Best in the World 2011 Preview

Ring of Honor presents “Best In the World 2011” Sunday June 26 from the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City. “Best In the World” features one of the most stacked cards in company history. The show also has one of the most anticipated main events in ROH history as well. The card features three title matches and the return of former ROH wrestlers, such as Jay Lethal, and the debut of big-names in wrestlers, such as Rhino. Fans will really know who truly is the best in the world after Sunday’s event.

Let’s take a closer look at each match.

ROH World Title Match
Eddie Edwards defends vs Davey Richards

Fans have been chanting “Best in the world” at Davey Richards for over a year. He has also received chants of “Nest world champ” as well. Most fans thought he would be the one to win the belt from Roderick Strong. It was an American Wolf who defeated Strong for the ROH World Title, but it wasn’t Richards. Eddie Edwards shocked the world at “Manhattan Mayhem IV” by winning the ROH World Title in his first attempt at the belt. Richards was the first to congratulate Edwards on the title victory. The happiness didn’t last long, however, as Edwards wanted to face off against Richards, but Richards continually refused because he did not want to end his best friend’s dream. Edwards felt the need to prove to Richards that he can beat him and he needed to find out who is the best wrestler in the world. He told Richards that if he wouldn’t fight him, then he will walk away from ROH. Richards reluctantly accepted the challenge and the match was set for “Best In the World.”

What more can I say about this match that hasn’t already been said? The two best wrestlers, and former tag team champions together, square off for the ROH World Title and the title best wrestler in the world. Edwards has already defeated Richards once in a title match in the finals of the tournament to declare the first ever TV Champion. Both wrestlers have grown a lot since then and they have been the two hottest wrestlers in ROH over the past year. It’s impossible to guess who will walk away with the ROH World Title at the end of the match. It is certain that we will have a good chance to witness the “Match of the Year” Sunday at “Best In the World 2011.”

ROH World Tag Team Title Match 
Four Way Elimination Match

Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team (Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin) defends
vs Kings of Wrestling (Claudio Castagnoli and Chris Hero)
vs All Night Express (Kenny King and Rhett Titus)
vs Jay and Mark Briscoe

To say there is bad blood in this match in an understatement. Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team and the Kings of Wrestling have been feuding since September when Haas and Benjamin made their debut at “Glory By Honor IX.” The Kings of Wrestling won that night by using Chris Hero’s “lucky” elbow pad. The feud escalated to a whole new level when Haas and Benjamin defeated the Kings for the ROH World Tag Team Titles.

The All Night Express were able to pick up an upset victory over the Briscoes at “Manhattan Mayhem IV,” a loss the Briscoes had a hard time dealing with. They attacked King and Titus after the match and have had a changed demeanor ever since. They are more ruthless than ever before and have beaten the All Night Express three straight matches, including a First Blood match and a Chicago Street Fight. The Briscoes had a match with Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team at “Revolution: Canada,” but the All Night Express caused a distraction which cost the Briscoes the match. You better believe they haven’t forgotten about that.

The ROH World Tag Team Title match is guaranteed to be insane. The four best teams in the company are vying for the top prize in tag team wrestling. They will do whatever it takes to win the belts, as well as do whatever they can to keep their enemies from winning them themselves. We are more likely to see a title change than see the champions retain because of the elimination rules, but if any team can pull it off, it’s Haas and Benjamin.

World TV Title Match
Christopher Daniels w/ Truth Martini defends vs El Generico

Christopher Daniels turned his back on the ROH fans at “Honor Takes Center Stage: Chapter 2” by joining Truth Martini and the House of Truth. He proceeded to beat down El Generico and Colt Cabana and stood tall over their bodies with the other members of the House of Truth. He has since lost matches to both El Generico and Colt Cabana, but the TV Title was not on the line because ROH did not yet have a television deal in place. ROH has since announced they will be shown bought by Sinclair Broadcast Group and will air a weekly show on Sinclair stations beginning in the fall. The TV Title has since been reinstated and Generico has been given his chance at winning it at “Best In the World.”

This match would steal the show on any other card, but since the main event is bound to be epic, this will be another great match on a stacked card. Daniels and Generico are two of the most gifted wrestlers in the world today and this match should be nothing short of great. Generico has a victory over Daniels so he has to be the favorite to win the match, but you cannot count Daniels out as long as he has Truth Martini in his corner.

Special Challenge Match #1
Steve Corino w/ Jimmy Jacobs vs Michael Elgin w/ Truth Martini

Steve Corino has been on a road to recovery throughout the first half of 2010. He wants to shed his evils ways and become a good person. Everything was going fine until “Manhattan Mayhem IV” when Corino fell off the wagon in a match against Mike Bennett. Corino then took a month off and decided it was time for his sponsor to show up in ROH. Corino said his sponsor was someone who had committed evil acts in the past, and he was absolutely correct. Jimmy Jacobs returned to ROH and revealed himself as Corino’s sponsor at “Super Card of Honor VI” in May, but officials quickly forced him out of the building. Since then he has been helping Corino get his life back on track. Corino and Jacobs have requested that ROH allow Kevin Steen back into the company, but they have refused. Corino jumped the gun, however, and purchased Steen’s plane ticket to New York for “Best In the World” where he will take on Michael Elgin.

Elgin will be Corino’s biggest test of staying away from evil actions since Corino announced his road to recovery. Elgin is a powerhouse and it will take everything Corino has to put him away, including the underhanded tactics he now wishes to avoid. Has Jacobs done enough to help Corino recover from being evil? Will Steen show up at a ROH show for the first time since losing to El Generico at “Final Battle?” We will have to wait until “Best In the World” to find out the answers, but I think Elgin will be too much for Corino to handle without turning back to his old ways.

Special Challenge Match #2
“The Prodigy” Mike Bennett vs Jay Lethal

Mike Bennett is one of the cockiest wrestlers in the world today. He feels he is better than everyone and he has backed it up by winning the Top Prospects Tournament earlier this year. He faces his biggest challenge to date by facing off with returning ROH wrestler Jay Lethal, who is wrestling for the first time in an ROH since 2006. Lethal is a former ROH Pure Champion and has held titles everywhere he’s wrestles. Bennett called him a good sports-entertainer, but Bennett is out to prove that he is a better one. Lethal is known for his impersonations, and Bennett said after he beats Lethal at “Best In the World,” Lethal’s next impersonation better be of “The Prodigy.”

This is an interesting matchup. Many of the fans wanted Lethal to wrestle someone like El Generico, but he was given the TV Title opportunity he earned at “Revolution: Canada.” I am excited for this match, though, because it will be a different kind of match than the rest on the cards. Both men are described as entertainers and they both are good at what they do. Lethal has to be expected to be the favorite in this match because of his experience advantage, but it would come as no surprise if Bennett was able to pick up the upset victory.

No Holds Barred Street Fight
Homicide vs Rhino w/ The Embassy

Homicide has been a thorn in Prince Nana and the Embassy’s side throughout 2011. Although Tommaso has beaten him several times, Homicide has always gotten the last laugh on the Embassy. Homicide’s last laugh came at the expense of Barrister R.D. Evans, who he hit over the head with a steel chair. Evans has filed a law suit against Homicide and Prince Nana has hired a bodyguard to protect himself and Princess Mia from Homicide. His bodyguard is none other than Rhino, who is making his ROH debut after over a decade of dominance all over the world. Rhino may be the person the eliminate Homicide from ROH once and for all.

This match is going to be brutal. This match is going to be insane. This match is going to be bloody. There is just no other way to describe how this match is going to play out. Both men are at home in a no holds barred brawl, and that’s exactly what this match is going to be. I would say Rhino has the advantage in a normal match because of his size, but Homicide is crazy enough to put his body on the line to take out his opponent and that’s what makes him dangerous in a match like this. It’s a toss-up on who will win this match, but Prince Nana should be happy because at the very least Homicide is going to suffer some kind of pain, and we may even see some “Gore! Gore! Gore!”

Singles Action
Colt Cabana vs Tommaso Ciampa w/ The Embassy

Tommaso Ciampa has been riding high since joining the Embassy and is undefeated in singles action, including two wins over Homicide. Barrister R.D. Evans said it was time for Ciampa to move onto other things since he has defeated Homicide twice, so he is wrestling Colt Cabana. Cabana is a ROH veteran and will be a great test for Ciampa as he makes a name for himself and moves up the ranks. If it wasn’t for the Embassy being at ringside, I would pick Cabana to walk away with the victory. Ciampa, however, will be the favorite of any match he is in because the Embassy is in his corner.

In addition to the seven matches being broadcast on GoFightLive, there will be an additional dark match for the live crowd and for the DVD. The team of GenerationMe, who are making a return to ROH for the first time in almost a year, will wrestle the up-and-coming team of Adam Cole and Kyle O’Reilly. This should be a great match and one of the best matches on the entire card. It’s unfortunate the people watching it on iPPV will not be able to see the match, but the contracts GenerationMe have with TNA restrict them from appearing on a live show. This will begin before the rest of the show, so for the people who will be in attendance this is a reminder to show up early because you will not want to miss this match.

“Best In the World 2011” features a stacked card from top to bottom. It has the potential to be one the best iPPV’s ROH has ever run. You can watch this show at GFL.tv and it costs $15, or you can win a free viewing of the show by retweeting a tweet that ROHWorld.com has put out on Twitter. The show has a special start time of 4 pm for the iPPV. ROH will prove who the best in the world is this Sunday at “Best In the World 2011.”

Jon Shumake

Jon has been with ROHWorld since March 2011. The American Bearded Nightmare is one half of 'Team America' on ROHCast, which is available every week on ROHWorld, iTunes and Stitcher.