ROH War Of The Worlds UK Liverpool Review
War Of The Worlds UK: Night 2 (iPPV)
Liverpool Olympia – Liverpool, England
Hangman Page vs Kenny King
Solid opener, if a bit slow here, which was actually a part of the story on commentary, as Riccaboni and Whitmer discussed Page’s more methodical style here being a reflection of his new found confidence. That said, there were some nice spots from these two and final stretch was faster paced, with Page hitting a buckshot clothesline before going for his finisher. King was able to escape the Rite of Passage and hit an enziguri kick before slamming Page to the mat with the Royal Flush. King winning adds to the rebranding of him that we have seen of late and Page being in contention for the title title is important.
Ultimo Guerrero & Rey Bucanero vs Mistico & Titán
Bucanero and Mistico started off for their teams, with Bucanero using his strength and size to out-muscle Mistico to begin. The pace quickened as the two wrestled to a stalemate and the both tagged out. Guerrero took quick control, catching a Titan tope suicida attempt and powerbombing his opponent on the arena floor to a burst of energy from the crowd. Bucanero tried to rip Mistico’s mask off before tossing him outside, where he and Guerrero teamed to deliver a stacked up leap frog splash to the masked men who were draped on the guardrail. Titan sold a previous injury to the ribs that was reinforced on commentary.Tons of action and out of the ring from both teams, with Guerrero’s strength proving to be too overpowering for the agile Titan and Mistico. With Mistico taking himself out by delivering a moonsault to Bucanero on the outside, Guerrero was able to hit the Guerrero special from the top rope for the pinfall victory. This was a really fun match that got the crowd more involved than the first match did, which is odd considering this is an ROH branded show, but Guerrero is mightily over with the ROH crowd.
Winner: Ultimo Guerrero & Rey Bucanero
Jay Lethal vs. British Cruiserweight Champion Josh Bodom
Wristlock exchanges to start here, with Lethal gaining the advantage and flooring Bodom with a shoulder block and a spinning neckbreaker, setting himself up for his trademark triple suicide dives. Bodom showed that he Lethal scouted multiple times and denied Lethal’s attempts three times. The two showed some good chemistry here-Bodom is certainly someone who could to add to ROH and he showed here against Lethal. Just as Lethal seemed to be in the home stretch, Silas Young came out and distracted him, allowed Bodom to attempt a roll up. Lethal was able to roll through and got a two count before hitting the Lethal Injection. Young came in and beat Lethal down a bit before leaving and then he and Bodom shook hands before departing themselves. I enjoyed seeing this match and Young’s interaction did put the end in doubt.
Winner: Jay Lethal
Bully Ray & The Briscoes vs LIJ (Naito, EVIL & BUSHI)
Naito and Mark were set to start, but Naito tagged out to Bushi immediately. Bushi eventually disrespected Bull Ray, who dominated the smaller man until he called Naito to came into the ring. The match came to a halt as they played mind games, refusing to lock up three times, before they finally went at it. Jay Briscoe made his way into the ring once Bully gained control, but he fell victim to LIJ, who worked him over for quite a while. He finally tagged out to Mark, who was overwhelmed and tagged out to Bully Ray. Ray cleared the ring and set up for a What’s Up Headbutt, but Naito blocked it with his tranquillo pose, allowing LIJ to regain control and hit their own version of the move. Bushi accidentally hit EVIL with mist, allowing Ray and the Briscoes to hit the 3D for the pinfall victory. After the match Naito and Bully Ray traded tranquillo poses. Pretty good 6 man here. It was a treat to see Naito, even if most of his work was more comedy based.
Silas Young vs. Mark Haskins
Haskins took control early, sending Young to the outside and feigning a dive through the ropes, only to jump over on the other side, catching Young unawares. Haskins followed with a biciclye kick to the face, but when he went for a second he was caught and powerbombed onto the apron by Young. A Super back rake by Young seemed to incense Haskins, who tried to make Young tap with a fujiwara armbar and then a sharpshooter, but Young was able to reach the ropes to break the holds. Just as Young was gaining control, Lethal came down to the ring, just as Young did during Lethal’s match. The distraction allowed Haskins to roll up Young, but Silas was able to kick out and hoist Haskins up for Misery. Haskins was able to block the move and hit a Death Valley Driver into a pin combination for the upset victory. One of the best matches on the card and having Lethal threathen to attack Young earlier but not lay a finger on him here was
Winner: Mark Haskins
ROH World Television Championship Fatal Fourway
KUSHIDA (c) vs Marty Scurll vs Dalton Castle vs Hiromu Takahashi
The match started off with a cat-off between Castle and Takahashi until the former Tamagotchi clocked Castle. Castle scared off Takahashi with a peacock pose and Scurll joined in to freeze him with his squawking. KUSHIDA jumped off the top rope and knocked Takahashi from the ring, who then went to place Daryl on commentary. KUSHIDA tried to hit his own pose, only to have Scurll and Castle double team him. The match basically played out as a series of singles matches, with KUSHIDA and Scurll getting the last stretch. They traded attempt to tap the other out, with the chicken wing and then the hoverboard lock, but neither were successful. Adam Page came down to the ring, distracting Todd Sinclair long enough for Scurll to use his umbrella on Castle and KUSHIDA. KUSHIDA was able to toss Scurll from the ring and hit Back to the Future, taking the match via pinfall. For the second match in a row, Page has interfered in a ROH World Television title match, so one would think this lines him up for a shot, even if he lost to Kenny King. However good the match was, it didn’t need Page’s interference here and it is unlike ROH to have two consecutive matches for a title that feature interference. Good effort from everyone involved, but this did not move into the final gear.
ROH World Tag Championship
The Young Bucks (c) vs The Addiction (Christopher Daniels & Frankie Kazarian)
The Addiction attack the Young Bucks from behind during the introductions and went to work right away, but were quickly tossed from the ring by the brothers Jackson. The two teams traded control in what was an even match between two teams that know each other very well. What was new was that the commentary team, particularly Riccaboni mentioning how the Young Bucks are part of the Bullet Club, but there basically aren’t as nefarious as Daniels and Kazarian. This is the first time in a long time that the narrative is that they’re not as underhanded as say Page and Scurll. Some new wrinkles here, with a nice spot featuring dueling sharpshooters, but Daniels and Kazarian were able to escape. Eventually,the Addiction hit Celebrity rehab on Matt, but he was able to kick out, prompting them to go for the best Meltzer Ever. Nick was able to recover and knock Daniels off the top turnbuckle into a tree of woe, allowing Matt to get Kazarian in position for a 5 Star Meltzer driver, earning the Bucks a pinfall victory .A great match between these two teams as always, with a few new wrinkles to make it feel fresh.
Winner: The Young Bucks
ROH World Championship
Cody (c) vs SANADA
Cody began playing the heel almost immediately, which is odd considering the recent promo on Ring of Honor telvision before his rematch against Daniels, during which he was painted as a sympathetic figure. Cody refused to shake SANADA’s, despite intitating the show of sportsmanship, then left the ring in anger as the fans chanted for his opponent. He left yet again as the two went to lock up, before finally entering the ring. The two traded lighting quick attacks, ending as the two went to dropkick each other at the same time. Another handshake spot, but this time SANDA pulled away. SANADA feigned a dive to the outside and Cody began so upset he went to leave, citing champion’s advantage, only for Naito to come out on the stage and prevent him from leaving. They were briefly inside before Cody left again, using Riccaboni as a sheild, eventually tossing him into SANADA, before flinging the challenger into the guardrail a few times for good measure. On commentary, Whitmer basically laughed at Riccaboni and teased him about what happened, which was odd, as he had been essentially aligned with Riccaboni all night, so the reaction seemed to be out of character.Whereas Rico De La Vega, who denigrates Riccaboni often, would have logically been amused, this felt out of place and disruptive.
SANADA sent Cody off of the apron, into Riccaboni, knocking him to the floor. SANADA was able to take advantage and at this point the action pick up, until SANADA staggered Sinclair while his punished Cody in the corner. Cody flew out of the corner, but SANADA ducked and Sinclair was then full knocked out. SANADA hit a Cross Rhodes, but had to referee to make the count. Cody was able to apply a Labell Lock that SANADA escaped, but Cody then took time to call out Bryan Danielson afterwards. SANADA went for a Cross Rhodes, was reversed, almost lock on a Dragon sleeper, but Cody reversed and hit Cross Rhodes, winning the match via pinfall. When these two just went at it, this was a enjoyable match, but much of the match was punctuated with overt attempts to turn the crowd on Cody here, just weeks after he won the crowd over on Boston. After the match, Cody claimed that there is no one left to face-cue Dalton Castle. Castle basically made it clear that if Cody wants a challenge, Castle is happy to step into that role.
Final Reaction: C-
This show felt like the second night of a three consecutive house show to be released on VOD. With the announcement that the show would be a live iPPV, one would think the show would have been a bit stronger. Having two titles matches end after interference/referee bump is a departure from a company has been known for clean finishes. The main event in particular was oddly executed, as Cody’s actions seem in stark contrast to that has been happening on television and seemed better suited to a non-televised event as a way to engage the fans, but not something that should be canon for this title run, especially when Cody and SANADA worked when they were just wrestling. Castle coming out at the end show the beginning of the an intriguing feud, but to have him stare at the 6 man title and toss it aside came off as a devaluing of those titles, which are not even a year old yet. Whitmer and Riccaboni on commentary did not come off the same way that Colt Cabana or Rico De La Vega do when they pair with Riccaboni and the change in team was noticeable. All told there were some bright spots, but the negatives outweigh the positives here.