ADDICTION PROMO - Bad. They buried the fans for liking other teams and not respecting them. Kazarian told the fans to "eat a dizz," and Ian Riccaboni and Colt Cabana reacted by angrily shouting "Hey! You can't say that!" Because nothing says that this is a cool, hip, cutting edge wrestling product than having the announcers react to a guy stopping short of even saying that word "dick" as if he just shouted the c word at the top of his lungs. And what are they even worried about? This isn't even on TV, so there are no FCC fines or anything to worry about! And from non-kayfabe perspective, which moron thinks that you're going to get heat on a heel in 2017 by emphasizing the fact that he said a naughty word?
Anyway, Daniels says that they're upset because Sabin & Shelley are defending their titles against other teams. Okay... but MCMG's whole angle is that they're "fighting champions" and defending the belt against anyone who wants a shot (which is why undercard teams like The Kingdom or Silas Young & the Beer City Bruiser are getting title shots on this tour), so why don't The Addiction just challenge MCMG to a title match at an upcoming show? Yeah, I know they're heels but there is no reason why they can't just act rationally. I'd much rather have them do that then have them waste four minutes cutting a promo that is 99% hot air.
THE ADDICTION vs. SEARCH & DESTROY (Jay White & Johnathan Gresham) - 6.5/10
They did a spot where Kaz gave Gresham an eye-rake, then tagged out to Daniels, who ran in and was immediately hip-tossed by Gresham and then ping-ponged back and forth between Gresham and White. Gresham was selling the eye-rake the whole time, which was impressive, but, if Daniels is just going to get immediately taken down by the babyfaces then why do an eye-rake at all?
Eventually Gresham got cut off and become the babyface in peril. White eventually got the hot tag and they built up to one or two very close nearfalls before The Addiction got the win with Celebrity Rehab.
KENNY KING PROMO - He lets the crowd know that his originally scheduled tag team partner for tonight, Mark Briscoe, dislocated his elbow last night and thus won't be able to compete tonight, but he did so in a way that both put Mark over and got some cheap pops form the fans for putting over the Buckeyes. Great babyface stuff. He said he was willing to fight Bullet Club even without a partner and told them to get their asses out to the ring so he could kick them.
Instead of coming out to the ring, Adam page and Marty Scurll stayed on the stage, and Marty cut a promo mocking Kenny's handicapped predicament. He ran his mouth, suggesting that perhaps Kenny could team with a fan or a referee, or even a commentator. Unfortunately for Marty, he forgot that one of tonight's commentators is for NWA World Heavyweight Champion Colt Cabana. Colt was considering it, and between Kenny, Colt, and Marty's wonderful heel temper-tantrum, they milked every last cheer they could out of the crowd to convince Colt to team with Kenny.
This was a pretty good segment, although I would have liked it if Adam Page were at least allowed to speak. Kenny King had referred to Page & Scurll as the "Bullet Club B Team," and while I don't think that's quite fair to say about Marty, it is definitely how Page comes across, so anything they could do to not make him feel like the guy who exists only so his stablemates don't have to get pinned.
JAY LETHAL vs. HIROMU TAKAHASHI - 7.5/10
These guys had a great first few minutes in which they built things up really well. The crowd responded to this by chanting "WE WANT DARRYL!" They weren't chanting for either of the wrestlers, or either promotion, or chanting "THIS IS AWESOME!" They were chanting that they wanted to see the f*cking stuffed cat, because wrestling fans in 2017 suck.
So Takahashi went and grabbed Darryl, and hit Lethal with him, right in front of ROH Senior Official Tod Sinclair. Darryl is, of course, a foreign object- one that is almost certainly loaded, based on the finish of Hiromu's match against Christopher Daniels a few days ago and based on the way Lethal is selling it here (which would actually be an awesome gimmick: a heel loading a stuffed animal and claiming it is a therapy stuffed animal and he doesn't like anyone else touching it as a way to prevent anyone from ever checking it to discover that it's loaded. It would also explain Darryl's entire existence, because at this point it seems like Hiromu is just taking his favorite stuffed animal to work with him, like a small child would do)- so this should, of course, have been a DQ. The fans still cheered it because somehow the company that was built on clean finishes has been transformed into a place where fans will cheer for one wrestler hitting another with a stuffed animal, even if it means a DQ. Ring of Honor fans in 2017 suck.
Fortunately for Hiromu, this wasn't a DQ; all he got was a scolding from Tod Sinclair. He hit him with a foreign object! Why isn't this a DQ?! Ian Riccaboni even said on commentary that hitting Daniels with Darryl gave Hiromu the win in that match, so should ROH Officials have been told to be on the lookout for such shenanigans? And if, by some chance, this somehow wasn't illegal, why is Sinclair yelling at Hiromu about it? Why is it so difficult for wrestlers nowadays to just put on matches that make sense?
So the match progresses and it's getting really good with the story being that young punk Hiromu is trying to show up "the franchise of ROH" Jay Lethal and their chopping the hell out of each other and eventually Lethal manages to get Hiromu into the dreaded Figure-Four Leglock, which Ian Riccaboni reminds us was taught to Lethal by the legendary Ric Flair himself and Hiromu is writhing in pain in the hold and that match could end at any moment... and the fans are chanting "DARRYL, HELP HIM!" because they want the stuffed animal to run in and break up the babyface's submission hold, because it's all a big joke to them. Every wrestling show should have a caveat where they show each individual fan a Flair vs. Steamboat match when he or she walks in the door, and if you don't understand the story of the match or if you ask why no one in the crowd was shouting "SWEET!" after every two count or playing with beach balls then they should be allowed to kick you out and keep your money.
When Takahashi did eventually make it to the ropes- on his own, of course, because Darryl is a f*cking stuffed cat- the fans chanted "THANK YOU, DARRYL!" because they don't actually care about the match. They just care about trying to get themselves over. Soon after that they went into their finishing sequence and Lethal picked up the win, continuing to build him back up after losing his feud with Silas Young. A great match with an idiotic crowd.
ROH WORLD TAG TEAM TITLE MATCH:
Motor City Machine Guns(c) vs. Silas Young & the Beer City Bruiser - 6.75/10
Will Ferrara & Rhett Titus joined Ian Riccaboni on commentary. They were extremely annoying. Like, almost Vinny Marseglia-level annoying. Silas & the Bruiser jumped the Guns to start things off. The match was fine for third match on the card, but not with the tag titles on the line. This random and mediocre defense against a team that has done nothing to earn it, third on the card made the belts looks like total undercard belts.
SUZUKI-GUN (Minoru Suzuki & the Killer Elite Squad) vs. CHAOS (Toru Yano, Will Ospreay, & YOSHI-HASHI) - 6.5/10
Suzuki-Gun jumped their opponents to start things off. Even in a different promotion and on a different continent, they have to do the same f*cking thing every time. Speaking of doing the same thing every time, the next thing that happened was that they all brawled on the floor, and were out there for way too long and yet the referee didn't even try to count them out. Then we got Yano running away from Suzuki and hiding in the ropes and stalling like a total coward. Then he used an Inverted Atomic Drop purposely performed incorrectly to hit to Suzuki in the testicles. HOW IS YANO A BABYFACE?!
More crap happened. Then Suzuki started chasing referee Tod Sinclair around the ring. They did a bit more stuff together, then tagged out, and once they were out the match got pretty exciting. Ospreay in particular was great with K.E.S., but YOSHI-HASHI held up his end of the bargain as well, and also got the pin on Archer via roll-up. Suzuki-Gun was angry for a while, then Suzuki chased Yano backstage while K.E.S. just walked to the back in a very grumpy manner.
HOLIDEAD vs. SUMIE SAKAI - 4.75/10
I am completely amazed that Sumie is able to play the role of a young, peppy, energetic babyface even though she is almost forty-six years old.
JOSH WOODS vs. SHANE TAYLOR - 5/10
Fun for the time it got. I think I'd enjoy seeing these two go at it again in a longer match.
COLT CABANA & KENNY KING vs. BULLET CLUB (Marty Scurll & Adam Page) - 6/10
Cabana and Scurll do a bunch of comedy. Remember before Scurll joined Bullet Club when he wasn't a comedy goofball? The general rule of thumb in this match was that whenever Page and King were in, there was good wrestling, and whenever Scurll and Cabana were in, it was all goofy comedy with Scurll coming across more like a cartoon character than a real human being. The babyfaces should have been DQed when Colt hit the heels with an oven mitt because, like Darryl Takahashi, it is a foreign object. For no adequately explained reason there was no DQ, and King eventually pinned Page because Page is the Ring of Honor version of Chase Owens: a curly-haired American from tobacco country who was given a Bullet Club t-shirt solely so that other people in Bullet Clubs t-shirts never have to get pinned.
ROH WORLD TITLE MATCH:
Cody Rhodes(c) vs. KUSHIDA - 6/10
Remember earlier in the show when the announcers freaked out about Kazarian telling the fans to "eat a dizz" as if this watered-down substitute word for "dick" was the most rude and crass thing one could possibly say and they were afraid the company would get in trouble because of it? Well in response to being commanded to kiss Cody's ring, KUSHIDA flipped Cody off and shouted "F*CK YOU!" and the announcers just giggled with delight and did not seem to be concerned in any way at all and did not tell KUSHIDA off for a word you can't say on TV.
This, of course, gave Cody a reason to do his favorite thing to do, which is go to the outside and stall, this time throwing things and getting angry that the most predictable thing in the world had happened. As BJ Whitmer pointed out on commentary, this sort of thing happens every time Cody demands that someone kiss his ring, so you'd think he'd have learned to deal with it by now, but apparently not.
Cody finally got back into the ring so the bell could ring. He then spent over a minute playing to the crowd before grabbing a mic and scolding them for not cheering for him loud enough. I'm not even sure why they were cheering for him at all, considering that he's a heel who puts on sub-par matches as the f*cking ROH World Champion, but today's pro wrestling fan seems to be less of a fan of professional wrestling and more a fan of chanting things while attending professional wrestling shows, so I really shouldn't be so surprised.
That ate up another minute or so. Then they spent about fifteen seconds circling each other, so we finally got our opening lock-up almost two and a half minutes after the opening bell rang. They traded hammerlocks, then Cody elbowed KUSHIDA in the face, and then we went almost another entire minute without anything happening. Then they did a nice little sequence that last about thirty seconds and then Cody rolled to the floor yet again, this time running all the way into the crowd. He went all the way to the back of the arena, and Tod Sinclair never once tried to count him out. It was over seventy seconds before he even got back into the ring, and another fifteen before the wrestlers touched again. In the first five minutes of this match we have had over four minutes of stalling, and that's not even counting the minute and a half of stalling before Cody got in the ring to start the match.
They finally started to have a normal wrestling match and KUSHIDA was working the arm while being a great underdog babyface and he had a CRAZY reversal of the CrossRhodes into the Hoverboard Lock and the match is starting to get pretty good and we got some great reversals of big spots... and then Cody hit the CrossRhodes and got the win, ending the match right before it really started to get going. It almost felt like Cody realized that the match was starting to become exciting so he ended it right then a there just to troll me. But let the record show that Cody Rhodes was given almost twenty minutes (the match went about seventeen, plus the minute and a half of stalling beforehand) in an ROH World Title match with KUSHIDA and the best he could put on was something that would MAYBE would have been passable as an opener.
ROH WORLD SIX-MAN TAG TEAM TITLE MATCH:
Bullet Club (The Young Bucks & Kenny Omega)(c) vs. Flip Gordon & Best Friends - 2.75/10
The titles are on the line here because apparently the Bucks decided that they wanted to operate under "the Bullet Club Rule," which is just the Freebird Rule, and ROH management has decided to go along with it. I assure you that this would never have been done had Kenny Omega not been working this tour, and rather than do what people actually wanted to see and book Kenny in some interesting singles matches, Delirious just decided to stick him in a bunch of repetitive six-man tags so they could have these six-man tag titles defended against a bunch of teams that have done absolutely nothing to earn a shot at them, with the defenses not being announced in advance at all so that they sold a grand total of zero extra tickets. Good job there, Delirious. Friendly suggestion: maybe you'd be able to get a bit more oxygen going to your brain if ever took Bully Ray and Gedo's cocks out of your mouth.
Speaking of not being able to breathe, whoever this ring announcer is, ROH should never use him again. He introduced this match as "a six-man tag team affair." IT'S CALLED A "MATCH!" A F*CKING "MATCH." What? Do you think calling it an "affair" makes it sound fancier or makes you sound smarter? If you do, then why don't you, Mike Tenay, and Matt Striker go asphyxiate each other so that I never have to deal with this idiotic line of thinking ever again? (See. I told you I'd make a connection to not being able to breathe. Don't ever doubt me.)
The story early on seemed to be that Best Friends were here to take care of business and weren't doing to put up with any of The Elite's bullsh*t antics, but then all of a sudden they started engaging in their own antics, totally upending the story they had been telling.
At that point the whole match just started to break down into antics. At one point all of the other members of Bullet Club ran out from the back, got into the ring, and laid down so that one of the Bucks could slam Gordon's head into all ten of their boots at the same time. This all happened right in front of the referee, but apparently Bullet Club doesn't give a sh*t if they get disqualified and lose the match, so why should I care either. The other "fans" in the building certainly don't care because they were all chanting "TEN BOOTS!" They don't care if their main event title match with Kenny Omega making one of this extremely rare appearances in the US ends in a disqualification; they'll just be happy that they got to see something silly, because apparently that's why they buy tickets to wrestling shows.
Making matters worse is the fact that any intelligent person would immediately have realized that the way Bullet Club had to cram themselves all into position to get their feet all together in the corner meant that any attempt to slam Gordon's face into said booted feet would almost certainly involve Page or Cody getting their face stepped on first, and because there are so many points of contact the impact on Gordon's head will actually be less than if it was just two boots, but we've got to do our silly spot because the H in ROH now apparently stands for "Ha-Ha."
So Gordon's head gets slammed into all ten boots and the referee... just stands there and shrugs instead of calling for a disqualification. You know... like how when a basketball player picks up the ball and just runs down the court instead of dribbling, the referee just shrugs instead of calling traveling. And people say that WWE is the promotion that insults the fans' intelligence?
Now the referee finally orders the interlopers from Bullet Club to go to the back. Too little, too late, dumbass. That boot to the face spot is now the only thing that has happened for the past two minutes. And now they're back to trying to have a wrestling match with drama. How do they expect me to care about this when they just spent the past few minutes making it into a total farce?
Then they went and had seven straight minutes of totally awesome wrestling, and that's almost worse than if the match had just continued to suck because all this did was show me how amazing this match could have been if they hadn't wasted most of it on pointless moronic comedy.
These seven minutes of awesome ended with a big sequence where Chuck Taylor hit the Awful Waffle on Kenny Omega but before the referee could make the three-count the rest of Bullet Club came back out to pull him out of the ring. You'd think that returning to ringside after being ejected would cause their pals to be disqualified, but you'd be wrong. You'd also think that putting your hands on the referee to impede his performance of his duties would cause a disqualification, but you'd be wrong again.
The fans are chanting "WELCOME BACK!" at these heels interfering in a match and screwing a popular babyface out of pinning a huge star and winning some titles because they're not actually wrestling fans; they're Bullet Club marks, and will cheer for anything involving Bullet Club. If a random stranger ran into the ring and started molesting children, these assholes would cheer it if the child molester had a Bullet Club shirt on.
Gordon did a big dive onto all of Bullet Club to take them out. Chuck and Trent then got a table and tried to chokeslam one of the Bucks off the stage and through it but the other Buck made the save. Then The Elite hit the two of them with three superkicks to send them through the table in a spot that made it absolutely impossible for me to suspend my disbelief. Flip Gordon was then given a brief moment to shine before being given a Meltzer Driver onto the floor, after which he was rolled into the ring and pinned.
This will go down as by far one of the worse main events in Ring of Honor history. The only others that come to mind are Cody vs. Suzuki from Death Before Dishonor XV last month, and before that you'd have to go all the way back to the early days of the promotion with sh*t like the gigantic scramble match from the One Year Anniversary Show or the atrocious main event of Night of the Butcher, where something (my guess would be Kevin Sullivan) possessed Gabe to think it would be a good idea to book Abdullah the Butcher at the ripe old age of sixty-one. While this was probably the best of those matches, it is also the most frustrating because of the glimpse of what this could have been if they had just put on a f*cking wrestling match instead of doing stupid bullsh*t for the LOLz.
This is definitely one of the bottom-tier shows in ROH history. Lethal vs. Hiromu keeps it away from the very bottom, but it's definitely down there. ROH is lucky that they have been found by this new breed of wrestling... patrons (I won't even call them "fans") who don't actually give a sh*t about wrestling, because otherwise they'd be totally f*cked.
STUPID ANNOUNCER QUOTES
1. Ian Riccaboni (during the Lethal vs. Hiromu match)- "A lot of pride on the line here. 53-49-1 is New Japan's record against Ring of Honor head-to-head, and this one could go a long way in expanding or contracting that."
A. No it can't. It can move the difference exactly ONE result in either direction, or not move it at all by going to a draw, because this is only ONE match.
B. I also hate it when an announcer tells me that there is so much "pride" on the line about something that I don't recall hearing anyone- no the wrestlers or promoters from either side- ever mention even once in the now over four years that these promotions have been working together. I don't think anything has ever even been billed as a "New Japan vs. ROH" showdown. It has always been "we are friendly promotions who are working together in a friendly manner, with no competition between us whatsoever."
2. Ian Riccaboni- "Why not get a table out? It's the main event of Global Wars!"
Because you'll get disqualified? And because cheating is wrong?