By Jason Powell
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ROH Global Wars
Aired live on pay-per-view
Chicago Ridge, Illinois at Frontier Fieldhouse
The event opened with a video that hyped the ROH and New Japan Pro Wrestling reunion, as well as Colt Cabana’s reunion with ROH. Colt hyped that he is returning in his hometown, which is the same place where he won the ROH Tag Titles… Kevin Kelly and Mr. Wrestling III (a/k/a Steve Corino) checked in on commentary from ringside. The duo hyped the main event as well as a new member of The Bullet Club…
1. Roderick Strong vs. Adam Page vs. ACH vs. Dalton Castle (w/The Boys) in a four-way. Strong and Page blew off the Code of Honor. ACH and Page started the match. At 8:15, ACH performed a dive over the top rope onto his opponents at ringside. ACH set up for his finisher on Page, but Strong cut him off. Strong caught Castle and Page with high knees, then performed a superplex on ACH and followed up with a double knee butbuster. Strong hit the Sick Kick on Page, but Castle spun Strong and then dropped him onto Page, and then pinned Page for the win…
Dalton Castle beat ACH, Adam Page, and Roderick Strong in 9:25.
After the match, Strong approached the broadcast team and grabbed the extra headset. Strong said it was “BS” and the it was tough to hear what he had to say. Strong slammed the headset down and walked away while the broadcast team said he had a point…
Powell’s POV: The right guy won the match if Strong is leaving. Page keeps his streak alive when it comes to springboarding back into the ring and either hitting a big move or getting destroyed. I hope we get Castle vs. Strong coming out of this. Castle finished his terrific run with Silas Young and they had to get him slotted into a meaningful role. If Strong ends up leaving the company, then he should definitely be used to elevate Castle on his way out.
2. Christopher Daniels and Frankie Kazarian vs. Jushin Thunder Liger and Cheeseburger. Cheeseburger started the match and quickly tagged out to Liger, who got a nice ovation from the live crowd. The Addiction (Daniels and Kazarian) ended up taking control once Cheeseburger tagged in again. At 6:05, The Addiction performed Celebrity Rehab on Liger and he was dropped right on his head. Cheesburger broke up the pin.
A short time later, Daniels went for a move on Cheeseburger, who ended up countering into a pin and winning the match. After the match, Daniels and Kazarian worked over Cheeseburger and put him down with the Best Meltzer Ever. Security ran out afterward to help Cheeseburger…
Jushin Thunder Liger and Cheeseburger beat Christopher Daniels and Frankie Kazarian in 6:55.
Powell’s POV: The lovable ROH mascot wrestler wins the match and then takes the beating. I’m curious to see who ends up teaming with him as he goes for revenge on Daniels and Kazarian. I like the feud for Cheeseburger. Daniels and Kazarian will make it work. I just can’t say that I’ve been impressed by what ROH has done with Daniels and Kazarian since they signed them following their TNA run.
The broadcast team set up a video package for the War Machine vs. Briscoes match…
3. War Machine vs. Jay Briscoe and Mark Briscoe for the ROH Tag Titles. Hanson and Raymond Rowe (a/k/a War Machine) had black face paint stripes on their face. The Briscoes wore black pants and Corino said they were going old school The teams shook hands before the bell.
At 4:55, the Briscoes roughed up Rowe at ringside, then Hanson performed a suicide dive onto them on the floor. The cameras missed Jay Briscoe putting Hanson through a table with a double stomp, but it was replayed. Later, Mark performed a nice neckbreaker on Hanson on the floor. In the ring, Jay went for his finisher, but Rowe avoided it. Rowe caught Mark with a clothesline as he leapt off the rope.
Hanson went up top, but Mark caught him with a kick and pulled him down with a slam. May performed a top rope splash no Hanson, then Mark performed Froggy Bow for a two count at 12:00. Hanson and Rowe cam back with a flurry offense at 13:00. Rowe slammed Jay down, then Hanson went for a moonsault, but Jay rolled out of the way. Jay hit the Jay Driller on Hanson, who kicked out at two for a very good near fall.
The Briscoes set up for Doomsday Device on Hanson, but Rowe recovered and broke it up. Later, Jay was taken out by a spin kick from Hanson, then War Machine hit Fallout on Mark for the win…
War Machine beat The Briscoes at 14:15.
Powell’s POV: Entertaining with some good near falls. The actual finish was a little flat. The Briscoes were over with the majority of the live crowd, yet even those who were pulling for War Machine didn’t seem to react loudly to the finish. I must say that the leather piece that Hanson wears around his gut looks like a girdle at this point. He’s always been a big guy, but it looks like he’s added some weight. I wasn’t blown away by this match, this strikes me as a feud that will get better as the develop more storyline intensity with each match.
4. IWGP Heavyweight Champion Tetsuya Naito vs. Kyle O’Reilly in a non-title match. The broadcast team spoke about Naito beating Okada to win his title. Kelly said it reminded him of Steve Austin. He said that Naito stopped chasing the affection of the fans and then the fans embraced him. Kelly wished Truth Martini a happy birthday.
The broadcast team spoke about Naito being part of the Los Ingobernables faction in NJPW, and noted that he was without the rest of the group’s help in this match. Naito got the better of O’Reilly early. O’Reilly got some hope spots including a nice tornado DDT. At 10:00, O’Reilly came back with some strikes an then ducked a kick by Naito. O’Reilly ate a kick from Naito, but then did the teetering clothesline that left both men down on the mat.
Both men traded shots once they were back to their feet. Naito caught O’Reilly with an enzuigiri. O’Reilly fired back with a nice suplex into a bridge for a two count. Late in the match, O’Reilly caught Naito with a GTS style knee. Naito no-sold it and performed a nice spinebuster and followed up with his apparent finisher for the win.
After the match, Naito offered O’Reilly his hand. O’Reilly went to shake it, but Naito took him down and kicked him in the balls. Naito picked up his title belt, threw it into the air, and let it fall to the mat before leaving the match without it. Kelly said he does what he wants when he wants to do it. Corino ran through a list of NJPW greats and says Naito disrespects them all…
Tetsuya Naito beat Kyle O’Reilly in a non-title match in 12:10.
Powell’s POV: A good match, though it was odd to see Naito just no-sell the GTS before going into his finishing sequence. I thought O’Reilly would look a little stronger than he did with more near falls down the stretch. I love O’Reilly, but he looked like a bit of a dope when he took the kick to the nuts afterward. It helped get over Naito’s gimmick, but O’Reilly’s character should know how disrespectful the Naito character is.
A video package set up the next match and included Evolve manager, er, Moose’s manager, er, no, Evolve manager Stokely Hathaway…
5. Hiroshi Tanahashi and Michael Elgin vs. Kazuchika Okada (w/Ged0) and Moose (w/Stokely Hathaway). The fans popped big and chanted “holy shit” when Tanahashi and Okada started the match. Despite the initial reaction, Moose was the early star of the match with the crowd popping big for him dropkicking Tanahashi as he was sitting on the top rope, and some other Moose moments.
At 8:50, Elgin performed a German suplex into a pin on Moose, who kicked out at two. Elgin went for a powerbomb, but Moose powered out. They hit each other with a couple of simultaneous clotheslines. Elgin ran into a Moose kick, but he came back moments later with a clothesline. The NJPW stars tagged in and traded blows at 10:15.
At 11:50, Tanahashi fought out of a tombstone piledriver from Okada, then hit him with a slingblade clothesline. Tanahashi tagged out, then Elgin prevented Okada from doing the same. Tanahashi and Elgin performed clotheslines on Okada, then teamed up for an Elgin powerslam off the ropes, then Elgin slammed Tanahashi onto Okada. Moose had to break up a pin attempt that followed.
At 14:20, Okada dropkicked Elgin. Moose speared Elgin and then dropkicked Tanahashi off the ring apron. Okada hit Elgin with a Rainmaker clothesline and pinned him clean…
Kazuchika Okada and Moose beat Hiroshi Tanahashi and Michael Elgin in 14:50.
Powell’s POV: Another good match. I have mixed feelings on the outcome. It was nice to see an outcome that surprised me, but ROH fed The Briscoes to Tanahashi and Elgin on the last pay-per-view. Perhaps the outcome makes more sense as far as NJPW storylines are concerned than I realize. Watching the ROH side, it just looks like the outcomes are a bit random and are not leading to anything.
A video set up the ROH TV Title match…
6. Tomohiro Ishii vs. Bobby Fish for the ROH TV Title. Bobby Cruise delivered the in-ring introductions for the title match. Fish offered his hand. Ishii blew off the Code of Honor. Corino spoke about how Ishii had that “Kawada look on his face” before the opening bell. Ishii no-sold some early Fish strikes, then started to sell them as Fish continued to throw them in the same sequence, which was pretty cool.
At 8:30, Fish threw a clothesline at Ishii, who no-sold it and then caught Fish with a headbutt to the chest/shoulder. Ishii followed with a delayed superplex from the second rope for a two count.
At 13:30, Ishii caught Fish with a chop to the throat as both men stood on the apron. Corino said there’s an unwritten rule to not chop some in the throat. Corino said it was a cheap shot. Fish kicked Ishii’s leg to knock him off the apron. Ishii made it back to the ring, then Fish barely returned before the referee was about to count to 20 for the count-out.
Ishii and Fish traded strikes in the ring. Ishii caught Fish with a headbutt. Ishii went for a suplex, but Fish slipped out and applied a sleeper hold. Ishii broke the hold with elbows. Fish threw a series of elbows of his own and then reapplied the hold, rolled over, and held it until the referee called for the bell…
Bobby Fish beat Tomohiro Ishii to win the ROH TV Title in 16:00.
Powell’s POV: The most unique match of the night thus far and I mean that as a compliment. The style was a nice contrast from the other matches and I like the finish. I also like that Fish finally won the ROH TV Title. It will be interesting to see if that sets up Roderick Strong as his challenger or where they go in that regard. I’m also curious to see whether Kyle O’Reilly becomes a contender at some point. I don’t know if they will ever break up given that they team together in Japan, but that doesn’t mean they can’t work matches against one another.
The broadcast team hyped the eight-man tag match and touted that they will be introducing a new member of Bullet Club during the show…
Powell’s POV: My best guess on the new Bullet Club member? Adam Cole seems to be an option given that they seemed to be setting up something online with him by removing him from ROH dates at one point earlier this month. Just a guess.
7. Alex Shelley, Chris Sabin, Matt Sydal, and Kushida vs. The Young Bucks, Tama Tonga, and Tanga Roa. The Bucks were over big. They struck a pose and the crowd clapped Terminator style, but the Bucks ran into superkicks from Sabin and Sydal. Tonga and Roa checked and no-sold superkicks. There was a Superkick Counter graphic featuring Mr. Wrestling III (Corino) that was still at zero at 5:00.
Kelly spoke about The Guerrillas of Destiny and their background, which includes the Air Force and college football. In doing so, it took a little mystery away from the white face painted sons of Haku. At 8:20, Corino was still anxious to count his first superkick of the match. Kushida tagged into the match and worked over both Bucks. He performed an Okada roll on one and then a suplex into a bridge on the other simultaneously for a big ovation.
At 9:50, Sydal performed a double knee press onto Tama and got a two count. Tama came right back, but Sydal caught him with a kick to the head and then a standing moonsault. Poor Corino was still looking for his first superkick at 11:00. Matt Jackson of the Bucks took rapid fire moves from all four opponents, including a top rope knee press from Sydal. At 12:00, Kushida took out the Guerrillas on the floor, then the Motor City Machine Guns hit their finisher for two. Sydal was on a roll until the Bucks cut him off and hit the Meltzer Driver for the win…
The Young Bucks, Tama Tonga, and Tanga Roa beat Alex Shelley, Chris Sabin, Matt Sydal, and Kushida in 13:05.
Powell’s POV: The superkick counter was a fun way of showing that the Bucks worked a match without throwing any kicks. Corino played it well by playing up that he spent thousands of dollars on the counter only to get nothing out of it. Does this mean they are saving the superkicks for the new Bullet Club member introduction later tonight? Either way, I suspect Corino will get plenty of use out of the new counter when the Bucks wrestle in the future.
The broadcast team spoke at ringside until a masked BJ Whitmer interrupted them. He mocked Corino for wearing the mask. Whitmer took off his own mask and said he was tired of being made a fool of. Whitmer gave Mr. Wrestling III a flash drive and told him to watch it at his hotel and then think about his next move…
A video package set up the main event while recapping Colt Cabana’s return… Nigel McGuinness joined the broadcast team because, well, that’s what he does… Ring entrances for the main event took place. The crowd was hot for Colt and chanted for him even before the made his entrance. The ROH Champion was out next as Kelly noted that Jay Lethal threw out the first pitch at the White Sox game on Friday. Cruise delivered the in-ring introductions for the title match. The crowd chanted Colt’s name again…
8. Jay Lethal (w/Taeler Hendrix) vs. Colt Cabana for the ROH Title. Colt offered his hand. Lethal shook it, only to throw a kick, which Cabana blocked. Colt was the early aggressor with the crowd behind him. Lethal came back with a nice hip toss into a cartwheel and then a dropkick on the seated Cabana. Lethal went for a dropkick off the second rope, but Cabana dodged it by dropping off the apron. Colt went to return to the ring, but Hendrix got in his way. Lethal went for a suicide dive, but Colt saw it coming and dodged that as well.
A short time later, Hendrix held Cabana in place as Lethal caught him with a dropkick. McGuiness said he had enough. Lethal followed up with pair of suicide dives, including one that caused Lethal to end up in the front row. Nigel approached Hendrix and scolded her, then the referee ejected her from ringside. Nigel grabbed Hendrix by the arm and dragged her to the back at 5:00.
Kelly noted that Colt’s mother was in attendance. He spoke about how great it would be for Cabana to win the title and celebrate with his mother on Mother’s Day. At 7:30, Cabana rolled up Lethal for two as Kelly pointed out that’s how Cabana beat Lethal in a non-title match in Dallas (during WrestleMania weekend).
At 10:15, Lethal performed the Lethal Injection and then followed up with a top rope elbow drop for a two count. At 11:50, Cabana caught Lethal on should shoulders while standing on the top second rope. He dropped down and Lethal hit the top rope, as Kelly said the move is called The Chicago Skyline, which resulted in a two count.
Cabana went for a piledriver, but Lethal countered into the same move and stumbled forward awkwardly to perform the dangerous looking move for two. At 13:15, Cabana caught Lethal in the Billy Goat’s Curse. Lethal teased tapping, but Hendrix returned and pulled referee Todd Sinclair from the ring. The Young Bucks showed up and superkicked Sinclair, then turned and superkicked Hendrix.
Jay Lethal fought Colt Cabana to an apparent no-contest.
The Bucks pulled out a pair of Bullet Club t-shirts. They tossed them to the champion an the challenger. The lights went out. The broadcast team made it seem like it was a production error. Eventually the lights returned and Adam Cole was standing mid-ring wearing a Bullet Club t-shirt. He pointed at Lethal and Cabana, then the Bucks superkicked them.
Cole took the mic and said, “My name is Adam Cole, baby, and we are the Bullet Club.” Cole said this is their house. Security ran out and took superkicks. Cole crotch chopped. Matt Jackson sat in on commentary briefly while Corino celebrated that the superkick count was up to 13. The superkicks continued on security as the Guerrillas of Destiny joined their fellow Bullet Club members at ringside. They spray painted BC on a table and then powerbombed a security member through it.
The Bucks spray painted BC on an ROH barricade logo. The Bucks superkicked Kelly. Corino stood up and celebrated, then took a superkick of his own. The Bucks took over on commentary. Tama Tonga tied Lethal to the top rope. Cole grabbed the ROH Title belt. Cabana tried to help Lethal, but Cole knocked him off the apron with a title belt shot. Cole threw repeated superkicks and then took a victory lap inside the ring. The superkick party continued and ended up at 51. The Bullet Club members laid down and mugged for the camera and Cole said, “This is our world now and nobody can stop us.” The Bucks kissed Cole on the cheek. There were some fans chanting “Too Sweet” to end the show…
Powell’s POV: I was enjoying the main event until the Bullet Club finish. I like Cole. I like the Bucks. Both acts have been underutilized in ROH lately. Still, this did nothing for me. ROH doesn’t have a good track record when it comes to booking heel factions and therefore I don’t have high hopes for this. As always, I must ask where every other wrestler was when all of this happened. Did they simply not care about the Bullet Club invasion? Look, I know Bullet Club sells a lot of t-shirts and WWE is doing their own version of it with Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows right now, but it felt like ROH was really late to the party. I’ll give Cole and the Bucks the benefit of the doubt to some extent, but this felt like a bush league conclusion to a pay-per-view and it didn’t leave me excited to see what comes next. Of course, this is ROH, so it’s not like whatever comes next will appear on television for a few more weeks anyway. I will have so much more to say about this pay-per-view in members’ audio tonight. Thanks for watching along with me.
The new edition of the Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell and guest Colt Cabana on his role in ROH, the state of the independent wrestling scene, the future of his podcast, the ROH Global Wars tour, the new ROH television format, Starrcast III, and much more...