6/29 Powell’s ROH Best in the World live review: Dalton Castle vs. Cody vs. Marty Scurll for the ROH Championship, The Briscoes vs. The Young Bucks for the ROH Tag Titles, Punishment Martinez vs. Adam Page for the ROH TV Title

By Jason Powell, Prowrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)

Ring of Honor Best in the World 2018
Aired live on pay-per-view, FITE TV, and HonorClub
Baltimore, Maryland at UMBC Event Center

After the opening video, the broadcast team of Ian Riccaboni and Colt Cabana checked in. The ring announcer was Bobby Cruise…

1. “The Kingdom” Matt Taven, TK O’Ryan, and Vinny Marseglia vs. “Los Ingobernables” Evil, Sanada, and Bushi for the ROH Six-Man Tag Titles. Horror buff Marseglia wore a Michael Myers kneepad. Nearly three minutes in, Taven mimicked Tetsuya Naito lying on his side in the ring pose and got some heat. A few minutes later, Sanada put Taven and O’Ryan in the Paradise Lock and then dropkicked both of their backsides.

Sanada went up top and Marseglia let his balloons fly before popping one by Sanada’s ear. They set up for their finisher, but it was broken up by Evil. At 10:30, Sanada put O’Ryan in the Skull End, but it was broken up by Taven. Moments later, Taven and O’Ryan teamed up for a two-man version of the Rockstar Supernova on Bushi for the win…

The Kingdom beat Evil, Sanada, and Bushi to retain the ROH Six-Man Tag Titles in 10:50.

Powell’s POV: Well, they got that out of the way. The in-ring action was solid and all, but Bushi taking the pin in this match may have been the most predictable aspect of this show.

A video package recapped the Bully Ray and Flip Gordon storyline. A Gordon promo aired as he spoke about Bully living up his name by attacking young boys like him and Cheeseburger. “Do you know who I am?” Gordon asked. “I’m the young boy who’s gonna kick your veteran ass”…

2. Bully Ray vs. Flip Gordon. Bully tried to attack Gordon, but Gordon saw him coming and worked him over to start. Gordon performed a nice springboard forearm onto Bully, who was on the floor. Gordon threw several punches at Bully and had the crowd with him. Back inside the ring, Bully caught Gordon with a shoulder block. Bully went for a Vader Bomb, but Gordon rolled out of the way. The fans responded with a Vader chant. Gordon went for a springboard move and was kicked below the belt. Referee Todd Sinclair called for the bell. The fans booed. Riccaboni said Bully is the guy who turns off the video game when he’s about to lose.

Flip Gordon beat Bully Ray by DQ in 5:10.

After the match, Bully grabbed a chair and worked over Gordon’s legs with it. Eli Isom ran out to help and was immediately clotheslined. Cheeseburger ran in and threw punches at Ray, who ended up powerbombing him. Bully pulled a table out from underneath the ring and set up to powerbomb Gordon through it. Colt Cabana entered the ring with a chair. Bully gave up the powerbomb and flipped the table toward Cabana before leaving the ring…

Powell’s POV: A television finish on a pay-per-view. It was more angle than a match. Perhaps it wouldn’t have been so bad if they had doubled the match time before going with that finish. Even so, the post match angle was solid and Ray drew really good heat. Cabana entering the ring to save him was a nice surprise and it will be interesting to see if this will lead to Cabana vs. Bully Ray.

Riccaboni was shown at the broadcast table. He looked into the camera and spoke about how things were getting out of control and he hoped Joe Koff would do something about it. Cabana rejoined him and vented about Ray briefly before introductions for the women’s match…

3. Sumie Sakai, Jenny Rose, Mayu Owatani, and Tenille Dashwood vs. Kelly Klein, Kagetsu, Hana Kumura, and Hazuki. At 9:00, Owatani caught Kumura in a submission hold. Kumura powered out of it into a vertical suplex. The crowd popped big and a “this is awesome” chant broke out. The women brawled. Sakai performed a big dive onto a group of women at ringside. In the ring, Owatani performed a dragon suplex into a bridge and pinned Kumura…

Sumie Sakai, Jenny Rose, Mayu Owatani, and Tenille Dashwood beat Kelly Klein, Kagetsu, Hana Kumura, and Hazuki in 10:25.

Powell’s POV: A really fun match. The crowd started mild and really got into the action as it went on.

A video package set up the Austin Aries vs. Kenny King match…

4. Austin Aries vs. Kenny King. Aries wore the Impact World Championship around his waist and brought and two additional title belts to the ring with him. Riccaboni mentioned the Impact title. Cabana said he didn’t know if Riccaboni was supposed to say that. He noted that one of the other titles that Aries was wearing was a Defy belt, then plugged his own appearances for the promotion. Funny.

At 9:30, King performed a nice springboard Blockbuster for a two count. Aries came back with the Last Chancery, but Aries reached the ropes. At 13:10, King hit a Royal Flush and covered Aries, who reached out and grabbed the bottom rope to break the hold. Aries rolled to ringside and grabbed his title belts and teased leaving before King caught him with a corkscrew dive. King picked up one of the belts and teased hitting Aries. He thought better of it only for Aries to kick him and perform a brainbuster on the floor. Aries rolled back inside the ring and followed. King caught him in an inside cradle for a two count. Aries came right back with a fivearm and a brainbuster and then scored the pin…

Austin Aries defeated Kenny King in 15:25.

Powell’s POV: A good match, but it really is amazing that the Impact World Champion appeared on an ROH pay-per-view and it doesn’t feel special. Say what you will about the state of Impact these days, but I put this on ROH more than anything. They just haven’t made Austin’s return feel meaningful. Even if you take away his status as Impact World Champion, the return of Aries to ROH given his history with the company should feel more important than it has.

A video package set up the Jay Lethal vs. Kushida match. It featured a Lethal promo from ROH television in which Lethal focussed on his quest to beat everyone who beat him recently and this being the rubber match of their series that is tied 1-1…

5. Jay Lethal vs. Kushida. Lethal offered a handshake, but Kushida surprisingly declined to adhere to the Code of Honor. There were dueling chants for the wrestlers. Kushida performed a double axe handle. He went back up top and twirled his finger in Randy Savage style before doing it again. A short time later, Lethal had the offensive advantage and grabbed Kushida’s hand and forced a handshake.

At 9:40, Lethal performed a suicide dive. He did a Ric Flair strut and then performed another suicide dive. Lethal went for a third suicide dive, but Kushida caught him and applied the Hoverboard Lock at ringside. Back inside the ring, Lethal performed a clunky Lethal Combination and got a two count. Lethal continued to sell his arm. A short time later, Lethal leapt off the top and Kushida caught him in an arm bar on the way down. Lethal rolled him into a pin and got a two count. Lethal applied a figure four until Kushida reached the ropes to break the hold.

Letha and Kushida traded kicks. Kushida got the better of it and then shook a weary Lethal’s hand. At 15:40, Lethal connected with an enzuigiri. Lethal went for a Lethal Injection, but Kushida caught him in the Hoverboard Lock. Lethal escaped and they jockeyed for position. Lethal caught Kushida with a clunky cutter. Lethal came right back with a kick and hit a Lethal Injection for the win. After the match, Kushida offered Lethal a handshake and Lethal accepted…

Jay Lethal beat Kushida in 17:30.

Powell’s POV: A good match despite there being a couple of rough moves. They had the crowd early and seemed to lose them a bit in the middle before getting a lot of the fans back late. Lethal has now avenged his recent losses, so I assume this means he’s in line for an upcoming title shot.

The broadcast team narrated highlights of the feud between Punishment Martinez and Adam Page… Silas Young joined the broadcast team while Beer City Bruiser stood by him. Riccaboni asked him if he was disappointed that he wasn’t wrestling (because he lost the title to Martinez). No, he’s not the least bit disappointed, er, um, yes, yes he is. Weak question…

Martinez had a a casket on the stage that he walked out of while wearing red face paint and jeans. He also had some lackeys with him who knelt down and held their hands in the air once they were all in the ring. Martinez didn’t get much of a reaction. Page received some cheers during his entrance…

6. Punishment Martinez vs. Adam Page in a street fight for the ROH TV Title. Bobby Cruise tried to deliver in-ring introductions, but the wrestlers started fighting and he fled the ring. The wrestlers fought to ringside. Young said he hoped that they would continue to beat the hell out of one another so that he would have an easier time beating the winner. Page pulled out a chair and eventually leaned it against the ring post. Page went for a shooting star press off the apron. Martinez avoided it, then performed a Last Ride on the apron and then chokeslammed him onto the barricade.

At 6:40, Page performed a superplex off the barricade. Page sold back pain while rolling Martinez back inside the ring. Martinez clotheslined Page and turned him inside out. Martinez went for a Tombstone, but Page reversed it into a cradle piledriver onto a chair and got a two count. Martinez came back a short time later by stomping Page onto the apron. Back in the ring, Page went for the same move on a chair, but Page avoided it.

Martinez pulled out a zip tie and tied Page’s wrists together. A short time later, Martinez stomped Page’s face into a chair and covered him for a two count. Martinez set up a table in the ring. Page spat in his face and started fighting back. The zip tie fell off. They went to ringside where Page speared Martinez into the table that was set up against the ring post. Page went up top and performed a moonsault onto Martinez on the floor.

Page rolled Martinez back inside the ring and then stood on the apron and played to the crowd like a dope until Martinez kicked the back of his head. Page apparently took the bump onto four chairs that were set up a ringside earlier, but the production crew missed it. Martinez pulled out a bag of thumbtacks and poured them into the ring. Page ended up backdropping Martinez onto the tacks. Page went for a Rite of Passage, but Martinez avoided it and chokeslammed him through a table. Martinez fell onto Page. Cabana questioned who got the pin because the idea was that the shoulders of both men were down. Martinez was named the winner…

Punishment Martinez beat Adam Page in 15:10.

Powell’s POV: Good effort and a solid street fight with a bad finish. Page’s shoulders were on the table and one of them was at an angle so that he wasn’t actually pinned. If anything, it looked like Martinez should have taken the loss since his shoulders were actually down. The company seemed to realize it since they avoided showing the pin on replay. It’s too bad because I assume they wanted it to be a controversial finish with both men being pinned, and instead the guy who won was also the only one who was actually pinned.

A video package set up the ROH Tag Title match…

7. Jay Briscoe and Mark Briscoe vs. “The Young Bucks” Matt Jack and Nick Jackson for the ROH Tag Titles. Cabana noted that there were a pocket of fans who were there to root for the Briscoes, who are from nearby Delaware. Cruise delivered the in-ring introductions for the title match. The Briscoes isolated Matt early on. He made a hot tag to Nick, who performed a big dive onto both Briscoes and worked them over on the floor. The Briscoes rebounded and Mark hit a top rope elbow drop on Nick, then Jay covered him for a near fall.

At 11:30, Jay barked that the Young Bucks “ain’t shit.” He paid for it with a superkick. The Bucks set up for superkicks on both Briscoes, who beat them to the punch. Jay ended up hitting a Jay Driller on Matt, but Nick broke it up. The Briscoes set up for a Doomsday Device on Matt, but Nick broke it up. The Bucks came back with a springboard Doomsday Device on Jay that resulted in a near fall. The Bucks hit More Bang For Your Buck on Jay.

Mark hit a top rope elbow drop on the referee. Jay ended up hitting Jay Driller and the referee recovered and counted the pin, but Matt kicked out for a big pop. The Briscoes performed a fallaway slam neckbreaker combo on Matt. Mark covered Matt and got the pin…

The Briscoes defeated The Young Bucks to retain the ROH Tag Titles in 18:00.

After the match, Jay put his foot on Matt and held up the ROH Title belt and posed. Nick returned to the ring, but the Bucks roughed him up. Christopher Daniels, Frankie Kazarian, and Scorpio Sky hit the ring and teased attacking the Bucks, but Daniels ended up hitting one of the Briscoes with a chair…

Powell’s POV: Unfortunately, I had some streaming issues down the stretch so I missed about 30 seconds after the ref bump. Even so, that was a really good match and I’m already looking forward to a rematch. I feared we were getting a Dusty finish so it was a pleasant surprise that the match kept going after the referee recovered. My only real complaint is that they didn’t have another ten minutes because I have no doubt that they could have filled it. The post match angle was fine, as I guess the idea is that they are setting up Daniels and Kazarian for a tag title shot. Furthermore, the storyline is that Daniels and Kazarian won’t have their deals renewed at the end of the year. So perhaps they turn them babyface long enough for them to get Joe Koff to change his tune in a storyline sense. If Daniels is retiring, then it makes sense to send him out as a babyface.

Ring entrances for the main event took place…

8. Dalton Castle (w/The Boys) vs. Cody (w/Brandi Rhodes) vs. Marty Scurll in a Triple Threat for the ROH Championship. Cruise delivered in-ring introductions for the title match. The broadcast team played up Castle’s back injury. NWA Champion Nick Aldis sat at a table at ringside. Burnard the Business Bear came out with Cody, but he made him leave the ringside area right before the opening bell.

Castle had his left hamstring heavily wrapped and wore some type of wrap around his back. Castle pulled Cody to ringside. Scurll tried to kick Cody, who moved, causing Castle to take the kick. Scurll followed up with a DDT on Cody on the floor. Back inside the ring, Cody begged off, but then threw Scurll into the corner and chopped him. Scurll came back with chops of his own and then they traded punches. Scurll hit Cody with a forearm.

Castle returned to the ring and worked over both men. Scurll applied a chicken wing on Castle. Cody applied a figure four on Castle at the same time. Castle broke out of the both and was kicked ot ringside by Scurll. At 6:30, Cody performed a DDT on Scurll and covered him for a two count. At 7:40, Scurll set up Cody for Goldust’s Shattered Dreams. Brandi distracted the referee and Scurll. Cody ended up low blowing Scurll and got a near fall.

Brandi handed Cody the ring of honor and he put it on his finger and told Scurll to kiss it. Scurll complied, but then grabbed Cody’s finger and did the finger snap. Castle returned to the ring and hit the Bangarang on Scurll and had him pinned, but Aldis pulled referee Todd Sinclair to ringside to break it up. Cabana pointed out that Aldis does’t work in ROH. Castle whipped one of the Boys toward Aldis, who swatted him aside.

Scurll hit Aldis with the ROH Title belt and had him pinned, but Cody pulled referee out. The referee ejected everyone from ringside. Cody brought powder into the ring, but Scurll kicked it into his face. Castle got a near fall on Scurll moments later. Castle went for the Bangarang, but Scurll countered into a pin for a two count. Scurll applied the chickenwing on Castle with Cody at ringside. Cody returned and broke it up. Scurll ended up hitting CrossRhodes on Cody, then Castle hit the Bangarang on Scurll and pinned him…

Dalton Castle defeated Cody and Marty Scurll in a Triple Threat in 14:30 to retain the ROH Championship.

Powell’s POV: The FITE TV feed cut off just seconds after the pin. The show was slotted for three hours and it was just about the top of the hour, so it was likely the end point for the pay-per-view television audience as well. An entertaining main event with some suspenseful near falls. Castle retaining is a bit of a letdown if only because he was clearly still limited by his injury. It seems like the guy needs a real break, but hopefully this is a sign that they feel he’s be healthy soon. Overall, it was a good pay-per-view that still managed to fall a notch below my admittedly high expectations. The show looked really strong on paper and while there were some good moments, it didn’t feel like a truly memorable show when all was said and done. I will be by either late tonight or tomorrow with my audio review of this event for Dot Net Members.



The new edition of the Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell and guest Colt Cabana on his role in ROH, the state of the independent wrestling scene, the future of his podcast, the ROH Global Wars tour, the new ROH television format, Starrcast III, and much more...


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