ROH & NJPW presented Global Wars last night, May 8th from the Frontier Fieldhouse in Chicago. A great show with a hugely controversial finish.
TV Championship Number One Contenders Match
Dalton Castle defeated ACH, Adam Page & Roderick Strong
This was a very good, action packed, fast paced opener. Strong was so explosive here, especially towards the end when he unloaded on everyone. ACH picked up the energy of the match with a huge dive. Page had a good showing. With Castle being so over with the crowd, it makes sense for him to get the win. There was one really cool spot with Castle hitting a suicide dive as Page flipped into the ring with a clothesline. Castle won after he hit Bangarang on ACH onto Page. The only thing is, he’s gonna have to work on having a more serious edge if he’s to be a legit threat to the TV championship.
Cheeseburger & Jushin Thunder Liger defeated The Addiction
This was fine for what it was. It was a cool moment for Cheeseburger getting to team with the legend, Liger. Liger took a scary fall into his head when The Addiction hit Celebrity Rehab. He doesn’t need a neck injury at this stage of his career. Burger got the upset win and what is probably the first win of his career. After the match The Addiction hit him with The Best Meltzer Ever and the attacked was played up as being pretty devastating.
ROH World Tag Team Championship
War Machine defeated The Briscoes
This was a war. These guys beat the holy hell out of each other from the second the ball rang. This was a hoss battle if ever there was one. There were some incredible sequences here and lots of tags in and out. Hanson hit a huge suicide dive. There was one great face off between Rowe & Jay where they just went at it with strikes as neither blinked. There were several major near falls that had the whole place fooled. Rowe kicked out of a splash/Froggy Bow combo. Hanson also kicked out of a Jay Driller, making him the first guy to do so in something like two years. That was an amazing near fall. War Machine won when Mark was hit with Fallout. Just a really great match.
Tetsuya Naito defeated Kyle O’Reilly
It has been talked about several times, but Tetsuya Naito is one of the hottest things in wrestling right now. He got an incredible pop here and this was the perfect showcase of what he is all about to new viewers. The commentators did a great job of explaining his whole deal and making him sound important. This was a great back and forth match and the match of the show for me. Naito did all his usual mannerisms. There were lots of good near falls with O’Reilly putting in a great showing against the IWGP champion. Naito won after he hit Destino.
Kazuchika Okada & Moose defeated Michael Elgin & Hiroshi Tanahashi
This was the first match where the crowd weren’t silent for the majority of it. Okada & Tanahashi faced off before the bell and before it rang, they received a standing ovation from the crowd. This was the ultimate show of respect to two guys that have done so,e amazing things together, in their first time facing off in America. This was a hell of a match. Both teams worked really well together. Okada & Moose even put together some nice double team. The crowd went nuts for any Tanahashi vs Okada interactions. Moose looked great. He and Okada hit stereo turnbuckle dropkicks, which was a cool moment. Elgin looked like a beast and got a great reaction from the crowd. The finish came when Elgin ducked a Rainmaker, then ate a Spear from Moose. Okada then hit The Rainmaker to score the win. This was great.
ROH TV Championship
Bobby Fish defeated Tomohiro Ishii
This was the biggest singles win of Fish’s career and somewhat of an upset. This match was great and told a really good story. It was a really physical match with Ishii being the badass that Fish had to work so hard to stop and break down. Fish tried to headbutt Ishii, but it wouldn’t work. He then tried to chop down the legs of Ishii. There were lots of strikes from both guys. The crowd were very quiet again and almost took away from it. This would have seemed so much hotter in front of a Korakuen Hall crowd. The finish here was great with Fish having to stray away from his usual game and put down Ishii with a sleeper. Fish won by match stoppage when Ishii passed out. This kept Ishii strong and make Fish looked great for managing to put down the Stone Pitbull. This was a huge and well deserved win for Fish. This opens up lots of possibilities for the TV title going forward and a possible ReDRagon feud over the belt.
The Young Bucks, Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa defeated Chris Sabin, Matt Sydal, Alex Shelley & KUSHIDA
The best part of this was Mr Wrestling 3 investing money in a superkick counter and The Bucks going on to win the match with zero superkicks. This was what you’d expect, a car crash with bodies flying everywhere. We had The Motor City Machine Guns, The Time Splitters and Love Gun all on one team. We had some amazing double and triple team moves as the various different tag teams intertwined with each other. Tonga and particularly, Loa added something different to this. Loa looked great as the monster of the match and it was awesome to finally see Tonga in ROH. Tonga got a great reaction from the crowd. The Bucks won when they hit a Meltzer Driver.
ROH World Championship
Jay Lethal vs Colt Cabana – No Contest
This is where controversy hit the show. This match had a really big fight feel. Cabana’s entrance looked incredible. The crowd went crazy for him, with a Colt Cabana chant going on for about 5 minutes with no interruption. This crowd wanted to see their hometown here conquer the ROH world title in his return to the company. It was a really good match and it was building well, as the crowd rallied behind Cabana. Lethal almost killed himself with a couple of dives.
Then we had the big angle, as Bullet Club revealed Adam Cole to be their new member and went on to demolish everyone in sight, superkicking a countless number of security personnel, even taking out Kevin Kelly & Mr Wrestling 3. Lethal was tied to the ropes and superkicked over and over again. BC spray painted their letters on to the guardrails. The Bucks father even ate a superkick.
This was a great angle, done at the wrong time. When you build a PPV around a match and hype it, not delivering a finish to customers that paid for the PPV expecting to see said match is inexcusable. Adam Cole is the perfect guy to join Bullet Club. BC has needed a reboot after losing their core group over the last few months. He needs to be back in NJPW too, so hopefully this leads to that. There have been NWO comparisons made to this angle. But how is this any different to what BC have been doing for the last 3 years? It’s not like they appeared in ROH out of the blue and started doing this. We know what to expect from BC. BC has been a side act in ROH thus far. A babyface group treated in a lighthearted manner, as the cool faction from Japan. This was an attempt to make them a serious threat in ROH for the first time, just as they have been in Japan. It’s hard to get that with The Bucks and their goofy nature, but Cole can without a doubt get this thing over as something serious. This angle would have been much more acceptable after the match had a finish, elsewhere on the show or on an episode of TV. If the match had a finish, people wouldn’t have been up in arms about it. This was an attempt to capitalise on recent Bullet Club hype in WWE and a reboot of the group as something bigger on ROH. The follow up is important here. BC have to be presented as a serious deal and lose the silliness. Adam Cole as the head of this, chasing the ROH world title could lead to lots of great things if it is done properly.
This was a great show. The dead crowd made certain matches come across flat, but everyone worked hard and delivered in the ring. Your enjoyment and impression of this show will all depend on your feelings towards the BC angle. You will either love it or hate it.