The Big Takeaway – Great television show continuing with the ROH vs New Japan matches taped in Philadelphia last month. PPV quality matches bookend this show with former ROH and IWGP champions headlining it.
“Reborn” Matt Sydal vs IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion Kushida (non-title)
These guys are both phenomenal wresters but I could honestly just listen to both of their entrance themes on a loop for the next 15 minutes and I’m be happy. Kushida was greeted with a loud KUSHIDA chant from the crowd during his entrance. They were chanting THIS IS AWESOME 5 seconds after the opening bell, before they’d even locked up.
Some great chain wrestling early, which Kushida got the better of. THIS IS WRESTLING chant. This crowd is really hot for this match. Kushida did the John Cena “You Can’t See Me” gesture a couple of times after doing a cartwheel out of an armdrag. Fans did not like that at all.
Sydal slowed him down by knocking him to the canvas with an Enziguri as we went to break. Back from break and Sydal still in control. Announcers are putting over how he’s wrestling differently by focusing on specific body parts. Kushida gets the advantage briefly and goes to the top but gets hit by a thrust kick from Sydal. Shortly after, Kushida hit a top rope moonsault to the outside on Sydal. Sydal took almost the full 20 count to get back in after that.
Kushida hit another moonsault, this time in the ring, for a near three-count. Sydal sweeped the leg and then hit a standing shooting star press but Kushida got his knees up to block it. Kushida then locked on the Hoverboard lock but Sydal made the ropes to break it up.
They did the YAY/BOO spot in the centre, with the fans firmly behind Kushida. Sydal got the better of it, and then hit a standing Rana for a two. Sydal went for a shooting star press from the top rope but Kushida rolled out of the way and then locked on the Hoverboard lock again. Sydal fought it off and they had a standing striking battle in the centre of the ring which ended with Kushida flat on the canvas.
Sydal to the top and this time he hit the Shooting Star press for the win.
WINNER – MATT SYDAL by pinfall
After a break, BJ Whitmer is in the ring with Adam Page and he’s got a mic. He wants to know where Adam Page’s match is. A WWE cameraman answered the call.
4 Corners Survival Match – Adam Page (w/BJ Whitmer and Colby Corino) vs Will Ferrara vs Takaaki Watanabe vs Moose w/Stokely Hathaway
Page starts out with Watanabe. Ferrara makes a blind tag after Watanabe gets the early advantage. Ferrara all over him so Page tags in Moose. Moose quickly takes Ferrara down with a clothesline and then Page tags himself in but not before verbally berating Moose, which was a funny visual.
Ferrara gets beat on for a bit and then tags in Watanabe, who’s house of fire on Page. Watanabe hits a Fisherman’s Buster on Page for a near fall but Moose breaks it up. Ferrara then comes and somehow Moose and Ferrara are both legal. Moose tosses him out onto Page and Watanabe and is in the ring by himself. At this point, Colby Corino gets on the apron and it verbally berating Moose.
Moose knocks him to the floor with a big boot and Adam Page tries to take advantage of the distraction but Moose floors him with a spear. Ferrara in to challenge and he actually takes Moose down with a Tornado DDT. Watanabe in and takes out Ferrara with a German Suplex. He tries the same on Moose but the big man blocks it on the first attempt but Watanabe gets it on try #2. While he’s celebrating, Ferrara rolls him up for a 2. Watanabe comes back and hits the STO for the pin.
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WINNER – TATAAKI WATANABE by pinfall
After a break, Kelly and Corino are talking about the last match and a bit about Adam Cole when randomly Bushwhacker Luke is behind them, doing his Bushwhacker walk and licking fans. They showed highlights from “earlier tonight” when Brutal Bob and “his son” attacked Cheeseburger and Bushwhacker Luke made the save, ending with a stunner on the “son”, which the crowd loved.
Luke then grabbed Cheeseburger in a headlock and nailed the guy, who they then called “Hughes the Stooge”, to knock him out of the ring. Luke and Burger then celebrated by doing the Bushwhacker walk around the ring.
Luke then was interviewed by Kelly and Corino at ringside. He looked great. He said Corino looked like a bag of salad and wanted to taste him and then of course licked his head. A promo piece for next week, with action from Field of Honor appeared next. Looked great.
Main Event – Adam Cole vs Shinsuke Nakamura
Nigel joins Kelly and Corino at commentary. This was taped before the PPV but the commentators were talking about his actions there, so they either did post-production or knew it was coming. He was announced as representing The Kingdom so the turn on Kyle O’Reilly was set up well.
Nakamura gets an amazing reaction with one of the biggest streamer showers I’ve ever seen. Nakamura/Adam Cole duelling chants but the “Adam Cole” responses are very faint. They do adhere to the Code of Honor at the start.
Cole does the “Adam Cole Baby” pose, which the crowd chants loudly for and Nakamura feigns reaction that he’s impressed. Just before the first break, Nakamura gets knocked out of the ring and Cole mocks him by doing some of his mannerisms, teasing that he’s going to dive to the outside but then doesn’t do it and does the “stick it” mannerism to the fans.
After the break, they’re both on the outside and Nakamura charges Cole, who’s draped against the barricade but Cole hits a Superkick to stop his momentum. Cole rolls him into the ring and takes over for the next few minutes. Cole runs the ropes, teasing a kick to the head but instead locks on a headlock, which draws heavy boos from the crowd.
Cole whips Nakamura into the ropes and then stops to do a strongman pose. Cole acting very cocky and then starts clapping and mocking the fans when they chant along. Nakamura finally stops the momentum with a series of kicks and they’re both down and the duelling chants start up again.
Nakamura with a series of knees to the head of Cole and then hits a gourdbuster for 2. Nakamura sets up a suplex but Cole blocks it with elbows and then does a series of kicks, ending with a Shining Wizard but only gets a two. Somewhere in here, a light USA chant started up but was quickly drowned out by boos.
As the crowd is booing Cole with the advantage, he smiles and eggs them on to boo louder. Cole sets up a figure four but Nakamura makes the ropes to break it up as we go to another break.
Back from break and Cole gets the Figure Four in the centre of the ring. Nakamura actually tries to break it by pulling the legs of Cole, which I don’t recall ever seeing before. More duelling chants and Nakamura manages to get to the ropes after about a minute in the hold. Nakamura heavily selling his knee and Cole takes him down with a couple dragon screw legwhips.
Cole “taking his sweet time” as Nigel put it. He went to apply the Figure Four again but Nakamura grabbed his head and went for a triangle/arm bar submission combination. Cole rolls it into a pinfall attempt and Nakamura has to break the hold in order to escape the pinfall.
YAY/BOO spot in the centre and I will say that the boos are much quieter for Cole here than they were for Sydal in the opener. Despite Cole’s best efforts, these fans do not want to hate him. Both guys ends up down after a running knee from Cole.
Cole hits another Shining Wizard but only gets a two. Cole hits the Florida Key but only gets two and then starts arguing with the ref about a slow count. Cole then does the throat slit gesture and sets up for a brainbuster suplex. Nakamura blocks it but Cole hits a thrust kick to back him into the ropes. Cole charges but Nakamura gets a knee up to block it and then hops up to the second rope and hits a flying knee to knock Cole down. Nakamura still selling the damage to the knee from earlier though and writhes on the math, clutching his knee.
Nigel is doing a great job on commentary selling the damage to Nakamura’s knee and wondering why Cole isn’t focusing on it. Cole finally hits a kick to the knee and follows up with a kick to the head to stagger Nakamura. Nakamura then hits an axe kick and a running knee to the head but Cole kicks out right before the three. Nakamura riles up the crowd and then goes for another running knee but Cole blocks it. Cole then spit in his face and nailed a shoulderbreaker. Crowd going nuts and Cole marching around the ring to rile them up even more.
Cole setting up for a brainbuster but Nakamura blocks it twice and then hits his Landslide. He follows up with another running knee to the head to get the pin. Great match.
WINNER – SHINSUKE NAKAMURA by pinfall