ROH War Of The Worlds UK London Review
War Of The Worlds UK: Night 1
Ian Riccaboni and BJ Whitmer welcomed us to the show, the first night of the three night tour.
Ryan Smile vs. Mark Briscoe
Riccaboni informed us that this was a battle of frog splashes, as both men are known for using the move as a finisher. Smile started by disrespecting Briscoe, slapping him in the face before the two began to run the ropes, with Smile knocking Briscoe down before the two locked up. Briscoe then overpowered Smile and return the favor with a few slaps of his own. Briscoe kept control with a slow, methodical pace until he fired Smile up with more open hand slaps. SMile sent Briscoe to the outside and then flew over the corner and hit a flipping senton that floored Briscoe before tossing him back in the ring. Smile missed a Smile High attempt, allowing Briscoe to dump him onto the mat with a DVD, but missing the froggy bro. Smile sent Briscoe to the outside again with a pair of superkicks, but Briscoe recovered and hit a blockbuster off the apron to the arena floor. Back in the ring, Briscoe hit a Cutthroat driver for the pinfall victory. Perfectly solid opener here that told the story of a meaner Mark Briscoe, as he was aggressive throughout.
Winner: Mark Briscoe
The Addiction (Christopher Daniels & Frankie Kazarian) vs. Ultimo Guerrero & Rey Bucanero
Kazarian and Daniels immediately attacked Guerrero and Bucanero to start the match, with the CMLL stars quickly turning the tables. Guerrero is especially fantastic of getting the crowd into the match, with a little help from Queen of course. Riccaboni and Whitmer noted that it seemed the match was being contested under lucha rules, as tags were not being made. Kazarian and Daniels were able to take control as they double teamed Bucanero and resumed tagging in and out quickly. Bucanero avoided a corner clothesline and tagged out to Guerrero who almost fell victim to an Arabian moonsault, but moved just in time. Guerrero then monkey flipped Bucanero to the outside, wiping out the Addiction, before he himself vaulted off the top turnbuckle and leveled Daniels and Kazarian yet again. Bucanero had Daniels rolled up in a cradle, but Kazarian distracted the referee. As Bucanero went for a splash from the top, Kazarian knocked him off his perch, allowing Daniels to pin him, with assistance from the second rope. Guerrero and Bucanero gained a measure of revenge by attacking the Addiction after the match and celebrating in the ring to thunderous applause from the fans.
Winners: The Addiction
Jay Briscoe vs. Kenny King
Clean lockup to start, with King showing off what Riccaboni termed Capoeira style to stay on his feet. Briscoe was able to catch King with an elbow that sent him to the outside, where Briscoe followed up with a stiff knee to the head and beat him about ringside until King countered and hit a senton off the apron. Back in the ring, King tried to wear Briscoe down with a few reverse chin locks, but Briscoe was able to power out and hit a Frankensteiner that turned the tables. The two traded superplex attempts, but both were denied, although King hit an enziguri on Briscoe and a chin checker before applying a bridging STF submission. Briscoe was able to reach the ropes and break the hold. The two traded control until Briscoe was able to capitalize on King’s attempt at a corner attack, hitting him with the Jay Driller for the pinfall victory. Briscoe refused to adhere to the code of honor afterwards, which garnered a chorus of boos from the crowd.
Winner: Jay Briscoe
Four Corner Survival match
Bully Ray vs. Jay Lethal vs. Silas Young vs. Sha Samuels
The crowd was way into this match, more than I would have thought previously. Samuels is obviously well-known in the UK, but both Lethal and Bully Ray had unbelievable reactions, so much so that Lethal’s music dropped during his entrance as the fans simply clapped the beat. Young and Samuels seemed to have brokered a deal as the match began, zeroing in on Lethal, prompting Ray to step in and even the odds, quickly tossing the heels from the ring. Lethal and Ray squared off for their first time in ROH, but were quickly taken down by Young and Samuels, who worked together briefly. Young instructed Samuels to bodyslam him onto Lethal and then proposed a suplex onto Lethal, only to purposely miss Lethal, ending their tentative alliance. In the end Samuels missed a moonsault, allowing Bully Ray to hit a high crossbody for the win. A bit of an odd choice here, but with Young and Lethal effectively neutralize each other and brawling to the back, Ray and Samuels were the only logical winners here. Ray’s win with a high cross body block was certainly different. On paper, I disliked the result, but seeing the reaction from the fans, this was the way to go. After the match, Bully called Lethal to the ring and said just as ECW was his company, ROH is Lethal’s company.
Winner: Bully Ray
ROH Six Man Tag Team Championship match
Champions, Dalton Castle & The Boys (Brendan & Brent) vs.
Jushin Thunder Liger, CMLL World Trios Champion, Mistico & Delirious
Delirious started off against Castle, but chased the Boys around the ring before tagging out, never engaging with Castle. Mistico came in and quickly took Castle down and sent him to the outside before he tagged out to Liger, who squared off with Castle after the crowd serenaded him. The two hit dueling peacock poses before locking up. Riccaboni also joined in on the singing, showing off his pipes. Eventually the Boys fanned LIger, infuriating him, as he tagged out. One of the Boys, which was unclear because their hair was back to the same color, took a fair share of punishment before attempting some twin magic. The Masked men seemed to catch on and Delirious tagged in, chest raking one Boy and back raking another before catching Castle with a super rake off the top rope. Liger eventually tired twin magic with Delirious, which everyone say through, leading to a mele. In the ensuing confusion, Castle hit Delirious with a Bang-A-Rang for the pinfall victory. A perfectly fine comedy match here, but not for my personal taste when a title is being contested.
Winner:Dalton Castle & The Boys
ROH World Television Championship match
KUSHIDA (c) vs. Titan
Kushida took control early, tossing Titan to the outside before grabbing a seat from the audience and dropkicking the CMLL star into the barricade. KUSHIDA brought the action back inside and continually worked the arm over. KUSHIDA’s game planning reminds me of creating a wrestler moveset in WWE games and assuring that every move damages the limb that the finisher focuses on; it’s believable and makes for a great story. Titan was able to gain control and hit an unbelievable moonsault to KUSHIDA on the outside, actually landing on the guardrail and falling over into the crowd, but still managed to get up. Eventually KUSHIDA hit Back to the Future for the win in what was easily the best match on the card and one of the better ROH TV matches that I have seen in awhile.
Ten Man Tag Team match
Los Ingobernables De Japon (Tetsuya Naito, Hiromu Takahashi, SANADA, EVIL, BUSHI) vs. Bullet Club (Cody Rhodes,The Young Bucks, Marty Scurll & Adam Page)
Takahashi and Scurll to start, with Scurll grabbing his umbrella, which Takahashi threatened to lick. They finally locked up and Scurll hit his bird pose before Takahashi floored him with a hurricanrana and hit his own version of the pose. Daryl joined commentary and Ian tried asking hard-hitting questions, but Daryl’s shock prevented him from responding. The match had some really great moments, some expected, like a full Bullet Club Rise of the Terminators, but there was also a five way figure four from Bullet Club to LIJ as a tribute to Flair which was a great moment. All the BC members then went for a moonsault and Scurll was last to go, albet with a great deal of trepidation. The hits continued with a 5 star Meltzer driver on Daryl, though thankfully he was okay, despite Takahashi’s histrionics to the contrary. The end came after a 5 way super kick to Takahashi, but a Bushi mist, an EVIL clothesline and Destino later led to the win for LIJ in what was a seriously fun romp.
Final Reaction: B+/A-
Although I have not seen the Edinburgh show, this was the show should have the iPPV, not Liverpool. The crowd in London was intro almost every match and their ebullience was contagious. Even during prolonged comedy spots, the audience was happy to participate. The main event was given the time it needed and was full of fan service here, while still coming off as a battle between two sides that really dislike each other. KUSHIDA continues to put on stellar performances as the ROH TV champion and the “visiting” talent really shone here. This is definite recommendation if you are on the fence about ordering the VOD and if you’re vacillating between the Liverpool show and the London show, there’s no question that this is the show to watch.
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