Best in the World 2012 Preview

Ring of Honor returns to iPPV Sunday June 24th when it presents “Best in the World 2012: Hostage Crisis” from the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City. After the issues of “Border Wars,” fans who opted not to get a refund from that show will receive this show for free. It features three huge title matches, as well as grudge matches the returns of several of wrestling’s superstars.
Let’s take a closer look at each match.

ROH World Championship : Anything Goes
Kevin Steen (c) vs Davey Richards

Kevin Steen fulfilled his promises at “Border Wars” when he defeated Davey Richards for the ROH World Title to hold the company hostage. Richards said he accepted the loss fair and square, but he was due for a rematch. Jim Cornette obliged, but it will be Richards only chance to recapture the gold. Also, Steen requested this match be a No DQ, and now anything goes in the match – including the Package Piledriver. Jimmy Jacobs will be in Steen’s corner, while Kyle O’Reilly will be in Richards’. Steve Corino has requested to be a color commentator for the match, so the numbers are in Steen’s favor. Richards, though, has shown a fire that he hasn’t shown for years since losing the belt, and it’s safe to say he’s more dangerous than ever. If anyone can beat Steen, it’s Richards. However, Steen thrives in matches like these where he is able to use weapons to punish his opponent. This should be a brutal, hard-hitting match that should be every bit as good as their matches at “Border Wars.” This seems like the perfect environment for Steen to retain the title. If he does, though, Cornette has said Steen will defend the title in every match after, so he may not be holding Ring of Honor hostage for as long as he’d like.

ROH World Tag Team Championship
Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team (c) vs The All Night Express

The All Night Express have been on the cusp of becoming tag team champions since September of last year when they defeated the Briscoes in a Ladder War. Instead of climbing their way to greatness, their championship dreams were put on hold due to Rhett Titus suffering a knee injury. They have been on fire since their return, which came at the “10th Anniversary Show” with a win over Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team. Haas and Benjamin have since captured the belts, and have also proven they’re two of the most dishonorable men on the roster. Haas likes to toot their own horns about how they captured the belts from the Briscoes at “Border Wars” by using an ether soaked rag. Haas and Benjamin have had sanctions placed against them by Ring of Honor officials stating that they can lose the titles via disqualification after Haas intentionally got himself intentionally disqualified when defending the titles against The All Night Express in May. The All Night Express have the momentum going into this match after proving to Haas and Benjamin that they’re just a couple of dropkicks away from taking the titles away from Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team. Will Titus and Kenny King finally take their place at the top of the tag team division? Or will Haas and Benjamin further prove they will do whatever it takes to retain the belts? These questions will be answered June 24th at “Best in the World 2012: Hostage Crisis.”

Fit Finlay vs Michael Elgin w/ Truth Martini

Michael Elgin has been on a tear in Ring of Honor in 2012. He has pushed the top stars on the roster past their breaking points on a regular basis, and has proven himself as a big-time player in the company. He gets another chance to prove himself against the legend Fit Finlay. Finlay came up just short in a hard-hitting match against Elgin’s House of Truth stablemate Roderick Strong at “Border Wars.” Finlay loves to fight, and he has found someone else who shares his love. Elgin and Finlay has the potential to be one of the best matches of the night. This should be a stiff match between two wrestlers who just love beating people up.

ROH World TV Title : 3-Way Elimination Match
Roderick Strong (c) vs Tommaso Ciampa vs Jay Lethal

For months, Tommaso Ciampa was obsessed with taking the belt off Jay Lethal. He finally succeeded at “Showdown in the Sun: Day Two” when he caused a distraction that allowed Roderick Strong to defeat Lethal to win the title and become the second Triple Crown champion in Ring of Honor history. Lethal ended Ciampa’s more than year long undefeated streak at “Border Wars,” and since then Ciampa has been unstable to say the least. He has somehow become even more vicious than he was before. He still has his eyes set to capturing the TV Title, despite the Truth Martini and The Embassy having some sort of backroom deal. Strong is unhappy about having to face both Lethal and Ciampa, but he has proven time and time again he has what it takes to be a champion. Lethal wants to recapture the title he held for seven months.

This should be a great match, and it has the potential to steal the entire show. The outcome of this match is going to have major ramifications on the second half of Ring of Honor’s year. This match, if given time, should feature a good mix of styles, from high-flying to stiff strikes. These three wrestlers have great chemistry together, and they’re all very good in the ring. This could possibly be the match people are talking about after the show.

Eddie Edwards vs Homicide

Eddie Edwards has been competing in the “Die Hard Challenge,” which is something he has come up with to get himself back into title contention. The “Die Hard Challenge” pits Edwards against former champions to keep him in the think of the title hunt. He beat Rhino at “Border Wars,” and forfeited a win he picked up over Davey Richards on an episode of ROH TV after he realized Jimmy Jacobs interfered. That series continues at “Best in the World 2012: Hostage Crisis” when he faces off against former ROH World Champion Homicide. Homicide is making his return to Ring of Honor after losing to Mike Bennett at the “10th Anniversary Show” in March. Homicide proposes a good challenge for Edwards. Homicide is one of the toughest and most violent wrestlers in the business, so if Edwards can defeat him, then Edwards has a claim to getting another shot at the ROH World Title.

Jay and Mark Briscoe vs The Guardians of Truth w/ Truth Martini

The issue between the Briscoes and the House of Truth date back to late-2011 after a series of matches where money was on the line. A check Martini wrote the Briscoes bounced, and they have not seen eye to eye since. Martini is bringing a new team into Ring of Honor, and the House of Truth, known as the Guardians of Truth. The identities of the Guardians of Truth are not known, and the only information provided about them is what Martini has revealed about them. He has revealed that they are two wrestlers who have been kicked out of everywhere they’ve been, but that is all that’s known about them. Speculation has run rampant about who the Guardians of Truth could be. Guesses have ranged from Paul London and Brian Kendrick to the Nasty Boys to everything in between. The Guardians of Truth have to have the advantage in this match since the Briscoes have no idea what to prepare for. It should be interesting to see who Martini brings on to battle the Briscoes.

Hybrid Fighting Rules
Adam Cole vs Kyle O’Reilly

These two used to be tag partners, but O’Reilly’s jealousy after Cole pinned then-ROH World Champion Davey Richards in the main event of the “10th Anniversary Show” led to Future Shock breaking apart. Although they’re on their own now, their paths are going to be forever linked. O’Reilly won a match between the two at “Showdown in the Sun: Day Two” during the brownout, but it took grabbing a handful of Cole’s tights to do so. O’Reilly seemingly has the advantage in this match, as it’s being fought under hybrid fighting rules, which are detailed below. Cole says he’s the better professional wrestler, so it doesn’t matter what kind of stipulation O’Reilly puts on the match it’s still at its core a professional wrestling match. O’Reilly concedes that Cole may be the better professional wrestler, but O’Reilly feels that he is the better fighter, and is looking to prove that at “Best in the World 2012: Hostage Crisis.”

The rules for the match are as follows:

  • It can only end in knockout, TKO, submission, DQ or 15 minute time limit draw.
  • A disqualification by fouls occurs when a participant performs a critical foul or accrues three total fouls.
  • Critical Fouls – Cause for immediate DQ
    • Deliberate eye-gouging, groin attacks, biting, and pulling the opponent’s hair
    • Use of foreign object
    • Outside interference
    • Physical abuse to official
  • Foul – When a competitor accrues three of these fouls he will be DQ’d
    • Deliberately going out of the ring or throwing an opponent out of the ring
    • Deliberately holding and utilizing the ring ropes during the match for an advantage.
    • Accidental eye-gouging and groin attacks.
    • Holding or pulling the opponent’s outfit.

“Best in the World 2012: Hostage Crisis” takes place live on iPPV Sunday June 24th from the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City. The event will be streamed on ROHWrestling.com and starts at 5 p.m. Eastern time. Be sure to follow @ROH_World on Twitter for updates on the show, and join ROHWorld.com/Forum to discuss the event with other Ring of Honor fans.

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.

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