War of the Worlds 2016 N3

Terminal 5 – New York City, NY – Saturday, May 14, 2016

Kevin Kelly and BJ Whitmer (later replaced by Veda Scott) are on commentary.

~MATCH #1~
reDRagon (Bobby Fish & Kyle O’Reilly) defeat The All-Night Express (Kenny King & Rhett Titus) at 11:47. Fish is the brand new ROH World Television Champion, having defeated Tomohiro Ishii six days ago on pay-per-view. The lighting here is really weird. Both teams spend some time feeling each other out. I believe this might be the first meeting between these two teams, though I’m not positive. They stick to the formula, more or less. ANX gets O’Reilly in position for the One Night Stand, but Fish breaks it up. reDRagon then hits Titus with Chasing the Dragon to get the win. Perfectly competent opener and a good win for reDRagon.
Rating: **¾

~MATCH #2~
Dalton Castle (w/ Brandon & Brent) defeats Lio Rush, Michael Elgin, and Moose (w/ Stokely Hathaway) in a Four Corner Survival match at 11:18. Castle is massively over here, which is great because he’s getting a TV Title shot. Also because of that, Fish joins Kelly and Whitmer on commentary. The action here is going to be fast and hard to keep up with. Moose and Elgin have the power game, Rush is a fast high-flyer, and Castle is eccentric and tough as nails. All four of these men can go, and the action is non-stop. Rush is super impressive battling the much larger opponents, but in the end Castle catches him in the Bangarang to get the win. Fun match and Castle going over is right with his TV Title shot coming up.
Rating: ***¼

~MATCH #3~
KUSHIDA defeats Silas Young at 9:25. Young cuts a promo before the match, further turning the crowd against him. KUSHIDA is the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion, but obviously that title is not on the line here. These two are pretty well-matched, though Young is a little bit stronger and KUSHIDA is a little bit more agile. Both men bring it to each other, trading control back and forth. Young thinks he has the match well in hand, but he misses the Pee Gee Waja Plunge. KUSHIDA has an opening to put on the Hoverboard Lock and Young taps out. I like both these guys and they were both in fine form on this night.
Rating: ***¼

~MATCH #4~
The Motor City Machine Guns (Chris Sabin & Alex Shelley) defeat CHAOS (Gedo & Beretta) at 11:06. Rocky Romero joins the commentary team. This one should be fast-paced and fun. Sabin and Shelley control the early going with expert tag team work, so Romero interferes to give his guys the advantage. The Romero interference continues, as Gedo distracts the referee long enough for Romero to be in the ring, but Shelley dispatches him. Both teams get plenty of offense in, but it’s the Guns that are able to hit their finish, the Skull and Bones, on Gedo to get the pin. Fun match and a good momentum builder for the Guns on their way to a title shot at Best in the World.
Rating: ***

~MATCH #5~
Jushin Thunder Liger & The Briscoes (Jay Briscoe & Mark Briscoe) defeat BULLET CLUB (Adam Page & The Guerrillas of Destiny (Tanga Loa & Tama Tonga)) in a Six-Man Tag Team match at 10:35. The Briscoes and Liger control the pace in the early going, and the BULLET CLUB has to cheat to take control of Liger. That goes on for several minutes before Liger can hit a series of Shotei Palm Strikes and then make the hot tag. Mark comes in with Redneck Kung Fu and Jay is soon to follow, as the referee loses control. Liger hits one of the Guerrillas with a Liger Bomb, and Mark follows with the Froggy ‘Bow to get the pin. Nothing extraordinary here, but it was perfectly acceptable and enjoyable tag team wrestling.
Rating: ***

~MATCH #6~
Donovan Dijak (w/ Prince Nana) defeats Cedric Alexander at 9:11. Dijak uses his power advantage, while Alexander tries to quicken the pace and fly around. Momentum swings back and forth between them as the crowd is really behind Alexander. Well, about that … never mind. Alexander is able to hit the Lumbar Check, but Dijak kicks out at two. Dijak literally laughs off three big dropkicks and hits Feast Your Eyes to get the pin. That was a really good clash of styles, and Dijak looks great in taking Alexander’s best stuff and putting him away.
Rating: ***½

~MATCH #7~
War Machine (Hanson & Raymond Rowe) defeat ROH World Tag Team Champions The Addiction (Christopher Daniels & Frankie Kazarian) at 10:39 by disqualification. Daniels and Kazarian have been the Champions since 5.9.16, and this is their first defense. The champions try to attack early but that blows up in their face. War Machine throws Daniels and Kaz around for a while, but the wily veteran champs persevere and take over on Hanson. When Rowe gets the tag in, he dominates both members of the Addiction with ease. The referee loses control and eventually gets accidentally bumped by Hanson. The referee actually recovers, which is total bologna, and he sees War Machine hit Kazarian with Fallout. Daniels breaks that up with one of the title belts and that’s enough for the disqualification. Mediocre, non-descript match with a weak finish. I thought these styles would mesh a little better, but this never really went anywhere.
Rating: **½

~MATCH #8~
Hiroshi Tanahashi defeats Matt Sydal at 11:19. Sydal is one half of the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champions along with Ricochet. Tanahashi takes control early on but Sydal is resilient and fights back. Sydal tries to work a fast pace and us e a lot of high flying moves, while Tanahashi is reliant on his size and power advantage. Tanahashi misses the High Fly Flow and Sydal goes up for the Shooting Star Press and hits nothing but knees. They botch a Tanahashi Sling Blade, and then repeat the spot. One High Fly Flow later and NJPW gets another win over ROH. Solid, enjoyable stuff here but I feel like there was a higher gear they just didn’t kick it into.
Rating: ***½

~MATCH #9~
Tetsuya Naito defeats ACH at 13:08. Naito is the current IWGP Heavyweight Champion, but this is a non-title match. ACH gets flustered early on with Naito’s dickish antics. He regroups on the floor and comes back in ready to fight. They trade control back and forth, with both men getting in a ton of offense and looking like a possible winner here. That’s pretty amazing given that Naito is the IWGP Champion. The crowd comes along for the ride on this one, loving Naito but also getting behind ACH when the upset looks like a possibility. Unfortunately, the clock strikes midnight and Naito flattens ACH with a spinebuster. One Destino later and Naito gets the pin. This was a terrific match, and one that actually made the ROH star look good in losing to the NJPW star. Naito made ACH look like a threat, and the reversals and counters were well executed all around.
Rating: ****

~MATCH #10~
Jay Lethal (w/ Taeler Hendrix) & Roderick Strong defeat BULLET CLUB (Adam Cole & Matt Jackson, w/ Nick Jackson) and CHAOS (Kazuchika Okada & Tomohiro Ishii) in a Three-Way Tag Team match at 16:10. Lethal is the current ROH World Champion. I imagine this will be action packed. The crowd is pretty geeked to see Lethal and Okada go at it, so Cole makes sure it doesn’t happen in the early going. After an initial feeling out process between the three teams, things get crazy fast. We finally get the Lethal/Okada showdown and they go back and forth with counters and reversals. Strong comes in to help his partner as the pace continues to be rapid. The final stretch of action is insane, with all six men going for big bombs to try and pick up the win. Strong is the one able to do it, after destroying Ishii’s face with three devastating knee strikes to get the pin. This was a fitting main event for the War of the Worlds Tour, putting some of the top names in the ring together and just letting them go nuts. Strong got his revenge on Ishii for taking the TV Title from him, which both protects the top guys and makes sense, so good on them.
Rating: ****

A2Z Analysiz
This is a long one (just over three hours) but it finishes strong and that’s always a good thing. It’s also a very solid and consistent show, with only two of the 10 matches going below three stars, which makes it a breeze to get through. The sheer amount of talent on this show is astounding, and they definitely made the most of it.

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