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Ted Reeve Arena – Toronto, ONT – Friday, May 15, 2015
Kevin Kelly and Steve Corino are on commentary.
Gedo & Moose (w/ Stokely Hathaway & Veda Scott) defeat Silas Young & Takaaki Watanabe at 8:01. This seems like a pretty random combo of teams. Young and Watanabe are the heels here, and they work a pretty standard tag team formula match with Gedo in the Ricky Morton role. Moose gets the hot tag late in the match and flies around the ring like a Young Buck. The referee loses control and all four men are fighting in the ring. Eventually, Moose is able to destroy Young with the Spear to get the pin. That did a good job of making Moose look like a beast, even if the pairings were a little awkward. Decent opener here.
KUSHIDA defeats Chris Sabin< and Kyle O’Reilly in a Three Way Match at 9:58. This was originally supposed to be just Sabin v KUSHIDA, but O’Reilly was added to the match because his partner Bobby Fish was unable to make it to the show. Fish is never on the Canada shows, anybody know the deal there? Anyway, Sabin cost Fish and O’Reilly the Tag Team Titles, so there is a pretty sizable issue between them. All three men are operating at a fat pace in the early going, whipping the crowd into a frenzy. They all have pretty different styles but they mesh together very well. Late in the match O’Reilly has Sabin trapped in a Cross Armbreaker and KUSHIDA breaks that up with a moonsault. KUSHIDA then traps Sabin in the Hoverboard Lock to get the win. This was fast, non-stop action and everyone was on point here. Really good stuff.
The Kingdom (Michael Bennett & Matt Taven, w/ Maria Kanellis) defeat Jushin Thunder Liger & Matt Sydal at 9:12. Bennett and Taven are the current IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champions. Sydal and Liger control the early going, but Maria interferes to give her boys the advantage. Bennett and Taven focus on Liger and keep him in their half of the ring. Of course Liger makes a tag and Sydal comes in a house afire. The match breaks down and Maria has to distract Liger with her boobs to turn things around for her team. Sydal tries a Shooting Star Press on Bennett but Taven catches him out of the air with a superkick. One Hail Mary later and The Kingdom picks up a big win. Taven and Bennett matches al tend to be kind of the same, but this at least had good energy and the uniqueness of Liger competing as a team with Sydal.
Kazuchika Okada (w/ Gedo) defeats Cedric Alexander at 12:15. This match was supposed to happen last year, but Roderick Strong ruined that by injuring Alexander before the show. Okada has the upper hand in the early going, which is no surprise. Alexander tries to quicken the pace and fly around a bit, but Okada has an answer for everything he tries. The lights go out briefly, and when they come back on Okada hits Alexander with an Orton DDT on the floor. After several minutes Alexander makes a decent comeback and the lights go out again, just briefly. Alexander gets in quite a bit of offense and seems to be getting stronger as the match goes no, but Okada perseveres and flattens Alexander with a Tombstone Piledriver. One Rainmaker later and Okada gets the pin. After the match Alexander refuses a handshake. This was fun and fast paced, and while Alexander looked good it would be erroneous to say he appeared to be on Okada’s level at any point.
The Addiction (Christopher Daniels & Frankie Kazarian) defeat The Decade (BJ Whitmer & Adam Page, w/ Colby Corino) and Roppongi Vice (Beretta & Rocky Romero) in a Three Way Tag Team Match at 14:39. Daniels and Kazarian are the ROH World Tag Team Champions, but this is a non-title match. RPG Vice and the Addiction battle in the early going while the Decade duo watches on from the apron. The action is pretty much non-stop from all parties, and Beretta and Romero on the receiving end the most. Beretta plays Ricky Morton for a bit before making the hot tag. Romero coms in a house afire and the referee loses control. In all the chaos RPG Vice is able to hit Page with Strong Zero. Daniels and Kazarian seize the opportunity and dump Beretta out of the ring and steal the pin. That was a really fun, action-packed tag team match with all three teams playing to their strengths.
Shinsuke Nakamura defeats ACH at 12:39. The thing about this match, is that ACH is great, but ROH has booked him so poorly that this doesn’t at all feel like an even matchup. Early on both men try to show who is the best dancer, and I think it’s a tie. ACH keeps things fairly even with Nakamura, as they trade control back and forth. The crowd is pretty jazzed for both guys. Late in the match ACH lands a swank dive to the floor, and attempts a 450 Splash back in the ring but Nakamura avoids it. Nakamura covers for two, and moments later connects with Bomaye to get the pin. Everyone is well aware that Nakamura is awesome and it’s a pleasure to watch him work. ACH did his part to keep up and this was a really entertaining match.
ROH World Television Champion Jay Lethal (w/ Donovan Dijak) defeats Tetsuya Naito at 12:18 to retain the title. Lethal has been the Champion since 4.4.14, and this is his twenty-eighth defense. Dijak interferes early, but Naito is able to withstand it and go on offense. Eventually the numbers game takes over and Lethal controls for a bit. Naito won’t let this huge opportunity go without a fight, as the momentum continues to swing back and forth. Lethal hits a Lethal Combination and Hail to the King but that’s not enough to get the pin. Dijak interferes again and this time referee Paul Turner sees it and gives Dijak the boot. Naito hits Dijak with a baseball slide to gain some small measure of revenge. Back in the ring Naito lands a super hurricanrana for a near-fall. Lethal starts cheating like crazy but can’t get the pin. Once the Champ finally hits the Lethal Injection he’s able to score the pin and retain the title. Having Dijak there instead of Truth resulted in a lot less interference, something that’s been dragging Lethal down. Nice clean finish too.
Hiroshi Tanahashi defeats Michael Elgin at 17:08. This is another evenly contested matchup, with Elgin holding the slight power advantage, while Tanahashi has the edge in quickness and agility. This was a very good back and forth display from both guys, and to some degree it felt like a big deal. But they never really kicked it into a higher gear, and by the time Tanahashi hit the High Fly Flow for the win it actually felt a little bit out of nowhere. Still, a good showing and a good choice for semi-main event. It just could have been more exciting.
Roderick Strong, The Briscoes (Jay Briscoe & Mark Briscoe) & War Machine (Hanson & Raymond Rowe) defeat BULLET CLUB (AJ Styles, Doc Gallows, The Young Bucks (Nick Jackson & Matt Jackson) & Karl Anderson) in a 10-Man Tag Team Match at 16:48. Jay is the current ROH World Champion and Styles is the current IWGP Heavyweight Champion. This one is likely to be out of control, and that’s exactly the case at the opening bell. Action takes place both in and out of the ring, but it surprisingly subsides relatively quickly to a regular tag team match, with the BULLET CLUB in control. Of course it doesn’t last long, as both teams have periods of control, and with plenty of guys to tag in and out the action never slows. After an unbelievable flurry of action, Jay hits Matt with the Jay Driller and Mark follows with the Froggy ‘Bow to earn the team. This was far from perfect, but the energy brought by all 10 guys ensured that the crowd would stay engaged and it never got boring. It was a fitting main event for sure.
After the match, Jay Briscoe and AJ Styles compare belts, and while they’re occupied with each other, ROH TV Champion Jay Lethal sneaks in the ring and blasts both of them with his belt! Lethal stands tall to end the show.
“Global Wars 2015 Night One” is a really good show from start to finish, with six of nine matches reaching three stars or higher, and a lot of variant styles on display. Most of the shows with NJPW tend to deliver, and this one was no different. Easy recommendation here.
Tags: bullet club, Global Wars, Jushin "Thunder" Liger, Ring of Honor, shinsuke nakamura