ROH/NJPW Global Wars 2017: Night 4
October 15th, 2017
Odeum Expo Center
Villa Park, Illinois

Global Wars Chicago kicked off not with a match, but with an in-ring promo from ROH World Champion Cody Rhodes. He talked about how this Global Wars Tour has been the most lucratively successful tour in the history of ROH, and at one point, appeared to wipe his face with a $100 bill. He then turns his attention to a tweet that was made earlier by Roman Reigns (who he didn’t name).

Cody said that he thought this superstar’s tactical vest was covering up a potbelly or a failed drug test, but it was really covering up envy. He said ROH isn’t an indie…it’s a club….The Bullet Club, and tells this “superstar” in question to kiss his ring. After failing to get Cary Silkin to kiss his ring, he calls out a masked fan at ringside, who had been going crazy for Cody since he came out, so Cody decides to bring him into the ring to shoot a segment for Being The Elite. When he finally gets his phone working, this person reveals himself to be Dalton Castle! He attacks Cody, and sends him packing before posing with the ROH World Title. Obviously this sets up what will (presumably) be the main event for Final Battle in December.

What really stood out to me is that while The Bullet Club was clearly the most popular act on the show, Dalton Castle got the fans behind him in a big way when he attacked Cody. In a way, that’s one huge reason why Castle is perfect for that main event spot. He’s capable of getting cheered against a member of The Bullet Club with a ton of Bullet Club fans in the crowd. That’s not something many others can claim.

Silas Young & The Beer City Bruiser def. Best Friends (Chuck Taylor & Trent Beretta)

I feel like I’ve said this several times already in previous reviews, but how awesome is it that Chuck Taylor is finally in ROH?!

He’s such an incredible talent, and I still have no idea why it took him so long to get into this company. The fact that he’s teaming with Trent Beretta is even better, and based what happened earlier in the tour, it looked like they were on the way to getting a shot at the ROH World Tag Team Titles. Unfortunately, those hopes hit a bump in the road here when Silas Young & The Beer City Bruiser scored (what I would call) an upset victory. I’m sure Best Friends will still get a title shot down the line, but still, the result seemed odd at the time. The match itself was actually very good. Best Friends are such an entertaining tag team to watch, and much like they did the night before in Columbus, Silas Young & The Beer City Bruiser proved why they’re a pretty solid tag team. There was fun action throughout, and it was ultimately a fine choice for an opener on such a big show. The finish came when The Beer City Bruiser hit Chuck Taylor in the back with his beer keg, which then allowed Young to hit Misery on “The Kentucky Gentleman” for the win. Again, having Best Friends lose here as questionable (especially considering that they were clearly positioned as title challengers in Pittsburgh), but if this leads to a rematch where they can get their win back, then I’m fine with that. ***1/2

“The Villain” Marty Scurll def. Hiromu Takahashi

These two crossed paths recently in New Japan, when Scurll blocked Hiromu’s attempt to challenge the newly-crowned IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Champion Will Ospreay.

Of course, Scurll, Hiromu, and Daryl were all insanely over when they came out. While these two could probably have a better match than they did here, this was still pretty great. The action throughout was pretty exciting, with the second half being particularly awesome, and the fans loved every second of it. We did see a little bit of comedy (some of which involved Daryl being used as a weapon), but that didn’t seriously detract from the bout. We all knew that, with these two involved, it was going to be very hard for this not to deliver, and again, they can have an even better match, but for second on the card, this was perfect. Scurll would end up getting the win with the Crossface Chickenwing, which was the right result, since he’s challenging for the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Title at Power Struggle. This was one of the better bouts of the night. ****

The Addiction def. KUSHIDA & Cheeseburger

Per Ian Riccaboni on commentary, “94 Burger” is the name that KUSHIDA & Cheeseburger came up with for their team.

This was a pretty entertaining tag team affair. It wasn’t going to be anywhere close to some of the matches we saw on this card, but this was perfectly fine for what it was. Whenever they’re in this kind of spot, The Addiction always excel in their role as the bully heels, while KUSHIDA & Cheeseburger proved to be a very fun duo to watch. KUSHIDA actually came out with a hoverboard during his entrance, and at one point during the match, he used it when he performed a crossbody off the top rope onto Kazarian. Unfortunately, streaming issues struck my iPPV right before the finish. I know ROH gained a pretty horrible reputation during the early years of the SBG Era with the various iPPV problems they suffered, but this was legitimately the first time I’ve had problems on a ROH iPPV in quite some time. Fortunately, the only thing I missed was the very end of the bout, when The Addiction pinned Cheeseburger after hitting the Best Meltzer Ever. ***1/4

After the match ended, The Addiction continued their attack on Cheeseburger. It looked as though Kazarian was going to powerbomb poor Cheeseburger through a table, but Bully Ray made the save, and put Kazarian through the table instead. What we got next was pretty much the exact same promo that Bully Ray cut in Pittsburgh regarding the uncertainty about his future, except he talked about how much he loved Chicago.

ROH/NJPW Global Wars 2017: Night 3 Results & Review

We did get something a little bit different when Bully Ray brought in a young fan named Chase (who was sitting near or in the front row), and gave him a piece of the table that he broke, saying that it’s probably the last table he’ll ever break. The fans in Chicago gave Bully Ray a warm reception throughout this entire segment.

The Bullet Club (Cody, The Young Bucks, & “The Hangman” Adam Page) def. Search & Destroy (The Motor City Machine Guns, Jay White, & Jonathan Gresham)

This match was strongly pushed by ROH as being part of the “double main event”, but in a surprise (to me, at least), it ended up being the last bout before intermission.

In hindsight, that was actually the perfect spot for this Eight-Man Tag, which delivered in a big way. To nobody’s real surprise, this was an awesome bout filled with crazy action throughout. It didn’t take long for things to break down, and before long, bodies were flying all over the pace. The Bullet Club were insanely over in front of this crowd, which was expected. What I particularly enjoyed about this one was how Search & Destroy handled the match. On most ROH events, they’re usually presented as the babyface, but on this night, they fully embraced being heels, which I thought was awesome! They all knew that they were probably going to get booed in front of this largely pro-Bullet Club crowd, and they fully embraced that, instead of trying to fight it (which is something that WWE would probably do). They did a number of heelish things in this one, including taunting The Bullet Club by using the “too sweet” hand gesture. Along with that, they manage to incite a massive “Detroit Sucks” chant. I really applaud Search & Destroy for doing what they did in this bout. As I already mentioned, the action was fast and furious in this one from start to finish, and it ended with Adam Page getting the pin on Jonathan Gresham after hitting the Rite Of Passage. On a big show like this, it’s nice to see Page get the spotlight by getting the win for his team. This was so much fun to watch, and the hot crowd made it even between. It was easily one of the best matches of the night, without question. ****1/4

The Dawgs (Rhett Titus & Will Ferrara) def. One Mean Team (Brian Johnson & Justin Pusser with Miss Jasmine)

Following intermission, the show hit a low point in the form of a tag team match that was meant to be a showcase for The Dawgs, who got the win here over (presumably) a local team. There’s really not much to say about this one. I understand why this was here (I’ll get to that in a second), but this had no place on this card. The crowd barely reacted, if at all, and the match itself wasn’t that good. This would’ve been better suited for a pre-show, not the match coming out of intermission. *3/4

ROH/NJPW Global Wars 2017: Night 2 Results & Review

After The Dawgs left the ring, Jay Briscoe came out through the crowd and attacked this jobber team. He then took the mic, and I think everyone assumed he was going to call out Bully Ray (who appeared earlier). Instead, Jay called out his brother, Mark Briscoe. He told Mark that he’s been too focused on other things, like trying to win the ROH World TV Title or going after the ROH World Six-Man Tag Team Titles, while all that did was give him a busted elbow. Jay then told his brother to heal up fast, because when they’re back together, they need to refocus on being the best tag team on the planet. It seems that they’re pushing The Briscoes towards the tag team title picture, which is good, but I’m surprised Jay didn’t mentioned Bully Ray at all during this promo. I assume that some things regarding that story are going to be changed around a bit, since it seemed like the story was going to be that Mark Briscoe would be caught in the middle, torn between his brother and Bully Ray. Dave Meltzer reported that Mark is supposed to be out eight to ten weeks with his elbow injury, which makes a return at Final Battle entirely possible, and perhaps it’s there where we’ll see The Briscoes back together once again, with potentially a more aggressive attitude.

Suzuki-gun (Minoru Suzuki & The Killer Elite Squad) def. Jay Lethal, Kenny King, & Shane Taylor

Speaking of Mark Briscoe, he was originally scheduled to be in this match before his injury in Pittsburgh. There was plenty of speculation in the ensuing two days as to who would be the replacement, and in the end, it was Shane Taylor who stepped up to the plate. That reveal was a bit underwhelming, but I guess that just speaks to the lack of depth on the ROH roster, when it comes to the undercard. Overall, this was a relatively good match. Similar to a lot of other Suzuki-gun tag team bouts, this started out with a big brawl on the outside. At this point, if you’ve seen one multi-man tag featuring Suzuki-gun, you’ve pretty much seen them all. That’s not to say it was without highlights though. One of the big moments saw Jay Lethal volunteer to go toe-to-toe with Minoru Suzuki. To Lethal credit, he absorbed Suzuki’s chops like a champ, but when he dished out some of his own, Suzuki just laughed off his attempts, begging Lethal to give him more. That exchange was definitely one of the highpoints of this one. Another story that persisted in the latter stages of the match involved Suzuki trying to lift the massive Shane Taylor up for the Gotch Piledriver. He tried a couple of times (unsuccessfully), but finally managed to lift Taylor up, held him there for a few seconds, and finally dropped him with the Gotch Piledriver for the win. This match was far from outstanding, but it was a good showcase for Suzuki-gun. ***1/4

Colt Cabana def. Toru Yano

This was one of the most anticipated matches on the entire card, and I say that mainly because we didn’t know what we were going to get. We all knew this was going to rely on a ton of comedy, but the question was whether this was going to good, or bad. Fortunately, this ended up being a pretty entertaining comedy match. These two played off each other pretty well, and we got a number of funny moments. The matches kicked off with….of all things….a DVD trade, with both tossing their opponents merchandise away shortly thereafter. Of course, we got spots involving the turnbuckle pads (which seemed to come off a lot easier tonight) and the two dueled with them in the center of the ring. They then tossed around Todd Sinclair like he was a ball before Yano pulled out his signature wrist tape. He tried to tie Cabana up, but the Chicago native fought him off, and managed to score the pin. As a comedy match, I felt this definitely delivered. The fans were into it, and the interactions between Cabana and Yano were pretty hilarious. ***

Will Ospreay def. Flip Gordon

We all knew that this one had a ton of potential (I mean, come on, it’s Will freaking Ospreay vs. a guy with the world “Flip” in his name!), but I think this exceeded all expectations.

This was a phenomenal contest that was easily the best match of the night. While we did get a few spots in the beginning that were more lighthearted (mainly involving Will Ospreay acting like a cat), the bout really picked up from there. These guys were flying all over the place, pulling off some incredible displays of athleticism. There were so many insane moves in this one that it’s next to impossible to describe them all. Off Will Ospreay was fantastic, as he always is. His appearances in ROH are few and far in between, but when he’s put in a spotlight match like this, he never fails to steal the show. At the same time, however, this proved to be an awesome showcase for Flip Gordon. It was clear that this match was designed to get him over in a big away, and that mission was easily accomplished. Gordon’s had a number of really good bouts in his short time with ROH, but this was his best performance to date, without question, proving that he’s more than just the guy who the victim of countess “harmful ribs” on Being The Elite. He came off as someone who took the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Champion to the limit, and in front of such a large audience, that will take him far. Ospreay would ultimately emerge victorious, but I’m sure many people became fans of Flip Gordon after that incredible outing. ****1/2

IWGP United States Title – Kenny Omega (c) def. YOSHI-HASHI

After a long tour which featured four shows in four days, we finally got to the big main event featuring the man who deserved a large majority of the credit for drawing this massive crowd in Chicago. With regards to the match itself, I don’t think people were expecting much coming into it. While he had a stellar 2016, YOSHI-HASHI’s stock has definitely fallen in 2017 (especially in the eyes of New Japan fans in North America), and with how over The Bullet Club was on this night, it was a guarantee that he was going to get some booes. Plus, throughout the build, Omega had been putting down YOSHI-HASHI repeatedly, refusing to take him as a serious threat. He even continued to say derogatory things to the CHAOS member during the match itself (at point, looking at the camera to say that YOSHI-HASHI wasn’t in his league). Despite all of those things working against it, the first 75% of this main event was actually pretty good. Even though he didn’t even bother to come out with the actual IWGP United States Title belt, Omega had his serious tights on, so you knew he was going to put in strong effort. Meanwhile, YOSHI-HASHI did a fine job here as well. There was plenty of good stuff in this one, but eventually, all hell broke loose.

Todd Sinclair got knocked out, and that was the signal for Marty Scurll & The Young Bucks ran out. They were about to attack YOSHI-HASHI, but Omega stopped them, and called for the “Ten Boots” spot, which was the sign for Cody & Adam Page to come out. They got all set up in one corner, but YOSHI-HASHI fought back, and then called out CHAOS (which here consisted of Toru Yano, Best Friends, and Will Ospreay, who also dragged Flip Gordon out, telling him that now was the time to get revenge on The Bullet Club for all of those “harmful ribs”). They all got set up for a “Ten Boots” spots. Omega & YOSHI-HASHI went back and forth, but it would be YOSHI-HASHI who ate both the Bullet Club boots and the CHAOS boots. Omega then had the match won with the One Winged Angel, but Yano pulled the referee out of the ring. We then get a massive brawl that included Trent Beretta hit the Dude Buster on Kenny Omega (could that be the sign of a future title challenger?!), a bunch of finishers were exchanged, Ospreay hit a massive Shooting Star Press to the floor, and Nick Jackson hit a 450 Splash to the floor onto Flip Gordon, who was on a table (the table didn’t fully break).

Through all of this craziness, Omega managed to hit a second One Winged Angel, and scored the win to retain his title. This was very similar to Omega’s Tokyo Dome briefcase defense against YOSHI-HASHI at Destruction In Hiroshima 2016 (a show which yours truly reviewed for this very site). The first three quarters of the match was very good, but then we got a ton of shenanigans in the final minutes. The majority of the crowd in attendance seemed to love all of this, but if you’re a hardcore New Japan fan that was checking this out to see Omega’s first defense of the IWGP United States Title, I’m sure you didn’t like the final stretch at all. Still, the majority of this main event still had some really solid wrestling, so I was far from being bad. ***1/2

After the match, Kenny Omega (who Cody said carried New Japan on his back) cut an end-of-the-show promo with the rest of The Bullet Club in the ring. He thanked Chicago for their love….and for buying a ton of his merch. He apologized for not a full time performer for ROH, and noted that he represents New Japan by contract only. Omega truly represents The Bullet Club and The Elite. He throws more shade and YOSHI-HASHI, and is about to finish his promo when he’s cut off by Matt Jackson (who seemed to have lost his voice a bit). He said they should take a Bullet Club selfie, but nobody had their phone on them. Matt asked the crowd if anyone had a phone they could use, and he spotted Jimmy Jacobs in the front row. They all went outside the ring and proceeded to take a selfie with the now former WWE writer. Matt apologized to Jacobs for getting him fired, and the rest of The Bullet Club relished in some “Fuck The Revival” chants before Omega did his “Goodbye & Goodnight” bit to close the show.

Of course, The Bullet Club came off like true superstars in front of this crowd, but I’m curious to see what Jimmy Jacobs does going forward. I think most would’ve guessed that he would’ve appeared on camera in some form. I’m not sure if this was just a one-off (in hindsight, we should’ve all known they were going to do what they did) with Jacobs taking a more behind-the-scenes role in ROH, or if he’s going to be return to the ring at any point. I guess we’ll have to wait and see, but no matter what, he’ll land on his feet.

Final Thoughts

The last stop on the Global Wars Tour not only drew the largest crowd for a ROH event in Chicago, but it featured a lot of great wrestling up and down the card. Will Ospreay vs. Flip Gordon stole the show, and the Eight-Man Tag before intermission wasn’t that far behind. You also had a great match in Marty Scurll vs. Hiromu Takahashi, and a couple of entertaining undercard bouts. Much like the other shows on the tour, there seemed to be a bit of a lull after intermission, but the rest of the card more than made up for it. While it did feature some really good wrestling, the main event ultimately fumbled towards the end with a referee bump that led to ten different people running down to get involved. One thing that’s certainly clear coming out of this event is that The Bullet Club (and The Elite) are more over than they’ve ever been, and at this point, it doesn’t look like anything WWE does will be able to hinder the amazing growth of their brand.