While I’m waiting for the next set of Stardom shows to full upload, I decided to go back to All Japan to see what they’re up to and it turns out they’re having their 6th annual Oudou Tournament, which means Royal Road. The winner of the tournament will get a Triple Crown Championship match, unless Zeus wins and he just gets to pick his own opponent.
This tournament looks incredibly stacked and I got no complaints about these entrants. So, who do I think is going to win the whole thing? Well, as much as I love Kento, I got a pretty good feeling about Yuji Hino winning the whole thing, plus seeing him taking on Zeus would be amazing and I’d be crazy to not wanna see that happen.
So who out of these sixteen wrestlers will make it to the second round? Let us find out and…dive right in.
Royal Road 2018 First Round Match
Ryouji Sai vs. Yuma Aoyagi
Review: So our first match is Ryouji Sai taking on one half of the All Asia Tag Team Champions, Yuma Aoyagi. Ryouji recently lost his Asia Heavyweight Championship and would like to still get some gold around his waist, but he would have to take on the young Yuma to even try to advance to the next round. Which of these two will advance?
Now that I got to see Yuma do more solo, I was able to get a fair assumption of him and I gotta say that he really does have potential just like Jake Lee and Naoya Nomura do, and no doubt has a future in AJPW if he should keep doing what he’s doing here. The match while had a couple of sloppy spots and a slip-up here and there, it was still a solid bout for what it was and was more technical than anything. Yuma would even give Ryouji a DDT to the outside of the ring right in the beginning of the match to give himself that early opening. Ryouji though is someone you shouldn’t take lightly either as he did control most of the match and had Yuma in a submission and every time Yuma tried to grab the ropes, the referee would playfully kick his hand off for the first few times to give a little bit of a comedy spot here and it was kinda funny. Yuma had a hard fought battle but Ryouji would hit a Running Shining Wizard onto Yuma to get the pinfall victory and advance to the next round.
Rating: Eric Bischoff
Royal Road 2018 First Round Match
Kento Miyahara vs. Yoshitatsu
Review: Our next match is pretty much a rematch from last year as former Triple Crown Champion, Kento Miyahara takes on his partner, Yoshitatsu. Last year when they fought, Kento would defeat Yoshi in the first round but he failed to win the whole thing when he lost in the semi-final. Yoshitatsu has improved quite a bit over the last year and this could be the chance he needs to probably win over his partner. Can Yoshitatsu pull off an upset victory or will Kento defeat him in the first round again?
I loved the little change Kento did with his attire by having half of his pants be black while the other half still has the red, it looks pretty badass if you ask me. Yoshitatsu is someone that I have been quite negative with for the past couple of years with how bad his performance has been ever since he returned to Japan in general before and after his neck injury. But, I will give credit where credit is due by saying that he definitely belongs in All Japan as they helped him slowly becoming a better wrestler unlike his run in NJPW which was a total bust in my opinion as we can now see him hopefully try to flourish while still needing some polishing. The match was fun with the two of them working well together with Kento being one of the few that could bring out the best in Yoshi much like Suwama would also. The referee would still give Kento a hard time during the match with pulling his hair when he refuses to let go of Yoshi’s head when he was pulling on it during the turnbuckle and even did a slow count when Kento would hit Yoshi with the Blackout and he told the referee to speed it up with the count due to him going slow and said six twice just to mess with him.
They did have an amazing sequence once they got back in the ring with Kento hitting a Blackout in the corner and hits a Brainbuster, but Yoshi got back up quickly to hit a German Suplex which leads to Kento coming back up to hit another Blackout and ends with Yoshi hitting a Spinning Wheel Kick to make them both go down. Yoshi would attempt to go for the Koji Clutch until he got caught in a German Suplex Hold for a two count. Yoshi would eventually lock in the Koji Clutch to try and make him tap out but Kento would break out of the hold before he could tap. Kento would hit two more Blackouts on Yoshi and was able to hit the Shutdown German Suplex Hold to secure the victory and to advance.
Rating: Eric Bischoff and a half
Royal Road 2018 First Round Match
Gianni Valletta vs. Suwama
Review: Suwama was the winner of last year’s tournament and he looks to win it back to back as his opponent for the first round is Gianni Valletta. Last time I covered Gianni, he fought Joe Doering and while he did pretty impressive, he still lost at the end of the match and now looks to try to get a big win here over the former ace of All Japan. Can Gianni secure a victory or will Suwama be one step closer to becoming a back to back winner?
Gianni wasted no time when he attacked Suwama from behind with the chain and started to continue the assault around the crowd while getting control of most of the match. Gianni really isn’t a bad heel and this is a much better performance than when I saw him fighting Joe Doering, my only big complaint is that little scream he does over and over again, and I get that it’s probably apart of his gimmick but the fact it’s used very constantly can be seen as a bit annoying. Suwama showed he can still deliver for a man of his age and give him the right opponent, you can see him really go and prove why he was the ace and still one of their best. So far most of these matches had a little bit of comedy mixed into the fray whether it’s the one with Yuma/Ryouji, Kento/Yoshi, and now this one when Gianni would steal the referee’s glasses just so he would be unable to see but Suwama would give them back to him a couple of times. Suwama accidentally knocked the referee out when Gianni took his glasses again, Gianni would try to use his chain to hit Suwama, but it backfired and he falls victim to the Backdrop Driver from Suwama for the win to advance.
Rating: Eric Bischoff and a half
Royal Road 2018 First Round Match
Dylan James vs. Joe Doering
Review: It looks like it’ll be a gaijin vs gaijin match with our former Triple Crown Champion, Joe Doering takes on former Tag Team Champion, Dylan James. Both of these guys are normally on and off in my reviews when they can sometimes do well in a match and can also be the worst one on the card and I really hope it’s not the case here. Which one of them gonna move forward?
Wait…the match wasn’t terrible at all…huh. No really, the match really played well with their strengths and it was really slow, but it worked for them since they’re both big guys that aren’t the most mobile and focus more on power than anything, which is exactly how they needed to be here. Both men had powerful strikes towards one another and testing out their strength during their whole match with them being just fairly even with each other and made it quite interesting to see it unfold. Dylan did step it up a little bit more in this match and been impressed after his match with Kento and I know he can be good and needs to flourish more which I hope he does if he can keep giving us performances like this. Joe is someone who just did his job and did his best in the match too and will give him credit for giving us a solid match also. Nothing too memorable in this match, just solid match of power and Joe would come out on top with his Diving Body Press when Dylan was sitting down.
Rating: Eric Bischoff
Royal Road 2018 First Round Match
The Bodyguard vs. Yuji Hino
Review: Good to see my boy, Yuji Hino back in an All Japan ring and I missed seeing him there ever since I saw him doing amazing at the Champions Carnival and even gave Bodyguard a decent match. Speaking of The Bodyguard, that’s how Yuji will be facing in his first-round match. Bodyguard is still the All Asia Heavyweight Champion and I don’t believe he has defended it yet, but guess he would wanna go for a double crown if he wins and fights his partner, Zeus. Will Bodyguard advance or will Hino hit the FUCKING BOMB?
Short, sweet, and to the point, that’s kinda how a Bodyguard match should almost always go or it’ll drag on for him and you start to see his flaws. It wasn’t a bad match but it wasn’t a great match either since it was just Hino playing it cool with his opponent, which is fine and then Bodyguard didn’t do too great in the match either and it looked like there was a small both when Hino went for the finisher and it looked like he almost dropped him, but thankfully Bodyguard was able to catch himself and get off the hold to kick him. After a couple of kicks from Bodyguard, Hino would turn it around with a Lariat and he hits the FUCKING BOMB to defeat Bodyguard and advance to the second round. So if Yuji Hino does somehow not advance in the tournament, would he still get a title match against Bodyguard? I wouldn’t mind a consolation prize, but I still got Hino winning the whole thing hopefully.
Rating: Tony Schiavone and a half
Royal Road 2018 First Round Match
Kengo Mashimo vs. Shuji Ishikawa
Review: Our next bout has Shuji Ishikawa taking on a surprise guest, Kengo Mashimo. Kengo Mashimo is from K-DOJO and is known to be one of the best strikers in Japan right now with seventeen years of in-ring experience. All Japan likes to bring in free agents or people from other promotions for these tournaments and this one is sure to be a treat. Which one of these hard-hitting wrestlers is going to make it to the next round?
What a match, let me tell you. This was exploding with energy right from the start and neither of these two fully stopped until the end as they both really delivered with everything that they do best. I don’t get to see too much of Kengo, so him being here in this tournament is really a delight from my viewing pleasure and I am very happy with his performance here with how fast he was with his strikes and his technical ability really is something here that should be viewed by people if you haven’t seen this guy wrestle before. Shuji is also amazing in this match and does what he does best, which is kicking ass in any of his matches and showing no mercy to his opponents. Shuji went all out on Kengo in his arsenal with his running knee strikes, a stomp off the top and even hits the Fire Thunder which Kengo kicked out at one, but Shuji would deliver another running knee soon as he got up but still kick out of it all. Shuji went to go pick up Kengo for a Powerbomb but Kengo turned it around into a Sleeper Hold and it looks like the violent giant is about to take a nap once he fell down and it looked like Shuji was fighting it for a while, but he would eventually pass out as Kengo gets the surprise victory over Shuji to advance to the next round!
Rating: Bruce Prichard
Royal Road 2018 First Round Match
Jake Lee vs. Jun Akiyama
Review: Uncle Jun is ready for some action as he is next to fight in the tournament and his opponent is All Japan’s rising star, Jake Lee. Jake has been showing a lot of progress ever since his return from injury a couple of months ago and even had a really solid match against Kento Miyahara on top of it, so this tournament would be a good opportunity to defeat the president and one of the greatest ever. Will Jake Lee pull it off or will Uncle Jun ground the young man?
God damn, Jun, calm down a little. Most of this match was Jun pretty much abusing the daylights out of him with nothing but knee strikes and he does them in the ring, out the ring, over and over again to just beat the living crap out of this kid. When he does a few knees to him to the outside of the ring, he would pull back a little bit to check up on his left elbow which seems to be something wrong there but he would run back after him to keep assaulting him with these knees and it just doesn’t stop. The match is more story based with the well-rounded vet teaching Jake in the ring as if he’s trying to groom him up into bigger and better things but wants to not go easy on him otherwise he wouldn’t really learn. Jake eventually did get some offense into this match but he would mostly just be taking the abuse Uncle Jun would give him to help sell the story of the match better and it works out really well. Jun hits the Exploder Suplex a couple of times and Jake would kick out of it and he pulled his kneepad down to try and hit a knee strike with his bare knee to end it but Jake kneed him in the gut and copies him with the same move, hitting him in the face twice and Jake Lee pulls off the victory!
We would later find out that Jun Akiyama would actually injure his elbow during the match. I don’t know when it actually occurred or how long he will be out, but it could be a while before we see him in the ring again. Get well soon, Uncle Jun!
Rating: Eric Bischoff and three quarters
Royal Road 2018 First Round Match
Naoya Nomura vs. Zeus
Review: We’re now down to our final match of the first round as our Triple Crown Champion, Zeus takes on the other half of the all Asia Tag Team Champions, Naoya Nomura. A couple of weeks ago, Naoya would pull off an upset by pinning Zeus in a tag team match and it looks like the two would fight in a singles match this time. If Nomura could beat him for the second time in a row, I think that’ll definitely give him a future title opportunity but Zeus ain’t gonna go down without a fight. Can Nomura be able to get a second victory over him or will Zeus overpower him?
I think this was Naoya’s best match in 2018. Nomura was definitely the underdog in this story since he pulled that surprise win over Zeus and has some of the fans backing him during the match while Zeus would hold a bit of a grudge and added more power in his strikes, especially when he had Nomura against the turnbuckle and Zeus would start elbowing him about as much as Jun did to Jake with his knees in the previous match, even the referee would try to pull Zeus off but he looked furious there. Both of these men delivered in the match to make Nomura look like a star while Zeus being the fighting champion and giving it his all in the match whether the title was on the line or not.
Nomura did pull off quite a few stops like hitting the Death Valley Driver onto Zeus to get the crowd on their feet but Zeus kicked out at two. Zeus would hit some of his big moves too like his Chokeslam and even giving Nomura some of his stiffest chops and Lariats in this match to try and knock him out but Nomura would still keep on kicking out. Nomura definitely showed his fighting spirit in the match proving that he is indeed a future star in the company with his never give up type attitude no matter who he faces, but Zeus would knock him down with a Lariat to flip him inside out and hits the Jackhammer for the win. Valiant effort by Nomura but Zeus was just better than him, but great match from beginning to end.
Rating: Bruce Prichard and a half
Overall: I thought the first round was very successful here as almost all of the matches were very enjoyable and plenty of surprises with both outcomes and performances that is making me excited to see how the next round will do.
Favorite Match: Naoya Nomura vs. Zeus
Least Favorite Match: The Bodyguard vs. Yuji Hino
Mitchell’s ROH Results & Report! (7/13/19)
The Kingdom, Jay Lethal and The Bouncers in a big Six Man main event!
ROH Wrestling Television, Episode 408
Manhattan Mayhem is on the horizon, and so is a major ROH World Championship match! But before Matt Taven and Jay Lethal face off 1v1, they bring allies to the ring for a truly massive Six Man Tag match!
- Proving Ground: Rhett Titus VS Shane Taylor; Taylor wins.
- WOH World Championship #1 Contender’s Four Corner Survival: Stella Grey VS Jenny Rose VS Angelina Love VS Tasha Steelz; Steelz wins and will challenge Kelly Klein for the title at Summer Supercard.
- Six Man Tag: The Kingdom VS Jay Lethal & The Bouncers; Lethal & The Bouncers win.
PLAY BY PLAY
ROH looks back to Best in the World.
The Peacock faced Rush’s brother, Dragon Lee, and beat him using Rush’s moves! The Best of 3 Series’ third match saw the K I N G topple the Franchise Player! And the Villain Enterprises expanded to include an army! A FLIP Army! The Allure used every trick up their sleeves to beat the Pretty Badass and American Joshi, but were confronted by Maria Manic! Manic didn’t get her hands on Mandy Leon or the Beautiful People, so she ran roughshod over security! And most shocking of all, Matt Taven didn’t need to resort to anything underhanded to down the Hawaiian Juggernaut!! How can anyone hope to stop Taven’s #PurpleReign now?
Kenny King joins ROH commentary for this opening contest.
Coming off a big victory over THE Jay Lethal, the K I N G wants to see what his old friends are up to.
Proving Ground: Rhett Titus VS Shane Taylor!
The Fittest returns to in-ring action to show that Strong Beach physique. But will physique be enough to survive the Notorious Hitman and ROH World Television Champion?
Rhett wants to shake hands with his former Rebellion brother, but Taylor SPITS on the Code of Honor! Rhett just uses it as body oil. The bell rings and the 10 minute time limit starts counting down. All Rhett has to do is survive the 10 minutes, and he gets a future shot at the title!
Fans rally as the two circle. Taylor shoves Rhett down and taunts him as he stands up. Rhett comes back to waistlock, but Taylor standing switches. Rhett powers his way out, but gets caught in a full nelson! Taylor grins but Rhett powers out of the nelson! Taylor headlocks but Rhett powers out to headlock back. Rhett grinds but Taylor powers out and runs Rhett over! Taylor wants Rhett to stop playing, and scoops him up. Rhett slips out and dropkicks Taylor back! Rhett grins and flexes, but then he tries to fireman’s carry, and Taylor is too much. Taylor spins Rhett, misses one way but hits the clothesline on the other! ROH goes to break as Taylor dares Rhett to get up.
ROH returns and Rhett wrecks Taylor with a dropkick. Rhett shows off his core strength with leg raises, but Taylor pulls him down to ROCK him with that One Hitter Quitter! Taylor drags Rhett up and into the ring to put him on the apron. Taylor climbs up, to drop the leg! He laughs and taunts Rhett as he CHOPS the chest! Rhett gasps for air while he crawls to a corner. Taylor climbs in and throws another big right! Rhett forearms Taylor back! Rhett backs Taylor down but Taylor blocks and reverses the whip to rock him again! Taylor yanks Rhett up but Rhett lands on his feet! Rhett rocks Taylor back with a JAB!
Rhett is in the corner again, and dodges Taylor as he runs in, to give him back a splash! And a BOOT! Then side to side for another! Rhett keeps moving to boot again! Fans fire up with The Fittest as he fireman’s carries Taylor again! For a Samoan Drop! Cover, TWO! Rhett keeps his cool as Taylor goes to a corner. Rhett runs corner to corner but his boot is blocked! Taylor shoves Rhett back to KNEE him in the face! Cover, TWO!! Rhett survives and now Taylor is frustrated. Taylor toys with Rhett but Rhett SLAPS him back! Taylor pie faces but Rhett CHOPS and forearms away! Rhett fires off forearm after forearm but Taylor bobs ‘n’ weaves to HEADBUTT! Cover, Taylor wins!
Winner: Shane Taylor, by pinfall
Rhett fell short of proving himself worthy, and the ROH World TV Champion continues rolling on. Kenny gives Taylor his due props, but goes to check on Rhett in the ring.
“I’m searching for the words, man, to describe what I just saw out of you right now.” The word is, “disgusting.” King is disgusted by Rhett. What happened to him? ROH stuck them together and they fought, they scratched and they clawed and became one of the best teams ever, the All Night Express. They beat The Briscoes, the Young Bucks, Roderick Strong, Tyler Black, you name them. “What the hell happened to you?!” Rhett fails a Proving Ground match because he only proved that while he has the body of a god, he has the “heart of a b*tch.” There’s no fight left in Rhett! If Kenny was Joe Koff, he’d rip up Rhett’s contract on the spot!
Rhett’s family and pregnant wife are here, yet he embarrasses them!? Does Rhett think it’s okay that the reason his son won’t look him in the eyes is because daddy’s a coward?! Rhett gets mad, and that’s what Kenny wants to see! Show him something! But when Rhett doesn’t, Kenny is the one who gets mad. Is the Titus family really proud of that?! Because the Rhett Kenny King knew was a man, not this “punk ass b*tch.” Will these fighting words light a fire in the Fittest? Or does the K I N G have a point?
ROH hears from Kelly Klein.
“Women of Honor has some of the best women wrestling has to offer right now, and I love it.” That means the Gatekeeper will defend her title against some of the best women around. Maria Manic has Kelly’s attention, and Kelly is ready for that match. Kelly’s even excited to fight Tasha Steelz, the Allure, Stella Grey or Jenny Rose as she defends her world title. Who makes it out of the contender’s match first in line for a fight with the Pretty Badass?
ROH looks back to June 29th.
Jay Lethal vowed to work twice as hard as before, “whip the crap out of Matt Taven,” and become a THREE-TIME ROH World Champion! But Taven told him that in New York City, July 20th, we will all finally see that we are living in “The Time of Matt Taven.” Taven is the King of ROH, because heee’s Matt Taven, and he was #BorntoRule! But then, Alex Shelley returned!
Shelley was careful not to say he retired from ROH. Let’s pretend he has a card in his hand that is known as the “veteran’s card.” And let’s say there’s a hole punched for every year he’s contributed to the industry. That’s 17 holes. Shelley’s fingerprints are all over the world of wrestling, so now he plays his card. Shelley expects to be respected! And it won’t matter who walks out of Manhattan, Shelley just wants his shot to prove to them, him, and the world that he still has #TalentonLoanfromGod! Who will the returning revolutionary meet after mayhem goes down in Manhattan?
WOH World Championship #1 Contender’s Four Corner Survival: Stella Grey VS Jenny Rose VS Angelina Love w/ The Allure VS Tasha Steelz!
While only one of the Beautiful People is in this match, it is no surprise that she still has her friends by her side. Angelina Love leads the way as Velvet Sky helps Mandy Leon and their fluffy mascot, Foxxy, into the ring. But the spotlight quickly moves to the Garden State Goddess, little gritty Grey, and the American Joshi. With Kelly Klein watching on commentary, who grabs a huge victory and earns a Summer Supercard showdown?
But before the bell rings, Velvet grabs a mic to tell Jenny she doesn’t belong here, that Stella doesn’t belong here, and Tasha- She doesn’t even know who Tasha is, actually, but she doesn’t belong here, either. The only woman in the ring that matters is the Allure’s Bada$$, Angelina Love, the TRUE #1 Contender! Angelina proved herself already when she pinned Kelly at Best in the World. Win-loss records leave out a lot, and Kelly knows Angelina didn’t need to cheat that night to win. But talking aside, the other three competitors uphold the Code of Honor, but don’t even worry about Angelina. The bell finally rings, and Jenny goes right at her!
Stella and Tasha fight while Jenny rains down rights on Angelina! Angelina and Jenny roll out of the ring and Angelina kicks back. Jenny forearms but Angelina kicks again. Stella whips Tasha but Tasha runs Stella over. Tasha brushes herself off and runs, but Stella keeps up. Tasha and Stella trade hip toss blocks while Angelina and Jenny trade apron bumps. Stella rolls Tasha but Tasha arm-drags back. Stella arm-drags Tasha now, but Angelina kicks Jenny away. Angelina is on Stella with a sleeper, but Stella kicks Tasha away. Angelina throws Stella down by her hair, and The Allure cheers her on as she whips Stella into a corner. Stella runs into Tasha, then Angelina dropkicks them into each other. Angelina throws Stella out and runs, but into Jenny’s SPEAR! Cover, TWO!
Tasha throws Jenny out fast and stares down with Angelina. Tasha flexes but it doesn’t impress Angelina. Angelina ties up with Tasha to a headlock. Tasha powers out but Angelina runs her over. Things speed up and Tasha shows agility to hip toss Angelina down! Fans fire up as Tasha whips. Angelina reverses and scoops to a spinning sidewalk slam! Cover, TWO! Tasha fires forearms back and whips, but Angelina reverses. Tasha goes up and over and rolls, to drop toehold Angelina down. Angelina gets clear of the basement dropkick but Tasha gets clear of the elbow drop. The two stare down as fans cheer.
Tasha eggs Angelina on, and the two start trading forearms. Tasha gets an edge and fires off! She runs but Mandy trips her up! A Fatal 4 Way means no disqualifications, but the referee tells the Allure they’re EJECTED! Mandy is upset and Velvet just shrugs it off as they take Foxxy with them. Angelina is a bit more concerned now that she’s all alone as ROH goes to break.
ROH returns and Tasha waistlocks Angelina. They roll to a cover, TWO! Stella throws Tasha out to roll Angelina, but Jenny breaks it. Jenny kicks Stella out to then La Magistrol Angelina, TWO! Jenny stays on Angelina in a corner for a back elbow and whip. Angelina reverses but Jenny dodges to send Angelina into the post! Jenny dropkicks Stella back out and goes out to join her. They start trading hands, but Tasha slingshots out to take them both down! Fans fire up but now Angelina climbs up top. Angelina LEAPS to crossbody them all down! This is the top tier talent Kelly has wanted to see. But speaking of, Angelina dares Kelly to come closer. Kelly heads closer to the ring, and stares Angelina down the whole way. But this keeps Angelina seeing Jenny, Stella and Tasha all get back in the ring.
Jenny clubs Angelina, and has help from Stella! They DOUBLE POWERBOMB Angelina down! But then Tasha double clotheslines Jenny and Stella down! Fans fire up behind the Boricua Badass as she fireman’s carries Stella. Stella fights out and drags Tasha into a sleeper hold clutch! Angelina kicks Jenny then hits a complete shot, to the Koji Klutch! Side-by-side submissions, but which one puts their victim out first!? Jenny and Tasha endures, and Jenny reaches for a ropebreak! The ref counts and Angelina lets her go. Meanwhile, Tasha sits up, and Angelina kicks Stella off her! Jenny kicks Angelina down, then goes to Tasha for a German Suplex! Jenny kicks Stella for a snap suplex! She runs at Angelina but gets the Botox Injection! Angelina covers, but Stella breaks it!
Stella scoops but Angelina slips out and shoves, Botox Injection for Stella! Tasha throws Angelina out to get Stella with a CUTTER! Cover, Tasha wins!!
Winner: Tasha Steelz, by pinfall; NEW #1 Contender to the WOH World Championship
Angelina ain’t happy about it, but the Boricua Badass got the better of her fair and square, okurrr? Can Tasha make it a one and done when it comes to title matches? Or will Kelly still be the champion when she leaves Toronto?
But wait, the lights drop down. And a rather creepy little video plays. Dolls sit in a line, but a hand reaches out to take the man. To chew him up and spit him out! Because the MANEATER is here! And Maria Manic has appeared behind Tasha and Angelina! Angelina saw this once before, she gets away again. But Tasha shows no fear! Security hurries to keep this fight from happening, but Maria just manhandles them like she did at Best in the World! She takes one and tosses him from the ring, then clotheslines another! But she slaps the third around to then put him in the torture rack! And then she dumps him out onto the other two! The fourth man gets the double hand choke slam! Maria Manic made mince meat of five grown men, but is she going to devour the entire WOH Division?
ROH hears from Rush.
El Toro Blanco is “sick and tired” of Dalton Castle. Rush whooped The Peacock in 15 seconds. But if Castle wants to mess with his familia, well perro, the bull is going to end him for good! Rush didn’t come to ROH to play, he came to become the best! “Nothing happens unless I say so.” When and where will this grudge match happen? Mass Hyteria on July 21st! A wild weekend is coming for ROH, who survives the mayhem and hysteria on the way to the Summer Supercard?
Six Man Tag: The Kingdom VS Jay Lethal & The Bouncers!
Matt Taven vows to prove he’s the king, while TK O’Ryan and Vinnie Marseglia vow to show who are the real elite tag team wrestlers in ROH. But they’ll have to prove it with actions, not words, as they take on their rivals all at once! Will the Franchise Player gain major momentum towards Manhattan when he sides with former foes in Brian Milonas & The Beer City Bruiser?
But given the apparent collusion involving Kenny King and timekeeper Amy Rose, Jay Lethal asks that she take her leave. Amy obliges, not wanting to be a source of controversy for this main event. The Kingdom then make their entrance, and ROH takes another break.
ROH returns and Lethal starts against the Horror King. The bell rings and they tie up right away! Vinnie powers Lethal to a corner but the ref backs him off. Vinnie throws a forearm but Lethal gives it back and we have a brawl! Lethal starts backing Vinnie down but Vinnie knees low and puts Lethal in a corner. Vinnie chops but Lethal CHOPS right back. They trade more CHOPS, and Vinnie wants Lethal to give him more. Lethal CHOPS Vinnie like he wants, but Vinnie just trash talks and knees low. Vinnie runs but misses in the corner, Lethal hip tosses and cartwheels to dropkick! Vinnie hurries to the Kingdom’s corner and tags to TK. Brian “Brawler” Milonas tags in and ties up with the Sassy Wild Horse.
Milonas shoves TK all the way back to his corner! TK runs back out but skids to a stop as Milonas towers over him. TK says he wants Lethal? Milonas gives TK what he wants, but he does tag Lethal a bit hard. Lethal shakes it off and ties up with TK. TK headlocks but Lethal powers out, only for TK to run him over. TK runs and runs Lethal over again, but things speed up. Lethal hurdles but his hip toss is blocked to TK’s own hip toss. Lethal boots TK back but runs into an elbow. TK runs but into that hip toss and cartwheel dropkick! Lethal has gotten two Kingdom members with that, and then tags in Bruiser. Taven tags in and Bruiser dares him to bring the fight. Taven has Bruiser calm down, and fans chant “Melvin! Melvin!” But again, The Kingdom wants Lethal.
Taven wants Lethal and even offers a free shot. Bruiser says Taven’s too scared to fight a real man. Taven just wants Lethal, and again gives a free shot. Lethal tags in but he sees the sucker punch coming. The two fire off haymakers and CHOPS on each other! Lethal whips but Taven reverses, but Lethal gets under TK at the ropes. Vinnie rushes at Lethal on the outside but Lethal dodges to CHOP! TK jumps but Lethal punches him out of the air, only for Taven to wreck Lethal with a dropkick! Taven drags Lethal up and throws him into railing, then The Kingdom attacks like piranha! The Bouncers protest but The Kingdom put Lethal in. Taven stomps and chokes Lethal to then tag in Vinnie. The Kingdom mugs Lethal with stomps then Vinnie rains rights down. Fans duel as ROH goes to one more break.
ROH returns once again, and The Kingdom continues to mug Lethal. Taven stomps Lethal down then drags him up to put in the Kingdom’s corner. Taven CHOPS Lethal then tags in Vinnie. Vinnie tags in TK, and the two whip Lethal. Lethal reverses to whip Vinnie, but TK waistlocks him. Lethal boots Vinnie then slips out of TK’s suplex. He ducks them both to tag in Bruiser! Bruiser rallies with the power of “BEER! BEER!” He punches Taven, uppercuts Vinnie, and uppercuts TK! Bruiser brings TK in for the sidewinder DDT! Cover but Vinnie breaks it! Vinnie fish hooks Bruiser but Bruiser bites the fingers. Oh but wait, Bruiser can’t bite, “I ain’t got no teef!” Bruiser brings TK up but TK CHOPS! TK kicks low and DDT’s Bruiser! But Milonas tags in to rally on The Kingdom! He even back drops Taven!
Milonas falls back to senton on Taven! Vinnie runs but gets flattened with a crossbody! Cover, but Taven breaks it! Taven fires off strikes on Milonas, but Milonas powers Taven to a fireman’s carry. TK leaps but into Milonas’ arms! Milonas gives them a Fall Away Samoan Drop combo! Fans fire up with the Mastodon, but also for Lethal as he DIVES onto Vinnie! Lethal gets back in to DIVE onto TK! And of course, he runs and DIVES onto Taven! The trifecta has been completed! Vinnie runs in to fight with the Bouncers, and whips Bruiser, but Bruiser reverses. TK tags in before Vinnie gets fed to the Scrapbuster! TK climbs and leaps, but into Bruiser’s arms. Milonas sandwiches TK with Bruiser, and it even sends Bruiser stumbling. But Bruiser comes back while Milonas climbs, and it’s the Last Call leg drop! Cover, The Bouncers and Lethal win!
Winners: Jay Lethal & The Bouncers, Brian Milonas pinning
The winner of Guerrillas of Destiny VS The Briscoes in the ROH World Tag Team Championship match at Manhattan Mayhem better watch out, because some big competition is meeting them at Mass Hysteria. Who will The Bouncers get to toast with on the 21st?
But wait, Taven doesn’t let Lethal go, and gives him CLIMAX to the floor!! The Bouncers hurry to Lethal’s side as The Kingdom retreats. Taven raises the title, but will he still be holding onto the gold after Manhattan Mayhem?
A pretty good go-home with major developments for a busy weekend coming up for ROH. Not only is Manhattan Mayhem on Saturday, July 20th, but now there’s another event on July 21st with this “Mass Hysteria” in Lowell, Massachusetts. Of course, this is all on top of ROH TV finally referencing Best in the World, but the usual mess was mostly ironed out. Rush has a solid promo, and his grudge match with Castle will surely be longer and better than the shocking 15 second squash at G1 Supercard. What’s odd is that while Kenny King beat Lethal at BitW in their Best of 3, he’s doing a story with Rhett Titus next? Lethal’s using his contractual rematch, sure, but is this story with Rhett going to delay Kenny’s shot at Taven more? Is Rhett going to turn so that we more or less get an All Night Express reunion? It is both intriguing yet confusing as to what is going on here.
The Women’s Fatal 4 was a great match, and what a great surprise to see the younger Tasha Steelz getting this chance. I thought it was going to be Angelina Love, but at the same time, even Angelina Love seems like an odd choice from out of The Allure. But I suppose with now women’s tag titles in ROH (yet?) all three could try going after Kelly in turn. And then we got to see Maria Manic at the same time tonight, that was a great way to debut! The Maneater will surely be a contender, and a monster for the Allure to worry about while they’re each taking turns against Kelly Klein. Kelly’s promo is obviously to put the company over, but for just the WOH Division in a vacuum, it is definitely heating up now with an addition like Manic.
And to end the show, we get a really good Six Man Tag, and obviously the goal for The Kingdom was to do as much as they could to Lethal so it’ll be easier for Taven in Manhattan. I am still disappointed the timing kept Jeff Cobb from becoming ROH’s top guy, but I again reference that the G1 Climax and Cobb going back and forth just wouldn’t be good for him or ROH. Lethal might as well dethrone Taven, joining Adam Cole as the only other three-time champ. Then we could get Lethal VS King 4 within a span of a few months, and maybe that story (which has an interesting twist with how it involves timekeeper Amy Rose) is what gives King his first world title reign, and makes him an ROH Triple Crown winner. Then we can circle back to King VS K I N G, Grand Slam Taven VS Triple Crown Kenny for the One True King of Honor!
My Score: 8.2/10
Andrew’s G1 Climax 29 Ratings & Analysis: Night 5 A Block
KENTA, Lance Archer and Kazuchika Okada are setting the early A Block pace! Something’s gotta give. Who comes out undefeated?
KENTA, Lance Archer and Kazuchika Okada are setting the early A Block pace! Something’s gotta give. Who comes out undefeated?
Shmoxley in the opening tag team match means we should start off fun. Tanahashi and Sabre are in the battle of, well, someone needs to get at least a point out of that.
Then we’ve got Ospreay and Ibushi who are banged up but most likely still going to be psychopaths in the ring. Let’s get ready for the carnage, I mean, no…I meant carnage.
- Shota Umino & Jon Moxley vs Tomohiro Ishii & Yuya Uemura: Shooter wins via Fisherman Suplex Hold @5:45 – ***
- Hirooki Goto, Jeff Cobb & YOSHI-HASHI vs Toa Henare, Yota Tsuji & Juice Robinson: YOSHI wins via Butterfly Lock @9:30 – ** 1/4
- Tomoaki Honma, Ren Narita & Toru Yano vs Jay White, Chase Owens & Yujiro Takahashi: Owens wins via Package Piledriver @8:50 – ** 1/2
- BUSHI, Tetsuya Naito & Shingo Takagi vs Taichi, Minoru Suzuki & Yoshinobu Kanemaru: Suzuki wins via Gotch Style Piledriver @8:35 – ** 1/2
- A Block: KENTA vs Lance Archer: Kenta wins via Game Over @12:00 – ***
- A Block: SANADA vs EVIL: EVIL wins via Everything is Evil @18:10 – **** 1/4
- A Block: Bad Luck Fale vs Kazuchika Okada: Okada wins via Double Legged Cradle @10:15 – ** 1/2
- A Block: Zack Sabre Jr vs Hiroshi Tanahashi: Tanahashi wins via Triangle Counter Pin @13:55 – *** 3/4
- A Block: Kota Ibushi vs Will Ospreay: Ibushi wins via Kamigoye Knee @27:15 – **** 3/4
Moxley and Ishii start off trying to kill one another. This is a great opener and the respective Young Lions have to pull their veteran off as to not incur a disqualification. The Young Lions then take the bulk of the match and Shota has definitely picked up a few mannerisms from Moxley that we slowly see him unlocking. This may be our evolution of Shooter, but for an opening match this was very fun and the fact Moxley and Ishii just want to fight added for a neat dynamic.
Juice and Cobb are both respectful Gaijin faces, so not a lot of heat for this match. Plus YOSHI-HASHI was in it, so I could’ve downed a few Valium and been more invested in staring at a wall. Pork Chop Sandwiches later, and YOSHI-HASHI wins with that awful Butterfly Lock. Great…I can now taste colors.
So Yano wanted to get him a piece of the Jay White on the down turn, but Jay tried to still play the calculating heel. Honma put in a bit of decent work but Narita was obviously the one sent out to eat the pin. Narita held his own against Yujiro and Chase, but Chase eventually stopped playing with his feud and hit the Package Piledriver to tie things up in a nice little bow.
Shingo took a hell of a beating in this match. Kanemaru played random interference and Taichi took Shingo to the woodshed. Naito also continued his distaste of Taichi and Suzuki while being a little protective of Shingo at points. Now being the unabashed fanboy of Shingo, yet also a subscriber to Holy Emperor weekly, I’m very torn about this whole thing. The match played up the G1 tensions and the LIJ vs Suzuki-Gun tensions very well, but my heart knows not which to root for.
Lance is a good foot taller than KENTA and that was the story of the first 75% of this match. Lance was shrugging off the strikes of our returning striker. KENTA was getting effectively crushed, until Lance pushed the anime comeback button and said “You’re fucking Hideo! That’s who you are! HIDEO!” – which prompted the anime comeback in KENTA. KENTA managed to even lift Lance for a few things, but relied heavily on the dropkicks and strikes. He couldn’t quite pull off the Go 2 Sleep, so he went to his Crossface submission, Game Over. And boy howdy, it was game over! (I will see myself out after that)
EVIL and SANADA have this brotherly rivalry in LIJ. Being former 2 time IWGP Heavyweight Tag Champions, familiarity is obvious. SANADA starts off the match quickly and this is definitely a match of quick bursts when the one gets an advantage. I guess they are transitioning SANADA away from the Paradise Lock since this is the second match where he had it mostly on, but “something happened” and the opponent gets out of the move. We get a bunch of great back and forth, but something that continues to plague SANADA is his limited moveset when it gets down to crunch time. EVIL pulled out a plethora of tricks, including using the referee as an anchor for the Magic Killer. Whereas, SANADA sticks to Dragon Sleeper variants, into Skull End attempt or a Moonsault. With how over SANADA is, I really expect him to start getting more crunch time maneuvers. EVIL wins and quickly wants to bury the hatchet by extending the LIJ fist bump. SANADA bumps fists, and all is fine in our ungovernable world.
Fale tends to have Okada’s number in tournaments, and he starts off by attacking him in the back and dragging him out. So we get a typical Bullet Club brawl with heel tactics and ref bumps, but Okada perseveres. Okada is able to lift Fale a few times, but can’t hit the Rainmaker, and wins via the wrestling move he tends to fall back on, the Double Legged Cradle.
Well both Tanahashi and Sabre come into this match 0-2, so there’s a level of desperation that both bring to the table. Sabre wrestled circles around Tanahashi, and Tanahashi just tried to keep up for most of the match. After countering the High Fly Flow, Sabre locks in a Triangle Arm Bar, but Tanahashi floats over for the bridging pin counter. The Ace finally has 2 points!
There have been well known injuries for both of these men, and they played into the story of the match well. Focusing on each other’s injuries, calling back to their Wrestle Kingdom match and just a generally high energy and high impact match. Watching this match, you have to assume one of them will die with their style, but it is damn entertaining. Everyone expected this to be a great match and it delivered.
Overall Score: 8/10
Well we had a lot of good storylines and matches that mostly paid off. Lance Archer has been doing great work, Fale and Okada was at least somewhat entertaining and the cripple fight in the main event was fantastic. The inner faction turmoil was now squashed, so we can have a nice tournament while The Ace gets a few points over the petulant British child.
So great show, great entertainment, and generally a good time. I can only hope the B Block carries equal weight.
Block A Standings:
- Kazuchika Okada: 3-0 (6 Points)
- KENTA: 3-0 (6 Points)
- Lance Archer: 2-1 (4 Points)
- EVIL: 2-1 (4 Points)
- SANADA: 1-2 (2 Points)
- Hiroshi Tanahashi: 1-2 (2 Points)
- Will Ospreay: 1-2 (2 Points)
- Bad Luck Fale: 1-2 (2 Points)
- Kota Ibushi: 1-2 (2 Points)
- Zack Sabre Jr: 0-3 (0 Points)