Ring of Honor Best in the World PPV Review
June 22, 2015
Review by: Jason Namako of Wrestleview.com
This past Friday, Ring of Honor held their third live PPV, back once again in New York City at Terminal 5, with Best in the World 2015. The show was built over a long-hyped title for title match between ROH Champion Jay Briscoe against TV Champion Jay Lethal. How did everything play out? Well, after a virtual Code of Honor, here we go!
Mark Briscoe vs. Donovan Dijak – Decent opener. Putting the super-popular Mark out there first alongside ODB was a smart choice to kick things off on a high note. Mark & Dijak had solid chemistry with one another and while Dijak still needs more seasoning, he plays the role of the heavy for the House of Truth very well and has a ton of potential. Finally, the interactions between ODB & Truth Martini were hilarious. Good way to start the show.
ACH & Matt Sydal vs. The Decade – Fun, simple tag match. ACH & Sydal work well as a team and they are such an easy team to have matches with because they can easily flip-flop between one working babyface in peril and the other getting the hot tag. Page has shown continuous improvement and Whitmer does great as a slimeball veteran heel, with his bullying of Steve Corino’s son, Colby, to continue to add more sizzle to the long-standing Corino-Whitmer rivalry. Finish sets up another Page-ACH singles match, possibly for the next iPPV in July. Good stuff here.
Dalton Castle vs. Silas Young – Such a great dynamic here with the flashy, over-the-top Castle against the surly, miserable veteran in Silas. Decent match and the post-match with Silas laying out of Castle’s “Boys” sets up future matches between the two. Castle is amazing, Silas plays his character to a tee, this was so much fun to watch.
C & C Wrestlefactory vs. War Machine – More of an angle than match to continue on the inevitable Cedric heel turn with him not tagging in during the entire match and Coleman, the wise preacher, refusing to tag him in after Cedric got pissed and got out the same wrench he used to beat MOOSE on TV last week. War Machine gets another tag win to continue on their path to the ROH Tag Team Titles and we move forward in telling the story of Cedric’s eventual heel turn.
#1 Contenders Match: Roderick Strong vs. MOOSE vs. Michael Elgin – While MOOSE and Elgin looked very good here, especially for Elgin, who hit a bit of slump last month during the New Japan supershows, this was the Roderick Strong show. From the new ring jacket to his tear of a comeback towards the end, leading to the eventual finish, pinning MOOSE and becoming #1 Contender, Roddy was just sensational here. The fact that he did not get tagged to be part of the G-1 Climax and Elgin was, no disrespect to Elgin, is just mind-boggling and shows to me that as great as Gedo & Jado are as the creative minds of New Japan, they don’t get everything right. Strong is a top candidate IMO for the Wrestler of the Year so far this year as he has been on the best run of his career in ROH, in PWG and in WWN. Don’t get me wrong, this was very good and MOOSE and Elgin both stepped up and put on impressive performances, but Strong was on a mission here to put on something memorable and for his case, he damn sure succeeded.
Finally, the post-match angle with Cedric laying out MOOSE and Stokely Hathaway with the wrench and now aligning himself with Veda Scott was very well done and sets up a future feud between the two. Nice climax to the MOOSE “Angel & Devil” storyline with Veda, after seeing her meal ticket lose his undefeated streak because of her putting her need for vindication over her client, did what any natural lawyer or politician would do, jump ship and hedge their bets to the new thing and in Veda’s case, being the person who beat MOOSE in Cedric. This angle allows Cedric’s heel turn to get a real good kick-start to it by aligning with the hated Veda, at the same time, putting sympathy on MOOSE and Stokely, who tried to keep MOOSE on the straight & narrow while Veda poisoned his brain. Will be very interested to see how his feud play out over the next few weeks and months, but as a way to jump-start this, this was superb.
The Kingdom vs. The Bullet Club – Because of the venue and overall atmosphere, this was a slight step down from their War of the Worlds match, which was under a SUPER-hot crowd in Philadelphia. I will say that it being a slight step down had absolutely nothing to do with the action in the ring. All six guys, as well as Maria in her role in this match, worked their tails off to deliver something great. Thought the match was very good, the sequences towards the end were nuts and much like a month ago, hats off to Maria for being willing to take that sandwich kick sequence from the Bullet Club. Maria, to me, has been the most consistent valet in wrestling for the last few years and sorry, has done better job in her role than Lana ever has been in the last year. Know I will get some flack for that, but I’m sorry that the truth hurts. Finish with Cole trying to fight off the Bullet Club, then going to his doom, was great and the post-match with Cole and the Kingdom not being on the same page, was very intriguing. Seems to be, especially based off the TV Tapings this weekend, that this is leading to Cole turning babyface and breaking off from the Kingdom. As great is Cole is as a heel, he doesn’t get enough credit for his babyface work, so I’m interested to see how this plays out. Match was damn good, Bucks are great, AJ is great, Cole hasn’t skipped a beat since returning, Kingdom has gotten very good as a team, this was lots of fun, but definitely recommend seeing the first match between these two trios a month ago at War of the Worlds.
ROH Tag Team Titles, No DQ: The Addiction vs. reDRagon – Good match, different dynamic here than previous Addiction-reDRagon matches with this being more of a weapons brawl than your typical back-and-forth tag title match. However, crowd wasn’t as into this as much as you’d think, mostly because of pure exhaustion from the prior match. Addiction & reDRagon still worked their tails off and beat the snot outta one another and did in fact, get the crowd back into it towards the end. Popped for Daniels’ new singlet ring attire and SWANK ring jacket. Finish with Sabin, back to the short haircut, interfering and leading to the champions retaining was fine to give reDRagon an out in defeat and to possibly continue this feud, but for now, I think this is done and Addiction moves on to new challengers. Very good match, just wish the crowd was more into it throughout.
Battle of the Belts: ROH Champion Jay Briscoe vs. TV Champion Jay Lethal – Fantastic main event that delivered on expectations. First off, the dynamic of having both guys’ families in the crowd made this have a big fight feel to it. Lethal’s new white attire was BOSS. Build to this going in was so simple and effective and both guys delivered in spades. All the counters were crisp as can be, Briscoe had his best ROH match since winning the title the first time against Kevin Steen and Jay Lethal had his finest hour in ROH. He was AWESOME here. Loved them getting rid of the House of Truth pretty early on in this match, then towards the end with Nigel McGuinness, who was on commentary for this, ejecting Martini, who had great facial expressions to sell the ejection. Jay Driller through the table by Briscoe to Lethal was NUTS and the first Lethal Injection falsie was such a good finish tease. Then, Lethal using Briscoe’s own Jay Driller to lead to the second Lethal Injection and winning the title, ending Briscoe’s 2-year plus undefeated streak, was a nice little tip of the cap to longtime ROH fans who remembered the way Austin Aries ended Samoa Joe’s long ROH title reign at Final Battle 2004 with a slew of big moves. While Lethal’s flurry to win the title wasn’t as long, or in front of a super-hot crowd like the Aries win was, it still was a huge moment in Lethal’s career and in the lore of ROH history. Lethal’s title celebration in the post-match came across like a big deal. Great to see for Lethal, another prime early candidate for Wrestler of the Year this year, he put on a career performance here. Briscoe loses nothing in defeat and when all is said and done, may go down as the greatest wrestler in ROH history, based off his credentials and performances and how he, along with brother Mark, have put ROH on their backs since their inception and kept the company going through the good times and bad. Jay, whether you like him as a wrestler or you don’t for his outside-the-ring views, you can’t take anything away for how much he has meant to ROH and his title runs over the last 2 years clearly show that. This match had very-high expectations going in and sans a better crowd, met those expectations as good as you could hope for. This surpassed the Global Wars 10-Man Tag as the current ROH Match of the Year and is right up there for the overall Match of the Year so far, it was that good, I so recommend you folks checking this match out, you will be glad you did.
Overall, while much like Final Battle, the Terminal 5 venue is so not a good place to showcase a live PPV with its horrible aesthetics and giving any chance of having good lighting no hope whatsoever, the show, again much like Final Battle, was damn good from top to bottom with some great angles, superb action and one of the best matches of the year. Highly recommend the iPPV replay over at http://www.rohwrestling.com for $34.95.
After one more virtual Code of Honor, I bid you aideu for this week. Hope you enjoyed reading and I’ll see you this Wedensday, back in Toronto, for more Ring of Honor Wrestling on Destination America! Have a good one!
What did you think of last Friday’s Ring of Honor Best in the World PPV? Please comment below.
Jason Namako recaps and reviews the weekly Ring of Honor TV, as well as all ROH iPPVs, PPVs and VOD releases for Wrestleview.com.