By Jason Powell
Ring of Honor Best in the World
Aired live on pay-per-view
Lowell, Massachusetts at the Lowell Memorial Auditorium
The event opened with a video package that focussed on Christopher Daniels, the Young Bucks, and others talking about being the best in the world. Cody was featured and spoke about this being about the reputation of being the best and how an outsider could bring a company to its knees within six months…
The broadcast team of Ian Riccaboni and BJ Whitmer checked in and hyped four title matches…
Powell’s POV: Colt Cabana is advertised for the House of Hardcore tour in Australia, so that explains why Whitmer is filling in for him on commentary.
The Kingdom was shown on the stage. Matt Taven was sitting on a throne wearing a crown. TK O’Ryan was in a wheel chair wearing an odd viking style helmet. Vinny Marseglia was on a dolly and wore a goalie’s mask that read “insanity”…
1. Matt Taven and Vinny Marseglia (w/TK O’Ryan) vs. Ultimo Guerrero and El Terrible. Riccaboni noted that Guerrero and Terrible are both former CMLL Heavyweight Champions. They showed the tale of the tape and missed something in the ring based on the live crowd’s reaction. Guerrero rolled up Taven and pinned him…
Ultimo Guerrero and El Terrible beat Matt Taven and Vinny Marseglia in 10:55.
Powell’s POV: I’m watching the show on the FITE TV app and had some technical issues during the match, so I can’t give a fair assessment. Things seem to be working fine now, so hopefully it won’t be a problem going forward.
A video package focussed on the Hangman Page vs. Frankie Kazarian feud…
2. Hangman Page vs. Frankie Kazarian in a strap match. Both men had straps and were not strapped together. Ricabonni noted that this was not the type of strap match where the winner has to touch all four corners. A few minutes into the match, Page performed his flip over the ropes into a clothesline. He ended up with Kazarian’s strap and tossed it to ringside. Page caught Kazarian over the ropes and whipped him a few times.
Page grabbed the noose he wears brings out as part of his entrance and tied Kazarian’s hands to the middle rope. Page whipped a defenseless Kazarian repeatedly. Page reached into the ring skirting over the apron and pulled out another strap that had nails on it. Kazarian freed himself and ended up picking up the other strap and whipping Page, who dropped the strap with nails. Kazarian performed a cutter for a two count.
Kazarian eventually dropped his strap to ringside and picked up the strap with nails. Page grabbed him and hit Rite of Passage before he could use it and got a two count. Page picked up the strap with nails and whipped Kazarian with it. Kazarian bled from various spots on his back and the fans chanted “you sick f—” at Page.
Kazarian grabbed his strap and whipped Page across the face, then pulled the strap with nails away from Page and struck him with it on the apron. Kazarian ended up hanging Page with one of the straps until he passed out and was named the winner…
Frankie Kazarian defeated Hangman Page in a strap match in 12:05.
Powell’s POV: This beat the five minutes they got on the last pay-per-view. I don’t recall the rules of the match being explained on ROH TV. I assumed this was the typical four corners style match. This was far more violent that that type of match and both men have some major welts on their back. The strap match may have been the blowoff, but I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s an angle at the television taping to keep the feud going. By the way, they are really missing Cabana on color commentary thus far.
3. Caprice Coleman, Rhett Titus, Kenny King, and Shane Taylor vs. Alex Shelley, Chris Sabin, Jay White, and Jonathan Gresham in an eight-man tag match with the losing foursome forced to disband. The teams brawled to start the match. Riccaboni noted that Taylor had dropped either 40 or 50 pounds. Riccaboni said that White is living at Shelley’s house and said imagine if they couldn’t team together any longer.
In the end, Gresham applied the Octopus on Titus, who tapped out. After the match, Punishment Martinez chokeslammed White, Riccaboni said Martinez was defeated by White in Minnesota (at a house show) and it hasn’t sat well with him…
Alex Shelley, Chris Sabin, Jay White, and Jonathan Gresham beat Caprice Coleman, Rhett Titus, Kenny King, and Shane Taylor in 12:40.
Powell’s POV: I was actually hoping for a double disqualification so that both factions would be forced to disband. I have no idea what the purpose of Search and Destroy is and if I had to pick from these factions, I would have went with S&D to split up.
A video package recapped the Jay Lethal vs. Silas Young feud…
4. Jay Lethal vs. Silas Young (w/Beer City Bruiser). Bruiser carried out a can of beer in one hand and a beer keg over his shoulder. Lethal showed up with a chair and immediately took out Bruiser at ringside with multiple shots. Lethal entered the ring and traded punches with Young. Two security guards escorted Bruiser to the back.
They fought to ringside and Lethal suplexed Young off the barricade. Lethal went for an elbow off the barricade, but Young moved and Lethal bounced off the floor. Young took Lethal back to the ring and choked him briefly with some wrist tape. Lethal came back and performed a suicide dive. The crowd called for another. Lethal obliged. Young held up a chair Both men stayed down and returned to the ring as the ref counted to 18 (20 count in ROH).
Lethal went for the Lethal Injection, but Young caught him and went for his own finisher. Lethal stuffed Misery, and connected with a kick and then followed up with the top rope elbow drop for a two count. Young came back with a backbreaker and struggled a bit to get Lethal back up for his lariat for a two count. Young applied a figure four. Whitmer said Young was playing mind games by applying one of Lethal’s signature holds.
Young performed a rolling senton, which Lethal countered into a pin for a two count. Young came back with strikes and performed another rolling senton and then hit his springboard moonsault for a two count. Young grabbed the keg that Bruiser brought to the ring and placed Lethal on top of it. Young shoved the referee down. Lethal recovered, but was rolled into a pin by Young, but Lethal rolled it over and got the three count.
Jay Lethal pinned Silas Young in 16:40.
After the match, Bruiser returned to the ring and joined Young in attacking Lethal. The heels dropped Lethal ribs first onto the beer keg. They positioned the keg between the ropes. Young stood outside the ring and held Lethal in place while Bruiser performed a few running splashes.
Riccaboni noted that Lethal was injured and days before the New Japan Pro Wrestling U.S. Championship tournament. Young and Bruiser set up a table at ringside. Young put Lethal on the table. Bruiser went to the top rope and splashed Lethal through the table.
Powell’s POV: Let’s just say that Bobby Fish, who teamed with Lethal on television, was unable to make the save tonight. Anyway, the match was entertaining and the post match angle was well done. I assume they are giving Lethal an out for losing in the NJPW tournament rather than setting up the Cinderella story, but I could be mistaken. Either way, the Lethal vs. Young and Bruiser feud clearly isn’t over. The big splash at the end was pretty damn impressive for a guy Bruiser’s size. By the way, I’ve enjoyed a lot of Riccaboni’s work, but he is falling into the pattern of telegraphing near falls by making it seem like the match is surely over, which many fans recognize as the call of a near fall rather than a pinfall.
A video package recapped Jay Briscoe’s issues with Dalton Castle and The Boys… After the video, Lethal was being escorted backstage following his post match angle…
5. Bully Ray, Jay Briscoe, and Mark Briscoe vs. Dalton Castle and The Boys for the ROH Six-Man Tag Titles. Castle stood on a podium on the stage and was surrounded by several Boys. Two of them served as steps for him as he walked off the podium. The extra Boys disappeared and the usual Boys (Tate Twins) headed to the ring with him. Bully came out and glared at Castle, who stood on the apron and showed no fear while resting his head on his hand in the corner.
At 3:00, Castle motioned for Bully to tag in, which Billy obliged. Castle backed Ray into the corner. Bully was going to allow the clean break. Castle chopped Bully, who no sold it. Castle peacocked. The fans chanted for Castle and the broadcast team said Ray got served. Ray did a comedic dance of his own. The fans chanted holy shit. Funny. Ray hit Castle with a hard slap to the chest. He tagged the Boys, and Bully flung them both into the ring.
Bully tagged in Jay, who had the issues with the Boys going into the match. Jay entered at 6:50. The Boys actually got him down and tagged in Castle, who performed a few nice suplexes on Jay. Jay sold for a bit and made the tag to his brother, who worked over the Boys with repeated chops. Mark performed a nice suplex on one of the Boys and set up for a move on the other, but Castle cut it off. Mark suplexed Castle and covered him, but the Boys broke up the pin.
Bully press slammed one of the Boys and then did the Whassup spot with Mark. Bully and Mark set up the crowd for a loud “get the tables call. Jay worked over the Boys with punches. The fans chanted “get the tables” repeatedly. One of the Boys ducked a wild chair swing from Jay. The Boys ran backstage. Jay wanted to follow, but Bully stopped him and tried to calm him down. Inside the ring, Castle caught Mark in an inside cradle for the win. The broadcast team put it over as a shocking upset. The Boys returned to celebrate with Castle…
Dalton Castle and The Boys defeated Bully Ray, Jay Briscoe, and Mark Briscoe in 13:05 to win the ROH Six-Man Tag Titles.
Powell’s POV: Riccaboni framed the loss as being the result of Jay Briscoe losing his cool, so the story of his irrational meltdown over the Boys costing him a loss in an eight-man tag match, so that storyline is still in play. My guess is that we’re about to get a Bully Ray vs. Jay Briscoe feud, which would be a lot of fun, but that’s just a guess and I’m not sure where that leaves Mark. There’s roughly 70 minutes of air time left, so it will be interesting to see how the time is allotted for the last three title matches.
A video package set up the ROH TV Title match…
6. Kushida vs. Marty Scurll for the ROH TV Title. Ring announcer Bobby Cruise delivered in-ring introductions for the title match.
After a brief technical glitch on my end, the match was underway. Scurll flipped off the live crowd. Kushida went for the Hoverboard Lock early, but Scurll was able to avoid it and reached the ropes.
At 9:00, Kushida applied a standing arm hold, but Scurll kicked him to break free. They traded shots and both men went down. At 10;40, Scurll applied the chicken wing. Scurll rolled Kushida into a pin for a two count. Kushida fought his way to the ropes to break it up. Kushida sold the finger break spot that Scurll did a short time earlier.
Scurll ran into a kick in the corner, but then kicked Kushida as he was standing on the second rope. Scurll Scurll set up for the finger break spot again, but Kushida grabbed his other hand and beat Scurll to the break. Kushida followed up with a nice suplex off the ropes, then powered up and performed a small package driver for the win…
Kushida defeated Marty Scurll in roughly 15:00 to retain the ROH TV Title.
Powell’s POV: A very good match. I thought we might see a quick title reversal to put the strap back on Scurll, so the finished surprised me. It will be interesting to see if Kushida gets out of the TV tapings with the title belt. Of course, if you attend the taping, you are encouraged to send a report or even the basic results to email@example.com.
The broadcast team recapped highlights of Kris Wolf and Sumie Sakai defeating Deonna Purrazso and Mandy Leon in the pre-show match. Whitmer said viewers could see the rest of the match on a special Women of Honor Youtube Wednesday. The broadcast team set up the ROH Tag Title match…
Ring entrances for the tag title match took place. Ring announcer Cruise was about to deliver in-ring introductions when he was interrupted. “Best Friends” Chuck Taylor and Trent Barreta came out and said they pinned the Bucks and feel they deserve a title shot. The Bucks apparently agreed…
7. “The Young Bucks” Matt Jackson and Nick Jackson vs. “War Machine” Hanson and Ray Rowe vs. “Best Friends” Trent Barreta and Chuck Taylor in a Tornado Tag match for the ROH Tag Titles. Barreta and Taylor worked over the Bucks, but then War Machine worked over the Best Friends in the opening minutes. Taylor performed a wild flip dive off the steps in the entrance for a big pop. War Machine took offensive control briefly once they returned to the ring. The fans chanted “this is awesome” for the spot fest. There was a big series of superkicks that led to all three teams fall down on the ring simultaneously. Fans chanted ROH.
The Bucks set up for the Meltzer Driver, but War Machine broke it up from the floor. Taylor actually had Matt Jackson pinned, but Hanson pulled the referee to the floor to break up the pin. Barreta came up with a bloody nose at one point following a double pin, but he must have suffered it earlier. War Machine held Best Friends up when the Bucks delivered superkicks. A short time later, the Bucks performed the Indy Taker and threw additional superkicks before pinning Taylor to win the match….
The Young Bucks defeated War Machine and Best Friends in 12:30 to retain the ROH Tag Titles.
Powell’s POV: I’m probably in the minority based on the live crowd’s reaction, but I was actually disappointed that this was turned into an impromptu three-way. I was looking forward to seeing the Bucks vs. War Machine in a standard tag match. And that’s coming from someone who enjoys the Barreta and Taylor. Of course, this was the usual Young Bucks insanity and the live crowd ate it up, so it at least worked in the building…
A video package set up the main event…
8. Christopher Daniels vs. Cody for the ROH Title. Cruise delivered the in-ring introductions for the main event title match. Riccaboni played up the possibility of a free agent in Cody winning the ROH Championship. Whitmer asked what would be so bad about a star of Cody’s level being champion. Referee Todd Sinclair asked for the Code of Honor, but both wrestlers passed.
Cody, who appeared to bust open his lip, took an early powder and jumped over the barricade and into the crowd (probably near our own Zack Zimmerman). He walked several rows back and returned to the barricade and gave a gesture to someone in the crowd (maybe Zim?!? Nah). Cody returned to the ring and took offensive control.
At 7;20, Daniels went to the ropes. Cody leapt off the second rope and up to the top rope and performed an arm drag from the top rope. At 8:45, Cody went to ringside and ended up in the face of former ROH owner Cary Silkin. Riccaboni called Cody a piece of trash and barked that he should get his hands off Silkin. Ugh. Whitmer said he can support a lot of things that Cody has done, but he draws the line on putting his hands on Silkin.
At 9:55, the ref was knocked down on a rollup attempt. REF BUMP!!! Cody kicked Daniels low. Riccaboni said he kicked him the ding ding. Whitmer laughed as he repeated the lineup. Another ugh. Daniels got a visual pinfall off a school boy rollup, but the referee was still down. Daniels had a gash on top of his head.
At 11:10, Scurll came to the ring and slid Cody a chair.. Cody went to pick it up and Daniels stomped on the chair. Daniels picked up the chair and tossed it to Cody, then laid down in Eddie Guerrero style just in time for the referee to recover. Daniels ended up rolling up Cody for a two count. Cody hit a move on the chair. There were loud “Cody” chants.
Scurll climbed onto the apron and was jawing at the referee. Frankie Kazarian came out and pulled Scurll off the apron. Scurll and Kazarian brawled to the back. Cody set up a chair at ringside. Cody went for a package piledriver off the apron, but Daniels blocked it and performed a Flatliner on the apron.
Back inside the ring, Daniels threw a series of running forearms and knocked Cody down, which drew some boos. After getting a two count, Daniels tried to perform a suplex through the table on the floor, but Cody blocked it. Cody performed a Rainmaker clothesline and struck the pose at 15:00. There were more Cody chants. Daniels avoided a springboard move, but Cody came right back with a Beautiful Disaster kick.
Cody performed a dragon screw leg whip while Daniels was on the apron. Cody ran into a boot from Daniels, who then drove Cody through the table on the floor with a belly to back suplex at 16:05. Cody returned to the ring first, then Daniels returned just before the 20 count. Riccaboni noted that Daniels could have retained the title via count-out. Whitmer said Daniels had too much pride.
Cody threw a series of punches at Daniels and slammed him. Cody followed up with an elbow that Daniels avoided. Daniels applied the Koji clutch, but Cody reached the ropes. Cody hit CrossRhodes at 18:10 for a near fall. Cody went for a clothesline, but Daniels performed a uranage. Daniels went for an angel’s wings suplex, but Cody countered into a huracanrana. Moments later, Daniels tried to roll up Cody. After a roll through, Cody hit CrossRhodes and pinned Daniels clean…
Cody pinned Christopher Daniels in 19:20 to win the ROH Championship.
After the match, Cary Silkin entered the ring to present the title to Cody, who dropped to his knees. Silkin gave him the belt and Cody clutched it and celebrated. The Young Bucks and Marty Scurll came out to celebrate with Cody, who stood on the second rope and raised the title belt in the air. Pyro shot off on the stage to end the show…
Powell’s POV: A solid match and the title change made the show feel newsworthy. The interesting thing to me is that Cody now goes into the NJPW shows in California as ROH Champion when he will be challenging Kazuchika Okada for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship. I assumed Cody was going to be pinned, but now you have to question whether that’s going to happen, as it would seem odd for the ROH Champion to lose clean. Will it be a schmoz finish? Will Cody win the IWGP Championship? I guess we’ll find out on July 1. Overall, this was on the low end of recent ROH pay-per-views. Their quality is usually strong, so it’s not that this was a bad show, it just didn’t have as many standout matches or moments as some of the other recent pay-per-view events. I will have more to say in my member exclusive audio review later tonight. Remember, you can check out my interviews with Cody and ROH COO Joe Koff from earlier this week at PWAudio.net.
The new edition of the Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell and guest Will Pruett on the Roman Reigns whodunnit angle, WWE heading into SummerSlam, AEW's October 2 premiere on TNT, the New Japan Pro Wrestling G1 Climax Tournament through Day 11, and more (77:45)...