ROH/NJPW Global Wars: Buffalo (10/12/2017)- Buffalo, NY
COAST 2 COAST vs. THE DAWGS- 5/10
A nice, clean, win for the heel team that allows the underdog up-and-comer babyfaces to look strong in defeat. Why can’t we get this more often?
KUSHIDA vs. ADAM PAGE- 7.5/10
They told a great story with KUSHIDA working Page’s arm, and had what was probably my favorite spot of the year in ROH when KUSHIDA managed to counter Page’s Shooting Star Press off the apron into a Kimura.
JAY LETHAL vs. FRANKIE KAZARIAN- 6.25/10
They tried hard but I just didn’t find too much to get into here. Kaz took some really crappy-looking bumps for Lethal’s cutter and the Lethal Injection, and Kazarian’s Springboard Cutter is so hokey it take me out of the match. They didn’t have too much of a coherent story, either. The match wasn’t bad or anything, but it totally failed to get me into it, either.
MARK BRISCOE & WAR MACHINE vs. SUZUKI-GUN (Minoru Suzuki & the Killer Elite Squad)- 7.25/10
The babyfaces offered the handshake but Suzuki-Gun responded to it by kicking them so we started off with the big wild brawl everyone was expecting this to break down into at some point anyway. They brawled on the outside for WAY too long without being counted out. Suzuki hit Rowe with a chair right in front of the referee and wasn’t disqualified. If you’re going to do this, I would rather they started brawling before getting into the ring so that the match technically hasn’t started yet.
They had a pretty great brawl that eventually turned into your standard tag team match except that things never quite truly settled down, which made for a great atmosphere. Rowe was the babyface in peril and got his arm worked over. They actually had me biting on Mark Briscoe pinning Suzuki at one point, but it wound up being Mark who got pinned by Suzuki in the end.
HIROMU TAKAHASHI vs. CHRISTOPHER DANIELS- 6.5/10
They had an okay match for a while until Daniels started to work over Hiromu’s leg, and just when it looked like they were really about to start cranking it up with that story, they completely switched gears and Daniels hit Hiromu with Darryl (which wasn’t a DQ for some reason) which caused Hiromu to fire up and his big comeback. If you really want to do that spot then fine but at least wait until Daniels gets some good heat before you have Hiromu make his comeback! They had a good next few minutes of exchanging nearfalls, then went back to Darryl for the finish with Daniels grabbing it and throwing it at Hiromu to distract him and Hiromu caught Daniels and wrestled the last forty-five seconds or so while holding Darryl, which was kind of cool, but really should not have been allowed by the referee.
BULLET CLUB (Cody Rhodes & Marty Scurll) vs. CHAOS (Toru Yano & YOSHI-HASHI)- 5/10
No one touched each other for almost a minute and a half until Cody got Yano to kiss his ring while backing him up in the corner. Once again, the referee made no effort to get Cody to take the ring off even though it is essentially a brass knuckle. Why can they not do this stupid ring bullsh*t BEFORE THE MATCH when it would actually make sense?
The first attempted offensive maneuver of the match came ten seconds later when Yano tried to give Cody a low blow right in front of the referee. Scurll managed to be the one to stop him and held Yano’s arms behind his back so Cody could start punching him and f*cking finally something started to happen. Then Cody tagged right out to Scurll. This gave Yano an opening to do his usual Stupid Yano Tricks which killed off another thirty seconds or so, then he ran and tagged himself out, at which point YOSHI-HASHI instantly became my favorite wrestler in the match by simply being the first guy to get the tag and immediately try to attack his opponent.
Stuff happened for a bit. Scurll put on his plague-doctor mask he uses for his entrance and Yano became very scary so Scrull chased him around the ring until Cody punched him. Bullet Club then beat Yano up for a while. He made a hot tag to YOSHI-HASHI. More stuff happened. Yano got back in and managed to give both members of Bullet Club nut-shots behind the referee’s back… and then rather than try to capitalize on this advantage, he goes to take the cover off of a turnbuckle. Cody got slingshotted into the exposed turnbuckle and Yano actually had the ROH World Champion pinned but Scurll pulled the referee out of the ring, which wasn’t a DQ for no adequately explained reason.
Yano tried to hit Cody with a turnbuckle pad but the referee stopped him, despite the fact that Yano had previously hit Scurll with it right in front of him and he did nothing about it. This allowed Cody to grab Yano and hit him with the Cross Rhodes for the win.
WILL OSPREAY vs. PUNISHMENT MARTINEZ- 9/10
This f*cking match right here!
This was like… a less extreme version of a CHIKARA guy trying to fight Deucalion. Martinez was this big, intimidating, soulless monster that it would be nigh-impossible for our hero to surmount. If Ospreay was to have any chance, he’d have to use his speed and agility and he seemed to be doing that pretty successfully early on until Martinez cut him off with a big punch when he went for a Space Flying Tiger Drop… and then Martinez went to the top rope and hit Ospreay with his big flying spinning kick and it almost felt unfair that Martinez, the big powerful monster, could not only do the same high-flying stuff that Ospreay could, but that he hit even harder when he did it.
They went with that story of the hero facing the insurmountable challenge seemingly-possessed monster and just ran with it, with Ospreay being a wonderful “never say die” babyface and Martinez showing vulnerability at all the right times to make you think this could be the chance Ospreay needed to really hit something big and put him away, and then always perfectly switching back over into soulless monster mode and using his power to slam Ospreay down even harder than before. AMAZING!
ROH WORLD SIX-MAN TAG TEAM TITLE MATCH: Bullet Club (The Young Bucks & Kenny Omega) vs. The Kingdom- 8.25/10
Before this match, Matt Jackson cut a promo saying that all of Bullet Club could now defend the six-man tag team titles under Freebird Rules. Whatever. The belts don’t mean sh*t anyway and I doubt anyone thought The Kingdom had a shot at winning this match, either, so it really doesn’t affect things other than being one more instance of guys getting a title shot they did nothing to earn and Bullet Club acting like total babyfaces by offering to put the belts on the line just to give the fans a “bigger” match.
They started off with nine minutes of GREAT action, then ground all of that to a halt and spent over four minutes to do their stupid “X boots” spot. At least they bothered to make sure the referee was distracted when Cody, Scurll, and Page got involved this time. Was that really so hard?
Then they nearly sent me into a rage when they went to do a spot with simultaneous suplexes and the others got in the ring to help, but thankfully Tod Sinclair put a stop to it and ejected them from ringside. They argued it so other refs came out, and while Cody, Page, and Scurll argued with them on the outside, each member of The Kingdom hit a member of The Elite with a low blow, and that’s how they cut them off.
We then got another eight minutes or so of great wrestling until we got a ref bump and Vinny Marseglia got is axe out from under the ring and O’Ryan and Taven got a marker and drew a line on Omega’s arm and held it out, because they wanted me to believe that Vinny Marseglia was going to cut Kenny Omega’s arm off. Really.
He moved as slow as humanly possible in order to allow the rest of Bullet Club to come out and make the save, setting up for a reversal of the previous triple groin attack, then some superkicks and an attempt at an assisted One-Winged Angel that was really just a regular One-Winged Angel because their timing was off, and that was the finish. This was basically an excellent wrestling match with two interruptions for stupid crap, one of the (supposedly) comedic nature, then a shorter one of the “this is so over the top that no one believes it so why are you wasting my time with it” nature.
And for the record, even in this match, Marseglia did nothing that was in any way interesting or impressive. I have yet to find the match that could not be improved by replacing Vinny Marseglia with any random mid-card schmoe from any medium-sized indy around the country.
A very good show from ROH. While some of the matches (particularly Lethal vs. Kaz, Daniels vs. Hiromu and the Suzuki-Gun six-man) didn’t quite live up to my expectations, most of the show was at least enjoyable, and even the bad stuff never really got offensive or boring the way that it often can in ROH. Throw in that amazing Ospreay vs. Martinez match and an excellent main event, and you’ve got a pretty damn good show.
STUPID ANNOUNCER QUOTES:
1. Ian Riccaboni claims that Rhett Titus “has had success with a number of different partners” in ROH.
No he hasn’t. He’s had success with exactly one partner, which was Kenny King. He was part of a couple of other short-lived teams with the likes of Charlie Haas, BJ Whitmer, and Cliff Compton and occasionally wound up getting, like one title shot each with them, but that’s not a very high bar for “success.”
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WWE in 2005
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