Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Okada, Nakamura, and KUSHIDA Coming Back to ROH for an Encore

Nakamura comin' back
Photo Credit: Scott Finkelstein
Friday night, August 21 and Saturday August 22, Ring of Honor will be hosting shows in Philadelphia and Brooklyn, respectively, and Kazuchika Okada, Shinsuke Nakamura, and KUSHIDA will be present for both. The three New Japan Pro Wrestling superstars who came over for the War of the Worlds/Global Wars events will return for an encore for the Aftershock tour date at the ECW Arena and the Field of Honor event at MCU Park. This announcement comes on the heels of a confirmation of the partnership between ROH and NJPW for the next couple of years at least.

KUSHIDA's return is no surprise. He's worked non-crossover event dates in the past, and he's a veritable ROH recurring character at this point. Okada and Nakamura, however, are the big shockers because they're two of NJPW's three aces at this point. Either way, I'll take it. They're two of the best in the world right now, and they always seem to play well for the American audience, Nakamura especially. His matches with Kevin Steen last year and against the Briscoes with Okada and in singles against ACH this year have been critically acclaimed.

The biggest question this arrangement raises to me is how it will affect NJPW's relationship with Global Force Wrestling. Unless GFW and ROH affiliate together at some point in the future, NJPW will have its hands in the cookie jar with two nationally televised properties. Maybe that won't be a problem in the future, but wrestling is such a volatile industry sometimes. Either way, in the short term, it's a win for fans in Philly and New York.