ROH Global Wars: Chicago (10/15/2017)- Chicago, IL
CODY RHODES PROMO- He cut a shoot promo on Roman Reigns because of a Tweet that Roman Tweeted. Who could possibly care? Bullet Club/ROH are the ones who have been taking shots at WWE so it's Bullet Club/ROH that are going to come off as the jerks here, almost no matter what anyone from WWE does. Have we learned nothing from Cookie-Gate (or any of TNA’s other many mistakes, for that matter)? But if, for some reason, we must do this, why are we sending Cody, who always acts and wrestles like a complete and total heel do this big babyface promo?
CODY RHODES SEGMENT THAT ISN’T POINTLESS AND STUPID- good
Cody says he doesn’t want to waste anyone’s time (there’s a lie if I’ve ever heard one) so he is now going to pick one lucky fan to come into the ring and kiss his ring. He find the biggest dork possible (read as: “plant”) not just holding a Cody sign and wearing one of Cody’s Bullet Club t-shirts, but even wearing an American Flag ski-mask, because there is nothing that says “this is so clearly an angle” than a fan who happens to be wearing a mask being invited into the ring.
Cody says they’re going to go live on Being The Elite and the fans all cheer and the guy poses with Cody, then takes off his mask to reveal that he’s really Dalton Castle. Dalton gives Cody some suplexes and beats on him for a bit until Cody manages to crawl away. Even better, the fans actually cheered for the heel getting his comeuppance for his attack on Dalton a few months ago that put Dalton out of action. The road to Final Battle begins in earnest.
There appears to be a KUSHIDA cosplayer standing up in the back row of floor seats, right next to aisle. His presence is very distracting.
BEST FRIENDS vs. SILAS YOUNG & BEER CITY BRUISER- 6.75/10
Really good babyfaces vs. heels opener.
HIROMU TAKAHASHI vs. MARTY SCURLL- 6.25/10
Lots of shtick at the beginning here. That KUSHIDA cosplayer is now holding a Darryl. I officially declare him a failure as a cosplayer. Speaking of Darryl, I would greatly appreciate it if the announcers would stop pretending that this stupid f*cking stuffed animal is alive.
Marty picked Darryl up and went to “break” its fingers (claws?). I can get doing this as mind games, but he did it while Hiromu’s back was turned. Then he hit Hiromu with Darryl, right in front of the referee, and yet there was no DQ.
They spent most of the match just kind of alternating between doing stuff and doing shtick, with no attempt at any sort of story to tie it all together. That might have been fine for some other guys in the second match on the card, but this was a match I was really looking forward to and was hoping for some great wrestling.
THE ADDICTION vs. KUSHIDA & CHEESEBURGER- 5.5/10
Remember last year at this very show in this very city when Cheeseburger cleanly pinned Christopher Daniels and Kevin Kelly kept telling us all for months afterwards that it was the biggest win of Cheeseburger’s career? Well here is, seventeen months later, still in the exact same spot in the company he was before the “biggest win of his career.” Hooray for Delirious!
KUSHIDA & Cheeseburger both brought “hoverboards” to the ring. At one point KUSHIDA put it on the top rope and used it to balance on to help him hit a diving crossbody, a la Mat Rats. That made me laugh. Having apparently learned to do his job since yesterday, referee Tod Sinclair then removed the foreign object from the ring. The Addiction pinned Cheeseburger with the Best Meltzer Ever, then tried to put him through a table but they took forever before getting around to trying it so Bully Ray could waddle his way out to make the save and put Kaz through the table instead.
Credit where it’s due: I liked the way they had Bully come out to make the save here and then cut his promo making this segment smoothly flow into the next. Delirious did a good job with this. Also, it lets me make a mean joke about Bully Ray liking Cheeseburgers. I would feel worse about making that joke if he could actually go in the ring, but he has totally failed to do so every time out in ROH so far.
(THE AFOREMENTIONED) BULLY RAY PROMO- Excellent for what it was. Better than it should have been, in fact.
He started off by saying “I wasn’t planning on coming out here and doing that, but you don’t just pull out a table in Chicago.” In other words, he wouldn’t have cared if they were beating the sh*t out of Cheeseburger with a chair or a ladder or whatever. He didn’t come out here to save Cheeseburger because it was the moral thing to do. He did it because putting people through tables is his gimmick and thus, for marketing purposes, he doesn’t want anyone else doing it. Your babyface, ladies and gentlemen: motivated by pure greed.
Bully starts talking about wrestling in this building for ECW and has no qualms whatsoever about saying “ECW,” which makes me suspicious that TNA was being full of sh*t when they would always blame mean old Vince for forbidding them from even saying the name of promotion.
He says that he has to retire due to injuries, with the idea being that the concussion he got in the UK when Jay Briscoe turned on him was the straw that broke the camel’s back. This whole thing is so clearly a work (he even brought a kid into the ring to represent every fan he has ever wrestled in front of and thanked the kid and gave him a piece of “the last table I will ever break”), but the crowd doesn’t seem to realize that because the emotion feels very real so… good for them and good for Bully, I guess.
SEARCH & DESTROY (The Motor City Machine Guns, Jay White, & Jonathan Gresham) vs. BULLET CLUB (The Young Bucks, Cody Rhodes, & Adam Page)- 8/10
“F*ck The Revival!” chants from dumb marks in the crowd. The Revival are amazing. I could watch The Revival wrestle American Alpha every single day for the rest of my life and never get bored of it.
Should the referee be making Cody take his ring off before the match starts?
After that one spot with Cody trying to make Gresham kiss his ring, the babyface and heel roles completely switched. At one point, to get heat, Search & Destroy all Too Sweeted each other, which will of course, result in WWE sending ROH a cease and desist letter rather than just Bullet Club, but that is probably exactly what ROH wants.
I could have done without the painfully choreographed opening spot, but aside from that this was a fun, chaotic eight-man tag, with all of the members of Bullet Club aside from Cody getting the chance to play babyface in peril. Lots of action and lots of fun.
THE DAWGS (Rhett Titus & Will Ferrara) vs. BRYAN JOHNSON & JUSTIN PUSSER (w/Miss Jasmine)- 3.75/10
The Dawgs are clearly heels on ROH TV, but Johnson & Pusser (and their valet) were clearly the heels in this match. That was odd. The match was fine for the time it got. I like The Dawgs’ crossbody/gordbuster finisher.
POST-MATCH SEGMENT- Jay Briscoe showed up and assaulted Johnson & Pusser. Jay then cut a promo criticizing his brother for focusing on singles matches, which resulted in Mark injuring his elbow two nights ago and being out of action for six to eight weeks. He told Mark to heal up, and said that when he comes back, the Briscoes need to focus on what they do best, which is tag team wrestling- not singles matches and not six-man tags.
SHANE TAYLOR PROMO- he’s apparently doing a mercenary for hire gimmick, but in this case he went about getting his money by lobbying ROH officials to be the one to replace Mark Briscoe in tonight’s scheduled six-man tag. He was pretty decent on the mic here.
JAY LETHAL, KENNY KING, & SHANE TAYLOR vs. SUZUKI-GUN (Minoru Suzuki & the Killer Elite Squad)- 7/10
Suzuki-Gun jumped the bell on their opponents. I should just copy and paste that every time Suzuki-Gun wrestles. They had a very fun six-man tag.
COLT CABANA vs. TORU YANO- no rating, fine comedy match.
They exchanged DVDs before the match as a sign of friendship, but Yano then through Colt’s away because he’s a dick. Comedic roll-ups happened. They went to get the DVDs. Yano sold Cabana’s but Cabana just gave Yano’s away because no one would ever pay for “The Best of Toru Yano.” More stuff happened. It was funny, but I was hoping for more out of a comedy dream match.
WILL OSPREAY vs. FLIP GORDON- 7/10
Ospreay is still acting like a cat. Aside from that, this match was a bunch of spots, but they were fun and exciting and they managed to make me think Gordon had a chance of winning this match, which is a big step forward for Gordon.
IWGP UNITED STATES HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE MATCH: Kenny Omega(c) vs. YOSHI-HASHI- 7/10
Omega got exactly the response you would expect from the guy who drew the house, pretty much single-handedly. But there was one person in the building who didn’t give a sh*t about that. His name was YOSHI-HASHI, and he was here to win the IWGP United States Heavyweight Title (though Omega not having the belt with him made that part a bit awkward). Also awkward was Omega powerbombing YOSHI-HASHI through a table and not getting disqualified.
YOSHI-HASHI and Omega each worked over each other’s head and neck, but the real story of this match was that Omega just couldn’t put YOSHI-HASHI away, no matter what he tried. Even the aforementioned powerbomb through a table followed by Aoi Shoudou didn’t work. After that we got a ref bump and Bullet Club came out to help Omega and this is where things started to go wrong. They were going to nail him with a bunch of Superkicks but Omega told them not to because he wanted to do their dumb “ten boots” spot, so they waited for the rest of Bullet Club to come out and set it up and of course YOSHI-HASHI prevented it… and I guess Bullet Club were now somehow stuck in their positions crowding their feet around the turnbuckle because they all just stayed there. YOSHI-HASHI called for his friends in CHAOS to come out, and they did, bringing their friends Flip Gordon and Chuck Taylor along so they could do the dumb “ten boots” spot instead. Omega put a stop to it and now CHAOS and pals were stuck, too, and both sides were stuck while Omega and YOSHI-HASHI exchanged strikes, waiting for one of them to hit the move. And when the fans started their “TEN BOOTS!” chant again, all of the “stuck” wrestlers were clapping along. Every last bit of this looked completely idiotic.
I don’t know how they expected anyone to believe for even one second that any of these men were stuck. Most of them weren’t even remotely tangled up in each other. But we had to do our f*cking funny spot in the main event because comedy. If Bullet Club had come out after the ref bump and beat YOSHI-HASHI down and then CHAOS came out to make the save and they all brawled to the back a la AJ vs. Suzuki this would have been totally awesome and would have helped the match. Instead, they killed all off the momentum they had built up just so they could do this dumb comedy spot.
Omega eventually got the ten boots on both sides of the ring, which unstuck everyone, then hit the Doctor Wiley Bomb for a nearfall. Then he hit the One-Winged Angel but Yano pulled Sinclair out of the ring. This was not a disqualification, either. Then the Bullet Club and CHAOS guys all took turns hitting their moves on each other until enough Bullet Club members were on the outside for Ospreay to do a dive. The only one that wasn’t was Nick Jackson, who then hit a 450 splash onto Gordon, who had somehow wound up lying on a table at ringside. YOSHI-HASHI and Omega did one final sequence and Omega got the win with the One-Winged Angel.
This was a match that could have been really, really great, but it got totally bogged down by overbooking, to the point where it felt like almost the entirety of the last ten minutes of the match weren’t in any way about the two men in the match or the championship they were fighting over.
POST-MATCH SEGMENT- Jimmy Jacobs is back. He took a selfie with Bullet Club.
This was a very odd show from ROH. In the ring, it was good, and we got some important segments, but a lot of the matches didn’t feel like they delivered to the level they should have. The thing that made it particularly weird, though, was that the combination of the work and the booking made this feel not so much like an ROH show as it felt like the booking of a WWE PPV, with undercard matches getting shortchanged on time and a bunch of segments occurring as if this was a TV show, combined with a PWG-like construction of the card and working mentality, gearing towards the fast-paced and funny, but the results being ultimately unimportant. Maybe this is the new normal for ROH, or maybe this is just how they're handling the New Japan joint shows. Either way, it’s not what ROH should be doing on a PPV.
STUPID ANNOUNCER QUOTES:
1. Ian Riccaboni (about Cheeseburger) - “I can’t think of a star the Ring of Honor fans love more.”
Um… the entirety of Bullet Club? Jay Lethal? KUSHIDA? The Briscoes? All of LIJ?
2. Ian Riccaboni kept calling the Search & Destroy vs. Bullet Club match as a “main event” even though it was fourth on the card (and I didn’t see the KISS Demon anywhere).
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