In this episode of Wrestling Night in America, PWTorch columnist Greg Parks breaks down both nights of WrestleMania with callers and emailers. Topics include the quality of the Firefly Funhouse match, the decision to put Charlotte over Rhea Ripley, the potential of wrestlers getting more creative freedom in the current environment, and more.
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RADICAN’S NJPW/ROH G1 SUPERCARD REPORT
APRIL 6, 2019
NEW YORK, N.Y.
MADISON SQUARE GARDEN
AIRED LIVE ON PPV, HONOR CLUB, NJPW WORLD, AND FITE TV
Announcers: Ian Riccaboni, Colt Cabana, and Kevin Kelly
The building appeared to have pockets of empty seats, but they had a major league looking setup for the show that felt like a NJPW big show presentation. hey had authentic Japanese announcements for each entrant. The ring had two corners with turnbuckles and two corners with NJPW style padding.
(a) HONOR RUMBLE – Winner gets ROH World Title shot
This is a 30 man match under traditional Royal Rumble rules. Kenny King was out first because he wanted to go wire-to-wire in the match. Suzuki was out next to a big pop, but they dubbed over his music. Cheeseburger was out next. Suzuki and King ignored him and he hit them both with big chops. Suzuki measured Burger and nailed him with a measured forearm. Beer City Bruiser was out next. SHO was out next. Shingo Takagi was out next, Kevin Kelly mentioned that Takagi has not been pinned or submitted since going to NJPW last October. He’s also a former ROH World Tag Team Champion. Next out was BUSHI. YOH was out next. They built up SHO & YOH vs. Shingo & BUSHI during the early stages of the match. BCB got eliminated. Shaheem Ali was out next.
Rhett Titus was out next. Titus is in great shape. Everyone was fighting, so Titus began posing at the hard camera. Out next was Ali’s partner LSG. Ryusuke Taguchi came out next and he got a good response from the crowd. Taguchi was filming as he made his entrance. Taguchi got in the ring and hit a bunch of hip attacks. Will Ferrara was out next. Riccaboni mentioned he hadn’t been seen in six months. Chase Owens was out as the fourteenth entrant. He wiped out Ferrara with the Jewel Heist. Rocky Romero was out next. Taguchi directed traffic as CHAOS ran around the ring hitting clotheslines. Everyone joined in hitting BUSHI with moves in the corner. Romero eliminated BUSHI
Out next was Brawler Milonas. Milonas grabbed LSG and Ali by the throat and tossed them to the floor.
-SHAHEEM ALI ELIMINATED-
Bad Luck Fale was out next. He eliminated SHO & YOH with a double backdrop.
Cheeseburger nearly got eliminated, but his partners caught him. Fale went after them and tossed them into the ring and then tossed them out of the ring. Jonathan Gresham entered the match next. Suzuki eliminated Shingo.
-SHINGO TAKAGI ELIMINATED-
Tracy Williams was out next. Then YOSHI-HASHI entered the match. Gresham eliminated Taguchi.
-RYUSUKE TAGUCHI ELIMINATED-
P.J. Black was out next. Suzuki tossed Ferrara out of the ring.
-WILL FERRARA ELIMINATED-
Suzuki eliminated Owens.
-CHASE OWENS ELIMINATED-
Jushin Liger was out next to a big pop from the fans at MSG. A big Liger chant ran out through MSG. Liger eliminated Milonas.
-BRIAN MILONAS ELIMINATED-
T.K. O’Ryan was out next. He tried to eliminate Black several times. He finally hit a big kick to his crotch. Vinny Marseglia was out next. The Kingdom worked together to eliminate Williams.
-TRACY WILLIAMS ELIMINATED-
Out next as Delirious. He ran around of the ring several times before entering. Tomohiro Ishii was out next. Ishii eliminated P.J. Black.
-P.J. BLACK ELIMINATED-
Toru Yano was out next to a good response from the MSG fans. Yano ran off the stage and went to the commentary booth. He gave his spot to Colt Cabana. Cabana ran down to the ring and dished out a bunch of elbows as Yano said he was very strong on commentary. A big Cabana chant fired up in MSG. Yano said he gave his spot in the match to his friend, Colt.
Out next was Hirooki Goto.
Several people tried to eliminate Fale. He was eventually tossed to the floor.
-BAD LUCK FALE ELIMINATED-
Out next was King Haku! A big Haku chant rang out in the building. Haku is no stranger to wrestling in MSG. Yano ran down to save Cabana from Haku. The last entrant in the match was The Great Muta. WOW! A big holy s–t chant rang out in the venue. Muta made his way down to the ring for his MSG debut. Muta went after Delirious and chopped him down before tossing him out of the ring.
The announcers said Yano is in the match. Yano accidentally hit Cabana. Suzuki eliminated Yano and Cabana. Muta eliminated Gresham. Suzuki eliminated Goto.
-COLT CABANA ELIMINATED-
-TORU YANO ELIMINATED-
-JONATHAN GRESHAM ELIMINATED-
-HIROOKI GOTO ELIMINATED-
Suzuki and Ishii traded bombs. Ishii eliminated Suzuki.
-MINORU SUZUKI ELIMINATED-
The Kingdom eliminated Cheeseburger.
The Kingdom Eliminated Fale and Ishii.
-TOMOHIRO ISHII ELIMINATED-
=BAD LUCK FALE ELIMINATED-
Liger and Muta eliminated O’Ryan and Marseglia.
-T.K. O’RYAN ELIMINATED-
-VINNY MARSEGLIA ELIMINATED-
The fans chanted this is awesome, as the match came down to Liger and Muta. WOW! King suddenly ran into the ring and tossed out Liger and Muta from behind.
Muta blew mist in King’s face after he won.
WINNER: Kenny King in 43:00 (***½)
(Radican’s Analysis: This was a lot of fun at times. Muta’s surprise entrance was fantastic. I guess they’re going to try to push Kenny King yet again.)
Ian Riccaboni signed off for the pre-show.
The show began with a video package with ROH talking about wrestling in MSG. They went to the NJPW wrestlers talking about what it means to them to perform in MSG. Okada said he’s never been in the building. They went live to the venue and the fans were chanting for NJPW as pyro shot off. The tron looks like a bigger version of the old school Raw tron. Riccaboni introduced the show with Kevin Kelly and Colt Cabana. Riccaboni previewed the lineup. They talked about the IWGP Hvt. Title match and the ROH World Title Ladder match. They then talked about Tetsuya Naito defending the IWGP IC Championship against Kota Ibushi. They continued to preview the rest of the card.
(1) NEVER OPENWEIGHT CHAMPION WILL OSPREAY vs. ROH WORLD TV CHAMPION JEFF COBB – Title vs. Title match
Both men followed the Code Of Honor. Cobb hit a big pounce that sent Ospreay to the floor during the early going. Ospreay fired back with a springboard elbow off the guardrail. Ospreay went for the Sasuke Special, but Cobb caught him. He tried to lift Ospreay up, but he turned it into a DDT. Cobb fired back and hit a delayed one-arm vertical superplex. Cobb lifted up Ospreay and tossed him across the ring. Ospreay went for a rana, but Cobb caught him and applied a bear hug. Ospreay escaped and caught Cobb with a handspring kick. The announcers mentioned Ospreay broke his nose yesterday. Ospreay hit the springboard Pip Pip Cheerio for a two count. Cobb powered out of the Stormbreaker. He grabbed Ospreay’s leg and Ospreay tried to slap his way out of it only to eat a big suplex. Cobb hit a Samoan drop, nipped up, and hit a standing moonsault for a two count. The announcers mentioned that Taichi would get the winner of this match. They traded big kicks in the middle of the ring. Cobb went for a clothesline, but Ospreay turned it into a one-man Spanish Fly. WOW!
Ospreay hit a dropkick off the ropes to Cobb’s shoulder. They traded counters and Ospreay hit a destroyer for a near fall. Cobb managed to duck Ospreay’s attempt at a huge running forearm to the back of his head. Cobb absorbed a kick attempt from Ospreay and wiped him out with a clothesline. Cobb went up top for a frog splash, but missed. Ospreay hit the Robinson Special. He set up for the OsCutter, but Cobb caught him and threw him into the corner. Ospreay then springboarded right into an OsCutter for a great nearfall! WOW! Ospreay hit a hook kick on Cobb when he stood up. Ospreay set up for Stormbreaker, but he staggered back to the ropes. Ospreay set up Cobb for the Cheeky Nandos kick. Ospreay set up for an avalanche Stormbreaker, but Cobb hit a headbutt and an avalanche Tour of the Islands. He lifted up Ospreay and hit another Tour of the Islands for the win!
WINNER: Jeff Cobb in 16:00 to become the new NEVER Openweight Champion and retain the ROH World TV Title (***½)
(Radican’s Analysis: This was a really good opener. It took awhile to get going, but they pulled off some great spots and the finish was spectacular. Cobb remains unpinned and unsubmitted in ROH.)
Dalton Castle came out next and had an elaborate entrance with many Boys. Confetti then shot around Castle as he made his way down to the ring.
(2) DALTON CASTLE (w/THE BOYS) vs. RUSH
Rush refused to follow the Code of Honor. Castle turned around to tell one of The Boys to grab a feather and ate shotgun dropkick. He hit several shotgun dropkicks and pinned Castle.
WINNER: RUSH in 30 seconds
(Radican’s Analysis: Castle is banged up, but that was just shocking.)
The Boys tried to console Castle once he recovered. He brushed them off. Kelly asked if Castle was still the same Dalton Castle. The Boys wanted Castle to sit on his throne of Boys. Castle smiled and then grimaced. He then attacked The Boys and began beating them up. Boy Number 1 was down. Castle hit the Bang-A-Rang on Boy Number 2. Castle looked visibly upset as he left the ring.
An ad for G1 Climax 29: Night 1 on July 6 aired. Kelly plugged where fans could get tickets. Mandy Leon joined the commentary booth for the Women of Honor Championship match. They went backstage to the locker room and Robinson was shown down with someone running away.
Kelly Klein was out first to face Mayu Iwatani for the WOH Championship. Klein was out with Camp Klein. Iwatani showed off a custom mask with a MSG logo on it. Kevin Kelly went backstage to get an update on Robinson. Rich Fann reports from the building the fans are using this as the bathroom break match. Klein sent Camp Klein to the back. Fred Yehi was in Camp Klein.
(3) WOH CHAMPION MAYU IWATANI (w/Sumie Sakai) vs. KELLY KLEIN (w/Camp Klein)
Klein went for an arm bar, but Iwatani got out of it and got a rear naked choke. Iwatani went for a splash, but Klein caught her and hit a big overhead throw. Iwatani went up top and hit a gorgeous splash to the floor. Iwatani tried to bring Klein back into the ring, but she drove her into the ringpost. They exchanged blows in the middle of the ring. Klein finally knocked Mayu down with a big forearm. The fans tried to rally behind Iwatani. She fired back and went for a rana, but Klein blocked it. Iwatani hit a sloppy poison hurricanrana for a two count. They went back and forth and Klein hit a release German and then a lariat and both women were down. Iwatani hit a flurry of kicks and a dragon suplex with a bridge, but Klein’s foot landed on the bottom rope and there was no pin counted. Iwatani went up top, but missed a moonsault. Klein hit a big lariat and made the cover for a near fall. The crowd has been mostly dead for this match.
Klein hit a big powerbomb for a two count. Klein lifted Iwatani and hit K Power. She hit an airplane spin K Power for the win.
Cary Silkin presented Klein with the title after the match. Both women shook hands after the match.
WINNER: Kelly Klein in 11 minutes to become the new Women of Honor Champion. (*½)
(Radican’s Analysis: This was flat and the crowd didn’t really respond to Klein winning the title.)
After the match, The Beautiful People came down to the ring. Angelina Love and Velvet Sky walked around the ring. They got into the ring and Klein glared at them. Mandy Leon came down to the ring behind Klein. SHe stood next to Klein, but then she decked her. Henny Rose and several other women came down to help Klein, but they got wiped out. They put makeup on Klein’s forehead and Mandy took a picture. The fans booed as they celebrated in the ring.
Kevin Kelly said it didn’t look like Juice Robinson was going to be able to compete. The Beautiful people are now known as The Allure. They put their A logo on Klein’s forehead.
An ad for Honor Club aired followed by an ad in English for NJPW World.
Caprice Coleman joined the commentary booth. Mega Ran came out to perform Going to the Garden. He got booed. Bully Ray made his way down to the ring as Ran performed. They had an altercation at the ROH 17th Anniversary PPV last month. The fans began chanting ECW. Ran asked Bully what he was doing. The fans chanted for tables. Ran said he’d leave peacefully. He told Bully he’s from Philly and loves ECW. Ran asked him what his issue is. Ray asked if the fans were chanting they wanted D-Von. Ray pointed for Ran to leave. The fans chanted f–k him up Bully, f–k him up. Bully got on the mic and and told Ran he had 20,000 people that wanted to see him kick his mother trucking a–. Bully said he was going to count to three, but he just shoved Ran. Ran got right back in his face, but Bully whipped him with his chain and he left the ring.
Bully said it’s a shame what happened to Juice Robinson. He said he had told them he wouldn’t make it to MSG. Bully said his open NYC Street Fight is still open. The lights went out and Flip Gordon’s music played. The announcers said they didn’t think Flip was cleared.
(4) BULLY RAY vs. FLIP GORDON – New York City Street Fight
Bully charged at Flip, but he hit a superkick and a springboard spear. Gordon went for a frog splash, but Bully turned it into a cutter. Bully got a table and a kendo stick. Gordon fired back and got the kendo stick, but Silas Young and Shane Taylor ran down to the ring to attack Flip. They put Flip on the table and he was held in place, but Lifeblood’s music played and the lights went out. Mark Haskins and Juice Robinson came out out with a garbage bin full of weapons. Robinson said lets make it three vs. three.
WINNER: No winner in 4 minutes.
(5) FLIP GORDON & JUICE ROBINSON & MARK HASKINS vs. BULLY RAY & SHANE TAYLOR & SILAS YOUNG
The action was fast and furious with both teams going back and forth. Taylor caught Gordon going for a springboard, but Gordon managed to escape and he sent him to the floor. Haskins and Gordon then hit stereo dives. Bully wiped out everyone on the floor with a kendo stick. Bully, Taylor, and Young all got kendo sticks and they surrounded Gordon. They pointed them at Gordon’s head and tauned him. Gordon told Young to hit him, so Young blasted him. Gordon glared at Young and told him that wasn’t s–t. He told Taylor to bring it and Taylor smashed him, but Flip powered up and flipped off Bully. He told Bully to bring it. Flip told Bully to hit him harder than he hit him in Philly Gordon no-sold it and both teams were now armed with kendo sticks. Bully ended up alone in the ring by himself and he ran away rather than face his three opponents.
Robinson got Bully and tossed him into the ring. Bully begged off and said he was sorry. Bully said he was put up to it. Taylor and Young made the save by dragging Haskins and Gordon to the floor. Bully hit a low blow on Juice. Gordon went for a dive off the tip, but Taylor blasted him with a trash can shot. The fans chanted that’s not D-Von at Taylor as he helped Young set up a table. They lifted up Flip for an avalanche Bubba Bomb through the table and he connected, but Haskins and Robinson tripped Bully and dragged him crotch first into the ringpost. Young went for an avalanche misery on Haskins through a table, but Haskins escaped and tripped him into the chairs. He then hit a double stomp on Young off the top while he was draped over the chairs. Taylor then wiped out Haskins. Taylor got a pallet and put it into the ring. He set it up in the corner for Haskins, but Juice made the save. Robinson then hit a cannonball through the pallet on Taylor. Haskins hit what’s up on Bully. Flip hit a 450 on Bully and Haskins and Robinson piled on top of him for the win.
WINNERS: Flip Gordon & Mark Haskins & Juice Robinson in 11:00 (**½)
(Radican’s Analysis: This was fine, but they went through some ridiculous storyline hoops to get to this six man. I’m tired of Bully vs. Flip, so hopefully this is the end of end.)
(6) IWGP Jr. Hvt. Champion TAIJI ISHIMORI vs. BANDIDO vs. DRAGON LEE – Triple Threat match
Bandido hit a sick dive on Lee to kick things off. This is going to be tough to recap. Lee jumped over the top rope and hit a hurricanrana off the apron to the floor. Ishimori then hit a big moonsault off the second turnbuckle to the floor to wipe out Lee. Ishimori hit a springboard knee on Bandido, but Lee flew into the ring to break up the pin. Bandido got Lee on his back and he popped him up into a knee lift and wiped him out with a lariat, but Ishimori broke up the pin. They pulled off a crazy string off spots capped by Ishimori hitting a running destroyer on Lee and everyone was down. Bandido hit a pop up cutter on Ishimori for a near fall a short time later. Bandido went up top, but Lee tripped him and nailed him with a double stomp as he was hung upside down. Ishimori countered Lee and hit a dragoncanrana for a nearfall. Ishimori then hit the Bloody Cross on Lee for a near fall. Bandido and Ishimori went at it up top. Lee shoved Bandido down and went after Ishimori. All three men ended up up top. Bandio hit a double moonsault slam. HOLY S–T! The fans went crazy. Bandio hit a cradle driver to the knee, but Lee broke up the pin on Ishimori. Lee hit a poison rana on Bandido. He caught Ishimori with a knee that set him to the floor. Lee then spun Bandido around and hit a sit-out sideways falcon arrow variation for the win.
After the match, Bandido put the belt around his brothers waist.
WINNER: Dragon Lee in 10:00 (***¾)
(Radican’s Analysis: That was crazy. Lee heads into BOSJ as the new IWGP Jr. Hvt. Champion.)
The four-way tag match is up next. Brody King and Brody King came out separately. Electricity played and there was an electric chair out on the stage as the fans chanted he’s not human. The light around the chair went dark. PCO was shown chained to the chair by Destro. Destro then woke him up using jumper cables. PCO didn’t wake up at first, so he took another charge. PCO then was unchained and the fans went nuts as he made his way down to the ring.
(7) IWGP Hvt. Tag Team CHAMPIONS GOD (Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa w/Jedo) vs. L.I.J. (SANADA & EVIL) vs. ROH World Tag Team Champions VILLAIN ENTERPRISES (Brody King & PCO w/Destro) vs. THE BRISCOES (Mark & Jay Briscoe) – Winner Takes All match
The Briscoes jumped both teams at the bell. PCO fired right back and wiped out Mark with a flip dive through the ropes. Villain Enterprises and GOD went face-to-face in the ring. They traded blows. Jado was going to hit SANADA with a stick form the outside, but he pulled up. SANADA put Loa in the paradise lock and nailed him with a dropkick. All four teams took turns going at it in the ring as the action moved at a rapid pace. King wiped out a pile of men with a big flip dive. Mark hit him with a dropkick through the ropes and followed up with a torneo off the top to the floor. EVIL wrapped a chair around Tonga’s head and grabbed another chair and swung for the fences. They went to a series of rapid fire spots in the ring. Jay hit the Jay-driller on SANADA and Mark hit the Froggy Bow, but King made the save. King blocked a springboard to the floor from Mark and then slammed him. PCO then hit a moonsault off the top to the apron on Mark, which is the first time he’s been successful hitting that move. King hit a Gonzo Bomb on Mark. PCO went up top and hit a moonsault for the win, but GOD both dove into the ring to make the save. GOD lifted up PCO and powerbombed him to the floor. WOW! PCO suddenly sat up and fired up. He’s crazy! Tonga hit a Gun Stun on King. He then handed him to Loa for the super powerbomb and it was good for the win.
WINNERS: Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa to become the new ROH World Tag Team Champions and to retain the IWGP Hvt. Tag Team Championship in 10:00. (***½)
After the match, Yano was on the ramp and he had the IWGP Hvt. Tag Team belts. The announcers asked what Yano was going to do with the titles. Tonga and Loa pointed at GOD.
(Radican’s Analysis: Great action from bell to bell. I”m not too excited about Yano being half of the next challengers to the title. Cabana hinted he might be his partner.)
Something was going on at ringside and the fans booed. Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi is up next. I’m told Enzo and Cass were at ringside and they brawled with The Briscoes and Bully. It seemed to be a work.
Hiroshi Tanahashi was out first to a big pop. Zack Sabre Jr. came out with Taka Michinoku and he asked the fans who was going to win the match. Taka said all anyone can do is just tap out. He said the winner of this match is Zack Sabre Jr. Sabre ran up and pie-faced Tanahashi.
(8) British Undisputed Champion ZACK SABRE JR. (w//Taka Michinoku) vs. HIROSHI TANAHASHI
They went back and forth and Tanahashi hit a crossbody out of the corner and played some air guitar. Sabre fired back and got the upper hand. The fans chanted Sabre nailed Tanahashi with some kick to the chest. He then hit some light kicks to Tanahashi’s head. The fans fired up with a big Go Ace chant. Tanahashi tried to skin the hat, but Sabre grabbed a cross armbreaker. The ref forced him to break the hold at the five minute mark. Sabre continued to concentrate on Sabre’s arm, but Tanahashi fired back. He went for the Cloverleaf Hold, but Sabre quickly got to the ropes. Sabre blocked a Slingblade and got the Octopus Hold, but Tanahashi got out of it. Sabre got a submission around the ropes, but Tanahashi fired back and hit a dragon screw around the ropes. Sabre suddenly caught Tanahashi in a triangle, but Tanahashi lifted himself out of it at the 10 minute mark and got the Cloverleaf Hold. Sabre managed to quickly scramble to the ropes. Tanahashi hit a forward facing Sling Blade. Tanahashi went up top, but Sabre wiped him out with a kick. He went after Tanahashi’s arm and snapped it over the top rope.
Sabre got a beautiful backwards bridging pinning combination, ibut Sabre managed to kick out. Tanahashi got a bridging pin of his own, but Sabre kicked out and went after his arm. Tanahashi fired right back with a dragon screw. Sabre then caught him with a wrist clutch pinning combination for a two count. Tanahashi hit Twist and Shout three times. He then connected with a big Sling Blade. Sabre countered a dragon suplex and locked in an arm submission while he was wrapped around Tanahashi’s body. Sabre then got a nasty double arm submission and he trapped Tanahashi’s arms with his legs. He then went after Tanahashi’s ankle with at the same time with a combination submission and Tanahashi verbally submitted.
WINNER: Zack Sabre Jr. in 16:00 to retain the British Undisputed Championship (***¾)
(Radican’s Analysis: This was very good. Tanahashi never really got on Track and SAbre worked over his arm the entire match before beating him with a combination submission.)
(9) IWGP IC Champion TETSUYA NAITO vs. KOTA IBUSHI
The fans chanted holy s–t after the opening bell rang. They had an exchange and came to a stalemate. Ibushi sent Naito to the floor with a snap rana. Naito fired back when he set up for a dive and eventually kicked Ibushi off the apron to the floor. Naito put the boots to Ibushi on the floor a short time later. He then tossed him over the rail and into the crowd. Naito hit his signature slingshot kick in the corner. He then hit a neck breaker for a two count. Ibushi fired back and caught Naito with a big dropkick and the fans chanted for both men. Ibushi hit a big kick and a standing moonsault for a two count. Naito fired back and sent Ibushi head first over the top turnbuckle and then he nailed him with a big running kick for a near fall. The fans chanted for both men. Naito dropped Ibushi’s neck over his knee using the ropes for leverage. He then hit a big dropkick to Ibushi’s back a short time later for a two count. They battled up top and Ibushi slipped under Naito and hit a big pele kick at the 10 minute mark. Ibushi set Naito up for his outside in German. Naito blocked it with several punches at the last second. They ended up going at it on the apron. Naito ran at Ibushi, but Ibushi caught him with a rana to the floor. WOW!
Ibushi and Naito went at it back inside the ring. Ibushi blocked a rolling kick, but Naito connected with a tornado DDT. Naito draped his arm over Ibushi fro a near fall. Naito hit a hurricanrana off the top. He followed up with Gloria, but Ibushi kicked out. They went back and forth. Ibushi missed a clothesline, but connected a short time later and both men were down. Ibushi went for the outside in German again. The fans chanted for both men. Ibushi lifted Naito up over the ropes and snapped him back into the ring with a big German for a near fall. WOW! The fans chanted both these guys, as they were slow to get up. Ibushi hit a straight jacket German, but Naito kicked out. Ibushi went for the Kamigoye, but Naito blocked it and went for a rollup. They went back and forth and Naito dumped Ibushi right on his head with a short piledriver for a near fall after Ibushi had gone for his version of the piledriver. Naito hit Ibushi with some big forearms. Ibushi fired back. They got up and continued to trade. Ibushi took a blow and stood with his back to Naito. He fired back with a huge strike. Naito caught him with a poison hurricanrana and then Destino for a near fall. WOW! Naito went for another Destino, but Ibushi blocked it and kicked Naito right in the head. Ibushi measured Naito and hit two Boma Ye’s for a near fall. This match is nuts! Naito tried to fight out of the Last Ride, but Ibushi held on and hit it for a near fall. Ibushi then hit the Kamigoye for the win. That was incredible!
WINNER: Kota Ibushi in 21:00 (****¾)
(Radican’s Analysis: This was just an amazing match with some amazing counters. The inside out German Ibushi hit was crazy. Ibushi using the Boma Ye was crazy great symbolism to honor those he considers Gods. The poison rana into the Destino near fall was incredible)
Nick Aldis joined the commentary booth with his valet Kamille. Marty Scurll was out first for the Triple Threat Ladder match to a big pop. Matt Taven’s music was then played on a piano by a musician as an intro and then he came out with his regular entrance. Taven wore a crown on his head. ROH World Champion Jay Lethal was out last. He’s been ROH World Champion for over 700 days combined. Aldis Lethal the conscious of ROH on commentary. Scurll got the biggest reaction coming out.
(10) ROH World Champion JAY LETHAL vs. MARTY SCURLL vs. MATT TAVEN – Triple Threat Ladder match
Taven and Lethal went after each other. Scurll went to get a ladder and Lethal nailed him with a dropkick through the ropes after turning his attention away from Taven. Lethal and Scurll fought over the ladder, so Taven wiped them out with a big splash over the top to the floor. Lethal took control on the floor and worked over both men. Lethal set up a ladder over two chairs, but Scurll tossed him into the ladder. Scurll then hit a tornado DDT on Taven. Scurll dragged Taven back and forth across the ring and tossed him into ladders that were stacked up in the corner. Lethal turned the tables on Scurll and sent him into a ladder in the corner and he spilled to the floor. Lethal knocked Taven off the apron with a ladder shot and then tossed the ladder over the top onto Taven, who was on the floor. That had to suck for Taven. Scurll and Lethal wente back and forth. Scurll drove Lethal into the ladder and then tied him upside down in the corner with his head inside the ladder. Scurll grabbed the chair and cracked it over the ladder several times. Scurll set up a ladder, but it was too short. Scurll got his umbrella to try to unhook the belt with it, but Taven dragged him down to the mat and nailed him with a superkick. Taven climbed the ladder and the fans booed. Lethal cut him off and took him off the Ladder. Taven went to the floor and Lethal and Scurll went at it in the ring. Scurll hit the 52 Fakeout on Lethal. He had Lethal set up with a ladder around his head, but Taven dragged him to the floor and hit Just the Tip on Lethal.
Taven tried to climb the ladder, but Scurll cut him off. Scurll hit a superkick on Taven from the apron and climbed the ladder, but Lethal cut him off. Lethal trapped Scurll’s legs in the ladder and applied a figure four. Taven began to climb the ladder, so Lethal had to let go of the submission. Lethal sent Taven packing and went back after Scurll. Scurll went for another superkick from the apron, but he hurt himself flying over the ropes to the apron. Lethal jumped up and nailed him with a cutter on the apron. Taven slid under Lethal on the apron and hit a running powerbomb on him onto the ladder that was set up on the chairs in the entranceway. Scurll went to climb the ladder, but Taven got into the ring. Scurll hit a 619 and favored his knee. Scurll signaled for the Chicken Wing. Scurll fired up the crowd and did his Chicken Wing dance, but Taven cut him off and hit a DDT and the fans booed. The fans chanted f—k you Taven. Taven went for the ladder and Scurll stomped his fingers inside them. Scurll went to snap Taven’s fingers, but he blocked it and hit a rolling neck breaker onto the ladder. The fans chanted f–k you Taven.
Scurll hit a big superplex on Taven and the fans fired up. Scurll hit Lethal with the umbrella. Lethal ducked another umbrella shot and went for the Lethal injection. Scurll grabbed the Chicken Wing, but Lethal drove him into the ladder that was standing in the corner. Lethal set up the ladder in the middle of the ring, but Taven slid into the ring. Taven climbed up under Lethal and they traded punches. Lethal spit in Taven’s face and hit a big punch and Taven fell to the mat. Lethal went for the belt, but Scurll climbed up behind him and applied the Chicken Wing. Lethal managed to fight out of it and Scull pushed him down to the mat. Taven climbed the other side of the ladder, which didn’t seem to be big enough to get to the belt. Taven reached for the belt, but Scurll grabbed his fingers and snapped them apart. Scurll then did the same thing to Taven’s other hand. Lethal managed to nail Scurll’s and he fell to the floor. Taven was alone up top on the ladder, but he couldn’t grab the title.
Lethal and Traded blows. Lethal hit the Lethal Combination into the ladder on Taven. Lethal charged at Scurll in the corner with another ladder, but he got out of the way. The ladders formed an x in the corner. Taven dragged the X structure out of the corner, but Lethal dumped him stomach first over the structure. Lethal then hit the Lethal Injection on Scurll. Lethal tossed the x structure out of the ring and nearly killed the entire front row. Scurll set up a table on the outside of the ring. He dragged Lethal up to the apron. He set up for a piledriver, but Lethal slipped out of it. Scurll knocked Lethal off the apron, but the cameras missed Taven spearing Scurll through the table. Lethal set up another table on the floor. Lethal set up a much bigger ladder on the floor. The fans chanted please don’t die at Lethal as he climbed to the top of the ladder. Lethal set up and hit Hail to the King on Taven through the ladder. Scurll was left alone in the ring. He limped as he set up the ladder. The fans fired up and chanted for Scurll. Lethal slid into the ring and went up the ladder. Taven then slid a purple ladder into the ring. It was big enough to go all the way up to the title. Taven began climbing the ladder, but Lethal cut him off. Scurll ended up setting up a ladder over the ropes and between the big purple ladder. Lethal did the same thing on the other side and they used it as a platform. Taven nailed Lethal with a chairshot. He then tripped Scurll face first into the ladder he was standing on.
Taven began climbing the ladder as the fans booed. Lethal climbed up the other side of the ladder. Taven slammed the title into Lethal’s head and grabbed the title.
Cary Silkin came to ringside to hand Taven the title. T.K. O’Ryan and Vinny Marseglia also came down to celebrate with Taven.
WINNER: Matt Taven in 30:00 to become the new ROH World Champion (***3/4)
(Radican’s Analysis: The match was very good at times, but the fans seemed most invested in Scurll. They definitely didn’t like Taven, who got some good heat at times. It will be interesting to see how Taven does as champion, as the ROH office is clearly high on him.)
They showed all of the former IWGP Hvt. Champions in a video. Lesnar got booed. Kenny Omega got a big pop when he was shown. A video package aired for the Jay White vs. Kazuchika Okada main event.
Kazuchika Okada was out first for the main event. The announcers talked about White having Okada’s number no matter the match they’re in. Jay White was out next to boos. Gedo came out with him. They were both dressed in White.
White was heavily booed during the formal introductions. Red Shoes got a big chant before the match officially began. A big Okada chant rang out in MSG.
(11) IWGP Hvt. Champion JAY WHITE (w/Gedo) vs. KAZUCHIKA OKADA
The bell rang and another chant for Okada started. White rolled to the floor and the fans booed. Okada teased a big chop against the ropes, but then offered a clean break. Gedo distracted Okada, which allowed White to take Okada down with a headlock. The fans chanted f–k you Gedo. Okada fired back and hit a neck breaker. Okada went for a DDT off the guardrail, but Gedo distracted him and White sent Okada crashing into the guardrail. White worked a headlock and Okada got out of it only to eat an elbow off the ropes for a two count. White applied the Muta Lock at the 10 minute mark. Okada finally fired back and hit a flapjack and the fans applauded with both men down. The fans started a big Okada chant. Okada fired up and went on the attack. He wiped out White with an elbow off the ropes. The fans fired up. Okada hit a DDT on White, but only got a two count. Okada charged at White in the corner. White got his boot up, but Okada walked right into it. Okada kept walking into it and he finally hit a big dropkick that sent White off the top to the floor. Okada whipped White into the guardrail. Gedo tried to get involved and Okada tossed him over the guardrail. Okada then got a running start and wiped them out with a big splash over the guardrail.
The fans chanted for Okada after he got his revenge on Gedo. White grabbed at the ref and Okada tried to lift him up, but White punched his way out of it. White finally slipped way from Okada and eventually caught him with a snap Saito suplex. White went on the attack and hit a twisting brainbuster for a near fall. Okada trapped White’s head around his waist and hit a neck breaker. Okada went for a tombstone, but White slipped out of it. Okada went for a tombstone again, but White slipped away and staggered into the corner. Okada got a running start and nailed White with a shotgun dropkick. Okada then hit a gorgeous missile dropkick for a two count. Okada dropped an elbow off the top and the fans fired up. Okada signaled for The Rainmaker and the fans chanted Rainmaker. Okada went for The Rainmaker, but White collapsed to the mat. Okada hit a pair of light kicks to White’s head and then a punch. The 20 minute mark passed, as White popped up and suddenly hit a flatliner. White followed up with a German. Okada blocked a Bladerunner attempt, but White DDT’d him into the turnbuckles. He followed up with a high angle urangi for a two count. Okada blocked the Kiwi Crusher. White hit a snap Saito that sent Okada over the top to the floor. White followed Okada to the floor and tossed him back into the ring. White hit the Kiwi Crusher, but Okada kicked out at the last second.
The crowd seemed tired and some fans tried to start an Okada chant. They went back and forth and Okada ducked a lariat and hit a tombstone and the fans fired up with both men down. Gedo was shown having recovered at ringside. They traded blows in the middle of the ring. Both men began exchanging forearms. Okada went for a dropkick, but White hung onto the ropes. White connected with a chop. White hit several chops to Okada’s chest and it began to turn pink. White went to bounce off the ropes, but Okada nailed him with a big dropkick at the 25 minute mark. Gedo got up on the apron, but Okada nailed him with a forearm. Okada hit a big dropkick on White. He went for the Rainmaker, but White turned it into a sleeper suplex! Okada got out of the Blade Runner. They traded counters and White hit a big chop. Okada ducked a clothesline and hit a dropkick to the back of the head. Okada blocked a Blade Runner and hit a spinning Rainmaker. Okada then hit the traditional Rainmaker for a great near fall. Okada looked shocked that White had kicked out. The fans started a big Okada chant and he got up and glared. Okada lifted White for a tombstone, but he slipped out and hit a Blade Runner and both men were down, as White couldn’t make the cover.
Kelly mentioned that nobody had ever kicked out of the Blade Runner. Both men rolled towards each other. They began slowly exchanging blows from their knees. They got to their feet eventually and appeared to be on wobbly legs. They continued to slowly trade blows. White didn’t even have the energy to put anything into his forearms and he weakly hit Okada. Okada still had something behind his blows, but Gedo got up on the apron and White hit a low blow. The fans chanted f–k you Gedo. Okada countered a Blade Runner attempt into a German. He held on, but White blocked a Rainmaker attempt. They had a crazy counter exchange and White ducked a Rainmaker only to run into a dropkick. Okada went for a Rainmaker, but White blocked it. White kept hitting kicks and Okada wouldn’t let go. Okada ended up hitting a huge rainmaker. Okada held on and hit another Rainmaker. Okada went for a huge rainmaker. White tried to turn it into a Blade Runner, but Okada turned it into a tombstone! WOW! Okada then it another Rainmaker for the win.
WINNER: Kazuchika Okada in 33:00 minutes to become the new IWGP Hvt. Champion (****)
(Radican’s Analysis: This was excellent. The crowd was tired and had a hard time getting into it, but they really got behind Okada. The match itself dragged at times and didn’t seems as inspired as the usual big IWGP Hvt. Championship match. Once it got going it was great and the last ten minutes or so were tremendous)
Overall score: (8.0) – This was a really good show. The ROH portions of the show weren’t very good at all outside of the Ladder match and even that had issues as the crowd didn’t invest much in the match and were really flat for Taven winning. The NJPW matches really delivered big time.
It’s strange that ROH would use such a big platform to do things like bring The Beautiful People into the company and pair them with Mandy Leon. They also did a fake worked shoot angle off camera with Enzo and Big Cass attacking The Briscoes and eventually they brawled with the Briscoes and Bully Ray.
It blew my mind that ROH went through such hoops to build to a six man street fight. It was just ridiculous to do an injury angle on Juice and then he’s perfectly fine. They’ve really dragged out Flip Gordon vs. Bully Ray for way too long and these angles just showed how creatively bankrupt Delirious is right now.
Taven isn’t pushed with a championship level character, but ROH is high on him right now and hopefully he finetunes his character and carries himself like a top level heel and not a mid card heel going forward. The Triple Threat Ladder match was very good, but the crowd was really flat for Taven winning the title.
There was a ton of good stuff on this show. I loved to finally see ROH and NJPW working together and putting on matches with both sets of their titles on the line. Cobb carrying the NEVER and ROH World TV Championship at the same time should be a good stepping stone period for his character, but what is there too him other than he’s a good wrestler. ROH hasn’t done much with him character wise since he’s been in the company.
Ibushi vs. Naito stole the show. They tore the house down with an amazing match for the IWGP IC Championship. I was hoping there would be multiple matches of this quality on this show, but this was the lone match that really tore the house down on this night.
The main event suffered from taking place after hours and hours of wrestling. The fans to their credit really did try to get behind Okada and they really gave great heat to the last ten minutes or so of the match. This turned out really good and it was just Okada’s time on this night to overcome White, who had had his number.
Overall, this was a really good show, but you have to be concerned with ROH’s creative direction going forward, as there are a lot of question marks. Thumbs up.
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