In one of the most unexpected moments of the year in ROH, Will Ospreay made his ROH debut a grand one by winning the World Television Championship. Though not afforded the same opportunity as his UK counterpart, Marty Scurll too impressed in his ROH debut with a big victory. So what better way to see if Ospreay & Scurll can keep the momentum going by taking on, arguably, the greatest tag team going today in The Young Bucks in a first-time tag team encounter. It’s time to review ROH’s “Reach For the Sky Tour: Leicester” to find out if it’s Worth Your Money!
Reach For the Sky Tour: Leicester; November 19th, 2016; Leicester, England
Jay White vs. Joe Hendry
Hendry came out to a custom-made, ROH-ized version of his entrance theme that had this long-time ROHbot thinking back to the days of Jimmy Jacobs during his “Jimmy Loves Lacey” phase. Not only was there a following of the Code of Honor, there were also clean breaks, a lack of strikes, and copious amounts of grappling during the opening moments. Hendry’s strength & size advantage allowed him to mostly keep his opposition grounded until White tried to convert a sunset flip into the double stomp. The pace quickened and Hendry got his legs buckled & his face smashed courtesy of the flying forearm. “The Local Hero” recovered and countered the suplex attempt by executing his own delayed version. The clothesline attempt failed for Hendry, resulting in him taking a DDT. The crowd was in support of both grapplers as they slugged it out in the ring’s middle. White’s running back elbow in the corner allowed him to suplex and cross body block Hendry for a two count. Once again it was “The Local Hero” countering White’s follow up attack to turn the tides in his favor – in this case with a DDT. Coming off the ropes didn’t help Hendry as he felt a dropkick that put him in prime position on the floor for the tope that almost wiped out the barricades as well. The missile dropkick landed for White in the ring, as did the uranage, but Hendry refused to say down. Scaling the ropes yet again was White as he wanted to cross body block his opposition. Hendry showed his impressive strength by catching and fall away slamming White … to gain a near fall!
White got up swinging, to which Hendry responded in kind before a pin exchange broke out and only ended when White dropped “The Local Hero” on his head with the half-nelson suplex. Hendry couldn’t stop the Kiwi Crusher or the three count that followed in Jay White’s favor.
Jay Lethal vs. Alex Shelley
After a big ovation for Lethal, the former World champ vocalized his want to really give the fans a show and Shelley definitely looked to obliged as both men exchanged holds in an incredibly fast pace before everything reset. Adding insult to injury, Shelley used the old snot rocket to infuriate Lethal – and an infuriated Lethal was enough to dropkick Alex in the face before using some jabs to possibly loosen a few teeth. Shelley wasn’t having any of the suplex action Lethal had in mind, leading to a seesaw battle until Lethal got the Machine Gun over and sent Shelley rolling to the floor. Shelley tried to outsmart his opponent, but ended up being super kicked twice. Shelley kept his wits about him and kicked Lethal on the top of his head to stop the tope. The fans were incredibly pro-Lethal, but it was Shelley in control after that kick. Working over the next of Lethal was Alex’s game plan between mocking the crowd. Letting Lethal get up cost him as Shelley had an Irish whip turned against him before he felt an enzuguri topped by the Lethal Combination … that gave Jay a near fall!
Lethal’s springboard dropkick allowed for him to finally execute that tope before climbing the ropes for a little Hail to the King action. Shelley was ready, getting the boot up to kick Lethal in position for a downward spiral against the turnbuckles. Lethal got up swinging & kicking, but the big clothesline from Shelley successfully set up Sliced Bread. Lethal countered, slamming Shelley into the canvas with Lethal Injection to pick up the pin fall victory. Following the match, Lethal put over ROH as the best company in the world before swearing a golden victory in London against Adam Cole.
Lio Rush vs. Donovan Dijak
Before this battle of the Top Prospect Tournament winners the lights went out to cause a very spotlight-heavy setting where Rush used an initial hit & run approach that saw him almost run into the choke slam on the floor. Avoiding a running Dijak courtesy of a leapfrog, Rush was able to sail through the ropes and almost knock him through the barricades right before the lights came back on. In a shocking show of power, Rush was whipped into the turnbuckles so hard he flew through the ropes. Once again the lights went out right before Rush reentered the ring on his own merit and got thrown across the ring via a suplex. Dijak’s backbreaker-release power slam combo almost sent Rush out of the ring and, yet again, saw the lights go out. Flipping out of the choke slam, Rush was kicking for the fences until he ran into a big boot. The house light shown bright as Rush utilized the reverse hurricarana to stop Feast Your Eyes and gain a two count in his favor. Lio wanted to fly, but Dijak had other intentions in mind by kicking Rush in position for a flying maneuver of his own. Rush stopped Dijak’s ascent, only to be goozled and pitched to the floor for a moonsault from the big man that brought the crowd to its feet. Rush refused to go down easily, countering a tilt-a-whirl slam to unleash a DDT. The fans were split initially, but growing in favor of Rush as he moved to his feet with the intent of kicking Dijak to ringside. When Dijak tried to stop him on the apron, Rush was able to pull him off to execute Rush Hour on the floor!
“This is awesome!” chants rang out as Dijak crawled across the ring while Rush tried to reenter the ring. Seeing Dijak rising, Lio rushed his opponent to spinning heel kick him into the front row. Dijak was on the verge of getting counted out, but somehow made it back in right before the twenty. Dijak rolled into the ring, right into the frog splash. Rush jumped up with the intent of doing it again, but Dijak grabbed him by the throat and executed that Choke Breaker. Rush couldn’t stop Feast Your Eyes or the subsequent three count.
The Briscoes vs. reDRagon
It was Bobby Fish and Mark Briscoe starting this one off after “The Infamous” stated, “This is where sportsmanship was born” following the Code of Honor. In a great reminder just how good he is at grappling, Mark forced Fish into the ropes several times when the former TV champion saw no way to save himself with technique. Mark was the first person to land a strike by back elbowing Fish, though Bobby responded with a roundhouse kick that, for the first time in this one, put Mark’s back on the canvas. “The Sussex County Chicken” recovered, scaring Fish with a teasing of some Redneck Kung Fu. Kyle O’Reilly tagged in as Jay Briscoe did the same; resulting in a big boot exchange. Mark became the legal man yet again, arm dragging O’Reilly with relative ease. Countering a sunset flip, O’Reilly almost submitted Mark courtesy of the Armageddon arm bar. Jay and Fish became the legal men yet again, leading to a relative slugfest until O’Reilly illegally grabbed and dropped Jay left arm-first across the top rope. The former two-time World champion was getting picked apart as the fans chanted in his favor. Mark rallied his brother to the right part of town, tagging in so he could set up some double team action after slipping behind O’Reilly and clubbing him in the head. It was O’Reilly on the wrong side of the ring this time as Mark smartly grounded him by his arms. Letting O’Reilly get up cost Mark as his enzuguri only allowed Kyle to retaliate courtesy of a running knee strike.
Fish and Jay tagged in with “The Infamous” tossing his opponent into his own partner. Trying to drag O’Reilly & Fish into a brawl actually didn’t help Jay as he felt O’Reilly’s Killer Kick Combo. Mark ran in to save his brother and set up a big lariat from Jay that almost turned O’Reilly inside out. Mark tagged in, utilizing that exploder suplex on O’Reilly to gain a two count before showcasing his own clothesline abilities. O’Reilly seemed to be on the verge of defeat when Jay executed the Death Valley driver to set up Mark’s Froggy Bow. Thankfully for O’Reilly, Fish ran in before the two count to cause come confusion. But the damage had been done and O’Reilly was prone to the Doomsday Device. O’Reilly fought for everything he had to stop what was about to happen until Fish ran interference and helped his partner almost take out Mark with their Two-Man Smash Machine combination. Jay ran, knocking down both members of reDRagon before The Young Bucks decided to stroll their way to the ring.
Jay didn’t take kindly to this arrival, exiting the ring and inadvertently walking into O’Reilly’s flying knee off the apron. In the ring, Mark utilized the rolling DVD to prepare Fish for Froggy Bow. Unfortunately for Mark, Nick Jackson jumped onto the apron to distract him long enough for Fish to recover and get his knees up when Mark made the leap. Mark couldn’t stop Chasing the Dragon or the three count that followed in reDRagon’s favor.
ROH Matchmaker Nigel McGuinnes arrived to talk a little about his history in the town of Leicester before thanking the fans for being a part of the show and the wrestlers themselves for embodying the same spirit that fueled him during his time as a competitor.
The Addiction vs. Dalton Castle & Delirious
Frankie Kazarian grabbed the microphone to announce that with Kamaitachi’s excursion in America being over it was time for a new third man to join the pair. Who better than the fiery, young babyface in … Delirious? Delirious took the microphone to answer in his natural language. Daniels translated, bringing up former ROH stars like AJ Styles and Traci after offering Delirious shoes. Castle took the microphone to demand the bell be rung – sending Delirious into his usual fit. After Delirious “calmed down”, Kazarian opted to stay on the floor and let Daniels deal with the madness. When Daniels unfortunately got close enough, the masked man showcased his grappling skills as well as his ability to outsmart “The General”. When Delirious refused to follow through with the leapfrog, Kazarian had to give a demonstration on his own partner. Delirious tricked both opponents, sending them into each other before bringing Castle in for some double team action. The Addiction was fighting from behind after landing in a dog-ish position following the onslaught from their opponents. In a shocking show of strength, referee Todd Sinclair accidentally hip tossed both members of The Addiction when he tried to avoid a collision. Castle loved what he was seeing and demanded Kazarian and Sinclair do battle. In one of the most dishonorable moments ever, the referee slammed one of the competitors (with relative ease, no less).
With a streamer in mouth, Delirious was running around the ring while leaving a trail before getting the fans into his odd chanting sequences of barks. Daniels had seen enough, illegally kneeing Delirious from behind to knock the masked man in position for a slingshot leg drop from Kazarian. It was all The Addiction as their double team offense almost proved too much for Delirious. Back flipping to avoid a double team belly to back suplex, Delirious set up a series of miscommunications by his opponents to finally tag out to Castle. The proverbial house of fire was Castle as he unleashed suplexes and running knee strikes. “The Peacock” got ahead of himself trying to win this one single-handedly as he was caught on the wrong part of town. Taking a page out of Delirious’ playbook, Castle caused a miscommunication between The Addiction before tagging in Delirious. Flying through the sky was the now legal Delirious until Kazarian stomped his feet. Delirious was quickly grabbed and drilled courtesy of that Best Meltzer Ever for an Addiction three count
ROH World champion Adam Cole vs. Chris Sabin
After tricking the crowd into thinking he’d throw his shirt to one lucky fan, Cole gave the crowd a very disgusting gesture. Sabin swooped in and pitched the shirt right into the arms of a young kid who refused to give up his souvenir even when Cole threatened him and revealed that Santa Claus isn’t real (don’t tell Mick Foley). Unlike the previous matches where the wrestlers tried to use their actual talent to save themselves from being pinned against the mat, Cole simply pulled at Sabin’s hair to put him in the corner before doing his patented pose. Some of the crowd wasn’t feeling Adam Cole (bay-bay) and was thoroughly happy when Sabin chopped him out of the ring and around ringside. Beckoning the kid who caught the shirt to come to the barricade, Sabin held Cole in position for a knife-edge chop from the surprised fan that seemed mesmerized by the moment before giving Cole his hardest strike. Unfortunately for Sabin, the momentum didn’t stay in his favor when he went for a springboard maneuver in the ring; only to have his legs super kick from underneath him. It was time for Cole to do some work on the floor by whipping Sabin against the barricades (while not giving Bullet Club shirt wearers the too sweet).
It was all the champ as he methodically worked over the back of his opponent. Cole got a little predictable as he took an Irish whip into the corner and responded with a forearm. Both men were thinking enzuguri kicks, practically resetting this one. Sabin was the first to rise, kicking Cole every which way before unleashing a missile dropkick. Hitting that springboard tornado DDT, Sabin gained a two count before Cole rolled to the floor for haven. The champ found nothing but a PK-somersault senton combo for his trouble. Slipping behind Sabin, Cole converted a failed Florida Key into a neck breaker over his knee … that ended in a near fall!
Countering the Last Shot, Sabin took a pair of super kicks topped by the shining wizard. With a failure to pin Sabin, Cole went for the submission courtesy of that figure four leg lock. Thankfully for Sabin he was close enough to the ropes to save himself. The action moved to the corner with Sabin stopping the Panama Sunrise to land another PK, but he was too tired to follow up immediately. Waiting for Cole to get up on his own merit, Sabin initiated a kick exchange that ended with Sabin executing the BK Bomb … to earn a near fall!
Elbowing his way out of the Cradle Shock position, Cole pulled off the Canadian Destroyer … to gain a near fall!
Leaving the ring was Cole to grab the World title belt. The referee stopped what Cole had in mind, taking the belt out of the ring. With the ref’s eyes off of him, Cole utilized a low blow to stun Sabin for the Last Shot and the three count.
Cole grabbed the microphone to state he was warmed up and ready to fight Jay Lethal right now instead of waiting until tomorrow night. When Lethal came out, Cole hightailed it out of the ring. Lethal warned Cole to rest up and get ready to lose the only thing that, according to Lethal, keeps Cole relevant.
ROH World Tag Team Championship: The Young Bucks (c) vs. ROH World Television champion Will Ospreay & Marty Scurll
Before the match could begin, Matt Jackson grabbed the microphone to congratulate their opponents for their successful ROH debuts. So what better way to see of the current undefeated ROH stars could keep the momentum going by battling the champs for the gold? ROH Matchmaker Nigel McGuinness got the word and made this bout for the championship. It was Matt and Marty Scurll kicking this one off both men going for their biggest maneuvers early. An eye poke exchange broke out, resulting in double tags so the popular Will Ospreay could nip out wristlock while Nick screamed, “What the hell?” The pace quickened, resulting in Matt entering the ring to help his brother set up a double team clothesline. Ospreay countered with a double arm drag topped by the superman pose and a crotch chop off the dive feign. The challengers were actually doing quite well as allies. Flipping out of a trio of belly to back suplex attempts, Matt was able to tag in his brother to set up a slingshot face buster on Scroll followed by the assai moonsault to Ospreay after the TV champ got dropkicked to the floor. It was time for a little Rise of the Terminator action that the challengers couldn’t avoid.
Scurll found himself on the wrong part of town, getting abused by both Jackson’s including getting his back raked. Spending too much time playing to the crowd, “The Villain” fought through an Irish whip to slam Nick against the ropes. Seeing his brother in trouble, Matt ran to the other side of the ring to power bomb Ospreay across the apron. But Scurll wouldn’t be denied as he countered a double team Irish whip into a double arm drag. Ospreay recovered, waiting for the tag.
Coming in legally, Ospreay was on fire by hitting a double Pele kick on the champions, utilizing a neck breaker on Matt, and setting up Scurll’s apron super kick to Nick. With both Bucks on the floor, “The Aerial Assassin” executed his version of the Sasuke special to a big ovation. Matt found himself being double team kicked, kneed and even feeling the Poetry in Motion shooting star press. Scurll was signaling for the Chicken Wing when Nick introduced him to the #SuperKickParty. Reverse hurricarana by Ospreay to Matt was topped by a frankensteiner on Nick that put the champs in position for that double Pele kick again. The Bucks were ready, super kicking Will out of midair. Scurll powered through a pair of super kicks to hit the McLariat to turn his opponents inside out. Matt found himself on the receiving end of the turnbuckle-posted super kick Ospreay and Scurll meant to convert into a successful Chicken Wing submission. As the fans chanted in approval, Nick muscled his way beyond Ospreay to break up the hold and save the title. The crowd was solidly behind Ospreay, but it was the champions who executed a doomsday super kick to the TV champion. Scurll, all alone, couldn’t stop Matt spiking him on the apron with a DDT or Nick’s follow up 450 splash … that gave Matt Jackson a near fall!
The Bucks were ready for the Indytaker when Ospreay cut Nick off at the pass in midair. Matt, feeling a sequence of high impact splashes from Ospreay was only saved from a three count by his brother’s Swanton bomb. “Fight forever!” the fans shouted as The Bucks got up first. Scurll stopped the crotch chops by doing some finger dislocations. Matt & Nick countered with super kicks, but hit the referee by accident! Stunned, the champs turned into a pair of low blows that gave “The Villain” the chance to bash the titleholders with his signature umbrella. Ospreay stopped his partner from performing a dastardly deed, only to find himself in the same position as Scurll after Marty handed him the intended weapon. After some contemplation and discussion with the fans, the TV titleholder decided to go for broke – rushing forward with the umbrella … to accidentally hit his own partner when Matt & Nick got out of the way!
Ospreay turned and accepted the inevitable as he mat a pair of super kicks. “The Villain” was unable to stop More Bang For Your Buck, but Ospreay did hinder a sure three count! Disposing of Ospreay on the floor, The Bucks called for the Meltzer Driver. Will looked to stop the attack by springing off the ropes at the same time as Nick to execute a frankensteiner. Nick used the looseness of “The Aerial Assassin’s” legs to over rotate and come down to finish his intended Meltzer Driver alongside his brother. The crowd went crazy as Matt made the cover and Nick held down a shocked Ospreay; ending this match in the champs’ favor.
The Briscoes decided to confront the men they’ll face in New York for the gold during “Final Battle”. The Bucks opted to leave, allowing Dem Boys to congratulate the men who didn’t win on this night, but tore the house down. Scurll was pissed off, though. According to “The Villain”, the arrogant Scurll cost them the gold. So it wouldn’t be any more fitting than in twenty-four hours time these two would fight for Ospreay’s title if Will accepted his challenge. Ospreay asked for a thumbs up from Nigel McGuinness to make the match. The ROH Matchmaker agreed to the match.
Is It Worth Your Money: After a spectacular first of three shows during ROH’s return to the UK, ROH’s Leicester event didn’t feature the memorable moments such as a title change from the night before, but did have one of the best matches seen all year in a ROH in the form of the main event. Even though the match was shown on ROH TV, the edited version in no way matches the quality seen in full. But beyond the main event is a solid show with some not-so-surprisingly good matches from the opener to the semi-main event. Thanks to a fantastic main event and a consistent card beforehand this gains a strong recommendation.
ROH “Reach For the Sky Tour: Liverpool” is Worth Your Money.