Ring of Honor Global Wars 2016: Japanese Cannon Fodder

Global Wars 2016
Date: May 8, 2016
Location: Frontier Fieldhouse, Chicago Ridge, Illinois
Attendance: 2,000
Commentators: Kevin Kelly, Mr. Wrestling 3

This is a few months old and unfortunately someone requested it recently so I have to actually look at the thing. Basically it’s a bunch of New Japan vs. Ring of Honor matches and a few ROH only matches to pad out the card. I’m really not a fan of this concept, especially after weeks of watching the same thing on ROH TV. Let’s get to it.

Opening sequence.

The opening video talks about the history and business relationship between the two promotions and looks at some of the great matches. Tonight is also about the return of Colt Cabana, who wants Jay Lethal’s ROH World Title. Thankfully the title part gets much more time than the interpromotional matches.

We run down the card in case you bought the show on a whim.

ACH vs. Dalton Castle vs. Roderick Strong vs. Adam Page

Winner gets a TV Title shot at some point in the future. Castle has the Boys with him and is the big crowd favorite. This is one fall to a finish but there are only two people in the ring at once. ACH and Page get things going with Adam scoring off a spinwheel kick. Back up and ACH starts his flips but Strong tags himself in to take a dropkick from Page. That means it’s off to Castle with Dalton doing his lean back to the mat to freak Adam out a bit. Strong tags himself in to beat on Castle as the announcers are worried about a referee mistake.

Page works over Castle with Strong saving a pin, much to Adam’s annoyance. It’s back to Strong to keep Castle down as this has turned into a glorified tag match. Castle gets in a suplex on Page but ACH springboards in for a swinging Downward Spiral. The heels are on the floor so Strong can get crushed by a suicide dive from Castle. Everyone but ACH is down on the floor and that means a big flip dive to really pop the crowd. Wrestling 3: “Cheese and crackers he’s good!” Back in and Strong blocks ACH’s top rope splash, only to have Castle Bang A Rang Strong onto Page for the pin at 8:28.

Rating: C. Good choice for an opener here with everyone flying around and the fun character winning to set up the biggest match of his career pretty soon. This is the kind of thing you want to open the show and if there’s one thing ROH knows how to do it’s get a crowd going, especially one like this who is already white hot no matter what.

Strong is livid about the loss.

Cheeseburger/Jushin Thunder Liger vs. Addiction

Daniels won’t shake Cheeseburger’s hand to start so he has to duck an early palm strike. It’s already off to Liger to face Kazarian but everything breaks down with Kazarian taking a bad looking double dropkick. Now it’s time for Kazarian and Cheeseburger to slap it out which really should go to Cheeseburger since he does a big palm strike (yes a palm strike). Kazarian takes over and the double teaming begins with a gutwrench suplex planting Cheeseburger.

Daniels suplexes his partner into a moonsault onto Cheeseburger, setting up an arrogant cover for two. We hit the chinlock for a bit before a hurricanrana allows the tag off to Liger (Wrestling 3: “Hot suey tag!”). The Liger Bomb gets two on Daniels but Kazarian breaks up the brainbuster. Celebrity Rehab (belly to back flip into a gutbuster) gets two with Cheeseburger making the save this time. A pair of STO’s put Cheeseburger down but he rolls Daniels up for the big upset at 7:02.

Rating: C-. Cheeseburger has been around for years now and while I get the appeal, he’s really not someone I have any interest in seeing. Yes he’s small and yes his big move is a running slap but that’s not enough to make me want to see him. The Liger partnership only helps a little bit as Cheeseburger just isn’t interesting no matter how you package him.

Post match the Addiction knocks Liger to the floor and hits the Best Meltzer Ever (moonsault into a spike Tombstone) on Cheeseburger.

We recap War Machine vs. the Briscoe Brothers. War Machine have the belts but can’t be considered the best until they beat the greatest team in ROH history. They’ve never beaten the Briscoes before so tonight is also about vindication. Now that’s a simple story that I can get behind.

Tag Team Titles: War Machine vs. Briscoe Brothers

War Machine is defending and this should be a really physical fight though they respect each other. Hanson easily throws Mark out to the floor and the champs start double teaming as I’m assuming they’re the moderate heels here. Jay pulls Rowe outside and now it’s time for the brothers to suplex Hanson. Mark grabs a Russian legsweep and get two off a clothesline. A backdrop sends Mark crashing out to the floor and it’s time for the big man dive to take everyone out.

Hanson does….something that sends him through the table but the camera misses it completely. Thankfully we get a quick replay showing that it was Jay double stomping him through the table, which is something you don’t see often enough. The replay that is, not the double stomp. Back in and it’s Jay slugging it out with Rowe, whose Rock Bottom suplex has no effect. Everything breaks down again and Hanson’s big clothesline flips Mark inside out to put all four on the mat.

We get the double standoff (cool visual) and it’s Jay winning the slugout against Rowe, followed by a Cactus Clothesline to put them both on the floor. Mark keeps things moving with an apron Blockbuster to Hanson as the fans are behind the Briscoes. Rowe blocks a Jay Driller and Superman Forearms Mark out of the air. Back up and it’s Hanson getting double teamed, only to have Jay get caught in the Path of Resistance. Hanson misses the moonsault though and there’s the Jay Driller for two. A pop up German suplex drops Mark and it’s Fallout to retain the titles at 15:15.

Rating: B. The lack of tagging aside, I had a lot of fun with this one as they beat each other up for fifteen minutes and told a story with War Machine going as far as they could to finally beat the Briscoes. Jay and Mark are the kind of team you can throw in there and have them put over anyone because of all the things they’ve accomplished over the years and that’s a very valuable asset.

Tetsuya Naito vs. Kyle O’Reilly

Naito’s IWGP World Title isn’t on the line here but he does come to the ring walking a white suit. Feeling out process to start with Naito threatening a right hand but pulling back and tapping Kyle on the chest instead. Kyle’s leg lock doesn’t get him anywhere and a cross armbreaker across the ropes has the same result.

The crowd cheers for Naito as he dropkicks Kyle because the Japanese guys are the stars here and everyone knows it. A dropkick in the corner sets up a slingshot dropkick have Kyle in trouble but he comes back with the forearms and kicks. That means it’s time for the guillotine choke into an arm trap/leglock at the same time.

Naito climbs the ropes for a tornado DDT followed by a neckbreaker off the ropes for two. They kick each other in the head until Kyle hits a rebound lariat to put both of them down again. A Regalplex gets two on Naito and a knee to the head makes it even worse. Not that it matters as he does a weird backflip into a reverse DDT (Destino) for the pin at 12:03.

Rating: B-. Kyle has grown on me as he’s gone from one of the most overrated people I’ve seen in years to downright tolerable. Naito winning was obvious because New Japan won’t let one of their top stars lose here because that might imply that ROH is on their level. The match was good though again: I need a story, not just having two people have matches.

Naito lays him out and throws the belt down post match.

We recap Kazuchika Okada/Moose vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi/Michael Elgin. Moose impressed Okada in their singles match and now they’re teaming. End of story and all animosity.

Hiroshi Tanahashi/Michael Elgin vs. Kazuchika Okada/Moose

Okada and Moose have Gedo and Stokely Hathaway in their corner. Tanahashi and Okada start things off and the fans are in awe, despite knowing that this was a distinct possibility. That goes nowhere so it’s off to Okada vs. Moose and the fans aren’t pleased. Elgin does the delayed vertical suplex but Moose no sells it. You know, because it’s just a suplex.

Tanahashi comes in and mocks the Moose chant, only to have Moose and Okada dropkick their opponents to the floor. Moose isn’t done as he hits a big dive to the floor to take them out and get the fans’ respect for a bit. It’s Tanahashi playing the face in peril (good role for him) until Moose misses a charge, allowing the hot tag off to Elgin for the powerful house cleaning. Elgin only stays in for a bit before we get to the real showdown with Okada vs. Tanahashi with Okada getting the worst of it.

Tanahashi escapes a Tombstone attempt but neither can hit a Rainmaker. Instead Okada hits a Sling Blade but Elgin comes back in to powerslam Tanahashi off the top. Elgin puts Tanahashi on his shoulders for a kind of reverse Alabama Slam for two on Okada with Moose making the save. Tanahashi and Moose head outside with Elgin hitting a hard clothesline to the back of Okada’s head. Moose comes back in with a spear to Elgin, followed by the Rainmaker for the pin on Elgin at 13:46.

Rating: B-. This wasn’t bad though I could have done with Moose pinning Elgin and actually getting a big rub off this instead of just getting to stand next to the big star. At least Moose was actually involved in the ending as until then it was just about all of the New Japan guys doing their thing while Moose was along for the ride.

We recap Tomohiro Ishii vs. Bobby Fish which really shouldn’t have anything to do with Ishii but screw off with the whole storytelling thing when we can just go “New Japan vs. ROH, next.” Fish had been feuding with Strong over the title as Fish made him tap but the referee didn’t see it, allowing Strong to retain the title. Then Ishii won the title and took it over to Japan, leaving Fish to beat Strong again and earn this shot in what should have been the title change.

I’ve already done this one twice for ROH TV so I’m just copying it instead of doing it all over again.

TV Title: Tomohiro Ishii vs. Bobby Fish

Ishii is defending. Fish actually runs the much bigger Ishii over to start but Ishii does the same to send Fish outside for a bit of his time. Back in and Fish fires off some kicks to put Ishii in trouble, which isn’t something you see happen to him that often. Ishii wins another slugout though and a headbutt puts Fish down with ease.

Fish makes the mistake of headbutting Ishii and the referee has to check on him as a result. The champ gets knocked off the top but Fish misses a flying headbutt, only to start back in with kicks to the knee. Fish hits an exploder suplex for two but getting headbutted for his efforts. Ishii gets his own near fall with a delayed vertical superplex, followed by a Saito Suplex.

Fish looks mostly dead so Ishii powerbombs him for two more but Bobby grabs a sleeper. I could go for a small vs. big match without the smaller guy jumping on his back with a sleeper. It’s just so overdone. Ishii, seemingly annoyed with how lame Fish’s strategy was, German suplexes him down.

They head to the apron with Fish back on his feet and slugging it out. As expected, Ishii easily knocks him down but Fish kicks the leg out to put both guys down on the floor. Back in and a hard lariat gets two for the champ but Fish goes back to the sleeper. He fires off some elbows to the head and survives a flip attempt to actually knock Ishii out at 15:30.

Rating: B. The match was a good, hard hitting brawl but Ishii is the definition of a guy that had no business winning the title or being involved in this story whatsoever. Strong vs. Fish had been a well built up story but instead of getting the payoff we had been set up for, Ishii got the belt despite having no connection to either of them. That’s becoming too common of a tradition and it’s getting old in a hurry. This match was good but Fish vs. Strong would have been as well and had a strong story to go with it. Which sounds better?

Kushida/Matt Sydal/Motor City Machine Guns vs. Bullet Club

For the sake of simplicity, I’ll only refer to Matt Sydal as Sydal and Matt Jackson as Matt. Young Bucks and the Guerillas of Destiny (Tama Tonga/Tama Loa) here. Kushida and Sydal are IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champions, the Guerillas are the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champions and the Bucks are two thirds of the Never Openweight Six Man Tag Team Champions with Kenny Omega. Mr. Wrestling 3 has a Bullet Club Superkick Counter as we get so far into the meta humor that my head wants to explode.

Sydal rides Matt to start so it’s a Too Sweet poke to the eye and a lot of crotch chopping. The good guys (as in not the Club) clean house and it’s a double dive to take the Bucks out. Back in and we get some sweet (not too sweet) triple teaming to on Matt as this is one sided so far. The Bucks start kicking everyone (not superkicking, much to Wrestling 3’s chagrin) but their dives are broken up by Guns’ superkicks. Wrestling 3: “THOSE ARE THRUST KICKS!”

The Guerillas no sell kicks to the face and clothesline the Guns down and it’s time for some Buck diving. Back in and Shelley blocks a superkick but gets kicked in the head anyway. Loa comes in and is one of the biggest balls of energy I’ve seen in a long time with headbutts and splashes to keep Shelley in trouble. Tonga comes in for a splash of his own before it’s off to Matt for a chinlock.

Shelley takes out both Bucks and makes the hot tag off to Kushida as things speed up again. Everyone else clears out and it’s Tonga not being able to powerslam Sydal, who escapes with a kick to the head. Some, ahem, thrust kicks drop the Guerillas before Matt gets quadruple teamed in the corner. A powerbomb/top rope double knees to the face gets two as the Bucks run in for the save.

Skull and Bones (top rope splash/neckbreaker combo) gets two more before Nick comes in and does SUCK IT over and over because popping the crowd is far more important than having a good or logical match. Sliced Bread #2 is broken up and a quick Meltzer Driver puts Shelley away at 13:04. Wrestling 3: “I JUST WASTED SIX GRAND!!!”

Rating: C. The match was certainly watchable but this meta comedy and running jokes throughout the match really bring things down. As I’ve said roughly 18,000 times, the Bucks are supposed to be heels but spend the whole match doing things faces would do. It makes the match feel completely uneven and it’s really annoying when you’re trying to keep the match straight. I know their response is they’re “evolving” the business but as is always the case, that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea.

Wrestling 3 is distraught and it gets even worse when BJ Whitmer comes out in a Masked Superstar mask. Whitmer has a flash drive with something Wrestling 3 will want to see.

Long recap of the World Title match with Colt Cabana returning to win the one title he’s never been able to capture. He’s an indy legend but wants one more chance at the big prize. Cabana pinned Lethal in a quick non-title match to earn a shot.

Nigel McGuinness joins commentary.

ROH World Title: Colt Cabana vs. Jay Lethal

Lethal is defending and only has Taeler Hendrix with him. Cabana, the hometown boy, knocks him into the corner to start and the chops start early and Jay hides for a bit. A hiptoss sets up a basement dropkick to knock Cabana out to the apron and they’re still at a fairly hot pace to start. Jay misses another dropkick but a Hendrix distraction fails as well. Eh she’s there because of how she looks, not because of how she does things.

Hendrix redeems herself a bit by grabbing Colt, allowing Jay to hit three straight suicide dives. Unfortunately that means an ejection with Nigel having to drag her to the back by the wrist. Back in and we hit the chinlock before the Lethal Injection is countered into a rollup for two. A quick Lethal Combination sets up the top rope elbow for two on Cabana but he dives into a rollup for the same. They fight over a Tombstone with Jay connecting for two, meaning he’ll likely get a letter from the Bullet Club for copyright infringement.

Colt comes right back with the Billy Goat’s Curse (reverse Boston Crab), only to have Hendrix run out and pull the referee to the floor. Speaking of the Bucks, here they are to superkick the referee and Hendrix. The Bucks pull out two Bullet Club shirts (Wrestling 3: “I’M GETTING THE SHIRT!!!”) and toss them to Lethal and Cabana (Wrestling 3: “BUT I WORKED SO HARD!”). There go the lights and it’s Adam Cole in the ring in the shirt. Cabana and Lethal take superkicks and we’ll call it a DQ at about 16:00.

Rating: C+. This was fine until the ending with the Bullet Club taking over the ending and making it all about them instead of having anything to do with the match. Unfortunately this is probably it for Cabana, who was really in this spot for the sake of having a face for the Bucks to superkick. In other words: it’s the same thing that happened far too often on this show but that’s how Ring of Honor works these days.

Security eats superkicks and the counter goes back up but they only count double kicks as one. I DEMAND A REFUND! The Guerillas come out and the beating continues with Loa spray painting BC on a table and a security guard being powerbombed through it. More spray paint continues with the announcers getting kicks of their own.

The Bucks jump on commentary to do a Jim Ross impression because that’s cutting edge. Cole ties Lethal to the ropes and superkicks him a few times with the counter still going. Cue the Bucks’ dad (just go with it) who gets superkicked as well. The cameraman is kicked down and the Club all stare into the camera to end the show.

Overall Rating: C. This is a show where the wrestling really isn’t important. This show was all about the Japanese stars looking WAY more important than the ROH stars, making this far less a competitive show and much more about making New Japan look completely superior to Ring of Honor.

There were eight total matches on this show with Ring of Honor wrestlers winning in five of them. Of those five wins, there were two tag matches with a New Japan partner and two matches with no New Japan stars involved. Counting the no contest, New Japan went 4-1 along with destroying the World Champion and the #1 contender to close the show.

This was basically a New Japan show featuring the Ring of Honor players. I get the concept there, but that’s been all we’ve seen on Ring of Honor TV for weeks leading up to this pay per view. Yes I said pay per view, as this show carried a $45 price tag. I’m sure all the fans who paid to see Ring of Honor vs. New Japan, which is how this show was billed (in the one week of TV dedicated to it), and got the Bullet Club dominating everything in the end.

If that’s what you want to see on your Ring of Honor shows then so be it but I really do not care about seeing the Young Bucks, Okada, Tanahashi or any of the other names come in and beat the tar out of the Ring of Honor stars. The wrestling was actually quite good but the booking was a disaster, especially since the ending was just a big TUNE IN NEXT WEEK…..when you get a Jay Lethal special! Followed by a Bullet Club special!

Ring of Honor REALLY needs to switch some stuff up because this booking isn’t doing anyone but New Japan and the Bullet Club any favors. If that’s what Ring of Honor is going for then keep going with it but it’s really not working for me. I watch ROH because I like their roster but the last few months have told me that they exist for the sake of putting over New Japan and this NWO tribute stable for reasons that I really do not understand. I’m sure it’s some kind of knock on WWE for introducing the Club because that’s unfair or whatever their latest reasoning is. Either way, it’s a good but very, very frustrating show.

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1 comment

  1. El Killjoy says:

    This show was shit.The ending especially. EVOLVE did a far better job with the TNA invasion the day before than this mind numming self high five.