After the roaring success of night one (I’m still giddy about that Ishii vs Lee match) RevPro was charging into night two of Global Wars on a high. If anything, it was a better card with Matt Riddle vs Minoru Suzuki and Ospreay vs Sabre leaping off the page. Could they live up to the hoss fight? Let’s dish out some stars.
CCK (Chris Brookes, Travis Banks and Kid Lykos) defeated CHAOS (Gedo, Hirooki Goto and YOSHI-HASHI)
RevPro does a great job of utilising the Japanese talent, however, I can be allowed one complaint. I wish that Goto had gotten a singles match. He’s on a poor run at the moment and it would have been nice to see him get a chance to bust that.
Despite my whining, he did have a moment to shine in this match as he took the hot tag from YOSHI-HASHI. It was a timely reminder that he’s a cracking wrestler as he barrelled through Lykos and Brookes and then traded elbows with Banks.
It was also the key moment in a fun opening contest. CCK never fail to impress and the CHAOS team was used well with HASHI taking the heat section, Goto getting to shine and Gedo eating the pin. Nice booking.
Verdict: Three Stars
Toru Yano defeated Zack Gibson
Gibson did his usual and got on the mic before the match. I did my usual and only got about one word in five because the crowd were booing so loudly. I’m sure it was good, though. It usually is.
The booing didn’t prevent me seeing that his serious nature played perfectly with Yano’s antics. He sold the comedy like Yano had spit on his mum. Once again, this was an example of how to use Yano. He’s a lower-card comedy wrestler, and when he’s there, I’m happy to see him do it.
It was short, sweet and gave those in attendance a few laughs (even I chuckled at the car stereo spot). In other words, it was a complete success.
Verdict: Two Stars
Josh Bodom defeated Rocky Romero
It’s always nice to see a Rocky Romero match. We don’t see him in much one-on-one action.
Much like Yano and Gibson, this was a clash of philosophies. Meaning that Bodom is a grumpy bugger while Romero likes to have fun. The difference between Rocky and Yano is that Romero is more than just his comedy and he looked good here. Mr Forever got all his spots in but worked hard to make Bodom look strong. He took a bit of a beating from the bigger man and dished one out in return.
The finish was executed well as Romero came off the top rope into the cross arm breaker. However, the slight hesitation caused by the impact allowed Bodom to shift his weight, grab a handful of tights and pick up the win.
Verdict: Three Stars
Tomohiro Ishii defeated Dave Mastiff
This match was never going to live up to Ishii vs Lee. Dave Mastiff is good he just isn’t Keith Lee good.
If you can move away from those lofty expectations, this was still a great match. It was like pushing two boulders down a hill to bash into other and seeing which one would crack first. It wasn’t pretty, but as they crashed into each other, I’d defy you not to have fun.
If you’re looking to disprove someone of the notion that wrestling is fake, this is the match for you. Every moves these two hit saw the ring shudder from the impact while the elbows they threw were colossal. Every time they kicked out, it felt like it had to be the last and yet they kept having a bit more to give. It would end up taking a vicious looking brainbuster from Ishii to finally see this one off.
Verdict: Three And a Half Stars
Ryan Smile defeated El Desperado to retain the British Cruiserweight Title
El Desperado ended up getting a title match that he later admitted on Twitter he had no idea about. Considering he lost on the first night, you can understand his confusion.
This was a very different match-up from his showing with Riddle. That one saw him up against someone who wanted to wrestle him and trade blows while Smile was all about taking to the air. That kind of played into Desperado’s strengths, however. He’s used to wrestling high-flying juniors and is adept at grounding them. That combination of grappling and naughtiness is what he does best.
And while I could do without watching Smile being thrown through chairs and so on, it led to a decent match. Smile adapted to this different style of cruiserweight wrestling, and both men played each other’s games well. The only fault was the feeling that Despy was never going to win which took a bit of heat out of proceedings.
Verdict: Three And A Half Stars
Los Ingobernables de Japon (Tetsuya Naito and Bushi) defeated Yuji Nagata and Keith Lee
The wolves of LIJ against the honour of Yuji Nagata and the power of Keith Lee. This was a fresh match-up and not one that you’d ever have expected to see.
That pack mentality was a key part of it. Naito and Bushi wrestled like a tag team, at one point even managing to keep the behemoth Keith Lee down for long enough to isolate him. On the other side of the ring, Nagata and Lee felt like two individuals and it was only towards the end that they managed to string some tag-team offence together.
That LIJ cohesion would play into the finish as Bushi and Naito worked seamlessly to put Lee in position for the mist. Two Destinos later and they had the win. This was fun although you’d struggle to call it a classic. It did make me realise that I want Naito vs Lee somewhere down the line and if New Japan makes that happen, I’ll be a happy boy.
Verdict: Three Stars
Minoru Suzuki defeated Matt Riddle
This is dream match territory.
It was also both the best and – sadly – the worst of Minoru Suzuki. When this was him and Riddle teeing off on each other in the ring, I was in heaven. That smile he flashes when people slap him is brilliant and I’d have been happy if that had been the entire match.
It wasn’t. Instead, we got the usual Suzuki-gun antics. It didn’t take long for them to make their way to the outside and El Desperado couldn’t help himself. It wasn’t the worst example of it we’ve seen – or even in the top ten – but it tainted the match from the get-go.
It’s even more annoying when this went on to be a good match. When these two were stood in the centre of the ring, it was a violent and exciting fight. Riddle provided the dynamism that Suzuki lacks in his later years while Minoru got to be the badass that he genuinely is. The dream match came true as they traded stiff blows and Riddle proved he could hang with one of the very best.
Then the ref bump happened and Despy appeared again. I know that neither of these guys could lose clean but it was all bitterly predictable. A chair shot and a Gotch Piledriver later, and Suzuki beat the young contender. Remove the interference and this is a potential match of the night. With it, it’s just good.
Verdict: Three And A Half Stars
Zack Sabre Jr defeated Will Ospreay to retain the British Heavyweight Title
If there are still people in your life that describe Will Ospreay as a spot monkey, then please show them this match. It’s been clear for years that he is more than that but if they need the ultimate proof then make them watch him go out there and wrestle with Zack Sabre Jr and more than hold his own.
On a show jammed with some of the best wrestlers in the world, it was two British stars who went out there and stole the show. Sabre and Ospreay blew everything else on this card out of the water. I’m Scottish so I tend to view the English with suspicion. However, even I think that’s cool.
And they did it by building on what they’d done before. This was two wrestlers who knew each other inside out. Whenever one of them fell into his groove and started pulling out their usual spots the other was there to cut them off. They’d danced this dance before and that was the story of this match. No one was going to steal a victory. The better man was going to win.
Before he got that victory, though, he was going to take a hell of a beating. These two weren’t playing softly with each other. On a card with Riddle vs Suzuki, you are going to have to be hitting snug to stand out and they stood out.
In the end, Sabre was just a touch too smart. Ospreay hit him with everything but when Zack’s back is to the wall, he can always fall back on grabbing a limb and twisting. It doesn’t matter how good you are if your body is breaking you have to tap.
This was incredible. An outstanding piece of pro-wrestling that you need to see.
Verdict: Four And A Half Stars
Post-match Sabre and Suzuki cut a promo and were interrupted when Riddle hit the ring and started dishing it out. He KOd Despy before going after Suzuki and Sabre. They escaped and Matt laid out the challenge to Sabre, he wants that belt. Exciting stuff.
Another fantastic show from RevPro. Ospreay vs Sabre stole the show and, once again, there wasn’t much in the way of bad here. I’m repeating myself, but the way they use the Japanese talent is spot on. Compare this to what ROH do and it’s night and day. Let’s hope it keeps happening for years to come.