** ZERO HOUR **
Show looks packed, huge entrance ramp. Justin Roberts is MCing. Broadcast table is Ian Riccaboni, Excalibur, and Callis, it's a weird combination. I'm seeing a lot of the PWG regulars front row of the hardcam side, and the angle is soo good that you actually see the first five rows, so it looks extra packed.
The Elite Promo - Cody and the Young Bucks come out to welcome everyone. They blow their budget with some cheap pyro. They bring out a random cameo of Road Warrior Animal on a motorcycle. Pro Wrestling Tees gave out some free merch before commercial.
So Cal Uncensored vs The Briscoes - 7/10
Scorpio Sky came out dressed as Apollo Creed and Kaz as the Italian Stallion Rocky Balboa. Briscoes heeled it up early on jumping Sky, but SCU turned it around quickly. Briscoes once again got control over Sky and worked over him for a while. Kaz had an ok hot tag, some of the moves he did looked weird. After that initial run, Briscoes cut off Kaz this time, and they worked on him now, keeping Sky at bay, but Sky was eventually able to make it in and take this match to Tornado style. There was a huge kickout after a Jay Driller/Flying Elbow combination. Finish finally came when the Briscoes went for the Doomsday Device, but Kaz turns it around mid air and Sky takes out Jay to allow Kaz to pin Mark, and I would assume, earn a tag title shot. Good opener, but not as spotty as i'm guessing this crowd is hungry for.
Kenny Omega Interview - Alicia Atout! Kenny talked about Pentagon, called him a former TNA champ. Kenny said Pentagon wasn't ready for Omega and it sounded like he was taking him seriously.
Cody vs Aldis Promo - Good, but they should have added a little bit of promo there.
Over-Budget Battle Royale for a ROH World Title Shot Tonight
Chuck Taylor vs Trent? vs Tommy Dreamer vs Moose vs Colt Cabana vs Billy Gunn vs Ethan Page vs Brian Cage vs Rocky Romero vs El Hijo del Chico El Luchador vs Bully Ray vs Marko Stunt vs Jordynne Grace vs Hurricane vs Cheeseburger vs Jimmy Jacobs vs Punisher Martinez vs Austin Gunn vs Brandon Cuttler - 7/10
Dalton Castle joined the commentary table. Bully Ray put Chico El Luchador through a table as the match started.
Everyone started outside and then just got in, but they were also brawling outside a lot. Spot-wise, this was a clusterfuck, everyone got a chance to hit something, even if it was just the Best Friends hugging. First eliminated was Moose, Cutler, Best Friends, and then they just kept falling. There was a big face off between Cage and Martinez, which ended with Hurrican chokeslamming both. Dreamer went for his ECW pop of the night as he brought in weapons, which obvioysuly eneded with his elimination. For some reason, Jimmy Jacobs was doing WWE spots before getting eliminated. Marko really got over fighting the big dudes. Grace showed potential against Cage, but Cage killed her before she managed to eliminate Cage.
Final 4 where Bully Ray, Grace, Cabana, and Chico, but this last one is still dead outside. Grace stood tall against Ray, but Ray got her out as he heeled her up. Cabana and Ray were at the end, Chicago's ultimate babyface vs the heel of heels in ROH. Ray eliminates Cabana, but suddenly, El Hijo del Chico finally returns, unmasks to reveal Flip Gordon, eliminate Ray and win the match. It was a clusterfuck, but this show needed a cluster fuck, and for clusterfuck sake, this was great, there was a proper sequence leading to having the big Bully Ray heel his way up into the end so that Gordon's surprise would make an impact.
** MAIN SHOW **
Shalandra Royal opened the show with the National Anthem. During the song, some fireworks went on and I honestly don't know if it was in purpose, anyway, this is irrelevant, on to the wrestling!
Maxwell Jacob Feinstein vs Matt Cross - 7/10
Even if putting were to just put over MJF, nice to see Cross get a single's match in a big stage. Story of the match was that Cross was just better than MJF top to bottom, but MFJ kept sneaking in cheats here and there and he would cut Cross off and work over his arm. Cross kept coming back and working with only one arm, but MJF would always find a way to cut him off either by eye pokes, spitting, pulling the ref, or what not. Finish came when Cross dodged a moonsault, took out MJF and landed the SSP for the win. I was surprised by the win, I figured they put over the up and comer, but at the end, it felt more like a small tribute to Cross.
Sean Mooney Interviews Nick Aldis - Awesome promo by Aldis, he really comes off as a real champion, except his title is still long ways to go before becoming prestigious again.
"The Fallen Angel" Christopher Daniels w/SCU vs "Green Arrow" Stephen Amell w/Jose Segura - 7.5/10
Jerry Fucking Lynn is the ref of the match! Amell is representing the Bullet Club and a total star in the ring. The obvious story here is that Daniels, probably the biggest veteran of the show, taking on, well, someone who is barely on his third match, so Daniels doesn't take him seriously, and Amell is here to show he can hang.
Match, and Daniels, did a great job at hiding Amell's greenness (no pun intended) and walking him through the match, and Amell did a great job himself at just letting go and really putting his all into the match and taking on what Daniels threw at him. Amell hit a Falcon Arrow, a Coast-to-Coast Dropkick, and the big spot of the match, a Flying Elbow through at table after Daniels had already moved, to the chants of "Broken Arrow". After a `10 Count tease, Lynn straight up dragged both men into the ring instead of the double countout.
Lynn and Daniels started clashing a lot while Daniels was killing Amell, but the distraction gave Amell a bunch of near falls, until Daniels was done, hit the BME, and took the win via pinfall. This wasn't an amazing match or anything, but Daniels working Amell through that match is certainly an amazing job. Both men put each other over at the end.
Madison Rayne vs Tessa Blanchard vs "Hot Mess" Chelsea Green vs Dr. Britt Baker D.M.D. - 7.5/10
Tenille and Mandy Leon joined commentary for the match, Tenille brought up some old school SHIMMER references. Britt Baker came out to the old Adam Cole song! Madison wasn't Queen B. Green was doing Two-Face with Van Ness and Chelsea Green. Tessa came out and Magnum T.A. and Tully were there with her.
Green's two personalities were conflicting with each other. Tessa and Rayne re-ignite their Impact feud and go at it first outside the ring, while Britt and Green fight in the ring. Tessa was a fucking powerhouse all match, just kicking everyone's ass. Everyone did dives at one point. Chelsea at one point did the Broski Boot. Britt hit everyone with Slingblades. Rayne hit cutters from every spot. All of this while everyone was in the ring, so some spots did seem like all over the place since you always had bodies in the ring, and during pins, you always expected someone to break it up, which actually didn't happen that much.
Took a while, but the match got This is Awesome chants towards the end of the match when everyone is desperately chasing a pin. Near fall after near fall, that at the end, as Tessa kicks out of a Destroyer, the fans are giving them a standing ovation. Finish was slightly botched because Tessa hits the Hammerlock DDT on Green for the pin, but visually, Britt broke up the pin as the ref counted 3, so there was a small confusion until Tessa was announced as the winner. They all embraced at the end. These chicks really went out there and put it ALL IN.
Original Chico El Luchador is in the crowd with Fat Ass Masa of BTE fame. Brent Tarring is joining commentary for the NWA Championship match
NWA Worlds Heavyweight Championship Match
'The American Nightmate" Cody vs "The National Treasure" Nick Aldis (C) - 6/10
Hebner is the ref for this match. Cody was second by Dreamer, DDP, Glacier?, among others. Brandi got her own entrance. Aldis is second by Tim Storm!, Jeff Jarrett, Shawn Daivari, and Samuel Shaw. That second one is surely gonna get him some heat. Surprised this match is taking place so early in the show.
This should have been epic, historic, and majestic, but it was dragged on a lot and at the end, a sit-down over a sunset flip is just incredibly anticlimactic for Cody's big NWA title win. No matter the legends in the ring, the match was not at the level of the story.
Story was that somewhat early on, Cody got a straight elbow while doing his jump to the outside, Cody bladed, and from here on, Aldis worked over Cody, building this 'never give up' comeback that consisted of a CrossRhodes after Brandi took a hit. The issues this match had to being with was that Aldis and Cody were mistimed a lot and working a lot slower pace while trying to do spots that are usually used on faster matches. The blade job was botched because I'm guessing Cody couldn't do it, so Daivari and DDP stalled for him, except to bring them out, they did the X symbol, showed Cody not bleeding, and then bleeding. Later on, we had the Brandi spot, for cheap sympathy on Brandi, except it didn't even worked to have Cody 'fire up' at seeing Brandi injured. And to cap it off, the finish came out of nowhere as Cody just grabbed Aldis' legs during a Sunset Flip and he got the pin, no build up or anything.
After the match, all the legends came out to celebrate with Cody.
Chicago Street Fight
"Hangman" Adam Page vs "Bad Boy" Joey Janela w/Penelope Ford - 7.5/10
Before the match, they showed the saga of the Page/Joey thing from BTE until Page woke up, so now i'm expecting a Joey Ryan resurrection. The story of most if not all of Janela's matches is that he can take a lot of damage, and is willing to do some crazy spots for the entertainment sake of the fans, so this match saw both things as Page just threw Janela all over the place, and Janela threw himself all over the place. We saw some chairs, we saw a table, we saw a straight up Cracker Barrell Barell, a ladder (in which Janela took a Burning Hammer into), among other stuff.
Penelope Ford at one point got involved and she got the pop of the match as she got all Matrix on Page and actually managed to take out Page and set him up for Janela to drop a flying elbow into the table. At this point, Janela took over the match in almost a handicap match with Ford and Janela working together. There was a really ugly somewhat botched spot as Page hit a powerbomb from the ramp into what was supposed to be two stacked tables, but Janela completely missed the tables and only broke one with his head. Page was gonna end the match with a RoP, but Ford broke it up and brought out a trash bag, that reveled to have the boots that have been talking to Page all these months. Page took out Ford finally, but gave Joey an opening to recover, take out Page, and set up some furniture in the ring for the finish, which was Page bringing out the same phone he killed Joey Ryan and now was killing Joey Janela, except after hitting him with it, he hits the Rite of Passage FROM the TOP of the ladder into a table!
I know people will shit on the boots making an appearance, but the fans got the reference and that's all that matters. The match for what it was, was good
Post-match - We get a video of Joey Ryan's penis surviving after the murder, and now we get an Undertaker spoof with Penis Druids!! This is amazing! Joey Ryan returns from the death, not dressed as the Undertaker unfortunately. Joey comes down to the ring, oils himself up, fans going crazy, and Page has seen a ghost. Ryan hits the Dong-plex, delivers the penis pop Superkick, and celebrates as the Penis Druids take Page away.
Lethal becomes Black Machismo backstage! Another payoff to weeks of build up in BTE with Lethal.
ROH World Championship Match
Flip Gordon w/Brandi Rhodes "Black Machismo" Jay Lethal w/"The Genius" Lanny Poffo! - 8.5/10
Brandi wasn't selling the Aldis spot, but commentary said she was. Silkin presented the championship for the match. Lethal confused Brandi with Liz, so they did some early spots between them, ending with Brandi undoing the Macho Man curse. Later on, as Lethal is getting ready to take out Gordon, Poffo re-activated the Macho curse so Lethal could land a series of Flying Elbows/Hail to the King for a near fall as Gordon did a Hogan Hulk-Up, Big Boot, Leg Drop combo. Gordon is about to take out Lethal after a Cancun Tornado, but Lethal kicks out for a big near fall. Finish saw Lethal drop Gordon with a Cutter from the top rope and the Lethal Injection for the win. When Black Machismo was there at the start, it was comedy, but the meat of the match, we had Jay Lethal in there and thus they had a great serious back and forward match.
Post-match - Both men embraced at the end, but Bully Ray came out and took out both Gordon and Lethal, but then focused on Gordon. Lanny Poffo stood up to Ray, but got a low blow. Ray brought a table out, but before he could use it, Colt Cabana came out for the save. All three men put Ray through the table a la SHIELD Powerbomb.
Kenny Omega vs Penta El Cero - 9/10
Excalibur brought up that one year ago exactly, Pentagon and Omega actually met during BOLA, but it wasn't a one-on-one. Pentagon came out wearing the AAA Samurai attire. Kenny didn't bring the IWGP Championship, but he's wearing Best Bout Machine tights. Commentary is doing a great job building Pentagon up bringing up his multiple title wins all over the world in such a short period of time.
Maybe due to that confidence that Omega showed in the pre-show, but Omega wasn't taking Penta seriously, and it cost him at first as Penta got the better of him for a while. Commentary were selling how Penta was an enigma, so his wrestling style was hard to anticipate, and thus it caught Omega off. Omega slowly made a comeback, and he got more serious, Kenny got more and more control of the match. Towards the end of the match, both men started throwing their heavy moves, Omega got some great near falls out of spinning Package Piledriver and some V-Triggers, Penta some out of the Penta Driver and the Fear Factor. Biggest one probably when Penta 'broke' Omega's arm and then hit the Fear Factor for another near fall. Finish saw Omega finally hit the One Winged Angel after so many tries and pin Penta.
I'm really glad how this match played out because I was afraid that with the newly acquired God-like levels Omega has with wrestling fans, it would diminish Pentagon's presence, but at the end, I think Pentagon came off as a superstar in this match.
Post-match - Lights went out, when they came back up, Penta is still dead in the ring, but gets up, a really different looking Penta. He attacks Omega, takes off his mask, and yes ladies and gentlemen, CHRIS FUCKING JERICHO! He hit Omega with two running Codebreakers.
Jericho simply said "Kenny Omega....I see you at the Jericho Cruise"
This is huge, Chris Jericho just did his first non-WWE show in over 19 yrs IN US soil.
"The Villain" Marty Scurll vs "Rainmaker" Kazuchika Okada - 9.5/10
Tiger Hattori is the ref of the match, I wonder if he has been scouting tonight. Before the match, Scurll had another encounter with the record label stooges, who he finally broke their fingers. Okada came out with this Baloonmaker song, but wearing the robe and gold again, but for the first time, it's weird not writing Gedo in as his second. Crowd is split in the middle. Excalibur calling an Okada match. Fuck, what a night!
Story of the match is that Scurll has been saying for months that he wants to go heavyweight, and so after a lot of training, he has this match where he wants to prove himself, so initially, we had a lot of spots working over the size comparison between Scurll and the much taller Okada. This led for Okada to work Scurll's neck for a while as he dominated the match.
Scurll on the other hand, initially hinted working the arm, but as the match progressed, Marty was working more the head. As the match went on, both men started chasing their finishers, they traded all of their signature moves for near falls. We got great near falls as Scurll locked the Chickenwing or landed a Rainmaker of his own, and likewise, some good near falls as Okada landed some piledrivers on Scurll. Finish saw Okada land the Rolling Rainmaker (which he seems to have fixed) and a Rainmaker for the win. And yes, we indeed did get the spot with Scurll stopping a Rainmaker with an Umbrella.
At one point, we had a ref bump, but it wasn't bad and it led to the Umbrella spot with the Rainmaker, Scurll's rainmaker, and the great near fall, so I'd say it was a plus to the match.
Marty reduced his usual comedy to a minimum, for an underdog babyface, this was like watching 2016 RevPro Scurll. Okada was unfortunately, Baloonmaker, but that's still like 0.000001% worse than the normal Okada.
The Golden Elite vs Rey Mysterio, Rey Fenix, & Bandido - 8.5/10
Their time seems to be running out because they rushed the entrances and announcing. Rey is sporting a Wolverine attire. Bucks have Naturo headbands.
As time is short, Bucks/Bandido/Fenix rushed their stuff early on to allow Mysterio vs Ibushi to happen and have some time, but after that, it was all men pairing up, doing a lot of moves and dives and all that. Lucha team had a great near fall when all three of them worked together to set up the 619, but Ibushi broke the pin. Finish was the debut of the Golden version of the More Bang for your Buck and a consequent Meltzer Driver for the win. Great match, but it was obviously cut short, so who knows what else they had planned for tonight.
This is an interesting show to review. Arguably, it was a good show, some stuff dragged, some matches were botchy, some stuff seemed missplanned, but when it came to wrestling and entertainment, it was great. Considering everything surrounding this show, it's easy to see that it was a success, but I can also see A LOT of learning to be done, and A LOT of things that haters and WWE-fanboys will latch on to. I did like that a lot of the matches rewarded the BTE fans, which was technically the TV building to this show.
Place was packed, but it was packed with smart wrestling fans, the type of fans that don't just go to a show to blindly chant whatever the next row is chanting, so you're gonna see the front row fans just sitting there and watching and analyzing the match, so I expect people coming out saying that fans were bored.
Production problems, I mean, it happens to the best of us. Timing issues is the same. Wrestling was I think good top to bottom, with some botches and some matches that were not really planned that good, but I was never bored nor insulted by the wrestling. I would have loved to see more backstage interviews, but time was short as it was.
If anything else, this is a historic show for what came before and what will come after. This is a show every wrestling fan needs to watch, just for historic reasons alone.