Living in Edinburgh as a lover of music and wrestling you have two choices. Never see anything live or spend a lot of time on a train to Glasgow. While Discovery is starting to change the wrestling part of that statement, it’s still exciting when one of the big boys turns up in our city rather than the ugly bastards’ one over there. We appreciate it more (plus the Weegies are perfectly capable of taking a train too). It’s particularly lovely when they turn up with a selection of NJPW, CMLL and Rev Pro wrestlers in tow. So how did a rare visit to Edinburgh’s capital go for ROH?
Kenny King defeated Colt Cabana and Josh Bodom
Colt opened the show by coming out to complain about not being booked despite spending every August in Edinburgh AND knowing how to pronounce the name of the city. After that, Josh Bodom and Kenny King joined him in the ring and we were away with the UK Cruiserweight Champion Bodom playing the heel. This was fun if unremarkable. Cabana and King doubled-up on Bodom for a while and he got a few moments of flashy offence in return. Colt did all his usual comedy stuff which is good for a laugh and King reminded you that underneath all the misuse he is a good wrestler as he picked up the win.
Verdict: Three Stars
Ultimo Guerrero and Ray Bucanero defeated The Briscoes
After initially getting one of the tamer reactions of the night the CMLL contingent won the crowd over quite quickly and became the babyfaces. As far as I’m aware, this match was not contested under Lucha rules but for all the attention paid to who the legal men were, it might as well have been. If you can ignore that logic hole, then it was another fun match. The chance to see the likes of Ultimo Guerrero comes around very rarely so seeing him do his shtick was enough. The Briscoes also did a good job of leaning into the crowd’s reaction and heeling it up. In the end, Guerrero rolled up one of the Briscoes (it was on Sunday, I honestly can’t remember which one) for the win. It’s a match where in two months you’ll remember the competitors you saw rather than the action.
Verdict: Two And A Half Stars
Bully Ray defeated Evil by DQ
Outside of the confines of Japan Evil really isn’t that tall. He’s still an evil bugger, though, so I’m willing to forgive him that quirk of biology. This one wasn’t pretty and it was another match where the crowd sided with the ‘foreign’ star as Bully got a lot of heat. It made up for its lack of aesthetic pleasure by having two men who are quite happy to slap the shit out of each other. Bully might have been too glad to do so in fact because Evil eventually took the easy way out and wrapped Bully’s own chain around his head for the DQ. Although considering he’s just come off the G1 who can blame the bastard. Must be knackered the wee lamb.
Verdict: Three Stars
Post-match Evil went for a table and you can probably guess how that went for him. The man whom the crowd had been booing all match then got on the microphone while the same fans shouted for a speech. When Ray pointed out the hypocrisy of that, he got the first ‘we are fickle’ chant of his career which he seemed to enjoy. This was all set up for him dragging a kid out of the crowd to present him with half the broken table. Nae sure what the lad is going to do with it like, but I’m sure he’ll find something.
Los Ingobernables De Japon (Tetsuya Naito, Sanada and Bushi) defeated Titan, Mistico and KUSHIDA
LIJ are over in Edinburgh. Not only were all their t-shirts sold out but they were the overwhelming babyfaces in this match despite the inclusion of super babyface KUSHIDA, who seemed a bit perplexed by the crowd reaction. I don’t know if he knows what it means to be a ‘shit Kenny Williams’ but it can’t be nice for the lad. Mistico also got a bit annoyed by the ‘shit Sin Cara’ chants, probably because he’s Mistico II and had nothing to do with that disaster. Still, wasn’t very nice of him to stick his fingers up like that.
Anyway, this was another entertaining matches. I sound like a stuck record but like most of this show, it dropped right into the good category. Nowhere near incredible but nowhere near shit either. The Luchadores brought some cool offence with them but ultimately it was Naito who stole the show as he hit Destino for the win. Again, most people in attendance will remember seeing the wrestlers rather than what they did.
Verdict: Three Stars
Hiromu Takahashi defeated Mark Haskins
Takahashi (and Daryl) got one of the best reactions of the night when he made his way out for what had the potential to be a show stealer. Sadly, it wasn’t given enough time to shine. Instead, we got a quick match where they traded signature spots – or at least those signature spots that weren’t likely to end in serious injury. Takahashi did go for the sunset-flip powerbomb but didn’t succeed, because, come on, it was a Sunday night in Edinburgh. It was enjoyable, but there was a tinge of disappointment because this was the big one coming into this show and it could have been special. However, any chance to see Daryl should be grabbed with both hands. I don’t even like cats and I still think the wee tyke is adorable.
Verdict: Three Stars
The Bullet Club (Matt Jackson, Nick Jackson and Adam Page) defeated Dalton Castle and The Boys to win the ROH 6-Man Titles
In the least surprising news of the day, The Bullet Club are over and even Adam Page was treated like a motherfucking rock star. We know this by now, but it does always catch me off guard just how good a job these guys have done at selling themselves. They could have come out superkicked all the staff and left and still got the biggest pop of the night. That wasn’t the plan, though, and they did have a match against Dalton and his Boys. It was also quite clearly the match of the night. I believe it’s Joe Lanza of the Voices of Wrestling Flagship podcast that keeps saying The Boys are great workers in their own right so I went out of my way to watch them in this match and there is something there. Whether they were bumping for the Bullet chaps or being used as a weapon by Castle they were smooth as silk and, dare I say it, there was a taste of the Jacksons in their chemistry.
It was also quite clearly the match of the night. I believe it’s Joe Lanza of the Voices of Wrestling Flagship podcast that keeps saying The Boys are great workers in their own right so I went out of my way to watch them in this match and there is something there. Whether they were bumping for the Bullet chaps or being used as a weapon by Castle they were smooth as silk and, dare I say it, there was a taste of the Jacksons in their chemistry.
Elsewhere, Dalton was his usual entertaining self and is an underrated in-ring talent while Page is an overrated one. It was, as usual, all about the Bucks though as they bring the good times. That smoothness I mentioned with The Boys would need to be multiplied by ten to get close to the level these two are at. The finish came when Page hooked a Boy on his front and back and both Bucks came off the top rope for a double Meltzer Driver. You can’t argue with that.
Verdict: Three And A Half Stars
The Bullet Club (Cody and Marty Scurll) defeated The Addiction (Christopher Daniels and Kazarian)
Speaking of overrated, here’s Cody! Right, let’s be nice. Despite my constant attacking of Cody’s average nature, it makes more sense in person. The man might not be an elite in-ring worker but he is charismatic and he knows how to use it. The problem is, he’s not as charismatic as Marty Scurll, so he’s falling short. This was another perfectly fine match on a night jam packed with perfectly fine matches as all the wrestlers dealt out their signature spots. In a clever move, Marty held off on his most famous spot, the finger break, and it played into the finish as that sickening crack led to Cody hitting the Cross Rhodes. I know how he does it and it still makes me flinch. Another interesting thing to note is that The Addiction went full heel for this as they came out and turned the crowd against them pre-match. Whether that’s just for this tour or is the plan going forward, I don’t know, but in this building it certainly made a lot of sense, as no one was picking them over the Bullet lads.
Verdict: Three Stars
Silas Young defeated Jay Lethal in an Edinburgh Street Fight
In the only big mistake of the night, this match should not have main-evented. Swap this round with the tag-match that went on before and I think you have a much more satisfactory end to proceedings. You certainly wouldn’t have had the crowd trickling out as these two do everything they can to get their attention back. In the country of ICW, they tried to put on an extreme match and it just didn’t work. It was too plodding and too dull and even those who stayed around were just waiting for it to be over. Silas Young is a decent hand but on a show like this he’s not a main eventer while Jay Lethal may have been a couple of years back but since losing his title time has not been kind to him. I don’t know what it is but he struggles to hit the heights that he was previously smashing. It wasn’t offensive, but it also wasn’t good.
Verdict: Two Stars
Despite a flat main-event, this was a very solid show. Nothing here will be remembered in a years time for being too bad or for being too great. Instead, it will be remembered for the wrestlers you got a chance to see in Edinburgh who you might never see there again (although with what looked like a healthy crowd maybe ROH will consider coming back). It was fun and fun is all that this reviewer needed.