Ring of Honor held its annual Best in the World pay-per-view Friday night, June 29 from Baltimore with Cody and Marty Scurll taking on Dalton Castle in the main event for the ROH world title, and the Bucks and the Briscoes rekindling a classing rivalry in the promotion.
See below for full results, reaction, highlights and analysis from the night:
The Kingdom (c) vs. EVIL, BUSHI, and SANADA for the ROH World Six-Man Tag Team Championship: To be honest, we had trouble getting the show started tonight and once we got it going this match was over. I see that The Kingdom retained.
Flip Gordon vs. Bully Ray: One that I was personally looking forward to that had a poop of a finish with Bully Ray continuing his bully to anyone younger than him schtick. Flip gave a solid ROH-style promo before the match, and got a couple minutes to work in some impressive sports.
The highlight of this one was Cheeseburger and Colt Cabana coming to the rescue of Flip. Even Ian Riccaboni piled it on Bully Ray from the announce booth by saying he never wanted to see him again. I really enjoyed the aspect of "everyone" being sick of Bully Ray's crap. Flip wins via DQ in a match solely for a segment.
Sumie Sakai, Jenny Rose, Mayu Iwatani, and Tenille Dashwood vs. Kelly Klein, Hazuki, Kagetsu, and Hana Kimura: This one was interesting because it started really weird and sloppy, but had a super strong ending. I loved the characters at play here with Hazuki, Kagetsu, and Hana Kimur consistently mocking their opponents while doing classic, old heel things.
A sloppy, cluster match that ends with an impressive show of strength and a beautiful Dragon Suplex with the bridge from Iwatani. Sumie Sakai, Jenny Rose, Mayu Iwatani, and Tenille Dashwood win via pinfall.
Austin Aries vs. Kenny King:This is where the night really shifted into full gear. Aries and King came out and just worked their asses off in a unique, versatile match that went back and forth and got ample time. The crowd was into this one, showing their enthusiasm with a "You Killed Kenny ... You Bastard" chant after Aries hit a brainbuster on the outside. Great stuff, highly recommend this match. Aries wins with a brainbuster on the inside.
Jay Lethal vs. KUSHIDA: Talk about two guys working their asses off, damn. Lethal and KUSHIDA took what Aries and King did, and built off of that in grand fashion. The little things they did like the snub handshake before the match to set up Lethal getting his handshake while KUSHIDA lay on his back during the action. Just good stuff. Some fantastic spots, and another classic between two of the top hands in ROH. Lethal is a top guy, and KUSHIDA can go with anyone. Lethal wins via pinfall, the two actually shake hands after.
Add in the fact that Silas Young as a positive addition to commentary, and you've got a solid all-around wrestling experience.
Punishment Martinez (c) vs. Adam Page in a Baltimore Street Fight for the ROH World TV Championship: Say what you will about either of these guys, but they beat the living hell out of each other. There was a mix of sloppy moments, but also insanely impressive ones like when Hangman landed on his feet after a Shooting Star from the apron to the floor only to immediately take an apron powerbomb and chokeslam to the barricade.
The crowd was hot on this one, and Hangman Page is over like grover. Page is on a roll right now, and honestly, I'm surprised Punishment won this one. The ROH TV champ retained the title after chokeslamming Hangman through a table.
It was a solid, goofy hardcore match that featured one of my least favorite spots in the thumbtacks.
The Briscoes (c) vs. The Young Bucks for the ROH World Tag Team Championship: These two teams have faced each other dating back to 2008, with the Briscoes entering with the reported 7-5 advantage. When this one is on the card, it's generally a special show as these two teams have major cornerstones in the promotion in recent years.
The Bucks are on fire right now, and entered the match as the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champions and part of the NEVER 6-Man Tag Team Champions. They failed in their quest to add more golf to their waste, but the match that took place was a thing of tag team beauty.
This was a fantastic tag team wrestling match that featured a pair of sick hot tages and just an intense final 5 minutes of nearfalls and false finishes. This one was full of over-the-top spots and even a nasty ref bump as the Briscoes retain the ROH tag titles. This was personally my favorite match of the night as a perfect representation of how fun tag team wrestling can be. Briscoes win with a killer powerbomb/neckbreaker off the top rope.
Dalton Castle (c) vs. Cody Rhodes vs Marty Scurll for the ROH World Championship: While not a match of the year candidate or mind-blowing triple threat match, this one told a solid story and some impressive spots. Cody and Marty's scenes were great, and Dalton was a perfect representation of the wounded warrior that everyone counts out because every part of his body is taped up.
Much like thumbtacks, I hate powder spots, but Cody's continued greasy moves keep the end of matches like this one interesting. I was convinced this one was between Marty or Cody, and it seemed that way at the end right until sneaks the bang-a-rang on Marty who had just hit Cody with his own finisher in the CrossRhodes. The big question is where they go with Dalton and the ROH title next, and what happens with Nick Aldis and Cody at All In now that the latter still does not have the ROH world title.