Welcome to KB’s Old School (and New School) Reviews. I’ve been reviewing wrestling shows for over ten years now and have reviewed over 5,000 shows. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, I’ll be posting a new review here on Wrestlingrumors.net, starting today. It could be anything from modern WWE to old school to indies to anything in between. Note that I rate using letters instead of stars and I don’t rate matches under three minutes as really, how good or bad can something that short be?
Date: September 1, 2018
Location: Sears Centre, Hoffman Estates, Illinois
Commentators: Don Callis, Excalibur, Ian Riccaboni
We’ve finally arrived. Last year, Dave Meltzer said Ring of Honor couldn’t sell 10,000 tickets to an event. Cody Rhodes and the Young Bucks took it as a challenge and they actually pulled it off in about fifteen months. The tickets sold out in about half an hour and they were off to the races. This is the biggest independent wrestling event in history and really, anything good coming out of the show is a bonus. Let’s get to it.
The arena looks great and rather full. I’d think there were more than 10,000 people there.
Here are Cody and the Young Bucks to say they’re going to blow the whole budget in 90 seconds with a bunch of pyro. The pyro doesn’t go off and Cody asks Nick if he paid the pyro guy. They try again and there is indeed pyro. With that out of the way, here’s Animal on a motorcycle for the wrestling legend cameo (their words). Now it’s time for free merchandise with t-shirts being thrown and launched out of a t-shirt gun.
So Cal Uncensored vs. Briscoe Brothers
The Briscoes’ ROH Tag Team Titles aren’t on the line. Scorpio Sky (as Apollo Creed from Rocky) and Kazarian (as Rocky Balboa from Rocky II) for So Cal. Before the match, Sky rips on Chicago (Dude it’s Hoffman Estates. Get your suburbs right.) but the fans chant for them anyway. The Briscoes don’t get much of a reaction, likely because they didn’t insult the crowd enough.
Jay and Kazarian start things off but Mark comes in to take over. Everything breaks down and SCU does the fast paced offense, which would make you think they’re the good guys here, despite them insulting the fans before the match. The Briscoes take over with the hard clotheslines and things settle back down. Mark suplexes Sky for two and the right hands don’t get Sky out of trouble.
We hit the chinlock for a few seconds before Sky hurricanranas his way over to the corner for the hot tag. Everything breaks down and Kazarian hits a nice slingshot hurricanrana to put Mark on the floor. Sky adds a running flip dive, followed by stereo dragon sleepers back inside. The Brothers crawl to each other with Jay raking Sky’s eyes for the break. Mark elbows Kazarian in the face and adds the Blockbuster off the apron and Sky is down again.
Back in and the Razor’s Edge/running neckbreaker combination gets two on Kazarian. Sky breaks up a super version though and it’s a Rock Bottom/Backstabber combination to Mark. Jay pops back up and the Jay Driller into the Froggy Bow gets two with Sky diving in for a save. It’s Doomsday Device time (appropriate) but Kazarian reverses the clothesline into a powerslam on Mark with Sky taking Jay out for the pin at 12:36.
Rating: B-. Good match, though nothing we haven’t seen from these teams before. The Briscoes are an awesome team and have been for years so there’s not much of a surprise there. As a bonus, it’s nice to see Sky getting a chance instead of the standard Daniels/Kazarian lineup.
Kenny Omega talks about facing Pentagon Jr. tonight, saying it’s the IWGP World Champion against the former TNA World Champion. Sure Pentagon is a killer, but Omega is fired up to be in front of 10,000 Being The Elite fans. Goodbye and goodnight.
Video on Cody vs. Nick Aldis for the NWA World Title.
Over Budget Battle Royal
Brian Cage, Bully Ray, Jimmy Jacobs, Billy Gunn, Austin Gunn, Chuck Taylor, Trent Barretta, Ethan Page, Tommy Dreamer, Moose, Punishment Martinez, Colt Cabana, Hurricane Helms, Rocky Romero, Marko Stunt, Brandon Cutler, Cheeseburger, Jordynne Grace, El Hijo Del Chico
I’ve probably missed someone. Winner gets an ROH World Title shot on the main show. Former World Champion Dalton Castle is on commentary. Ray wastes no time in powerbombing Chico through a table at ringside. A series of dives take a bunch of people out and everyone is on the floor, with Tommy Dreamer and Billy Gunn teasing going over but going through the ropes and jumping off the apron instead. No one has actually been eliminated yet, even though the ring is emptied.
Back in and everyone goes after Moose but gets shoved away. For some reason Moose tries a middle rope crossbody, only to be thrown to the apron. Moose fights that off as well but a very small guy eliminates him instead. Ethan Page breaks up the Best Friends hug so they fight over a suplex to the floor. Cage apron superplexes Dreamer back in and Cutler spins Marko into a Rock Bottom. Ray knocks Marko out (not an elimination) and Cutler follows him as this is a complete mess.
The Best Friends are sent to the apron but Romero makes a save. Trent and Chuckie drop Jacobs and Page to set up the hug but Martinez dumps both of them. Romero catches him with a springboard hurricanrana and the forever lariats start connecting. Cage cuts him off with a discus lariat and there goes Romero. Cheeseburger gets in all of his palm strikes before Cage puts me out of my misery by getting rid of him. Martinez and Cage take turns with their crazy big man stuff but neither can hit a chokeslam.
Hurricane chokeslams both of them to a huge reaction and goes to the apron with Page. Cabana knocks both of them out and it’s time for the weapons so Dreamer can have something to do. Thankfully Riccaboni is there with the Doug references but Dreamer gets knocked out by Ray. Marko is actually still in this and goes after Ray, who finally eliminates him. The Gunns get back in and clean house until Jacobs grabs Austin’s crotch. That means a Five Knuckle Shuffle but Billy makes a save.
Jacobs kisses him for some reason and gets tossed but Austin knocks out Martinez. Bully dumps Austin and throws in a Suck It, only to have Billy hit him with a Fameasser. Cage and Billy have a showdown with Cage knocking him out as we’re almost done. That Marko guy is STILL IN HERE so Bully finally launches him out, leaving us with Grace, Cage, Ray and Cabana.
Grace actually squats Cage, who powerbombs and buckle bombs her for her efforts. Grace powerbombs him right back and clotheslines Cage out clean to get us down to three. Ray gives her a spit chop but Cabana plays Ray on What’s Up. Grace goes to toss him but Ray eliminates her instead, leaving us with Cabana vs. Ray. Cabana is tossed out in short order…and here’s Chico to dump Ray for the win at 17:04.
Rating: C+. This was actually a lot of fun as they made it feel like more than a way to get everyone on the card. There were some stories being told in there and the ending was a great touch. I could have gone with a little more order but it never felt like it was dragging, which is the worry of a match like this. Still though, well done.
Chico unmasks as…..Flip Gordon in a very nice surprise.
The announcers run down the card.
Matt Cross vs. Maxwell Jacob Friedman
This is a surprise match. Cross is better known as Son of Havoc in Lucha Underground and Friedman is a rich guy. Friedman shoulders him down to start but Cross moonsaults away instead of trying a dropkick. That earns a round of applause from Friedman but he kicks Cross in the ribs instead.
Cross bails to the floor, only to have Friedman say he doesn’t have to flip to get over. They switch places and it’s a Sasuke Special to drop Friedman. Back in and Friedman rolls away before the shooting star can launch. A stomp to the hand has Cross in trouble and a hammerlock powerbomb of all things gets two. Cross catches him with a super hurricanrana and a springboard spinning crossbody for two of his own.
Friedman is right back with a package shoulder breaker to take the arm right back down. A slugout doesn’t go anywhere so Cross rolls him down and hits a double stomp. Cross weakly covers and gets caught in an armbreaker. The pendulum piledriver (think Orton’s hanging DDT but a piledriver) gives Friedman two but Cross hits something like a Lethal Injection. Now the shooting star can finish Friedman at 10:07.
Rating: C. Totally average match that didn’t need to be on the main card and could have been cut entirely. The high flying vs. technical work was fine and while it wasn’t a bad match, I have a bad feeling about how long the show is going to run if a match like this is getting some extra time.
Sean Mooney is with Nick Aldis (announced as Christopher Daniels in a bit of an error), who is ready to defend his title against Cody. They’re both here for the ten pounds of gold. He has a date with destiny and she is getting impatient.
Singer John Mayer is in the front row.
Christopher Daniels vs. Stephen Amell
Jerry Lynn is the referee, billed as the New Reffin Show. Amell is the star of Arrow, who wrestled at Summerslam a few years back. This is a story from Being The Elite where Daniels framed Amell for murdering Joey Ryan in Japan. Yeah it’s a different world. Daniels takes him down with ease to start and does a little Curry Man dancing. Back up and they chop it out with Amell taking him down and offering a bow.
Amell hits a nice dropkick and clotheslines Daniels to the floor. No dive of course but he does send Daniels into the barricade. A table is set up on the floor but they get back inside where Lynn accidentally distracts Amell, allowing Daniels to take over. Amell gets sent into the post and we hit the waistlock. The Arabian Moonsault, with very little elevation, connects for no cover as Daniels would rather go for the table. The distraction lets Amell score with a clothesline and a Falcon Arrow gets two.
Amell manages to hit a Coast To Coast (not a bad one either) for two more but gets enziguried down. The Best Moonsault Ever gets two more but it’s time for Chekhov’s Table. Daniels gets knocked down onto it, only to have Amell miss an elbow through the table (which exploded) instead. Fans: “BROKEN ARROW!”
That’s almost enough for a countout….so Lynn picks Amell up and throws him back inside. Lynn shoves Daniels into a school boy for two, earning Amell a pummeling. Amell says bring it on and flips Daniels off before reversing Angel’s Wings into a rollup for two. That’s about it though as Daniels kicks him down and hits the Best Moonsault Ever for the pin at 11:45.
Rating: B-. That’s on a very sliding scale, as it should be. Amell isn’t a wrestler but looked to be at the low prospect level, putting him roughly 1000 steps ahead of most celebrities. You couldn’t have him win here as Daniels is still a big deal in wrestling and having him lose a singles match to a celebrity would have been a disaster. Very nice surprise here.
They shake hands post match.
Chelsea Green vs. Britt Baker vs. Tessa Blanchard vs. Madison Rayne
Blanchard’s Knockouts Title isn’t on the line and Mandy Leon and Tenille Dashwood are on commentary. Baker, who plays a doctor (which she actually is as well) is Adam Cole’s girlfriend and comes out to his old music. Tessa hugs Magnum TA and Tully Blanchard on the way to the ring. The announcers ask why a match called a Survival match isn’t elimination rules. The explanation: it just isn’t.
They stare at each other a bit as Chelsea’s multiple personalities start fighting for control. Tessa blasts Madison and sends her outside for a whip into the barricade. Britt armdrags Chelsea down back inside but gets take down with a springboard wristdrag. Tessa comes back in with a heck of a clothesline to Chelsea but Madison is back in with a couple of twisting rollups for two each.
That’s not cool with Tessa, who gorilla presses Madison down onto the other two. Chelsea is back up with a big suicide dive onto Tessa and Britt, followed by Tessa hitting her own dive (though she seemed to get caught on the ropes). Madison hits her own high crossbody to the floor and everyone is down. Back in and Baker hits Sling Blades on everyone until Tessa gets up to clean house. A missed charge sends Tessa shoulder first into the post but she’s fine enough for a Flatliner on Baker.
Chelsea missile dropkicks Tessa and Madison hits a top rope bulldog (called a cutter) on Baker. An Unprettier hits Madison but Tessa dives in with the Magnum (jumping Codebreaker from the top) with Baker stealing the two. Tessa rolls Baker up for two of her own and Chelsea gets two on Baker off another Unprettier. Back up and Tessa grabs the hammerlock DDT to plant Chelsea for the pin at 12:46 with Baker not making the save in time. That seemed to have been a botched finish.
Rating: C. It was good with the big spots but it went on too long and there were too many false finishes. Tessa winning was the right call as she’s on a huge roll at the moment. The other three were perfectly fine (save for the messed up ending) and the spot fest stuff was good. Just a little longer than it needed to be.
They hug post match, which seems to be a trend tonight.
Video on Cody vs. Aldis, which is really just Cody wanting to win the title to be like his father. Aldis basically told him to try it and we have a match. The promos between the two have actually been quite good.
Are you ready:
Cody is challenging and has Brandi (sweet goodness), Brandi’s father, his dog, Diamond Dallas Page, Tommy Dreamer and GLACIER in his corner. Aldis on the other hand has Sam Shaw, Tim Storm (who he beat for the title), Shawn Daivari and Jeff Jarrett with him. The seconds, save for Brandi, all go to the back though (good) and we’re ready to go. Feeling out process to start with neither being able to get very far off a few holds.
A wristlock and headlock go nowhere so Cody catches him with a dropkick for the first big move. Aldis heads outside and there’s a big dive to take him out. Back in and Aldis chops away, setting up a pretty early chinlock. They ram heads with Aldis seeming to bang up his nose, followed by a double clothesline for the breather. Stereo crossbodies give us another double knockdown and Aldis rolls outside. The big dive from the top is knocked out of the air but Aldis goes down as well.
Cody isn’t getting up so here’s Page to check on him. Daivari comes out with a towel and shoves Page, earning himself a Diamond Cutter inside. With Page and Daivari gone, Aldis drags a very bloody Cody back in but gets powerslammed down (with Aldis’ head hitting the mat) for two. The moonsault press misses and Aldis drops a top rope splash for his own near fall. Cody is right back with the Figure Four but they roll to the ropes in pretty short order.
A powerslam on the floor has Cody in more trouble but he’s fine enough to hit an Alabama Slam. Aldis powerbombs the heck out of him and the Kingsland Cloverleaf goes on. Brandi’s cheers bring Cody over to the rope and she tells him he doesn’t have to do this. Aldis doesn’t care and piledrives him before heading up top, only to have Brandi come in and beg for mercy.
She climbs on top of Cody and takes the elbow for him (Aldis jumped before she moved), sending Aldis into panic. That’s only good for two on Cody, who pops up with the Disaster Kick and Cross Rhodes for two. Cody can’t hit a Vertebreaker but counters a sunset flip into a cradle (ala British Bulldog/Bret Hart) for the pin and the title at 22:02.
Rating: B-. I get what they were going for here and there had to be some shenanigans because the ending wasn’t in any serious doubt, but the match went longer than it needed to and there were times where I was wanting them to just get on with things already. The Page/Daivari segment didn’t need to be there and the Brandi thing felt like a forced heel turn that was forgotten ten seconds later. I liked the match and the ending was the only possible option, but the overbooking hurt things.
We get the big presentation of the belt with all of the seconds coming back in. New champion, people in matching track suits, woman in sequined bikini. Just like back in the Brisco vs. Funk matches.
We recap Hangman Page vs. Joey Janela. Page thought Joey Ryan’s penis was fake and may have murdered him, so Janela is fighting for him. Or something.
Nick Jackson wakes Page up and nearly gets strangled.
Adam Page vs. Joey Janela
Street fight. I’m still not sure I get Janela (with Penelope Ford) so maybe he can win me over here. Page wastes no time in sending him to the floor for a suicide dive but Janela hits one of his own, complete with the flying middle finger. Janela is staggered though and Page moonsaults down from the top to take him down again. A chair is set up in the ring and Janela gets suplexed onto (not through) it for the first big crash.
With that out of the way, it’s time for an actual cracker barrel, but Page takes too long looking at it and Janela whips him into the barrel instead. The barrel is used as a springboard for a flip dive onto Page but he’s fine enough for the Buckshot lariat over the barricade. Page loads up a table at ringside but of course takes too long and gets Death Valley Driven into the corner.
Janela bridges a ladder between the apron and the barrel but gets caught in a “Burning Hammer” (really a torture rack throw because, you know, the real thing would have killed him) onto the ladder instead. With Janela down, Page pulls a bag out from underneath the ring. That’s enough for Ford to come in and slap him in the face before backflipping away from some clotheslines. A Stunner sends Page to the floor for a heck of a crossbody and Page is laid on the table.
That means the big elbow through the table but of course Page is right back up. Two more tables are set up in the aisle and Page powerbombs Janela off the stage….near the tables at least with Janela’s head banging off the edge. Back in and the Rite of Passage gets two with Ford making the save. There are now two garbage bags in the ring and one of them has Page’s cursed cowboy boots (they talk to him).
Ford goes to pick one up and eats a superkick, followed by Janela superkicking Page for two of his own. Janela throws in a ladder and a table with the ladder being set up. Fans: “SAFETY FIRST!” The other bag has a phone (which Page used to kill Joey Ryan) and a few shots to the head rock Janela. Rite of Passage through the table ends Janela at 20:04.
Rating: C+. Way longer than it needed to be but they did what they needed to do. This was all about Being the Elite and that’s perfectly fine. As someone who doesn’t watch the show, they explained it well enough that I got the idea. Page continues to look like a star, but Ford stole the match here, which is saying a lot for someone as new as she is. Janela was the same guy I’ve seen a bunch of times, which isn’t exactly a great thing. He’s fine, but not great.
Post match….an army of people dressed like penises (Callis: “The phalanx of phalluses!”) come out and here’s the very much alive Ryan. Page can’t believe it and there’s the YouPorn Plex. A superkick knocks Page out and the penises take him away.
Jay Lethal’s eyes are bugging out for some reason.
Ring of Honor World Title: Flip Gordon vs. Jay Lethal
Lethal is defending and has Brandi Rhodes in a military outfit. Lethal one ups her by coming out as Black Machismo, complete with Lanny Poffo in his corner. Now that’s smart. Brilliant even. You might even say it’s…..dang it I need a word for someone who is really smart. Sandow! That’s it. Poffo is introduced as Lethal’s brother from another mother. The Mega Powers handshake gives us the Code of Honor but Lethal rolls to the floor and tells Brandi to stay in the corner.
Flip snaps off some armdrags to start but gets clotheslined to the floor for his efforts. Lethal has to yell at Brandi and chases her inside, where he puts her on his shoulder in the obvious homage. That earns Lethal a slap and it seems to rock him back into reality. The basement dropkick misses though and Flip hits a standing moonsault for two. Flip’s bouncing nipups avoid some clotheslines and there’s a suicide dive to send Lethal into the barricade.
A second sets up the running flip dive over the top and Lethal is in trouble. He’s fine enough to hold up half of a pinfall reversal sequence until a standing moonsault to the back puts him down. Lethal takes too long going up and gets kicked in the head but the 450 misses (Flip lands on his feet anyway). The Lethal Combination gets two so Flip knees him in the face, followed by a Falcon Arrow for two of his own.
That’s enough for Poffo, who fires Lethal up to bring the Savage out again. A slam sets up three straight top rope elbows….for two as Gordon starts Hulking Up. The right hands set up the big boot but Gordon goes with a Star Spangled Sling Blade instead of the legdrop. The backwards fall away slam sets up the Spiral Tap (Cancun Tornado) for an even nearer fall. Gordon takes too long going up though and it’s a cutter off the top. The Lethal Injection retains the title at 14:23.
Rating: C+. The comedy was a little much for me here as they hammered away with it instead of just having a good match. We’ve covered the shenanigans tonight and that’s not the best idea in the world. Lethal can wrestle a straight match but thankfully they didn’t go with just straight shtick here. It wasn’t great, but fine for a TV main event.
The shake hands post match but here’s Bully Ray to take them both out. Even Poffo gets beaten up until Colt Cabana runs out for the save. A TripleBomb through the table (Ray: “HOLY S***!”) plants Ray and the good guys stand tall.
Kenny Omega vs. Pentagon Jr.
Non-title and you can feel the energy on this one. Pentagon does a few CERO MIEDO’s and kicks him in the ribs to send Kenny outside early. Back in and the Backstabber out of the corner has Omega in more trouble but he’s ready for a dive. Pentagon waits inside and hits the Sling Blade, followed by the big running flip dive to the floor. Omega gets sent into the barricade as it’s all Pentagon early on.
Back in and Omega hits the Regal Roll and a running tornado DDT drops Pentagon for the first time. A big springboard dive takes Pentagon down again and the Snapdragon has Pentagon rocked. The One Winged Angel is reversed into the Backstabber though and Omega is in trouble. He’s fine enough to hit a V Trigger in the corner but can’t hit a super brainbuster. Instead Pentagon ties him in the Tree of Woe for a double stomp but the Fear Factor is broken up.
Another V Trigger (Pentagon: “CERO MIEDO!”) sets up another V Trigger (Pentagon: “CERO MIEDO!”) which sets up a powerbomb into another V Trigger. The One Winged Angel is broken up and the Pentagon Driver gets two. They slug it out on the apron with Pentagon asking for a V Trigger. Tis but a ruse though as Omega charges into a Fear Factor on the apron, which should likely kill him.
Back in and a top rope double stomp gets two with the fans knowing that’s not it yet. Omega hits his own Fear Factor for a near fall, followed by another V Trigger. The One Winged Angel is broken up again and Pentagon snaps the arm. Another Fear Factor gets two so Omega hits a sixth V Trigger, followed by the reverse hurricanrana for two more. The seventh V Trigger sets up the One Winged Angel for the pin at 17:48
Rating: B+. Best match of the night and I’ll spare you the rant about Omega with all of the finishers again. Both guys looked like stars and that’s exactly what the match should have been between the two. You knew Omega wasn’t losing here so the false finishes didn’t do much for me, but that’s the case with a lot of his matches.
Post match the lights go out and we’ve got….Omega standing there and a very aggressive Pentagon, who happens to be missing a tattoo. A Codebreaker hits Omega and it’s CHRIS JERICHO under the mask. Another Codebreaker puts Omega down and Jericho says he’ll see him on the cruise. Callis freaks out so much that he actually falls out of his chair. Or maybe Jericho pushed him.
Marty Scurll runs into someone off camera who yells at him for not being very good. Someone else disagrees with him because Scurll is quite good. Scurll breaks their fingers and that’s that. Apparently this is another Being The Elite things.
Marty Scurll vs. Kazuchika Okada
We even get the Okada Bucks. Feeling out process to start with Okada laying Marty up against the ropes and slapping him on the chest. Marty teases doing the same thing but stops with a pose instead. The announcers entertain themselves with inside jokes as Okada’s wristlock doesn’t get him anywhere. Marty starts slugging away with running forearms and an apron superkick, followed by the suicide dive.
They chop it out with Marty getting the better of it but Okada flapjacks him back inside. That’s enough for in the ring so they head outside again with Okada DDTing him on the floor. Back in and Marty pulls himself up but gets caught in a crossarm choke. That’s reversed into a Backstabber followed by a tornado DDT for two more.
Another DDT gives Okada two and they strike it out until Scurll grabs the brainbuster to knock Okada silly. Scurll grabs a piledriver but can’t pick him up. Instead he stops to fire himself up, allowing Okada to hit the over the White Noise onto the knee to put Marty right back in trouble. They go to the corner to slug it out with Okada getting the better of it, followed by the pinfall reversal sequence for two each.
Scurll powerbombs the heck out of him for two so Okada missile dropkicks him for two of his own. Another DDT gets Scurll out of trouble but there’s the Tombstone. Okada spends too long loading up the Rainmaker though and Marty snaps his finger (Ian: “We found the umbrella!”). The Rainmaker is countered a second time into the chickenwing but Marty can’t get the grip. Okada stands up and drops back on him for the break, only to have Marty slap it on again.
The hold gets flipped back for the break…and the ref gets bumped. An umbrella to Okada’s head sets up a Rainmaker from Scurll for two as THIS JUST KEEPS GOING. The chickenwing is countered into the Rainmaker but Okada can’t cover. Scurll tells him to bring it on so a forearm puts him down. A slap to the face annoys Okada and it’s a discus lariat into the Rainmaker to finally finish Scurll at a ridiculous 26:09.
Rating: C. It was pretty good at times but GOOD GRIEF this was long. They easily could have cut ten minutes out of this and when the show is already running long, it would have done them a lot of good. The story of Scurll trying to rise up to the heavyweight level was a good one, but sweet goodness it wasn’t the right time to go the better part of half an hour. I was worried they would do that late in the show and they did it here.
Rey Mysterio/Bandido/Fenix vs. Young Bucks/Kota Ibushi
Rey is Wolverine. Matt and Bandido start things off with Bandido wasting no time in the spinning corkscrew high crossbody. A headscissors puts Matt on the floor and there’s a big spinning flip dive. Everything breaks down and it’s Fenix coming in to kick at Nick. It’s off to Ibushi vs. Rey and that gets the fans back into things. Ibushi gets hurricanranaed down but he pops up to kick Rey in the chest.
The standing moonsault misses but Ibushi lands on his feet (of course). It’s back to Matt to superkick Fenix as a producer talks about going home when he tells them to. The fast tags continue with Ibushi moonsaulting into a double knee drop onto Bandido, followed by moonsault Pele kicks to Bandido and Fenix. Everything breaks down with Rey hurricanranaing Matt to the floor, followed by a top rope Asai moonsault to take everyone down.
Fenix dives onto all of them as well, leaving Bandido to corkscrew dive onto the pile as well. Back in and the Bucks hit their buckle bomb/enziguri combination on Bandido, followed by Ibushi getting two off a German suplex. Rey comes back in and sends the Bucks into each other but Matt breaks up the 619. Fenix walks the rope to break up the Meltzer Driver before throwing Bandido at Nick for a hurricanrana.
Fenix superkicks Matt into the 619, followed by the running Destroyer. Bandido’s reverse hurricanrana sets up some double dives to Nick and Ibushi, leaving Rey to frog splash Matt….for two. Bandido hits a backflip Blockbuster (egads) but Nick makes another save. More Bang For Your Buck gets two, followed by the Five Star Golden Meltzer Driver for the pin at 11:33.
Rating: B. Well you knew the Bucks weren’t jobbing here. They were doing some very fun high flying stuff with the idea of just turn off your brain and have fun. That’s all this match needed to be, though there’s really not much of a reason for it to be the main event. Let this be the match that picks things up somewhere in the middle and it’s a lot better. Still though, good, mindless fun.
Get it in while you can:
Overall Rating: B. This one is going to be divisive no matter what I say. Here’s the thing: this wasn’t a standard wrestling show and therefore it’s going to be looked at differently. This is a glorified supershow with matches that are there because fans seem to want to see them without any stories being built up for the card. Aside from the wacky Being the Elite stuff, there were next to no stories being built up for the matches. The announcers said Omega vs. Pentagon was built up as Omega fighting “that crazy guy from Impact”. Fair enough, but I tend to go for a bit more than that.
The other big issue was just how long the show ran. Every match went at least ten minutes and two broke twenty. With a nine match main card, that’s quite a bit to sit through and I was very burned out by the time the Lethal vs. Gordon match started. Cut some of that stuff out (MJF vs. Havoc didn’t need to be there and you could cut at least five minutes off multiple matches, or ten plus off Okada vs. Scurll) and the show is FAR more enjoyable.
Now all that being said, I had a good time watching it and nothing was truly bad. It felt like a really souped up ROH show (which is pretty much what it was) and that’s not a bad thing. As a one off event it was good and I could see it being a yearly thing, which would be a very cool event to have every year. I’m fine with not getting the Being the Elite jokes as I don’t watch it too as that’s on me instead of them. Overall, I had a good time and the wrestling was solid enough, but it wasn’t some blowaway event and there were some big problems. More positives than negatives though, and that’s all you can ask for.
Thomas Hall has been a wrestling fan for over thirty years and has seen over 50,000 wrestling matches. He has also been a wrestling reviewer since 2009 with over 5,000 full shows covered. You can find his work at kbwrestlingreviews.com, or check out his Amazon author page with 28 wrestling books. His latest book is the the Complete 2000 Monday Nitro and Thunder Reviews Part 1.
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