ROH 11/20/16 Reach for the Sky Tour London Review
Before the event it was announced that Bobby Fish would not be able to compete, so reDragon would not be taking on the Addiction and the Motor City Machine Guns. Instead, Kyle O’Reilly took on Travis Banks.
Lio Rush vs. Dalton Castle
As Rush walked to the ring, Kelly and Corino mentioned that he tweaked his knee the night before in a match with Donovan Dijak. They put went on to put over the match and make point of recommending the match. As per usual, the commentary team of Corino and Kelly do all the little thing that help weave together a tapestry that compliments what transpires in the ring. Rush and Castle adhered to the code of honor and after the lock up Castle backed Rush into the corner and then broke away cleanly, hitting his pose as Rush stared at him. Castle then bridged backwards before the two men got down to the business of wrestling. Things were cordial for the start of the match, but when Rush accidentally hit the Boys with a tope suicida, Castle became visibly angered and took the fight to Rush. The two complimented each other well during the match, but in the end Castle was able to power his way out of a Rush Hour attempt and turned it into an opportunity to hit the Bang-A-Rang for the pinfall victory. Good opener that really brought the crowd into it. Castle continues to pick up victories and the commentary team’s mention of Rush’s injury allowed Rush to look strong in defeat.
Winner: Dalton Castle
— ROH Wrestling (@ringofhonor) November 20, 2016
The Addiction vs. The Motor City Machine Guns
Sabin and Kazarian started this one off after The Addiction predictably did not adhere to the code of honor to start the match. After a few minutes of quick paced back and forth between the two, Daniels tagged in, to the roar of the crowd. However, the Guns gained control and Shelley had some fun imitating Flair at Daniels’s expense. He was able to tag out to Kazarian who quickly befell the same fate until timely kick to Sabin on the apron opened the door for Kazarian to kick Sabin out of the ring. As Kaz distracted the ref, Daniels worked Sabin over on the outside before tossing him back in. Daniels and Kaz tagged in and out quickly while kicking Sabin in the corner as the fans chanted along as they figured out the rhythm. After some double team work, Daniels hit a picture perfect springboard moonsault, arrogantly pinning Sabin with his foot alone. Shelley interrupted the pin and Sabin then used a victory roll to propel himself towards Shelley to finally tag out. Shelley cleared house as he came in, hitting Daniels and Kaz with a reverse Russian legsweep/DDT combo as Sabin enziguried Daniels. Daniels though hit flew off the top onto Shelley and then immediately hit a suicide dive onto Sabin on the outside while Kaz hit a slingshot DDT on Shelley on the inside. In the end, MCMG flipped Daniels on his back and Sabin scored the pin as Shelley fought him off. Fun tag match between these four, both two showed off excellent double team maneuvers and they all work well together. As much as they are accomplished as singles stars, as tag team wrestlers these four really shine.
Jay White vs. Dijak
Before the match starts we are reminded that White is undefeated and that one of his victories came against Dijak during the Glory by Honor weekend. The two adhered to the code of honor before the match began and the two traded side headlocks to start. White used and speed and striking ability to keep Dijak separated and grounded before chopping the larger man in the corner. White rushed DIjak in the corner a number of times before his last attempt was met with a discus boot to the face. Dijak slowed the pace, launching White with a suplex, flinging White across the ring instead of just falling down. White blocked Dijak’s attempt at a fallaway slam but elbowing Dijak repeatedly in the head before bounding off the ropes numerous times before he took Dijak off his feet. Dijak ate a missile dropkick from White who pinned him and then transitioned to a crossface that Dijak escaped by using his long limbs to grab the ropes. White followed up with a half nelson suplex that forced Dijak to the apron, locking in an armbar before Dijak escaped with a series of boots to the chest. Dijak then charged at White but crashed into the ring post, but was still able to superkick white off the apron before executing a moonsault off the apron to the arena floor. Dijak rolled White into the ring, who then took the opportunity to go for a tope suicida, but Dijak caught him and chokeslammed him onto the apron before hitting Feast Your Eyes. Dijak rolled White into the ring and pinned him, but White reversed into a crucifix pin and transitioned to the crossface again. Dijak would not submit, so White rolled him up for the three count. The two shook hands afterwards as a sign of respect between the two. Dijak continues to show that he can really work any style and the two complemented each other well. White won, which makes sense as he’s undefeated, but having Dijak not submit also made him just as strong.
Winner: Jay White
— ROH Wrestling (@ringofhonor) November 20, 2016
The Briscoes vs. The Young Bucks
Mark Briscoe vs. Nick Jackson and Matt Jackson vs. Jay Briscoe never took place. AFter the Briscoes came down to the ring Jay got on the mic and said that since they are one of the greatest tag teams in the world and the Bucks are as well, they might as well give England a preview of Final Battle. The four begin to brawl immediately and the Briscoes deposit the Bucks on the outside, following up with a dropkick through the ropes by Mark, as his brother launched himself with a suicide dive. Matt was rolled into the ring and was hit with a clothesline from both Briscoes. Jay lifted Matt up for a Doomsday Device and hit it, but Nick slid into the ring behind them and the Bucks unleashed a superkick party followed by the Rise of the Terminator spot. After the wild start, Nick and Mark were the first two in the ring, with Nick in control. He tagged out to Matt and they hit double dropkicks after double handsprings, before telling Jay to suck it and then tagging out.
Mark finally tagged Jay in who took Nick out with successive clothesline before taking both Bucks down with a double neck breaker. Matt pulled Jay to the outside as he bounded the ropes and gave Nick a window to kick Jay in the face and take control back inside the ring. Tons of back and forth action with a bevy of false finishes and superkicks dominated the match. The Briscoes went for the Doomsday Device again, but Nick knocked Mark off the ropes and Matt positioned Jay for the Five Star Meltzer Driver. Mark regained his composure and caught a flying Nick with a cutter and Jay hit the Jay Driller on Mat for what seemed like a sure win, only for Mat to kick out at 2 ¾. Mark then hit a blockbuster on the Nick on the outside and then he combined with Mark to hit a powerbomb/neckbreaker combo from the top rope, but he would not relent and again kicked out. However, Dem Boys hit one last Doomsday Device on Mat to take the win. The Briscoes believed themselves to be new champions, but Nigel came down and made it clear that the bout was a non-title match. Simply put, a fantastic match. It’s mind-boggling to think that they were able to tell a different story a few weeks later at Final Battle.
Winner: Jay & Mark Briscoe
— Bobby Cruise (@realBobbyCruise) November 20, 2016
— ROH Wrestling (@ringofhonor) November 20, 2016
Kyle O’Reilly vs. Travis Banks
Both adhered to the code of honor before they locked up and equal each other in escaping waist locks. Banks was able to gain early control with side headlocks and then even rolled O’Reilly up in a magistral cradle for a two count. Once the two got back to their feet they exchanged kicks to the face, with O’Reilly seemingly becoming impervious to the stiff blows they exchanged, eventually sweeping Bank’s leg and working him over with knees to the head and stomach. O’Reilly began to have his way with Banks, targeting the arm and then locking in an ankle lock that banks was able to escape with a series of kicks to the face. After a failed armbar attempt, O’Reilly locked in a standing ankle lock, but Banks was able to reach the ropes to break the hold. Banks did have a chance to show off his moves and was able to stand toe to toe with O’Reilly for certain stretches, but in the end O’Reilly locked in a front facelock that seemed to sap the life from Banks before hitting a brainbuster. The pin attempt only scored a two count, but O’reilly transitioned to the cross armbar for the submission victory. Banks and O’Reilly shook hands before the number one contender grabbed the mic and cut a short promo, saying that he will be world champion no matter who walks out the champion during tonight’s title match.
Winner: Kyle O’Reilly
— ROH Wrestling (@ringofhonor) November 20, 2016
ROH World Television Championship Match
Will Ospreay (c) vs. Marty Scurll
The crowd was vociferously behind both men as this one began. After the introductions the two shared a tense handshake before both showed the crowd how good they are at escaping wrist locks and single leg takedowns. Just quick ridiculously fast paced wrestling from these two, both hitting Ospreay’s pose as the crowd went wild. After the pause of crowd chants was over, Scurll kicked Ospreay and took control, but after flapping his arms he walked into ospreay and the TV champion had a little fun, flapping his arms as well and mocking Marty. With Scurll on the outside, Ospreay hit a shooting star press off the apron but as he shook off a jammed finger, Scurll crawled under the ring. Ospreay searched for Scurll, but was ambushed with a clothesline as Scurll crawled out from under the adjacent side of the ring, much to the delight of Steve Corino.
Ospreay set up for a move from the corner of the barricades, but end up being launched at the ring post and then swung into the barricades by Scurll. The Villain began to work Ospreay’s arm on the inside but Ospreay turned the speed on and was able to connect with an aerial assault before Scurll knocked him around with stiff shots. Scurll went for a chicken wing but after he spun Ospreay caught him with an enziguri that sent Scurll to the outside. Ospreay followed up with a springboard shooting star press and followed up by jumping to the top again, only for Scurll to kick him and knock him off balance onto the turnbuckle pad. A superplex/suplex combo allowed Scurll to transition into a crossface chickenwing, but Ospreay was able to will himself to the ropes.
With Ospreay on the outside, Scurll superkicked him three times from the apron, but each kick seemed to energize his opponent and the two rolled to the inside, traded rights and lefts from their hands and feet as the pace slowed down. Scurll snapped Ospreay’s fingers, but had a suplex reversed into a stunner, that Ospreay followed up with 10,00 flips. As he bounded off the ropes after a handstand Scurll locked the chickenwing on again, but Ospreay flipped out and almost pinned him. A frustrated Scurll grabbed his umbrella, but dropped it and snapped Ospreay’s fingers again, following with a kick to the head before locking in the chickenwing for a final time as Ospreay was forced to tap. Really great match between these two, the chemistry they have is undeniable. If Scurll continues this work level of, he will be a very successful TV champion.
Winner: Marty Scurll
ROH World Heavyweight Title Match
Adam Cole vs. Jay Lethal
As Lethal extended his hand to adhere to the code of honor, Cole rubbed his head and reminded him that he was responsible for Lethal’s new bald look. Lethal locked in a side headlock after the two locked up, with the two bounding off the ropes. Lethal hit an early Lethal Injection, but Cole rolled outside immediately. Lethal took the fight to Cole on the outside, lacing him with chops before rolling him back in, only for Cole to go the outside yet again. Lethal did not relent though, hitting three consecutive suicide dives. Lethal was firmly in control until Cole shoved him off the top rope, injuring Lethal’s knee as he crashed to the arena floor.The two then spent the next few minutes going back and forth, exchanging super kicks, enziguris and right hands.
Lethal came out with the advantage and hit the Lethal Combination, but only was able to score a two count on his pinball attempt. Cole almost hit a Canadian Destroyer, but Lethal reversed it into a Death Valley driver, hitting Hail to the King twice, but Cole rolled out of the ring before Lethal could fly a third time. Cole took advantage and then dropped Lethal’s leg across the apron before launching him into the barricade. Back on the inside Lethal was able to stymie Cole’s Ariel attempt from the top rope, but could not avoid Cole’s pointed attack on the left knee and only narrowly reached the ropes to avoid submitting to the figure four. Lethal gutted out a cutter from the apron to the arena floor and almost won via count out, but stopped Todd Sinclair and rolled Cole in. Lethal bellowed that he was going for the Lethal Injection, but Cole low blowed him and hit the Last Shot.
Sinclair refused to make the three count and neither did he disqualify Cole. Lethal was able to hit a Last Shot onto his bad knee, but only was able to get a two count. As Lethal went for another Lethal Injection his leg collapsed and Cole quickly applied the figure four. Lethal was able to escape, but was rewarded with Canadian Destroyer. Cole covered Lethal, but the former champion kicked out at one and seemed to use his anger to fuel an attack as he absorbed kicks, but his Lethal Injection attempt was met with a super kick to the back of the head. Cole hit a cutter and then the Last Shot, retaining the title with a pinball victory. Solid match, the story telling with the knee injury helped to make Lethal look as valiant as ever, while explaining the loss as the result of an injury, while simultaneously making Cole look opportunistic and intelligent as a champion.
Winner: Adam Cole
Final Reaction: A
The last show in England was always going to be the strongest card on paper, the only spots I wasn’t particularly looking forward to was the two singles matches between the The Young Bucks and The Briscoes, as the trope of having the challengers and champions swapping victories ahead of their impending match is a bit tired. Pleasantly, the match was changed to a tag match and really elevated the show. Scurll’s victory was another bright spot on this card, but the real meat of the show was Lethal’s return match against Cole. The match featured excellent storytelling as as always Corino and Kelly add that much more to a match like this as they seamlessly integrate the background that makes the product that much more enjoyable. This is certainty worth a watch for any ROH fan.