Four Corners Survival Match
KUSHIDA vs. Dalton Castle vs. Bobby Fish vs. Silas Young
This was a really great opening match. The crowd was really into this one and KUSHIDA coming out in a Yankees Jersey really put him over with the crowd, as if wasn’t over enough already. Silas Young chastised KUSHIDA for the balata title attempt at getting a cheap pop and attacked him to start the match. All four men worked well together and kept up a fast pace throughout. This would not have been my pick to start the show, but this was solid from start to finish. Having Castle in this match seemed like it would be a step back, but he looked strong here and came away with the win after hitting the Bang-a-Rang on Fish before securing the three count.
Winner: Dalton Castle
Frankie Kazarian vs. Hangman Page
Before Page could make it to the ring, Kazarian launched himself over the top rope and took Page out on the outside, setting the town for a nasty brawl. Throughout the match the two disrespected each other and spit at each other, trading rights afterwards. Something did not seem to click with the crowd here, as they seemed a bit disinterested. The workrate was up to snuff here but the end of the match that saw Page win via roll up with an assist from the ropes wasn’t a logical end to the blood feud this has turned out to be, especially considering that it was Page who seemed intent on extracting revenge. The feud will continue, but it would have made a bit more sense for Page to at least get some shots in after the match and not simply be satisfied with the win.
Winner: Adam Page
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)
It can not be overstated how much War Machine was over with the crowd during this one. Every single time they connected with a move the crowd erupted. Sabin and Gresham work well as a team and despite of or perhaps because of their smaller size compared to the other teams, the duo’s tactics felt crisp and fresh the entire time. EVIL and Sanada were a good fit here as the clear heel team, but that was superseded by Sabin when he prevented Hanson from diving to the outside. As Sabin gloated and soaked in the jeers of the crowd, Rowe scooped him up and tossed him at Hanson who promptly powerbombed him, scoring the pinfall victory. War Machine walked away with a clean victory and continue to improve in all aspects as a team.
Winners: War Machine
Will Ospreay vs. Jay White
This match was simply out, outstanding. White and Ospreay meshed very well together in this contest. Ospreay is a marvel, but seeing him in this match against White’s hard nosed style was a treat. Jay White’s excursion to Ring of Honor has been a successful one and if he were staying longer, the victory here should have been his. By all accounts, this was White’s best performance in ROH to date and I hope to continue to see this from him moving forward. This is a must see match, easily worth the price of the whole show.After the match, Punishment came out and took out both men, so it seems there will be a program moving forward with one of the two and the imposing monster.
Winner: Will Ospreay
ROH World Six Man Tag Team Championship Match
Chaos (Goto & Roppongi Vice) vs. Bully Ray & The Briscoes (c)
Before the match started, Bully Ray oddly didn’t come down to ringside with The Briscoes and when his music hit Mark look toward the balcony where Bully Ray walked down, stop at the guardrail surrounded by the fans. He started by saying that his team was going to kick ass and that they would give the fans what they want-a NO DQ match. He descended down to the ring and the action got started, with a bevy of chairs tossed at people’s heads throughout the bout. Once again, Roppongi Vice seemed to take the brunt of the punishment in this match, with Trent taking a powerbomb through a table from Bully Ray before he and the Briscoes combined to hit Romero with a 3D. The formula seems to be the same each match, as Bully Ray makes it clear that they are there to kick some ass, the three hit some nostalgia moves and come away victorious. The difference during this match was that Bully Ray had the support of the crowd and it seemed to energize him during this one. The chaotic brawls this trio gets into really works to everyone’s strengths and makes this more appealing each time they are out there.
Winners: Bully Ray and The Briscoes
ROH World Television Championship
Marty Scurll (c) vs. Matt Sydal
It’s amazing how over Scurll is with the ROH crowd, so much so that Sydal got booed from the outset. Sydal looked great during the match, but overall this never really felt like a threat to the title, which has been an issue with Scurll’s reign. He’s a great TV champion and is immensely popular, but his grasp on the title against visitors or those leaving the company sucks out the intrigue of who will walk away as the champion. The match was a solid one and the overall sentiment here should not detract from the match they put on, it’s just that the end result was always going to be Scurll walking out as champion.
ROH World Tag Team Championship Match
The Young Bucks (Matt & Nick Johnson) (c) vs. Los Ingobernables De Japon ( NAITO & BUSHI)
This match suffered from the same fate that the TV title match did, making it a title match detracted from the match overall in some ways, as Naito and Bushi were never going to walk out the winners. That’s not to say that this match didn’t have it’s moments or that the Bucks or LIJ did not perform at a high level. Bushi sprayin Matt with mist led to a great spot were Matt played a blinded man better than Jean Claude Van Damme in Bloodsport, superkicking everyone, including Nick and referee Paul Turner before looking simply aghast when he realized the carnage he had caused. Despite the chaos, the Bucks were able to hit a 5 Star Meltzer Driver on Bushi and retain the titles.
Winners: The Young Bucks
Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Adam Cole
This match was a battle of two Rockstars and both men were super over with the crowd. Cole played the arrogant heel to perfection here and Tanahashi playfully mocked him. Cole and Tanahashi both hit their go to maneuvers and Cole grew frustrated, unable to put Tanahashi away after a Last Shot and even after a Cole-Fly-Flo. In the end,Tanhashi won with the Hi-Fly-Flo.The writing seemed to be on the wall here, with Cole on his way out and Tanahashi being an NJPW stalwart who would look strong in the end. As the crowd was bidding Cole farewell, the Young Bucks joined him and were poised to superkick him, only to hug him instead and seemingly say goodbye to their friend. Suddenly, Kenny Omega came on screen and said that he was disappointed with the Young Bucks for forgiving Cole so quickly, especially after he had the nerve to fire them. Omega then fired Cole and said that he already had a replacement for him as the camera panned to Scurll. The lights went dark and Scurll was in the ring, unfurling his new Bullet Club umbrella to the delight of the fans. The Bucks took Cole out with superkicks as they posed with the newest member of the Bullet Club
Winner: Hiroshi Tanahashi
ROH World Championship
Christopher Daniels vs. Cody vs. Jay Lethal
Not sure if it was the late start time, but this match and crowd as well felt a bit sluggish. There were some lulls in the actions but a few sequences, particularly the finish were very well done. Daniels continues to work at a high level and two thirds through the match the ending was a toss up, which added to the build towards the end. Daniels retaining was a surprise here as everyone in the building was waiting for a title change that never occurred. Cody locking in the figure four only to have Daniels hit him with the Best Moonsault Ever and score the pinfall was creative a leaving the building in a state of shock. This does allow for Lethal to have issue with his match not being a singles match and Cody can simply gripe about the same thing as well, so this still has legs.
Winner: Christopher Daniels
Final Reaction: B
This was an entertaining show that had multiple excellent matches that really drew the crowd in, which added to the intensity and grandeur of the event as a whole. However, the biggest moments, as was true for Final Battle and Manhattan Mayhem, involved the Bullet Club, not the main event. It is as if the show crescendoed too early and it left the crowd exhausted. To be fair, I would complain that the title should always be the main event, barring something epic, so it’s a difficult spot overall. Nevertheless, this was one of the best War of the Worlds shows in recent memory and it is most certainly worth your time.