Saturday, June 20, 2015

ROH Best in the World Review

This was my first time watching a Ring of Honor Pay-Per-View live in a really long time. We opened with Mark Briscoe, with ODB at ringside against Donovan Dijak, with Truth Martini. I haven't seen much of Dijak but commentary continually discussed how much of a prospect he is. Mark Briscoe is a ton of fun with his wacky persona and worked well in his lower card position. I wasn't that impressed with Dijak here but this was a fun match. Mark won in a decent contest. Worth checking out only because Mark is an absolute blast. Also, at one point ODB ripped Truth Martini's book and grabbed her boobs, causing Steve Corino to say "SHE TOUCHED HER MAMMARIES". Funny stuff. **1/4

The next match was a tag bout pitting Matt Sydal and ACH against the Decade of Adam Page and BJ Whitmer. Page plays the heel that wants no part of one of his opponents, as he avoids ACH throughout. Both ACH and Sydal were given mildly hot tags. Colby Corino got involved to save the match for the Decade. Again, it's cool to hear Steve Corino's take on this. Page wins this for his guys with the right of passage. Another decent but unspectacular bout here. ACH and Sydal are a really enjoyable tag team. **

Nakamura, Okada and KUSHIDA will be coming back to ROH later in the year. Next up was Dalton Castle vs. Silas Young. I realize the gif I used of Castle isn't from the show but I'm limited on images. I thought this was an interesting contest. Castle is delightful and Young's "last real man" gimmick is like, perfect foil for him. Castle busted out a dead lift German and was impressive throughout. Young disappointed me as he was sloppy. Castle won this following a low blow. I probably scored this high which was totally due to Castle being fun as hell. After the match, Young laid out one of Castle's boys with a TKO. I think the match went a bit too long and there was too much sloppiness from Young but overall, I liked this purely due to Castle. **3/4

Another tag team match followed featuring C&C Wrestle Factory taking on War Machine. Cedric Alexander just defeated Moose and showed off a mean streak here. However, this was all about War Machine as they won in less than four minutes. Alexander didn't even try to save Caprice Coleman and just let him get pinned. After the match, Alexander seemed like he would attack Coleman but decided against it and just told him that they were done as a team. This felt more like it was a TV match than a Pay-Per-View match. *

So far, the undercard has been underwhelming. This is where the show picked up big time. Roderick Strong, Moose and Michael Elgin went at it with the number one contendership for the ROH World Heavyweight Title on the line. Moose continues to impress me and Elgin was there, but the star of this match was Roderick Strong as you'd expect. This dude has been on a tear in recent months and is one of the best things going on the indies. He won a thirteen minute match and should make for a very good challenge against whoever the champion is at the end of this show. Post match, Veda Scott got mad at Moose, leading to Cedric Alexander showing up and laying him out. Veda left with Cedric. Not a great match but a good one that was the best on the show so far. ***1/2

A six man tag match followed as the Bullet Club took on the Kingdom, with Maria. Here is your match of the night to this point. It was fast paced, the action never stopped and was so much fun. This match happened at War of the Worlds a while back and was good there too. They played off that match and once again, Maria Kanellis got involved. She took two superkicks and the Pele at the same time, effectively eliminating her from ringside. We saw a triple Indy Taker and just too many spots to fully write down. After an Indy Taker, Adam Cole ate a Styles Clash to end this. The Kingdom seemed to tease a possible breakup from Cole as Matt Taven and Mike Bennett didn't seem pleased with him. A really fun six man tag that was a big shot in the arm to this broadcast. ****

The first of our final two matches was a No Disqualifications match for the ROH World Tag Team Championship. The Addiction defended against former champions reDRagon. These two teams always work well together and this was yet another example of that. The no DQ stipulation worked here as Chris Sabin got involved to save his boys. They brought in a ladder, which leads me to believe they are teasing an eventual Ladder War to finish off this rivalry. The Addiction retained with Celebrity Rehab. The crowd took a bit to get into this as they were worn out from the previous match. I would have switched up the order of the show a bit. ***3/4

The main event is billed as the biggest match in the history of ROH and I admit it's up there. Jay Lethal stalled early, which I expected since he's a heel in what should be a long match. Both guys' parents are shown in the crowd, giving this a big fight feel. The House of Truth was ejected and I appreciated the slow build this match had. They went from a methodical pace and built to the bigger spots and moments. We saw a bunch of reversals and near falls. Hell, Lethal even took a Jay Driller through a table at ringside. He hit Briscoe with a Jay Driller of his own, followed by the Lethal Injection and finally scored the win. ****1/4. I really liked this match and seeing the emotion on Lethal after he won and Jay Briscoe shook his hand was a great moment.

Overall, while the first hour and undercard of this show underwhelmed me, everything from the Number One Contender's Triple Threat on was great. That made this an enjoyable show, but not a classic. I look forward to Lethal/Strong as well on the next PPV. Good show tonight. 7.5/10