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Worth Your Money? ROH "Reach For the Sky London"

By James Bullock Jul 12, 2017 - 6:58 PM print

Adam Cole declared his second reign as the ROH World champion was inevitable – Adam Cole was right. At the expense of Jay Lethal, Cole became the new ROH World champion to close out the summer. For the next several months, Lethal hunted Cole and his rematch following a match where he let revenge cloud his judgment. On the last leg of an historic series of shows, Lethal gets his chance to regain the ROH World title while avenging a loss that began to haunt his every action. But that won’t be the only title on the line as Will Ospreay, only two nights after making his ROH debut a golden one by winning the Television title, has a chance to defend the championship against a man who not only debuted in ROH on the same night as him, but someone who knows him better than most in Marty Scurll. It’s time to review ROH’s “Reach For the Sky Tour: London” to find out if it’s Worth Your Money!

Reach For the Sky Tour: London; November 20th, 2016; London, England

Dalton Castle w/ The Boys vs. Lio Rush
Castle motioned that he’d eat Rush’s face before the match’s end to a great response from the crowd. After backing Rush against the corner, Castle decided to do a little posing including that incredible backwards bend. When they locked up again, Castle found himself getting outmaneuvered and had to take a short break with The Boys. “The Peacock” decided he wanted to turn this one into a brawl, but Rush easily avoided the strikes before landing a few of his own that put Castle in position for a dive. Dalton stopped Rush from completing his goal, feigning a dive to pose yet again. The fans were mostly in favor of Castle, but it was Rush who was slipping and sliding to set up a highflying attack. Castle blocked whatever Rush had in mind initially, only to get kicked on the jaw and put on the floor for not only an asai moonsault, but also the high-speed tope. Castle was trying everything in his power to slow this bout down by leaving the ring constantly, only to put his Boys in harms way. Furious, Castle ran after Rush as Lio tried to fan The Boys into consciousness. Castle made his opponent pay by utilizing two German suplexes. Rather than go for a potential sure pin, Castle rallied The Boys off the floor so he could continue his assault on Rush that included an Irish whip against the turnbuckles that was so hard Rush flew through the ropes.
The third German suplex inside the ring was blocked by back elbow strikes from Rush. Kicks and slaps were the precursor to Rush spiking Castle on his head with a DDT. The second DDT attempt didn’t end well for Rush as he was caught and tossed into a lariat that was meant to be the setup for Castle’s Bang-a-Rang. Lio countered in mid-motion, looking for the Rush Hour. Showing incredible strength, Castle blocked the maneuver, spinning Rush into the air to execute the Bang-a-Rang and pick up the three count.

The Motor City Machine Guns vs. The Addiction
The old buddies & rivals alike in Frankie Kazarian and Chris Sabin kicked this one off with a stalemate following the arm drag exchange. Using Sabin’s hair to keep a hold of the side headlock worked once, but not on the second attempt as Sabin used the strategy to set off a series of failed pinning combinations from both men. When Kaz mocked the city of Detroit, Alex Shelley joined the action by providing a pair of boots for Sabin to whip Frankie’s face against. Flipping out of a back body drop, Kazarian tagged out to Christopher Daniels – who gained a loudly positive reaction. But it was the Machine Guns able to execute a double team sequence of maneuvers after the blind tag from Shelley that included Shelley dropkicking the booty of Daniels as Sabin held him in the corner. Ducking a clothesline, Daniels made his way to Kazarian and led the charge to turn this thing around as “The General” tripped Sabin in position for Frankie’s slingshot dropkick that slammed Chris to the floor. It was all The Addiction as the rapid-fire double teams started occurring courtesy of the former ROH World Tag Team champions such as a trio of stomps by both men while they exchanged tags. The crowd turned against The Addiction when the pair messed up their chanting off the stomping sequence, cheering when Sabin countered a victory roll to propel himself into the tag.
Shelley was on fire, as was the crowd as Shelley isolated Kazarian for a short while until he was caught with Kazarian’s slingshot DDT off Daniels’ leaping stomp. Big miscommunication between The Addiction saw Kazarian hit his own partner and put himself in position for a running kick from Sabin. Daniels was stuck by himself to take Skull & Bones … for a near fall thanks to Kazarian!
MCMG refused to be deterred and went to take out both men. Unfortunately for Daniels he got a double team Kroyt’s Wrath that allowed Shelley & Sabin to pin “The General”.

Jay White vs. Donovan Dijak
Unlike the prior match the Code of Honor was followed as these men who have been undefeated throughout the tour locked up at the sound of the bell. Muscling his way out of the headlock, Dijak got rattled by a flying forearm when White started using a hit & run approach quickly to not only put Dijak on his knees, but also soften up the left arm of the big man. White was getting rough with his opponent until he ran into a discus big boot that almost ended this one early. With White easily grabbed Dijak started tossing him across the ring with release slams and suplexes as the crowd tried to get Jay the will to fight through the pain. White heard the fans’ pleas, using running forearm smashes to put Donovan on his back. The follow up running European uppercut set up White’s running vertical suplex-missile dropkick combination that allowed him to position Dijak in the crossface. Dijak used his long arms to reach the ropes, only to get dumped on his head with the head & arm suplex. Dijak was stuck in the ropes, getting his chest beaten in with uppercuts. Using the ropes to his advantage, Dijak muscled his way out of rope-assisted submissions. But White’s ability to dodge incoming attacks caused Donovan to run shoulder first against the steel ring post. White wanted to follow up with something big on the apron when Dijak kicked him to the floor for a moonsault press off the apron to the floor!
As if that wasn’t enough, Dijak used the backbreaker across the apron to set up Feast Your Eyes on the floor as well. Rolling the lifeless body of White into the ring proved detrimental for Donovan as White recovered and ended up playing possum before sweeping Dijak into the Rings of Saturn. Dijak refused to submit, doing everything in his power to free himself when he was rolled into a pinning combination off the hold that allowed White to hold Donovan down for those precious three seconds.

ROH World Tag Team champions The Young Bucks defend against The Briscoes
What was originally supposed to be singles contests featuring both champions and future challengers in singles contest turned into a non-title tag team encounter and a preview of what could happen at “Final Battle” courtesy of The Briscoes’ challenge. And dey was a clubberin’ early until Mark dropkicked both Bucks in position for a dive from Jay that put Nick in position for Mark’s Cactus Jack elbow drop. Just when it seemed Matt was ready to take the Doomsday Device he back flipped out of the maneuver to super kick not only Jay, but also Mark so he and his brother could join forces and present the Rise of the Terminator dive. Mark was the isolated Briscoe and seemed to be on the verge of losing this one early when he started rolling and flipping until he was in the corner with his brother for a tag out. Jay Briscoe, the figurative house of fire, made both champions feel the Yelping neck breaker. Tripping Jay to the floor, Matt set up his brother’s running kick off the apron that was topped by that double team dropkick on Mark. The champs were having fun abusing their opponents, even using a beard mare and the double stomp on Jay’s beard. Tired of his beard getting pulled off his face, Jay fought his way to Mark so his little brother could give the fans a showing of some redneck kung fu. Nick had to save his brother from a sure pin off the running fisherman buster, starting the #SuperKickParty that was stopped by The Briscoes’ Delaware’s Edge … that gave them a near fall thanks to Nick’s interference!

Nick’s onslaught set the stage for a second Mark Briscoe isolation as Matt unleashed a slingshot DDT to put “The Sussex County Chicken” in position for Nick’s 450 splash … to earn a near fall courtesy of Jay’s intervention!
Typing Jay in the ring ropes, The Bucks had an idea to invite the former World champion to a private #SuperKickParty. Mark attempted to save his brother, but met the same fate. The force of the kicks helped free Jay and allowed him to retaliate with a double clothesline. Matt wanted to insult Jay with those “Suck it!” punches, but took a Death Valley driver instead. Once again, The Briscoes signaled for Doomsday when Nick made the save. Matt got free, only to witness his brother be taken out of midair with an ace crusher from Mark. Matt couldn’t stop the Jay Driller … but kicked out right before the three count!
As Nick was taken out on the floor, Jay set Matt up for something off the top rope. Mark joined his brother, pulling Matt off the top rope with a super Delaware’s Edge that folded the champion like an accordion … and only gave them a near fall!
Nick reentered, throwing kicks aplenty until he ran into a lariat from Jay that almost turned him inside out. Taking Matt on a #SuperKickParty of their own, The Briscoes called for the Doomsday Device yet again. This time it connected perfectly and allowed Jay to pin Matt for the victory. Dem Boys grabbed the belts, but ROH Matchmaker Nigel McGuinness ran out to remind them this wasn’t for the gold.

Kyle O’Reilly vs. Travis Banks
The initial moments were all about grappling as O’Reilly tried to take his opponent to, “Headlock City.” Banks not only gladly entered the “area” but also wanted to bring O’Reilly to the nearby “Arm Drag Town”. O’Reilly responded by unleashing a slew of strikes including the Killer Kick Combo. Rather than go for the pin, O’Reilly kneed Travis in position for a body lock topped by some facial manipulation. The point of interest moved from Banks’ torso to his left arm & leg. Kicking his way out of a knee bar, Banks got himself caught in the ankle lock that resulted in a near submission when Travis made it to the ropes. O’Reilly got up swinging for the fences, only to be tripped and dropkicked on the side of his head. Banks picked up the pace, using a series of running strikes to set up the cannonball in the corner to gain a two count. The fans were split in support of both men as Banks countered a guillotine choke attempt by rolling O’Reilly into the super kick-fisherman buster combo to attain another two count in his favor. Demanding Banks to keep kicking him, O’Reilly powered his way off the mat with a lariat in mind. Banks survived the onslaught, responding courtesy of his version of the Disaster Kick. Dey was a clubberin’ in da middle of da ring, Tony!
Kicking Banks to one knee, O’Reilly almost knocked his opponent out with the shining wizard. When he tried to set up the brain buster, O’Reilly used the guillotine choke to make Banks an easier victim for the maneuver. Banks valiantly kicked out, only to inadvertently swing himself into the Armageddon arm bar for a submission victory.
After the match, O’Reilly grabbed the microphone to declare himself the next ROH World champion.

ROH World Television Championship: Will Ospreay (c) vs. Marty Scurll
The fans were in support of both men as they followed the Code of Honor. The battle over a wrist lock, pin attempt, and drop down-leap frog combination saw the pace never slow down until Ospreay countered an early Chicken Wing attempt by the challenger. The crowd was almost deafening as the two stood on opposite ends of the ring. Scurll made the first real mistake of this one, mocking his opponent and walking into a dropkick when he turned around. The pace quickened yet again and Scurll was sent to the floor for a running shooting star press off the apron that caused the fans to chant, “British wrestling!’ In a very villainous moment, Scurll slipped underneath the ring after rolling in & out to maneuver himself behind Ospreay for the northern lariat. The champ took the chance to recover as Scurll did a victory lap around the ring, jumping onto the barricade for something. Scurll grabbed the referee who was attempting to bring this match into the ring, using him as a distraction to pitch Ospreay face first against the barricades. Scurll, apparently impressed with his own actions, decided to work over the left arm of “The Aerial Assassin”.
Fighting to his feet, Ospreay came off the ropes with a handspring back kick that put both men on the canvas. Once again they were opposites sides of the ring when they got up, with Scurll getting shoved into a snap German suplex-springboard forearm combination that gave the champ a two count. Ospreay took too much time scaling the ropes, getting caught by the arm in preparation for that finger dislocation maneuver. Ospreay stopped the challenger’s disgusting attack, twisting him in position for that turnbuckle assisted super kick … to earn a near fall!
Ospreay got up kick, but “The Villain” avoided a roundhouse kick to knee the champ several times to setup a release flacon arrow. Following Scurll’s failed pin attempt, the challenger spun around as the crowd cheered for the potential submission coming Ospreay’s way when Will exploded off the mat with a Pele kick that sent “the challenger rolling to the floor. Running up the ropes, Ospreay utilized another shooting star press to the floor to down his opponent. Rolling Scurll back in, the champ opted to climb the ropes. Scurll met him, pulling him off with the superplex converted into a Chicken Wing when they hit the mat. The fans were cheering as the title seemed to be slipping from Ospreay’s grasp when the champ clutched the bottom rope to save himself. Jumping over the top rope to land on the apron, Scurll met the now floored Ospreay with a pair of super kicks off the apron. Fighting spirit flowed through “The Aerial Assassin” both in the ring and out until Will landed another Pele kick that ended with both men on their backs.
The got up trading forearm strikes as the crowd responded positively. Ospreay was looking for the Rainmaker when Scurll countered with finger dislocation! Scurll sickened himself to the point he slightly vomited. Somehow, Ospreay got up fighting and was able to counter a suplex by turning it into Stundog Millionaire. The champ was on fire, using rolling thunder, shooting star presses and even the spiral tap before coming off the ropes for that springboard ace crusher when he threw himself into the Chicken Wing. Ospreay used the momentum to roll up Scurll … for the near fall!
“The Villain” went insane with maneuvers, ending with a DDT off the northern lights suplex counter, but couldn’t put the champion down for those precious three seconds. Retrieving his patented umbrella, Scurll found himself standing before a cheeky champion. So Scurll responded by dislocating fingers on both hands before stomping Ospreay’s head over and over again! With “The Aerial Assassin” unable to defend himself, Scurll locked him in the Chicken Wing. The crowd was rabid as Ospreay slowly tapped out! New champion! What a match!

ROH World Championship: Adam Cole defends against Jay Lethal
Rather than follow the Code of Honor, Cole mockingly rubbed his challenger’s head while saying, “I did that!” Lethal didn’t get upset and simply walked away as the bell sounded. A quick exchange over the shoulder blocks ended with Lethal Injection from the challenger! Cole was aware enough to roll out of the ring and avoid a sure pin. Lethal, furious, exited in hopes of getting the champ back in, but ended up having to take the fight to the floor courtesy of those patented topes. When the action returned inside, Lethal kept control with his methodic offense of knife edge chops, European uppercuts and belly to back suplexes. Lethal seemed to have this in complete control until he climbed the nearby corner and got shoved to the floor. The challenger apparently took a bad spill as he was seen clutching his left leg after the impact. Rather than go after the appendage, Cole worked his way up the body until he was locking the challenger’s head. Lethal fought his way off the mat, but ran into a back elbow for his trouble. Slamming Lethal face first against the top turnbuckle, Lethal seemed to be physically rattled and eventually infuriated to the point he powered through a super kick to bicycle kick the champ.
The kick potentially jammed the knee of Lethal as he got up limping. Even with one leg, the challenger was able to execute the Lethal Combination when Cole came off the ropes for something big. Lethal’s follow up Death Valley driver was meant to set up Hail to the King. The first connected so well he went for it a second time to great success. Cole rolled out of the ring to avoid the second flying elbow drop, luring Lethal onto the apron where the champ executed a shin breaker across the ring’s edge. The Bullet Club member topped that by driving Lethal knee first against the barricades. Checking on Lethal’s condition, the referee seemed to be on the verge of stopping this one, but the challenger was not having it as he countered the figure four leg lock. Cole responded by super kicking Lethal’s legs from underneath him, utilized the chop block and cinched in the figure four leg lock. Cole trying to scoot Lethal away from the ropes cost him as Jay turned the submission against its applier temporarily.
Cole got up with the plan of executed his shining wizard. Lethal countered, but couldn’t stop the second shin breaker that left him staggered and prone to the shining wizard. Lethal made a roll toward the ropes as the fans were actually in support of the champ. Lethal gave them something to cheer about when he countered the Florida Key on the apron with an ace crusher off the apron, to the floor! Lethal reentered the ring, stopping the referee’s count physically because Cole was out for those twenty seconds needed for a count-out victory. Throwing Cole back in, Lethal could barely stand as the champ forearmed his way off the mat. Dey was a clubberin’ as the fans chanted, “R-O-H!” Lethal won the fistfight, calling for Lethal Injection. When Lethal went to run, Cole kicked him low from behind to execute the Last Shot. Cole made the cover, but the referee refused to count down such an illegal sequence. Exiting the ring, Cole retrieved his World title belt that ended up costing him as Lethal pulled the champ into a cradle … for a near fall!
Cole hastily got up, running into his own Last Shot … for another Lethal near fall!
Jay’s knee took so much damage executing Cole’s finisher that when he went for the Lethal Injection his leg buckled under the weight and left the challenger prone to the figure four leg lock. The referee was asking if Lethal wanted to quit, but saw how close he was to the ropes. Cole spit at him, making him lose his focus and the goal. But Lethal held on, forcing Cole to change his strategy and execute the Panama Sunset … for a one count!
Cole couldn’t believe what he was seeing as Lethal tried to slap some feeling into his leg. Flipping off the champ, Jay ducked a clothesline to go for Lethal Injection. Cole super kicked Lethal on the back of his head to stop the maneuver and execute a series of attacks concluding with another Last Shot to finally put Lethal’s shoulders to the mat for the three count. What a match!

Is It Worth Your Money: Wow... just wow. It’s hard to really think of a ROH non-PPV in the past five years featuring two back-to-back matches as excellent as the ones to close the show. The TV title match not only had a shocking result considering Ospreay just won the title two nights prior, but also a excellent showcase of what happens when you have two people who practically rose to prominence together. Not only to be outdone was the main event. Cole and Lethal had a fantastic match at “Death Before Dishonor” a few months prior, but this one blew that out of the water with, arguably, the second best match of the year from ROH following Ladder War VI. If you’re one who believes in five-star rankings, the main event would make the list thanks to a great match occurring in front of a hot crowd. Everything else on the card is just icing on a delicious cake by being nothing short of good to great. This show is must-see if there ever was one in 2016 from ROH.
ROH “Reach For the Sky Tour: London” is Worth Your Money.

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