Ring of Honor returns to its home of Baltimore, MD this weekend with ‘Best In The World 2013’ on iPPV Saturday night followed by TV tapings the very next day. With Steel Cage Warfare and the potential of Matt Hardy becoming ROH World Champion, Sunday will be quite the day. But for the moment let’s focus on Saturday’s iPPV.
A lot of people, especially on our forum, have been saying that the card for ‘Best In The World 2013’ is disappointing. Having looked at and discussed each match on this week’s ROHCast, I have to disagree. I think this has the potential to be one of the strongest shows of the year and I’ll quickly point out why.
The only match I’m not looking forward to is Mike Bennett vs. BJ Whitmer. The only positive I can pull from this match is that we’ll get to see Maria. I’m not a big Bennett fan and I don’t look forward to his matches; his style isn’t to my taste. I really like BJ Whitmer but not even he could make me look forward to this one. Add in very weak reasoning behind the match and this is the only contest that is distinctly ‘meh’.
Other than that, every other match has the potential to be great. The American Wolves vs. ACH & TD Thomas for instance is one that should be awesome. There’s little to no reason for these two teams to have a match but really, who cares? ACH is arguably the hottest thing in ROH right now and the Wolves are always capable of putting on a classic. I can see this being the opener and it wouldn’t surprise me if people are calling this the match of the night after the show.
Michael Elgin vs. Tommaso Ciampa is an interesting one. I’ve loved the way Ciampa has been booked since returning. His entrance is so different from the rest of the roster that it stands out and makes him seem important. Elgin has been on fire of late and for Ciampa to come straight back and challenge him (and fortunately forget about QT Marshall) really propelled him into the spotlight. In terms of match quality, I’m not setting my sights too high. I’m not sure how these two will mesh together but the story behind it is intriguing and I’ve no idea who will win.
I’m not a big fan of ‘The Icon’ but Matt Hardy vs. Kevin Steen should be good. Hardy’s character has been brilliant since he joined SCUM and this could well be his last match before becoming ROH World Champion – quite the scary thought. I can only see Hardy winning this with his title shot the next day and with ROH still refusing to fully trust Steen. This won’t be a classic five star match but I think both men will use their personalities to great effect and I’m really looking forward to what they have in store.
Before the title matches we have Adam Cole vs. Roderick Strong. The match they had in San Antonio was really good and you could tell they were holding something back. Hopefully they’ll be able to really go for it on iPPV. Once again, we should see a fantastic match and with Cole’s apparent heel turn slowly continuing, the ending should be interesting. Again, I’m not sure who will win this but that shows you what a great job Delirious has done of keeping things unpredictable.
The World TV title will be on the line as Matt Taven defends against Jimmy Jacobs & Jay Lethal. Firstly, why on earth were SCUM placed into this match and the Tag Title match? Makes no sense for Nigel to WANT to give them a chance of actually winning the belts. Aside from that, this should be great. Lethal continually puts on great matches and the introduction of Jacobs really spices this up. Taven has done really well recently and as long as Martini and the hotties don’t completely overshadow the match, it should be fun. Unless SCUM win all the belts, I see no reason to think Taven will lose here.
As mentioned, SCUM (Rhett Titus & Cliff Compton) face Caprice Coleman & Cedric Alexander as well as champions reDRagon for the Tag Titles. I would have prefered this to have been C&C against Fish & O’Reilly but it should still end up being a good match. I’m disappointed that C&C haven’t got the chance to put on a classic with reDRagon alone but their time will come. Again, unless SCUM win all the titles, reDRagon aren’t losing it here and this is probably the match I’m looking forward to the least after BJ/Bennett. That alone shows you what a strong card it is.
And then we have the main event as the Briscoes do battle for the ROH World Title. I don’t think anybody is buying into Mark winning the belt but at least ROH have tried to hype the match up. This week’s TV show was all about the Briscoes and we’ve had the usual tag team miscues in recent matches. People were saying this wasn’t an iPPV calibre main event but I disagree. They know each other like brothers (ha, see what I did there?) and this should lead to a really entertaining brawl. Whoever wins is going to lose it to Hardy the next day anyway…
So there we have it, all in all a pretty damn good card. The Wolves/ACH & TD is my prediction for match of the night but it could easily be Strong/Cole, Elgin/Ciampa or the main event. I’m looking forward to another night of great wrestling on iPPV (providing the stream works).
To talk to other ROH fans during the show, head on over to the event’s official Forum thread.