Ring Of Honor
War Of The Worlds UK: Night 2
August 19th, 2017
Liverpool Olympia
Liverpool, England

Watch: ROHWrestling.com / FITE TV App

Kenny King def. “The Hangman” Adam Page

This match came about after a recent episode of ROH TV, where Adam Page (along with Marty Scurll) cost King a shot at the ROH World TV Title when they attacked him and KUSHIDA during their match. These two had a really enjoyable opening contest. I might be on the high end, as far as my rating is concerned, but it was entertaining to watch from start to finish with some very solid action throughout.

Adam Page & Kenny King are very similar, in that they’re two midcard guys who’ve been pretty divisive in recent years. Some people like them, but a lot of people don’t like them. I tend to fall under the former category. Honestly, I’ve never really had issues with either of them. Should they be anywhere near the main event/ROH World Title picture? No, but they’re perfect at the mid-card/ROH World TV Title level. When they’re on their own, they can both have good (even great) matches, depending on who their opponent is. Kenny King would end up getting the victory here. Even if you’re not a fan of him as a performer, I do think that ROH deserves credit for giving him a bit of a singles push coming off his time on The Bachelorette. King got some mainstream exposure, so take advantage of it the best you can. ***1/2

Ultimo Guerrero & Rey Bucanero def. Mistico & Titan

I was really looking forward to this match coming into the show, and when the dust settled, it delivered. This was an incredibly entertaining tag team affair. It’s stuff like this that makes me wish that I had more time available to me so I can watch CMLL on a more regular basis, because they have some amazing performers. On one end, you have the veterans of Ultimo Guerrero & Rey Bucanero.

Sure, they’re on the older side of things, but they can still produce really good matches (particular Ultimo Guerrero, based on what I’ve seen). They played their roles well here. On the other end, you have Mistico (just to be clear, this is a different Mistico, NOT the original Mistico who later became the original Sin Cara in WWE) & Titan, who are both awesome! These two were particularly great in this match, hitting and taking some pretty insane moves. At one point, Ultimo Guerrero caught Titan on a dive and powerbombed him on the floor, and later, Mistico hit a crazy diving hurricanrana to the floor onto Ultimo Guerrero. As a CMLL showcase, this was perfect. The only negative element about this one is that it seemed like there were dead spots, with regards to crowd reactions. They definitely reacted to the big spots, but there were also times where it seemed like they were silent. Other than that complaint, this was a really good tag team bout involving the stars of CMLL. In my view, it ended up being one of the better matches on this card. ***1/2

Jay Lethal def. Josh Bodom

Seeing Jay Lethal in regular wrestling boots was so…..odd. Anyway, Lethal managed to score the victory here against current RevPro British Cruiserweight Champion Josh Bodom in another really good match (I’m probably going to repeat that phase a few more times in this review). I’ve fallen way behind on RevPro, so I believe this was my first time seeing Bodom. He definitely had a strong showing here, and the commentary team (Ian Riccaboni & BJ Whitmer) put over the fact that Bodom was more than holding his own against “The Franchise of ROH”. There was good back and forth action throughout, plus the match itself didn’t go too long (it was just under ten minutes).

Similar to the tag team bout that came before this, the crowd seemed to be into it at certain times, but not as much at other points. Bodom played a straight babyface here, which was interesting considering the fact that (to my knowledge) he’s usually a heel in RevPro. Towards the end of the match, Silas Young came out and taunted Lethal from the entrance way. It looked like this distraction might cost Lethal, but he was able to focus back on Bodom and hit the Lethal Injection for the win. I didn’t mind Young coming out there at the end since never got physically involved in the match. He did get involved after the fact, however, as he attacked Jay Lethal as soon as the bell rang. Again, this was a pretty good match, and a very solid outing for Josh Bodom. ***1/2

Bully Ray & The Briscoes def. Los Ingobernables de Japon (Tetsuya Naito, BUSHI, & EVIL)

During an Eight-Man Tag on ROH TV a few months back, LIJ managed to beat Bully Ray, The Briscoes, & Dalton Castle when Tetsuya Naito pinned Jay Briscoe. It was that loss (which was inadvertently caused by The Boys) which caused dissension between the Bully Ray/Briscoes trio that’s been simmering ever since. That tension didn’t seem to be present here though, as they managed to pick up the victory over LIJ after pinning BUSHI following their Triple Team 3D. This was a solid six-man tag, but it easily the weakest match on the undercard. There was some good action, but there was also a fair amount comedy.

Naito did a few things here and there, but his involvement was very limited, which isn’t much of a surprise, since he (along with EVIL) are just coming off a grueling G1 tour. Fortunately for Naito, he can afford to take it easy in a situation like this since he, along with LIJ, are always over every time they’re on these War Of The Worlds events (Naito got one of the loudest reactions of the show). There was a fun little taunt-off afterwards between Bully Ray & Naito, and as a whole, this was a perfectly fine midcard match. ***1/4

Mark Haskins def. Silas Young

I was really excited when I heard that Mark Haskins was going to be on this tour. It’s crazy to think that Haskins worked for EVOLVE & ROH in the span of a week. He’s someone who (based on what I’ve seen of him) never has anything less than a really good match, and he had a very strong outing here against Silas Young. There were a number of exciting exchanges in this one, and the commentary team (much like they did earlier with Josh Bodom) did a fine job of putting Haskins over as a formidable threat. This was certainly in the upper half when it comes to the overall match quality of this card. Towards the end, Jay Lethal came out and decided to the return the favor from earlier. He taunted Silas Young from the entrance way, but this time, Young wasn’t able to refocus on his opponent, and Mark Haskins picked up the victory after hitting a Michinoku Driver on Young. I didn’t mind that finish at all. It played off of what happened earlier in the night, built more tension for the Lethal/Young Street Fight in Edinburgh (they also brawled on the stage afterwards), and allowed Mark Haskins to get a strong win over a ROH regular. If Haskins had just rolled up Young, the finish wouldn’t have come off as well as it did, but fortunately, he won in a very definitive manner. Hopefully this result means that Haskins will be brought back by ROH in the future. He would definitely be a welcomed addition to the roster. ***1/2

ROH World TV Title – Four-Corner Survival
KUSHIDA def. Dalton Castle, “The Villain” Marty Scurll, & Hiromu Takahashi

In case you missed the news, Daryl is back, and during his entrance, Takahashi ran into some “mini-Daryl’s” in the front row. I was really looking forward to this one. Not only did it have the potential to steal the show, but it easily could’ve been the best match on this entire tour. While it certainly ended up being a very good Four-Corner Survival, I would be lying if I said I wasn’t disappointed. There was a lot of entertaining action throughout, and we did get some comedy in the beginning (mainly involving Daryl & Dalton Castle, who loves cats), but it just never felt like this match kicked into that next level. The two things that hurt this one, in my view, were the amount of time it got, and the finish. This match was a little shorter than I expected (going around eleven minutes), and it could’ve been better if they gave it just a few more minutes. However, even if it was given extra time, it still would’ve been hurt by the finish. Adam Page pulled out the referee when it looked like Castle had the match won. This allowed Scurll to hit Castle with his umbrella, but then KUSHIDA took out Scurll with one of his stiff punches. KUSHIDA then hit Castle with the Back To The Future. That was just a weak finish, without question. This was still a really good match, but it could’ve been so much better, especially given who was involved. ***1/2

ROH World Tag Team Titles
The Young Bucks def. The Addiction

So The Addiction have evidently reverted back to being heels, following the events of Best In The World.

On paper, this was probably the match that had the least amount of buzz going into the show (because they’re wrestled each other so many times before), but when the dust settled, it ended up being the best match of the night. In hindsight, that really should’ve been a surprise. These two teams know each other so well. They come off as teams that, on any given show anywhere in the country, you can throw them out there, as them to have a great match, and they’ll deliver every single time. This wasn’t even their best encounter, but it was still strong enough to take match of the night honors, in my view. The Young Bucks ultimately retained after hitting The Meltzer Driver. It was a result that really wasn’t in doubt, but still, this was a very strong tag team affair. ***3/4

ROH World Title
Cody def. SANADA

I think a lot of people were scratching their heads when this match got announced. Cody vs. SANADA? Seriously? We all know that SANADA has a ton of potential as a future babyface star in Japan (and he was going to get cheered here over Cody), but still, this was a weird match to book, especially as a main event of what ended up being an iPPV. It could’ve been incredibly average, or it could’ve been really good. Unfortunately, it ended up being the former. This was just wasn’t that good at all. This was a twenty minute main event where Cody essentially stalled for the first ten minutes. It genuinely seemed like he was more interesting in interacting with the crowd than actually wrestling. They tried to play it off like Cody wasn’t expecting the negative reaction he was getting, but the stalling just went on FOREVER. He did try to get counted out at one point, but Naito stopped him, and forced him back to the ring. Once they finally started wrestling, there was some….average action, but nothing more.

Todd Sinclair got taken out twice, and it led to nothing of significance, in terms of shenanigans. The closing stretch was decent, which redeemed it a bit (in my eyes), and Cody eventually got the win, but this was just not a good match. The biggest story to come out the match itself is that Cody called out Daniel Bryan. He used the LeBell Lock (aka the YES! Lock), and then did the YES! taunt, looked into the camera, and said “I’m waiting for you, Bryan Danielson.” That was honestly the most memorable thing about this match. **1/2

After the match, Cody cut a promo talking about how much Liverpool sucked, and said that there was nobody left to face him (which is a weird thing to say two months into your title reign).

This brought out Dalton Castle, who got pinned in the Four-Corner Survival earlier, and he accused Cody of sending Adam Page out to cost him that match. Castle said he loves winning titles and kicking people’s asses, before tossing his ROH Six-Man Tag Team Title aside (basically treating that title like trash) and said “I’m left, bitch”. They teased doing a match for the title right then and there, but Cody immediately bails. Castle then closed out the show with a babyface promo that was interrupted by the fans singing “Hey Baby”, but with “boy” being substituted for “girl”.

It seems like Cody vs. Dalton Castle is going to be the main event of the next PPV, Death Before Dishonor XV, in September. Part of me really wants Castle to win the title (he’s the only realistic option that could dethrone Cody, in my view), but knowing ROH, Cody will probably retain.

Final Thoughts

While there really wasn’t a stellar match, this was on its way to being a very solid show….then the main event happened. Everything from the opener up through was in the semi-main event was in the ***1/4-***3/4 range for me (with most of those matches being ***1/2). If you go back and watch this show, you’re better off just shutting the show off after The Young Bucks vs. The Addiction, which was the best match of the night.

I didn’t despise the main event, but it wasn’t good at all. This was Cody at his worst. The crowd was pretty spotty throughout this show (reacting at some point, but being very quiet at other points), and they definitely hurt the matches a little bit. Honestly, it felt like ROH decided late in the game that they wanted one of these three UK shows to be an iPPV, and randomly decided that this would be the iPPV. ROH War of the Worlds UK was pretty much a regular live event/house show that they decided to put on iPPV. Again, the entire undercard was very solid, but the main event was a flop.