War of the Worlds PPV Preview
This Friday, Ring of Honor’s War of the Worlds Tour stops off in NYC for PPV that features every title being defended and a litany of exciting matches at NJPW stars invade for a night of international dream matches on the third stop of this 4 show tour.
Frankie Kazarian vs. Hangman Page
Before Supercard of Honor, Frankie Kazarian appeared to betray Christopher Daniels by aligning with the Bullet Club ahead of his former best friend’s title match with Adam Cole. The entire thing was a simply a ploy to lower the Bullet Club’s defenses, allowing Kazarian to ultimately help his Addiction partner finally win the ROH World title. Hangman Page did not take lightly to this transgression and has made it his mission to get even with Kazarian, even costing the latter an opportunity at the ROH TV title. Kazarian would seemingly be poised to exact a measure of revenge, but Page is also an important talent in the company and a victory over the former tag team champion would go a long way to establishing him a credible threat to the World title.
Four Corners Survival Match
KUSHIDA vs. Dalton Castle vs. Bobby Fish vs. Silas Young
KUSHIDA is a familiar face when it comes to ROH and this event is no different as he’ll be bringing his talents to this four corners match. Fish is working with ROH as a free agent and should be expected to put on a great match, but it is unlikely that he wins here. He has had issues with Silas Young during this recent run and it would make sense if these two cancel each other out in this one, perhaps leading to another one on one match at the television tapings the next night. Castle lost his opportunity at the title for the time being, but he has still been involved at the top of the card as of late. Look for Castle to walk away the winner of a match that has a chance to be one of the best matches on the card.
Triple Threat – Non Title
IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champions War Machine vs. Los Ingoberbales de Japon (EVIL & Sanada) vs. Search and Destroy (Jonathan Gresham & Chris Sabin w/ Alex Shelley)
This match has the chance to really be a fun mix of traditional NJPW junior heavyweights in the form of Search and Destroy, but we get a chance to see heavyweight tag teams in War Machine and LIJ. War Machine has been tearing up NJPW and it is telling that they are technically wrestling under the NJPW banner here, serving almost as a bridge connecting the ROH and NJPW talents. Having the match be non title actually makes the outcome a bit more unclear here, as EVIL and Sanada could walk away with the win, building to a future shot at the tag titles. War Machine stalled a bit in ROH and their contract status is unclear, but this should be a great mix of styles and given the right amount of time it will be a fast-paced hard-hitting contest.
Will Ospreay vs. Jay White
Since signing with ROH has been used sporadically, generally returning for bigger shows. He started off hot by winning the ROH World TV title in England during the Reach for the Sky tour and has cooled off since. That’s not to say that the matches he has competed in haven’t been exciting, but the inconsistency is the issue. He would be a perfect opponent for Scurll to work a longer program with, if he is available. Jay White, working ROH on excursion and has really proven himself to be worthy of a spot on the roster, but as with anyone on excursion, it is difficult to put a great deal of faith on him being a part of the roster a few months from now. His undefeated streak ended and since then has lost a bit of steam overall. Nevertheless, the matchup pits two excellent young performers against each other and every time Ospreay has graced an ROH ring he has brought his high-octane offense with him. This feels like a toss up, but I see White walking away with the win as he has more to do with ROH’s roster currently.
Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Adam Cole
Adam Cole himself said that he wanted to take on Tanahashi, rightfully calling him a rockstar. In terms of star power from NJPW, Tanahashi has always been a particularly bright star on these joint shows. Cole is technically a free agent now and is most likely working the War of the Worlds tour as the last definitive dates with the company. Cole has been excellent in and out of the ring for the company and if this is one of his last matches for the foreseeable future, this is certainly a treat as it is definitely a match he is motivated to be a part. All of these elements will add together to make this one of the better matches on the card overall and a real treat for ROH/NJPW fans.
ROH World Six Man Tag Team Championship Match
Chaos (Goto & Roppongi Vice) vs. Bully Ray & The Briscoes (c)
This match continues the use of LIJ team through the tour, which makes sense-however, the idea of LIJ winning the titles is unlikely hear. The Briscoes have been at the top of their game and the titles seemingly have breathed new life and importance into their careers right now. The addition of Bully Ray brings a bit of nostalgia and as a part of a trio, his position in the company works here, but only here. It’ll be interesting to see how things move forward when the trio eventually drops the titles. That will not be happening in this match, but with Trent and Romero this will be a fun match, albeit most likely a short one.
ROH World Tag Team Championship Match
The Young Bucks (Matt & Nick Johnson) (c) vs. Los Ingobernables De Japon ( NAITO & BUSHI)
In the past, and some might deride me for this, I would have been wholly uninterested in this match. It’s the second title defended against NJPW talent and it is unlikely that there will be a title change. The Young Bucks haven’t had an ROH-based tag team challenge since December when they defeated the Briscoes at Final Battle. However, being able to see Naito and The Young Bucks interact during the contest is something that I’m very much looking forward to. The match should feature a bit of hijinks as well as a fast pace. Again, The Young Bucks feel like the obvious winners here, but it will still be an entertaining match.
ROH World Television Championship
Marty Scurll (c) vs. Matt Sydal
On paper, this is a a great match and the build, unlike some of Scurll’s other defenses against wrestlers on their way out or someone stopping by for a cup of coffee, has been logical and well done. Sydal’s appearances on Impact raise some questions here as to whether he will be appearing for ROH moving forward, but at least the right thing was done here with the build and Sydal being featured on weekly television. The same thing can be said here that can be said about every other title match, sans the main event-none of the challengers really feel like they have a shot of walking away as the champion and that’s a problem. Scurll’s work has been excellent- both on the mic and in the ring. The one thing that has been missing is any sense of exciting false finishes. His reign has been one that largely lacks any real feeling that he can drop the belt and that ultimately affects the crowd reaction. Scurll walks out as champion, barring some unforeseen circumstance.
ROH World Championship
Christopher Daniels/Matt Taven vs. Cody vs. Jay Lethal
In terms of the direction of ROH moving forward, this is the most important match on the entire tour. Pending the winner of the Daniels/Taven match at the War of the Worlds Dearborn show, this match has been built since Cody stepped into the company back in December. Lethal and Cody have had their issues seemingly end with their Texas Bullrope match, but the slimy American Nightmare weaseled his way into the match by attack Daniels and goading him to get the ROH board of directors to include him in the match. As of late, Cody has said that he is settling down with one company after traveling around as a free agent. Although having Taven challenge for the title is a good idea, it would take away from the Daniels/Cody/Lethal dynamic if he were to walk out of Dearborn as champion. The table seems to be set for Cody to win the title and feud with Lethal going into the summer months.