Ring of Honor & New Japan Pro Wrestling
Global Wars – Night 1
May 15, 2015
Ted Reeve Arena – Toronto, Ontario

Gedo & Moose vs. Silas Young & Takaaki Watanabe

Warren Taylor: The veterans made the match. Gedo schooling Watanabe in the beginning was great. Silas Young talking shit to Moose and everyone in general was awesome. Moose had a few nice spots including a beautiful cross body. Solid and enjoyable opener. **1/2

Rich Kraetsch: This was a lot of fun and a perfect way to open up a show. It was quick paced, exciting and the crowd was into everything the guys did. Gedo was great in his role, Silas Young is Silas Young and he’s the best ever. Moose is finally starting to get a handle on his offense and Watanabe was fun in his limited role. This way exceed my expectations.  ***

Aaron Bentley: This match exceeded my low expectations. It was kept short and did have some very fun moments. I don’t love Silas Young as much as my fellow reviewers but his shtick worked perfectly here. Moose was featured, as he appears to be in line for a continued push, and he did just fine in the role. Most importantly, Gedo was perfect. Nice opener. **3/4

Alex Wendland: Am I excited for this show? You bet your ass I am. Does this match get a boost because of it? You bet your ass it does. Does Moose’s spear suck no matter how much of a bump this match gets from my excitement? You bet your ass it does.

Milwaukee’s own Silas Young gives any match a one-star bump and, while this match was a lot of fun and didn’t quite need the Last Real Boost, it gets it anyway. This was a good, fun match and Moose still needs a new finish. I’ve cracked a Lakefront beer, straight from Milwaukee in Young’s honor. Granted, it’s a Growing Power Farmhouse Style Organic Pale Ale, so I’m guessing The Last Real Man wouldn’t approve. ***, well **** with the Last Real Bump


Chris Sabin vs. KUSHIDA vs. Kyle O’Reilly

Warren Taylor: Heel Chris Sabin is so great. He was perfect in his role during the match, mocking his opponents and talking smack with the crowd. I loved the slower pace of this match and it felt different from the formulaic triple threats we usually see. KUSHIDA showed a different side of himself and proved to be a solid technician. Great match with the right guy—Kushida—getting the win. ***¼

Rich Kraetsch: I don’t love triple threat matches and was looking forward to seeing Sabin vs. KUSHIDA straight up. Oh well. O’Reilly was a solid hand and this was as good of a triple threat as you can pull it off. There was interactions between the three throughout the match and none of the “YOUR TURN, MY TURN” that plagues most triple threats. This was a lot of fun, KUSHIDA stood out (as he’s want to do) and Sabin played his dickish veteran heel role perfectly. O’Reilly was kind of along for the ride but it didn’t detract from the match at all. Really good.  ***1/4

Aaron Bentley: I was immediately bummed out to hear that Bobby Fish wasn’t going to be at the show tonight and that this match had been changed to a triple threat. Triple threats suck. This did not suck! There were some cliche triple threat spots but I imagine it was tough to suddenly put this match together once it turned out Fish wouldn’t make it. By the end, what I really wanted was a KUSHIDA/O’Reilly match. Well-paced, a fun finish, and a very solid match. ***1/4

Alex Wendland: I went into this match with an active disinterest (does that make sense?) in Chris Sabin, but he was really fun in this match. These three worked really well together, even if I would rather have had KUSHIDA v. O’Reilly one-on-one, and would’ve rather had Bobby Fish on the show even more. I was happy to see KUSHIDA get the win in what was a fun, competitive triple threat. ***1/2

Jushin Thunder Liger & Matt Sydal vs. The Kingdom

Warren Taylor: The internet will moan about the finish but there is no way the IWGP Tag Champions were going to lose. The match was an average tag with nice antics by Taven & Bennett and great high flying by Sydal. More importantly. I CALLED LIGER GETTING TO MOTORBOAT MARIA IN THE PREVIEW. **1/4

Rich Kraetsch: I don’t enjoy any Kingdom matches and this was no exception. A complete waste of Liger & Sydal. Liger continued the “I’ve never seen a woman before” schtick. For NJPW fans, you’ve seen that act a million times already.  *1/2

Aaron Bentley: Honestly, I enjoyed this more than maybe any Kingdom match I’ve ever seen. They stuck to goofiness (and are actually pretty good character-wise) and left the wrestling to Sydal. The Kingdom and Liger went sloooow and then let Sydal come in and get things going. Unfortunately, the crowd was pretty much dead by the time Sydal got in there. I could have done without another Liger/Maria interaction but the Shooting Star Press into the Superkick was fun. I’m going to be the high man here but I didn’t totally zone out on a Kingdom match for once.  ***

Alex Wendland: What is it about The Kingdom? They do everything right, but I just can’t care. I even enjoy Matt Taven’s schtick when he’s solo, but in the context of The Kingdom, I just can’t get with it.

Outside of Maria’s interference, this was a perfectly serviceable match and about what you would expect with Liger in there. The SSP-to-superkick was too easy to see coming (as were a number of spots in this match), but it looked beautiful. I’m looking forward to seeing what NJPW does with the tag belts on The Kingdom and whether they can make them interesting in the future. **¾



Cedric Alexander vs. Kazuchika Okada

Warren Taylor: Alexander looked out of his league early on. I chalk that up to butterflies. Once he settled down and got a few of spots in the match flowed really well. Cedric pushed Okada to the limit and had a pair of believable near falls. More importantly, one of my ROH favorites showed he could go toe to toe with one of the best wrestlers on Earth. ***1/2

Rich Kraetsch: This was spectacular. Both guys had to work through multiple power outages but didn’t get off course and stuck with the story. Okada was the cocky champion from Japan, Alexander the underdog. Alexander got so close a few times and seemed on the cusp of winning but Okada is Okada and Cedric is Cedric. Maybe next time, kid. Dropkick, tombstone, Rainmaker and it was over. This was my favorite match thus far.  ***3/4

Aaron Bentley: Okada took Cedric Alexander so lightly that he didn’t even use hair product for this match! This was a little slow to start for me but once we got to the finishing portion, these guys caught fire. Alexander almost had me believing he could pull of the miraculous upset but in the end, he just didn’t have quite enough to get over the hump. Mostly, I’m glad ROH’s problems with the lighting in the arena didn’t completely derail this match. ***1/4

Alex Wendland: So. I had major connection issues from the lights-out (literally) portion of this match onwards…and the puppy peed in the house. From the sounds of my colleagues’ opinions, I’m sad I missed the greatness in this one. No more relying on wireless tonight. And no more water for the puppy. N/A


The Addiction vs. The Decade vs. Roppongi Vice

Warren Taylor: Despite going a little longer than I would have liked the match was a nice blend of action and wrestler interaction. Daniels dissing Adam Page and telling him “I’m the original main eventer here son” was gold. Speaking of gold the new tag champs, The Addiction, were great playing up their recent heel turn and them stealing the win from RPV was a nice finish. Hopefully, it sets up a match between the two teams down the road. ***1/4

Rich Kraetsch: Roppongi Vice and The Addiction were great here and any interactions between the two were a lot of fun. The rest, it was just kind of there. The Decade doesn’t do much for me these days and this match definitely could’ve used reDRagon to ramp the pace up and work off the other teams. Either way, this was a lot of fun and the type of match I would’ve preferred in the early part of the show rather than the pre-intermission. That’s just me nit-picking, this was good. ***

Aaron Bentley: Can we talk about how awesome the Roppongi Vice theme song is? Luckily, they’re just as good in the ring. Romero seems reinvigorated after getting away from Alex Kozlov and Beretta really fits Romero perfectly. This match could really have used reDRagon as RPV was carrying most of the burden here. The Addiction were as solid as they always are. And it seems like there was another team in this match? Still, by the end, I was having fun. **3/4

Alex Wendland: The lights stayed on! Roppongi Vice is really gelling, The Addiction always have and The Decade was in this match too. The highlight of the match was Kyle O’Reilly’s run in afterwards, but that doesn’t mean that the match itself wasn’t good fun. As of intermission, which followed this match, nothing that I’ve been able to actually watch (apologies to Okada v. Alexander) has surpassed Silas Young. Then again, nothing has been as bad as Moose’s spear either. ***½

ACH vs. Shinsuke Nakamura

Warren Taylor: Was this the instant classic many, including myself, felt it would be? No. Was the contest between ACH and Nakamura a lot of fun? You bet it was. These two had  great chemistry interacting with each other, including a hilarious dance off.  I do think the style clash was a little too much to overcome for ACH. Nak needs someone who is physical to really have an outstanding match. ACH is getting there but he still has a lot of work to do to  become  more balanced as a competitor. Regardless, I still thought the match was good and the ending Boma Ye was sick. ***1/4

Rich Kraetsch: I don’t want to say I was disappointed, it was really, really good but it had a tough time living up to the crazy expectations we all had for it. The placement as the first match out of the intermission was weird as it took a while for the crowd to get going. The final stretch was a lot of fun but it was lacking the true back and forth I was hoping to see. ***

Aaron Bentley: My most-anticipated match of the night and it mostly delivered. Nakamura and ACH had their fun in the beginning before the story of the contest came into focus: ACH could not overcome Nakamura’s physicality. While that was the story, in reality, this match also highlighted ACH’s weakness in striking. Regardless, ACH was momentarily able to take control after an Air Jordan but it was short lived as he would eat a Boma Ye. No, this wasn’t the 5-star classic I wanted, but it was a hell of a lot of fun. For my money, Nakamura is simply the best thing going. ****

Alex Wendland: This is what I came to see and, although it was great, it felt a little short. Still, I’m enthralled by everything Nakamura does. The charisma war between ACH and Nakamura was exceptional, even if the dance off felt a little out of place for Nakamura.

Not the masterpiece I too often expect from our Strong Style Overlord, but I’ll give it the bump over Silas and Co. **** ¼


ROH TV Championship – Jay Lethal © vs. Tetsuya Naito

Warren Taylor: If any wrestler from New Japan could step in and succeed in North America without having to doctor his style it is Naito. He wrestled a fantastic TV main event. He had just enough near falls and got in enough offense to make you think he had a chance to beat Lethal. The champ was his usual solid self. I really dug this match and it might well end up being my favorite of the night. ***1/2

Rich Kraetsch: This was a classic competent Jay Lethal match but it never really hit that next gear. Naito had a few sequences that made you think “Wait, are they really going to change the title here?” Of course they weren’t and in the end Lethal retained. This was fine but it needed to be wrestled at an iPPV gear and it never quite got there.  **3/4

Aaron Bentley: To be honest, I was a little despondent going into this match, having just seen my beloved Wizards eliminated from the NBA playoffs. So perhaps that was why this match didn’t really connect for me? Naito and Lethal didn’t seem to be able to mesh their styles well enough to take this to another level. By the end, it even got a little sloppy, which I didn’t expect from these two. The match was completely fine but nothing to write home about. **3/4

Alex Wendland: Rich has it right here, the match was a baseline Jay Lethal performance. Entertaining, fun, athletic and moderately physical, but nothing on this show, outside of Silas Young, has proven to be exceptional. Still, worth the price of admission and a ton of fun to watch. ***1/4


Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Michael Elgin

Warren Taylor: Slow starts seem to be the story of the night and this match fit into that narrative. Once the pace picked up this match got really, really good. Elgin mauled the “Ace of the Universe”. To counter, Tanahashi used his speed to keep the Canadian monster at bay. Combine the two and you have the classic formula for a great powerhouse vs. a high flyer contest, which this match was.

There was a nice subplot throughout the match with Elgin finding ways to avoid the High Fly Flow until the very end of the match. Tanahashi’s victory was not a surprise but  in my eyes the real victory went to Michael Elgin.  He proved he is still one of the best wrestlers in the world and worked his ass off in what is my match of the night. ****1/4

Rich Kraetsch: This took awhile to get there but once it did it was quite good. Current Elgin doesn’t do much for me and this was no exception but Tanahashi really stepped up here. We saw the top-rope High Fly Flow to the outside, multiple High Fly Flows from the top and a lot of the classic spots we know and love. Without the slow start this was a really good match but, well, the slow start happened and it was really disengaging.  **3/4

Aaron Bentley: Poor Elgin couldn’t even get much of a reaction while coming out wrapped in the Canadian flag. This match seemed to be another in a long line of matches tonight that started quite slowly. But once they got going, both Elgin and Tanahashi were connecting with the better versions of themselves. I was concerned Tanahashi would mostly take this one off, especially after hearing how physical his match with Roderick Strong supposedly was, but that was not the case.  This wasn’t Tokyo Dome Tanahashi but it was much more than I expected. I don’t know if Elgin got himself booked in the G1 but he didn’t hurt himself here. Overall, I feel like my reviews are about the same for most of these matches: this one was solid, if unspectacular. ***

Alex Wendland: This was the first match of the night to exceed expectations. I’m almost always higher on Elgin than other folks, but I’m also almost always lower on Tanahashi that other folks. These two just meshed for me and this match was physical, well thought out and, as a result, a ton of fun. Tanahashi’s High Fly Flow to the outside was great and Elgin’s elbows and throws brought the drama up a notch. Really good fun here, I recommend seeking it out if you’re already watching this for Silas Young. ****


Bullet Club (A.J. Styles, Doc Gallows, Karl Anderson & The Young Bucks) vs. ROH All Stars (Hanson, The Briscoes, Ray Rowe &  Roderick Strong)

Warren Taylor: Spotfest. Clusterfuck. Potential shows saver.The guys below said all that can be said about the main event so I will summarize the gist of our collective opinion, the ten man tag was awesome! ****

Rich Kraetsch: There was no way I was going to enjoy this match coming in. I thought it would be kinda boring, too much Bullet Club crap. Welp, I was wrong. This was fantastic for what it was. Technical masterpiece? Hell no. Clusterfuck madness with everyone spamming finishers? You bet your ass. I was super entertained throughout even with the frenetic clusterfuck pace. This was a good way to end a show and added some much needed juice. ****

Aaron Bentley: I guess I was dumb to think ROH wouldn’t put over its own team in the main event but that was the only downside to this match. I thought this would be an OK cooldown match after a great event but by the time it came around I was more hoping it would save a lackluster card. Luckily, it did. I chuckled at The Young Bucks’ antics; I gasped at the brutality of War Machine’s offense; I sighed when Roderick Strong got involved. The most simple way to say it is: this was the best possible version of this matchup. Other than a relatively lame finish, I loved it. ****

Alex Wendland: You know who hated this match? Jim Ross. You know who loved this match? Alex Wendland. There was nothing psychological about this, there was nothing technical about this, but it was a spotfest that had me smiling the whole time and turned Hanson into one of my favorite wrestlers going today. Just by looking at them, who would think that the best thing about War Machine wouldn’t be their beards? I know I wouldn’t.

The whole show was fun and worth the effort to watch, but the show wasn’t the world beater I was hoping for going in. Good effort by all, and I’m expecting ROH to pick up momentum with the Jay Lethal run-in closing the show. Good times. ****