Ring of Honor
Ted Reeve Arena (Toronto, Ontario, Canada)
Liger was way over here and for whatever reason that has become a point of discussion. Did I miss something? Who didn’t think Liger would be over or that he would be the most over New Japan wrestler on the show?
I could rattle off a dozen reasons for that, some of which are: his prior WCW exposure to North American audiences, the fact he has wrestled in ROH before, that he is a hero to an entire generation of hardcore fans that tape-traded during the 1990’s, or that he is almost inarguably the most influential junior heavyweight wrestler of all time. I can even buy (to a certain extent) Meltzer’s argument that to see Liger during his heyday in Japan, North American fans had to spend significant time and money whereas Tanahashi’s work is readily available for free with little work required. The theory is that guys people had to pay to see will be perceived as bigger stars than those wrestlers fans can see for free (or at least without as much work). Bottom line being you can pick your reason why Liger was the most over of the bunch but it doesn’t necessarily surprise me.
I enjoyed the match for what it was. I’ve seen NJPW fans down on the match as well as ROH-first fans, neither of which I really understand. NJPW fans should have been more than aware that these four would work a low-impact tag since is a relatively meaningless match for them. It happens on every non-PPV NJPW show. ROH fans – I would have thought – would have been impressed with the solidness of the match compared to what ROH regularly produces. That was my main takeaway from this match and this show. Opinions on current NJPW vary but I think it is inarguable that guys like Nakamura, Tanahashi and Liger can sleep walk through a basic, solid tag like this one. That might not mean much to some, but it sticks out in the ROH environment where solidly-worked matches are far more rare.
Jado is generally useless and wasn’t anything different in this one. Everyone else did just about what I expected which was get in their spots without anything really standout. Liger & Tanahashi win with Tanahashi beating Jado, since Jado’s New York match ( a tag with Gedo versus BJ Whitmer & Roderick Strong) has the lowest profile of any of the guys in this match.
Japan Tag | Common | Quality