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ROH Global Wars results: Lethal, Gresham, KUSHIDA & Sabin vs. LIJ


By Justin M. Knipper

Ring of Honor's Global Wars tour began in Lewiston, Maine on Wednesday night.

The Big Takeaway --

This was a low-stakes house show. The gymnasium was clearly half-empty on camera, but the crowd was enthusiastic throughout the night. Only the Matt Taven-Dalton Castle angle was furthered to build Final Battle.

Two of the matches (The Briscoes vs. Cody & Hangman Page and Silas Young & Bully Ray vs. The Young Bucks) were interrupted by streaming issues and/or power outage issues in the town of Lewiston, according to Ian Riccaboni. Viewers were not able to see the finish of the Young & Ray vs. Young Bucks match

Show Recap --

A small but excited crowd were on their feet at the start of this show. Ian Riccaboni and Colt Cabana were on commentary tonight. They introduced the card.

Flip Gordon defeated Eli Isom

Rookie Eli Isom came out with Cheeseburger and Ryan Nova. Gordon got a noticeable pop from this Wednesday night crowd. Cabana brought up the “bird incident” from the Jericho Cruise last week.

Gordon and Isom began the match with a smooth set of chain wrestling and rope-running sequences. Gordon hit a great looking dropkick to Isom in the corner. He followed up with his nip-up Pele kick spots, finishing the sequence with a tope con giro.

Back in the ring, the two traded chops. Gordon’s one-foot dropkick is real pretty. Isom was pushed on commentary as a promising rookie. He didn't look bad here. Isom hit a nice backdrop suplex onto Gordon. They did a wild spot that consisted of Gordon nipping up off the apron, a jump enzuigiri kick, and them rolling back into the ring for another kicking sequence. It was all at lightning speed, and the crowd was on their feet after this.

Isom’s suplexes are solid; he used a nice wheelbarrow German suplex for two at one point. Gordon responded with a Falcon Arrow, and later a springboard spear, before finally hitting a Flip 5 for the win. The two shook hands and posed afterwards.

A quick but satisfying opening match. These guys had great chemistry together, but Gordon was the obvious star meant to shine here. 

ROH Tag Team Champions SoCal Uncensored (Scorpio Sky & Frankie Kazarian) defeated The Bouncers (Beer City Bruiser & Brian Milonas) in a non-title match

The New Age Out--I mean SoCal Uncensored came out and did their pre-match promo work in the ring. They were very over with the crowd. The gymnasium looked empty on some camera shots but the fans down in front were enthusiastic, mitigating any embarrassing camera work. 

The match itself was mostly fun old school-styled tag team wrestling. The Bouncers played big bully heels, and Beer City Bruiser did a few high spots to the outside.

There was a mildly funny moment where the ref accused Bruiser of biting. The camera zoomed in just as he said “I don’t have no teeth!”

Cabana said “Oh, mylanta” at one point during this match. 

The Bouncers abused Kazarian for a long while. Sky broke up a number of near falls. The pace was slowed toward the end of this match because the Bouncers aren’t athletic. It weighed the match down. Milonas is impressive to a point but is very slow.

Sky and Kazarian powerbombed Milonas off the top rope to win the match. The teams shared beers afterwards.

ROH TV Champion Jeff Cobb defeated Cheeseburger in a non-title match

Cheeseburger came out with Ryan Nova and Eli Isom. The two shook hands before the bell.

The story was clear from the start of this bout: Cobb is massive and strong, Cheeseburger is wily, scrawny, and tenacious. Cobb rag-dolled Cheeseburger around the ring and it felt more like an exhibition than a contest for a lot of it.

A big, long bear hug spot, a bigger dropkick, and an insane dangling vertical superplex from Cobb to Cheeseburger all got just two. 

Cheeseburger countered a few of Cobb’s moves and was able to use a Shotei in the corner, then a springboard cannonball senton for a pity two-count.

Cobb used a tremendous spinning backdrop suplex, then hit Tour of the Islands for the win.

 A fine match that was more like an enhancement match for Cobb. The crowd seemed to enjoy it.

ROH Six-Man Tag Team Champions The Kingdom (Matt Taven, Vinny Marseglia & TK O’Ryan) defeated Dalton Castle & The Boys to retain their titles

Rhett Titus came out before the match. He posed, then joined Ian Riccaboni and Colt Cabana on commentary.

It sounded like it was a surprise to the announce team that this had been scheduled to be for the Six-Man titles. Bobby Cruise announced it as such, though. 

The crowd was into Castle and chanted for him before the match started. Marseglia attacked one of the Boys before the bell. While Castle screamed about the Boys' bags to the referee, Taven and O’Ryan attacked. The bell finally rang.

This was chaotic from the start. Taven and company pounded on Castle with flurries of punches and kicks in the corner. O’Ryan worked over Castle's injured back. Castle is still taped up around his left thigh, has a weight belt, and has some other serious looking knee compression gear. 

O’Ryan did a cool running spot with the Boys. He carried one Boy in powerslam position and swung one Boy at the other. 

The Boys did a flashy double stomp spot, then a wild nonstop sequence of “topes” that were basically just Castle taking the guys by the hair and repeatedly tossing them over the ropes onto The Kingdom.

Three red balloons flew up in the air at this point in the match.

Castle used a Bang-a-Rang on Marseglia for a near fall. Later, Taven countered out of another Bang-a-Rang attempt and booted Castle hard in the face.

One of the Boys came back into the ring wearing a rugby sweater. He was acting like Freddy Krueger and started back-raking Marseglia with his “claw.” He did a number of cool spots, like a standing Sliced Bread, and then Castle screamed “What have you become?” at the Boy, who then snapped out of it.

Taven and Castle squared off and did a Frye-Takayama punching spot all the way to the floor. The two other Kingdom members did a special tag team finisher -- a modified double powerslam thing -- on one of the Boys for the win here.

Taven cut a good promo on Castle. He claimed he owns this Kingdom of New England, and that he’ll get to him at Final Battle soon. The crowd booed without fire. 

This match did its job. It built Taven and Castle for Final Battle, which could be better than people may expect.

The Briscoes defeated Hangman Page & IWGP United States Heavyweight Champion Cody (w/ Brandi Rhodes)

The camera got an excellent shot of a very excited Briscoes fan, someone’s mother, I imagine, hopping up and down before the match. 

Mark Briscoe tossed a chair into the ring for no apparent reason. The crowd woke up for this.

Mark and Page started off the match. There was a presence that all four wrestlers carry with them into this match that is very different from the wrestlers I watched in the matches before. Their body shape and size stood out, along with the conviction in the way they got into each other’s faces and locked heads. 

The way Cody would rile the crowd up was something worth mentioning. His ring instincts are so attuned to the crowd regardless of what the plan is. 

The ROH feed cut out in the middle of this match. The ROH logo spun around for a few minutes until it came back to the match. Riccaboni explained that the power in the building went out and that’s why the stream went out.

The match stayed on track in the building, with the crowd fiercely behind the newly-anointed Elite members (Elitists?). When the stream came back, Cody was in the middle of a hot high spot sequence inside the ring. It was eventually slowed to a halt, with both Jay and Mark Briscoe showcasing their unsung talent as vicious heels who are mostly always exciting to watch.

Page got a hot tag into the match later on. He and Jay traded a lot of punches and elbows and they really laid them into each other. 

Page used a Shooting Star shoulder block off the apron, essentially out of nowhere, onto Mark on the floor. He hopped back into the ring and German suplexed Jay for only two.

Jay and Page brawled on the outside, and Cody and Mark got into the mix. Back in the ring, the Briscoes used the Redneck Boogie powerbomb/neckbreaker combination on Cody for a two count.

They exchanged uppercuts and straight right punches. Brandi Rhodes stood on the apron and was quickly knocked off it by Mark. There was some chaos outside the ring, which was capped off by a huge moonsault from the top turnbuckle to the outside. 

This turned into a wild, fast-paced brawl in and outside the ring. Jay used the Jay Driller and then Mark smashed Page with a Froggy Bow for the win.

Despite the technical difficulties in the middle of this match, this was very much worth the watch. The Briscoes are having an under-the-radar type year of very good to excellent matches in various promotions. They are a great heel matchup with any of the Elite members, and this was all without a real storyline.

If there was a just a hair of narrative between these two teams, aside from the lightly touched upon history Riccaboni mentioned over the broadcast, it could make for a very hot two to three month program in either the United States or in Japan. Keep an eye out for matches featuring any combination of these four.

Juice Robinson defeated Christopher Daniels

Riccaboni put Robinson over as an international star. The wrestlers shook hands before the match started. The crowd seemed split over Daniels and Juice. I’d say 60/40 in Robinson’s favor.

This was a well-paced match, organic and smooth in every exchange. Daniels slowed things down for a while for a chinlock, but not to the levels of stagnancy often seen in some WWE matches. Daniels later used an Arabian press on Robinson for two.

People sounded to have sided more strongly with Robinson as the match went on. They did more back and forth, with one sequence of Robinson firing up. They fought to a double knockdown spot until Robinson headed to the top turnbuckle and Daniels crotched him onto the ropes.

After a long-ish lull in the match, Robinson started doing the Terry Funk/Dusty Rhodes cowboy punches. He tried Pulp Friction a few times and eventually landed it for the win.

This was good but not great, everything the sixth match on a Wednesday night card should probably be.

Silas Young & Bully Ray defeated The Young Bucks

Bully Ray came out to only boos. He screamed at ring announcer Bobby Cruise to shut up and was generally bully-ish. As he should be. He and Matt Taven were the most loudly booed wrestlers of the night so far.

People threw ribbons in the ring for the Bucks before the match. Bully Ray was very, very loud. He did a lot of crowd work here; he screamed “Your heroes SUCK!” at someone in the crowd. It was all very house show-ish, charming in its aesthetic.

The Bucks finally were able to tope their way onto the offense. Young was the pawn in the match, the way to let the Bucks shine without devaluing Ray as a heel.

As the match slowed, the heels took over. The crowd began chanting “Yankees suck!”

Matt Jackson used a spear on Bully Ray. Young put Matt into a Boston crab, working his storyline-injured back. Nick came into the ring with energy and made a few attempts to connect with the crowd after doing some of his signature moves to Young.

Young used a handful of power moves on Nick Jackson, including an Anarchy suplex. Nick was able to turn things around quickly with a couple of superkicks and a moonsault from the apron onto Bully Ray outside of the ring. 

More superkicks inside the ring, and just as things were getting exciting, the stream went out again. The ROH logo spun around Windows 98 screensaver style for a couple of minutes until the feed came back and, apparently, Silas Young pinned one of the Bucks to win the match for his team.

Los Ingobernables de Japon (Tetsuya Naito, EVIL, SANADA & BUSHI) defeated Jonathan Gresham, Chris Sabin, IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion KUSHIDA & ROH World Heavyweight Champion Jay Lethal

Between the matches, Riccaboni explained that there may have been a power outage issue in Lewiston tonight and apologized for the other stream outage.

LIJ were introduced one by one, each of them in full character garb. The crowd roared for Naito. They looked like absolute superstars tonight, with a visual charisma that carries across the screen in an almost jarring way. 

His name is “Constellation” Chris Sabin now. Colt Cabana was as surprised as you and I were about this because he found out when we did. “Constellation’s” hair is in currently at AJ Styles soccer-mom length.

Gresham and Naito started the match. Naito looked gigantic compared to Gresham. He quickly tagged out, rudo style, allowing for SANADA to enter.

The crowd started chanting “Sa-Na-Da!” He had a fun but forgettable exchange with Gresham. EVIL and Sabin had it out for a bit in the ring. EVIL was popular with the crowd and received loud chants. 

Sabin and KUSHIDA did some good tag work to EVIL. Lethal and Gresham double-teamed EVIL for a while and showed off some of the offense they’re using together these days as a semi-regular tag team. Gresham worked over EVIL’s arm and elbow. 

Naito stepped in by tripping KUSHIDA, allowing for SANADA to dropkick KUSHIDA in the face. LIJ dominated from here, using a strategy of two wrestlers standing on the apron and two seemingly guarding the area around the ring, something we see much more in Japan than in the States.

Naito and later BUSHI finally showed up in the ring. A BUSHIroonie happened. Fans rallied behind KUSHIDA minutes later, but he wasn’t able to escape SANADA’s Paradise Lock and shotgun dropkick to the posterior.

KUSHIDA fired up and used a handspring back elbow. He was able to tag Lethal back into the ring. Lethal cleaned house and soaked in some of the louder crowd reactions of the night.

The ROH/NJPW team did a triple plancha spot. SANADA did a slingshot swinging neckbreaker suplex to Lethal.

BUSHI and Gresham worked well together. I found it fresh since BUSHI was the big guy. He’s usually a few kilos lighter than whomever he’s in the match with in NJPW matches, so this matchup felt like it could lead to something new or interesting. 

The finishing sequence consisted of Lethal hitting a Lethal Injection on BUSHI, then EVIL using Darkness Falls on Lethal, and finally Naito using Destino on Gresham for the win.

This was a good match but, again, not a great one. It felt like a warm-up match, a match where some of the guys who haven’t worked with each other much before (BUSHI and Gresham, for example) can feel each other out and plan a tighter set for the bigger shows this weekend.