To be completely frank, the majority of you who opened up this preview probably didn’t even know that Ring of Honor was running events this weekend.
You also probably had no idea that these shows are part of a massive War of the Worlds Tour in the UK that’s being held in conjunction with New Japan, CMLL, & RevPro, along with the fact that one of these shows is an iPPV. Even the biggest ROH events have a habit of sneaking up on you these days (given the lack of buzz surrounding the product as a whole in 2017), and these big events are no exception.
Honestly, while I knew some of the matches had been announced, I had no idea what the full cards for these shows were until I looked them up a few days ago, and I’m probably one of the only people on this site (maybe even the only person) that pays particular attention to the current product. I’m sure the timing of this tour in the UK is a big factor in the general indifference towards the shows, as it’s sandwiched in between the post-G1 Climax hangover and all of big the events going on in the New York City area both last weekend (EVOLVE & PROGRESS) and this coming weekend (NXT TakeOver & SummerSlam).
Plus, there’s the fact that ROH ran a grand total of one show between Best In The World weekend back in June and this tour of the UK (a set of TV Tapings in Charlotte at the end of July). They essentially took an unannounced summer break, and while that’s not inherently a bad thing, it could end up harming them due to the fact that there are so many other products out there to pick from. People can easily lose interest in ROH, if they were into the product, and abandon it for something else.
Even though there’s not a lot of buzz for these shows, there’s still pretty significant. It’s the first time that this quadruple alliance of promotions have come together to produce a series of events featured talents from each respective group. There are some big names on this tour, and a fair amount of intriguing matches, so I feel that it’s worth taking a look at what’s coming up. This won’t be a typical preview, with breakdowns of each match. In the interest of saving time (as the first show is on August 18th, which is tomorrow, as I type this), I’ll list the cards and give my overall thoughts on the quality of these cards and what to expect.
War Of The Worlds UK: Night 1
August 18th, 2017
7:00 PM Local UK Time
- Ten-Man Tag – The Bullet Club (Cody, The Young Bucks, “The Villain” Marty Scurll, & “The Hangman” Adam Page) vs. Los Ingobernables de Japon (Tetsuya Naito, Hiromu Takahashi, BUSHI, EVIL, & SANADA)
- ROH World TV Title – KUSHIDA vs. Titan
- ROH Six-Man Tag Team Titles – Dalton Castle & The Boys vs. Jushin “Thunder” Liger, Delirious, & Mistico
- Four-Corner Survival – Bully Ray vs. Jay Lethal vs. Sha Samuels vs. Silas Young
- The Addiction vs. Ultimo Guerrero & Rey Bucanero
- Jay Briscoe vs. Kenny King
- Mark Briscoe vs. Ryan Smile
This first event takes place from York Hall, a venue that’s played host to some of RevPro’s biggest shows over the last several years.
This particular card has an interesting mix of singles matches and multi-man encounters. The main event has the chance to be incredibly entertaining, considering who’s involved. While I’m a little worried that Naito, EVIL, & SANADA might treat this as a night off after a grueling G1 Climax, the fact that this match is being pushed as the main event hopefully means that they’ll have their working shoes on here. We do have two title defenses on this card, both of which involve CMLL talents. KUSHIDA vs. Titan could be really good, while Dalton Castle & The Boys should have a fun title defense against their very unique set of challengers.
The Four-Corner Survival Match is probably the least attractive bout on the card, but it does feature the first RPW talent (other than Marty Scurll, who works for three of the four promotions partnering up here). I imagine we’ll get some comedy between Bully Ray & Sha Samuels, while Jay Lethal & Silas Young go after each other in anticipation for their Street Fight at the end of this tour. Outside of the main event, the most intriguing matches to me might just be the final three bouts on the undercard. The Addiction vs. Ultimo Guerrero & Rey Bucanero could end up being good, while I’m all for seeing The Briscoes in singles competition. They do have an interesting set of opponents in Kenny King (who seems to be getting a singles push after the breakup of The Rebellion and his outing on the latest season of The Bachelorette) and Ryan Smile (who’s been making a name for himself on the UK scene in the last year or so). Both of those matches should be very solid, and as a whole, this is actually a solid looking card. There’s nothing outstanding on this show, but almost all of these bouts have the potential to be pretty good, at the very least.
War Of The Worlds UK: Night 2
August 19th, 2017
6:00 PM Local UK Time / 1:00 PM EST (US)
- ROH World Title – Cody vs. SANADA
- ROH World Tag Team Titles – The Young Bucks vs. The Addiction
- ROH World TV Title – Four-Corner Survival – KUSHIDA vs. “The Villain” Marty Scurll vs. Dalton Castle vs. Hiromu Takahashi
- Six-Man Tag – Bully Ray & The Briscoes vs. Los Ingobernables de Japon (Tetsuya Naito, BUSHI, & EVIL)
- Ultimo Guerrero & Rey Bucanero vs. Mistico & Titan
- Jay Lethal vs. Josh Bodom
- Mark Haskins vs. Silas Young
- “The Hangman” Adam Page vs. Kenny King
This second show of the tour emanates from the same venue that hosted the famous Bryan Danielson vs. Nigel McGuinness Title Unification Match during ROH’s tour of the UK in the Summer of 2006. It’s also hosting the only show of the tour that’s available to watch live on iPPV, and it appears to have the strongest lineup of the three shows.
The main event is certainly one of the strangest matches of the entire weekend, as Cody defends the ROH World Title against SANADA. Honestly, I have no idea what to expect from this one. It could end up being an average/disappointing affair, but it could also turn out to be really good. Cody’s certainly capable of having really good matches if you put him up against the right opponent (Okada), but I’m not exactly sure if SANADA will mesh well with Cody here, but it’ll certainly be fascinating to find out if he can. The crowd reactions should be interesting as well, because I could easily see both men getting either cheered or booed. The other two title matches on this card are pretty enticing. The Young Bucks & The Addiction always work well together, so I’m sure they’ll put together another strong tag team encounter here. The Four-Corner Survival has the potential to be the best match of the entire weekend. We all know what KUSHIDA & Hiromu Takahashi can do when they face off against each other. Throw in the eccentric personalities and the superb wrestling ability of both Marty Scurll & Dalton Castle, and you have the making of an excellent matchup. As for the undercard, the bouts that standout the most feature some more UK talent.
Jay Lethal takes on Josh Bodom (the current RevPro British Cruiserweight Champion), while Silas Young goes up against Mark Haskins (who just worked the EVOLVE & PROGRESS cards this past weekend in NYC). I’m not expecting either bout to steal the show, but I fully expect that both will be very good. Outside of those encounters, the undercard also features a ROH vs. LIJ Six-Man Tag, a CMLL showcase, and a singles match between Adam Page & Kenny King. Once again, this iPPV (which will start at 1:00 PM EST/12:00 PM CST in the US) probably has the best lineup of the three cards.
War Of The Worlds UK: Night 3
August 20th, 2017
7:30 PM Local UK Time
Edinburgh Corn Exchange
- The Addiction vs. The Bullet Club (Cody & “The Villain” Marty Scurll)
- ROH Six-Man Tag Team Titles – Dalton Castle & The Boys vs. The Bullet Club (The Young Bucks & “The Hangman” Adam Page)
- Edinburgh Street Fight – Jay Lethal vs. Silas Young
- The Briscoes vs. Ultimo Guerrero & Rey Bucanero
- Bully Ray vs. EVIL
- Six-Man Tag – Los Ingobernables de Japon (Tetsuya Naito, BUSHI, & SANADA) vs. KUSHIDA, Mistico, & Titan
- Josh Bodom vs. Kenny King
- Mark Haskins vs. Hiromu Takahashi
The third and final show of this tour takes place in the capital city of Scotland. While the main event isn’t exactly appealing, the rest of the lineup is pretty….eclectic. The only title match features Dalton Castle & The Boys defending against The Young Bucks & Adam Page. This should be a very entertaining contest (probably leaning more on the comedic side), and I think there’s a solid chance that we could see the titles change hands here, just because I have a hard time imagining how exactly Dalton Castle & The Boys can beat this strong team from The Bullet Club. The talents from CMLL are all involved in tag matches, but both of them should be entertaining.
Seeing The Briscoes (ROH Legends) going up against two big names from CMLL in the form of Ultimo Guerrero & Rey Bucanero should be cool, while the LIJ vs. KUSHIDA/Mistico/Titan Six-Man Tag should a lot of fun to watch. The rest of the card featured a ton of interesting singles encounters. Jay Lethal & Silas Young are facing off in a Edinburgh Street Fight, which could end up being the end of their rivalry (unless they extend it a bit further to the next ROH PPV in September).
Bully Ray vs. EVIL sounds like an odd matchup on paper, but I think that it could surprise people. I just see these two matching up really well together, considering their styles, and it wouldn’t be a shock to see this one turn into a big brawl. Josh Bodom vs. Kenny King should be a very solid contest, but the match that sticks out in a big way is Mark Haskins vs. Hiromu Takahashi. It’s so crazy to see this happening on a tour being promoted by ROH, as both men (currently) have absolutely nothing to do with the promotion. I could definitely see this being considered a dream match by some, and if I lived in or near Edinburgh, I would go to this show just to see this bout alone. Who knows when you’re going to see these two in the same ring again. As a whole, this show has an uninspiring main event, but a very strong undercard.