Finally I’ve gotten around to watch and review the much anticipated War of the Worlds day 1 iPPV, co-presented by NJPW and ROH and taking place at the 2300 arena in Philadelphia on May 12. A little later than I wanted but, you know, you can’t spend your life watching wrestling, you do have to work every once in awhile. Still and without further ado, let’s look at what NJPW and ROH had in store for us on that night.
Gedo vs. Delirious:
This was the tongue-in-cheek battle of the bookers. never really presented as such but still booked aas one, this had more than enough insider moments to keep the expert Philly crowd (and me) entertained. Not for everyone I think, like I said you have to know some of the history to get the jokes, so for some this will only come across as an average wrestling match, but still an adequate opener. Gedo won with the Gedo Clutch
Watch if you’ve read the books.
KUSHIDA vs. Roderick Strong:
And there we go, second match and we very well might have the match of the 4 Supershows already. It’s difficult to put 16 minutes of pure, no-stop and amazing action into words, but, believe me, this is a must watch match. Kushida’s speed and ground work vs Strong’s mat-based approach, both had incredible chemistry and fluidity together, not one awkward moment, the story was there and KUSHIDA once more illustrated why every observer is begging NJPW to give him an high profile run. Strong, on his side, entered what is perhaps his strongest (no pun intended) performance of the year and, reportedly, ended up catching the eye of NJPW officials. A four-and-a-half star match if I ever saw one, just shy of a MotY contender, Nakamura and Co still firmly occupy those spots. Strong won with the Strong Breaker
ROH TV Championship – Jay Lethal vs. Takaaki Watanabe:
I wasn’t expecting much here, Lethal is usually fed more established opponents to keep in line with his TV Title story, but this much exceeded my expectations. Especially Watanabe was on fire here, and even got lethal seemingly worried at some point. lethal worked his usual, highly effective routine and all those elements glued together to give us a very fun little Tv Title match. Lethal won with the Lethal injection (of course).
Good stuff, watch
The Young Bucks vs. The Addiction vs. The Kingdom:
The first part of this one mostly involved The Addiction vs The Kingdom, and, to be honest, it did not entirely succeed in holding my attention. Both teams seemed to go at it with the handbrake on and it showed. Business picked up as soon as The Young Bucks got more involved and the three teams worked the later part of the match at full throttle. The match winning Meltzer Driver (from the Young Bucks of course) had the crowd go crazy. Ultimately hugely enjoyable once you get past the observing round.
Good match, great crowd.
Michael Elgin vs. Tetsuya Naito:
The Philly crowd seemed to be a bit dissatisfied with this one, and, well, after the fireworks of the previous match, the basic strength vs speed approach they took might have something to do with that. Or perhaps it was the lack of direction both Elgin and Naito suffer from in recent months. i don’t know what it was that rubbed the crowd the wrong way, but I, for one, found this another very enjoyable outing. The basic approach enhanced instead of deterring the match and allowed them to tell a simple, but effective story throughout the match. Both had chemistry and worked well. Naito reversed a Elgin Bomb into a victory roll for the win.
Very much watchable.
reDRagon vs. Jushin Thunder Liger & Hiroshi Tanahashi:
WOW, the Philly’s crowd reception to Liger must have brought a tear to his eye, this was fantastic, Liger was treated like a wrestling god by the Philadelphia crowd (deservedly since he is one). rather basic but very fun tag match, Liger was allowed to shine here to the greatest pleasure of every fan in attendance. ReDragon logically won with Enter the Dragon, but the biggest story here was the audience’s reaction to Liger. Amazing.
Fun to watch not in the least for the crowd’s reaction.
A.J. Styles vs. Adam Cole:
This was very much presented and booked as a main event and deservedly so. The legit story was the question if Adam COle hadn’t rushed back to soon from injury (he wasn’t at 100% to be fair), and they weaved this into the match, having Cole favor his shoulder and having difficulties to lift Styles toward the end of the match. Still that didn’t deter from the action, on the contrary, worked at a very good pace, both traded moves and momentum and, at one point, Cole even had Styles n the Styles Clash (which is always fun). The winner had to be Styles of course, to keep his aura intact for Dominion, but Cole looked far from bad in defeat and even has the injury excuse to demand a rematch somewhere along the line. Great stuff all around.
The Briscoes vs. Shinsuke Nakamura & Kazuchika Okada:
Do I even have to bother here? I mean you know I’m gonna write MUST WATCH considering who is involved, don’t you? Anyway, the first very interesting thing was the audience reactions to the entrances. Okada got a great one, the crowd treated him like a conquering hero, really great respect and reaction. Not Quite Liger-like but still. And then Nakamura came out. And the building exploded. Is there any doubt at this point who the number 1 is (and yes Joseph , you are welcome to dispute me on this one in the comments, but crowds don’t lie ;)). An incredible spectacle, I’m not saying match because KUSHIDA/Strong and Styles/Cole were better from a purely wrestling point of view, this was great fun from start to finish. The Briscoe’s amused themselves by playing heel, while Okada and, especially, Nakamura had the audience in the palm of their hands. In the end an Okada Dropkick, Nakamura Boma Yé and Okada Rainmaker combination send the crowds into orgasmic levels of excitement and gave the NJPW boys the win. Great, great stuff.
And yes, MUST WATCH!!!
Overall I thought this was better than the Global Wars event. While I questioned the booking of Global Wars somewhat, here, everything fitted, nothing seemed out of place and the quality of the matches ranged from good to excellent. I mean the worst match was good. that’s saying something. I would feel remiss if I didn’t mention the excellent ROH VOD shop at this point where you can purchase this and many more. Believe me, this is well worth your 19,99 dollars.
Thanks for reading and until next time!
Tags: njpw, ROH, War of the Worlds