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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ROH/CMLL GLOBAL WARS ESPECTACULAR
SEPTEMBER 8, 2019
MILWAUKEE, WI AT POTAWATOMI CASINO
AIRED ON ROH HONOR CLUB
REPORT BY HARLEY R. PAGEOT, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Commentary: Ian Riccaboni, Colt Cabana, Caprice Coleman
(1) ROH WORLD SIX-MAN TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS VILLAIN ENTERPRISES (PCO & Brody King) vs. THE BOUNCERS (Beer City Bruiser & Brawler Milonas)
The straight-edge King fought off Bruiser and “the power of beer.” PCO and Milonas faced off. Bruiser hit a crossbody off the top rope onto all three men at ringside. King avoided a cannonball and Bruiser crashed into the guardrail. The villains double-teamed Milonas. A crossbody took out both of them. Hot tag to Bruiser. A cannonball off the apron took out PCO. Milonas teased a suicide dive but King cut him off. The Bouncers set up for Closing Time but Vincent Marseglia ran out and shoved Bruiser off the top rope behind the referee’s back. King powerbombed Milonas off the second rope and a PCOsault ended it.
WINNERS: Villain Enterprises in 10:04.
(Pageot’s Perspective: A fun match-up of personalities and one I don’t recall seeing before. Could we see Silas Young & Josh Woods join The Bouncers to take on VE in an eight-man tag sometime soon?)
-TV champ Shane Taylor made his entrance. He wasn’t originally scheduled for a match so he demanded one from the office. His opponent was DysFunction, a man Cabana said is a local legend with 18 years of experience. Taylor said he’d do him a favor. DysFunction doesn’t have to beat him. If he can last even five minutes with Taylor, Taylor will award him the TV title.
(2) SHANE TAYLOR vs. DYSFUNCTION – ROH WORLD TELEVISION CHAMPIONSHIP
The bell rang and DysFunction bailed to ringside and ran laps, laughing at the fact that the clock was running out. Taylor took a mic again. He said he’d put both arms behind his back and give DysFunction to the count of ten to knock him out. DysFunction with some right hands and a boot while Taylor kept his hands clenched behind his back. Taylor hit a headbutt. He followed with a clothesline, a high knee, and Welcome To The Land.
WINNER: Shane Taylor in 2:08.
(Pageot’s Perspective: A creative angle and another fun segment to put over Taylor as the overlooked champion who’ll take out his frustrations on anybody he can. The longer antics like this go on, the stronger Taylor will be positioned when the time comes for him to eventually drop the title.)
(3) WOH WORLD CHAMPION “THE GATEKEEPER” KELLY KLEIN & “THE MIDWEST SLAYER” STACY SHADOWS vs. THE ALLURE (Angelina Love & Mandy Leon)
Klein and Love started. Love was ready to immediately tag out to her sidekick but Klein calling her a coward convinced her to stay and lock up. Love yanked Klein to the mat by the hair. Tag to Shadows, who roughed up both heels. The Allure tried to leave but Klein blocked their path and Shadows hit a double clothesline at ringside. Shadows charged Leon but she moved and Shadows crashed into the guardrail. The Allure worked over Shadows briefly. Tags to Klein and Love. Leon took out Shadows at ringside. Klein hit a DDT and pinned Love.
WINNERS: Klein & Shadows in 7:03.
-Leon with the hairspray. DDT from Love to Klein.
(Pageot’s Perspective: The only way this whole feud can get any worse is if Love wins the belt at Death Before Dishonor and Maria Manic aligns with The Allure as their new bodyguard. To quote the ghost of Hamlet’s father, “Mark me.”)
-Rhett Titus was on his phone backstage. Coleman approached him and congratulated him on his match on Friday. Mark Haskins walked by and said he’d be happy for a rematch any time. Kenny King walked up and mocked Titus for tapping out. Shouldn’t Titus be home breastfeeding his son? Titus said that at least he didn’t get knocked out by a punk ass cameraman.
(4) ROH WORLD SIX-MAN TAG TEAM CHAMPION “THE VILLAIN” MARTY SCURLL vs. “THE PRESTIGIOUS ONE” JOE HENDRY
They fought to ringside at 4:30 and Scurll hit a running European uppercut. Hendry countered an around the world DDT into a vertical suplex. Superplex from Scurll at 10:45. Ankle lock from Hendry. Rope break. Hendry avoided the chicken-wing. Codebreaker. Dalton Castle’s music hit at 13:00. Hendry dropped Scurll while Cabana and Coleman audibly groaned at the stupid booking. Castle was carried out horizontally by three men while Hendry ignored Scurll to watch. Chicken-wing from behind for the tap out.
WINNER: Marty Scurll in 13:38.
(Pageot’s Perspective: Hendry’s still trying to connect with the audience as a face and booking like this does not help. He looked stupid and naïve for ignoring his opponent to watch the entrance ramp and as a result got no sympathy for the loss.)
-Coming out of a DVD ad “Number One” Brian Johnson was in the ring, ranting about being ignored. He ripped off his shirt and production cut his mic. The lights went out and Maria Manic stormed the ring. Johnson slapped her across the upper chest. Security swarmed the ring for no reason. Johnson left so Manic beat up the guards. Torture rack. Chokeslam.
(Pageot’s Perspective: Johnson slapping Manic is the closest ROH has ever come to intergender wrestling. Of course he then promptly fled before it went any further. I fully expect this to just be more WWE nonsense where it’s okay for a woman to beat up a bunch of male security guards but Johnson vs. Manic in a singles match? That would just be inappropriate.)
(5) JAY LETHAL & “THE OCTOPUS” JONATHAN GRESHAM vs. “THE LAST REAL MAN” SILAS YOUNG & JOSH “THE GOODS” WOODS
The crowd sang “Happy Birthday” to the hometown favorite, Young. He told Woods to do something right and kick their asses. Some nice chain-wrestling from Woods and Gresham to start. Lethal and Woods faced off for a bit. Lethal shook his hand and said, “That was fucking fantastic.” The commentators laughed about Lethal getting fined for that one. Woods was overjoyed at earning the respect of Lethal. This of course prompted Young tagging himself in. He and Gresham renewed their rivalry from the summer. They traded one-falls. “That was cool” chant from the dorky crowd. Young offered a handshake but Gresham refused. Young set up for a chop battle. Gresham tore off his wrist tape and threw it to the mat. As the referee removed it from the ring Gresham teased a chop and instead hit Young below the belt. Lethal jumped in and chewed Gresham out.
Woods made the tag while Gresham and Lethal argued. The commentators raved about the synchronicity between Young and Woods. Young slingshotted Lethal into a high knee from Woods. Gutwrench slam from Woods to Lethal and he held on for a second. Lethal avoided a third. Both men tagged out and Young and Gresham had a chop off for real this time. Gresham leapfrogged and Young speared Woods by accident. Everything broke down. Hail To The King on Woods countered into an armbar. Transition into a figure four from Lethal. Gresham prevented Young from breaking it up. Woods into an ankle lock to Lethal. Bridging German suplex. Gresham broke up the pin. Young hit the first half of his signature combination but Woods completed it with a shining wizard instead. Young grabbed a steel chair. As he argued with the referee Gresham slid a chair to Lethal. Lethal refused to use it so Woods stomped Lethal’s outstretched hand onto the chair. Woods took out Gresham at ringside and Young hit Misery on Lethal for the pin.
WINNERS: Young & Woods in 17:12.
-The winners left and Gresham and Lethal argued some more. Lethal said he’s not a cheater. It turned into a shoving match and then they threw hands and tussled on the mat until referees separated them. Lethal said they’ve been friends a long time and– Gresham punched him again. The referees again intervened.
(Pageot’s Perspective: This was really dense with storytelling and the wrestling was great too so you know I loved it. Young and Lethal have a history dating back years. Young and Gresham were feuding all summer. Lethal and Gresham are teaming but the friction keeps intensifying with Gresham wanting to take shortcuts and Lethal refusing. Meanwhile Young low blowed Woods to start a rivalry between the two of them but instead Woods accepted his offer of mentorship and, against all odds, they’ve quickly grown into a rewarding partnership, so much so that Young’s even been working more babyface than ever before. I’m excited to see where all of these stories go.)
(6) “DAREWOLF” PJ BLACK vs. FLIP GORDON vs. TRITON
Gordon went to ringside and sat down to watch the other two wrestle. He tried to bring the chair in so Black dropkicked Gordon and the chair off of the apron. Triton took out both guys with a flip off the top rope. Gordon drove Triton back-first into the guardrail. Black monkey-flipped Gordon. Gordon landed on his feet and clenched his knee and went down. The commentators were all over it and security immediately escorted him away up the ramp, signalling that this was all a work and Gordon would be back momentarily to steal the victory.
Black and Triton locked up. With both men down Gordon reappeared and stomped away at both of them. Gordon teased a standing moonsault but gave the fans two middle fingers instead. Back and forth between all three men. Moonsault from Black onto both opponents. Gory Special to Gordon and half-crab to Triton at the same time. Gordon crotched Black on the top rope. Kinder Surprise. Triton with a hurricanrana to Black from off the second rope. Top rope Spanish fly to Gordon. Black broke up the pin. Triton with a springboard splash onto both men at the foot of the ramp. Top rope splash onto both men in the ring. Gordon unmasked Triton. As the ref checked on the luchador he brought a chair into the ring. Tracy Williams showed up and yanked the chair away, chasing Gordon to the back. Triton re-masked himself. Top rope moonsault blocked by a double boots from Black. Springboard 450 for the win.
WINNER: PJ Black in 12:14.
(Pageot’s Perspective: Wow, a rare win for Black. The CMLL guys have been losing left and right on this tour but even still I assumed Black would be the fall guy here. Glad that the fake injury angle from Gordon didn’t factor into the finish.)
(7) VOLADOR JR., CARISTICO, & STUKA JR. vs. REY BUCANERO, HECHICERO, & OKUMURA
Volador pinned Hechicero following a Volador Special (hurricanra with both men standing on the top rope).
WINNERS: Team Técnico in 13:08.
-Silas Young and Josh Woods made their entrance again. Woods slapped hands with fans while Young shook his head. Young asked for a microphone. “Happy birthday” chant. Young asked Woods why he has to shake every average fan’s hand. “We are average” chant from the crowd. Young said he’s trying to give back to the wrestling business by taking a two-time All-American champion like Woods under his wing. He said Woods dresses like a five year old but they got the job done and went 3-0 this weekend. He gave him an “atta boy” and patted him on the back. Young called out The Bouncers.
They came out in street clothes, nursing plastic cups of beer. Young said they’ve had their differences in the past but back in Milwaukee (the hometown of Young and Bruiser) he was glad to have Bruiser in the same promotion as him. Bruiser put over the recent success of both their teams. Bruiser encouraged the crowd to sing “Happy Birthday” again. A red balloon floated up into the air. As Bruiser was distracted Young clubbed him in the back of the head.
Vincent Marseglia hit the ring and dropped Milonas with a steel chair to the back. Young stomped away at Bruiser as Woods watched in confusion. He tried to pull Young off of Bruiser but watched in consternation as Young and Marseglia zip-tied Milonas to the ring ropes. Marseglia went under the ring and pulled out a wrench that’s used to tighten the turnbuckles. He put it in Bruiser’s mouth and put him in a camel clutch while blood flowed from Bruiser’s mouth. Woods was horrified. Marseglia smeared Bruiser’s blood on his face while Woods pulled Young off of Milonas. Marseglia found one of Bruiser’s teeth on the mat and admired it like it was a pearl.
(Pageot’s Perspective: We have to ignore the logic of security and referees being quick to separate Manic and Johnson and Lethal and Gresham but apparently being perfectly content to watch a man get zip-tied and another attacked with a wrench. That aside, this was a roller coaster. I bought into the Young face turn. I wanted it. They got me and I’m heartbroken. The consolation is that Woods wasn’t in on the scheme and was just as distraught as I was. ROH is investing a lot into the Bouncers-Kingdom feud these past couple months. It’s to the point that it’s almost comical how this undercard tag program is getting more attention and storytelling than the world title.)
(8) BÁRBARO CAVERNARIO & ROH WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS THE BRISCOES (Jay Briscoe & Mark Briscoe) vs. LIFEBLOOD (Mark Haskins, Tracy Williams, & Bandido)
Ex-knee from Bandido to Mark. Williams followed with a piledriver and Haskins with a double-stomp. Haskins pinned Mark.
WINNERS: Lifeblood in 15:03.
(Pageot’s Perspective: Regular ROH viewers know the formula to these multi-man tags by now.)
(9) THE KINGDOM (ROH World Champion Matt Taven & Vincent Marseglia) vs. “EL TORO BLANCO” RUSH & “THE HAWAIIAN JUGGERNAUT” JEFF COBB
Taven kicked Cobb as he ran the ropes at 6:00. The Kingdom took over on Cobb. Tag to Rush at 11:00. He cleared house and did the tranquilo pose. Cobb returned and quickly fell to The Kingdom again. Marseglia hit Redrum on Cobb but Rush broke up the pin. Tour Of The Islands to Marseglia.
WINNERS: Cobb & Rush in 15:16.
-As the victors celebrated Marseglia dumped Cobb off the middle rope. Taven wanted to hit Rush with the world title belt but Rush saw it coming. Marseglia saved Taven from The Bull’s Horns. Taven connected with the title belt and slapped him. Just The Tip times three. The Bull’s Horns from Taven to Rush.
(Pageot’s Perspective: We literally just saw that exact same moment in the Rush-Castle feud with Castle hitting The Bull’s Horns on Rush.
I’d have been more invested in both of these last two matches if I wasn’t so burnt out by the end of our third three-hour show in three days. That’s 28 matches total this weekend and six of our nine matches tonight were tag matches. I’ll say this until I’m blue in the face but less is more and three hours is too long for a show like this. There’s a reason it’s rare for major Hollywood movies to go past two hours. If multi-billion dollar studios can figure that out, why can’t smaller-scale wrestling companies?)
Find Harley on Twitter @yrechoheart and listen to he and Emily Fear talk the week in women’s wrestling every Wednesday on the PWTorch Dailycast “Grit & Glitter.”