New Japan Pro Wrestling & Ring of Honor
Global Wars 2016
May 8, 2016
Frontier Fieldhouse – Chicago Ridge, Illinois

Watch: PPV & ROHWrestling.com

Our previewers:

  • Rich Kraetsch (@voiceswrestling): One of the owners of this very website and a man who is very exicted to take a mark photo with Kazuchika Okada this Sunday.
  • Aaron Bentley (@AaronBentleyVOW): Former ROH TV reviewer and current utility player at Voices of Wrestling. Will also probably be taking mark photos on Sunday.
  • Joe Gagne (@JoeGagne): Author of the weekly wrestling podcast review Wrestling Podmass here at Voices of Wrestling. He also just celebrated the 10th anniversary (!) of his podcast (Joe vs. The World) and did so by releasing several new podcasts throughout the week.

The Addiction vs. Cheeseburger & Jushin Thunder Liger

Rich Kraetsch: What Jushin Thunder Liger’s obsession with Cheeseburger is… we’ll never know but I’m glad it exists. Though The Addiction may have sailed by their point as a credible tag team, they still bring a ton of cache to the table and should be a nice contrast to the insanity that is Jushin Thunder Liger and CHEESEBURGER in a tag team. Prediction: Cheeseburger & Jushin Thunder Liger

Aaron Bentley: The most important thing about this match is I’m going to be there in person to see Jushin Thunder Liger! To be honest, this card is not the blowaway affair that last year’s Global Wars was. Still, I’m outrageously enthused to see Liger and others in person. I don’t care much about anyone else in this match (not in 2016 anyway) but I guarantee it will be a great time. Prediction: Cheeseburger & Jushin Thunder Liger

Joe Gagne: The Addiction seem to be moving more towards putting teams over than being a serious act, so I’ll say Cheeseburger and Liger win with double shoteis to get the crowd hot. This won’t be a classic, but I imagine it’ll be a fun start to the show. Prediction: Cheeseburger & Jushin Thunder Liger

Bullet Club (The Young Bucks & Guerillas of Destiny) vs. Alex Shelley, Chris Sabin, KUSHIDA & Matt Sydal

Rich Kraetsch: It’s a shame The Young Bucks, Shelley, Sabin, KUSHIDA and Sydal are all packed into a “get everyone on the card” match but look, this will be a spotfest, it’ll be a lot of fun and it may even be one of the best matches of the night. This is one where you have to shut the smark brain off, not worry about positioning and just enjoy the barrage of super kicks, flips and Hoverboard Submissions. Prediction: Alex Shelley, Chris Sabin, KUSHIDA & Matt Sydal

Aaron Bentley: I’m pretty disappointed we’re not getting KUSHIDA and Sydal in singles or two-on-two tag matches. However, seeing The Young Bucks in the flesh is truly an experience. They work hard from the minute they walk through the curtain. When you combine that with the rest of the great performers involved (and also Tama Tonga and Tanga Loa), there is no chance this isn’t exhilarating. I’ll be holding out hope for a relatively long KUSHIDA segment but, regardless, I’ll just enjoy the flipz. So, who wins? Tonga and Loa are the Heavyweight Tag champs so I’ll go with them. Prediction: Bullet Club

Joe Gagne: I don’t mind the G.O.D., but they stick out pretty badly here. Still, most of these guys are pretty awesome, and as long as it gets some time this should be a fun sprint. Hopefully Shelley does a spot over which of his tag partners to tag, KUSHIDA or Sabin. As for who wins, it ultimately doesn’t matter, so I’ll go with the Bullet Club. Prediction: Bullet Club

#1 Contendership – ROH World Television Championship
ACH vs. Adam Page vs. Dalton Castle vs. Roderick Strong

Rich Kraetsch: Can we just have each of these guys get a TV title shot over the next month? It seems like all are deserving and could add a lot of juice to the division by getting into the mix. While the definitive favorite, I like the idea of Strong taking a backseat and letting someone like an ACH, who seems to be stuck in neutral, get a title run. Strong is at a point now where he really doesn’t need a title to justify his placement on the card. He’s Mr. ROH afterall. Let someone else have a run. With all that said, my pick is Strong, he’s winning this.  Prediction: Roderick Strong

Aaron Bentley: I’m bored with Roddy’s involvement in the TV title mix. It’s time to do something different with him and with this title. I know it’s not likely to happen but I agree with Rich; Ring of Honor hasn’t done anything of note with ACH in as long as I can remember. The guy should, by all rights, be a certified star. Let’s try something new and fresh. So not only am I hoping for it, I’m predicting it. Go Go ACH. Prediction: ACH

Joe Gagne: Page and Castle are coming off big wins blowing off long feuds, so it’d be nice if they took the next step. And ACH has been spinning his wheels seemingly forever, so I’d love for him to get it. But Strong has a built in storyline if either Ishii or Fish walks out with the belt, so I’ll go with him. Should be fun but I have a feeling this won’t get a lot of time. Prediction: Roderick Strong

Tetsuya Naito vs. Kyle O’Reilly

Rich Kraetsch: Both Naito and O’Reilly are tremendous workers and the combo of these two should produce nothing less than a Match of the Night. If given time to develop and cultivate a narrative, this match could have far reaching buzz beyond simply this show. I can’t wait. Prediction: Tetsuya Naito

Aaron Bentley: This is the only match on this show that feels like the kind of dream match you would want out of an ROH/NJPW supershow. And what a match it is. Naito is on the run of his life. O’Reilly is a great worker in his own right, who always gets up for New Japan matches. With no EVIL or BUSHI on the tour, the shenanigans should be minimal. Just a guy trying to avoid getting his arm broken until he can find the room for a Destino. Prediction: Tetsuya Naito

Joe Gagne: Naito rules. O’Reilly rules. This match will rule. No chance in hell Naito loses, but NJPW seems to like O’Reilly a lot so I imagine he’ll get to look strong. Prediction: Tetsuya Naito

Hiroshi Tanahashi & Michael Elgin vs. Kazuchika Okada & Moose

Rich Kraetsch: None of these four can really afford a loss and honestly, that makes this match a lot more fun. The easy answer is Moose taking the fall but from ROH’s perspective, that’s not ideal. Still, getting pinned by Hiroshi Tanahashi after a grueling back and forth match has a ton of value. Moose will lose here but what happens before that could be really, really special. Look, you’re getting Tanahashi vs. Okada squaring off in a ring, in America. That’s tremendously special regardless of the circumstances surrounding it. Prediction: Hiroshi Tanahashi & Michael Elgin

Aaron Bentley: Why does ROH constantly put Moose in positions to be pinned? I have never understood their handling of him. Apart from that, this match will give us the truly special moments of the night. It seems surreal to me that, in just a few short days, I will be in the building watching Tanahashi and Okada go to work. In a world where so much wrestling is so readily available and easily consumed and digested, where wrestlers are so overexposed that they become relatively commonplace, Tanahashi and Okada still feel like STARS. Whatever else happens Sunday night, this is the match I’m most likely to remember experiencing for a long time. The Unbreakable Aces seem the most likely victors but, damn, I’d kill to see a Rainmaker here. Prediction: Hiroshi Tanahashi & Michael Elgin

Joe Gagne: Another big PPV spot for Moose, after a singles match with Okada on the 14th Anniversary Show. No reason this won’t be good. Elgin and Tanahashi are a regular team, so I’ll go with them and Moose dropping the fall. Prediction: Hiroshi Tanahashi & Michael Elgin

ROH World Television Championship
Tomohiro Ishii © vs. Bobby Fish

Rich Kraetsch: If you didn’t listen to this week’s VOW Flagship podcast, take a few min…okay, hours, out of your day and listen. During our Wrestling Dontaku review we touched on the personal connection Tomohiro Ishii garners from the fanbase. The guy is so good and I’m not sure we fully appreciate what he brings to the table. Sure, he’s tremendously popular and people love him but he’s one of the best wrestlers going today… some may say THE BEST. It doesn’t seem like he gets that amount of love as much as he should. Now this match, I’m expecting big things. Fish seems like a tailor-made opponent for Ishii and I’m interested to see how these two approach the match. Will they throw bombs, chops and headbutts ala Ishii vs. Shibata or will Fish take a more Naito-esque approach and the match resembles some of the notable Ishii vs. Naito battles. I honestly don’t know and that adds a lot of intrigue. One thing I do know, Ishii isn’t leaving Chicago as ROH World TV Champion. Prediction: Bobby Fish

Aaron Bentley: For all my complaints about the matchups on this card, I’m overjoyed we are getting a Tomohiro Ishii singles match. I suppose there wasn’t much choice since he’s the ROH TV champ but it’s still welcome. He’s one of the best in the world and certainly one of my favorites. Getting to watch him beat the hell out of Fish should be awesome. However, I must say that Fish never connects with me the way he does with many. So there’s a real possibility this match, overall, will leave me somewhat cold. I’m hoping for the best. Since Ishii doesn’t have any other singles title matches on this tour, I’m not sure how he wins this one. But, boy, does Fish not seem like the right guy to use an Ishii victory on. Prediction: Bobby Fish

Joe Gagne: Fish is very good, and Ishii is probably the best wrestler in the world, so this has a good chance to be excellent. But I have a nagging feeling these two might not mesh well, although as long as Ishii beats the shit out of Fish it’ll be a good time. This seems like the right time for Ishii to drop the title, but with multiple more joint ROH/NJPW shows this year, I’ll say he holds on top the strap a bit longer. Prediction: Tomohiro Ishii

ROH World Tag Team Championship
War Machine © vs. The Briscoes

Rich Kraetsch: It’s really cool to that we get this wild brawl on the show, it should be a good match but it just seems a tad out of place on Global Wars. I’m going to this show for NJPW vs. ROH, not something that can be put on any ROH show the other 11 months of the year. Again though, I’m being a curmudgeon so don’t listen to me, this will be a really fun brawl, likely all over the building and could be a sleeper match of the night.  Prediction: War Machine

Aaron Bentley: I hate to agree with Rich too much but he hit the nail on the head. I think this should be a very good match but it’s not what I’m driving to Chicago Ridge for. Despite that, War Machine has to beat The Briscoes to cement their status in the ROH tag division. There is no reason to go any other route. Prediction: War Machine

Joe Gagne: This seems like the right place for a crazy brawl on the show. I’ve enjoyed both teams’ prior matches and there’s a good story as War Machine has never beaten the Briscoes two-on-two. They certainly could put the tag titles on Briscoes, as neither one has been doing much of anything lately, but I have a feeling the belts stay on War Machine. Prediction: War Machine

ROH World Championship
Jay Lethal © vs. Colt Cabana

Rich Kraetsch: The crowd heat for Colt Cabana making his return to Chicago, in the main event, of a hyped ROH PPV should be awesome. Cabana made a huge statement WrestleMania weekend in returning to the company now he needs to follow it with his work in the ring. I’ve always been a Cabana fan and while he’s not an elite worker by any means, he rarely disappoints and I’m sure understands the tremendous position he’s in here to deliver big. The hope is that it doesn’t get too over-the-top with interference and shenanigans because this could be a banner match for ROH in 2016. Sadly, there’s not a chance in hell Cabana wins.  Prediction: Jay Lethal

Aaron Bentley: I just don’t care about this? I’m excited to see Jay Lethal and the Chicago environment should be fun with a hometown guy in the match but when I bought tickets for ROH/NJPW Global Wars, it wasn’t so I could see Colt Cabana in the main event. I hope to be surprised but I expect I’ll be starting to think about the drive back to my hotel during this one. Prediction: Jay Lethal

Joe Gagne: This one might be tough. Cabana will definitely have the crowd behind him, but can he wrestle a main event match on PPV? On paper this match doesn’t excite me at all, and the result seem obvious which may hurt the heat. But I like both guys, and expect this to at least be pretty good. But it’s got a chance of being badly blown out by several other matches on the show. Prediction: Jay Lethal