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ROH Global Wars results: Four-way tag match, Naito vs. Hangman Page

By Justin M. Knipper

The Takeaways --

  • This was a jazzed-up house show featuring mostly high-quality singles matches on the card. The crowd was raucous and the venue looked to be sold out.
  • If not for the awkward finishing sequence, Tetsuya Naito and Hangman Page’s match tonight could have been a MOTY candidate, and possibly a career-making match for Page. The crowd turned on the match immediately after the false finish. It never fully recovered.
  • SoCal Uncensored were as over with the crowd as any of the Elite members tonight.
  • There were less issues with the stream than last night’s show in Lewiston, Maine.

Show Recap -- 

There was a packed house in Lowell, Massachusetts as the Global Wars tour continued on Thursday night. Ian Riccaboni and Colt Cabana were on commentary once again for this show.

Matt Taven defeated BUSHI

Taven came out to a loud hometown hero pop. He cut a promo mainly on Dalton Castle. He called him a coward, then cut a promo on BUSHI, and even dropped a Boston Red Sox reference, all to roars of support.

BUSHI received an impressive reaction when he came out, too. Some fans threw ribbons into the ring for him. I hadn’t realized he had his own theme song until tonight. 

BUSHI refused to shake Taven’s hand before the bell. This elicited a wave of “ooohs” throughout the crowd. A segment of the fans started chanting for BUSHI after this. 

They opened with a fast lucha-styled sequence. The match spilled to the outside early; Taven used a dropkick through the ropes then jaw-jacked into the camera. He never forces his trash talk, and it’s often quite good.

They brawled a while longer outside the ring. BUSHI did a spot where he basically rammed Taven skull-first into the apron and it looked brutal, which also got a loud reaction.

BUSHI took his shirt off and choked Taven with it, but Taven came back with his running penalty kick. He then mounted BUSHI and started punching him for about 20 seconds. 

They exchanged a lot of moves with intensity during the middle of this match, with Taven getting the better of the rope-running and fisticuffs. 

BUSHI later did a BUSH-a-roonie and then a swinging neck screw for a two-count. He tried to blow mist in Taven’s face, but Taven used the referee as a shield; when BUSHI spewed, they both ducked. Taven then used a Disaster Kick, then a Climax on BUSHI for the win. 

The two were about to shake hands afterwards before BUSHI low blowed Taven. It got a big heel reaction for BUSHI.

Despite the abrupt ending, this was a much better match than one would expect on paper. Taven is an underrated wrestler, and especially unsung as a modern heel. BUSHI’s style meshed perfectly with Taven’s because I think they’re more similar than different, style-wise.

Dalton Castle & Juice Robinson defeated The Bouncers (Beer City Bruiser & Brian Milonas)

Rhett Titus got a spotlight entrance before joining Riccaboni and Cabana on commentary. I’m not sure what this angle is supposed to lead to, but they’ve been doing it on pretty much every show since last week.

Riccaboni claimed that the Bouncers are the biggest tag team in ROH history.

Robinson and Castle had a really spectacular entrance. The Boys wheeled them out on a table. Castle did a Marilyn Monroe pose on his side while Robinson, who was wearing a colorful and shiny robe, had his arms open in a Randy Savage-meets-George Clinton-meets-Jesus pose.

Colt Cabana: “This looks so right.”

People were excited and somewhat stunned over the entrance. Castle is still wrapped up around the left part of his body and his waist. The two teams exchanged nonsense words and shook hands before the bell.

Castle did a lot of comedy. One of the Boys stole one of the Bouncers’ beers, so Bruiser chased him. In the ring, Castle and Robinson did a comedy punching spot to Milonas, then Milonas passed out onto Castle. The Boys came in and tried to help both Robinson and referee Todd Sinclair push Milonas off of Castle. Bruiser chugged a beer and then everyone finally pushed Milonas off. 

The crowd started chanting “This is wrestling.”

Milonas did a crossbody block. He’s very slow -- but it’s still impressive to see. He tagged Beer City Bruiser in and he did the “I can’t bite, I ain’t got no teeth!” spot he did last night. The production team zoomed on his face again, just like in Lewiston. They’re trying to get this over as some sort of memorable catchphrase thing, it seems like.

Milonas did a few more big-man high impact moves but missed another crossbody block. Castle finally got a few real spots into the match and used one good-looking tope suicida through the bottom rope onto Bruiser.

Back in the ring, they double-suplexed Milonas onto Bruiser. The Bouncers tried to use a Sidewinder, the finish that the Smoking Gunns used to use, but Milonas whiffed and crashed posterior-first into the mat. Robinson used Pulp Friction on Bruiser for the win. The teams shared beers after the match. 

This was mostly comedy mixed in with some decent wrestling. It went about five minutes too long and didn’t translate onto TV well, but the crowd was hot during the match. I imagine it was fun to watch if you were there, but on my end it wasn’t great.

Flip Gordon defeated Frankie Kazarian

There were tons of “SCU” shouts before the match. Gordon was over with the crowd, too.

The two had a number of excellent grappling and rope-running sequences at the beginning of this match. They began exchanging more strikes and high spots; Kazarian landed a vicious-looking guillotine leg drop to Gordon’s head on the apron. 

Kazarian used a straight jacket armbar on Gordon for a moment, then threw him to the outside and did a slingshot frankensteiner to the floor. He followed up with a slingshot DDT to Gordon inside the ring.

Gordon used a springboard spear on Kazarian. Gordon has used this move more recently and seems like he’s getting more comfortable with the timing. 

The two traded elbows and open palm strikes. Gordon used a back heel to Kazarian’s forehead and a Falcon Arrow for two. Kazarian caught Gordon as he catapulted himself over the ropes with a cutter.

On the top turnbuckle, they teased Kazarian superplexing Gordon, but Gordon escaped and dropkicked Kazarian in the back. Gordon went for another springboard spear, but Kazarian reversed it with a codebreaker. 

Gordon hopped up to the top rope and kicked Kazarian as he sat on the turnbuckle. Gordon missed a 450 and landed on Kazarian’s knees. 

They finished the match with a back-and-forth sunset flip pinning sequence that Gordon got the better of, allowing him to steal the win. The two shook hands afterwards.

This was a very good match, and a great example of a “gritty” American high flyer’s match with and intense pace and a ton of innovative moves. It felt similar to the matches Jerry Lynn and Rob Van Dam used to have in ECW, just without any gimmicks, really.

Women of Honor World Champion Sumie Sakai defeated Jenny Rose in a proving ground match

Rhett Titus left and Brandi Rhodes came out and joined Riccaboni and Cabana on commentary. Riccaboni explained that if Jenny Rose could either make it to a draw or beat Sakai then she could be in the four-way match for the Women of Honor title at Final Battle.

The two shook hands before the bell. Sakai walked all over Rose’s back, literally. Rose used power moves on Sakai, including a giant vertical suplex. 

Sakai did a missile dropkick to the floor and landed really hard on her side. Rose threw Sakai into the barrier and then speared her.

The crowd died after these high spots. As the two laid on the floor, the camera cut to Brandi talking. ROH production doesn’t always do this, so it’s worth noting.

Brandi said “It felt like it’s been 30 minutes!” Because the wrestlers were working so hard. Rose used more power moves, like a big German suplex and a codebreaker, though Sakai did a lot of dropkicking and used a swinging fisherman’s neckbreaker on Rose for two.

Brandi said “I don’t know that many moves,” in reference to all the moves Sakai and Rose exchanged. I’m not sure if that was the right thing to say. 

Sakai did a top rope frankensteiner and won the match. They shook hands and hugged after the bell. Since Rose lost, it looks like she won’t be in the four-way WOH title match at Final Battle.

The crowd was polite for this match. There were a few interesting sequences with cool moves and hard strikes, but the rhythm was strange and the pace was often awkward. 

Scorpio Sky defeated Jay Briscoe

Briscoe attacked Sky before the match started. He roughed up Sky outside the ring, slamming him into the barrier and smothering him with punches.

Sky made it back to the ring and used punches of his own and a 100 mph frankensteiner on Briscoe. He suplexed Briscoe onto the mats on the outside. Briscoe countered a slingshot move Sky was going to do into a cutter. 

Briscoe controlled the middle part of this match. There were constant shouts of “SCU” throughout a lot of this and the crowd was loudly behind Sky. Those guys are more over than they’ve ever been.

They traded punches, kicks, and uppercuts. Sky used a codebreaker for two. Briscoe used a Rude Awakening neckbreaker for a two-count of his own. 

Mark Briscoe came out and held his brother Jay’s leg to prevent Sky from doing something to him off the turnbuckle. Christopher Daniels came out and beat up Mark. Jay brought a chair in the ring, shh’d the crowd, and swung the chair but missed, allowing Sky to schoolboy Jay and steal the upset win.

This was another really good match, similar in ways to the Gordon vs. Kazarian match earlier. Jay Briscoe was an excellent heel throughout, and that’s where the difference is between the matches; the pace was slower, but still intense.

EVIL & SANADA defeated Bully Ray & Silas Young 

Bully Ray came out to a chorus of boos in silence again. The crowd chanted “Yankees suck.” He gave ring announcer Bobby Cruise a hard time again, like in Lewiston, and then cut a promo on the crowd and called them morons. He dared the crowd to hit him in the head with one of their rolls of ribbons and if someone could, he’d give them $20. Tons of people started throwing ribbons into the ring. A lady in front actually nailed him in the head. 

“I’m a scumbag, but I'm a man of my word.” Ray walked over to the woman at the barrier and tore up his $20 bill in front of her. Then he threw it at her. 

This had nuclear heat. When Silas Young came down you could tell fans were still buzzing from what they had just seen. 

EVIL and SANADA came out and received a huge pop. The crowd was burning hot as they got in the ring. Ray demanded the mic from Cruise and the crowd began chanting “Shut the f*ck up” at him. The mic didn’t even work. 

Ray did a lot of crowd work on the apron during this match, 1999 ECW style sans curse words and homophobic slurs.

SANADA and Young kicked the match off. SANADA's body movement was spry and effortless. Ray and Young argued a lot. They have a unique double-heel chemistry and I’m interested to see how their relationship factors into Final Battle.

Bully Ray chopped EVIL when he wasn’t looking on the apron. There was a massive “EVIL” chant after this. Ray and EVIL screamed in each other’s face and did machismo shoulder block spots. EVIL was eventually able to knock Ray over twice and got even bigger reactions. He shook the ropes like Ultimate Warrior. The new charismatic EVIL is really fun to watch.

He used a spinning sidewalk slam onto Young later, but Young and Ray countered with a Doomsday Device a few moments after this. Ray and Young were calling the majority of this match, it seemed. It worked because you couldn’t help but feel sympathy for LIJ, and especially EVIL.

EVIL slammed Ray from the top turnbuckle and finally tagged in SANADA, who did a few pretty dropkicks, both low and high, and finished his sequence with a TKO on Young. 

EVIL and Ray brawled outside the ring while SANADA put Young in the Paradise Lock. Later, Ray accidentally gave his partner a lariat, and LIJ capitalized. They double-suplexed Ray, then gave Young the Magic Killer for the win.

Young and Ray jawed at each other afterwards and teased a brawl. Bully Ray conceded and went in for a hug, but Young shoved him away and he walked to the back.

This match had special heat compared to other matches on the card, and, like him or loathe him, Bully Ray was the conductor here. He was able to get everyone over, especially EVIL, as well as build this problematic relationship he has had with Young.

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

Even more “SCU” chants before the match, plus a number of “Fallen Angel” chants. 

After the bell rang, the two opened the match with a long and realistic looking sequence. The crowd stayed quiet but seemingly interested, studying every exchange.

Daniels tried to punch Cobb in the head but hurt his hand on his skull. Cobb used a chinlock and drove the knee into Daniels’ back. Daniels had kinesio tape on his vertebrae/neck/scapula area tonight. 

Cobb used an impressive delayed vertical superplex on Daniels for the first real two-count of this match. Cobb slowed the pace once again and worked Daniels’ back.

Daniels, at 48 years old, used an Arabian press to the floor onto Cobb.

Cobb’s first suplex was a German one in the ring at this point in the match; he managed only a two for it. Daniels countered later with a flatliner into a Koji Clutch, but Cobb stood up, lifted him up with one arm, and tossed Daniels away. 

Later, Daniels used a top rope frankensteiner, then a picture-perfect Angel’s Wings to the massive Cobb, but only for a one-count. The announcers sold it hard, as did Daniels in the ring. 

Cobb willed a few punches to counterbalance Daniels’ offense, then used a swinging backdrop suplex and the Tour of the Islands to win the match. 

Yet another great match; solid, but too short. An extra five to seven minutes would have built more drama, but that’s live wrestling.

The stream went down directly after this match. The spinning Windows 98 ROH logo screensaver returned and the sound was out for most of the interval between matches.

IWGP United States Heavyweight Champion Cody Rhodes (w/ Brandi Rhodes) defeated Mark Briscoe in a non-title match

The stream returned with Briscoe already in the ring. Brandi changed her outfit. Cody was a megastar at this show and spent the opening of this match teasing who he’d throw his shirt to.

Mark Briscoe has a mohawk now. He also had some sort of makeup on under his eyes. This match was at the regular Cody pace with him rolling in and out of the ring, stalling, and maximizing the response he was getting. Briscoe played the rabid brawler, as per usual.

Cody did a high impact tope suicida to Briscoe and then flexed on the ramp. People started chanting “The Elite” at him after this.

Briscoe used Brandi as a shield, then capitalized on this both inside and later outside the ring. Outside, Briscoe choked Cody with cable cords, suplexed him onto the mats, then did the Cactus Jack diving elbow drop onto the floor. Briscoe stalked Brandi after this. 

Briscoe dominated much of the middle part of this match. Cody attempted a few comebacks, and finally used a top rope judo-like throw from the top turnbuckle into the ring onto Briscoe, but it wasn’t enough to keep Briscoe down for long.

I noticed a young kid jumping up and down in the front row and screaming for Cody at this point in the match. 

Cody countered with a 1-2-3 Kid style moonsault press onto Briscoe. Cody did the Dusty jabs and a Disaster Kick, and later a modified figure four leg lock, but Briscoe reversed it. I still don’t understand the kayfabe mechanics of that reversal.

Briscoe did a running blockbuster off the apron, rolled Cody back into the ring, and then used a Froggy Bow, but only got a two-count because Cody put his foot on the rope.

Briscoe yelled for the Cutthroat Driver, but Cody grabbed the referee and used him to break Briscoe’s grip. Then, behind the referee’s back, Cody gave Briscoe a low blow, and then hit Cross Rhodes for the win.

The crowd was noisy for Cody and Brandi Rhodes. Cody got in the ring after the match and held up a banner that read “Cody Rhodes for President 2020.”

A solid match with more grit than flash. Cody is a superstar, and Briscoe’s rabid-but-still-maturing heel character meshed well with Cody tonight.

Tetsuya Naito defeated Hangman Page

People screamed for Naito and chanted “This is awesome” before the match even started. 

Naito didn’t feel like any smaller of a star than he is in Japan tonight. When I’ve watched Naito wrestle in ROH in the past, his whole essence sometimes fell flat; he had never picked up the same steam he cultivated in Japan.

Naito tried to get Page and referee Todd Sinclair to do the tranquilo pose before the match. The crowd was obviously excited to see Naito and kept chanting his name.

Page worked at Naito’s pace and was noticeably more quick in the execution of many of his moves. That’s almost scary to fathom because he is so big. Page did the tope tease into the tranquilo pose like Naito does, which got a big reaction, but Naito put the hammer down on that quickly with a low angle dropkick to the back of Page’s skull. He posed afterwards.

Naito missed his flying forearm smash. He miscalculated the kickback of the ROH ropes and stumbled, but Page saved it and made it look as though he blocked the move intentionally. 

Page used a few thick sounding lariats on Naito, then an elbow suicida through the ropes. Naito used his rope-walking tornado DDT and got only a two-count. He used a top rope frankensteiner, then an inverted DDT for another two. 

Page tried for Rite of Passage a few times but couldn’t swing it. After a big lariat that flipped Naito inside-out, the crowd started chanting “This is awesome.” Page landed a stunning moonsault from the top turnbuckle to the floor onto Naito. There was a big reaction to that and the following Buckshot Lariat. 

Naito countered out of nowhere with Destino and Sinclair stopped his count at three, but it was basically three. I’m not sure what happened here. Whatever the case was, it soured the crowd. It was a major flub that forced the two to work a bit more intensely in these final sequences.

Naito used a combination of hard elbow strikes and finally another, sharper Destino at a higher angle on Page for the win. Fans threw more ribbons into the ring after the win. 

There was a mini-comedy angle between Sinclair and Naito here. The crowd was kind of into that.

I thought this was a G1-level match that was severely hampered by the awkward false finish. I’m not sure if Page forgot to kick out or Sinclair was late, but it had the crowd booing loudly, then going silent until Naito turned up the heat to get a reaction from the crowd and at least gave them a memorable finish.

ROH World Champion Jay Lethal & Jonathan Gresham defeated IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion KUSHIDA & Chris Sabin, The Kingdom (Vinny Marseglia & TK O'Ryan), and The Young Bucks in a four-way match

Riccaboni put over Lethal’s title streak coming close to beating Samoa Joe’s. All teams but the Kingdom shook hands before the match. 

Chants for KUSHIDA were noticeable. Lethal got a few, too. They started the match off and had a nice exchange that finished with Gresham catching KUSHIDA in mid-air and German suplexing him. 

The crowd sounded confused over who to root for. Sabin entered the match and he and KUSHIDA showed off some impressive tag work. The Kingdom made their way in to work over Sabin; Marseglia did a strange looking splash off the ropes. He reminds me of Doink the Clown, for some reason. 

The Young Bucks were the last team into the match. They immediately launched into their introductory tag offense sequence. 

Lethal did the Chris Jericho springboard dropkick, then he and Gresham did dual tope suicidas. They’re fun as a tag team.

The Bucks did a lot of their high spots on autopilot. Their body movements are automatic.

The New Time Splitters and the Bucks did a planned brawl standoff spot followed by a few apron diving sentons. The movie references the announce team dropped in this part was out of control in the best of ways. 

Lethal catapulted Gresham into Sabin and Gresham rolled through and used a cutter on him, which was much cooler on TV than it sounds here in this sentence.

The Bucks and Lethal/Gresham did a submission spot on the other teams, with everyone doing their signature subs. There were superkicks abound shortly after, but Lethal countered with a number of kicks of his own. He missed a Lethal Injection. 

A thousand things happened at once, and somehow the sequence ended with Sabin doing a tornado DDT off of everyone.

Gresham and Lethal were tremendous in the final sequence of this match. Gresham picked up the huge main event win with a Shooting Star Press on Sabin. 

I didn’t expect that finish, but it felt as though it fit. I felt the need to pay attention to both Gresham and Lethal, who are another pair of wrestlers having fantastic years that have been muffled over the praise of the ridiculous amount of other great matches. 

The main event was chaotic and the crowd was on board for the rapid match pace at around the three hour mark of the card. It’s worth going out of your way to watch this week.