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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A raucous, sold-out crowd packed Stage AE Friday night for a rare opportunity to see some of the biggest professional wrestling stars in the world perform in Pittsburgh.
Ring Of Honor and New Japan Pro Wrestling are co-promoting the Global Wars tour across four cities this weekend, bringing a number of NJPW stars to Pittsburgh for the first time.
The main attraction is Bullet Club, a faction rooted in Japan that has grown into a worldwide powerhouse. The Global Wars tour marks the return to the United States for Bullet Club leader and IWGP United States Champion Kenny Omega, widely recognized as one of the best professional wrestler in the world.
In Friday night’s main event, Omega teamed up with Bullet Club members Marty Scurll and ROH World Champion “The American Nightmare” Cody to defeat the trio of Will Ospreay, Toru Yano and YOSHI-HASHI from New Japan’s CHAOS faction. The Global Wars tour marks YOSHI-HASHI’s debut in the United States.
Earlier, another cornerstone of Bullet Club, the Young Bucks were in a three-way match against the ROH World Tag Team Champions the Motor City Machine Guns and The Kingdom’s Vinny Marseglia & TK O’Ryan. The Guns successfully defended their titles.
Bullet Club member Adam Page was in a wild six-man match that saw him dive from the top of a railing behind the first few rows of fans onto his opponents at ringside.
Moments earlier, New Japan star KUSHIDA delivered his own daring dive from the top turnbuckle to the floor. ROH World Television Champion Kenny King won the match.
Bullet Club has made headlines recently for its public clashes with WWE. Last month, Bullet Club members staged a mock “invasion” outside a WWE event. WWE reportedly responded by sending The Young Bucks a cease and desist letter over the “too sweet” hand gesture.
The popularity of Bullet Club was evident before Friday night’s event. Fans stood in long lines for a picture and autograph session with Bullet Club members.
“You can’t put a cease and desist on love”, said Cody while addressing the crowd after Friday night’s main event.
Friday night’s event also saw Pittsburgh native Britt Baker return to Ring Of Honor for a six-woman tag team match.
Another Pittsburgh native, Nick Lendl, served as ring announcer for Friday night’s event. Lendl filled in for ROH’s regular ring announcer Bobby Cruise.
“Without a doubt the biggest thing I’ve done in my career,” said Lendl.
This is the fourth year ROH and NJPW have teamed up for the Global Wars tour. It kicked off Thursday night in Buffalo, New York. Saturday, it’s in Columbus, Ohio before wrapping up Sunday night in Chicago with an event that will broadcast on iPPV.