The tenth edition of Best in the World, took place in Baltimore, Maryland this Friday. Three Ring of Honor titles were on the line and not only ROH Stars were on the card, but also NWA’s Nick Aldis and his expected new partner.

Jeff Cobb will try to grab ROH World Champion from Matt Taven in a title match. Bandido will get his first opportunity to win gold in ROH when he challenges for the World Television Title against Shane Taylor. The ROH Six-Man Title Match will oppose Villain Enterprises (Marty Scurll, Brody King, and PCO) and Mark Haskins, PJ Black, and Tracy Williams, aka Lifeblood, but everyone is expecting for the new member of The Villain Enterprises to be revealed…

Rush defeated Flip Gordon

These two got the night off to a hot start, as they battled back and forth and maintained a fast pace. Gordon scored near falls after a Falcon Arrow and springboard spear, but when he went for a suicide dive, RUSH caught him and slammed him into the barricade. RUSH risked disqualification by throwing a garbage can at Gordon, but the referee let it go. Back inside the ring, RUSH nailed Gordon with Bull’s Horns, nearly knocking him unconscious, and pinned him to remain undefeated.

New music for Flip Gordon but not the match he was expecting. This was a good opener with Gordon lasting longer with Rush than most, but ultimately failing. It was good, but Gordon never really came off as overly competitive and they never hit the next gear.

The new NWA signee is… 

Nick Aldis arrived and wishes Colt Cabana a speedy recovery, and revealed his new tag team partner for tonight… but James Storm interrupted him and Storm called Aldis the protected champion and says he’s had Cabana & Aldis beat, he’s earned his spot. Eli Drake is revealed as the new NWA signee and Aldis’ partner for tonight. Drake said that the hottest free agent in wrestling is here and he will turn the business upside down.

Dalton Castle defeated Dragon Lee

In a repeat of Castle’s 16-second loss to RUSH, Lee’s older brother, at G1 Supercard in April, Lee stormed out of the gate, hit Bull’s Horns twice and made a cover. This time, Castle kicked out at two. Castle was incensed. He tossed Lee into the barricade and into the front row on three different sides of the ring. On his fourth attempt, Lee reversed it and sent Castle into the barricade. After they exchanged near falls, Castle hit Bang-a-Rang, but he didn’t go for the cover. Instead, he hit Bull’s Horns, and then he covered Lee for the victory.

Less feather for a way better Dalton Castle. After struggling with back issues, but still wearing back brace, the Liberace of ROH looked way better in a very good overall match, with Castle picking up the rebound win he needed while sending a message to Rush.

The Allure (Mandy Leon & Angelina Love) defeated Jenny Rose & Kelly Klein

Klein and Rose jumped on Love and Leon right as the opening bell sounded. Outside interference by Sky halted their momentum. Love took out Klein and Rose with a crossbody off the top rope to the floor. Later, Rose slammed Leon off the apron to the floor. Klein hit a fallaway slam on Love off the middle rope for a near fall. While the referee was distracted, Leon hit Klein in the back of the head with a high heel shoe. Love nailed Klein with a pump kick to pin the champion.

After the match, the lights went out and “The Maneater” video played on the screen. When the lights came back on, Maria Manic was in the ring. The Allure took off. Security tried to escort Manic out of the ring, but she attacked them. After knocking several of the men out of the ring, she lifted up one of them in a Razor’s Edge position and tossed him over the top rope onto the others.

Velvet Sky was at ringside and, of course, she got involved in a bad-looking match. The wrestlers may have been beautiful, they were not in the ring in this slow and incoherent match. Post-match, Maria Manic debuted and The Allure bailed so Manic could beat up security geeks. This was way better than what we saw before…

Best of Three Series Final Match: Kenny King defeated Jay Lethal

King immediately went to work on Lethal’s bad elbow, which was injured by King after their previous match. These two bitter rivals pulled out all the stops, including King suplexing Lethal onto the edge of the apron from the floor. King hit a Shooting Star Press for a near fall. Lethal put King in the Figure-Four Leglock, but ringside attendant Amy Rose — who previously had assisted King when he was “blind” — slid King’s walking stick into the ring. Lethal released the hold to question Rose. She headed to the back. Lethal hit Lethal Injection, but King kicked out. King rallied with a Blockbuster and a clothesline. Then he hit Lethal Injection and Royal Flush to win the match and the series. 

Does Jay Lethal still as something to prove, as a former ROH Champion and in-ring veteran? Was this match the best of the Three? No clue, but this one was a very good match that told the story that they knew each other very well and were willing to one-up each other in order to win.

PURE RULES MATCH: Jonathan Gresham defeated Silas Young

The rules of the match were as follows:

— Each wrestler has three rope breaks to stop submission holds and pinfalls. After a wrestler exhausts his rope breaks, submission and pin attempts on or under the ropes by the opponent are considered legal.

— Closed-fist punches to the face are not permitted; only open-handed slaps or chops to the face are allowed. Punches to other parts of the body are permitted excluding low-blows. The first use of a closed fist will get a warning, and the second will be a disqualification.

After nearly 20 minutes of exchanging holds, both competitors were out of rope breaks. While the referee was momentarily distracted, Gresham hit a low blow. It was uncharacteristic of the technical wrestling marvel, but it was payback for Young hitting Gresham low in their two previous encounters. Gresham locked on The Octopus. Young grabbed the ropes, but the rules prevented the referee from forcing Gresham to release the hold. Young tapped out.

This one was a lesson. Some will say the pace was slow, but the match played to the stipulation and style well. Gresham got revenge on Young for his previous nefarious ways.

The Briscoes vs. Nick Aldis & Eli Drake fought to a double count-out

This grudge tag match was chaotic right from the start. After just over 10 minutes of fast and furious action, all four men battled on the floor and were counted out. During the melee, Drake went to spit water at Jay Briscoe, but he ended up spraying James Storm, who was sitting in on commentary.

After the match, the Briscoes were about to put Aldis through a table, but Aldis’ bodyguard Kamille hit the ring and speared Mark Briscoe. Security tried to restore order, but the Briscoes attacked them. The Briscoes put Aldis back on the table, and Mark Briscoe hit Froggy Bow on him to break the table.

This was pretty good, but the heel vs. face dynamic was off and the finish was beyond flat.

ROH TV Title Match: Champion Shane Taylor defeated Bandido

Taylor’s first title defense was against the man who pinned him shortly before he won the title. This match pitted Bandido’s high flying moves against Taylor’s size and power advantage. Taylor hit a splash off the middle rope for a near fall, and later planted Bandido with a package piledriver for a near fall. Taylor attempted a crossbody off the middle rope, but in an amazing show of strength, Bandido caught the big man and slammed him for a near fall. Bandido followed with a Shooting Star Press. Bandido went for 21 Plex, but Taylor caught him and hit Greetings From 216 to earn a hard-fought victory.

Match of the night, without any shadow of a doubt. It was a really good and fun match, playing off of the stylistic differences well and creating some good drama down the stretch.

ROH Six Man Title Match: Champions Villain Enterprises defeated Lifeblood

The champions came to the ring wearing Road Warriors-style spiked shoulder pads and new, personalized title belts. Williams, with an assist from Haskins and Black, hit a spike piledriver on PCO for a near fall. PCO climbed the ropes but was stopped by a kick from Haskins, and Williams powerbombed PCO onto the apron. King hit the Gonzo Bomb on Black, and  PCO followed with a moonsault for the win.

This match was really good and chaotic fun but made to tease the new member of Villain Enterprises. Post-match, Bishop Khan and Michael Moses, aka the Soldiers of Savagery, laid out Lifeblood, Bandido arrived and made the save until Bully Ray arrived and attacked him. He got a chair and Flip arrived and had a kendo stick to run off Bully. Flip joined Lifeblood after weeks of teases. But then a video ran, and Marty announced that the fourth member of Villain Club is the mercenary, Flip Gordon! Flip then laid out Bandido and bailed. Flip then hit a 450 on Williams through a table on the floor.

ROH World Title Match: Champion Matt Taven defeated Jeff Cobb

Earlier in the evening, ROH COO Joe Koff had The Kingdom’s TK O’Ryan and Vinny Marseglia thrown out of the building, in keeping with the mandate that the Kingdom members are banned from Taven’s title defences.

Cobb took control early in the match, but Taven seized the advantage after hitting a suicide dive to Cobb’s back that drove the challenger headfirst into the barricade. Back inside the ring, Cobb hit a huge clothesline and followed with a standing moonsault for a near fall. Taven came back with three successive Just the Tip knee strikes, but he only got a one-count. Taven hit Climax, but Cobb kicked out at two. Cobb went for Tour of the Islands, but Taven blocked it and hit Climax again to win the match and hand Cobb his first pinfall loss in ROH.

Without his friends of The Kingdom, Matt Taven could have felt very lonely but it allowed to win clean. This was very abbreviated and rushed as they were running long. It was pretty good, and actually refreshing as it didn’t go 30 minutes for no reason.

Best in the World 2019 was an overall good wrestling show, enjoyable but not a must-see in any way. The general feeling is flat as many performances and turns are really questionable. Taylor and Bandido stole the show, which was predictable. Honestly, where ROH is going remains a mystery for the moment… 

All tweets and pics courtesy of Ring of Honor, NWA and TDE Wrestling.

By Steph Franchomme

News, Reviews, Social Media Editor, Impact Wrestling Reviewer, Interviewer Well, call me The Boss... And French...

Leave a Reply