Friday, April 10, 2015

The Final Two War of the Worlds Names Announced Have SWAG

Photo Credit: Scott Finkelstein
The last two names from the New Japan Pro Wrestling visiting party have been announced for the War of the Worlds four-shot of shows in Ring of Honor. The first is Gedo, a legendary tag team performer, official hype man of Kazuchika Okada in the CHAOS stable, and most importantly, one of the head bookers of NJPW. The second and final name in the rollcall is definitely the biggest hit to date, IWGP Intercontinental Champion Shinsuke Nakamura. Nakamura is arguably the most popular non-gaijin wrestler on the NJPW roster, and he's one of the few guys that seemingly everyone can agree is at least pretty good at what he does.

Both wrestlers made the trip last year as well. Gedo had his tag and booking partner Jado with him. Jado, for whatever reason, will not be coming back this year. Nakamura may have had the highlight of the two-show excursion last year with his acclaimed match against Kevin Steen, who many now know as the NXT Champion Kevin Owens. He's also known for his ostentatious entrances, wild charisma, and a vicious knee-to-the-goddamn-head finisher known as the Boma Ye. So far this year, he's wrestled in what many consider a favorite to be the match of the year on the fourth day of 2015, against Kota Ibushi at WrestleKingdom 9, and has defended his title against Yuji Nagata, among others. While Okada, Jushin Liger, and KUSHIDA are nice, Nakamura for me is the highlight visitor, bar none.

The visiting lineup is now complete, and consists of the following wrestlers: Nakamura, Gedo, Okada, Liger, KUSHIDA, Hiroshi Tanahashi, Tetsuya Naito, and Takaaki Watanabe. All in all, it's a solid lineup. Even though I'm not the biggest fan of Tanahashi or Naito, they're not terrible envoys, and depending on their opponents, they could very well turn in solid-to-spectacular matches. These four shows should be among the highlights of the year.