Thursday, April 23, 2015

Global Wars Night One Will Be SPECTACULAR and on iPPV

ACH gets the match of a lifetime
Photo Credit: Kelly Kyle
Well, if you were waiting for the hammer to drop and the big matches to be announced for this year's Ring of Honor vs. New Japan Pro Wrestling summit, you got your wish yesterday when the slate for the first night of Global Wars was formally unveiled. Kazuchika Okada and Shinsuke Nakamura FINALLY had their showcase singles matches announced, two tag partners of Alex Shelley will collide, and what's best, the entire thing will be available on Internet pay-per-view. Last year's Global Wars in Toronto was basically a split house show between NJPW and ROH, so my guess is the big guns being saved for Canada this year is a make good for last. Regardless of the reason, this card looks really goddamn special.

Neither Okada nor Nakamura will be wrestling in the main event, but they will get their singles matches. Okada's opponent will be Cedric Alexander. The two were supposed to face off last year at War of the Worlds, but Alexander missed the show, allowing Okada to make the main event IWGP World Championship match between Michael Elgin and AJ Styles a three-way match. Alexander's star has risen substantially since then, and he will hope to represent North Carolina well against NJPW's ace.

Now, Nakamura's match is probably the money shot of the whole weekend. The IWGP Intercontinental Champion will take on none other than ACH. It was the first match announced for the show yesterday, and it set an explosive mood for the rest of the day. ACH is one of the best wrestlers in the country, period, and ROH has recognized that positioning him against the top guys in the company for the last few months. He's gotten high-profile matches against AJ Styles and Samoa Joe this year alone.  Nakamura obviously is on a different plane than both since he's arguably the most popular wrestler in New Japan right now. This match will be worth ordering the iPPV broadcast alone.

The main event for this show will include the Bullet Club again. This time, the entire visiting faction - Styles, the Young Bucks, Doc Gallows, and Karl Anderson - will battle a team of ROH All-Stars that includes the Briscoe Brothers, Roderick Strong, and the team of War Machine, which consists of Raymond Rowe and the War Beard Hanson. It'll be good to see War Machine get some main event reps, and matches of this size with the amount of good workers in it tend not to disappoint. It's a safe pick to headline the show.

Speaking of matches that can safely be considered entertaining, four of the most exciting tag teams in either company will be competing in a four-corner survival match. In one corner will stand the IWGP World Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Champions RPG Vice. Trent? and Rocky Romero are a new tag team, formed of the ashes of the Forever Hooligans (missin' u, Alex Koslov) and have found success early on in their run. The second team announced consists of Christopher Daniels and Frankie Kazarian, better known as the ROH Tag Team Champions the Addiction. Third in the fray is a team that has held both titles held by the current teams, reDRagon (Bobby Fish and Kyle O'Reilly). Rounding out the field will be The Decade, the team of BJ Whitmer and Adam Page. Expect a lot of bodies flying around the ring and breakneck near-falls.

Of course, tag teams are a specialty of one Alex Shelley, as he's been famously part of two, the Motor City Machine Guns and the Time Splitters. While Shelley will not be in action at this show, his tag partners from those respective teams will face off. Chris Sabin, who recently redebuted in ROH as a member of the KRD stable with Kazarian and Daniels, will do battle with KUSHIDA. I'm sure this match was booked as a nod to their shared tag partner, but I also expect this to be one of the most exciting matches on the card if they're allowed to do their thing.

The rest of the show looks decent. Jay Lethal will test his mettle against the always dangerous Tetsuya Naito. Teams have formed across promotional lines to do battle, as Moose will hook up with Gedo to take on Silas Young and Takaaki Watanabe. Matt Sydal will team up with junior heavyweight legend Jushin "Thunder" Liger to take on The Kingdom of Michael Bennett and Matt Taven. And in a match Dylan Hales is fucking stoked out of his mind to see, Hiroshi Tanahashi will battle Michael Elgin.

All in all, the first Global Wars show looks to be the best of the three announced cards. I was having a fit over how much better it looked than both Philly shows until it was revealed that it would be on iPPV. ROH's history with the medium isn't the best, but at the same time, if the stream doesn't cut out, it will be worth every penny.