Friday, April 24, 2015

The Last ROH/NJPW Show Looks... Interesting

Hail Hydra, brothers
Photo Credit: Scott Finkelstein
The second Global Wars show in Toronto, a television taping set for Saturday, May 16, has been announced, and while it lacks the overall punch of the first one, to be broadcast on Internet pay-per-view, it doesn't lack in overall interest. The NJPW stars will be wrestling in full force. Some will be getting unusual opponents, while a few of them will tackle stars more up to their level in stature. And just like at two of the other three shows, the Bullet Club will be in the main event.

Their opponents in said main event will emanate from the CHAOS stable. The match as situated will pit the trio of IWGP World Heavyweight Champion AJ Styles and the Young Bucks against Kazuchika Okada and the IWGP World Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Champions, RPG Vice (Baretta and Rocky Romero). I had no idea that RPG Vice joined CHAOS, but it's still a really goddamn solid addition for the group, which also includes Gedo, Shinsuke Nakamura, Toru Yano, and HOSS PRIME Tomohiro Ishii. My disdain at seeing the goddamn Bullet Club featured three nights in the prime spot, this match should be a fantastic cap on the NJPW excursion. Not only are all six wrestlers among the best in the world right now, they have amazing heat with each other that should make for a special atmosphere.

Speaking of Gedo, he will be in action against Michael Elgin. This match will clinch that Elgin gets four different singles matches on four shows, which is a decision that I should have seen coming (since he's more well-regarded in most other fans' and in ROH management's eyes than mine) but that I'm not looking forward to anyway. And the other CHAOS member making the trip over, Nakamura, will be taking on Roderick Strong. On paper, that match could have been a main event on any one of the four shows. Nakamura is a goddamn stud in the ring too, so I don't have my doubts about it like I would if Strong were going up against anyone else. Hopefully, the Strong that regularly kicks ass in Pro Wrestling Guerrilla shows up for this match, and not the one who frequently overindulges in the typical ROH excess.

However, none of the above gets the moniker of most interesting match on the show. Dalton Castle, who has taken ROH by storm as "the Party Peacock" and who hasn't been booked on any other show during this run, will get the match of a lifetime against Jushin "Thunder" Liger. Liger's reactions to Castle's over the top facial expressions and body language will be intriguing, and they will more than likely make or break the match on the whole. Still, Castle is such a dynamic personality that he could carry that end of the match for both competitors. Speaking of wrestlers who are getting their first booking of this run of shows on the last one, Will Ferrara will get the chance of a lifetime by getting KUSHIDA. KUSHIDA's slate during this tour has seen him going above his paygrade (Jay Lethal, Elgin, Chris Sabin) in card position and establishment, so he'll be returning the favor for Ferrara, who just received his graduation from "pre-show dark match" to the main roster.

Rounding out the show will be two marquee tag matches. The first will see Hiroshi Tanahashi and Tetsuya Naito teaming up to take on ACH and Matt Sydal. All four wrestlers take to the air with stunning results, so expect an explosive match with lots of aerial pyrotechnics. The final match will continue the everlasting feud between the Bullet Club and the Kingdom, as Mike Bennett and Matt Taven will wrestle Doc Gallows and Karl Anderson in a non-title match. The Kingdom currently hold the IWGP World Tag Team Championships, belts they won from Gallows and Anderson. And of course, given these are television tapings, the list of appearing talent also includes Jay Briscoe, Christopher Daniels, Frankie Kazarian, reDRagon, Moose, Jay Lethal, Cedric Alexander, Donovan Dijak, Ray Rowe, Hanson, BJ Whitmer, and Adam Page.

On paper, this four show tour looks like it will be entertaining to say the least. It's not the best four-show slate it could be, but I imagine politics, booking agendas, and sheer costs all had something to do with how it's been scheduled. Overall, all four shows are going to be worth checking out in some form  of media. Again, I will be at the second War of the Worlds show if you want to stop by and say hello.