Matt Davis recaps and reviews Ring of Honor on FITE TV: Episode 420 (October 7th, 2019) featuring lucha libre…of Honor!
We are welcomed by Ian Riccaboni and Quinn McKay who tell us that Ring of Honor has a very special “luchadore edition” of ROH TV.
Barbaro Carvenario vs Rush
“Global Wars: Espectacular: Night 2”
Villa Park, Illinois
Carvenario makes his way out first to absolutely no reaction. Rush makes his entrance second, with lights and smoke. Fans start out early clapping for Rush. Carvenario asks for a shake but Rush kicks his hand away. Barbaro tries to escalate things early but bounces off Rush. We are told Barbaro insulted Rush’s mother in Spanish. They exchange arm drags and double missed dropkicks and square away! Splash in the corner by Rush! Cavernario tries his own but it’s countered and Cavernario flips to the apron. He slaps Rush! They change flips and strikes, Rush takes down his opponent out of the corner and nails a running dropkick to the face. Rush with an open hand slap to the chest and another running splash. Dropkick to the back of the head as Rush in complete control! Cavernario stands up and slaps Rush in the face. The missed slaps are so obvious it’s almost comical. He doesn’t connect with Rush and you can see him punching his own hand for the sound effect. Rush drives Cavernario in the corner but avoids the Bulls Horns.
Cavernario in control now, trying to get the fans going. Springboard body splash for a two count! More terrible slaps. Off the ropes flying headscissors knocks Rush to the outside. Diving body splash from the corner to the outside knocking Rush down! Referee reaches 7 as both men up and in. Cavernario runs on the apron and dives through the turnbuckles and crashes into Rush as take a break! Back with Cavernario in complete control. Crowd is silent, as Cavernario taunts his opponent. Rush playing possum with running forearm strikes spills Carvenario to the outside. Flying and scoring over the top, mimicking Matt Taven! Rush gets the blood pumping, runs off the ropes, TRANQUILLLOOOOO! Rush immediately flies outside and slams his opponent into the barrier. Todd Sinclair grabs a chair from Rush to stop the disqualification as we are reminded that Rush is undefeated. Back inside, Rush misses a corner splash, Cavernario with a worm wiggle jiggle. Cavernario tries a running splash but Rush catches him- RELEASE BELLY TO BELLY SUPLEX INTO THE CORNER! Bulls Horns connects and gets the win at 8:57.
Thoughts: Solid 9 minute match, but not much to it. Cavernario surprisingly controlled most of the pace but Rush was not to be denied as he ended the match with a statement as he heads for Death Before Dishonor against Matt Taven.
Quinn McKay welcomes us back and tells us that Glory By Honor is this weekend, Saturday October 12th. We are told that at Glory by Honor we will see the semi-finals and finals of the #1 contender to the ROH World Championship at Final Battle taking place. We will see PCO against Dalton Castle, a former World Champion, and Marty Scurll against Jay Lethal, another former World Champion. My pick is PCO vs Jay Lethal in the finals, with PCO picking up the win. We are also told Jonathan Gresham against Alex Shelley.
We cut to Dalton Castle talking about how he knows what it takes to be champion, and he’s learned a lot since losing the title. Marty Scurll tells us he’s traveled all over the world, Toyko Dome, Madison Square Garden, yet he’s never won the ROH World Championship, and if he doesn’t win the championship, he’s not what he claims to be. He’s felt like he’s been the man for a long time but he needs the championship. Back to Castle who tells us he trains in the hottest temperatures and he works hard and trains harder. Back to Scurll who says this time is different, he says there is no other chance to become champion, this match could be his final battle. He said this match will lead him to become champion which he deserves to be.
Jeff Cobb, Jay Lethal, Jonathan Gresham vs Caristico, Triton, Stuka Jr
“Global Wars: Espectacular: Night 2”
Villa Park, Illinois
Starts mid action with Lethal in with Caristico. You may recognize Caristico as the former Sin Cara and Mistico from WWE. We are told Caristico is the cream of the crop here in Ring of Honor as he flips Jay Lethal upside down. Caristico avoids a springboard splash, and launches himself into the ring with his own! Lightning fast, backflip handspring off the ropes. Kicks followed by a running arm whip off the top rope! Cut and back with Jeff Cobb and Stuka Jr exchanging dropkicks! Cut and Gresham in with Stuka. Tilt-a-whirl back breaker and Gresham tags in the former Olympian Jeff Cobb! A backbreaker for Cobb! Cut and Caristico and Jeff Cobb in the corner. Jeff Cobb gets attacked by all three CMLL stars, and wraps them around himself like a Mexican pig in a blanket, lifting three men at the same time. Lethal grabs Stuka and Cobb drops both Triton with a double Samoan drop fallaway slam! The insane strength by Jeff Cobb is mind blowing! Big slam on Stuka, snap standing moonsault! Pin attempt and two and a half! From power to speed and athleticism, Cobb is the total package. Cut to Team CMLL with triple aerial attacks to Team ROH! I’m going to dial it way back, SOARING AND SCORING!
Cut and in the ring, double team by Triton and Caristico. Snapmare and basement dropkick connects on Lethal! Stuka up top and nails the Torpedo Plancha! His spikes himself, gets two and Gresham breaks the pin. Cut to Cobb burying Triton with chops! Wow! Jeff Cobb lifts Triton up and spins him 630 degrees in the air like pizza crust! Caristico with a diving cross body on Cobb! Tilt-a-whirl DDT spikes Cobb! Caristico blocks the Lethal Injection as lucha rules apply here. Lethal Combination! Stuka in, and gets caught in a powerslam, spiking Stuka’s head and neck off the mat! Lethal into the Figure Four! WOO! Stuka doesn’t tap (even though he appears to), Triton powerbombs Gresham onto Lethal to break it up and save the match! Cut to Cobb and Caristico, SUPERKICK by the former Sin Cara, LARIATTTT MURDERS CARISTICO! Triton counters Tour of the Islands! Triton destroys Jeff Cobb with a fireman carry sitout driver! Gresham with a somersault cutter puts Triton down!
Winners: Jeff Cobb, Jay Lethal, Jonathan Gresham
Thoughts: Interesting clip match with some solid action. Hard to review a clip match without knowing how long it really went or any stories told. Commentary often interrupted. Fun trios action. Could be worth the money to buy the show just for that match.
Back with Ian Riccaboni as we are told Rush’s first challenger has been announced for Honor United. He will be challenged by The Hawaiian Juggernaut Jeff Cobb! Quinn McKay tells us The Briscoes, Villain Enterprises, Jay Lethal, and Lifeblood. McKay tells us Rudos will face Villain Enterprises tonight.
Barbaro Carvenario, Rey Bucanero, Okumura, Hechicero vs ROH Six Man Tag Champions Marty Scurll, PCO, Brody King, & Flip Gordon
“Global Wars: Espectacular: Night 1”
VE gets showered in streamers during their intro, cut right into the action with King crushing multiple opponents in the corners! Double team by Brody King and Gordon in Rey Bucanero! Assisted sunset powerbomb by Scurll and King! Two count! Assisted clothesline by Gordon in the corner! Cannonball by King, Brainbuster by Scurll, PCO breaks out the Super Senton Splash from the top! Two count as all eight men in the ring and break the pin. Multiple spills to the outside with King in the corner with three members of Rudos now. Running clothesline by one, another by Cavernario, running splash by Hechicero! Elevated cutter by Okumura. Cavernario with a big splash! Something happens on the outside, bad camera angle with Bucanero I think with a running splash into PCO against the barrier. Hechicero drops Scurll throats first on the barrier! Double drop toe hold into a double surfboard on Brody King in the ring. Gordon breaks a pinfall attempt!
Cavernario with a big boot to Gordon! King ducks a double clothesline and Bucanero and Cavernario drop Hechicero! BRODY KING WITH A SEATED SENTON DOUBLE ARM DRAG OFF THE ROPES! STOP! PROFESSIONAL WRESTLING YOU STOP RIGHT NOW! Insane!! Standing ovation! Off the ropes, and Brody King crashes into steam CMLL with a flipping Senton over the top rope! Hechicero twisting moonsault over the top rope! Carvenario with a dropkick that knocks Scurll and Gordon to the outside. The same jumping splash from the corner to the outside on Gordon that we saw in the first match. Hechicero launches Bucanero over the top rope with a catapault splash into Villain Enterprises! PCO surprises Hechicero as the fans erupt for PCO! PCO hip tosses his opponent over the top rope into six or seven men. He climbs to the top rope and stands tall MOONSAULTTTT!!! That was awesome! Fans going crazy! In the ring, Scurll breaks Okumura fingers! Catapault into the backcracker splash and Villain Enterprises gets the win.
Winners: Villain Enterprises
Thoughts: Okay so, I thought the match was great, good double and triple team spots throughout, great aerial action, everyone got something here. But… this CMLL team honestly reminds me of when CMLL would loan guys to WCW and we’d see random pairings of guys like Villano IV and Silver King and El Dandy on Saturday Nights. We are told this is the best talent CMLL has to offer. That’s kind of disappointing if I am going to be honest. Fans just wanted to see Villain Enterprises crush everyone. This match had one thing going for it and it was PCO and Brody King. Fans loved both and reacted well to their offense.
Okumura, Rey Bucanero, Hechicero vs Caristico, Volador Jr, Stuka Jr
“Global Wars: Espectacular: Night 3”
We are told that the team of Caristico, Volador Jr, and Stuka Jr are some of the biggest names in Mexico, with top grossing receipts in box office history. They are all dressed in sky blue. Caristico wearing his Sin Cara attire here, as we are reminded that he was the biggest name in Mexican wrestling as Mistico before coming to the WWE as Sin Cara.
Stuka and Hechicero start us off. Unorthodox takeover by Hechicero to start. Hechicero tried a pumphsndle but Stuka reverses and drags Hechicero into the ropes. Hechicero tried again and drops Stuka into a submission! Both men exchange grappled and a headscissors and square away! Leapfrog tripped up and an elbow by Hechicero! Stuka bridges out of a unique pin, spinning out headscissors into the technicos corner. Bucanero and Volador in now, lightning fast handspring backflip into an hurricanrana! Now Caristico and Okumura exchanging slaps and kicks. Okumura drops Caristico and we fade to a break. Back with a springboard hurricanrana and a tope suicida to the outside! Inside, Stuka and Hechicero exchange open palm strikes. Both men drop their straps as they try to inflict more damage. Scouted kick and Hechicero drops Stuka, drop toehold into the surfboard! Everyone in now, Bucanero with a flipping Senton to Volador! Triple team splash attack by the Rudos on Volador! All three now dissect Stuka Jr! Elevated cutter off the top by Okumura and Caristico breaks the corner, Hechicero drops Caristico with a dropkick as the rudos in control! Stuka with a monkey flip out of the corner, backbreaker to Okumura, slam into the knee drops Bucanero! Volador with back elbows! Caristico with athletic handspring takedown! All three technicos dive over the top rope to the outside and the crowd breaks into a “lucha lucha lucha” chant.
Volador and Hechicero in the ring, running knee by Hechicero. The rudos with triple team attacks into a spine buster by Hechicero and a diving Senton splash by Bucanero off the top. Volador kicks out of a pin. Hechicero dominates Volador but Volador ducks and tags Caristico! Patented Springboard tilt a whirl arm drag and tried a tornado DDT but Hechicero counters as we fade to a break. Back with Caristico with a back kick. Hechicero catches him with a sleeper on the apron, releases, Caristico takes down Okamura and Bucanero with stereo arm drags! Hurricanrana to Bucanero! Tag to Stuka. Rudos piled up in the corner, as Volador catapaults Stuka into the three men! It’s a four man accordion! Two count and kickout! Hechicero with a body slam to Stuka. Hechicero reverses a monkeyflip into a sleeper! Awkward exchange as Hechicero kicks Stuka into his corner as he makes the tag, Volador catches Hechicero on the top rope. Everyone powerbombs someone out of the corner as Volador tried a Spanish Fly! Stuka with a Torpedo Splash! Pin broken up. Monkeyflip sends Bucanero outside. Caristico springboard wristlock Takeover! Caristico flies through Stuka’s legs and crashes into Bucanero! Stuka with a springboard splash to Okumura! Back inside, Hechicero with a unique victory roll into a reverse monkey flip drops Volador across the middle rope,… he drops his body weight into Volador! Both men to the top. Volador Super Volador Special gets the win in about 15 minutes of television time.
Winners: Caristico, Volador Jr, Stuka Jr
Thoughts: The main event did not disappoint as we got a true lucha libre technicos v rudos trios match with a lot of unique lucha traditional unorthodox high flying action. I’m not very familiar with any of these guys, except seeing Volador Jr in tours of NJPW, and of course seeing Caristico in WWE. The rudos looked good, especially Hechicero who worked most of the match. Definitely worth checking out if you like this type of wrestling. I could personally do without lucha libre, but it’s such an interesting style which influences so much about what we see in wrestling every day. Guys like Ultimo Dragon, Eddie Guerrero, Rey Mysterio, and others changed the game for lucha wrestling in front of global audiences and now we get to the next generation of stars (some older than others) here in Ring of Honor.
Show Rating: 7/10
Overall Thoughts: The show wasn’t anything amazing, but it wasn’t terrible either. There’s so much available for wrestling fans today, being able to flip on ROH and see all this electric lucha-style action was great to see as a change of pace. It’s personally not my cup of tea, but what the show was trying to accomplish it did very well and that was introduce this CMLL product to American viewers. I won’t lie, I went in ready to hate this show and came away very interested and wanting to see more. The clip show format annoys me, but they want you to purchase ROH Honor Roll, and to that degree it worked well to use for advertising what type of great wrestling the company provides.