ROH “Best in the World 2017” Review

ROH Best in the World 2017 Review
6/23/17
Lowell, Massachusetts

Ring of Honor presents ROH Best in the World, featuring Christopher Daniels defending the ROH title against Cody, clash for the ROH World Tag Team titles between War Machine and the defending champions, the Young Bucks. Marty Scurll also gets a shot against to regain the ROH World Television title when he faces KUSHIDA and much more.

Ian Riccaboni and BJ Whitmer were on commentary to start the show.

Before the PPV started there were two matches taped for Youtube content.

Leon St. Giovanni, Shaheem Ali and Flip Gordon defeated Cheeseburger and the Tempura Boyz (Sho and Yo)

WOH Match
Kris Wolf & Sumie Sakai defeated Deonna Purrazzo and Mandy Leon.

The Kingdom (Matt Taven & Vinny Marseglia) vs. CMLL’S Ultimo Guerrero & El Terrible

The Kingdom had a special entrance for this one. Matt Taven was sitting in a throne pushed by two ladies, Vinny Marseglia was wheeled out ala Hannibal Lecter and TK O’Ryan was in full Viking regalia. No such pageantry for Ultimo Guerrero and El Terrible though. The match was announced as being under lucha rules. Marseglia and Terrible started off for their teams and Terrible worked some biting into his offense, which Marseglia appeared to like. Marseglia got slapped silly before tagging out to Taven who quickly took control of the match. Guerrero tagged in and he and Taven went shot for shot until Guerrero deposited Taven on the outside with a baseball slide. The action spilled to the outside and saw Taven on the receiving end of a leapfrog. Guerrero took some time to dance around before going after O’Ryan. To be fair, O’Ryan did nothing to provoke him. Riccaboni shared that O’Ryan is not licensed to manage and should not have been on the outside. Guerrero then did a headstand on the turnbuckle and hit a bronco buster type maneuver, but was thwarted when he went for a second one. Terrible came to his aid, hitting a suicide dive. Not to be outdone, Taven hit a tope, taking out both CMLL starts to a roar from the crowd. Guerro was able to recover and hit a drago suplex from the second rope, but Marseglia hit his Redrum senton. Terrible was able to keep Taven out of the ring while Guerrero rolled up Marseglia for the pinfall victory. Good opener here-the crowd was into this one and Guerrero really knows how to work a crowd. The end leaves this open for Taven to continue his issues with Guerrero in ROH and CMLL.

Winners: Ultimo Guerrero & El Terrible

Strap Match
Hangman Page vs. Frankie Kazarian

The rules seem to be that both have straps and are not tethered to each other. No surprise then to see start by trying to whip each other with the straps before they began to trade fisticuffs. Kazarian scored a quick two by using the straps to flip Page, but Page was able to kick out. Page rolled out and Kazarian jumped over the top rope, connecting with a hurricanrana out of absolutely nowhere before rolling Page back inside. Page wormed himself back outside and irish whipped Kazarian into the guardrails before exposing the floor. The wood floor just doesn’t seem as menacing as concrete. Nevertheless, they brawled up the aisle and Kazarian suplexed Page onto the entrance ramp steps. Page proved to be relentless, escaping Kazarian before disarming Kazarian and flinging the strap the outside. Page tied Kazarian to the second rope using his noose and began to whip Kazarian mercilessly before reaching under the apron to unveil a strap with nails and thumbtacks. Kazarian was able to wriggle out of his binds and armed with a strap once more, he hit a slingshot cutter. After Kazarian couldn’t put Page away he went to grab the previously alluded to nail/tack strap, only to be hit with a Rite of Passage. Page then began to lace Kazarian with the strap, immediately cutting Kazarian back open. Kazarian grabbed the strap and then used it against Page, tossing him onto the previously exposed floor. Kazarian then used the strap to hang Page, forcing him to tap. The different rules to this match should have been announced beforehand. Despite that, this was everything you could have asked for and Page’s selling at the end made this that much better.

Winner: Frankie Kazarian

The Rebellion (Caprice Coleman, Kenny King, Shane Taylor, & Rhett Titus) vs.
Search and Destroy (Jonathan Gresham, Chris Sabin, Alex Shelley, & Jay White)

Search and destroy did not make it to the ring before all eight men started to brawl. Gresham and Coleman were in the ring, with Gresham in control early. The rest of Search and Destroy came in and hung Coleman in a tree of woe as all of the team hit dropkicks on him. Coleman took control and the Rebellion worked Gresham over on the outside as well, before King hit a spinebuster back inside the ring. The Rebellion in complete control, so much so that Shelley just ran in illegally, only to have Titus seemingly knock a tooth loose. Coleman tagged in and hit three consecutive northern lights suplexes.This time around, Sabin ran in to stop a pin attempt, but Gresham still couldn’t tag out. Just as Riccaboni spoke to the timing and chemistry of Titus and Coleman, the Big Dawg missed Gresham and cold-cocked his teammate. Gresham tagged White in, who handled the Rebellion on his own for a spell. The group quickly reversed the tables on White, hitting a chin checker, the skyscraper leg drop, a Big Dawg Splash and a splash from Taylor, but still White kicked out. Search and Destroy was able to lock submissions on each member of the Rebellion, with Gresham able to make Titus tap with the Octopus lock. Punishment Martinez came out afterwards and left White laid out in the middle of the ring, continuing their issues.This one was back and forth and had a number of fun spots, with the near falls towards the end working particularly well.

Winners: Jay Lethal

Silas Young vs. Jay Lethal

Lethal came out second and attacked Bruiser with a chair, sending him to the back. Young and Lethal traded rights to start, rolling to the outside and trading strikes, with Young taking control. Young worked methodically, whipping Lethal into the barricade, but the time he took allowed Lethal to get some offense in on the outside, even suplexing Young onto the floor. Young was able to avoid a Hail to the King from the barricades.The two went back inside and Young worked Lethal’s ribs with an abdominal stretch that Lethal continued to suffer from, preventing him from avoiding a follow up gutbuster. Riccaboni mentioned Young’s neatly groomed chest hair as Lethal knife-edge chopped him in a hilarious moment. Young and Lethal exchanged a series of suplex attempts that Young escaped, only to be caught with an enziguri and a standing suplex. Letha tried to scale the ropes to fly with hail to the King but he took enough time by switching corners that Young was able to avoid the move and hit a springboard clothesline. Lethal recovered quickly and hit two consecutive suicide dives before Young used a chair to deflect Lethal, oddly not being disqualified. Barely avoided being counted out, both men rolled inside and traded rights until Lethal caught a running Young with a rolling elbow. Both traded finisher attempts, with Lethal ultimately hitting Hail to the King. Young was able to reverse Lethal and applied a figure four, sending a bit of a message to Lethal. Young grabbed BCB’s keg and put it on the outside apron, laying Lethal across it. Sinclair tried to stop Young and was pushed to the floor. Young had Lethal rolled up, but the time it took Sinclair to recover and he missed it., This allowed Lethal to escape and roll him up quickly. Young immediately attacked Lethal and was joined by BCB as they used the keg to damage Lethal’s ribs, repeatedly splashing him in the corner with the keg wedged between the ropes. Bruiser hit a splash onto Lethal and through a table on the outside before he and his drinking buddy finally relented and celebrated before leaving the ring. The match felt more intense than the previous fights between the two and the post match beat down allowed Young to shine despite the loss.

Winner: Jonathan Gresham, Chris Sabin, Alex Shelley, & Jay White

ROH World Six Man Tag Team Championship Match
Bully Ray & The Briscoes vs. Dalton Castle & The Boys

Jay and Castle started off, with Jay actually lunging at the Boys, precipitating a conference from his team before Mark finally tagged in. As Mark was about to charge Mark in the corner, the Boys protected their partner, which stopped Mark in his tracks. With mark sent to the outside, castle hit his pose before calling Bully Ray out. The two stared each other down before locking up that and Castle came out in control. After Ray weathered some chops, Castle stopped him dead in his tracks with the peacock pose. Not to be outdone Ray started to breakdance before striking his own peacock pose. Riccaboni with Kesha/Pitbull reference as Ray dominated, eventually tagging out to Jay, allowing him to get his hands on one of the Boys. The Boys doubled teamed Jay, quickly tagging Castle back in after he regained some stamina on the outside. Castle worked some rest holds before setting up for a superplex, only to be countered into a super gord buster. Jay tagged Mark in who chopped and tossed the Boys around the ring. Things broke down and Ray and Mark took advantage, hitting the Wassup Froggy bow before Ray called for the tables. Jay intervened and pulled the Boys to the outside, refusing the get the tables as he tried to attack the Boys with a chair. Castle was able to roll Mark up on the inside to win the 6-man tag titles. The match played out well, building off of Jay’s singular focus on gaining revenge. This wasn’t a barn burner, but the story of the match was compelling.

Winners: Dalton Castle & The Boys

ROH World Television Championship
KUSHIDA vs. Marty Scurll

Quick reversals of facelocks and wrist locks to start off and the two traded control numerous times before KUSHIDA went for Back to the Future that Scurll was able to reverse before hitting a hybrid pumphandle slam that earned his a two count. Scurll worked KUSHIDA over with chops and back scratches before working over the shoulder. KUSHIDA was able to get his own offense in and attempted to fly from the top, only to be stopped by Scurll. KUSHIDA slipped under Scurll and lock in a Hoverboard lock from the top rope, rolling with it onto the matt. Scurll countered and got his hands on KUSHIDA’s fingers, but wasn’t quick enough to follow through. Scurll hit a side kick and a piledriver, but only got a two count. Announced Chicken wing was surprisingly reversed, but Scurll almost picked up the three with a quick backslide. Scurll rolled through various position in an attempt to lock on the chicken wing, only to locked in the Hoverboard. Scurll made it to the ropes and locked KUSHIDA in the chicken wing, but he transitioned to breaking KUSHIDA’s fingers and applying a modified rings of Saturn. KUSHIDA made it to the ropes and both men rose slowly, finding themselves on the top rope again. KUSHIDA hit a Back to the Future from the top before hitting it once more for good measure, ending the match with the cradle. The extra time these two had after their last encounter went a long way to making this a great match with some excellent stretches where it truly felt that either man could have won.

Winner: KUSHIDA

ROH World Tag Team Championship
The Young Bucks (Matt & Nick Jackson) (c) vs. War Machine (Hanson & Ray Rowe)

Before the match could start, the Best Friends, Trent baretta and Chuckie T came out and demanded to be added to the match and for it to be contested under tornado tag rules. The flood gates opened once they got in the ring and the action was fast and furious and quite honestly difficult to keep up with. Some really insane spots in this one. Matt Jackson hit a praying moonsault to the outside, Chuckie T followed with a senton off the entrance ramp and Hanson connected with a senton to the outside the Best Friends and  the Bucks all missed moonsaults on each other, giving Hanson a mind to try one of his own, only to have Trent german suplex him off the top rope. This was simply action packed. In the end War Machine held the Best Friends while the Bucks delivered a double 5 Star Meltzer Driver and retained the titles. Smart move here having Best Friends come out. The crowd went wild and it served the purpose of keeping the War Machine/Bucks feud going without giving either of them the loss.

Winners: The Young Bucks

ROH World Championship Match

Christopher Daniels vs. Cody Rhodes

Good back and forth to start the match saw Cody busted open early on, necessitating a stroll outside to gather his thoughts. Back inside Daniels stayed in control, going for Angels Wings early, which Cody escaped, taking another stroll to the outside. Cody continued to head to the outside, with Daniels finally following him outside and flooring him with a baseball slide through the ropes. Daniels missed Cody up against the barricade, allowing Cody to take control for the first time. Back on the inside, Cody hit a flatliner for two, but Daniels managed to kick out, as commentary continued to highlight Cody’s split lip. The crowd seemed to sway in Cody’s favor during the match, which was a bit odd considering how dastardly Cody has been during his ROH tenure. Cody tried to clear the crowd away on the outside, threatening Cary Silken which incensed Riccaboni on commentary. Daniels was able to take advantage and accidentally shoved Cody into SInclair in the corner repeatedly. Cody took the opportunity to low blow Daniels, who still managed to cradle Cody, but with no referee, no count was made. Scurll made his way down to ringside with a chair that he slid inside. Daniels grabbed the chair and as SInclair slowly rose, Daniels tossed the chair into Cody’s hands before rolling him up. Cody kicked out and DDTed Daniels onto the chair. Kazarian came down and he brawled with Scurll to the back while Cody set up a table on the outside. Cody stymied an Angels Wings attempt towards the table, hitting a Rainmaker as a message to Okada. The two battled on the apron, with Daniels driving Cody through the table with a belly to back suplex. Both men were hurt and Daniels barely beat the countout. Daniels locked on a Koji clutch, but Cody was able to use the ropes to break the hold. Cody spit water into Daniels’ face and hit the Cross Rhodes, but Daniels managed to kick out before three. Cody avoided a Best Moonsault Ever and reversed Angels Wings, eventually hitting the Cross Rhodes for the pinfall victory. Good match between these two that I feel would have been better without the interference. Hopefully Cody’s title defenses will not feature a low blow each time. Silken came into the ring and seemed reticent to hand Cody the belt as the Bullet Club came out to celebrate.

Winner: Cody

Final Reaction: B
Top to bottom the event was solid, with every match delivering in some way. It also marked a number a changes in direction within the company, such as the break up of the Rebellion, the inclusion of the Best Friends into the tag title picture and a new world champion. Riccaboni and Whitmer on commentary was effective, but simply does not compare to the pairing of Riccaboni and Cabana. Coming in expecting those two on commentary and having the switch gave the event a different feel as the Cabana/Riccaboni duo adds a bit of humor that really makes every event they work more enjoyable.