ROH Best in the World: Hostage Crisis
New York, NY 6/24/12
1.) The Briscoes vs. The Guardians of Truth: *1/2
Truth Martini introduces his "guardians" before the match. Essentially it's The Headbangers in matching hoods & attire. They have the same loose ropes problem they have in the opening match at the previous NYC show. It was really noticeable. The match itself sucked. Whose idea was it to bring in The Headbangers?? Briscoes win with a roll-up. On the bright side, the Briscoes are over as hell!
2.) Eddie Edwards vs. Homicide: ***1/4
I have to give Homicide a lot of credit here. People have been giving him slack since his ROH return in late 2010 for seemingly not trying hard enough. He was definitely motivated in this one. Solid contest. Homicide gets a (somewhat) surprising win & essentially earns himself a future World Title Shot.
3.) Hybrid Fighting Rules – Kyle O’Reilly vs. Adam Cole: ****
A lot of people had mixed feelings about this going in because of the strange rules. It was going fine. Then they simultaneously kicked each other. Adam Cole starts bleeding heavily from the mouth and the place goes nuts!! They said he got teeth knocked out but I'm not sure if that was just gum or not (his teeth actually were NOT knocked out, but he received a huge facial gash in the mouth/lip area). Once Cole got busted open this match REALLY picked up into overdrive. Needs to be seen. Huge props to both guys.
Afterwords, Cole wants to shake O'Reilly's hand, but Kyle slaps him instead.
4.) Fit Finlay vs. Michael Elgin: ***1/4
This was much like the match Finlay had with Roderick Strong at Border Wars in that I think it fell below expectations. Again, it's weird, because Finlay had a great match with another big man, Jon Davis, at Evolve 12 a month or so earlier, and Elgin is a much better wrestler than Jon Davis (not taking anything away from him, obviously). It was good, but nothing great.
Mike Bennett and Maria come out to for a live Prodigy Service Announcement. They run down NYC until Mike Mondo of all people comes out. He then cuts that famous "After I fight you, I'm gonna F**K YOU!!" promo and we have a match....I guess.
5.) Mike Bennett vs. Mike Mondo: DUD
Not really gonna rate this since they wrestled for 3 minutes in Street Clothes. Even months after this, I still think Mondo's a better heel than face.
6.) ROH World TV Title – 3 Way Elimination Match – Roderick Strong vs. Jay Lethal vs. Tommaso Ciampa: ***1/2
This was actually a pretty good match, but the HOT/Embassy "collusion" at the ends up giving us a screwing finish. Other than that, I enjoyed this one.
7.) ROH World Tag Team Titles – Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team vs. The All Night Express: **3/4
I actually think their opening match from the 10th Anniversary Show was much better than this one. It went way too long and tended to drag. What's with Jim Cornette's obsession with roll-ups that end matches like this out of nowhere? ANX finally....FINALLY....win the belts, but get (half-ass) attacked during their celebration by WGTT. What was the point of that?
8.) ROH World Title – Anything Goes – Kevin Steen vs. Davey Richards: ****1/2
Kyle O'Reilly comes out before the match, saying he's nobody's lackey, and essentially says he & Davey are done and that he's on his own in this one.
For those of you who are new to ROH, these two had a kick-ass Anything Goes Match at Never Say Die in 2009 as apart of the American Wolves/Steenerico rivalry. I'd say this one tops it. They managed to top their Border Wars match as well. Even though there was a lot of interference by Corino & Jacobs, it didn't hurt the match. Jim Cornette even got involved but gets taken out by Corino. Awesome match. The crowd liked it too.
Steen cuts a promo afterwords, putting over Davey Richards, and then going after the fans in a sad attempt to turn heel, but they just cheer him even louder. I hate when they try to force things on us like this. Didn't work here.
This was a solid show, but not a spectacular one. Cole/O'Reilly stole the show, and Richards/Steen had the match of the night, and I think their best singles match to date. Other than that, the rest of the card was average to decently good. The World Tag Team Title Match could have been better, and the weird finishes & booking were really evident.