Best in the World finally took place yesterday in Baltimore, Maryland to a fairly small but intimate crowd experience. On commentary its Chris Copeland, Ian Riccaboni and NWA National Champion Colt Cabana, who was scheduled for the tag-team match with Nick Aldis against the Briscoes but was sidelined after the attack on him at the last week’s show.
Rush vs. Flip Gordon
The pre-show kicked off with this interesting matchup between Flip and Rush. Rush, who has been undefeated in ROH, had an outstanding showing as he played to the crowd well and showed off his strength. Flip tried to get some quick offense and sneak his way out of power moves but was unfortunately unable to really get much in. Overall, this was a solid way to kick things off but did not offer much outside of its opening test of strength vs. intelligence that led into the majority of Rush getting the upper-hand.
Rush def. Gordon via pinfall in 10:20
After the match, Rush is interviewed by Quinn MacKay at ringside. Rush is a bit out of breath, but gets a very strong message across that is not very well received by the crowd. Says that “nothing happens unless (he) says so”.
Shortly after this, we finally kicked off the main portion of the PPV, where Nick Aldis came out and announced that Colt Cabana will not be wrestling. Despite this, he ensures the crowd that he will face the Briscoes, but with the help of a new acquisition by the National Wrestling Alliance. Before he can announce the new signee, James Storm interrupted him by coming out. Eli Drake came out and was officially announced as the new signee and Aldis’ partner for tonight’s tag-team match. Little shaky on the promo, but solid work by Drake and all involved.
Dalton Castle vs. Dragon Lee
This match felt like a true kick-off show. It was an exciting affair that had an in-depth story involving Lee, Rush, and Castle. It started slow but eventually gave the fans some exciting spots like teasing the instant-finish that happened at the G1 Supercard between Rush and Castle and a scary hurricanrana to Castle from the apron to the outside. Eventually, Dalton hit his finisher and then hit the Falling Down, the running double knees to Lee in the corner as a way to taunt Rush.
Castle def. Lee via pinfall in 14:20
The Allure vs. Kelly Klein and Jenny Rose (c) for ROH Women’s Tag Team Championships
Angelina Love and Mandy Leon went up against the ROH Women’s Tag champs in the next matchup, and the build to this match has been quite intriguing. Since their shocking debut at the G1 Supercard, they have been featured in only brawls and little spots here and there on the weekly show. This was a solid outing by both teams. One of the highlights was a huge slam to Mandy Leon to the outside by Klein. Unfortunately, it was dragged down a bit by the outside interference by Velvet Sky, which ends up costing the champs their belts in the end as Love hit her bicycle kick on Klein.
The Allure def. Klein and Rose via pinfall in 9:30
After the match, Maria “The Maneater” Manic made her debut and tried to attack The Allure before they ran out. Maria ended up taking her anger out on adjacent security guards before dipping out.
Kenny King vs. Jay Lethal
Next up is the final match in the Best of 3 series between King and Lethal. This match was a bit quick for the build that has had the two be in a heated rivalry about respect. Having said that, there was a lot of emotion on both competitors, as Lethal came across as someone trying to hold his position and King had a look of desperation throughout the match. There was an amazing spot where Lethal went for a suicide dive only to get caught by King for a huge MMA-like takedown. Excellent. Jay would go on to hit his Lethal Injection to a 2 count, as he was late to make the pin. After this, Lethal became distracted and upset by this kick-out and caught a Royal Flush from King to pick up the win.
King def. Lethal via pinfall in 14:35
Silas Young vs. Jonathan Gresham (Pure Rules Match)
In what could’ve easily been a main-event, Silas Young went up against Jonathan Gresham in the first Pure-Rules match in over 10 years for ROH. This match was excellent, starting with the entrances that had both gentlemen come out in classic robes as a callback to the older style of wrestling. There were a lot of lockups but the intensity of the match never cooled down, and the two used the rules to their advantage to tell an amazing story. Early on, we got a callback to the Antonio Inoki vs. Muhammad Ali fight from decades ago as Gresham laid flat on the ground and kicked the legs of Young. Young pulled off an amazing Bossman slam onto his knee, followed by a clothesline, followed by a full nelson crossface. The two eventually ran out of rope breaks, but Gresham maintained his lead in the match by dominating with his strength and abusing the close-fist rule after running the ropes. The two came to a standstill and exchanged forearms before Gresham suplexed him to the outside. As they returned to the ring, the referee became distracted by the loose apron and Gresham landed a low blow as revenge for Young doing the same a few weeks ago. Finally, Gresham locked in that octopus stretch for the win.
Gresham def. Young via submission in 17:55
9.1/10 – MATCH OF THE NIGHT STAR
The Briscoe Brothers vs. Nick Aldis and Eli Drake
The next match was the NWA vs. ROH type fight between the Briscoes and NWA talents Aldis and Drake. This was a solid tag team match but quickly devolved as the teams both got counted out fairly quickly as they began brawling on the outside. During this brawl, Eli Drake attempted to spit water at one of the Briscoes but accidentally spat on James Storm, who immediately injected himself into the brawl.
Double count out draw in 11:00
Continuing to brawl after the bell rang, the Briscoes were able to get the upper hand on Aldis. Despite the interference by Kamilla Kaine, the Briscoes are still able to get the beat down on the security and Alids before hitting him with their “Foggy Bow”, a diving elbow onto a prone Aldis on a table.
Bandido vs. Shane Taylor (c) for the ROH Television Championship
The next match was a championship match between the challenging Bandido vs. Shane Taylor and was a display of athleticism by both men. Loved the mariachi outfit of Bandido’s during his entrance. There was a devastating sit out power slam by Taylor to Bandido after reversing a tilt-a-whirl head scissors. Bandido is always awesome to watch, and Taylor compliments him well. The match ended when Taylor hit “Greetings from the 216” on Bandido to retain.
Taylor def. Bandido via pinfall in 12:40
Villain Enterprises (PCO, Marty Scurll and Brody King) vs. Lifeblood (PJ Black, Mark Haskins and Tracy Williams for the 6-Man ROH Tag Team Championships
The final match before the main event was the newly-redesigned 6-Man Championship match. The Villain Enterprises came out with their custom titles and an homage to the Road Warriors with spiked football armor and a bit of face paint in what was a cool throwback. This match started slow but picked up really well, with outside splashes by Brody King and PCO being two of the most awesome moments of the match. PCO took a mean powerbomb by Williams to the apron at one point, but King was the obvious highlight of the match with his outstanding athleticism. PCO would go on to hit a moonsault to win the match for Villain Enterprises.
Villain Enterprises def. Lifeblood via pinfall in 16:55
After the match, the Sons of Savagery came out to attack the wounded Lifeblood, only to get saved by Bandido, who was then attacked by Bully Ray, who was promptly chased off by Flip Gordon. As Flip stood in the ring and put on a Lifeblood shirt to tease joining them, Marty Scurll appeared on the stage screen to announce a new member of Villain Enterprises: FLIP GORDON. Flip immediately attacked Lifeblood and walked out with the Villain and his cohorts. Excellent heel turn.
Jeff Cobb vs. Matt Taven (c) for the ROH World Heavyweight Championship
The main event of the night was this match between Jeff Cobb and Matt Taven for Taven’s ROH World Heavyweight Championship. It was a methodical match, with a steady climb that never really took off as it could have. Most of the highlights of the match include an exchange of moves to the outside and Taven’s sneakiness getting the better of Jeff Cobb and his brute strength when Taven countered Cobb’s Tour of the Islands to land the Climax to win the match.
Taven def. Cobb via pinfall in 9:55
Overall show grade
Thank you Philly!
— ROH Wrestling (@ringofhonor) June 30, 2019
This was a good show when it could have been great. Outside of the two gems of the 6-Man tag match and Young vs. Gresham, there was not much to offer. Still, it was a solid outing for ROH, but they have a lot more ground to cover if they want to continue their run.
— ROH Wrestling (@ringofhonor) June 30, 2019