Credit: Mike Johnson & Jonathan Murphy of Pwinsider.com
The Romantic Touch vs. Tadarius Thomas (with Jimmy Jacobs)
Thomas was aggressive early but Touch nailed a monkey flip. Jacobs yelled at Thomas, who kicked Touch hard and worked him over with several kicking combinations. Thomas suplexed him over for a two count and nailed a kick to the chest. Thomas scored with another. The stream froze up and went black. Uh oh.
I rebooted the stream and Thomas had Touch on the mat and appearing to be trying to force Touch in a pinfall. He locked on a wristlock submission but Touch fought back. Thomas missed a kick and was nailed with a dropkick. Thomas was caught with a kick as he charged in the corner and nailed with a discus clothesline.
Romantic Touch sent him into the corner and backdropped him as he came out. Thomas cut him off and nailed a series of kicks. He went for a Tiger suplex but Touch blocked it and went for an inverted DDT. The stream went black again and when I rebooted, Thomas nailed a Tiger suplex for the pin.
Your winner, Tadarius Thomas!
From what I saw, the match was a good opener.
Jonathan: Decent match as an opener! Live, It’s pretty full. I’m in general admission and got here early enough to get a decent seat.
ROH GLOBAL WARS
The PPV opened with a video on Kevin Steen’s quest to get the ROH title back with Steen feeling like he doesn’t deserve to be in ROH because he isn’t the champion anymore. It was a good opening video to set up Adam Cole vs. Kevin Steen tonight. Steen noted he has one last thing to do before he’s “done with this place” and that’s get the belt back.
They then aired a ton of highlight clips of New Japan Pro Wrestling talents.
Kevin Kelly and Steve Corino welcomed everyone to the PPV. Corino said it’s one of the biggest nights not just in ROH but in all of pro wrestling because of the New Japan talents being here. They discussed the main event. Corino said that he’s been thinking about this for weeks and his prediction is Steen gets the belt back in his home country of Canada.
Michael Bennett (with Maria Kanellis) vs. ACH
ACH had control early but was punched in the face. ACH caught Bennett coming out of the corner with a dropkick in the knee — the one Bennett injured last year. ACH went for a Dragon screw legwhip but was shoved off. He went for a move but Maria grabbed his leg. ACH went after her but Bennett charged. ACH moved and Bennett went to the floor. ACH missed a dive and was nailed with a spinebuster on the floor.
Back in the ring, Bennett began working over ACH with a series of knees. Bennett worked him over in the corner and whipped him hard into the buckles. Bennett nailed him with a sitdown Uranage for a two count. Bennett favored his knee a little and went for the Twist of Fate. ACH got out of the way and went after the knee. Bennett was snapped with the Dragonscrew Legwhip. ACH nailed some good looking offense and nailed a double stomp to the knee for a two count. Kanellis got on the apron to break the pin.
ACH exited the ring to confront her on the apron. Bennett tried to attack him but was punched. ACH warned Maria and turned around to eat a superkick. Bennett went to spear ACH but missed and speared his own fiancÃ©e. ACH nailed an awesome springboard flip to the floor on Bennett. The crowd loved that.
ACH ascended to the top but missed a 450 splash. Bennett speared him for a two count. Bennett was rolled up for a two count and kicked in the head. ACH went to the top but Bennett smashed the ropes so ACH crotched himself on the top. Bennett nailed a Dominator and scored the pin.
Your winner, Mike Bennett!
A really well worked opener. Bennett’s really improved in the ring and plays a hell of a heel. Kanellis’ bump was insane. ACH worked really hard here, with the story being that he realized he wasn’t focused as a wrestler and was trying to work over a body part instead of just utilizing his aerial moves.
Jonathan: Solid opener! Crowd totally into ACH! He’s super over! They hate Bennett. Maria is hot! Nuff said! ACH lost clean which was surprising but ACH looked strong!
Bennett warned Tanahashi that there is nothing he won’t do to beat the best next week.
They showed clips of the awesome match where Michael Elgin earned a IWGP title shot and plugged his title match next week.
Takaaki Watanabe vs. Michael Elgin
They locked up and Elgin backed him into the ropes and broke clean. Watanabe rebounded off the ropes and couldn’t budge Elgin. Elgin shoulderblocked him down. Watanabe sent him into the buckles and slammed Elgin over. Elgin broke his momentum and nailed a forearm smash and a powerslam.
Elgin nailed the long vertical standing suplex for a two count. Elgin nailed a knee to the gut and a big boot to the face. He drilled Watanabe with a knee to the back and cinched in a rear chinlock. Elgin went to the top but missed a twisting senton. Watanabe peppered him with forearms and drilled Elgin with a running neckbreaker.
Watanabe went for a Saito Suplex but was fought off. Elgin came off the ropes with a backcracker to the chest. Elgin went for a lariat but was caught and nailed with a back suplex for a two count. Watanabe went for a move but Elgin slipped off his shoulders. Elgin drilled him with a big roaring elbow and nailed a German suplex with a bridge for a two count. Elgin’s facial expressions going after Watanabe were great.
Elgin went to the ropes but was fought off. Watanabe drilled him to the mat. He went to the ropes and dove off but was nailed with a spinning backfist as he came down. Elgin powerbombed him into the buckles and then nailed a sitdown powerbomb for the pin.
Your winner, Michael Elgin!
Really great back and forth competitive bout. Elgin winning here makes sense to set the stage for his IWGP title challenge next week. Watanabe looked good and Elgin showed a ton of fire.
Jonathan: Holy crap! This was awesome. These guys worked their butts off and the crowd was into both guys! Elgin’s powerbomb is sick looking! Great two matches to start the night!
The Briscoes vs. ReDragon vs. The Decade
The Briscoes were in control early. The Decade cut them off and double teamed Jay Briscoe. Bobby Fish tagged in and nailed a snap suplex for a two count. Fish and O’Reilly double teamed Jay, who fought his way out and tagged in Mark. Mark went nuts with Redneck Kung Fu and nailed a mule kick. He caught Jimmy Jacobs with a Uranage but BJ Whitmer broke it up and nailed an exploder. They went into an insane series of hot moves.
The Decade nailed the All Seeing Eye but Mark came off the top with a missile dropkick. He clotheslined BJ over the top and then nailed a dive to the floor on him. Jay pressed and dropped Jacobs. The Briscoes nailed the Doomsday Device and scored the pin.
Your winners, The Briscoes!
A shorter match than I expected but they had a really good pace for the entire match. Everyone looked good.
Jonathan: The Briscoes win with the LOD finisher (can’t remember the name) This crowd is HOT! Bigger and more folks than last year! We loved the Briscoes! We’re on a roll! Fantastic show!
They showed a video setting up Cedric Alexander vs. Roderick Strong over who has the better backbreaker.
Strong took the house mic and told Alexander to get out here.
Roderick Strong vs. Cedric Alexander
Alexander charged down. They began brawling. Alexander hit a dive to the outside. He worked over Strong and nailed a series of chops. Strong cut him off and nailed a series of elbows. Cedrick nailed him with a series of stomps in the corner. Strong caught him with several chops and whipped him into the corner. Alexander kicked him off. He went to the top but Strong dropkicked him and he fell over the ropes and was caught upside down. That allowed Strong to nail several dropkicks.
Strong swarmed over Alexander, beating him down. Cedric tried to fight out but was cut off and nailed with a snap suplex. Strong locked in a chinlock and ripped at Alexander’s nose and face. Strong nailed a great dropkick as Cedrick was coming off the ropes for a two count.
Strong kept working over Alexander, who kept trying to fight from underneath. Strong cut him off and scored a two count. He locked in an abdominal stretch, pounding on Alexander’s kidneys. Alexander slipped out and nailed several rights but was caught and nailed with a pumphandle slam for a two count. Alexander fought him off and nailed the 540 kick to the head.
Alexander battled back and forth with Strong and nailed a sitdown Michinoku Driver. Alexander was caught with a pair of backbreakers for a near fall. Strong went for another but was caught in a crucifix for a two count. Strong drilled him with a clothesline and worked him over with chops in the corner. The crowd began chanting, “Roooooddddy” to mock him.
Strong went for a superplex but Alexander fought him off. Strong nailed him and attempted it again, this time nailing it for a two count. Strong was frustrated he didn’t get the pin and locked in a Boston Crab. Alexander tried to power out and crawled towards the ropes. Strong pulled him back but Alexander rolled him up and scored a two count. Strong kicked him in the sternum and began disrespecting him. Alexander slapped him and Strong fired back. Alexander spit in his face, which enraged Strong, who attacked him with knees and elbows. Cedrick cut him off with a stiff dropkick.
They battled back and forth with great moves but Alexander cut him off with a kick to the head off the ropes for a two count. Cedrick nailed a big backbreaker but Strong kicked up at the last second. The crowd began chanting, “This is awesome.” Strong nailed a big running knee. He went for a suplex but Cedrick caught him with an inside cradle and scored the pin.
Your winner, Cedric Alexander!
Dynamite veteran vs. upstart match. This may have been the best match of Alexander’s career and Strong was awesome as the arrogant vet.
The Decade hit the ring and beat the hell out of Alexander. They set up several chairs and Strong picked up Alexander and drove him through the chairs. Officials hit the ring to stop them.
Jonathan: Another match, another good one! Thomas wins with a small package. Crowd came a bit down for this match but got right back into it at the end. Solid bout! The spot with Alexander going through the chairs looked sick! The Decade got all of their heat back so this worked!
They went to a video roll promoting upcoming dates.
The announcers stated that Alexander’s “shoulder popped out” from the attack.
IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team champions The Young Bucks vs. The Time Splitters vs. The Forever Hooligans
Huge “New Japan” chant at the onset. Big chant for Alex Shelley as it’s his first ROH match in years.
The Bucks and Koslov went back and forth with some great stuff early. I expect this is going to get nutty, so the play by play may not be able to capture everything. Koslov caught Nick Jackson with a spinning backbreaker. The Hooligans worked over Jackson who escaped and tagged in Kushida.
Kushida and Rocky Romero went back and forth with Kushida caught him with a dropkick. Kushida nailed a headscissors into the corner. The Bucks tried to get involved but The Time Splitters worked them over, then grabbed Romero. They sent him into Koslov.
Romero came off the apron with a big knee on Shelley. The Hooligans isolated him in the ring and worked him over. Koslov hit the Bolshoi kicks. The Bucks tagged themselves in and cleaned house. The Bucks went to work over Shelley but he ducked and they kicked each other. Kushida nailed a missile dropkick on Matt Jackson, sending him to the floor. He went for a dive but was tripped by Nick Jackson. Matt went for a move but nailed his own brother. Kushida slammed him and teased a moonsault but instead dove off the top on everyone.
The Time Splitters hit a splash off the top and a standing moonsault at the same time on Matt, who kicked up at the last second. Koslov blind-tagged himself in and the Hooligans worked over Jackson and Kushida. The Hooligans snapped Jackson onto the top and then hit a guillotine legdrop for a two count.
They went into an inside series of dives. It got totally batshit crazy. Matt Jackson superkicked Romero., The Time Splitters cut him off and nailed the Dream Sequence. Shelley went for Sliced Bread #2 but was caught and tombstoned. The Bucks and The Hooligans brawled back and forth in the ring. They went insane with spots until The Young Bucks won with More Bang For Your Buck.
Your winners and still IWGP Junior Tag Team champions, The Young Bucks!
Just an awesome, insane three way. Holy hell, this was fun.
Jonathan: Um…. Holy sh**! This was an amazing match with lots of athleticism! The crowd is chanting ‘That was awesome!’ and it was! Young Bucks win clean! Amazing!!!!!!!
ROH is at intermission. Coverage will continue on Page 3!
The stream has been pretty perfect so far. I am watching on my iPad via the UStream App and have had no problems at all beyond the stutters during the free pre-game show. First half of the show has been great.
During intermission, they showed a Kevin Steen video package on his career since winning the ROH title. I hope ROH intends to skip the intermission when they run PPV in June in Nashville. I know ROH wants to sell merchandise but it’s really a waste for fans watching at home.
RD Evans came out and put himself over, saying he was a world traveled professional wrestler with the longest running streak in pro wrestling history. He said that he was told that since he was the reason the show was sold out, he could face anyone he wants. He produced an envelope saying his opponent’s name was in there and it’s someone who’s undefeated and has fought all over the world. He handed it to Bobby Cruise, who opened it and read…his own name. RD Evans rolled him up and pinned the ring announcer. OK that was pretty damn funny.
Jonathan: One word: Hilarious! Five star mat classic!
Hiroshi Tanahashi & Jushin Liger vs. Jado & Shinsuke Nakamura
HUGE roar for Liger when he came out. Everyone got big reactions for their ring introductions. Tanahashi and Nakamura started, working over each other’s arms. Kevin Kelly and Steve Corino did the best job since Joey Styles in ECW explaining the Japanese talents’ personalities and backgrounds.
Tanahashi nailed several armdrags and hiptosses. Nakamura backed him into the ropes and broke clean. Nakamura nailed a series of kicks and tagged out to Jado. He went Tanahashi into the ropes but put his head down and got kicked. Liger went to the ring and hit a sliding kick to the outside on Jado. He then hit the same on Nakamura.
Liger hit the palm thrust in the corner on Jado. He went for a top rope rana but was nailed low. Jado ripped at Liger’s face and mask. Liger was worked over but came back with palm strikes. He was cut off and Nakamura used his leg to choke Liger. Liger fought out but Jado nailed Tanahashi before he could tag out. Liger sent Nakamura into Jado and nailed a tiltowhirl backbreaker.
Tanahashi tagged in and cleaned house. He slammed Nakamura and nailed a senton off the middle turnbuckle for a two count. Nakamura nailed a spinkick and peppered Tanahashi in the corner with strikes, then splashed him in the corner for a two count. He nailed a big back suplex and called for his finisher. He charged for his knee but Tanahashi dropkicked in the leg as he approached. Nakamura drilled him and tagged Jado.
Jado went for a crossface and locked it in. Nakamura prevented Liger from interfering. Tanahashi backed up and moved his leg under the rope to force a break. Jado and Nakamura worked over Tanahashi. Gado covered him for a two count. He set up for a hanging DDT off the ropes and nailed it. He missed a punt but was nailed with a palm strike by Liger. Tanahashi dropkicked Jado. Liger hit a flip off the apron on the floor.
Tanahashi nailed Jado and scored with a frog splash off the top, scoring the win.
Your winners, Jushin Liger & Hiroshi Tanahashi!
Really good New Japan style athletic tag bout. It was laid out in a way to make Liger look strong while everyone else did the lion’s share of the work. Really good.
Jonathan: Liger is over huge! The crowd was giving these guys lots of respect and they were working really hard to get over. Good stuff. Solid and hard work here!
ROH TV champ Jay Lethal vs. Tomasso Ciampa vs. Silas Young vs. Matt Taven
Fans chanted, “You sold out” at Lethal. They all brawled at the bell. Ciampa charged with a knee to Lethal against the railing. He went for another and nailed it with the momentum sending him over into the crowd. When he returned, Young grabbed him and suplexed him off the guard rail. That was nuts. Taven nailed an awesome dive over the ropes to the floor.
Taven tried to go after Truth Martini but Lethal grabbed him and choked him from behind. Taven ducked a clothesline and kicked him in the face. He then kicked Ciampa coming into the ring. Taven went to the top but was nailed by Young and clotheslined off the ropes. They all battled. Taven went for a flying headbutt but was nailed by Lethal.
Lethal set up and nailed a running forearm in the corner on Young. Young nailed him and came off with a splash off the corner. Ciampa broke the pinfall attempts. Ciampa drilled Taven in the face with a knee for a two count. Ciampa nailed an Air Raid Crash on Young but it was broken up. Lethal cleaned house but was drilled with a big clothesline by Young. Taven nailed a superkick. He nailed Angel’s Wings on Lethal and ascended to the top rope and nailed a moonsault off the top to the floor.
Taven chased Truth Martini into the ring but Lethal grabbed him and nailed Lethal Injection and scored the pin.
Your winner and still ROH TV champion, Jay Lethal!
Another good, hard fought match. Lethal is showing great promise as a heel. Young was great. Taven looked strong as a babyface. Ciampa looked like a beast.
Jonathan: Lethal pins Taven with the Lethal Injection. Match was okay. I felt that Ciampa was in the background here. Taven showed a lot more personality than when he was with Martini. Surprising! Just my opinion, but Silas Young is one heck of an underrated performer. He’s got charisma and he plays the heel role well.
Kazuchida Okada & Gedo vs. IWGP champion AJ Styles & IWGP Tag Team champion Karl Anderson
Okada and Styles started out. Okada backed him into the corner and broke clean. They had some great back and forth wrestling. Styles was placed on the top and dropkicked off the top to the floor. He was brought back in and Gedo tagged in., Anderson tagged in and worked over Gedo with forearms. Gedro drilled him with a kick. They slugged it out.
Anderson nailed a spinebuster. Styles and Anderson stomped the hell out of Gedo. Anderson peppered him with punches on the mat. The Bullet Club members cut the ring off on Gedo and beat him down. Gedo tried to fight out but was kicked down. He finally nailed a big right hand and attempted to make a tag but was kicked in the back of the head. Gedo finally nailed a high cross bodyblock and made the tag to Okada.
Okada cleaned house and nailed a slingshot splash into the ring on Anderson. Okada nailed Anderson and hit a flying elbow. He set up for the Rainmaker but Anderson ducked. Anderson nailed a nasty neckbreaker. Styles tagged in and nailed a springboard flying forearm. He attempted the Styles Clash but Okada slipped out. They fired back and forth with a flurry of strikes.
Gedo tagged in and backdropped Styles for a two count. All four battled in the ring. Styles nailed the Pele Kick. Anderson nailed a spinebuster. Styles nailed a brainbuster. Styles nailed the Styles Clash. Anderson held Okada as Styles scored the win.
Your winners, AJ Styles and Karl Anderson!
Another well worked back and forth tag match. Styles and Okada in the ring are magic.
Michael Elgin, who had been doing commentary, entered the ring and faced off with Styles. Okada entered the ring and faced off with them as well.
Jonathan: This was a true old school tag team fun match! AJ’s ‘Styles Clash’ is impressive to see in person. Nice job of setting of Elgin vs. Styles at the next PPV. Side note…. The crowd is starting to show signs of burnout. We’re still hot but not as explosive as we were at the end of the night.
ROH champion Adam Cole vs. Kevin Steen
Steen came out with a Canadian flag. They shook hands but neither man would let go. Steen took over on Cole immediately, throwing him around and chopping him in the corner. Cole slipped out of a move and nailed a dropkick to the knee. He began kicking the leg but was kicked out of the ring. Steen followed but was grabbed and slammed into the apron.
Cole went for a pescado but Steen walked away. Steen took a fan’s sign, placed it over Cole’s fan and nailed him. He picked up Cole and drove him, well, nuts first, into the ringpost. He followed up and did it again. Cole’s look of terror was awesome. Steen did it a third time. No babies tonight. He went for another one but Cole escaped and sent Steen into the post. He went to follow up but was nailed and well, went nuts first into the last post.
Steen peppered Cole with punches in the corner then bit him on the face. Cole dropped under and smashed Steen down hard. He grabbed Steen’s legs and beat it against the apron. He began working over Steen’s knee, trying to hyperextend it. Cole began focusing his attack on Steen’s knee. He locked on a kneebar.
Steen fired back with chops as Cole tried to attack. Cole nailed him with a kick to the knee. He charged Steen but was elevated up and over. Steen DDT’d him. Cole rolled out to the floor. Cole posted Steen and slammed his leg into the ringpost several times, then locked on a figure four leglock around the guardrail. Cole worked over Steen and went to come off the apron with a double axehandle. Steen nailed him and powerbombed him on the apron. He then powerbombed Cole again.
Steen powerbombed Cole a third time on the apron and brought him around for the forth time, nailing it. Steen nailed a flying swanton into the ring but Cole kicked up at two. Steen went for the F5 but Cole slipped out and nailed the DVDR across his knee for a two count.
Cole tried to work over Steen. Steen kicked him off but was nailed when he went on the ropes. Cole went for a rana off the ropes but Steen nailed him and hit a Michinoku Driver off the top for a two count. The crowd chanted, “Holy sh**.” Steen went for a cannonball in the corner but Cole moved. Steen nailed him and went for the Package Piledriver but his knee bothered him.
Cole nailed him and locked in a figure four leglock. Steen fought and reversed it, so Cole had to remove it. Cole went for the Florida Key but Steen sent him into the ropes for a powerbomb and locked on the Texas Cloverleaf. Steen’s own knee wouldn’t allow him to maintain the pressure of move and he let it go. Cole went for him but was grabbed and nailed with a sleeper suplex for a two count.
Mike Bennett hit the ringside area so Steen lowblowed him and nailed a package piledriver on him. Cole superkicked him from behind and nailed a German suplex. He nailed the Florida Key but Steen kicked out. Cole’s look of disbelief was great. He really has come a long way as a personality.
They battled back and forth. Cole superkicked Steen low and then high. He went for a Canadian Destroyer but Steen rolled through and locked on the Texas Cloverleaf. Cole grabbed the ropes to break it and rolled to the floor. Cole nailed an enziguiri from the floor on Steen as he reached through the ropes. Cole went to the top but Steen caught him and nailed El Generico’s old finisher, the brainbuster on the buckles for a really close two count. The crowd began singing, “Ole Ole.”
Steen grabbed Cole who small packaged him for a two count. Steen went for a package piledriver but Cole slipped out and superkicked him for the pin.
Your winner and still ROH champion Adam Cole!
Great brawl. Really great match. Some nice nods to El Generico, which was a great way to get the Canadian fans even more behind Steen. Cole is a hell of a champion.
Jonathan: Steen is a HUGE babyface here! The Canadian flag was a nice touch. Go Canada Go! Well, the crowd woke back up now! Scratch my comment from the last match! Cole plays the villain much better than I ever thought he would.These guys are clearly putting in a significant amount of effort! Crowd is jacked! The story of the match where Steen can’t do much because of his bad leg has been effective! Good storytelling! Okay…. Crowd is pissed and not sent home happy! But, the match was decent!
No iPPV problems by the way. Perfect stream once the paid version of the show began. Highly recommended for a replay!