The week before Final Battle 2014, Ring of Honor traveled across the pond to put on several joint shows with Preston City Wresting (PCW). It is a promotion that has a unique roster made of both British Talents as well as a mix of American Stars, both big indie names, and former WWE/TNA stars. They also have a pretty unique venue. Combining their roster with the stars of Ring of Honor, and there is a lot of potential on these shows. Lets see what they produced!
I got the box set, which includes all four of these shows. Therefore, I won’t break down each individual match, but I will provide breakdowns of the show overall (similar to how I handley my NJPW G1 Climax reviews). I won’t go too much into some of the angles, but I’ll try to give my best perspective on the matches.
I also want to note that (I believe) Mark Andrews, a top British Talent who I’m sure some of you have heard of, was originally going to be on these shows, but got pulled when he won TNA British Boot Camp, thus earning himself a TNA contract.
PCW/ROH SuperShow of Honor: Show #1
Preston, Lancashire, England 11/28/14
1.) Six-Man Mayhem - Joey Hayes vs. ACH vs. Cedric Alexander vs. Charlie Garrett vs. Dean Allmark vs. El Ligero: ***
2.) “Unbreakable” Michael Elgin vs. Brodus Clay: **
3.) Delirious vs. Mad Man Manson: **1/4
4.) Lance Storm vs. Martin Kirby: ***1/2
5.) Dave Mastiff vs. Adam Cole: ****
6.) “Sicilian Psychopath” Tommaso Ciampa vs. Uhaa Nation: ***3/4
7.) PCW Cruiserweight Champion Bubblegum vs. Paul London: ***1/4
8.) ROH World Tag Team Titles - reDRagon vs. PCW Tag Team Champions Team Single (Rampage Brown & T-Bone) vs. The Briscoes vs. The Decade (BJ Whitmer & Roderick Strong): ***1/2
PCW & ROH got off to a solid start with Show #1. Here you had what was easily the best match of the entire weekend with Adam Cole vs. Dave Mastiff. Just a really great match from bell to bell. Mastiff is a big guy, but he’s a really good wrestler and can certainly move in the ring. We also had a great dream match of sorts with Tommaso Ciampa vs. Uhaa Nation. Again, another really great match. We also saw a few other solid singles matches in Lance Storm vs. Martin Kirby and Paul London vs. PCW’s Cruiserweight Champion Bubblegum (can’t believe that’s an actual name of a real wrestler). There was also a pretty interesting comedy match between Delirious and Mad Man Manson (who wrestles with no shows).
The six-way opener was ok, but the worst match on the show was Michael Elgin vs. Tyrus aka Brodus Clay. I never thought in a million years that I would see that match, but it happened, and it wasn’t that good. The main event was a four-way tag team match, where a coin flip by PCW’s General Manager Lionheart (the British wrestler who, earlier in 2014, broke his neck pretty badly after taking a Styles Clash from AJ Styles) decided whether the ROH World Tag Team Titles or PCW Tag Team Titles on the line. The ROH World Tag Team Titles won the toss, that saw reDRagon retain. It’s interesting that Strong & Whitmer were partners, but commentary explained that they had contractually agreed to the match before their breakup in ROH. Things broke down as The Briscoes & Team Single brawled to the back. Dissension amongst Strong & Whitmer allows reDRagon to take advantage and win the match. The Briscoes challenged Team Single for the PCW Tag Team Titles the next night, and they accepted.
PCW/ROH SuperShow of Honor: Show #2
Preston, Lancashire, England 11/29/14
1.) Four-Corner Survival - BJ Whitmer vs. El Ligero vs. Tommaso Ciampa vs. Uhaa Nation: ***1/4
2.) PCW Champion “The Masterpiece” Chris Masters vs. “Unbreakable” Michael Elgin: ***
3.) ACH vs. Joey Hayes: ***1/4
4.) Paul London vs. Roderick Strong: ***3/4
5.) Adam Cole vs. Noam Dar: ***3/4
6.) Cedric Alexander vs. Martin Kirby: ***3/4
7.) Six-Man Tag - PCW Tag Team Champions Team Single (Rampage Brown & T-Bone) & PCW Cruiserweight Champion Bubblegum vs. Dave Mastiff, Dave Rayne & Mad Man Manson: N/A (tittie twisters & near-sodomization)
8.) ROH World Tag Team Titles - reDRagon vs. The Briscoes: ***1/2
Shows #2 & #3 take place on the same day, with the former in the afternoon and the latter in the evening. I think this show was a slight step up from Night 2. All of my matches were *** or better. There really wasn’t a bad match on this show. We started off with a really fun four-way match featuring Uhaa Nation, Tommaso Ciampa, El Ligero & BJ Whitmer. We then had a match between Michael Elgin & PCW’s Champion, Chris Masters. It’s been awhile since I’ve seen Masters, and he & Elgin actually had a pretty solid match. Next we had ACH vs. Joey Hayes, which was another solid match. We then hit a really great stretch with three straight matches that were ***¾ with Roderick Strong vs. Paul London (a rematch from their ROH encounter at Glory By Honor XII), Adam Cole vs. Noam Dar, and Cedric Alexander vs. Martin Kirby.
We then had a….really fascinating six-man tag that saw a lot of shenanigans, including a multi-man tittie-twister, which included the referee, as well as Kris Travis (the British wrestler who was stricken with cancer in 2014). There was also a point in the match where Dave Rayne was bound, gagged, and almost sodomized Rayne in the middle of the ring, before Bubblegum (who had run off earlier in the match) came back, with toilet paper on his shoes, and rolled up Manson for the win. The main event saw The Briscoes challenge reDRagon for the ROH World Tag Team Titles. It was a fine main event, but definitely the weakest of their encounters. I believe Team Single cost The Briscoes the match. Afterwords, Kyle O’Reilly said he’s coming for Bubblegum’s PCW Cruiserweight Title on Show #3.
PCW/ROH SuperShow of Honor: Show #3
Preston, Lancashire, England 11/29/14
1.) Six-Man Mayhem Match - ACH vs. Bobby Fish vs. Cedric Alexander vs. Martin Kirby vs. Noam Dar vs. Roderick Strong: **3/4
2.) BJ Whitmer vs. “Unbreakable” Michael Elgin: ***1/2
3.) El Ligero vs. “Sicilian Psychopath” Tommaso Ciampa: ***1/2
4.) Delirious & Paul London vs. Dave Rayne & Mad Man Manson: **1/2
5.) Joey Hayes vs. Lance Storm: ***1/4
6.) PCW Tag Team Titles - Team Single (Rampage Brown & T-Bone) vs. The Briscoes: ***1/2
7.) PCW Cruiserweight Title - Triple Threat Match - Bubblegum vs. Adam Cole vs. ROH World Tag Team Champion Kyle O’Reilly: ***3/4
8.) PCW Title - Three-Way Elimination Match - “The Masterpiece” Chris Masters vs. Uhaa Nation vs. Dave Mastiff: ***1/2
While not all of the matches from Show #3 were better than ***, we saw a number of matches in the ***½ range. The show kicked off with a six-way match that featured four Ring of Honor talents two PCW talents. It was a good opener, but disappointing when you consider who was involved. Michael Elgin vs. BJ Whitmer had an ROH vs. ROH match that was actually really good. One of the best BJ Whitmer singles matches in recent memory. We followed that up with another really good singles match in Tommaso Ciampa vs. El Ligero. There was then a segment where Lionheart introduced their special guest: Booker T. He cuts a promo with Tyrus aka Brodus Clay, and then did his signature Spinaroonie to the joy of the crowd. After that, we had a comedy tag team match with Delirious & Paul London vs. Dave Rayne & Mad Man Manson. It was as entertaining as all of the comedy matches have been this weekend. Following the match, Mad Man Manson announced his retirement.
We then have a solid match between Joey Hayes & Lance Storm, where Hayes picked up a surprise upset. Team Single then defended their PCW Tag Titles against The Briscoes. They successfully retained their titles. We then have what was definitely the Match of the Night in Bubblegum vs. Adam Cole vs. Kyle O’Reilly in a Three-Way Match for the PCW Cruiserweight Title. It was a really good match that saw Bubblegum retain. Joey Hayes came back out and demanded a title shot. PCW GM Lionheart then comes out. He says Hayes is talented, and enters him into the Road to Glory Tournament (taking place in early 2015), where he can earn a future title shot. They shake hands, but their Lionheart gives Hayes the Rock Bottom! He then announced he’s returning to action (after his devastating neck injury mentioned earlier) in the Road To Glory Tournament. The Main Event was originally supposed to be Chris Masters vs. Uhaa Nation for PCW Title, but Lionheart comes back out and puts Dave Mastiff in the match, making it a three-way elimination match! Masters is out first, guaranteeing a new champion. After a spirited battle, Uhaa Nation puts away Dave Mastiff to win the PCW Title! A challenge is laid out for the Road To Glory Shows in early 2015, that will see Uhaa Nation vs. Chris Masters for the PCW Title, where the loser must leave PCW forever.
PCW/ROH SuperShow of Honor: Show #4
Preston, Lancashire, England 11/30/14
1.) No DQ Match - ROH World Tag Team Champions reDRagon vs. PCW Tag Team Champions Team Single (Rampage Brown & T-Bone): ***1/4
2.) Mark Briscoe vs. Roderick Strong: **3/4
3.) Delirious vs. Paul London: **3/4
4.) No Loud Noises - ACH vs. Cedric Alexander: ***1/4
5.) Adam Cole vs. “The Masterpiece” Chris Masters: **1/2
6.) PCW Title - Uhaa Nation vs. “Unbreakable” Michael Elgin: ***3/4
7.) ROH World Title - Jay Briscoe vs. “Sicilian Psychopath” Tommaso Ciampa: ***3/4
The fourth show was very interesting one, as it was essentially an ROH Show. Team Single were the only British Talents that appeared, while Chris Masters & Uhaa Nation were the only other two PCW Talents on this show. We started off with reDRagon defeating Team Single in a fun non-title No DQ Match. Mark Briscoe vs. Roderick Strong was decent, but nowhere near their best match. Delirious vs. Paul London was an entertaining comedy match. By the way, two things about Paul London. Firstly, he looks JACKED. He looks really different from his last ROH appearance. Secondly, his entrances all weekend were long, but on this show, his was, really, really LOOOONG. It seemed like he was trying to high five every single fan, and event went through the bathroom (no kidding). We then had one of my personal favorites out of all four shows: ACH vs. Cedric Alexander in a No Loud Noises Match. Yes, you heard that right. The object was that neither guy could make any loud noises during the match. It was a hilarious match. Absolutely loved it!
Up next was Adam Cole vs. Chris Masters. It was fine while it lasted, but it ended with Masters walking out of the match and Cole winning by countout. Then we had what many people would consider to be a dream match, as Uhaa Nation took on “Unbreakable” Michael Elgin. In a really good match, Uhaa Nation retained his PCW Title. The Main Event saw Jay Briscoe defend his ROH World Title against Tommaso Ciampa. There were some shenanigans in this match. The ref got taken out, and wall he was down, Ciampa had a visual pinfall over Jay Briscoe (that will come into play during ROH storylines later). I believe Adam Cole also came out and interfered. In the end, Jay Briscoe overcame all of this to retain the ROH World Title. Cole cut a promo hyping up their Fight Without Honor the following week at Final Battle 2014. Jay Briscoe responds to Cole, while Tommaso Ciampa reminds Briscoe of the visual pinfall to close the show.
In closing, I found all four of these shows to be really enjoyable. While none of them were amazing shows by any means, they were all entertaining in some form or fashion, and provided some really good wrestling. I thought the commentary did a good job (though some may disagree with me on that) explaining all of the ROH storylines in quick & simple fashion, which was really good to see. The crowd was also really great this whole weekend. They really helped bring these shows up, and made them more entertaining to watch. Plus, it was pretty sweet to see ROH going to back to the UK in a big way. On the whole, I enjoyed these joint shows with PCW, and I hope we see more in the future.