ROH was live from Dearborn, Michigan on Friday night to kick off their three-show Global Wars Espectacular tour with CMLL. This is the first Global Wars tour not featuring talent from New Japan since 2014.
They had a bilingual ring announcer that introduced tonight’s show. Colt Cabana was back on commentary with Ian Riccaboni and Caprice Coleman. The venue was small and it came across as very minor league on television.
Dak Draper defeated Haitian Sensation in a Top Prospect Tournament semifinal match
Haitian Sensation gave beads to fans before the match. He has a colorful gimmick and was over with the fans because of it, but he was just awful in the ring.
Draper tried shouting out a bunch of catchphrases during this, but it was always awkward because the crowd was silent. With the glut of great indie talent on the market right now, it baffles me to see these two positioned as semi-finalists.
Draper won with a fireman’s carry slam. He proceeded to cut a promo into the camera after the match and claimed he is “the future of the earth.” He’ll be in the Top Prospect finals.
Silas Young & Josh Woods defeated The Bouncers (Beer City Bruiser & Brawler Milonas)
The Bouncers called Silas Young a buzzkill before the match. Bruiser did a few jabs and did his “I didn’t bite -- I ain’t got no teeth!” catchphrase that never gets over. The crowd once again no-sold it here. He did a cool sidewinder slam and tagged out to Milonas, who did a crazy running crossbody. It’s easy to forget how nimble this guy is.
Later on, Woods did a hip toss to Bruiser off the apron onto the two others. Woods later did a big German suplex to Bruiser.
The Kingdom came out to taunt the Brawlers. Milonas left the ring to yell at them -- and Woods rolled Bruiser up for the win. Didn’t see that coming. The Bouncers then offered beers to their opponents. Woods accepted but Young didn’t.
Rush defeated Triton
This was originally scheduled to be Stuka Jr. vs. Rush, but alas we had Triton. The announcers were audibly shocked at how high Triton’s trunks rode up his behind. Coleman was convinced it was a thong.
This was all top quality high-speed action in about five minutes, and both really went for it here despite the short time. Rush got the first real star treatment of the night from the crowd. Triton went for a tope suicida, but Rush moved out of the way and Triton hit the floor. Triton hit a “cheeky” hurricanrana as Cabana called it. Rush used the Bull’s Horns to put Triton away quickly.
- Mark Haskins came out and explained that even though he hadn’t been scheduled for tonight, he came for competition. He said LifeBlood was in the spirit of competition
Rhett Titus then came out to thank him and LifeBlood for “restoring honor to Ring of Honor” and explained how he has lost his way since the first ROH show in 2002. He insisted on a match with Haskins tonight and Haskins accepted.
Mark Haskins defeated Rhett Titus
Haskins did a really good job at trying to pump up the crowd despite the circumstances. When the bell rang, the two started out with a deliberate flow, up until Haskins caught Titus on the way down from a flying back elbow attempt and turned it into an armbar submission.
Titus hit some bigger high spots towards the end of this. Both worked really hard, especially Haskins, but the crowd was quiet and at times it felt like a slog to watch. Haskins tapped Titus out with a sharpshooter in the end. They shook hands after the match.
- Mandy Leon and Angelina Love came out next and called out Kelly Klein. Klein offered to give her a match right then. Love said “Detroit” was too trashy of a city to have a title match in and offered to wrestle her in Las Vegas at Death Before Dishonor.
Before they shook on it, Leon decked Klein. She then mounted Klein and proceeded to lay in elbows and punches that’d make the Miz’s kicks look like Donald Cerrone's. Sumie Sakai and Jenny Rose came out to save Klein.
Kenny King defeated Jeff Cobb and Tracy Williams in a three-way match to become the number one contender to the ROH Television title
ROH Television Champion Shane Taylor came out to do commentary for this match. Kenny King didn’t shake hands before the match.
They did a couple of three-way headlock spots. Cobb was popular with the crowd in Michigan. On commentary, Taylor explained how disgruntled he’s been as the TV Champion and mentioned that he hadn’t been on too many posters recently, didn’t go to CMLL with the other champions, etc.
King whipped Williams into his valet, Amy Rose, then superkicked him. King and Williams exchanged suplexes in the ring. Cobb later took both out and used the Tenryu jab-and-chop combo to both in the corner, then planted both with spinning back suplexes and topped it off with a standing moonsault onto both and an apology to Amy Rose on the outside. Like a gentleman.
The crowd really got behind Cobb towards the final run in this. Williams hit a frog splash on Cobb, but King broke up the pin. Those two exchanged hard chops. Williams blocked Cobb’s pop-up with a guillotine choke that brought Cobb to his knees. Williams then spiked Cobb with a jumping piledriver. The match looked to be finished until Flip Gordon came out and broke up the pin.
While Williams argued with Gordon, King schoolboyed Williams for the sneaky pin.
Jay Lethal & Jonathan Gresham defeated Dalton Castle & Joe Hendry
Hendry made a new tag team entrance song called “Joe Hendry and friends” where he sang, put himself over, and made fun of “second best” Dalton Castle.
The crowd chanted “some guy” at Castle, which kayfabe upset him. He shrieked “I’m somebody!” before the match. There was a lot of comedy between Castle and Hendry, and while it was pretty entertaining, it’s ready-made for a YouTube miniseries and would work better outside the ring.
Hendry and Gresham were good together and did general but fun World of Sport-style grappling. There’s been a soft storyline in ROH that has Gresham getting more aggressive, and in the middle of this he grabbed a chair but Lethal talked him out of using it.
Hendry and Castle’s sub-story throughout this was one of one-upsmanship. Castle did a Vader Bomb at one point, then looked to Hendry and said “Pretty cool, huh,” indignant. Hendry did a double fallaway slam to his opponents and started waving his arms in celebration until Castle got into his partner's face. He actually then threw Hendry out of the ring, claiming “I got it!”
This led to a hot start-and-stop finishing sequence that saw Castle almost stick the Bang-A-Rang, but Hendry insisted on giving Castle a piece of his mind and created an opening for Lethal and Gresham to take Castle out with a Cornette Cutter to win the match.
This was good, and it had a unique dynamic between Hendry and Castle that turned out to be something that could become more interesting down the road.
Villain Enterprises (Marty Scurll, Brody King, PCO & Flip Gordon) defeated Team CMLL (Barbaro Cavernario, Rey Bucanero, Hechicero & Okumura)
This was fun, and it looked like a blast for the fans. It had a big match feel to it from the moment everyone was in the ring together and the lights were turned on.
Scurll and Hechicero were in first and started slow -- lots of grappling centered around wristlock work. Hechicero is very talented. Scurll got the crowd fired up and then tagged PCO in. Cavernario tagged in and did his worm spot, where he gets punched and then does the worm and kind of wakes back up. He did that.
The rudos teamed up on Gordon and dictated the pace for the middle of this. They did lots of double and triple-teaming. Things fell to the floor and there was some brawling outside. The place absolutely erupted when King did his rope-walk arm drags and a tope con giro to the floor. They gave him a standing ovation.
Pretty much everyone in the match did their own dive, including PCO hitting a moonsault from the top to the floor. Back in the ring, Scurll snapped Okumura’s fingers and King and Scurll did a senton backcracker kind of move for the win. Pretty good stuff that seemed really over live.
Volador Jr. & Stuka Jr. defeated The Kingdom (Matt Taven & Vinny Marseglia)
This wasn’t bad, but the crowd started to fade after the match prior. They perked up by the end, though. Taven shouted at Volador before they got started. Instead of slapping or chopping, he dashed to the ropes and they started in at full gear.
The match spilled to the floor and everyone did a tope or a plancha. The crowd quieted again after this. Volador was often able to squeeze some energy out of the crowd when he was in the ring, and he still somehow has the capacity to explode at 200 mph out of nowhere, the Volador pace.
Volador landed a super frankensteiner on Taven, then monkey flipped Stuka into both of the Kingdom members. Stuka did a crazy torpedo plancha to Taven on the floor, and Volador pinned Marseglia after a super Spanish Fly for the win. Lots of cool spots in this setup match for Saturday's main event where Taven will defend his ROH World Championship against Volador.
- Alex Shelley came out next wearing a Triton mask. He unmasked in the ring to some applause. Some chanted “welcome home.”
Shelley mentioned that he was a free agent. He said he wanted to wrestle Tracy Williams, Mark Haskins, Matt Taven again, and Jay Lethal. Jonathan Gresham came out next and said he didn’t understand why Shelley was even out there. He said Shelley dropped the ball against Taven and that he was disappointed in Shelley.
Shelley then grabbed the mic and cut an overstuffed promo challenging Gresham to a match at Glory By Honor on October 12.
Bandido (w/ Mark Haskins) defeated Jay Briscoe (w/ Mark Briscoe)
They put this over on commentary as a dream match. There were a lot of people in the crowd in support of The Briscoes.
Bandido did a big Fosbury flop to the floor early on. Jay controlled much of the middle part of this. They brawled around the ring, with Jay dominating. He did a snap suplex on the floor to Bandido. Haskins and Mark Briscoe kept each other in check on the floor. Mark got on commentary for a second at one point.
Bandido's comeback started after he launched himself from the top onto Jay with a tornillo. They fought back to the floor and had a sort of standoff with chairs, neither man making the first move until Jay was able to trick Bandido into the ring with a sneak attack. Things began to heat up after a vicious-looking dragon suplex followed by a hard falling lariat.
Bandido landed a shining wizard, or as Cabana called it, a “shining Hechicero,” in excellent usage of the Spanish he learned earlier tonight. Bandido countered the Jay Driller with a frankensteiner, which was really impressive, though even still the crowd chanted “Dem Boys,” over and over.
When Jay finally landed the Jay Driller, Bandido kicked out. Bandido returned with his insane moonsault fallaway slam from the top rope for two. Jay came back with a spike hurricanrana and a hard running lariat. Bandido bumped on his head RVD-style. This was the first time the crowd chanted “this is awesome” all night.
The next moments saw Bandido put Jay out with an inverted Go-2-Sleep and the 21 Plex for the clean victory over one half of the current ROH Tag Team Champions.
This was good overall but great at the end. It’s a smart booking choice, getting Bandido over with the established and credentialed Jay Briscoe. The two shook hands and celebrated afterwards until Taven came out and hit both guys with the belt. Rush made the save in his loafers, took Taven out, and did the Tranquilo pose.
Final thoughts --
This wasn't the best of ROH shows. Bandido vs. Jay Briscoe was the show-stealer and thankfully it was put on last, because anything other than the Villain Enterprises vs. Team CMLL match would have died a horrible death in Dearborn.
The crowd was there and polite but were a quiet bunch, for the most part. Like other ROH shows from the past few months, the fans only seem to react if there are huge, spectacular spots, like we saw in the aforementioned eight-man tag, or even the match building Volador vs. Taven.
Considering how the final segment was booked, don't be surprised to see Rush involved in Saturday's match between Taven and Volador. Knowing that Rush has already challenged Taven to a World title match at Death Before Dishonor at the end of the month would lead one to believe that Volador is not winning against Taven.