ROH/NJPW Global Wars 2017: Night 3
October 14th, 2017
Express Live!
Columbus, Ohio

The Addiction def. Search & Destroy (Jay White & Jonathan Gresham)

Daniels & Kazarian were actually dressed to compete this time around, after bailing on their originally scheduled match against Best Friends in Pittsburgh. Before this one got underway, we got a promo from The Addiction, where Kazarian told the crowd that anyone wearing a Bullet Club T-Shirt could meet them in the parking lot later if they wanted to get their asses kicked. Daniels added that The Addiction was solely responsible for ROH’s success, and called out the Motor City Machine Guns for not defending their ROH World Tag Team Titles against them (even though they literally just won the titles a few weeks ago). He then vowed that they would take out Jay White & Jonathan Gresham, who are part of Search & Destroy along with Chris Sabin & Alex Shelley, to send a message to the champions. Once the match got going, it ended up being a pretty entertaining opening contest. There was some good technical exchanges early on with Jonathan Gresham, but from there, the main story revolved around Gresham getting targeting and isolated by The Addiction. White didn’t even get tagged in for the first time until (at least) halfway through the match. Search & Destroy put up a good fight here, and there was some fun back and forth action throughout, but ultimately, The Addiction got the win after hitting Celebrity Rehab on Jay White. Again, this was a very solid opener. ***1/4

Before the next match, ROH World TV Champion Kenny King came out to the ring. He mentioned how Mark Briscoe was supposed to team up with him tonight to take on the “Bullet Club B-Team” before being taken off the tour after suffering a nasty elbow injury in Pittsburgh. This brought out Marty Scurll & Adam Page, with the former taking the mic to proclaim that King was a failure on The Bachelorette. Scurll said the nobody in the locker room wanted to team with King, but said that he’s a fair man, and would let King team up with literally anybody he wants, from a random fan in the audience, to one of the referees, to one of the commentators. Of course, Colt Cabana was on commentary, and that comment obviously directed the attention towards him. The fans picked up on this immediately, and loudly chanted for Cabana. King extends the invitation to Cabana, who accepts. This was a fine segment that did a good job setting up this tag team bout for later.

Jay Lethal def. Hiromu Takahashi

Both men came into this match on their own respective winning streaks, as each had scored wins in Buffalo and Pittsburgh. Coming into this card, I had a feeling that these two would deliver a good bout, but this was much better than I was expecting. This was a great match that featured plenty of hard-hitting action from start to finish. One of the constant themes throughout this one were a number of exchanges that involved hard slaps to the chest. That’s how the match initially kicked off, and no matter what path they went down, they always came back to the slap exchange, which I thought was pretty cool. An early turning point occurred when Hiromu hit Lethal with a sunset flip powerbomb to the floor. Lethal took awhile to fully recover, and during this time, we even saw Hiromu use Daryl as a weapon against Lethal. Once the former ROH World Champion finally got back into the match, we got a number of exciting exchanges that really set the tone for the rest of the bout. The fans were into it right from the beginning, but they were very much into the latter stages of this one. Hiromu was great (as he always is), and aside from the spot with Daryl that I previously mentioned, he took this match seriously. As for Lethal, I know his stock his fallen a lot since losing the ROH World Title, but it’s matches like this (and the one he had in Pittsburgh against Jay White) that prove Lethal is still a very good wrestler. After an awesome closing stretch, Lethal would get the victory with the same combination that he used to be Jay White. He countered a sleeper/chokehold attempt by Hiromu into a cutter (it’s almost like Lethal is trying to get the guy off his back with a snapmare, but turns that snapmare attempt into a cutter), and then hit the Lethal Injection for the win. This was a great match that was not only one of the top bouts on this card (in terms of match quality), but one of the best matches on the tour thus far. Both men worked very hard here, and their efforts showed in a big way. ****1/4

ROH World Tag Team Titles – The Motor City Machine Guns def. Silas Young & The Beer City Bruiser

This was originally scheduled to be a non-title match, but Chris Sabin & Alex Shelley decided to put the titles on the line, since they are “fighting champions” (as Ian Riccaboni said). I wasn’t expecting much from this, but when the dust settled, it ended up being a really good match. These two teams worked pretty well together, and there was plenty of entertaining action right from the opening bell. I don’t think the Motor City Machine Guns being involved in a quality tag team match should surprise anyone, but it’s easy to forget that Silas Young & The Beer City Bruiser are a very solid tag team in their own right. They’re not fantastic by any means, but over the past two years, they’ve proven to be a good addition to the tag team division. The middle portion of this one did drag a little bit, but as a whole, I would still say that it was very enjoyable. Sabin & Shelley eventually retained their titles after hitting one of their tag team finishers, Skull and Bones, on The Beer City Bruiser. ***1/2

CHAOS (Will Ospreay, YOSHI-HASHI, & Toru Yano) def. Suzuki-gun (Minoru Suzuki & The Killer Elite Squad)

On paper, it’s fair to say that this was one of the weakest bouts on the entire tour, simply because this is something that you could see on any random “Road To….” show in New Japan. That being said, they did enough here that it turned out to be a fine Six-Man Tag. Of course, there was a lot brawling on the outside at the start, with Suzuki sending Yano into the crowd (what a shocker). From there, Suzuki-gun spent a lot of time working over Yano before Ospreay & YOSHI-HASHI managed to mount respective comebacks. One of the highlights was a slap exchange between Ospreay & Suzuki, where Ospreay’s chest got absolutely destroyed by Suzuki (made me want to see a singles match between those two). Towards the end, KES actually caught Ospreay on a dive and sent him into the crowd (the fans on this side of the ring were on an elevated concrete platform with steel guardrail of sorts). Then, as Archer was about to put YOSHI-HASHI away, Ospreay jumped from the crowd, back into the ring, and hit Archer with a springboard clothesline, which allowed YOSHI-HASHI to pin Archer with a rollup for the win. Again, this wasn’t anything special, but it still turned out to be relatively solid. This continued the build towards the Suzuki/Yano NEVER Title bout at Power Struggle, and the result gave YOSHI-HASHI a win (albeit a weak win) heading into Chicago. This was by no means bad, but it definitely had a low ceiling. ***

Sumie Sakai def. Holidead

After making their iPPV debut the night before in Pittsburgh, they’re back on the iPPV in Columbus, but this time in singles action. For Holidead, I believe this was her ROH debut. People probably know her best as part of a tag team on the independents with Thunder Rosa (a Lucha Underground talent) called The Twisted Sisters. There’s nothing much to say about this particular contest. It was a perfectly acceptable women’s match, given it’s spot on the card. This was a fine showcase for Holidead, and whenever Sumi Sakai (who ultimately won) is involved, you know the match will be decent, at the very least. **1/2

Shane Taylor def. Josh Woods

Back at the Best In The World PPV in June, The Rebellion was forced to disband after losing an Eight-Man Tag to Search & Destroy. Since then, Shane Taylor has been doing a “Hitman For Hire” gimmick, and his first target was Josh Woods. He attacked Woods during a Six-Man Mayhem on an episode of ROH TV, and several weeks later, Taylor went after Woods again after being paid to do so by QT Marshall (yep, that guy is still kicking around ROH). This was the second time they faced off in singles competition, and they had a decent undercard match. There was some fine action in here, and both guys did a good job, but I find it hard to believe that a lot of people cared about this one (especially if you’re just parachuting in for these Global Wars events). The crowd reacted at points, but for the most part, they didn’t make a ton of noise. Taylor would pick up the win in the end. Again, this was perfectly fine, but forgettable in the grand scheme of things. **3/4

Colt Cabana & Kenny King def. The Bullet Club (“The Hangman” Adam Page & “The Villain” Marty Scurll)

Of course, Colt Cabana stepping in to fill the spot left open by the injured Mark Briscoe was set up earlier in the show. With the addition of Cabana, I wasn’t sure how this one would go, but it ended up being a really good tag team encounter. It’s easy to forget how good of wrestler Cabana actually is. You’re going to get the comedy with him no matter what (and I’ll get to that in a second), but Cabana was actually very solid here. The opening exchange he had with Marty Scurll (someone who he’s very familiar with) was extremely entertaining, and as a whole, he more than held up his end of the bargain here. Kenny King did a fine job here as well, and this unique babyface duo had a lot of fun exchanges with this particular Bullet Club combination. There was plenty of action from the start to finish, and the fans in Columbus were into it throughout. Towards the end, we did see some of the aforementioned Colt Cabana comedy, as when Scurll was about to do his finger break spot, Cabana pulled out an oven mitt (yes, you read that correctly….an OVEN MITT) to block Scurll. This didn’t deter “The Villain”, as shortly thereafter, he just did the finger break spot with Cabana’s other hand. Eventually, Kenny King managed to get the victory for his team after hitting Adam Page with the Royal Flush. While this was far from the best match of the night, it was another incredibly entertaining tag team bout on this card. ***1/2

ROH World Title – Cody def. KUSHIDA

I had mixed feeling about this one coming into it. We all know that Cody’s reign as ROH World Champion has been pretty lackluster thus far (to nobody’s surprise), so this easily could’ve been another forgettable title defense from Cody. At the same time, however, he was going up against KUSHIDA, who is arguably one of the best wrestlers in the world today. Even though some have questioned the fact that KUSHIDA was getting this title shot (after just losing the ROH World TV Title and the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Title), there’s no question that he could drag Cody to a great match. What we ended up getting was sort of a mixed bag. While this was not even close to the Okada vs. Cody bout from New Japan’s G1 Special in July, it was definitely better (overall) than Cody’s matches with Minoru Suzuki and SANADA. Speaking of SANADA, this started off much like that title bout did…..with Cody stalling for several minutes. I have no idea why Cody does this in some of his title defenses. To me, it almost seems like Cody’s afraid to actually wrestle, because he knows he’s not very good. Thankfully, once things did get going, they did enough to get this into good match territory. This could’ve easily been one of Cody’s best singles outings in ROH if they shaved off those first several minutes, and made it a ten minute sprint, but alas, he insists on doing this stuff. KUSHIDA did his best here, working over Cody’s arm on a number of occasions, but in the end, Cody countered a Back To The Future attempt and hit the Cross Rhodes for the win. Even with the slow start, this was still relatively good. In hindsight, I’m so glad that this got bumped to the semi-main event spot, because it would’ve been an underwhelming end to the show. ***1/4

ROH World Six-Man Tag Team Titles – The Elite (Kenny Omega & The Young Bucks) def. Best Friends (Chuck Taylor & Trent Beretta) & Flip Gordon

Once again, we have another defense of the ROH World Six-Man Tag Team Titles, as The Elite are invoking the new “Bullet Club rules”, where any members of The Bullet Club can defend these titles. At least this made more sense than when they did the night before in Pittsburgh, since The Young Bucks were part of the original team that won the titles in the first place (along with Adam Page). On paper, this had the potential to be the best match on the card, and maybe the best match on this entire tour. While it don’t think it was as great as it could’ve been (I’ll get to that in a minute), this was still an awesome main event. Of course, any time you have The Elite in a trios situation, you know it’s going to be good. Plus, you knew that Chuck Taylor, Trent Beretta, & Flip Gordon would put forth a ton of effort, especially in the main event spot. There was a decent amount of comedy here, some of which referenced Flip Gordon’s role on “Being The Elite” (we got “harmful rib” chants and Matt Jackson did his “Where do you think you’re going?!” line), while other moments occurred where Taylor & Beretta refused let Gordon in on their group hugs. Unfortunately, those things didn’t hurt the match nearly as much as the return of the “Ten Boots” spot did. Cody, Marty Scurll, & Adam Page ran out so that they could do the same ridiculous spot with everyone in the corner from the night before. Then, much like what they did in Pittsburgh, they all just….hung out in the ring and did the Ultimate Warrior rope shake before the referees threw the other Bullet Club members out (but fortunately, Flip Gordon took them out with a big dive to the outside). The fact that they’re able to get away with doing that in a main event is insane, but hey, like I said in my review of the show in Pittsburgh, ROH has turned into The Bullet Club’s playground, and they can do whatever they want. Fortunately, the rest of the action in this one more than made up for those shenanigans. The final few minutes were particularly crazy. The Elite superkicked Best Friends off the entrance stage and through a table on the floor, and then they proceeded to murder Flip Gordon. They first hit a Meltzer Driver to Gordon on the floor (with Nick Jackson getting a running start from the stage), and they finished him off with a new finisher called the One Winged Meltzer Driver. I’m probably a little higher on this than most, but even with the shenanigans, this was still a pretty awesome main event. ****1/4

Final Thoughts

As a whole, this Global Wars event in Columbus proved to be much better than the show in Pittsburgh from the night before. The main event, along with Jay Lethal vs. Hiromu Takahashi, were both great, and are definitely worth checking out when this show drops on VOD. You also had a lot of really solid tag team matches on the undercard that are worth watching as well. The show did drag a bit in the middle with the CHAOS/Suzuki-gun Six-Man Tag (which was still relatively fine, all things considered) and the two bouts that followed intermission, which were more ROH-centric. You also had Cody’s match against KUSHIDA which, despite the usual shenanigans from “The American Nightmare”, was arguably one of his best title defenses in ROH to date (thought that’s not saying much). It had its issues, but nothing on this card was bad, and overall, this was a very good event that I would confidently give a thumbs up.