Squared Circle Thoughts | ROH/NJPW War of the Worlds NYC 2017

Now, right off the bat, I will say, i’m not a big fan of Ring of Honor. I’m just not big on their current product. However, every now and then, they’ll put on a really good show that gets people talking. Especially with their partnership with NJPW. Shows like Global Wars and even Wrestle Kingdom have benefited from this talent exchange deal and it at least keeps me interested in ROH to a point. When it comes to ROH itself though, I just can’t help but be bored by it for the most part, and honestly, this show is an example of why.

The main 2 reasons I decided to check this show out were 1, everyone hyped it up to no end because of the big Bullet Club angle that took place and 2, I wanted to do a wrestling review that isn’t WWE for once. So, I went into this one with somewhat high expectations and came out disappointed. It wasn’t a bad show, just a decent at best one that was over-hyped. Simple. I definitely don’t feel any differently about ROH after watching this and it just reinforced my sentiment on NJPW helping them. I wish I could like them, but weak showings like this is what keeps me from doing so.

So anyway, let’s just get right into the action.

Kushida vs Dalton Castle vs Silas Young vs Bobby Fish (4-Way Match)

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This was a pretty decent opener. I’m not big on schmazz matches like this, especially opening the show, but this one was at least entertaining. Silas Young get’s a good amount of hate, but I like him, and Dalton Castle is great. Kushida and Bobby Fish, however, meh, but they did their best. Again, overall, a decent match that saw Dalton Castle go over. The right outcome if you ask me. Now, what this is leading to, i’m not sure because I don’t follow ROH, but I’m glad Dalton won.

Frankie Kazarian vs Hangman Page

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This was another decent at best match. I liked Kazarian during his early TNA days, but now he’s really nothing special. Hangman Page is pretty good though and a pretty good heel. This spit thing during this match was gross, but the rest of the match was okay. Page get’s a cheap win by using the ropes on a pin. Again, not too special, but somewhat entertaining.

Sanada & EVIL vs Chris Sabin & Johnathan Gresham vs War Machine (3-Way Tag Match)

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First off, I fucking love War Machine and they were the highlight of this match! I dig EVIL and Sanada and the whole Los Ingobernables thing too. Sabin and Gresham, mehhhhh. Anyway, this was a pretty good match for a tag schmazz. Glad War Machine won and i’m looking forward to seeing them vs the Guerillas of Destiny at Dominion. Hanson in particular is great and can do some pretty impressive stuff for a guy his size. Same for Ray Rowe. They’re becoming a force to be reckoned with in tag team wrestling and I hope they go far.

Again, pretty good match with the right outcome.

Jay White vs Will Ospreay

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In all honestly, I can definitely call this the match of the night. This was a really damn good match put on by these two up-and-comers. I saw Jay White in NJPW a couple times and he’s pretty good and will surely become a star. Ospreay gets a lot of hate for some reason, probably from ”vanilla midget” hating purists, but I like him too. His gear is especially pretty sick. Anyway, very good back and forth action, a lot of high flying and hard hitting in this one and Will Ospreay gets the win. Again, match of the night as far as i’m concerned.

After the match, they both get attacked by Punishment Martinez, who I haven’t seen before so I don’t know much about him. Seems pretty good though. All I can say about that.

Bully Ray & The Briscoes (c) vs Hirooki Goto & Roppongi Vice (ROH World 6-Man Title)

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This match was kind of a snoozefest to be honest. I love the Briscoes and Bully Ray, but this one just didn’t do it for me. Roppongi Vice are a decent comedy based tag team and Goto is just okay. There just wasn’t a lot of chemistry here. Probably the reason for the no DQ stipulation they added at the last minute. Overall, nothing much to say here but meh. Bully and the Briscoes retain.

Marty Scurll (c) vs Matt Sydal (ROH World TV Title)

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This was probably the second best match of the night for me. I love Marty Scurll. Great character and worker. I’ve seen him a lot in PWG and he’s one of the reasons I’ve been wanting to check out Progress for a while now (still getting around to it). Him and Sydal put on a pretty damn good match. Their styles meshed well together ant they had pretty good chemistry. I don’t expect a feud to happen, considering what happens later with Scurll, but you never know. All I do know is that this was a really good match and one to check out, even if you don’t watch the entire show. Scurll wins with the crossface chicken wing. Right outcome.

Young Bucks (c) vs Tetsuya Naito & Bushi (ROH World Tag Team Title)

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Another really good match, as you would expect from the Young Bucks (unless you’re anti-spot monkey) and Naito. Bushi, i’m not a big fan of but he put in work too. A lot of high flying, a lot of crazy spots and a LOT of superkicks… again, as you would expect from the Young Bucks. Not as good a match as it probably could have been, but it was good for what it was. The Young Bucks retain the titles. As I expected.

Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Adam Cole

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This match was disappointing. I expected much better from these two. Adam Cole is good and Tanahashi is NJPW’s John Cena for a reason, but this one just didn’t really click. Very underwhelming. Maybe it’s just me, but that’s how I saw it. Nothing much to say on this one. Tanahashi wins with the High Fly Flo. That’s about it. Overall, meh.

The main reason this match had people talking, however, was the angle that followed. The Bucks come back out and ”celebrated” a little with Adam Cole, as he is leaving the company, the lights go out, Kenny Omega appears on the entrance screen, cuts a really good promo, the lights come on and then out comes Marty Scurll and reveals via umbrella that he is the newest member of the Bullet Club, leading to a double superkick to Cole and a big celebration between the three as he lies there. Good angle. Not big on Bullet Club at this point, but that was good for what it was. See you in NXT, Adam!

Christopher Daniels (c) vs Jay Lethal vs Cody (ROH World Title)

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And in the main event, we get… you guessed it: another schmazz match! This time a 3-way for the ROH World Title. Cody (Rhodes, who’s been killing it since leaving WWE) and Jay Lethal challenge now 46 year old Christopher Daniels for the gold. This was a decent main event. Nothing special, just decent. Some good spots here and there and some good back and forth action, but that’s about it. I was frankly underwhelmed. Still not bad though. Daniels retains with the Best Moonsault Ever on Cody as he had Lethal in a Figure 4 in a pretty out of nowhere finish. That was pretty much the highlight. Again not a bad match, but underwhelming all the same.

That was that. Overall, a pretty disappointing show. I was expecting more with the New Japan guys involved, but not even they could save it. At the same time though, it’s Ring of Honor, so I can’t always expect much from them anyway. Their product just doesn’t do it for me. They do put on some really good shows every now and then, but this one sure as hell wasn’t one of them. The main thing that got it so much praise was the Bullet Club stuff and as a result, made the whole show sound better than it actually was. All hype, no substance. ROH could be great, but they just need something more, in my opinion. What that is, i’m not sure, but this show surely didn’t have it.

Until next time.

-Scvm

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