Jim Ross in Toronto
JR did the initial portion of the show on his own after being introduced by John Pollock. He did a lot of comedy, making some Rob Ford jokes initially and then telling stories about his days in wrestling. He talked about going to Calgary in 1996 to film a vignette for the Iron Man match and going down to the dungeon with Stu and Bret. He talked about Stu stretching both himself and Bret as well as Bret being filmed exercising. He mentioned that Bret had the indoor pool but said that he couldn't really swim, so they had a lot of shots of Bret jumping into and getting out of the pool and through the magic of editing it looked good.
He told stories about travelling with Jim Cornette and Cornette being afraid of flying. He talked about travelling with Leroy McGuirk and McGuirk wanting JR to help him kill Ted Dibiase for dating McGuirk's daughter.
The comedy wasn't necessarily what I would have preferred but was enjoyed by many in attendance. The Q&A was much better with a lot of analysis. There were some good questions and some bad (such as someone asking about the Savage-Stephanie rumors and someone asking how everyone was doing backstage after the Chris Benoit incident). Trish was very engaging and you could tell that she and JR were close. JR did a great job of articulating his views about training, psychology and booking and was very eloquent in talking about the "plane ride from hell" saying that a bunch of privileged entertainers decided to act like school children and almost robbed the fans of a whole generation of wrestlers.
The show was definitely worth going to, I think the initial portion might have gone better if it was something like John Pollock interviewing him but that might just be my taste. Pollock did a great job as host and grabbing audience members for questions, despite having microphone issues. Everyone there seemed to have a lot of fun with the show.
ROH Global Wars feedback
Best match: Adam Cole vs Kevin Steen
Worst match: None
There was a dark match with Tadarius Thomas (with Jimmy Jacobs) defeating The Romantic Touch.
The whole show was a lot of fun. Mike Bennett is a really smooth performer right now and had a fun match with ACH and I think his match next week with Tanahashi might end up being the best of this tour.
Elgin's match with Watanabe was fun and I might have liked to see Watanabe get more in but he is a young lion going up against next week's IWGP title challenger so it makes sense.
The Briscoes were the best I have seen them in a long time and Mark has done quite well in now getting past that awkward in-between stage of growing his hair out. They were really over as they always are in Toronto and the three-way tag was fun.
I enjoyed Cedric Alexander vs Roderick Strong. It was a little slower-paced at first and didn't have as much of a grudge match feel but it got to be a good match.Alexander really should be in a main event position by next year at the latest and it is great to have him positioned with Strong.
The three-way tag match with The Young Bucks vs Forever Hooligans vs The Time-Splitters really blew the crowd up. It really had its best peak when Shelley and Kushida seemed to have won the titles and a title change would have been cool here. But it also probably wasn't realistic with them being NJPW belts and thankfully it provided a great moment and then the Bucks did have a solid win afterwards.
I like RD Evans and am amused by his gimmick. It felt a little out of place here but was good comic relief and was quick.
Tanahashi and Liger vs Nakamura and Jado was really fun. Liger was really over with the crowd and Nakamura was very entertaining.Tanahashi was quite over as well and while I feel next week's match will be much more of a showcase for him, this was more than worth seeing live.
The four-way TV title match was a fun spot-fest with some brawling on the floor that provided a change of pace. Taven did some great dives. I feel the title would be best on Young at this point but otherwise this was fun.
Styles really came off well to me as did Anderson and Okada and Gedo were a pleasure to see live. Okada seemed to get some of the better reactions of the night.
The main event was really fun and Steen looks great at this point, he has to have lost at least forty pounds. He and Cole really went at it and Cole still comes off to me as their best champion in quite a while. Steen saying "All I have to say is Thank You" after the match made it feel like his swan song and I hope he has some great prospects in front of him.
This was a great night of wrestling and I am looking forward to watching next week's NYC show and to ROH's return to the Mattamy Athletic Center (Maple Leaf Gardens) on September 6. That should be good as it is basically part of Ryerson University and I think that would be frosh week.
Name withheld by request
Hey Dave and Bryan,
Just got in from the Global Wars show and thought I'd send you some live feedback.
Show was incredible to watch live, crowd seemed hot for a lot of the New Japan guys and, of course, the Canadian wrestlers.
My favourite match of the show was the three-way for the IWGP Jr. tag titles. Lots of crazy moves and really great to see live. Shelly is a beast of a worker and the crowd went nuts to see these three teams go wild at the end.
Seeing Hiroshi Tanahashi live was a dream come true. The match was great, Liger was great, and the High Fly Flow was awesome live.
The main event was incredible. Kudos to Cole for taking so many of those apron powerbombs in a row, they look absolutely brutal. It is worth noting that a lot of the wrestlers were watching the main event in the corner of the arena. I went into the main event thinking it would be flat after seeing greats like Tanahashi, Nakamura, Okada, and AJ, but Steen and Cole worked their asses off.
I give the show a big thumbs up and hope they do another one of these next year in Toronto.
Biggest Pop would have to go to any of the Canadian wrestlers but aside from them, Liger, Okada and AJ all got pretty huge reactions.
Thanks and keep up the solid work!
Joe Del Busso
Best Match: (I missed the main event) IWGP Jr. Tag Title Match
Worst Match: Jay Lethal (c) w/ Truth Martini vs. Tommaso Ciampa vs. Matt Taven vs. “Last Real Man” Silas Young
I was live at the show and thought it was a decent card. Being a New Japan fan I went solely for Tanahashi, Okada, and Nakamura, and thought all their matches were good but not great by any means. Of all the NJPW guys, Liger got the biggest reaction by far and I was shocked by how little of a reaction Tanahashi got. I heard no Tanahashi chants but there were loud Okada chants later in the show. Tanahashi did elicit some cheers but he did not come across like a big star . I bailed before the main event since I don't care at all about ROH.
I'm writing to send in a report about tonight's Ring of Honor show in Toronto, however I'm not going to talk about any of the matches. I was shocked and disappointed at a number of aspects of the actual experience of attending the show.
When I eventually found my seat (they weren't very clearly marked, I had to ask three separate members of the crew were my seats were and only the third guy had any idea) it wasn't actually there. They had to go find me a folding chair. When I did sit down I was looking straight up at the lights - ROH's insistence on only lighting the ring means if you're at a certain angle you literally can't see what's going on properly. I paid $40 + tax for 2nd row seats and this was my view:
The arena was built to host hockey games and the so there were floor seats (where the ice would be) and the actual stands - but these were all behind glass. There was only one entrance/exit from the floor to the stands (and thus, the rest of the building including the exits). It was narrow and had a big, unmarked step behind it, which I nearly fell over the first time because unless you knew the building you didn't know it was there. This meant a massive bottleneck if you wanted to go up and, say, use the toilet (or leave the building entirely). I ended up moving up into the stands after Tanahashi & Liger vs Nakamura & Jado both because I could not enjoy the match properly at that angle and more importantly because I felt completely unsafe. If there was a fire literally everyone on the floor had one maybe 2ft wide space with ample opportunity to trip over in order to get out. I shudder to think what would have happened if a catastrophe such as that had happened. When I was trying to find my seat a member of staff informed me that he could not help show me because the event was understaffed for the amount of people in attendance.
This is both unacceptable and surely not legal. It completely turned me off Ring of Honor and I won't be attending another one of their events in the near future.
Overall thumbs up show
Best Match: IWGP Jr. Tag match
Worst Match: none to speak of (even the Rd Evans thing was a good segment)
First of all the stream was flawless for me tonight, hopefully that doesn't mean many people didn't see it. I Should preface this feedback with the fact that i don't watch much NJPW but i know the big names like Okada/Tanahashi/Liger (okay like 20 years ago i guess but still). Nothing was "Great" or anything but nothing was below average. The crowd and the announcers at least seemed to know enough about the product to make the show enjoyable (god knows if the wwe did this they would make jokes about the "funny" names and goofy mask of Liger or something) Jr tag match was more my style so i may have been biased. Most of the matches seemed like they got short changed on time but it made it feel different than other ROH shows in that they didn't do too much or go way too long. Booking largely made sense but i question why Tanahashi pinned Jado when Liger's getting the title shot in NYC. World Title match just kind of "ended" and left the show on a flat note. No surprise cameos (i.e. sabin/JR/daniels etc.) but i realistically don't think people were expecting anything like that. Bennett/ACh was a fun opener, Roddy/Cedric dragged but picked up at the end, Briscoes match seemed too short would've enjoyed Briscoes/RedRagon better, Tanahashi and Liger came off like real stars the match was again good but not great (Jado looks and moves like he's just old) Bullet club/okada/gedo was solid but neither team did much and Elgin was a bore on commentary.
Bottom line: I recommend you buy and recommend the replay to friends.
Thumbs In The Middle
Best Match - Young Bucks v. Forever Hooligans v. Time Splitters
Worst Match - The Decade v. reDRagon v. The Briscoes
I was tempted to give this a thumbs down, but this wasn't a chore to watch, and there were a couple of matches I enjoyed, with nothing offensively bad. Still the only match that really delivered what you would want was the NJPW Jr. Tag Titles bout, and even that was just a fun, mindless, spotfest and not a truly great match. The live crowd seemed to be really into Liger which helped that match some, but as a whole the NJPW matches with their big stars were just sort of there. Main event was a solid enough performance by Steen, but I didn't think much of Cole's performance, and the finish was just stupid given how the match had been worked. Again this wasn't a bad show, but I'm not sure there is any match I would recommend people go out of their way to see, and for a "special show" it felt really flat.
by Zach Dominello (@TheKoalaMask)
Fun show overall. Sometimes it felt like they were just building to bigger things at War of the Worlds, but still a fun show anyhow. I guess the point was to get out excited for the next show, and it worked! I definitely can’t wait for War f the Worlds!