ROH & NEW JAPAN PRO WRESTLING PRESENT: GLOBAL WARS
MAY 10TH, 2014
TORONTO, ON CANADA
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The channel went live a little while ago and right now we can hear the audience getting seated and Steve Corino and Kevin Kelly talking.
We get a great opening video showing us the history between Kevin Steen and ROH World Champion Adam Cole. On the production side it doesn’t appear that we’re getting anything new on the road to Best in the World (their first live traditional PPV). With the the importance of this show and War of the Worlds, I hoped for perhaps a new ring apron or improvement on their venue props. The usual ROH guardrail banners are fine, but I would certainly hope for something more with the involvement of NJPW and/or a preview of what they want to show new fans who may have purchased this show. Small criticism, but noticeable.
Michael Bennett w/ Maria vs ACH
ACH focuses on Bennett’s knee during the opening of the match. Bennett would gain control of the match pretty easily. ACH got distracted on the ring apron with Maria but side steps Bennett who spears Maria and then gets hit by a dive from ACH. ACH goes for the 450 but gets hit by a spear for a 2 count. Bennett uses a new finisher on ACH but my video was buffering at that moment and I missed it, only saw the three count. Seeing online that it was a dominator. Match was a fine opener.
Michael Elgin vs Takaaki Watanabe
Elgin already pulling out the stalling vertical suplex and gets to a count of 30 seconds from the crowd. Michael Elgin def Watanabe with the buckle bomb/Elgin bomb combo. Good power match between both men. A bit shorter than I thought it would go but a good win for Elgin leading into his match with AJ Styles. Watanabe was fine and got in enough offense. Enjoyed the match.
The Decade (Jimmy Jacobs & Bj Whitmer) w. TD Thomas vs reDRagon (Kyle O’Reilly & Bobby Fish) vs The Briscoes
So far starting off fast and furious. No one doubted that any of these six men could go. The Briscoes seem to be getting the most offense in so far which makes some sense. Great action from all six men involved. Crowd is really digging the action. After two seemingly quick matches, this is the early steak the crowd wanted to see. The Briscoes win defeating the Decade with the doomsday device on Jimmy Jacobs. Well the Decade got beaten by ROH legends. reDRagon complains about the “lack of control” from the ref in the match. Great match but not sure about what it does for the Decade.
Roderick Strong (The Decade) vs Cedric Alexander
Intense from the get go as Alexander just goes after Strong with chops and a dive. The Decade have been banned from the ringside so we should get a great technical match that goes one on one. Strong has a lot of experience to utilize against the younger Alexander. Cedric almost got the win with the lumbar check but Roddy got his foot on the ropes. Cedric got the win with a roll up on Roderick Strong.
The Decade came out post match and beat on Cedric. Roderick Strong dumped Cedric onto two chairs from a stalling vertical suplex position, essentially a back breaker with chairs instead of his knees. The feud will continue. They said on commentary that Cedric’s shoulder popped out.
IWGP Jr heavyweight (on the line) & ROH Tag Team Champions Young Bucks vs Forever Hooligans vs Time Splitters
Huge Alex Shelley chants from the crowd. Great to see him, as our own Ari Berenstein noted it is the first time since 2010. Obviously the superkick party count will be in effect. So far it’s pretty much what you would expect if you’ve seen any of their New Japan matches, but there is something special about seeing it in ROH. The Toronto crowd loving it.
Young Bucks retain with the More Bang for your Buck on Koslov. Crowd chants that was awesome and it was. I will say it felt a slight notch above some of the matches I’ve seen them had in NJPW if only for the environment and there seemed to be a bit more crisp in their wrestling. Superkick count was only at 6. I had an over under of 10 so I lost.
Return on Sept 6th, 2014. Intermission.
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RD Evans w/ Ramon def Bobby Cruise after a long fun promo and extended the streak to 105-0.
IWGP Intercontinental Champion Shinsuke Nakamura & JADO vs Jushin Thunder Liger & Hiroshi Tanahashi
The crowd was really into the talent, especially Nakamura, Liger, and Tanahashi. Was a pretty good match but you could tell that they were either holding a little back because of the placement on the card or were just introducing their style to the “new” fans. Nakamura and Tanahashi got a few moments together but not as much as you would assume given their recent NJPW history. If Tanahashi’s back is in bad shape, he did enough to get the crowd into the match. He also took some pretty big back bumps. Tanahashi hit the high fly flow on Jado to win the match. Please come back chants all around. Great respect for Liger particularly. Some said on twitter they felt Liger got the loudest reaction.
ROH has been releasing vids throughout the night on their twitter. Kinda like it but also feel it takes away from watching the iPPV. Nothing bad though. Here is an example of it:
ROH World TV Title 4 way
Jay Lethal vs Silas Young vs Tommaso Ciampa vs Matt Taven
This was a great match. Jay Lethal basking in the boos is great and I’m glad to see him embracing his heel turn. All four men brought it and I think it was clear they wanted to put their best foot forward knowing how important these shows are when it comes to new fans watching or old fans coming back because of the NJPW talent. We tend to complain when multiple man matches dissolve into one on one encounters with the others just sitting around or laying around but this match I think didn’t have much of that. Each man being not involved in the action made sense as they had been hit with a big move instead of just being kicked or punched. Also all four men showed how familiar they were with each other as they countered moves or were able to use someone else’s move to their advantage. Much like the three way tag team match, it hardly gave people a chance to breath and I think that’s important in the flow of these types of matches. Taven got distracted by Truth Martini which allowed Jay Lethal to hit the lethal injection and retain his title. Kind of an ugh moment given the interference, but it’s a heel manager. What did you expect.
IWGP Champion AJ Styles & IWGP Tag Champion Karl Anderson vs Kazuchika Okada and GEDO
Pretty great to see the rainmaker entrance, done on a smaller scale obviously, in ROH. AJ Styles as the new leader of the Bullet Club with Karl Anderson definitely meant something and was different than their past times in ROH. Michael Elgin was on commentary due to his IWGP Title shot on May 17th. Was great to see Tiger Hattori as the ref for this match. AJ Styles hit the styles Clash on Gedo and gets the win for the Bullet Club.
Very good match. Great wrestling from all four men and with it being the last NJPW match on this card is leaving a lasting impression with the American’s in the ring that fans have a connection with. Okada standing with Michael Elgin and AJ Styles at the end also was a great image as on May 17th we could have a new Champion.
ROH World Title match
Adam Cole vs Kevin Steen
Great match between these men. Kevin Steen is probably the most beloved talent in ROH and truly knows how to get any crowd behind him, but particularly when he’s in Canada. Cole also knows how to just infuriate the crowd while also retaining their respect as a wrestler. These two men probably couldn’t have a bad match but after seeing the NJPW talent, I felt they had to do something different. Steen got the crowd into his antics despite how they may bend the rules. Cole focused on the legs of Steen for most of the match. It in an odd way felt more like a PWG match than a ROH match with Steen doing a little bit more for the crowd’s reaction than usual, including four ring apron power bombs on Cole instead of the usual one or two. Even with the small Michael Bennett interference, the match was pretty much a clean match up which is much better than a screw job finish. Having it in the TV Title match was fine, but for a main event, fans want to see finality. Adam Cole defeated Kevin Steen with a superkick after countering the package piledriver to retain.
Overall: An awesome show from top to bottom. Good pacing and the NJPW matches delivered as far as anyone could expect. Not a bad match on the show in my opinion so a high recommendation in buying this either on VOD or DVD. The New Japan relationship is obviously off to a great start. The matches were good to great. If you follow the NJPW product, the finishes still made sense and the wrestling did as well. Nothing was a classic, but then for this show they didn’t have to be given the assumption this was an introduction of sorts to the ROH fanbase. When it came to the ROH portion, I would say the Alexander/Strong match and Cole/Steen match were the best presentations. The four way TV match was also great and we came away with Taven still being duped by Truth Martini, so that’s either a good thing or a bad thing but it makes sense for Lethal and Taven to still have a feud while Young and Ciampa didn’t lose. Let us know your thoughts mailbag@PWPonderings.com or leave a comment below.