Thursday, November 24, 2016
Night one of Global Wars was pretty great. Night two stands out as a card with some very interesting matches (Hero/Shibata and the LIDJ tag stick our mostly). Again, this show is NJPW vs. Rev Pro. This is also Rev Pro’s first time running in this great looking venue.
The champions are in pretty great shape. I feel like Vince McMahon would love them. LIDJ went straight for heel tactics with BUSHI getting a cheap shot on Garrett. BUSHI ran into trouble since he’s the smallest guy in the match. LIDJ continued to cheat when EVIL wrapped a chair on Redman, which led to them working the heat on him. They cut off the hot tag several times before Garrett got it. His run was pretty great as he showed off his athleticism with a moonsault and tope con hilo. When it looked like LIDJ was on the verge of a loss, BUSHI hit a low blow and spit the mist, resulting in the DQ. A result like this can feel like a cop out, but it protected both teams and fit LIDJ’s personalities. The match itself was pretty fun.
Drew Galloway came out to address the fans. He was scheduled for this show but had to miss it due to injury. He put over UK wrestling and how it is hotter than it has ever been right now and how upset he was that he had to miss this show.
I first saw Bodom in his WWE CWC Qualifying match. He and Galloway had some heated words on Drew’s way out. Galloway was scheduled to face Honma here. As expected, Honma missed Kokeshi early. Bodom took over and made sure to taunt and draw heat during all of it. Honma finally connected on Kokeshi on his third attempt and got two on a blockbuster. Honma went up and missed the big top rope Kokeshi which led to his downfall. He did slap on a submission and fire up, but Bodom uses a low blow and buster piledriver to win. These two were a solid pairing since Bodom is a good dick heel and Honma fought from behind, which is what he does so well.
For the first time tonight, the crowd erupts and it’s for Nagata. Nagata had some fun with the fans singing “Seven Nation Army” and with Seven’s mustache. They traded chops and strikes, which Nagata got the better of. Shoutout to commentary for mentioning that Nagata was part of the WCW/NWO Revenge game roster. Seven chopped the ring post when Nagata ducked and Nagata’s reaction was priceless. Nagata nailed a big exploder and then won with his trademark armbar. A lot of fun here. Nagata looked to be having the time of his life and when they actually went toe to toe, both guys delivered. I came away very impressed by Seven.
After the match, Dave Mastiff showed up and attacked Seven.
During the BOTSJ, these two met in an underwhelming match. Ospreay’s theme played only to stop and Liger’s theme started back up. He came out dressed in CTU Liger gear (basically Liger’s gear but in black). They played right into that, doing a lot of mirror image spots. Ospreay got to portray more of a heel here since he was playing Dark Liger. Liger continued the comedy stuff, bringing the PWG thumb in the ass spot. Some of the fans didn’t seem to fully get it at first. Liger got two on a Liger Bomb, before Ospreay hit the Oscutter. Instead of winning with that, he brought out the shooting star press, which Liger innovated. A good comedy match with some strong serious points and it added variety to the show. I dug the mirror stuff.
Dunne didn’t wow me against Nagata (he is awesome though), but this is Tomohiro Ishii he’s facing. Ishii always rules. Unlike night one, Ishii enjoyed a size advantage here. Dunne hit Ishii but Ishii hit just a little harder. Dunne busted out a sweet rebound German but Ishii got up instantly like it had no effect on him. Ishii also popped right up from a superplex, which really took Dunne off of his game. Ishii did one back and Dunne wasn’t able to pop up. Dunne managed to survive some of Ishii’s stuff but remained overwhelmed. He even hit his tombstone only for Ishii to kick out at one. Dunne used a low blow so Ishii’s CHAOS stablemate, Will Ospreay, showed up to distract him. Ospreay and Dunne have had issues for a while from what I recall. Ishii came back with a low blow and brainbuster to win. They told a great story of Dunne throwing everything at Ishii but it still not being enough. Dunne looked great in defeat, I just wasn’t a fan of the finish at all.
Man, I came in excited for the two final matches. The negative response continued for Sabre. LIDJ did their usual mind games when Naito started the match only to tag out instead of competing. Scurll answered back with the same thing because, villain. SANADA got worked over with quick tags and arm work until Naito tripped up Sabre and the tide turned. LIDJ took over after some brawling outside. Sabre got beat up for a bit and made the tag to Scurll. Scurll actually ran a babyface fire style hot tag. This was the most face I think I’ve ever seen him work. Naito was way cocky and taunted Scurll, so Scurll grabbed his hand. Naito laughed at it, obviously unaware of Scurll’s tendency to snap fingers, which is exactly what happened. The LDRS hit a brainbuster/penalty kick combo that nearly won it but Naito kicked out. The LDRS also did a great stereo submissions spot with an armbar and chicken wing but that wasn’t enough either. It came down to Naito and Sabre, who had a great back and forth. Sabre desperately didn’t want to lose again but fell to Destino. This ruled. I really like all four guys and they meshed so well together. Different personalities and styles, yet it all came together harmoniously. One of my favorite tag matches all year long.
Post-match, Naito attacked referee Chris Roberts before leaving. Marty Scurll got on the microphone and stated that it is traditional for a wrestler to wear blue when he leaves a territory and he’s wearing blue tonight. He mentioned that Sabre is taking more US dates next year and his own signing of an exclusive deal with ROH. It was an emotional promo and the two men embraced. However, Scurll kicked Sabre low and laughed, ensuring that he’s always the villain. Honestly though, I would have liked it to be the other way around. Sabre hasn’t been getting cheered anyway so why not have him mess up a nice moment and run with it?
If I could see Chris Hero wrestle two guys from NJPW it would be Tomohiro Ishii and Katsuyori Shibata. Thank you Rev Pro. Hero got introduced as having held titles everywhere except for the UK. Like Hero vs. Ishii, I just wanted to see these two go to war and they delivered. They worked the mat early but quickly went to striking. Hero tried to bully Shibata but learned that was a mistake when Shibata slapped the taste out of his mouth. Hero’s reaction to the slap was perfect. Shibata shrugged off some of Hero’s most vicious strikes and even demanded more. Hero used Shibata’s momentum against him at one point, causing Shibata to run into a knee. He followed with a piledriver for two and Shibata turned the kick out into a sleeper hold. Hero struggled and had to survive a German before breaking free, hitting an elbow and another piledriver. Shibata kicked out and got the sleeper back on, wearing Hero down enough to win with the penalty kick. I loved this. They wrestled Shibata’s style and it worked so well. I winced at the strikes several times, which is just what I wanted. It felt like a battle between two of the best out there and had a special aura from the crowd.
After the match, Hero bowed to Shibata and the two men shook hands.
Overall: Another great Global Wars show. While it started slower than night and featured more low blows than any other show I can recall, nothing on the card was bad. Everything was fun and you got a variety of things. Comedy, stiff strikes, mat wrestling, great tag work, dream combinations and an awesome main event. The final two matches delivered in spades and are must see.