Hot Takes on ROH: Global Wars 2016


Welcome to the latest Hot Takes on ROH (it rhymes). This may be coming a bit after Global Wars, but with the new TV firing up, I figured it was time to make sure these were published. As with most ROH PPVs, I grabbed this on their site for the ringside membership discount (25%) vs. buying a full priced PPV on TV. Price is a point that often gets people’s hackles up, as there is plenty of other wrestling to consume online for considerably cheaper. But with PPV company cuts and overall costs (figures that no one outside of Sinclair truly knows), there has to be some kind of upside for them to keep running them. And they have now for, what will shortly be, two plus years.

  • Opening video with Lethal and Cabana is great, a testament to the ROH production crew. This includes a couple backstage promos that didn’t appear on TV (more than likely their YouTube page) that looked real good.
  • Crowd is hot for Roddy, ACH, but neither is close to the Dalton Castle reaction. Wow. Page’s reaction was non-existent so since he’s done with Whitmer, time to go back heel again.
  • These four-ways can sometimes feel mailed in (I’m using a short sample of post-PPV TV taping ones) but this one is hard-hitting and fantastic. Castle at one point catches Roddy Strong off the top rope and overhead suplexes him. Holy shit. Super opener
  • Castle winning is the right call here and we get Roddy on KK’s mic after pissed off.
  • I’ll never not pop for Liger’s entrance video and music. Chicago being a new market for NJPW shows gives his reaction a fresh feel.
  • Liger legit is dumped on his head when they go for Celebrity Rehab. Scary. Great pop for his hot tag though – a legitimate fun little heat sequence on Burger. Basic stuff that got a legitimate reaction.
  • Cheeseburger gets his first win on PPV with a victory roll on Daniels. Nice moment for him. Daniels and Kazarian hit the Best Meltzer Ever (tombstone off a moonsault for those wondering – check out ROH’s Youtube) on Burger though. Daniels as a player/agent role to help be a liaison with Delirious is fine. His in-ring stuff is still as good as ever really.
  • Mark Briscoe – all-time bumping in the tag title match. this match had callbacks (to the slickly produced pre-match video too), stiff as shit. Even if the booking appeared straight forward on paper, you still were invested.
  • Corino is the best at subtle commentary – “OOH!” at hard strikes to put them over more. Or covering for the ref, or the rules. You never see this in the WWE.
  • War Machine chants too! Not too faint either. Briscoes were favorites but it was never heat against War Machine. Overness is always an issue
  • Hansen – king of 2.999999 kickouts. Two AWESOME kickouts. This match didn’t go too heavy on the big kickouts and this helped my enjoyment. I was, seemingly, on an island here – going ****1/2 on first watch (yes crazy stuff happened the following Monday, which you’ll find more on in my TV recaps)
  • I like Naito insinuating Paul Turner needed to open the ring ropes FURTHER for him even though they literally could not go anymore.
  • O’Reilly abandons his normal game plan of working around the arm and instead goes strike for strike with Naito. a LOT of elbows and strikes here. I was surprised a bit how much time O’Reilly was on offense and he even got a decent nearfall off a reversal into a regal plex. this was better than I expected as I had incorrectly discerned from a tweet that this was almost a Naito squash. Nothing of the sort here.
  • Okada and Tanahashi squaring off was a great moment, made better with the  crowd being so behind seeing both guys.
  • I like in a contract-free vacuum you can write a nice year long story of Moose and Okada – them teaming up here to show respect for moose’s 14th anniversary performance is a nice step in that story. I thought Moose could be the guy to beat Ishii and then move to Lethal from there.
  • Thought Okada and Moose worked really well together- nice double teams, good chemistry. Really fun.
  • Fish worked his butt off and it took the crowd a while to get behind this, most likely based on the previous NJPW domination over ROH. No limb work here again – all strikes and trying to wear the big man down. I think on paper they had an epic story of how to do this and while it was good, I wasn’t blown away with how it translated in the ring. Seemed like Fish only went for the choke maybe once before the final stretch? It didn’t connect into the GREAT level for me but was still at ***1/2.
  • The multi-man tag was as fun as expected and I actually liked it more than the Okada/Moose tag. This brings me back to a familiar point I’ve made (at different places) on ROH shows: the card is typically diverse enough where multiple matches could be considered the best of the night depending on what you like most about pro wrestling.
  • Awesome pop for Cabana and a big kudos to (biased) our friend Kevin Kelly as it was very clear the announcers put in the time getting to know Colt’s repertoire.
  • Lethal plays this match great. He’s slightly shook by the reaction to Cabana (kayfabe), so he goes overboard to compensate. He overshoots the big dive to the outside, landing on the guardrail and into the crowd. This actually helps tell a slightly slower ROH main event style story here. His ribs are hurting so as this isn’t go-go-go with Cabana, there’s a reason why.
  • Cabana, with his experience, earned the spot to finally not fall for Hendrix’s interference and we get the payoff I talked about here.
  • At first I was pretty aghast at Cabana rolling up Lethal at Supercard of Honor Night 2, but I retconned some reasons why it worked: Lethal had already wrestled, he wasn’t prepared, AND most of all, he wanted to finish Cabana early with the Lethal Injection, which is why he was stunned by the roll-up reversal (as shitty as it looked with hardly any leverage).
  • That last point plays into this one: this match was way better than I expected. Up to the finish I was in the ***1/2 range.
  • Let’s talk about this controversial PPV “finish”. I don’t buy a story that the finish was changed 12 times the day of the show. That sounds like a HHH story from 2004. It’s been made clear that Matt Jackson booked the layout of the interference (more on this) so that was always happening. Perhaps Lethal was supposed to pin Cabana first?
  • Now, paying full price for a No Contest finish is not ideal. It can be explained storyline-wise, but it never sits well, be it WWE or whomever. That said, the show here overall more than made up for this in my mind.
  • The crowd popped huge for Cole and, while its been reported this was a NJPW push so he can work tours there, this works for his ROH character coming off losses at their last PPV and the Kyle O’Reilly feud. Plus they needed another hand for BC USA with Kenny Omega still barred from state shows.
  • There are two iconic shots here. Yes, it may seem early to use that term! The production was great on the Adam Cole reveal. I could have done without Corino somewhat loudly going right into “we apologize for the technical difficulties”, but that shot of Cole, hair slicked back and chewing gum, starring down by Lethal and Cabana as the newest Bullet Club member was legit good. And after the chaos, the camera being on the mat in the corner, led to another great shot (see the main picture on this page!).

Final thoughts: I felt I got my $26.99 (or so) worth and ROH certainly didn’t come off as inferior to NJPW here, a sentiment heavily pushed after a lopsided 14th Anniversary show. Where do we go from here though? Best in the World is up soon and we aren’t getting a Cole/Lethal match, despite what happened here. More on this in the TV recaps to come.