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Ring of Honor “War Of The Worlds” Preview

StylesOkadaElginRing of Honor after a successful trip north of the border for Global Wars hits New York City tonight for “War of the Worlds” as Ring of Honor goes head to head with New Japan Pro Wrestling. It promises to be another spectacular show from top to bottom. We enter the show with one big question that has yet to be answered. Who will face “Rainmaker” Kazuchida Okada the former IWGP Heavyweight Champion. He was scheduled to face Cedric Alexander who was a winner over Roderick Strong in Toronto but was victim of an attack from “The Decade” and was removed from the card Wednesday.

There will be a great deal of speculation if Okada is added to the IWGP Title Match scheduled between the current champion and the man the defeated Okada for the belt A.J Styles and the scheduled opponent Michael Elgin. The three did have stare down at “Global Wars” but it was still said to be a one on one match. Now we are left to speculate on if this will now become a three-way match. Elgin at Final Battle saw his shot at the ROH title suffer the same fate when Jay Briscoe was added to his title shot at “Final Battle” in which Adam Cole retained his ROH Title.

Speaking of Cole after a successful title defence in enemy territory against Kevin Steen he now moves on to defend his title against Jushin Liger. This is not the first time Liger has been part of ROH he debuted in the promotion facing a guy that we now know as Daniel Bryan who back in his time in ROH was of course Bryan Danielson. If you’re looking for a treat ROH released this match for folks to watch for free and it is worth the 20 minutes to check out. Cole has been on an incredible roll and this is an interesting test against a man that debuted in 1989 the same year the ROH Champion was born.

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Red Dragon will get their re-match with Young Bucks for the ROH Tag Team Titles. It was announced earlier in the week that UFC fighter “Filthy Tom Lawlor will be in their corner. Lawlor talked with our own Brian Fritz and is very excited to be a part of the match. If you missed it go back and have a listen as Tom Lawlor is a very entertaining guy and a very big wrestling fan. I am not sure if the Young Bucks can take out a UFC fighter with a “Super Kick” or even want to try. Clearly Lawlor is crashing the Bucks “Super Kick Party” in New York City. The Bucks are members of New Japan faction “Bullet Club” that is well represented on this card.

Speaking of the “Bullet Club” they will have Doc Gallows who WWE fans may remember as Luke Gallows and his partner Karl “Machine Gun” Anderson on hand defending their IWGP Tag-Team Championships against the Briscoe Brothers. This promises to be a complete brawl from bell to bell. I don’t like the Briscoe’s chances but they are sure to get their licks in during this match. If they win could you imagine the Briscoe’s in Japan? I have a hard time imagining it but I would love to see the videos of this.

Jay Lethal fresh off his title defence at “Global Wars” will be defending his ROH Television Title against New Japan Star Kushida. This should be a great match just knowing the skill set of a Jay Lethal. I had heard that Lethal was like many of the Ring of Honor talent very excited to mix it up with some of their Japanese counterparts. Lethal sometimes gets over looked on a Ring of Honor roster that is packed with talent. Perhaps that was the motivation by turning him heel and pairing him with Truth Martini.

Kevin Steen loves New York City and it is usually a mutual experience as he calls this place the “HammerSteen Ballroom” and is the home for “Final Battle” in which Steen was victorious over Michael Bennett ending a long feud with him. Shinsuke Nakamura will provide the opposition for Steen and he may have no idea what he is in for. Steen is not exactly in a happy mood after giving all he had and coming up short against Adam Cole. It should be a fantastic match and be a real treat for fans.

Michael Bennett has been very vocal about his match with Hiroshi Tanahashi. He is a wrestler that in the eyes of many experts and fans considered the best wrestler in the world today. Ring of Honor fans seemed less than thrilled that Bennett was booked in this match. Bennett was less than trilled with that reaction and has made that know on his podcast with Maria Kanellis his manger and soon to be wife. Mike and Maria in Wonderland has been Bennett’s place to vent his frustration. He is very excited to have this match though and who can blame him it is a great opportunity that he points out the people that matter have given him. I have never truly understood why so many Ring of Honor fans do not like Bennett. I think he is a very talented wrestler and can hold his own with anyone. Yes I like Mike so deal with it I guess. Safe to say, that Mike Bennett is very motivated man to have a great match. Perhaps just for himself, or maybe to stick it to all his detractors regardless he is fired up.  In any case it should make for a very good match with a motivated Bennett and very talented Tanahashi.

To round out the card Roderick Strong and B.J Whitmer of “The Decade” team up to face New Japan veterans Gedo and Jado. In addition a six-man tag sees Ring of Honor’s Matt Taven, ACH and Tomassio Ciampa team up to face “Forever Hooligans” and Takaaki Watanabe

The show will be available on I-PPV on U-Stream for $14.95 and based on all the feedback after “Global Wars” there were no issues with the streaming of the show of any consequence. Can only imagine the stakes will be even higher for both promotions going head to head. These shows have been a call back for older fans to the famous “When Worlds Collide” event when Mexican promotion “AAA” worked with WCW to put on that event in November of 1994. WCW also had run a co-promoted event with New Japan Pro Wrestling back in spring of 1991.

It remains to be seen how history will view these shows. If things are equal or better than what took place in Toronto you can only consider this partnership with Ring of Honor and New Japan Pro Wrestling a huge success. Both groups were reportedly very happy with how things went in Toronto.

In the end the biggest winner when shows like this happen are the fans of pro wrestling.

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About James Borbath

James has covered the NBA and Toronto Raptors for 6 years for various publications as well as his own website. A native of Hamilton, Ontario where he attended the first ever Royal Rumble, James is a life long wrestling fan and has decided to trade to slams of a different kind in pro wrestling. He hopes his transition will be more successful than Dennis Rodman or Karl Malone. Among his talents is a better than average Randy Savage impression. Follow him on Twitter @condoonthemoon

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