WOTW Dearborn

Ford Community & Performing Arts Center – Dearborn, MI – Monday, May 9, 2016

Kevin Kelly and BJ Whitmer are on commentary.

Kamaitachi defeats Will Ferrara at 6:28. Ian Riccaboni is on commentary here by himself. This is my first time seeing Kamaitachi. They feel each other out a bit to start and Ferrara takes the first advantage. Ferrara looks good here, hitting a nice tornado DDT for a near-fall. After Ferrara controls a majority of the match, Kamaitachi comes back and hits an Oklahoma Stampede and the Air Raid Crash to get the pin. Solid preshow match.
Rating: **½

~MATCH #1~
Matt Sydal & ACH defeat Silas Young & Beer City Bruiser at 7:36. This is a definite clash of styles here, no matter which combination is in the ring. They do a fast-paced version of the classic tag team formula, with ACH and Sydal using their high flying moves and Young and Bruiser countering with power. In the end ACH hits Bruiser with a Sunset Bomb and follows with the Midnight Star to get the pin. This was a solid TV-style deal. After the match, ACH praises Sydal for getting him to where he is, but says it’s time to be his own man so he dissolves the team.
Rating: **½

~MATCH #2~
Roderick Strong defeats Lio Rush at 10:44. This match is to make up for Jushin Liger being injured last night. Strong attacks before the bell and he dominates the early going, using his superior size and strength. Rush uses speed and cunning to fight back, flying all over the place. He puts up a great fight, but Strong puts him away with the End of Heartache. Terrific match, with Strong wrestling the exact right match against someone at Rush’s level in ROH. I know, Strong wrestled the perfect match, I’m shocked too.
Rating: ***½

~MATCH #3~
ROH World Tag Team Champions War Machine (Hanson & Raymond Rowe) defeat CHAOS (Kazuchika Okada & Gedo) at 11:52 to retain the titles. Hanson and Rowe have been the Champions since 12.18.15, and this is their seventh defense. Liger joins the commentary team. After a brief feeling out process, the challengers take control. War Machine is just 24 hours removed from a title defense against The Briscoes, so the commentators note that they may not be at full strength tonight. When Hanson tags in the Champs take control, focusing on Gedo. Once Okada gets the hot tag the match really breaks down. Okada hits Rowe with the Rainmaker but they’re not the legal men. Hanson catches Gedo with the Spin Kick of Doom to get the pin. Good stuff here, War Machine has improved a ton. They more or less stuck to the tag team formula and the crowd was into it, which generally works. It only lacked drama because there was little doubt who was eating the pin in that one.
Rating: ***¼

After the match, The Addiction comes out and challenges War Machine for a title match in New York City on Saturday. War Machine agrees – but says the title match will be later tonight!

~MATCH #4~
KUSHIDA defeats Dalton Castle at 12:58. Castle hast The Boys with him, of course. KUSHIDA is the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion but that title is not on the line. The crowd chants for both men right from the start. Both men wrestle a respectable match, with plenty of attacks and counters from both men. It’s a great counter that gives KUSHIDA the victory, as he reverses the Bang-a-Rang into a victory roll to get the pin. Solid back and forth stuff here but nothing that really captured the imagination.
Rating: ***

~MATCH #5~
Michael Elgin & Hiroshi Tanahashi defeat The All-Night Express (Kenny King & Rhett Titus) at 9:54. This one is dominated by the All-Night Express, which isn’t what I would’ve expected. The ANX focuses on Tanahashi. When the hot tag is made to Big Mike, the former ROH World Champion uses his impressive power to throw King and Titus around the ring. When it breaks down into an all-out brawl, Elgin traps King in the corner and hurls Titus into him with a Buckle Bomb. Tanahashi hits the High Fly Flow, and Big Mike follows with one of his own. Elgin and Tanahashi are on a much higher level than the ANX, so this almost felt like a bit of a mismatch at times. It was enjoyable overall though.
Rating: **¾

~MATCH #6~
Tomohiro Ishii defeats Moose at 8:24. Moose is quite a bit larger than his opponent, but Ishii is a noted tough guy so this is an interesting matchup. This is just a brawl, with Moose trying to use his size and power, but Ishii refuses to give in. Both men bust out big moves and strikes, and Ishii is able to take Moose off his feet with a vicious headbutt. One Brainbuster later and Ishii is the winner. Now here’s a perfect place to illustrate the “ROH being New Japan’s bitch” problem. Moose could’ve really used a win there, and Ishii was already an ROH TV Champion, so he really didn’t need the win. Fun, stiff match besides that though.
Rating: ***

~MATCH #7~
The Addiction (Christopher Daniels & Frankie Kazarian) defeat ROH World Tag Team Champions War Machine (Hanson & Raymond Rowe) at 8:12 to win the titles. Hanson and Rowe have been the Champions since 12.18.15, and this is their eighth defense. The Champs start off hot, because the sooner they can end this one the better. They immediately take it to the floor and throw Daniels and Kaz around out there. The referee isn’t really bothering to try enforcing the rules. Even with a worn-down War Machine, the Addiction have to cheat. Kazarian nails Rowe with one of the Tag Team belts, and the Addiction become two-time ROH World Tag Team Champions. This match arguably shouldn’t have even been on the card, as they had perfectly good reason to just run it on Saturday. Not much really happened here, and I’m still not understanding why they had to rush this title match on an already stacked card.
Rating: **

~MATCH #8~
reDRagon (Bobby Fish & Kyle O’Reilly) defeat Jay Lethal (w/ Taeler Hendrix) & Tetsuya Naito at 16:46. Naito is the IWGP Heavyweight Champion, and Lethal is the ROH World Champion. All four men are cautious to start, feeling each other out in the early going. reDRagon is a much more cohesive unit and thus they control a bulk of the matchup. The referee loses control and the fight spills to the floor. Back in the ring O’Reilly locks Lethal in the Cross Armbreaker and it looks like Lethal is going to tap but Naito saves him. Some miscommunication leaves Lethal alone in the ring to take Chasing the Dragon and O’Reilly pins the Champion! This was solid but seemed to lack emotion or much purpose.
Rating: ***

~MATCH #9~
BULLET CLUB (Adam Cole, Tama Tonga, Tonga Loa, Matt Jackson & Nick Jackson) defeat Colt Cabana, The Motor City Machine Guns (Chris Sabin & Alex Shelley) & The Briscoes (Jay Briscoe & Mark Briscoe) at 20:10 in a 10-Man Tag Team Match. This one is going to be very difficult to follow. Cole starts Story Time in the middle of the fight. Adam Page was supposed to join the Briscoes and the Guns, but he is not out with his team, so Colt Cabana is there to replace him! The action is way too fast to keep up with, but the crowd is sure having fun trying to! Late in the match Jay Briscoe is the last man left standing for his team, so Adam Page comes out with a chair to help him out. But it’s all a ruse, as Page turns on Jay with a low blow, and then hits the Rite of Passage off the apron and through a table to the floor! Tonga and Loa hit Mark with Guerrilla Warfare, and the Bucks and Cole follow with a triple superkick. Matt gets the pin. That was non-stop action from start to finish with a hot crowd. The finish has been done, but it’s a fine way to introduce Page to the group.
Rating: ****

A2Z Analysiz
This is a pretty solid show, though it didn’t reach last year’s level of quality. The main event is a lot of fun and featured a good turn by Page. Roderick Strong and Lio Rush stole the undercard, which should surprise no one. Without the second War Machine title defense, this show would’ve flowed even better. As it is it’s still worth a look.