6/28 ROH Best in the World results: Powell’s review of Matt Taven vs. Jeff Cobb for the ROH World Title, Shane Taylor vs. Bandido for the ROH TV Title, Nick Aldis and a mystery partner vs. The Briscoes, Villain Enterprises vs. Mark Haskins, Tracy Williams, and PJ Black for the ROH Six-Man Tag Titles

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

Ring of Honor Best in the World 2019
Aired live on pay-per-view, FITE TV, and HonorClub
Baltimore, Maryland at UMBC Event Center

The pre-show opened with Flip Gordon making his entrance. The broadcast team was Ian Riccaboni, Colt Cabana, and Caprice Coleman, and Bobby Cruise was the ring announcer. Rush made his entrance wearing his horned mask, which he removed on the stage…

Pre-Show Match: Rush vs. Flip Gordon. Gordon offered a Code of Honor handshake, but Rush kicked his hand aside. They fought to ringside where Rush threw Gordon over the timekeepers table. Rush threw Gordon back inside the ring and clotheslined him in the corner. Rush shoved Gordon into a seated position, then dropkicked the back of his head. Rush continued to work over Gordon and then laid on his side and struck his pose in the middle of the ring.

Gordon came back with some kicks and forearms. Rush called for more, so Gordon complied and then threw several knees for good measure. Gordon delivered another knee and followed up with a falcon arrow for a near fall. Gordon performed a springboard spear for another two count. Gordon performed a high knee, then Rush shoved him hard to the mat. Rush worked over Gordon in the corner and then played to the crowd on the middle rope. Gordon rolled him for another two count.

Gordon tossed Rush to ringside, but Rush returned to the ring. Gordon sent Rush to ringside again and kicked him off the apron. Gordon dove at Rush, who struggled to catch him and sent him into the barricade. Rush threw the streamer bucket at Gordon. Riccaboni said referee Todd Sinclair wanted to see a winner and was letting them go. Rush brought Gordon back to the ring and covered him multiple times for two counts. Rush positioned Gordon in the corner and then hit him with his Bullhorns running dropkick before pinning him…

Rush defeated Flip Gordon in 10:20.

Quinn McKay interviewed Rush at ringside. Rush spoke about not playing and looking to destroy…

Powell’s POV: A good opener with the expected outcome in that Rush is unbeaten in ROH thus far and there was no reason to think that Gordon would put an end to that on the pre-show. I’d really like to see Rush get the right mouthpiece to round out his act.

The broadcast team spoke at their desk located to the side of the entrance area and discussed some of the matches…

NWA Champion Nick Aldis made his entrance. Colt Cabana showed off the cane that he’s using because of the leg injury that is preventing him from wrestling him from teaming with Aldis against The Briscoes. Once in the ring, Aldis was about to introduce his tag partner and the newest NWA signee.

James Storm came out. One of the broadcast team members said they knew it was going to be Storm (so it won’t be Storm). Storm had a mic and spoke at ringside and noted that Aldis did not choose him as his partner. Storm claimed he had Cabana beat. Cabana said he did not have him beat in their 15-minute draw. Storm entered the ring and said he earned his respect. Storm got in Aldis’s face and said he was only going to ask one more time who his partner is. Aldis said he would let the man tell Storm himself.

Eli Drake made his entrance. The fans chanted Drake’s name as he stood on the stage with a mic in hand. “Let me talk to you,” Drake said. He said he’s the hottest free agent on earth and he’s standing on the ROH stage. He noted that it said Best In The World on the screen behind him. He said there were a bunch of jumping jabrones backstage who claim to be the best in the world, but if their name isn’t Eli Drake then they are mistaken.

Drake said people have been telling him which company to join, but he does things his way and that’s why he’s the defiant one. Aldis said he wanted to be with the company that is the past, present, and future, because that’s what he is. Drake said he grew up right up the road in Maryland and watched various stars fight over the 10 Pounds of Gold. Drake said he is the newest acquisition of the NWA. Drake said he will turn the NWA, ROH, and the entire wrestling business upside down. “That’s just a fact of life, yeah,” Drake said before heading backstage…

Powell’s POV: A very nice signing for the NWA and I like the idea of announcing it on the pre-show for last minute pay-per-view buzz. I think we all assumed that Drake was AEW bound when he left Impact Wrestling. Drake delivered a good promo and the crowd was excited to see him.

The broadcast team spoke about the pay-per-view more and hyped Dragon Lee vs. Dalton Castle to open the main card, then closed out the pre-show… A video package aired on the Castle vs. Lee match…

Powell’s POV: Unless I’m forgetting something, this has to be the best pre-show that ROH has produced. There was a good match and a surprise appearance, and they filled the time nicely.

The main card opened with a Best in the World video package… The broadcast team checked in and ran through the show lineup…

1. Dalton Castle vs. Dragon Lee. Riccaboni noted the story that Castle called for the match because he wanted to face Rush’s brother Lee. Castle offered a handshake, but Lee remained in the corner. The bell rang and it was a repeat of Rush’s match at Madison Square Garden with Rush dropkicking Castle and hitting him with a pair of running dropkicks in the corner. Lee covered Castle for a two count instead of pinning him as Rush did.

Castle caught Lee going for a huracanrana and then powerbombed him onto the ring apron. Castle tossed Lee over the ringside barricade and into the first row. Castle threw Lee over the barricade a couple more times, then climbed onto the middle rope and flexed, which drew cheers rather than boos. Castle stood in the middle of the ring and held up his arms while the referee counted. Castle went to ringside and grabbed Lee, who ended up running Castle into the barricade.

Back inside the ring, Castle performed a DDT and got a near fall. Castle tore at the mask of Lee, then released it and went back to hitting Lee with several forearms. Castle made a cocky cover, but Lee was able to kick out. Castle went back to tearing at the mask. Lee showed some life by throwing punches before Castle suplexed him and got a two count. Castle tore at the mask again and ripped open the left eye hole.

Lee sent Castle to ringside with a huracanrana and eventually performed a suicide dive. Lee ran Castle into the barricade and then threw him back inside the ring where he got a two count following a running knee. Castle suplexed Lee, who came right back with a nice suplex of his own. Lee performed a reverse huracanrana/poison rana for a near fall. Riccaboni said you don’t have to call Bell Biv Devoe to know that was poison (God bless Riccaboni for being such a lovable dork).

At 13:20, Castle stuffed a move that Lee was going for and hit him with his Bangarang finisher. Castle could have pinned Lee, but he opted to pick him up and move him to the corner. Castle performed the Bullhorns running dropkick and then pinned Lee…

Dalton Castle defeated Dragon Lee in 14:20.

Powell’s POV: A good match with the expected outcome given that they seem to be working back to Castle vs. Rush. It was good use of Lee in the younger brother role, but I’d like to see ROH position him stronger if they are going to have more access to him. It doesn’t seem like that’s really the plan, though, as he makes infrequent appearances for ROH and hasn’t had a real program in the company. If nothing else, I’m looking forward to eventually seeing the Lee and Rush vs. Briscoes match that’s advertised for Saturday’s television taping in Philadelphia. By the way, if anyone is going to the show, we are looking for reports or basic results, which you can email to me at dotnetjason@gmail.com

A video package set up the Women of Honor tag team match…

2. Angelina Love and Mandy Leon (w/Velvet Sky) vs. Kelly Klein and Jenny Rose. Former Impact Wrestling referee Brian Hebner was the referee for the match. Klein and Rose went right after The Allure duo before Bobby Cruise could finish their introductions. Love had Rose down and jawed at Klein, then let Rose tag in the WOH Champion. Klein ended up getting the better of it. Rose checked back in and chased Love at ringside only to be clotheslined by Sky.

Leon tagged in and Riccaboni noted that she was back in the ring for the first time in a year following an injury. Klein prevented Sky from interfering again a short time later only to be hit from behind by Leon. Love performed a dive from the top rope onto Klein and Rose on the floor. Back in the ring, Love covered Rose for a two count. Rose speared Leon a short time later and tagged in Klein, who worked over both opponents, including performing fallaway slams on both women.

Rose speared Leon on the apron and then slammed her from the apron to the pads on the floor. In the ring, Klein performed a fallaway slam on Love from the middle rope and then covered her for a good near fall. Sky distracted referee Hebner, allowing Leon to hit Klein from behind with a high heel shoe. Love pinned Klein moments later.

Angelina Love and Mandy Leon defeated Kelly Klein and Jenny Rose in 9:30.

After the match, a video package played with a male doll having its head torn off and “Maneater” appeared on the screen. Maria Manic appeared in the ring. The Allure trio ran away, then Manic destroyed members of ROH security. A “Maneater” chant broke out with some in the crowd…

Powell’s POV: Love is the best wrestler of the Allure trio, so it was logical to have her be the one to pin the champion to set up a title match. The in-ring effort was certainly there even if the match wasn’t really memorable. I don’t know much about Manic, but she has a unique look and stands out in a good way. I suspect Klein vs. Manic is the bigger title match they will build to eventually.

A video package recapped the first two matches in the Jay Lethal and Kenny King best of three series…

3. Jay Lethal vs. Kenny King in the deciding match of the best of three series. King brought the cane he used when he was pretending to be blind. King offered a handshake, but Lethal wasn’t buying it and blew off the Code of Honor. Around 5:00. King had Lethal seated on a chair and charged at him, but Lethal performed a drop toe hold that slammed him face first onto the chair. The broadcast team played up that Lethal blew off the Code of Honor and was working a more uncharacteristic style. At 6:20, King suplexed Lethal onto the edge of the apron from the floor, which drew gasps from the live crowd.

At 10:10, Lethal performed a suicide dive. Lethal went for a second, but King caught him, stumbled, and performed a spinebuster on the ringside pads. King rolled back inside the ring. Lethal returned to the ring at the referee’s 19 count. King showed frustration and then walked into an inside cradle from Lethal for a two count. King went to the top rope. Cabana said King doesn’t have a top rope move. King performed a shooting star press for a near fall. The broadcast team raved about it. King wanted his cane. Lethal applied a figure four. Amy Rose, who has been at the timekeeper’s area slid the cane into the ring for him. Lethal hit a Lethal Injection for a near fall. Lethal glared at Rose, who was apologetic. King came back with a Lethal Injection and then performed a Royal Flush and scored the pin…

Kenny King defeated Jay Lethal in 14:35 to win the best of three series.

Powell’s POV: It’s nice to see them shake things up by putting King over to win the series. Lethal can absorb the loss and King needed something. It’s worth noting that Amy Rose escorted King onto the stage and elsewhere when he was doing the blind gimmick, so perhaps she is joining his act on a regular basis. Whatever happens, I hope King can finally develop some momentum. He’s a talented guy who has been saddled with some lousy gimmicks in ROH and just hasn’t lived up to his potential. Meanwhile, I’m curious to see where Lethal goes from here and if he continues to show more of an edge moving forward.

A video package set up the Pure Rules match…

4. Jonathan Gresham vs. Silas Young in a Pure Rules match. Referee Todd Sinclair read through the Pure Rules as they were shown in a graphic on the screen. There are three rope breaks allowed and once they are exhausted then submissions and pins in the ropes will still be counted, etc. The wrestlers adhered to the Code of Honor. Gresham used a rope break a couple minutes into the match, and Young boasted over his strategy of forcing the break. Gresham returned the favor by backing Young into the ropes while holding onto one of his legs at 4:00.

At 7:25, Young punched Gresham, which was against the rules and thus he was given a warning for using a closed fist. Gresham used a second rope break at 10:40. Gresham used his third rope break at 12:30. Young used both of his remaining rope breaks and there were no additional rope breaks allowed at 15:30. A short time later, Gresham went for a suplex, but Young reversed it and suplexed Gresham over the top rope, causing both men to tumble to ringside. Back inside the ring, Gresham low blowed Young while referee Sinclair was fixing the ring apron. There were some boos. Gresham applied an Octopus and Young reached the ropes, which no longer mattered, and he ended up tapping out…

Jonathan Gresham beat Silas Young in 17:55.

Powell’s POV: Huh? The broadcast team made it seem like Gresham was playing by Young’s rules, but they also noted that the fans seemed stunned by Gresham’s actions. Coleman chalked it up to turnabout being fair play. But it’s not like Young was blatantly cheating throughout the match, so I’m not sure where they are going for. I guess we’ll have to wait to see what they do on TV. The live crowd was mostly silent until the nut shot. The recent build for the match consisted of Young beating a guy in a squid mask and making a joke of the situation, even smoking cigarettes after his wins. Those segments didn’t produce any heat and didn’t set the right tone. I know ROH has done pure rules before, but I’m not in favor of bringing it back. It’s not that there are not fans of the style, it’s that there are not enough fans of the style.

Riccaboni wished family members a “happy wedding”.. A video package set up the NWA tag team match… Riccaboni and Cabana spoke at their desk about Cabana not being able to wrestle as originally scheduled…

5. NWA Champion Nick Aldis and Eli Drake vs. Jay Briscoe and Mark Briscoe. James Storm sat in on commentary in place of Coleman for the match. The Briscoes received babyface reactions and played to the crowd, particularly a vocal section that appeared to be family and friends. At 8:00, Mark followed up a near fall on Drake by going to the ropes only to have Aldis cut him off temporarily. Mark fought him off, but Drake tossed Mark off the ropes. A short time later, Drake picked up a near fall on Jay.

The Briscoes hit some double team moves on Drake and had him beat, but Aldis broke up the pin. Jay and Drake fought to the ringside and then into the crowd near the broadcast team’s desk. Drake spat water at Jay, and some of it hit Storm, who hopped off the platform and fought Drake to the back. The bell rang for an apparent no-contest or double count-out.

Nick Aldis and Eli Drake fought Jay Briscoe and Mark Briscoe to an apparent no-contest in 11:00.

After the match, Jay brought a beer can to ringside and hit Aldis with it. Mark set up a table in the ring. Cabana got worked up and Riccaboni begged him not to leave their table. The Briscoes placed Aldis on the table. Aldis’s enforcer Kamille speared Mark, then security came out and talked her out of the ring. The Briscoes attacked the security guards for an apparent DQ, then placed Aldis back on the table. Mark performed Froggy Bow onto Aldis to drive him through the table. After the Briscoes left, Marty Scurll came out and received loud “Marty” chants. Scurll helped Aldis to his feet and hugged him…

Powell’s POV: This was a mess in part because of the Briscoes playing to the cheers of their rowdy fans at ringside. They’d been cast as the heels throughout the angle to the point that Riccaboni was down on them on commentary for not respecting the working relationship between ROH and the NWA. As good as Drake’s pre-show introduction came off, I felt like he sold too much during the match. If the creative plan wasn’t for him to go over then he at least should have looked really strong during his time in the ring before the angle with Storm.

A video package set up the ROH TV Title match…

6. Shane Taylor vs. Bandido for the ROH TV Title. Coleman was back on commentary. Bandido offered a handshake, but Taylor blew it off. Taylor controlled the early offense. Bandido came back and performed a nice Fosbury Flop dive over the top rope and onto Taylor at ringside at 6:00. Taylor caught Bandido charging him in the corner and slammed him to the mat. Taylor went to the middle rope and performed a splash for a two count at 8:30. Taylor showed frustration over not getting the pin.

At 11:45, Taylor leapt from the ropes and Bandido caught him and then bodyslammed him for a near fall. Bandido went up top and nearly fell, then performed a shooting star press for a near fall. A “Bandido” chant broke out. Bandido ran toward Taylor for his finisher, but Taylor caught him and performed his Greetings From 216 finisher and scored the clean pin…

Shane Taylor pinned Bandido in 12:40 to retain the ROH TV Title.

Powell’s POV: An entertaining match that actually could have used more time. The crowd was just firing up in a major way for Bandido when Taylor hit his finisher and let the air out of the room. They can go back to this, but Bandido and Jeff Cobb feel like the babyfaces who are most likely to catch on as new faces of the company so seeing Bandido lose clean again is a bit disappointing.

Upcoming tour dates were shown in graphics form during a brief video…

7. “Villain Enterprises” Marty Scurll, PCO, and Brody King vs. Mark Haskins, Tracy Williams, and PJ Black for the ROH Six-Man Tag Titles. The champions came out wearing Road Warrior style spiked shoulder pads and new personalized Villain Enterprises belts. At 5:15, King performed a summersault dive from the apron onto a pair of opponents on the floor. King laid on the apron and then monkey flipped PCO onto two opponents on the floor.

At 9:50, Haskins threw kicks at King, who no-sold them at barked at him. Haskins threw another kick at King, who then acted dazed by it. PCO took out Williams and Black with a dive to ringside. Scurll and King performed double team moves on Haskins. PCO tagged in went for a chokeslam, but Haskins avoided it and kicked his knee. Black performed a double stomp from the top rope, then Williams followed with a top rope move on PCO for a near fall.

At 12:15, Haskins and Williams took out Scurll and King with dives. PCO was pinned and it looked like he was down for a three count, but the referee held up two fingers quickly and indicated that he got his shoulder up. There were some groans, though the fans seem to get over it quickly. At 14:40, Williams caught PCO on the ropes. Haskins kicked PCO, allowing Williams to powerbomb PCO onto the apron. Black performed a springboard moonsault on Scurll and had the pin, but King broke it up.

Haskins and Wiliams held the arms of King, who used the ropes to flip over. King followed up with a dive onto a couple of his opponents on the floor. King stood up and flipped off someone in the crowd. King performed a Gonzo Bomb on Black. PCO tagged in and stumbled as he went to the top rope. Scurll quickly stepped in and fired up the crowd while PCO went to the top and performed a moonsault onto Black and pinned him.

Marty Scurll, PCO, and Brody King defeated Mark Haskins, Tracy Williams, and PJ Black in 16:55 to retain the ROH Six-Man Tag Titles.

After the match, the Soldiers of Savagery attacked the Lifeblood members. Bandido ran out and cleared the SOS duo from the ring. Bully Ray came out and hit Bandido from behind. SOS handed Bully a chair. Gordon ran out with a kendo stick and squared off to fight Ray with weapons, but Ray immediately backed down and left the ring.

Haskins offered Gordon a Lifeblood t-shirt. Gordon hugged Haskins and put the shirt on. The lights went out and a pre-taped Marty Scurll video aired. Scurll congratulated Lifeblood and said he hated to rain on their parade. He said that on the same night that Lifeblood got a newest member, he was going to introduce Villain Enterprises’ newest member. He said they traveled around the world and the newest member was under their noses the entire time. He listed the new man as the understudy. The camera moved over to show that Gordon was standing next to Scurll.

In the ring, Scurll delivered quick moves on the Lifeblood members and headed to ringside. Scurll, PCO, and King came out and joined Gordon, then they attacked the Lifeblood members. Gordon ended up performing a 450 splash from the top rope onto Haskins, who was on a table at ringside. Riccaboni said it was one of the ugliest 450s he’s ever seen. Cabana wondered who got the worst of it and questioned if Gordon injured his shoulder…

Powell’s POV: Are Villain Enterprises are meant to be heels even though they are the most popular act in the company? Honestly, I’m not even sure what they are supposed to be, but I know that Lifeblood look like complete scrubs after losing so many members and now being dissed by Gordon and outsmarted by Scurll.

A video package set up the main event… Jeff Cobb made his entrance to a flat reaction, then Matt Taven made his entrance…

8. Matt Taven vs. Jeff Cobb for the ROH Championship. Bobby Cruise delivered in-ring introductions for the title match. The match started less than 15 minutes before the top of the hour (which is an issue because this show is on pay-per-view television). Cobb offered his hand, Taven talked smack, but shook his hand before the bell.Cobb was the early aggressor. Riccaboni noted that Joe Koff escorted Taven’s Kingdom sidekicks TK O’Ryan and Vinny Marseglia from the building prior to the show.

Taven pulled Cobb’s arm down from the floor and Cobb’s shoulder slammed onto the apron. Taven followed up with a suicide dive to the back of Cobb, driving Cobb face first into the barricade. Nice spot. Cobb came back and performed a standing moonsault for a two count at 7:05. Taven came back and went for his Climax move, but Cobb blocked it. Taven went for it again and hit the move for a near fall. Taven went for the move again, but Cobb suplexed him. Cobb went for his Tour of the Islands finisher, but Taven avoided it and hit Climax again and scored the clean pin…

Matt Taven defeated Jeff Cobb in 9:50 to retain the ROH Championship.

Riccaboni closed the show and mentioned the Manhattan Mayhem event…

Powell’s POV: Weak. One can only assume that their match was cut short due to time as it’s hard to believe that they would book a pay-per-view main event title match to go just under ten minutes. It was bad enough for Cobb to be losing clean in this match, but the fact that it happened so quickly and decisively really hurts. It’s a shame because I was looking forward to seeing what type of match Taven and Cobb could deliver if they were given a good amount of time. Overall, the show peaked early and I wasn’t big on much from the pure wrestling match on, mostly due to the booking. I will have more to say about the show in my members’ exclusive audio review coming up later tonight.


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The Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell features ODB discussing the fire that destroyed her food truck, the fundraising drive to help her buy a new truck, her appearance on the latest Impact Wrestling television show, Triple H telling her to go to TNA, and much more...


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