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ROH Global Wars 2016 Reaction

By Nicholas Jason Lopez

 

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

Ring Of Honor doesn’t hide that New Japan Pro Wrestling has their fingerprints all over their television shows and as you see here, their Pay-Per-View events.

Their 14th Anniversary Show featured notable NJPW talent like Kazuchika Okada and Hiroshi Tanahashi as a selling point and that’s all fine and good.

It’s just the fact that it might be misleading to build this PPV as “Global Wars” when there were no true stakes. Besides featuring more NJPW guys on an ROH show, there was nothing extraordinary about this.

In fact, the best things to come from this show were just ROH storylines and talent on their own. You’ll see our thoughts on everything and that oh-so-illustrious ending below, but don’t get your hopes high.

 

 

 

 

 

(Aired 5/8/16)

The Breakdown 

– The opening video sent the right message, acknowledging the tight unity between ROH/NJPW and describing it as a “relationship of respect, a bond through competition and a union that brings out the best in them all.” Of course, the show’s best build thus far came in the main event slot, as Chicagoan Colt Cabana was challenging ROH World Champion Jay Lethal in his own hometown, fighting for the one belt that had alluded him his whole career and prove that there was “someone left” for Lethal to beat. That part was well-done in fact. We didn’t expect Cabana to win in the end, but we could at least count on a few moments of suspended disbelief before reverting back to the idea that Lethal remains unbeatable.

– We got off to a decent start with the Four Corner Survival match to determine the #1 contender for the ROH World Television Championship between Roderick Strong, Adam Page, ACH and Dalton Castle. On paper, Strong was a big favorite based on how he’d been positioned with the Championship, needing to get his gold back by any means unnecessary. Castle came off a brilliant feud with Silas Young that elevated him and could use the rub from a new storyline direction. ACH could always be counted on for some awesome spots and Page, still discovering himself as a tough babyface, could impress with a good showing. It was some fast action with Page/Strong carrying most of the load early on. Castle was easily the most over with the crowd while Strong held the biggest heat. Also some nice signature aerials from ACH (springboard swanton) and Page (shooting star press off the apron) before leading to the quick finish. Liked how Strong went into beast mode on his three competitors before getting caught in Castle’s Bangarang finisher for the three-count. Castle winning proved that ROH counts on him for the future and he could do even bigger things as TV Champion, so the win sets the potential for that, while Strong’s post-match tantrum promises a decent follow-up.

– The first instance of Japanese wrestling made its mark on the show’s second bout, pitting The Addiction against Cheeseburger/Jushin Thunder Liger. Everyone loves Cheeseburger and it was cool to see him wear a mask on the way to the ring. The “#LigerBurger” hashtag was cutesy, but it worked. Also should mention how annoying the audio/video cutting out during the entrances was. This contest didn’t set the world on fire per se, but it was a nice little match that gave us the cool moment of seeing Cheeseburger pin Christopher Daniels. It didn’t take long for the heels to get revenge after the bell and the Best Meltzer Ever on Cheeseburger looked vicious. Speaking of vicious, we hope Liger was okay after that Celebrity Rehab.

– The ROH World Tag Team Championship match between Champions War Machine and The Briscoes had a great storyline headed in, with something to prove on both sides. The Briscoes waved their 4-0 record over the Champs as an argument they finally had what it took to be Champs again after three long years. Meanwhile, WM sought to cement their ROH legacy by beating true originals. The action here was physical and also included nice implementation of a table. The crowd also got more involved as it progressed, particularly for the Jay Briscoe-Ray Rowe standoff. This was the night’s first match to get us going with the near-fall teases, as the Briscoes nearly won with a Jay Splash/Froggy Bow combo and then another Jay Driller. However, just as our interest peaked, the Fallout finish fell a bit flat with the crowd, or perhaps they weren’t mic’d well there. Undoubtedly, the best match to that point and it had nothing to do with NJPW.

– A lot of emphasis had been placed on Tetsuya Naito’s character change, as the reigning IWGP Heavyweight Champion continued to bend the rules and disrespect everybody. Commentary actually covered this well. Him and Kyle O’Reilly had a good match athletically speaking, but was ultimately nothing special. That said, Naito winning was predictable given his high NJPW status and if anything, his low-blow on O’Reilly gave him good heat as did throwing his belt carelessly in the air afterwards.

– The most pleasing in-ring action of the night belonged to the tag match between Hiroshi Tanahashi/”Unbreakable” Michael Elgin and Kazuchika Okada/Moose. The crowd going nuts for the initial Tanahahi/Okada lockup was probably the moment of the night for wrestling purists alike and they’ll always create magic together. The match served as a platform to further the “rivalry” between Moose/Elgin and while there were some lull points, the right guys went over with Okada hitting the Rainmaker.

– The biggest integration of NJPW in current ROH storylines was ROH World Television Champion Tomohiro Ishii and he defended against Bobby Fish, where the storyline was Fish fighting his way to get there by beating Strong. The aftermath of the Fish-Strong feud was still entangled in this match, but these two were good enough in the ring that their own bout stood out for good reasons. While showing physical moments, it leaned more towards the technical side. That said, the finish of Fish choking Ishii out to become the new Champ was probably the surprise of the night. Even odder, it set up the matchup of Fish-Castle over the TV Title. Of course, you’d have to throw former Champ Ishii in there too, so who knows what’ll happen? We have our hopes high for the “Infamous” reign.

– The Young Bucks often get criticized for their overuse of the superkick, drenching the maneuver in senseless novelty for the Bullet Club gimmick. Those naysayers had to be pleasantly surprised that they could work a whole 13 minutes without a superkick, as we saw in the eight-man tag between BC and Kushida/Matt Sydal/The Motor City Machine Guns. Liked the little touch of “Mr. Wrestling III” and his onscreen superkick counter graphic and how it was constantly at zero, making him complain of the “thousands” he spent. The IndyTaker ended your typical entertaining spotfest. Sweet enough.

– Just in case you couldn’t get enough of the BJ Whitmer-Steve Corino feud, we had more progress as Corino donned a mask and “raised the stakes” by convincing Mr. Wrestling III to watch footage he installed on a flash drive. Couldn’t care less about this. Really. You guys have officially dragged this into the ground. Ain’t no saving it.

– Let’s get to this “main event.” Now, we had a great story headed in of a predictable Lethal retain as we could at least see a more intense Cabana attempt to win the World Title at home. Truth Martini wasn’t there due to neck surgery, but Taeler Hendrix was at ringside, making her presence known by interfering three times in the bout before getting ejected by Matchmaker Nigel McGuinness. Lethal and Cabana were comfortable in the ring with one another, with all their spots well-timed. The Chicago Skyline maneuver looked ruthless. Sadly, what was a main event beginning to kick into high gear went to the wayside to appease the “smarks” when we got our big reveal of the newest BC member, Adam Cole. Now the actual reveal was cool, with the way YB came to the ring and teased that Cabana/Lethal were the new members before turning the lights out and giving us the inevitable answer. Where it went downhill was the next five minutes, where literally 40 superkicks were performed on the likes of Cabana, Lethal, Hendrix, the Referee, cameramen, security guards and even the announce team. Apparently our main event went to a no contest. Nice way to end your PPV, guys. The way the “chaotic” angle went down felt like a ripoff of the initial Nexus introduction and we don’t see the long-term appeal at all. Cole is one of ROH’s top talents and while it should be interesting to see what he does at the realm of the indies’ dearest stable, can’t he simply get over on his own? Must he always be attached to a stable? At least it’s assumed he’ll be gunning for the World Title, but we’re over BC at this point. Unfortunately, we’re due for even more shenanigans. If they went the way of straight-forward heels and not the “cool bad guys,” it’d be different. Maybe they’ll prove us wrong.

 

 

 

 

 

Quick Results

  • ROH World Television Championship #1 Contender’s Match – Four Corner Survival – Dalton Castle (w/The Boys) def. ACH, Roderick Strong and Adam Page via pinfall 
  • Cheeseburger/Jushin Thunder Liger def. The Addiction via pinfall 
  • ROH World Tag Team Championships – War Machine (Champions) def. The Briscoes via pinfall to retain 
  • Tetsuya Naito def. Kyle O’Reilly via pinfall
  • Kazuchika Okada/Moose (w/Stokely Hathaway) def. “Unbreakable” Michael Elgin/Hiroshi Tanahashi via pinfall 
  • ROH World Television Championship – Bobby Fish def. Tomohiro Ishii (Champion) via KO to become new Champion 
  • Eight-Man Tag – The Bullet Club def. Matt Sydal/Kushida/The Motor City Machine Guns via pinfall
  • ROH World Championship – Jay Lethal (Champion) (w/Taeler Hendrix) and Colt Cabana to a no-contest 
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About Nicholas Jason Lopez

Just a 25 year-old Brooklynite. Nothing more, nothing less. Currently Freelancing for The Bensonhurst Bean website in Brooklyn, he has also been published on sites such as Review Fix, College University of New York Athletic Conference, Dying Scene, Brooklyn News Service, All Media NY, BrooklynFans.com and Yahoo Voices. He has also interned for The Home Reporter/Brooklyn Spectator based out of Brooklyn, NY.

Posted on May 18, 2016, in ROH and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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