War Of The Worlds Grand Rapids Recap: Did Matt Taven Survive Impromptu ROH World Title Match?

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- The scheduled match between Mark Haskins and PCO at DeltaPlex Arena on May 11 was called off because PCO wasn’t medically cleared to compete as a result of the eye injury he suffered in his match against ROH World Champion Matt Taven on May 9 in Toronto, so Haskins goaded Taven into putting his title on the line against him.

In other bouts: A star-studded 10-man tag main event pitted Jay Lethal, Jeff Cobb and Japanese stars Hirooki Goto, Satoshi Kojima and Yuji Nagata against Bully Ray, the Briscoes, new ROH World Television Champion Shane Taylor and Silas Young; WOH World Champion Kelly Klein defended against Stacy Shadows; four men who have never had an ROH World Title shot -- RUSH, PJ Black, “Hot Sauce” Tracy Williams and Eli Isom -- squared off in a Four Corner Survival Match for an opportunity at the championship; and the controversial Dalton Castle competed for the first time since his stunning, 16-second loss to RUSH at G1 Supercard last month.

QUICK RESULTS

-- Coast 2 Coast (LSG and Shaheem Ali) defeated Karl Fredericks and Alex Coughlin

-- WOH World Title Match: Champion Kelly Klein defeated Stacy Shadows

-- Triple Threat Match: Dalton Castle defeated Cheeseburger and Clark Connors

-- The Kingdom (ROH World Champion Matt Taven, TK O’Ryan and Vinny Marseglia) defeated Bullet Club (ROH World and IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champions Guerrillas of Destiny and Hikuleo)

-- Flip Gordon defeated Rhett Titus

-- Los Ingobernables de Japón (EVIL and SANADA) defeated The Bouncers (Beer City Bruiser and Brawler Milonas)

-- Four Corner Survival Match for ROH World Title Shot: Tracy Williams defeated Eli Isom, PJ Black and RUSH

-- ROH World Title Match: Champion Matt Taven defeated Mark Haskins

-- Jay Lethal, Jeff Cobb, Hirooki Goto, Satoshi Kojima and Yuji Nagata defeated Bully Ray, The Briscoes, ROH World Television Champion Shane Taylor and Silas Young

RECAP

Coast 2 Coast (LSG and Shaheem Ali) vs. Karl Fredericks and Alex Coughlin

The NJPW L.A. Dojo Young Lions dominated the match in the early going by isolating Ali. C2C eventually turned the tables and isolated Coughlin. When Fredericks was tagged into the match, he ran wild on both LSG and Ali. Coughlin trapped LSG in a Boston Crab, but Ali broke it up by clotheslining Coughlin in the back of the head. Ali hit a swing-out slam on Coughlin for the win.

WOH World Title Match: Champion Kelly Klein vs. Stacy Shadows

Instead of adhering to the Code of Honor before the start of the match, Shadows shoved down Klein. That only fired up the champion, who speared Shadows and landed a flurry of punches to the head. Shadows halted Klein’s momentum with a spinebuster and then used her size advantage to gain control of the match. After Shadows missed a Vader Bomb, Klein connected on a knee strike to face to win.

Afterwards, Shadows shook Klein’s hand. Klein headed to the back, while Shadows lingered around ringside. Out of nowhere, The Allure (Angelina Love, Velvet Sky and Mandy Leon) attacked Shadows. The three-on-one attack concluded with The Allure marking Shadows on her forehead with an “A” in lipstick. Klein returned to the ring to make the save. She knocked Leon out of the ring and speared Love, but Sky sprayed hairspray in Klein’s eyes. Love went on the attack, as a blinded Klein tried to fight back. The ROH Dojo students hit the ring to pull them apart.

Triple Threat Match: Dalton Castle vs. Cheeseburger vs. Clark Connors

This was originally scheduled to be a singles match between Cheeseburger and Connors, but Castle came out before the opening bell and said the people deserve something better, so that’s why he’s here. Castle was in his street clothes and just wanted to talk rather than wrestle, but Cheeseburger goaded him into joining the match by saying he could beat Castle in 16 seconds just like RUSH did at G1 Supercard.

Castle, obviously the overwhelming favorite to win the match, looked good in the early going, as he hit a double German suplex on his opponents and later flipped Cheeseburger over his head from the apron onto Connors on the floor. Cheeseburger and Connors proved resilient, however, and both had their moments during the match. Connors caught Castle in a Boston Crab and appeared to be on the verge of scoring a major upset before Cheeseburger made the save. Ultimately, Castle hit Bang-a-Rang on Cheeseburger for the win.

The Kingdom (ROH World Champion Matt Taven, TK O’Ryan and Vinny Marseglia) vs. Bullet Club (ROH World and IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champions Guerrillas of Destiny and Hikuleo)

Both teams had little regard for the rules in the early going. Bullet Club isolated O’Ryan for a stretch, but then The Kingdom isolated Tonga. G.O.D. hit the Doomsday Device -- a signature move of the Briscoes -- on O’Ryan. The Briscoes came down to ringside. While G.O.D. was distracted by the Briscoe’s presence, Taven nailed Hikuleo in the back of the head with a championship belt. Marseglia covered Hikuleo for the victory.

The Briscoes and G.O.D. brawled to the back. It was announced later that the ROH World Tag Team Title Match between champions G.O.D. and the Briscoes on May 12 at the War of the Worlds international television taping in Chicago will be streamed LIVE for HonorClub!

As The Kingdom celebrated their win, Mark Haskins entered the ring. Haskins noted that he had been scheduled to face PCO tonight, and that match would’ve been for the ROH World Title if PCO had beaten Taven at War of the Worlds in Toronto on May 9. Haskins said that Taven not only cheated to defeat PCO, but he injured him in the process, so now Haskins doesn’t have a match. He challenged Taven to put his title on the line against him tonight. Taven declined. Haskins made a reference to Taven’s former Kingdom teammates Michael Bennett and Maria Kanellis, saying that they must’ve left ROH with Taven’s balls. An irate Taven said the match was on.

Rhett Titus vs. Flip Gordon

Titus came out to the ring and said that nobody wants to wrestle him tonight, so he’ll pose instead. Gordon came out to answer Titus’ challenge. Gordon needed only a few minutes to dispose of Titus. In a bit of a surprise, Gordon used a submission move -- the STF -- to win the match.

The Bouncers (Beer City Bruiser and Brawler Milonas) vs. Los Ingobernables de Japón (EVIL and SANADA) 

The Bouncers tried to do a Toast of Honor before the match, offering cups of beer to LIJ, but EVIL and SANADA took a drink and then spit the beer in Bruiser and Milonas’ faces. The match spilled to the outside, where EVIL placed a chair around Milonas’ head and smashed it with another chair. The Bouncers mounted a rally, but EVIL and SANADA combined to suplex Milonas, and then hit Magic Killer on Bruiser for the win. EVIL and SANADA are now 3-0 on the War of the Worlds tour.

Four Corner Survival Match for ROH World Title Shot: Eli Isom vs. Tracy Williams vs. PJ Black vs. RUSH

The winner of this bout gets his title shot at State of the Art in Kent, Wash., on June 1. Isom, despite being by far the youngest and least experienced competitor in the match, more than held his own and even got a two count on the undefeated RUSH after landing a frog splash. Black hit a springboard 450 splash on Isom, but Williams made the save. RUSH had Isom set up for Bull’s Horns, but he opted to hit a missile dropkick on Black outside the ring instead. That left Williams and Isom in the ring. Isom hit a DDT from a backbreaker position on Williams for a near fall. Williams came back with a piledriver on Isom for the victory.

ROH World Title Match: Champion Matt Taven defeated Mark Haskins

If Haskins win the title, he will defend it against fellow LifeBlood member Tracy Williams in Kent, Wash., on June 1. A fired-up Haskins took the fight to the champion right from the start, but Taven eventually gained the advantage after targeting Haskins’ left shoulder. Taven took Haskins outside the ring and tossed him into the stairs leading up to the stage. Taven was hoping for a countout victory, but Haskins made it back into the ring just before the count of 20. The resilient Haskins trapped Taven in an armbar and later a crossface, but both times Taven made it to the ropes to force a break. Haskins scored a near fall after a double stomp off the top rope.

Taven came back with Climax on the apron, followed by Just the Tip and a frog splash. To the shock of everyone -- especially Taven -- Haskins kicked out of Taven’s pin attempt. Taven locked on the Sharpshooter. Bully Ray came down to ringside and asked Haskins how his wife is doing. Haskins released the hold and turned his attention to Bully. Taven hit a low blow behind the referee’s back and then connected on Climax to escape with his title.

Afterwards, Taven grabbed the microphone and bragged about his victory and the people he’s defeated, including PCO. That brought out PCO, and a fight ensued. PCO hit a pop-up powerbomb, tombstone piledriver and moonsault. PCO then held up Taven’s championship belt.

Bully Ray, The Briscoes, ROH World Television Champion Shane Taylor and Silas Young vs. Jay Lethal, Jeff Cobb, Hirooki Goto, Satoshi Kojima and Yuji Nagata

Before the match, Kenny King -- who claimed to still be blinded from the mist that was spewed into his eyes by Great Muta after King won the Honor Rumble at G1 Supercard -- announced that he was undergoing surgery on May 12 in Chicago to restore his sight.

Taylor, two days removed from winning the ROH World Television Title in a Four Corner Survival Match, gained the advantage for his team by connecting on a vicious headbutt to Lethal. First Lethal, and later Cobb, were isolated. The match eventually broke down, with all 10 men going at it. Kojima hit a cutter on Bully, but Mark Briscoe made the save. Bully got his steel chain and prepared to use it on Kojima, but Mark Haskins came out and took it from him. All of Bully’s opponents hit a move on him, capped by a lariat from Kojima for the victory.