Ring of Honor: Best in the World 2013


Baltimore, MD – 6.22.2013

Championship Rundown
ROH World Champion: Jay Briscoe
ROH Television Champion: Matt Taven
ROH World Tag Team Champions: reDRagon (Kyle O’Reilly & Bobby Fish)

Commentary is provided by Kevin Kelly. Steve Corino does commentary for the first half of the show and Nigel McGuinness does commentary for the second half.

BJ Whitmer vs. Mike Bennett

Maria Kanellis and ‘Brutal’ Bob Evans are in Bennett’s corner. Bennett tries to attack but Whitmer gives him some right hands in response. Whitmer sends him to the floor and suicide dives after him. Evans’ distraction allows Bennett to whip Whitmer into the barricades. Bennett comes off the apron with a clothesline. In the ring he crotches himself trying to attack Whitmer in the corner. Whitmer gives him a backbreaker for two. Evans distracts him again. Bennett nails a superkick and pummels Whitmer on the mat. Bennett wears down his back and gets two with a suplex. Same goes for a dropkick. Whitmer fires back with some punches and clotheslines. He lands a powerslam. After a knee in the corner he strings a fisherman’s and exploder suplex together for two. As Whitmer comes off the ropes, Bennett catches him with a spinebuster. He follows with the Final Cut for two. Whitmer backdrops Bennett. Evans runs in but gets sent right out to the floor. Whitmer’s exploder suplex gets him the pin at 8:56. Solid wrestling out of both guys. The issue they created with Whitmer presumably eyeing Maria was a loose enough reason to present this bout but it wasn’t played up at all during the match itself. A decent opener but nothing more. **

Maria Kanellis tells Bennett that the loss was Evans’ fault. Bennett and Maria give Evans a tongue lashing and leave Evans by his lonesome.

The American Wolves (Davey Richards & Eddie Edwards) vs. Adrenaline Rush (ACH & Tadarius Thomas)

Richards and ACH catch each others’ kick attempts. They end up letting each other go cleanly. Richards then gives him a sole butt to the stomach. He throws ACH into a headbutt from Edwards. Edwards chops ACH then throws him into a headbutt from Richards. ACH flips over Richards and gives him a back elbow from the second rope. He applies a figure four headscissors. Thomas tags in and dropkicks Richards while he’s in the hold. Richards gives Thomas a chinbreaker. Edwards chops him up. Thomas evades some kicks and kicks Edwards in the side of the head for two. He throws a flurry of forearms in the corner. Richards blind tags in. Edwards trips Thomas and Richards comes in with a diving headbutt for two. The Wolves pummel Thomas in their corner. Richards even boots ACH off the apron during the beating. Thomas lands on his feet out of Richards’ German suplex and nails an enzuigiri. ACH finally tags in and throws chops at Edwards. Edwards fires one back. ACH dropkicks him to the corner. He headscissors Edwards into the second turnbuckle. He clotheslines Edwards and slides out to the floor. Richards misses an apron chest kick. ACH crossbody’s Edwards for two. Richards sole butt kicks both Thomas and ACH. Thomas comes back with a capoeira kick. He enzuigiri’s Edwards into ACH’s slingshot Ace Crusher. Another enzuigiri from Thomas gets them a two count. Edwards superkicks Thomas. The Wolves give ACH the Alarm Clock. Edwards superkicks him into Richards’ German suplex for two. Richards kicks ACH down in the corner. ACH fights him off the top rope. Edwards tries for a superplex. Thomas takes him on his shoulders. Edwards tries a Frankensteiner but Thomas lands on his face. He Slingblades Edwards for two. Richards nails a top rope dropkick onto Thomas. Richards follows up with a brainbuster. ACH flies in with a frog splash onto him for two. He tries the Cram for the Exam but Richards fights out. ACH blocks an Alarm Clock and spikes Richards in a reverse Frankensteiner. After some kicks he hits the Cram for the Exam. Edwards breaks the cover. Thomas sends Edwards to the floor. He misses a moonsault and gets superkicked. ACH flies onto Edwards with Michael Jordan. He tries a 450 splash. Richards gets his knees up and small packages ACH for the pin at 11:56. Just like they did a couple weeks ago with reDRagon, Adrenaline Rush showed they were capable of hanging with one of the best tag teams in ROH. In this case, one of the best teams in ROH history. The finishing stretch was a lot of fun as they moved from move to move flawlessly. I could see a rematch in the foreseeable future and I think Adrenaline Rush will be a top team sooner rather than later. ***¼

Adam Cole vs. Roderick Strong

This is a rematch from “Honor in the Heart of Texas.” Strong cleanly breaks a headlock against the ropes. He goes for some pins while he and Cole are in a double knuckle lock. Cole catches Strong with a Manhattan Drop and neckbreaker combo. Strong attempts the Strong Hold but gets kicked away. Strong hangs Cole in the tree of woe and delivers a running knee into his lower abdomen. He stretches Cole out across his back then rolls him up for two. Cole catches Strong coming out of the corner with a Death Valley Driver across his knee for one. Strong throws some chops. Cole pitches him to the floor. Strong gets up to the apron only to be sent back down with an enzuigiri. Cole follows up with a suicide dive. In the ring Cole attacks Strong’s left leg. Cole tries for a crossbody but gets dropkicked in mid-air. Strong grasps at his left leg. He throws some chops and knees Cole in the corner. He brings Cole out with a bulldog. Strong drops him stomach first onto the top rope for a two count. Cole responds with an enzuigiri and a Shining Wizard for two. He puts Strong in a figure four. Strong gets the ropes to escape. After a strike exchange, Strong hits Cole with Death by Roderick and the Sick Kick. Cole kicks out, so Strong puts on the Strong Hold. Cole tries kicking away but Strong simply re-applies the hold. Cole does kick out of it. He superkicks Strong and gives him a brainbuster onto his knee for two. They fight on the apron. Cole superkicks Strong causing him to fall through the timekeeper’s table. Cole considers dragging Strong back into the ring, but decides instead to jump back into the ring in the hopes of a count out victory. It ends up paying off as Cole gets the victory via count out at 15:21. This was weirdly structured. Cole’s leg work came and went as did Strong’s selling. The finish didn’t play into it at all, but I think the outcome was the right one to further foreshadow Cole’s future character shift and it was fairly clever. I just don’t think it was good as their previous encounter. **¾

Michael Elgin vs. Tommasso Ciampa

‘Barrister’ RD Evans joins Kelly on commentary. Each guy goes for the finisher early but their opponent is able to avoid it. They trade headbutts in a double knuckle lock. Even though Elgin wins the contest, Ciampa is able to hold up Elgin for a lengthy period in a delayed vertical suplex. He goes for a running knee strike and gets caught with a Boss Man Slam. Elgin then puts on a crossface. Ciampa escapes and puts on his own crossface. Elgin picks him up and drops him in the corner with a Death Valley Driver. Elgin shows Ciampa how a delayed vertical suplex is done. They match each other strike for strike. Ciampa Cactus clotheslines Elgin to the floor. Ciampa then drives Elgin back first into the barricades. He pulls some of the protective mats up off the floor. Elgin resists getting thrown onto it. Ciampa looks for a suicide dive but gets caught with a forearm. Elgin then suplexes Ciampa onto the exposed floor. Right when it looks like Ciampa is going to make it back into the ring, Elgin powerbombs him into the barricades! In the ring Elgin hits a tumbleweed senton for two. He powerbombs Ciampa into the corner. Ciampa blocks another powerbomb with the Air Raid Crash. Elgin kicks out. Ciampa drives his knee into Elgin’s face in the corner twice. Elgin gets up. Ciampa backfists him and delivers two more knee strikes. He gives Elgin an Air Raid Crash off of the second rope and somehow Elgin kicks out. Ciampa goes for another knee strike. Elgin catches him with a uranage slam. He lifts up Ciampa in a vertical suplex and drops him into a side slam for two. From the apron Elgin pulls Ciampa up into a superplex. Ciampa however slips out and hits Project Ciampa. Elgin gets his foot on the ropes at the last second. Ciampa brings him out to the apron for another Air Raid Crash. He then delivers it onto the exposed floor! He brings Elgin back into the ring but only gets two. He tries for another Project Ciampa in the ring. Elgin evades it and powerbombs Ciampa into the corner. The Revolution Bomb is only good for two when Ciampa turns the pin into a triangle choke. Elgin powerbombs Ciampa out of it. Ciampa rolls through a second Revolution Bomb and blasts Elgin in the face with a knee strike. It’s not even good for a one count! Elgin nails a short arm lariat. He cracks Ciampa with three consecutive Backfists, a forearm to the back of the head, and a short-arm lariat for the pin at 19:57. This was a war. I don’t think I’ve seen this type of match in awhile where two guys kill one another so mercilessly and relentlessly. You bought both individuals as being capable to take the punishment they endured and keep going. I’ve said that in the past month Ciampa has looked like a future ROH main eventer and this match solidified just that. The rest of this show has a tough act to follow. ***¾

While officials are checking on both men, QT Marshall makes his way out. By the time he has prepared himself to fight, Ciampa and Elgin are both eyeing him. Marshall thinks better than to attack and heads to the back with RD Evans.

ROH Television Championship
Matt Taven vs. Jay Lethal vs. Jimmy Jacobs

Truth Martini, Scarlett Bordeaux, and Seleziya Sparx are in Taven’s corner. Lethal superkicks Jacobs to the floor right at the bell. Lethal gets dragged out and Taven dives onto both of them. He throws Jacobs head first into the barricade. Lethal does the same to Taven. He baseball slide dropkicks Jacobs’ head into the barricades. Taven clotheslines Lethal. Jacobs throws Taven’s face into the apron. Martini tries sweeping out his legs on the apron. He misses. Jacobs comes off the apron and is caught mid-air by a powerslam from Taven. Lethal sends Jacobs into the barricades and brings Taven back into the ring. He hip tosses Taven into a cartwheel dropkick. He missile dropkicks Taven to the corner and gets two with a Death Valley Driver. Lethal catches Jacobs coming in. Jacobs catches him with a neckbreaker and dropkicks Taven to the floor. He brings Lethal off the top rope with a Frankensteiner for two. Martini grabs Jacobs’ foot. Taven kicks both him and Lethal. He gives Jacobs Angel’s Wings onto Lethal and pins Jacobs for two. Jacobs sends Taven to the floor. He tries a pescado but it doesn’t go as planned. In the ring Lethal drops both men with a Complete Shot/DDT combo. All three men exchange strikes. Taven goes for the Headlock Driver on Lethal. However, Jacobs gives Taven the Contra Code and rolls back into a headscissors on Lethal. Lethal Waffle faces Jacobs and Taven breaks the pin. Taven fights off Lethal’s superplex. Lethal instead gives Jacobs the Lethal Combination. Upon finishing, Taven frog splashes onto Lethal for a two count. After Lethal hits Taven with a pop-up neckbreaker he goes to the top rope. He connects with Hail to the King. Jacobs breaks the cover. Lethal sends both opponents to the floor. He suicide dives onto Taven. Scarlett jumps in the ring to slap Lethal. Lethal pulls her shirt off! Martini chastises Lethal. Jacobs delivers a spear. Martini begs for Jacobs’ mercy. Seleziya stands in between them. Jacobs shoves her, so she looks for an Air Rad Crash. Lethal superkicks her. Jacobs hits a springback Ace Crusher. Martini grabs Jacobs’ leg so Taven can jump in and steal the cover at 12:58. Jacobs and Lethal are having amazing years and working really hard. I think throwing Taven in there actually did everyone a disservice but in the end they made things work. The only problem I do have with the finish is Taven has yet to really establish himself as a great singles champion. He’s missing that one big, clean key victory and this could have been it. It was a clever ending and I don’t mind dog and pony show factions but you can’t have them be a a part of the finish every time they’re around. ***

ROH World Tag Team Championship
reDRagon (Kyle O’Reilly & Bobby Fish) vs. Caprice Coleman & Cedric Alexander vs. S.C.U.M. (Rhett Titus & Cliff Compton)

C&C fight it out with S.C.U.M. reDRagon joins forces with C&C temporarily to take out S.C.U.M. on the floor. The friendship ends when reDRagon cut off Coleman’s dive with various kicks and a slap to the face. Alexander missile dropkicks both of them. C&C wipe out Fish with a modified Total Elimination. Coleman legdrops the back of O’Reilly’s head. Compton shoves Coleman off the top rope while Titus dropkicks Alexander. S.C.U.M. take turns beating down Coleman. Coleman finds the opportunity to dropkick Titus and Compton away and tag in Alexander. He fights off both members of reDRagon. He drops O’Reilly with a full nelson facebuster. Compton breaks the pin. Alexander and Coleman give him a Rough Ryder Hart Attack. They toss Titus onto Compton on the floor. Alexander dropkicks O’Reilly in the corner. C&C hit him with Overtime. Titus pulls O’Reilly out to the apron so a pin can’t be made. Coleman dives onto S.C.U.M. Alexander delivers a brainbuster to O’Reilly. Fish kicks Alexander in the side of the head and pulls O’Reilly on top of him for the pin at 6:58. That finish was really lame. S.C.U.M. ultimately offered nothing, reDRagon barely did anything, and C&C worked hard for no real reason. Unquestionably the biggest disappointment of the show. *½

No Disqualification
Kevin Steen vs. Matt Hardy

Steen asks for this to be a No DQ match and McGuinness makes it so. Steve Corino is in Hardy’s corner. Steen and Hardy get into a slugfest when Steen suggest that Hardy’s brother had all in the balls in the family. Hardy pulls referee Paul Turner in the way to avoid a cannonball senton. He chop blocks Steen’s leg out and goes to work on it. Steen pops Hardy up into a powerbomb. Hardy retreats to the floor. Steen sends him into the barricades. He utilizes a fans crutch to do some damage. He drives Hardy’s groin into a ring post. Hardy manages to drive Steen’s head into the barricades repeatedly. Corino runs to the back while Hardy legdrops Steen. Corino tosses in a trashcan which Hardy jabs into Steen’s head and smashes on his back. Hardy gives Steen two neckbreakers. He misses a moonsault. Steen successfully lands the cannonball senton in the corner. He utilizes the trashcan when hitting it a second time. When he doesn’t get the pin, Steen sets up a table ringside. He tires for the F-Cinq. Rhett Titus runs in. He gets taken out with a Package Piledriver. Hardy drops Steen with the Side Effect for two. He hits it again. Steen and Jacobs fight on the apron. Steen is set for a Package Piledriver through the table when Jacobs moves the table out of the way. Steen releases Hardy and gives Jacobs two powerbombs onto the ring apron. He also gives one to Hardy. Cliff Compton whacks Steen with a chair across the back. Hardy drops a ladder across Steen’s back. Steen drives the ladder into Hardy’s face with a Code Breaker for two. Corino distracts Steen long enough for Hardy to give him the Twist of Fate. Steen kicks out. He goes it for it a second time. Steen low blows Hardy to block it. Steen hits the F-Cinq for two. Hardy low blows Steen and gives him a Side Effect onto the ladder. Hardy then props up two chairs facing one another. Steen spits in Hardy’s face. Hardy gives Steen the Twist of Fate through the two chairs for the pin at 14:11. One had to figure Hardy was going to win given he had an ROH World Championship the next night. I guess Steen still gets to lose strong ultimately losing to Hardy plus four others, but how does that really strengthen Hardy as a contender? They did some cool things with weapons and Steen at various points beating up the S.C.U.M. members was fun but overall the match did not ultimately sit well with me for one reason or another. **

S.C.U.M. continues to beat up Steen. No one comes to the rescue because to many, Steen cannot be trusted. Poor guy.

ROH World Championship
Jay Briscoe vs. Mark Briscoe

They engage in a few lockups which see no real victor. Mark takes Jay off his feet with a spinwheel kick. After another exchange Jay throws a clothesline. Mark rolls under it. He asks for a handshake but then pulls his hand away. Mark drops him with a rolling Death Valley Driver. He throws Jay to the floor and follows with a dropkick through the ropes. Jay retaliates with a big boot. Mark suplexes Jay onto the ring frame. They tentatively circle each other. Jay gets in a few jabs before delivering a clothesline. He sends Mark into the second rope with a Complete Shot. He misses a strike and Mark gives him an enzuigiri. A couple suplexes get Mark a two count. Jay takes a breather on the floor. He sets up a table. Mark comes out and gets in a fist fight with his brother. Mark ends up on the top rope. Jay throws him off onto the floor! Back in the ring he looks for the Jay Driller. Mark resists. He sends Jay overhead with an exploder suplex. He Joon Woo dropkicks him to the corner. Mark brings Jay off the top with an Iconoclam for two. They fight onto the apron close to the table that was set up a little bit ago. Mark sends Jay to the floor and pescado’s after him. He places Jay on the table. He puts Jay through it with the Froggy Bow! He brings Jay back in the ring. He hits another Froggy Bow. Jay manages to kick out. He throws a few boots. Mark hits an enzuigir. The Cutthroat Driver, the same move Mark defeated Jay with back in 2002 in Mark’s debut match, is unable to get the job done nearly 11 years later. He places Jay on the top turnbuckle hoping for another Cut-Throat Driver. Jay rakes Mark’s face to escape it. Jay throws a few punches and an uppercut. He hits the Jay Driller for two. He lariats Mark before hitting the Jay Driller a second time. Mark kicks out before a one count! Jay throws three superkicks. A third Jay Driller gets him the pin at 21:11. It’s fun when I think back to the first Briscoes match and see how not much has changed. There’s less head drops but the selling is still extremely spotty and at times non-existent. Given there wasn’t much of a reason for this match to happen the crowd didn’t have much to sink their teeth into and were only really vocal at the high points of the match. The action was fine aside from spotty selling but not as great as one would hope from a main event World title bout on iPPV. ***

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