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2300 Arena – Philadelphia, PA – Tuesday, May 12, 2015
Kevin Kelly and King Corino are on commentary.
Gedo defeats Delirious at 6:55. They starts off with shenanigans and tomfoolery from Delirious, which Gedo has little patience for. Gedo wears Delirious down for a while, but the masked man is able to make a comeback. With Delirious firing up, Gedo repositions the referee and kicks Delirious right in the nether regions, then rolls him up for the pin. I’m fine with these two being in the opening match.
Roderick Strong defeats KUSHIDA at 16:20. This one is fast-paced from the get-go, and KUSHIDA is a step ahead of Strong throughout the first part of the match. Strong uses the ring apron to take the advantage, and he zeroes in on the back. KUSHIDA responds by speeding up the match and using a plethora of strikes. Strong withstands the punishment, and just about loses his mind when KUSHIDA kicks out of a Sick Kick. One End of Heartache later and Strong gets the big win. Great display here by two awesome wrestlers. They brought the crowd along with them as well.
ROH World Television Champion Jay Lethal (w/ Truth Martini & J. Diesel) defeats Watanabe at 11:05. Things get heated quickly between these two. Watanabe controls the early portion of the match, both inside and outside the ring. Lethal survives the early beating and takes control. He slows the pace down and tries to keep the powerful Watanabe off his feet. They go back and forth down the stretch, and they go with the fresh finish of Truth interfering, leading to the Lethal Injection and a win for the Champ. The match was okay enough but never felt important or interesting in any way.
The Young Bucks (Matt Jackson & Nick Jackson) defeat The Addiction (Christopher Daniels & Frankie Kazarian) and The Kingdom (Michael Bennett & Matt Taven) at 14:02 in a Three=Way Tag Team Match. Taven and Bennett are the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champions, the Bucks are the IWGP Junior Tag Team Champions, and the Addiction are the ROH Tag Team Champions. That’s a lot of gold, but none of it is at stake here. All three teams trade control in the opening minutes, with lots of offense coming from each team. The Addiction take the first prolonged advantage, working on Bennett. It doesn’t last long and the pace picks right back up, with each team using tons of superkicks. The Bucks trap Kazarian alone and deliver a perfect Meltzer Driver to get the win. Well that was just tremendous, non-stop action and everybody was hitting their spots. Fun stuff.
Tetsuya Naito defeats Michael Elgin at 10:48. This is a pretty even power matchup. Both men show off what they can do, momentum swinging back and forth for the first few minutes. When Elgin is in control he keeps a slower pace, when Naito is on offense he picks it up. Elgin appears to have the match in hand after a Buckle Bomb, and he looks to follow with the Elgin Bomb but Naito counters with a victory roll to get the pin! Kelly and Corino sell this as a huge upset, and I’ll have to take their word for it since I don’t really follow New Japan. At any rate this was a solid back and forth match that made Naito look good.
reDRagon (Bobby Fish & Kyle O’Reilly) defeat Hiroshi Tanahashi & Jushin Thunder Liger at 11:29. Both teams are cautious during the feeling-out process. Liger and Tanahashi seem to have reDRagon star-struck in the early going, but Fish and O’Reilly recover in a timely fashion and start going to work on Liger. Eventually, Tanahashi gets the hot tag and he handles Fish and O’Reilly on his own. The referee loses control, and amidst all the chaos reDRagon is able to trap Liger alone and hit Chasing the Dragon to get the pin. Good tag team formula stuff here with a good finish.
AJ Styles defeats Adam Cole at 15:45. This is Cole’s return after a five-month absence. Styles is the current IWGP Heavyweight Champion, but this is non-title. These two had a terrific match at Death Before Dishonor XII Night One, and I’d expect nothing less here. The crowd is pretty evenly split here, so Cole heels pretty hard on them to get a reaction. Styles takes the first control but Cole evens things up quickly. Both men use a variety of their signature moves but resiliency keeps the match going. Cole uses the Styles Clash at one point (and it looks great) but it only gets two. They trade more near falls and Styles gets Cole in position for the Styles Clash but instead drops him on his head in a piledriver! Styles hits another Piledriver and then lands the Styles Clash to get the pin. Awesome stuff here, with both guys pulling out everything they had and then some. Not much story to it but both guys were on point tonight.
CHAOS (Kazuchika Okada & Shinsuke Nakamura) defeat The Briscoes (Jay Briscoe & Mark Briscoe) at 18:11. Jay is the ROH World Champion. The New Japan team are the heels here, and they work on Mark in their half of the ring for a while. Jay and Mark come back and they isolate Okada. From there both teams trade control. Nakamura has no trouble whipping the crowd into a frenzy with his unorthodox charisma. AT some point the referee just stops enforcing the rules and the match kicks into a higher gear. Okada traps Mark alone in the ring and clobbers him with a Rainmaker to get the pin. This was a lot like many other ROH tag team main events, but Okada and Nakamura have enough awesomeness in them to up the rating on this.
Six of the eight matches on this show are good for three stars or more, making this a remarkably consistent card up and down. Plenty of ROH guys went over, which can sometimes be an issue on these joint ROH/NJPW excursions. Really just skip the opener and watch the rest of the show straight through, it’s worth it.
Tags: kazuchika okada, njpw, ROH, shinsuke nakamura, War of the Worlds