Once again, I find myself extremely excited for Ring of Honor's latest pay-per-view, War of the Worlds 2017, which of course will feature talent from New Japan Pro Wrestling this Friday night, May 12. Some of ROH's pay-per-views have been better than others from the ones I've seen in the last three years, but I can't remember a single one that was anything less than good. In fact, their last outing on pay-per-view, March's 15th Anniversary Show, was absolutely exceptional and one of my favorite all-around events in recent memory.
Personally, I've never been the biggest fan of ROH's relationship with NJPW. Yes, the matches are always fun, but they don't serve much of a purpose in the long-term, and they're just that: matches. ROH is often criticized for its lack of storytelling, but they do a damn good job of that with their own talent. This event will have a handful of matches that just seem random, but I'm sure it will be entertaining, nevertheless.
The last few installments of War of the Worlds have been a blast, so I'm looking forward to what should be a newsworthy night. Now, let's start making predictions for every match on the card!
Kushida vs. Dalton Castle vs. Silas Young vs. Bobby Fish (Four Corner Survival Match)
This is your typical "get everyone on the card match" for the evening. ROH tends to have one of these on each of its events, but at least the Six-Man Mayhem match at the 15th Anniversary Show had a future shot at the ROH World Television Championship on the line. This is virtually a meaningless match, but I'm a fan of all four wrestlers, so I have no doubt they'll put together a fun little contest.
It really doesn't matter who wins, but I'd like to see Castle score the victory. I know, he gets that one-off win every now and again and can never get the job done when it matters most, but ROH should be doing so much more with him. Kushida would be my second choice, because I don't think Fish will be with ROH for much longer, and if so, he isn't under any sort of deal at this point I believe. ROH never does a hell of a lot with Young, either, so I'll say Castle comes out on top.
Prediction: Dalton Castle wins.
Jay White vs. Will Ospreay
I don't pay too much attention to ROH's live events, only what airs on television, so I have no clue what led to this match being set up. Don't get me wrong, they'll likely go out there and attempt to steal the show, but without any storyline significance, it's difficult to care about who wins (similar to the previous match). What I do know is that both these guys are amazing athletes, and I'm honestly shocked ROH isn't making the most out of Ospreay while they have him.
I guess the same can be said for White, who I believe is temporarily on loan from NJPW. He had a nice feud with Jay Briscoe that should have elevated him, and while he had strong showings in each of their encounters, White doesn't feel any more special coming out of it. Nonetheless, Ospreay is the bigger star between the two, so I expect him to take home the victory.
Prediction: Will Ospreay wins.
Los Ingobernables de Japon vs. Search and Destroy vs. War Machine
So apparently, Chris Sabin and Jonathon Gresham are a part of a stable with Alex Shelley, Jay White and Lio Rush (isn't he leaving/has left ROH?) called Search and Destroy. Again, from watching the weekly television show, you would never know that. I just discovered that myself while looking at the lineup for War of the Worlds. I remembered that they had some sort of an alliance, but not a full-on faction.
Regardless, the card I looked at didn't have the IWGP Tag Team Championship on the line, which are currently held by War Machine. If they are up for grabs, War Machine will retain, but if not, Los Ingobernables de Japon are my pick. They're a pretty hot stable at the moment over in Japan from what I understand, and (spoiler alert) they won't be winning the ROH World Tag Team Championship later on in the evening, so they'll even it out with a win here.
Prediction: Los Ingobernables de Japon win.
Bully Ray and The Briscoes vs. Chaos (ROH World Six-Man Tag Team Championship)
This is where we get to the part of the card that actually matters. I never truly saw the point of having an ROH World Six-Man Tag Team Championship, and I still don't, but Bully Ray and The Briscoes are a tremendous trio and are doing all they can with them. It was a shame TK O'Ryan got hurt and The Kingdom had to drop the straps, but Triple B has been doing well with them in the last two months.
That said, it is far too early for them to be losing those titles, so I can't see a scenario where Chaos captures the gold here. However, I do anticipate this being an enjoyable match considering the players involved. Roppongi Vice kill it every time they're in action at a ROH pay-per-view, and this match should be no exception. Just don't put your money on them walking away with the belts.
Prediction: Bully Ray and The Briscoes retain the ROH World Six-Man Tag Team Championship.
Frankie Kazarian vs. Hangman Page
This is one of the few matches on the card that actually has a bit of background behind it. Mere days before ROH's 15th Anniversary Show, Frankie Kazarian seemingly turned on his best friend Christopher Daniels and joined The Bullet Club. At the event, Kazarian and Hangman Page were both a part of the Six-Man Mayhem match and Page helped Kazarian win the TV title shot.
Later that night, Kazarian joining Bullet Club turned out to be a ruse, so Kazarian and Page have been at odds ever since. That's a solid story right there and provides this pay-per-view with a good undercard match. As big of a fan as I am of Kazarian, he is at the stage of his career where he should be putting other people over, and Page has plenty of potential to be a bigger star down the road, so Page is the more logical choice to win this match.
Prediction: Hangman Page wins.
The Young Bucks vs. Los Ingobernables de Japon (ROH World Tag Team Championship)
The Young Bucks recently defended their newly-won ROH World Tag Team Championship against Kenny Doane and Mike Mondo on ROH TV, so they didn't have a feud in place coming into this event. That's why I'm not incredibly invested in this championship clash from a storyline standpoint. But if any tandem from NJPW is going to challenge them for the twin titles, it might as well be two members from Los Ingobernables de Japon.
I'm not positive as to whether these tandems have done battle before over in Japan, but they are capable of contesting a classic matchup either way. As for the result, Young Bucks retaining their titles is basically a guarantee. They just won the belts back from The Hardy Boyz over WrestleMania weekend and I imagine they will be in possession of those straps for months to come.
Prediction: The Young Bucks retain the ROH World Tag Team Championship.
Adam Cole vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi
Oh look, another match that hasn't been built up whatsoever in the weeks preceding the pay-per-view. That definitely irks me, but a lot like the aforementioned mathups, Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Adam Cole has the potential to be a barn-burner of a bout. As noted, I don't watch NJPW whatsoever, but I'm well-aware Tanahashi is one of the best wrestlers in the world today, and quite honestly Cole is right up there with him.
Speaking of Cole, what's interesting about this match is that it might be Cole's final televised appearance with ROH. His contract expired earlier this year, and unless he re-signs (which there is a decent chance of), he is free to work wherever after War of the Worlds (cough NXT cough). At any rate, Cole is bound to do the honors for Tanahashi on his way out (similar to how he surprisingly lost to Matt Taven a few weeks back).
Prediction: Hiroshi Tanahashi wins.
Marty Scurll vs. Matt Sydal (ROH World Television Championship)
Next to the main event, I more excited for this match more than anything else on the card for War of the Worlds. In so many words, I freakin' love Marty Scurll. The dude is a star and is brilliantly cast as the ROH World Television Champion. I've said before I would have him hold that title forever and I stand by that because he has brought that belt to heights it hasn't reached since at least when Jay Lethal last had it in 2015.
On the flip side (pun intended), you have Matt Sydal, another phenomenal performer who is fresh off returning to the company. It's worth mentioning that he is also working dates for Impact Wrestling for the moment, so it would definitely be weird for him to hold the gold while competing over there as well. In my mind, Sydal is just another opponent Scurll will defeat en route to becoming the best ROH World Television Champion of all-time.
Prediction: Marty Scurll retains the ROH World Television Championship.
Christopher Daniels vs. Cody vs. Jay Lethal (ROH World Championship)
The story for this match is sensational. First off, you have Christopher Daniels, who finally captured the ROH World Championship after so many years in an extremely emotional moment at ROH's 15th Anniversary Show in March. Then, there's Jay Lethal and his quest for the gold that has been going on since he initially lost it to Adam Cole last August. He's had a few bumps in the road, such as Cody, but he vanquished that demon at Super Card of Honor last month.
Finally, Cody has been taking ROH by storm since his arrival late last year, and despite a recent loss to Lethal, he has had his sights set on the ROH World Championship and plans on being the one outsider to take it from Daniels. What I love most about this bout is that any of the three can realistically win, and while Cody capturing the championship should be the endgame, I think Daniels' reign will last a little longer with a win at War of the Worlds.
Prediction: Christopher Daniels retains the ROH World Championship.