggle her way to the ropes. Sakai with a running dropkick off the apron to the floor. Rose caught her with a spear at ringside. Rose with a top rope clothesline back in the ring. Victory roll from Sakai for two. German suplex from Rose for two. She looked for a lariat but ate a saito suplex from Sakai. They traded strikes. Sakai with a back suplex and running crossbody but Rose kicked out. Sakai looked for Smash Mouth but Rose rolled her up for two. TJ neckbreaker from Sakai. Codebreaker from Rose. The crowd clapped along. Rose went to the second rope but Sakai cut her off and hit a top rope hurricanrana.
WINNER: Sumie Sakai in 8:50.
(Pageot’s Perspective: I’m not sure what to make of the women’s match being the only match that wasn’t announced in advance but they were able to win over the crowd. That shouldn’t be surprising as their title match on TV back in May was one of the best WOH matches this year. Sakai continues to hold the best record in ROH at 13-0 this year.)
(5) ROH WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPION SCORPIO SKY vs. JAY BRISCOE
Briscoe jumped Sky and stomped away at him so they rang the bell. Briscoe beat him around the ringside area. The match was 90% Briscoe through the first nine minutes. Sky tried for a superplex only for Mark Briscoe to run down and grab his foot. Kaz showed up and attacked him at ringside. As the referee was distracted by them, Jay brought a steel chair into the ring. He swung, Sky ducked, and Sky got a huge upset roll-up.
WINNER: Scorpio Sky in 9:59.
(Pageot’s Perspective: And Sky gets his first singles victory in 2018. He’s 1-9 now, which is still the worst record in the company below even The Boys and The Dawgs but at least it’s not a shutout.)
-Bully Ray walked out in silence for a tag match. He told ring announcer Bobby Cruise to shut up. “Yankees suck” chant from the crowd. Ray threatened to leave but of course entered the ring anyway. He bragged about being from New York City. He offered $20 if anyone could hit him with a streamer. The ring was flooded with many misses before one finally bounced off his face. He said he was a man of his word. Ray went to ringside and tore up the $20 bill in front of the woman who threw the streamer before flicking the pieces onto her.
(6) LOS INGOBERNABLES DE JAPÓN (Sanada & Evil) vs. “THE LAST REAL MAN” SILAS YOUNG & BULLY RAY
Young and Sanada started. Young showed some respect to Sanada after an exchange, which annoyed Ray. Young threw his shirt at him and offered a handshake to Sanada. Sanada shook, Young kicked him, but Sanada kipped up. Ray tagged himself in. Sanada touched-up his hair. Ray took a cheap shot at Evil on the apron. Evil tagged in and locked in a side headlock. Ray hit a shoulder tackle and did a martial arts pose. “That was racist” chant from the crowd. Young and Ray worked over Evil. Ray went up top but Sanada distracted him and Evil threw him off. Hot tag to Sanada. Sanada hit Young with his own finisher, Misery. Ray broke up a pin and Evil took him to the floor. Sanada put Young in the paradise lock. Ray saved him but accidentally clotheslined Young when Evil ducked. Double suplex to Ray. Magic Killer to Young.
WINNERS: L.I.J. in 12:55.
-Ray and Young bickered after the match. Ray shoved him. He wrapped his fist like they were going to fight but instead Ray offered a hug. Young blew it off and left.
(Pageot’s Perspective: Very disappointed that we didn’t get to see Ray put in a paradise lock.)
(7) ROH WORLD TELEVISION CHAMPION JEFF COBB vs. “THE FALLEN ANGEL” CHRISTOPHER DANIELS – NON-TITLE MATCH
Cobb hit a delayed vertical suplex while standing on the second turnbuckle and followed with a standing moonsault for a two-count. Daniels with a flatliner into the koji clutch at 6:30. Cobb powered out. Daniels with a top rope hurricanrana and Angel’s Wings but Cobb kicked out at one. Spinning back slam from Cobb. Tour Of The Islands.
WINNER: Jeff Cobb in 8:28.
(Pageot’s Perspective: The commentators continued to tell the story of ROH COO Joe Koff telling Daniels and Kaz back in January that they’re fired after Final Battle next month. Kaz is supposedly safe for the time being since he holds tag gold but Daniels’ 25-year career may be entering its final month.)
-The ROH feed went down as the commentators began to discuss the next match. It came back with Mark Briscoe already in the ring.
(8) IWGP UNITED STATES CHAMPION “THE AMERICAN NIGHTMARE” CODY (w/Brandi Rhodes) vs. MARK BRISCOE – NON-TITLE MATCH
Briscoe tossed Cody but he skinned the cat and hit a suicide dive. Brandi was back in damsel in distress mode with Briscoe using her as a shield and shoving her into her husband. Briscoe kicked the middle rope into Cody’s crotch when he re-entered the ring. Briscoe choked him with a cable on the floor and hit the Cactus Jack elbow drop off the apron. Cody hit a moonsault off the second rope onto a standing Briscoe at 9:30. They traded blows. Beautiful disaster kick from Cody. Figure four. Briscoe turned it over and Cody grabbed the rope. Mark hit a blockbuster off the apron. Froggy-bow in the ring but Cody got his foot on the bottom rope to break the count. Cody shoved Briscoe into the referee, kicked Briscoe between the legs, and hit CrossRhodes.
WINNER: Cody in 23:32.
(Pageot’s Perspective: Former world champion Jay Briscoe loses clean to Scorpio Sky but Cody has to resort to cheating to beat Mark? Strange. He was in full babyface mode the rest of the match. Maybe this is just planting seeds for him wrestling as a heel against Beretta on Sunday.)
-Tetsuya Naito wore a white three-piece suit. He slowly removed his jacket, vest, cuff links, etc. in the ring as Adam Page paced.
(9) TETSUYA NAITO vs. “HANGMAN” ADAM PAGE
Naito spit at Page but was tranquilo a moment later. Page did his own tranquilo pose a minute later so Naito dropkicked him in the back of the head. Naito raked Page’s eyes right in front of referee Todd Sinclair, daring him to disqualify him. Page clotheslined Naito to the floor. Naito with a top rope hurricanrana and reverse DDT for a two-count. Page caught him with a lariat. Buckshot lariat for a follow-up. Naito countered Rite Of Passage into Destino. Sinclair counted two and stopped from hitting three. The commentators said Page kicked out but it was unclear and the fans booed, thinking it was a screwjob from Sinclair. Naito hit a brainbuster and another Destino.
WINNER: Tetsuya Naito in 12:45.
(Pageot’s Perspective: The story was supposed to be Naito needing two finishing moves to beat Page but the muddiness of that first one confused things a little. As per usual for these events this was more of a house show match than a pay-per-view classic but admittedly a step above the other house show matches.)
-The Kingdom entered first for the main event with baseball bat, ax, and red balloons in tow. Second was the last living descendant of the lost civilization of Atlantis, “Constellation” Chris Sabin. IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion Kushida was third, The Young Bucks fourth, “The Octopus” Jonathan Greham fifth, and your ROH World Champion last.
(10) ROH WORLD CHAMPION JAY LETHAL & JONATHAN GRESHAM vs. ROH WORLD SIX-MAN TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS THE KINGDOM (TK O’Ryan & Vinny Marseglia) vs. THE YOUNG BUCKS (Matt Jackson & Nick Jackson) vs. CHRIS SABIN & KUSHIDA – FOUR-CORNER SURVIVAL MATCH
The singles champions started. Lethal looked for his hiptoss + dropkick but Kushida avoided and hit his own. Sabin and Kushida double-teamed Gresham. Things broke down quickly with people coming in and out. Lethal and Gresham hit stereo suicide dives on the other six men. The Bucks hit some signature offense on The Kingdom before facing off with Kushida and Sabin. Gresham put Sabin in the octopus while Lethal put Kushida in a figure four. The Bucks locked sharpshooters on The Kingdom at the same time. Lethal, Gresham, and the Bucks squared off. They avoided a Lethal Injection and hit a double superkick. All eight men remained in the ring while refere Paul Turner just looked on. We passed the three-hour mark. Lethal Injection to Sabin. Suicide dive onto everyone else on the floor. Gresham with a top rope shooting star press to Sabin.
WINNERS: Lethal & Gresham in 12:39.
(Pageot’s Perspective: Another multi-man, everyone going everywhere, plenty of suicide dives, someone hitting his finishing move only to then immediately take somebody else’s finishing move, match. If you’re a regular ROH viewer you know how it goes. I would like to see Lethal & Gresham go after the tag titles in the new year. Lethal was world and TV champ at the same time during his first world title reign so being world and tag champ this time would be fun and would be a great first taste of gold for Gresham.)
Find Harley on Twitter @talkinghonor and listen to he and Emily Fear talk all things ROH every Tuesday on the PWTorch Livecast “Talking Honor.”