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2300 Arena – Philadelphia, PA – Wednesday, May 13, 2015
Kevin Kelly and King Corino are on commentary.
Adam Page (w/ Colby Corino) defeats Takaaki Watanabe at 9:25. Watanabe dominates the opening minutes with a series of suplexes. Colby interferes and takes a German Suplex on the floor in retaliation. That allows page to take the advantage, and when Watanabe tries making the comeback Colby interferes some more. The crowd is behind Watanabe all the way. Finally, Colby’s third time interfering allows Page to hit the Rite of Passage to get the win. Page needed a ton of help there, and Watanabe selling for Colby Corino seems wrong somehow. Outside of the repeated interference this was okay.
Michael Elgin defeats KUSHIDA at 14:37. This crowd HATES Elgin with gusto. These two fight at a fast pace, and Elgin uses his power to control the bout. KUSHIDA tries to counteract with his speed but Elgin is able to catch up to him and keeps swatting him down. As hard as KUSHIDA fights, eventually Elgin does hit him with the Elgin Bomb to get the pin. These two meshed well together, worked smart, and built up to the finish expertly. The crowd being so clearly on KUSHIDA’s side and so staunchly against Elgin gave this one a good atmosphere.
Tetsuya Naito defeats Kyle O’Reilly at 17:55. I think it’s fair to expect good things here. They actually start very slowly and do some comedy around poking each other in the eye, which is not AT ALL how I expected this to go. Naito takes the first advantage and goes to work on O’Reilly’s left arm. O’Reilly counters with similar tactics, so both men had the same game plan. With neither man able to coax a submission, they try some pin attempts, but nothing is working. Things heat up between these two hard strikers, and they bring out the heavy artillery on each other. After some vigorous back and forth, Naito gets O’Reilly in position to hit the Stardust Press and that gets the win. Good stuff between two major players here, oddly felt a bit low on the card. I think they held back a little to not upstate the later matches, but these two holding up is still pretty rad.
Shinsuke Nakamura defeats Jay Lethal (w/ Truth Martini), Jushin Thunder Liger, and Mark Briscoe in a Four Corner Survival Match at 12:48. Lethal is the current ROH World Television Champion but that title is not on the line here. This is a bit of a hodgepodge of guys, but the crowd is pretty into all of them, particularly Nakamura. All four men, including the 50-year-old Liger, keep up a fast pace with plenty of offense. In the end, Nakamura catches Liger with Bomaye to get the win. Nothing super memorable here, but a fine way to spend almost 13 minutes.
Hiroshi Tanahashi defeats Roderick Strong at 16:55. I don’t see any reason for this to not be awesome. These two dynamite performers waste little time in taking it to each other with vigor. In fact, Tanahashi blasts Strong so hard with a flying forearm that Strong is busted open pretty bad. Strong valiantly fights on as the blood is really streaming down his face. Both men pull out all the stops and the crowd goes banana throughout the match. Strong gets several very close near-falls with his signature moves, but he can’t put Tanahashi away. Tanahashi hangs on and takes Strong down with Sling Blade, and then flattens him with the High Fly Flow to get the pin. This was seriously awesome, with Strong’s blood only adding an extra layer of drama to the match. I believe this could’ve main evented any of the War of the Worlds or Global Wars shows.
The Addiction (Christopher Daniels & Frankie Kazarian) defeat CHAOS (Gedo & Kazuchika Okada) at 11:48. Daniels and Kazarian are the ROH World Tag Team Champions but the titles are not on the line here. This is a pretty standard tag team match, but the crowd sure loves them some Okada. They work a perfectly solid match and the champs get the win with Celebrity Rehab on Gedo. Nothing too memorable but they kept it brisk and the Addiction getting the pin on Gedo was the right way to go.
ROH World Champion Jay Briscoe defeats Bobby Fish at 17:07 to retain the title. Jay has been the Champion since 9.6.14, and this is his eleventh defense. Fish is a pretty lame-wad challenger at this point, but the crowd chants “New World Champ” at him, so at least some people are buying him. After a brief feeling-out process, the Champion takes control and starts to wear Fish down. Kelly and Corino really play up how Fish was the last man to pin Jay, nearly three years ago. That does add a neat wrinkle to this match. Fish works the leg, which is a good strategy for someone with his submission skills. Jay connects on a Jay Driller but Fish kicks out at two! The frustrated Champion hits a Death Valley Driver on the apron, and then one more Jay Driller to get the pin and retain the title. Despite the crowd, I just wasn’t buying Fish as a legitimate contender here. Even so, they put on a good match and a fine semi-main event.
The Kingdom (Adam Cole, Matt Taven, & Michael Bennett, w/ Maria Kanellis) defeat BULLET CLUB (AJ Styles & The Young Bucks (Matt Jackson & Nick Jackson)) at 18:57 in a Six Man Tag Team Match. Bennett and Taven are the IWGP Tag Team Champions, the Bucks are the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champions, and Styles is the IWGP Heavyweight Champion. I think it’s safe to say the action will be fast-paced for the duration of this match, and a plethora of superkicks will be thrown. Both of my predictions come true, natch. Maria gets involved, the ref gets bumped, and everything is out of control. The crowd is loving all the action here. Maria gets involved one too many times and receives a triple superkick for her troubles. Taven rescues Cole from receiving the Meltzer Driver, and Bennett blasts Matt with one of the IWGP Tag Title belts. Cole falls on top and gets the pin. The finish was a bit silly, but man this was hot action all the way through and a fitting end to the show.
Eight matches, seven that reach three stars or more, and two that reach four or more including the main event. If this show had a dynamite World Title match instead of the merely solid one that we got, this show may be an all-timer. As it is it’s another excellent entry in the War of the Worlds series.
Tags: bullet club, njpw, ROH, The Kingdom, War of the Worlds