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ROH/NJPW “War of the Worlds” tour event
Toronto, Ontario at Ted Reeve Arena
Report by Dot Net reader Mike Beauvais
Ted Reeve Arena, ROH’s regular building to run in Toronto, was rammed. It was a sold-out show with (I would guess) 1,500-plus. There was a meet-and-greet before the show, so people were in the building early. Routinely, the place is a sweat box, but unseasonably cool temperatures meant it was actually comfortable inside for once. Since this was only being taped for VOD, the lighting rigging used for TV tapings and the video screen and ramp weren’t there, so the ring and surrounding area appeared to be more open and this made for better sight lines.
Dark match: Will Ferrera and Cheeseburger defeated The Fraternity (Channing Decker and Trent Gibson w/Alexia Nicole). Cheeseburger got a nice reaction. The Fraternity are Toronto-area workers doing a frat bro gimmick. They had Cheeseburger chug a beer out of a Red Solo Cup, but he went ahead and spit it back in the face of one of the duo. Short match with Ferrera and Cheeseburger getting the win after showing no dissension like they have in recent weeks. Ferrera cut a post-match promo saying he hopes their differences are behind them and it’s time to go after gold.
1. The Rebellion (Caprice Coleman and Rhett Titus w/Shane Taylor) defeated Motor City Machine Guns (Alex Shelley and Chris Sabin). Good pop for MCMG. The finish came with a Taylor distraction that led to Titus hitting his frog splash on Sabin. After the match, Taylor cut a promo demanding that Hirooki Goto come out for their match right then and there and that led to…
2. Hirooki Goto defeated Shane Taylor. A decent, hard-hitting big man match that suffered because nobody in the crowd believed that Taylor had a shot at winning it. But Taylor looked good and got a lot of offense in, including an impressive splash from the second rope. Goto eventually got the win with GTR. Post-match, Taylor got a respectful hand from the crowd that he acknowledged on the way out.
3. Dalton Castle and The Boys defeated “CHAOS” Gedo and Rocky Romero. and Beretta. Big response for Castle. CHAOS worked heel, but since this was a comedy match, it was all in jest. The story was that CHAOS didn’t know how to handle Castle’s mannerisms (Castle kissed all of their bellies at one point) and began to turn on one another. Later, Beretta yelled at Castle to stay away from his stomach because he had diarrhea. The finish came when The Boys neutralized RPG Vice on the outside and Castle put Gedo away with Bang-A-Rang. After the match, Castle enjoyed a mimosa served in a martini glass given to him by an audience member while CHAOS continued to tease comedic dissention.
4. ROH Six-Man Tag Team Champion Bully Ray defeated Hangman Page and Damian “Punishment” Martinez in a three-way dance. Bully Ray entered the ring to a big “ECW” chant, but took the mic to say that, while he appreciates the support, this is an ROH ring. The crowd responded with an “ROH” chant. Bully Ray attempted to adhere to the Code of Honor, but both of Page and Martinez rebuffed his offer. The match began with Page and Martinez trying to work together against Ray, but their alliance quickly fell apart. Ray used Page as his willing D-Von to hit Martinez with the Wassssup?, but Page immediately leveled Ray with a superkick afterwards. After Martinez was able to hit both of Page and Ray with big chokeslams, he was thrown out of the ring, which game time for Ray to hit the Bully Bomb for the win. Bully Ray gave a heartfelt thanks to the fans after the match.
5. “The American Nightmare” Cody (Rhodes) defeated Will Ospreay. A really fun match with the crowd into both guys. Cody is a really effective heel with solid crowd work. Ospreay got in a lot of his signature offense, including a standing shooting star press, this was a toned down version of the Brit and he and Cody meshed well. Cody continues to adopt some of his brother’s offense, using Dustin’s snap powerslam and the drop-down uppercut. The finish came with Cody surprising Ospreay with a Disaster Kick as Ospreay was preparing for a springboard move of his own and following it up with the Cross Rhodes. After the match, the crowd chanted “Next world champ” at Cody, which prompted him to get Bobby Cruise to announce the winner of the match as “The next ROH World Champion, Cody.”
After that match was a 15-minute intermission in which merch sales and autograph signings seemed brisk.
6. Tetsuya Naito and BUSHI defeated Matt Taven and Vinny Marseglia. This was an odd and disappointing match. While both teams are ostensibly heel, Taven cut a promo before the match doing his “Melvin” routine and running down the Raptors that got a ton of “go away” heat. Naito came out to a big reaction and then proceeded to play face in peril for almost the entire duration of the match. The amount of offense that Taven and Marseglia got in was surprising, despite the fact that nobody in the crowd for a second thought they were going over. The finish came when BUSHI sprayed Marseglia with the mist and then distracted referee Tiger Hattori, allowing Naito to kick Marseglia in the crotch and then hit Destino for the pin. Post-match and against Tiger’s protestations, Naito chucked his belt up in the air and left it in the ring.
7. ROH Six-Man Tag Team Champions Mark and Jay Briscoe defeated EVIL & SANADA and Beer City Bruiser & Silas Young in a three-way dance. Big pop for the Briscoes and SANADA just oozes star presence. Another fun match that saw the crowd really warm up to Bruiser as the match went on with his surprising agility. At one point, Bruiser hit a running flip from the apron on both Briscoes and EVIL. Silas did some great heel crowd work, as well. The finish came with Mark hitting the Froggy Bow on Bruiser for the win.
8. KUSHIDA defeated Jay Lethal. This was an excellent match and these guys gelled really well. Lethal very subtly worked heel. The match began with some chain wrestling and after a feeling-out process, each man went to work on the other’s shoulder. The story here was that KUSHIDA continually tried to lock in a cross armbreaker and Lethal did his best to avoid it. At one point, KUSHIDA even countered Lethal’s savage elbow by turning it into a cross armbreaker in midair. Lethal then attempted to work on KUSHIDA’s lower body and locked in a figure four. Lethal failed in his attempt to hit the Lethal Injection, but KUSHIDA was successful in his attempt on the move. Lethal, though, would go on to hit a cutter of his own. KUSHIDA eventually got the win with a version of God’s Last Gift. Both men shook hands after the match and KUSHIDA signaled he was coming for Hiromu Takahashi’s IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Title with a win at the upcoming Best of the Super Juniors.
9. Kenny Omega and The Young Bucks defeated Christopher Daniels, Frankie Kazarian, Hiroshi Tanahashi. This went about 30 minutes and it was bonkers. Daniels came out in what only can be described as a Mummar Gaddafi-like military ensemble. Tanahashi received a big response, but then the place came unglued for the Bucks and Omega. Omega was treated like a conquering hero. The match was all high spots and comedy interrupted by Superkick Parties. At one point, Kaz “Too Sweeted” everybody in the eyes, causing Nick to scream about how he couldn’t see. Omega fetched a bottle of water from underneath the ring to pour into Nick’s eyes, but then Nick began to complain that his tanner was going to start running. Tanahashi gave everybody back rakes much to the ELITE’s displeasure with Omega asking the ringside crowd how badly his back was marked up. Daniels’s team seemed to have the match won after a BME/High-Fly Flow combination, but the pin was broken up. Referee Paul Turner took a bump to the outside which allowed the Bucks the opportunity to hit an IndyTaker on Kaz, also on the outside. Todd Sinclair came down to the ring to take over refereeing duties, but promptly ate a superkick from one of the Jacksons. With both refs down, Daniels was set to nail Omega with his title belt until Cody intervened. The distraction allowed Omega to hit the One-Winged Angel as Cody roused Turner to get into the ring and count the pin.
Post-match, the Bullet Club celebrated and Omega cut a promo putting over the fans and promising that he and the Jacksons will continue to be the best tag team and singles wrestler in the world.