By Luke Dorsch @Luke_Dorsch
Emanating from the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City on Friday May 12th 2017 the 4th annual War of the Worlds Pay per View
Right before the show began an ambassador from New Japan named George Carrol revealed that there is a new championship for the New Japan Promotion, the IWGP U.S. Title and that on July 1st and 2nd an there will be a tournament to crown the inaugural IWGP U.S. Champion at the NJPW show in Long Beach, CA. Former ROH Champion Jay Lethal announced himself as the first entrant in the two night tournament.
The show opens the right way with the perfect opener for this show:
KUSHIDA vs Bobby Fish vs Dalton Castle vs “The Last Real Man” Silas Young- winner Dalton Castle
I enjoyed this match, as a I previously stated it was the perfect opener for this show, and it gave everyone time to get all the signature stuff in without the action ever really slowing down. As is the norm in this kind of match, a few of the competitors will be selling on the outside of the ring, giving two guys the ring in order to showcase that particular sequence. I honestly can’t single one guy out and say he performed better than the others, as everyone was on point and looked to really want to get the show going. Some of the sequences with Dalton Castle and Bobby Fish were particularly fun, and there was a real fun spot when Dalton is looking for the Bang-A-Rang but Bobby rolls thru and locks in the knee bar. It’s broken up, but as Silas and KUSHIDA are battling it out, Dalton gets Bobby Fish isolated again and this time is successful with his finisher, and gets the win.
Hangman Page vs “The Heavy Metal Rebel” Frankie Kazarian- winner Hangman Page
Not a bad match at all, the crowd wasn’t really into it, as neither guy is particularly over, but once they get going, Frankie knows which of his moves to use at the right time, he’s been doing for a while and it get the crowd more into it, and after Hangman hits his shooting star off the apron onto the floor they crowd was invested, but just as it started heating up Kazarian hit a sunset flip off the ropes in the corner but Page sits down on it and uses the ropes for leverage and gets the win.
Non-Title IWGP Tag Team Match
War Machine (c) EVIL & SANADA vs Chris Sabin & Jonathan Gresham- winner War Machine (Hanson & Rowe)
Whereas KUSHIDA is pretty much a regular at ROH having competed here practically more than anyone from NJPW he’s really used to the tiny ROH ring and small apron, but EVIL and SANADA appeared at least to me that it took some time to get used to. Gresham looked real good, the guy is a real solid wrestler but he doesn’t have an identity yet, good multi man tag match, very similar to the opener in that regard with just more guys. But, these matches are fun to watch and the fast paced action keep the crowd interested.
Jay White vs Will Osprey- winner Will Osprey
Oh boy, this was the show stealer of the card. Wow, waaay too much to run thru just watch it, some of the crazy spots both guys did were mesmerizing, and it wasn’t all flippy shit. Osprey is solid as hell and Jay White gave his career performance up to this point. This match was **** at least. Post-Match Punishment “Damian” Martinez…I laughed when Colt Cabana commented, “Damian? Like, we call him Damian now?” Regardless, good ol’ Damian came into the ring seemingly to attack Jay White because of White defeating him earlier on in the WOTW tour, Osprey tried to intervene but got a choke-slam for this trouble. Jay White took a beating too.
ROH 6 Man Tag Team Championship
Bully Ray & The Briscoe’s (c) vs Roppongi Vice & Hirooki Goto (CHAOS) –winner Bully Ray & The Briscoe’s
As is the norm for Bully Ray in ROH, this is now a no DQ match yet, another sort of chaotic type match with a bunch of guys thrown together, I would have preferred if this match was broken down like RPG Vice vs Briscoe’s and Bully Ray vs Goto in a singles match, but it wasn’t bad or nothing with all of them together, plus Bully Ray and the Briscoe’s are the 6 Man Tag Champs, but I digress. Fun match, but third of its type on this card. I really am liking Trent & Rocky in ROH right now, and when Kevin Kelly and Colt Cabana mention that his real name is Greg all the time on commentary it always makes me laugh. The finish comes when Trent takes a nasty Bully Ray super bomb thru a table and Rocky takes the 3D)
ROH World Television Championship
“The Villain” Marty Scurll (c) vs “Reborn” Matt Sydal- winner “The Villain” Marty Scurll
Good match, Marty continues his ascension as he gets one of the biggest pops of the night. Lots of good back and forth yet Marty didn’t take a lot of time working the arm and both of these guys can work a hell of a pace, the crowd wasn’t too into what Matt Sydal was doing, probably because of the insane Osprey and Jay White match, Sydal’s offense never seemed to truly threaten Marty so it was inconceivable very early on that Sydal could walk away with a victory. Marty eventually gets the chicken wing locked in across Sydal’s face forcing the poor lad to tap.
ROH Tag Team Championship
The Young Bucks (c) vs Tetsuya Naito & BUSHI (Los Ingobernables de Japon) –winner The Young Bucks
Second best match of the night, it started fast as Naito likes to have everyone “Take it Easy” but the Bucks just started the attack right away, Naito and BUSHI seemed to me to have very little problem with the tiny ROH ring and they worked a great match. The most memorable moment is when Matt Jackson gets the green mist of BUSHI sprayed in his eyes, and just superkicks everyone including Paul Turner and Nick Jackson. After Matt rinses the green mist off his face, we get the closing sequences of near falls and awesome double team maneuvers by both teams. I was really impressed with how good Naito and BUSHI looked as a tag team. I shouldn’t be surprised as Tetsuya Naito is one of the best wrestlers on the planet, but the four of them put together a great match, that I honestly want to see again in a New Japan ring. The Bucks pin BUSHI after the ode to Uncle Dave.
Hiroshi “Ace” Tanahashi vs Adam Cole- winner Hiroshi Tanahashi
Hard to write this as I’m a huge fan of Adam Cole, this was his farewell match for Ring of Honor and New Japan Pro Wrestling and the Panama City Playboy from Lancaster, PA will be heading down to Florida probably making a pit stop in Chicago very very soon. If you’re a fan of The Bullet Club or Super Kliq or The Elite you probably know that this was Adam Cole’s dream match. He has nothing but the utmost of professional respect for Tanahashi and it’s only fitting that Ace is the guy who gets to send him off, since Kenny Omega can’t get into the United States to do it, I can think of no one better. Adam has been keeping it real light since he decided to go to Florida for real, and all his matches have been super entertaining, doing funny spots, and calling moves real loud intentionally for the entertainment of the crowd. Cole did the BAY BAY playing to the crowd as much as possible, and he played the air guitar like Tanahashi, and believe it or not….. Adam Cole went to the top rope and actually did a really good frog splash on Tanahashi, Kevin Kelly event mentioned it on commentary that Adam Cole never goes off the top rope, so it was something cool that I’m glad was acknowledged for fans who don’t know. But, all good things as they say, Tanahashi shows Cole how to hit the frog splash and lands the high fly splash and gets the win.
Post-Match is when all the fun really begins, as I’m sure you’ve seen the footage by now, the crowd knows this is Adam’s swan song for the company and he get the well deserving “Thank You Adam” from the NYC crowd, he is the only 3 time ROH Champion, this prompts his Super Kliq/ Bullet Club and best friends The Young Bucks to come out, if you watch independent wrestling there is a common thread when one of the Bucks’ friends leave the indies for the “Big Show”….they get super kicked and beat down by the Bucks and whomever. It happened to Kevin Owens (Steen) at PWG 11 with Steen’s Mount Rushmore stablemates The Bucks and Adam Cole, it famously happened to AJ Styles in New Japan by the Bucks and Kenny Omega, and the Bucks pretended to do it to Roderick Strong at his last PWG show but embraced him instead which is what happened here. The Super Kliq is reunited and all three guys embrace for the “curtain call”! But then, the lights dim and the leader of the Bullet Club appears on the screen for the loudest pop of the night…Kenny Omega has a message for Adam Cole as well. I won’t go thru it, but Cole gets fired, Kenny express remorse for not being able to attend, but has an agent who can take care of this matter, a new member of the Bullet Club. IT’S PARTY MARTY!!!
The house lights come back and in the ring…the newest member of the Bullet Club with a terminator plague mask gifted to him from Kenny Omega himself, “The Villain” Marty Scull!!! He reveals his Bullet Club shirt, and his Bullet Club umbrella, The Bucks double super kick their former best friend, I died a little inside, and Marty crucifies Cole with the Bullet Club umbrella. Then, as if my soul could stand anymore this, Marty hooks the umbrella handle around Adam’s unconscious head and lifts him off the mat so those good Christian boys can kiss Adam Cole’s cheeks one last time. By this point I’m a shell of a man even writing these words. Long live ADAM COLE BAY BAY….
ROH World Championship Match
“Almighty” Christopher Daniels (c) vs “The American Nightmare” Cody vs Jay Lethal for the Ring of Honor Championship of the World
Because this was a triple threat match, as is the norm for this entire show, the action never really slowed down all that much. If you’re familiar with the three competitors you sort of know what to expect in this match, Daniels looked strong, once again it never really seemed like Daniels was ever in trouble of losing his belt. The finish comes when Cody has Lethal in the figure four leg lock and Christopher Daniels hits the Best Moon Salt ever onto Cody while Lethal remained trapped in the figure four. A good way for Daniels to get the win, and for either Cody or Lethal to get a one on one rematch at the Best in the World pay per view. I hate to say this, but this was whole card was spot show. All the multi man matches are structured that way intentionally to keep the action fast and keep the crowd invested more thru the moves than thru the psychology of the matches. But for what it was, it was good, all the ROH pay per views of this year have been good. They’re lacking real star power aside from the Young Bucks at this point, Dalton Castle is over with the crowd in a big way for the most part as is Marty Scurll and Cody Rhodes. Aside from those individuals, there aren’t many stars left, not saying there isn’t potential or talent because ROH has plenty of that, but the company is still in a re-building phase and losing someone like Adam Cole hurts, it could hurt a lot in the long run.