ROH Best in the World 2017: The Same Good and the Same Bad

Best in the World 2017
Date: June 23, 2017
Location: Lowell Memorial Auditorium, Lowell, Massachusetts
Attendance: 2,500
Commentators: Ian Riccaboni, BJ Whitmer

I do the TV shows so it would make sense for me to do the pay per views too. This isn’t the biggest show the company does but anytime they get on pay per view it feels like a big deal for them. The main event sees Christopher Daniels defending the ROH World Title against Cody, who is about as big of a favorite while still being a challenger that you can be. Let’s get to it.

The opening video is everyone saying they’re the best (the Young Bucks say SUPERKICK of course) until Cody says he’s the worst nightmare. Now he wants to be the best in the world and end a title reign that started fifteen years too late. The idea is that he’s not under contract and therefore an outsider. That being said, he’s still on almost every show and has been given a World Title shot before this so the lack of a contract hasn’t really hurt him that much.

The announcers preview the card that we already paid for.

Kingdom vs. Ultimo Guerrero/El Terrible

Matt Taven is on a throne, Vinny Marseglia is dressed like Jason Vorhees and the injured TK O’Ryan is a viking. Yeah they’re still not interesting. Ultimo Guerrero and Terrible are from CMLL and this is under lucha rules, meaning going to the floor counts as a tag. Terrible and Marseglia start things off with some good old fashioned stalling because that’s how you want to open a pay per view.

Vinny looks insane as usual but can’t get anywhere with a front facelock. A loud shot to the face drops Marseglia and it’s time for the strikes in the corner. Taven comes in and dropkicks Terrible to the floor, meaning it’s off to Guerrero, who apparently has a history with Matt. It’s not important enough to actually explain or anything so we’ll go to Guerrero dropkicking Taven to the floor.

Vinny saves O’Ryan from Guerrero so Ultimo takes Vinny inside for a headstand into a slinghsot Bronco Buster (cool looking crash). A second version is broken up with a superkick (add Taven to the list of people better it at than the Bucks as this one actually puts Guerrero down) but it’s Terrible taking the Kingdom out with a suicide dive.

Guerrero comes off the top with a dive of his own but the Kingdom pops up for two more dives. Ultimo fights them off back inside though and hits his reverse superplex, only to take a Swanton from Marseglia. The Kingdom loads up the Supernova but Guerrero grabs a rollup out of nowhere for the pin at 11:09.

Rating: C. This was a fast paced enough match and I’m sure the live crowd liked the luchadors but that’s not the most thrilling thing for the live crowd. The Kingdom continues to be one of the least interesting groups in a LONG time because they tried to reform the team without Maria, who was what makes the whole thing work in the first place. Couple that with not great matches and it’s no shock that the team is this worthless.

We recap Frankie Kazarian vs. Adam Page. After Kazarian infiltrated Bullet Club to help Daniels in the World Title, Adam beat him at War of the Worlds. Then Page kept things personal by attacking him with a strap as part of the Daniels vs. Cody feud. Therefore, it’s time for a strap match.

Frankie Kazarian vs. Adam Page

This is the pin/submission version as both guys have their own straps but they aren’t connected. Feeling out process to start until Kazarian trips Page up and grabs a rollup for two. A hard shot to the back sends Page to the floor and a hurricanrana makes things worse. Page will have none of that and starts whipping Kazarian into the barricade a few times. He takes too long peeling back the floor mats though and gets suplexed onto the ramp steps (freaking OW MAN) for a very painful crash.

Back up and Page gets tied to the ropes but comes right back with the front flip clothesline. Page is smart enough to take Kazarian’s strap away so they trade hard forearms/clotheslines with Page getting the better of it. With Kazarian down, Paige pulls out a rope and ties him to the ropes to really turn up the violence. Since he’s just that crazy, Page pulls out a belt with nails and tacks in it.

To avoid a bad case of death, Kazarian gets out and catches Page in a cutter, followed by a Backstabber. An Unprettier gives Kazarian two but he walks into the Rite of Passage for two. The nail belt is whipped over Kazarian’s back but Page stops to spit on him, earning himself a nail belt to the back. Kazarian chokes him over the ropes for the tap out at 11:58.

Rating: C+. The violence was nice here and it actually felt like they were wanting to hurt each other instead of just doing a match with weapons in their hands. The nail belt actually being used was a surprise but you knew it wasn’t going to be the big bloodbath. It was entertaining too but Kazarian winning a big match is kind of odd, especially with Page getting treated as a big deal lately.

Quick recap of Rebellion vs. Search and Destroy. They’re both stables and they don’t like each other so the losing team has to disband.

Search and Destroy vs. Rebellion

That would be the Motor City Machine Guns/Jonathan Gresham/Jay White vs. Caprice Coleman/Shane Taylor/Kenny King/Rhett Titus. It’s a big brawl to start (of course) until it’s Coleman in the ring against the entire four man team. His oh so loyal partners just let this happen until Titus FINALLY kicks Gresham into the Rebellion corner to take over. That lasts all of a few seconds before everything breaks down again with Search and Destroy hitting a series of dives.

Back in and the huge Taylor crushes Gresham with a splash and Coleman makes things worse by rolling some northern lights suplexes. Titus hits Coleman by mistake though and a headscissors allows the hot tag to White to pick the pace up again. Jay hits a bunch of running elbows in the corner and everything breaks down. The Guns come in for the fast paced precision offense but White gets tossed into the corner.

Coleman’s Sky Splitter and Titus’ frog splash combine for two with the Guns making the save. Gresham is fine enough for a botched Lionsault press and a suicide dive, followed by a shooting star headbutt (to the thigh) as part of Skull and Bones. Search and Destroy has had it with the match and grab a quadruple submission with Gresham making Titus tap to the Octopus Hold at 12:27.

Rating: C+. Another perfectly acceptable match here with Search and Destroy, who aren’t the most interesting team in the world, winning like they should have. The Rebellion has been stale since the day they debuted and I don’t know of anyone who thought they should stick around. This is ANOTHER hit to the trios division, which hopefully will lead to its demise sooner rather than later as it sets new standards for worthlessness every day.

Post match Punishment Martinez comes in to lay White out.

We recap Silas Young vs. Jay Lethal. Young doesn’t like Jay getting all the attention and media appearances and endorsement deals so he took out Lethal’s knee. I guess that means knee or back pain has Lethal down for the count. Silas beat him in a recent match too and says he has Lethal’s number.

Jay Lethal vs. Silas Young

Young has Beer City Bruiser with him….and Lethal comes through the crowd to knock Bruiser silly with a chair. The slugout is on as the bell rings in a hurry as Bruiser is taken to the back. Good, as I still can’t stand that big tub of goo. Lethal rains down right hands in the corner but it’s back to the floor for another slugout.

A suplex off the barricade drops Young again but Jay misses a slingshot dropkick back inside. That means a slingshot double stomp (I still don’t get how something like that doesn’t break a rib) and we hit an abdominal stretch. That goes nowhere so Lethal chops away and gets two off a basement dropkick.

Silas catches him on top though and clotheslines him out to the floor to take over for all of five seconds before eating a suicide dive. They’re going back and forth with control here and it’s helping a lot. Lethal hits another suicide dive but the third attempt hits a quickly raised chair.

Back in and neither finisher can hit so Lethal settles for a superkick and the top rope elbow. Young gets in a Saito suplex and a knee to the face, followed by his bouncing moonsault out of the corner. With that not working, Silas grabs his keg but, as you might expect, the referee says not so fast. Instead Silas tries Misery but gets rolled up for the pin at 16:23.

Rating: B. The more I see of Lethal, the more I like him. He’s rapidly becoming Ring of Honor’s ace and that’s a position they haven’t had filled in too long. He also comes off as a good talker and someone who knows what he’s doing in every aspect of wrestling. That’s a rare thing and having him in such a featured role is a good idea. Young has been on a roll as of late too and while I’m not big on him losing here, it’s good to have him in this spot in the first place. Then again, they need to do something with him as he’s an older guy and if he’s not pushed hard in the relatively near future, it’s not likely to happen.

Post match Young clotheslines Lethal down. The Bruiser comes back out and sets up the keg so Young can hit Misery, sending Jay’s ribs into the steel. With Lethal’s ribs on the keg, Bruiser adds some splashes. Bruiser still isn’t done and splashes Lethal through a table on the floor. The announcers hype this up as a way to take away Lethal’s chance at the New Japan United States Title.

We recap the Six Man Tag Team Title match. Dalton Castle’s Boys accidentally caused Jay Briscoe to get misted in the face, which cost him a match. Jay wants revenge while Castle and the Boys want the titles.

Six Man Tag Team Titles: Dalton Castle/The Boys vs. Bully Ray/Briscoe Brothers

Bully and the Briscoes are defending. Before the bell, Bully and Dalton have the exact staredown you would expect them to have. Dalton and Jay get things going but the latter stops to chase after the Boys. Mark finally calms things down and comes in as Castle takes him down with some nice looking amateur style. Mark gets him into a headlock and it’s Red Neck Kung Fu time.

The Boys protect Dalton in the corner (Give them some extra…..I really don’t want to know how he pays them do I?) and he throws one of them at Mark for a good visual. Castle wants Bully, who rushes him into the corner where Dalton hits the least sold chops I’ve ever seen. Bully does the snap jabs but misses the Bionic Elbow, earning himself a Peacock pose. Ian: “BULLY RAY JUST GOT SERVED!” Bully…..starts dancing for some reason and strikes his own Peacock pose, freaking the fans out as you might expect.

Castle has to be fanned up so Bully chops him down with a single shot. It’s time for Boy #1 and Boy #2 to be dragged in and that means it’s off to Jay for some fun. #2 kicks him low and hammers away to as much avail as you would expect before it’s back to Castle who might be able to survive. Dalton’s running knee in the corner sets up a front facelock to keep Jay in trouble. A top rope superplex is countered into a super gordbuster though and it’s off to Mark for the fast paced strikes in the corner.

The Boys get beaten up as well because they’re just boys and not worth much. Everything breaks down and Boy #1 takes What’s Up. Jay takes out the Boys with a suicide dive and just unloads on #2 as you can tell he’s losing focus. Boy #1 runs away from a thrown chair so Bully goes out to calm Jay down, leaving Mark to get cradled for the pin and the titles at 13:03.

Rating: C-. This was a comedy match and unfortunately, that might be an upgrade for these titles. I haven’t cared for these things since they were introduced back in December and they haven’t been worth anything since. Castle and the Boys have lost over and over but now they win one match and happen to be champions. When your resume is weaker than Jinder Mahal’s, you might not be the best choice to hold a title. There was a story here with Jay losing his cool (not that surprising) but that doesn’t make up for the weak booking with the titles in general.

The former champs are livid as Ian wants to know what the celebration is going to be like in the hotel room.

We recap Marty Scurll vs. Kushida in a rematch for the TV Title that Kushida recently took from Scurll. Marty is even angrier than usual and has promised to break a lot of fingers.

TV Title: Marty Scurll vs. Kushida

Kushida is defending. They trade some snazzy wristlock counters to start until Marty does his wings flapping thing. Scurll gets armdragged down and dropkicked in the face but it’s too early for a cross armbreaker. It’s also too early for the chickenwing so Kushida ties him in the ropes for a rolling kick to the head. A pumphandle neckbreaker gives Marty two and it’s time to hit those wings again.

Marty stays on the arm until Kushida sends him head first into the buckle. They’re playing a nice back and forth style battle here and it’s working so far. Another double heel kick staggers Marty and he gets pulled off the ropes into the Hoverboard Lock. The hold doesn’t last long so Marty knees him in the head and gets two off a piledriver. It’s back to the arm (the other arm this time) before a backslide is good for two on Kushida.

The chickenwing is countered into a rollup which is countered into another chickenwing which is countered into the Hoverboard Lock which is countered AGAIN, only to have Kushida kick him in the head to get a breather. Marty flips him off for reasons of general villainy so Kushida stomps him in the face. Somehow that doesn’t know Marty cold so he puts on a wicked looking arm hold with both of Kushida’s arms being bent behind his back at the same time.

The foot gets to the rope though and Marty looks even more annoyed. It’s time to go after the fingers but Kushida is smart enough to grab Marty’s fingers and snap them instead. A super Back to the Future (small package driver) followed by a regular version retains the title at 15:02.

Rating: B+. I had a good time with this but that tends to be the case with all of Kushida’s matches anymore. The had a perfectly natural heel vs. face story going here and that’s something that is going to work every time because it’s what wrestling is built on. It’s easy to see which of these guys is good and which is evil, which makes it easier to cheer for them. Unless you’re a modern wrestling fan who cheers for the villain by default more often than not of course.

We look back at the Women of Honor dark match, which may not have been much but it’s an excuse for me to look at Mandy Leon. This whole division is such a waste of time/a mess though and there’s not much of a way to fix it at this point.

Tag Team Titles: War Machine vs. Young Bucks

War Machine is challenging. Actually hang on a second here because cue the Best Friends to say they beat the Young Bucks back in Philadelphia so they should be added to this match. Sure why not.

Tag Team Titles: War Machine vs. Young Bucks vs. Best Friends

The Bucks are defending and this is under tornado rules. It’s a brawl to start with the Best Friends cleaning house on the Bucks. Naturally we get a hug but War Machine is right there to crush both Berreta and Taylor. Double shotgun knees and a double bronco buster bring the Bucks back in for some kicks and the Rise of the Terminator pose because the Bucks are very glorified spot monkeys.

The Bucks’ dives are caught but the Best Friends are there to hit their own dives. We get the first superkick to slow Berreta down but it’s War Machine coming back in to take over. Nick hits a moonsault to the floor to take out a bunch of people, only to have Chuck dive from the stage to take out even more of them. Naturally Hanson goes to the top to dive onto all five of them but I think you know what’s coming. If you thought selling or something original, you haven’t been paying enough attention.

Of course it’s a superkick and a bunch of flippy dives until all six are down in the ring. Everyone gets back up, there are eight superkicks, and everyone is down again. War Machine is up first and starts cleaning house with a German suplex/clothesline combination to take Berreta out, followed by a pop up powerslam for two. Fallout gets the same with Chuck making the save.

The Bucks are back in with superkicks and a flip dive but the Meltzer Driver is broken up and Chuck hits the Awful Waffle (spinning piledriver) for two on Matt. Rowe gets kneed in the face and both Friends roll him up at the same time for two. Superkicks continue to abound and a double Indytaker, followed by MORE superkicks retain the titles at 12:27.

Rating: B. You know, I watched the NJPW Dominion show and called the Bucks match their best ever. I also pointed out that they used by far the least amount of superkicks I ever saw from them. Here, I stopped counting at around twenty and I lost a lot of interest about halfway through the match. It really does get tiring, as does adding teams with no build for the sake of adding them in. True there was a story, but did we really need them there when you had a perfectly good title match already?

We recap the World Title match. Cody was supposed to win the title at War of the Worlds but got screwed over when a third man was added and cost him the fall. Now it’s his chance to win the title as a free agent. Daniels says the title means the world to him but for Cody it’s just another thing to add to his suitcase while he’s traveling from company to company. That’s a better version of the story they’ve been telling but it would be nice to have it announced more than five minutes before the opening bell.

ROH World Title: Christopher Daniels vs. Cody

Cody is challenging and of course we get Big Match Intros (as we should). The fans, as in the Ring of Honor fans, chant Too Sweet for Bullet Club’s Cody, because paying attention to the story is so beneath them. He’s supposed to be here to ruin the company that they all love so let’s cheer him. You know, the pure wrestling fans that ROH brags about having. Those guys who boo heels because the idea of heels and faces (you know, the pure wrestling that they all claim to love) is just passe at this point. I never got that but I’m often told to shut up and have fun so it probably isn’t worth asking about.

Cody works a headlock to start but a run of the ropes goes to Daniels, who puts his boot on Cody’s back as Cody drops down. Speaking of dropping down, Cody heads to the floor with a bloody lip. Back in and Angel’s Wings don’t work as Cody bails right back to the floor. This time he even goes into the crowd for a longer breather. Back in (again) and Daniels slugs away, sending Cody and his bloody lip outside for the third time.

Daniels finally follows him out with a baseball slide but Cody beats him up against the barricade to take over for a very short while. They head inside again with Daniels going up top, allowing Cody to armdrag him right back down in a good looking sequence. Cody grabs a short armscissors but stops to go outside and yell at former ROH owner Carey Silkin. Back in and Daniels drives him into the corner for a ref bump, allowing Cody to kick him low. BJ: “RIGHT IN THE DING DING!” After how forgettable he’s been tonight, even ripping off Steve Corino is a bit of an improvement for him.

Daniels gets in a small package for no count and here’s Scurll to throw Cody a chair. Of course the referee wakes up as Daniels picks up the chair, meaning it’s an Eddie Guerrero moment as he throws it to Cody and drops down. Cody grabs a cutter on the chair for no cover, but he does get a CODY chant. Kazarian comes out to get rid of Scurll and it’s table time.

The champ is right back with a Flatliner on the apron and an STO for two more. Angel’s Wings through the table is broken up and Cody busts out a Rainmaker (Thankfully not for a near fall BECAUSE IT’S JUST A CLOTHESLINE!). The Beautiful Disaster staggers Daniels but he’s still able to suplex Cody through the table in a big crash.

They both barely beat the count and Daniels grabs the Koji Clutch, sending Cody over to the ropes. Cody spits water (Where did he get that?) in Daniels’ face and gets two off Cross Rhodes. Angel’s Wings are countered again and Cody rolls him into another Cross Rhodes for the pin and the title at 19:18 to a huge face pop.

Rating: B. The crowd took me out of this one but that’s not on the wrestlers. Cody was trying to cheat in every possible way out there and they only cheered for him more. Simply put, if ROH doesn’t go for a BIG face turn for Cody (or perhaps even a double turn), they’re flat out wasting their time. The wrestling part here was fine and I liked the fact that the interference didn’t play a role in the win. Daniels lost the title at the right time as he was never going to be the next huge champion. Just giving him a feel good win and a few months as champion was all he ever needed to be.

Bullet Club comes out to celebrate to end the show as the announcers try to treat this as horrible while the fans can’t cheer Cody hard enough.

Overall Rating: B+. As is usually the case with Ring of Honor, I liked the show well enough but you’re only going to get so far with so little connection to a lot of the characters and stories. If the fans are going to cheer almost every heel, how exactly are they heels and therefore, why should I care about the people I’m supposed to care about? The wrestling is still good enough (flippy issues aside, though you expect that going into this one) and I liked most of the matches so I can easily say the show is good, though you have to really like this kind of wrestling to get behind the show, as is often the case around here.

Remember to follow me on Twitter @kbreviews and pick up the Histories of Saturday Night’s Main Event and Clash of the Champions, now in PAPERBACK. Check out the information here:

And check out my Amazon author page with cheap wrestling books at:

1 comment

  1. Bloodbuzz Bunk says:

    The modern ROH crowd really irks me. It used to be about having guys like Rollins, Aries, Joe, Punk, and Danielson going out and having amazing matches with dozens of opponents and each other and the crowd properly appreciated it. Now that WWE/TNA hadscooped up all of those guys it’s gone a little bit more down hill. I sorta think the Bullet Club has done more harm than good for them as it has given credibility to the fact that all of Indy wrestling is one big book and that every show in every company is treating like it’s a super Indy which is just dumb. You can act like a goof at a PWG show because they run 5-7 shows a year with hardly any storylines and just amass world class talent to fill up a 300 seat Elk’s Lodge. It’s designed to be enjoyed like a sweet treat you get every two or three months. ROH is a touring promotion with regular tv and 8-10 PPVs a year. It’s designed to be taken seriously like a major show should. Basically the modern ROH crowd is a 7 year old that subsists entirely on cookies.

    Now that I’m done ranting I got a few takes. Page and Kaz could used like 5 more minutes and little more direction. Also if they are gonna make a big deal of Lethal’s post match injuries for the IWGP US Title tournament this weekend why don’t they acknowledge that his opponent Hangman Page just TOOK LASHINGS FROM A STRAP WITH NAILS AND GOT CHOKED OUT?

    Overall I was happy with the match quality of the show despite the weak crowd( aside from there Bullet Club marking out). Cody is fine but I sorta want to see him against younger and more talented competition at this point. Cody is guy who needs to be pushed by a talented challenger in order to meet his full potential.