ROH Best in the World 2013
Baltimore, Maryland 6/22/13
1.) "The Prodigy" Mike Bennett (with Maria Kanellis & "Brutal" Bob Evans) vs. BJ Whitmer: **3/4
The weird thing is, you would figure that the American Wolves/Adrenaline RUSH match would have opened the show. Probably would have been the better choice. Still, this match was fine. A miscommunication with Bob Evans costs Bennett the match.
2.) Adrenaline RUSH (ACH & Tadarius Thomas) vs. The American Wolves: ***3/4
I know some people like to hate on the Adrenaline RUSH name but I like it. The match itself was really good. Exactly what you would expect from an American Wolves match. Thomas & ACH looked really solid as well. Great tag team action here.
3.) Roderick Strong vs. Adam Cole: ***1/2
This stems from Cole refusing to shake Strong's hand following the match at Honor in the Heart of Texas (which Cole later apologized for at Liv3 & Let Die). I wouldn't say it was as good as their Texas match, but it was still very good. The match ended when Strong crashed through a table following a Cole superkick, and Cole was going to help Strong get back in the ring, but decided to leave him on the floor and took the count-out win. Normally Count-Out endings kind of suck, but here it worked perfectly in the context of the story.
4.) "The Sicilian Psychopath" Tommaso Ciampa vs. "Unbreakable" Michael Elgin: ****1/2
Simply put, this was a fantastic match. Elgin continues to have great match after great match in ROH and Ciampa proved that he's a good as he's ever been. A different match from some of Elgin's other classics, but still very good with a lot of brutal stuff. I should also note that RD Evans was on commentary, and took it upon himself to mention his law-firm and how they help clients that have suffered things such as "Unsolicited Time Travel" in an obvious shout-out of sorts to CHIKARA.
After the match, QT Marshall comes out to try and pick the bones of Ciampa, but he & Elgin get back up and QT runs off.
5.) ROH World TV Title - Matt Taven (with Truth Martini) vs. Jay Lethal vs. Jimmy Jacobs: ***1/4
This is the first of two three-way title matches involving members of S.C.U.M. The match itself was pretty good. It was a standard ROH Triple Threat match yet at the same time the variety of competitors added something different. Lethal & Jacobs both looked good and Taven did as well. Interference from Truth Martini and the Hoopla Hotties (including Scarlett loosing her top and Seleziya lifting Jacobs for an Air Raid Crash only to get superkicked by Lethal) eventually led to a Taven victory
6.) ROH World Tag Team Titles - reDRagon vs. C & C Wrestle Factory vs. S.C.U.M.: **1/2
I thought going into this that the addition of S.C.U.M. could add some to the match. They did not. This was not good. Another short three-way World Tag Team Title Match, and this one was worse than the one at Final Battle. Nothing seemed to work in this match and the finish was very flat, with Fish's reaction being the only saving grace.
7.) No DQ - Matt Hardy (with Steve Corino) vs. Kevin Steen: ***
The stipulation was granted by Nigel McGuinness after Kevin Steen requested it. Of course this led to all sorts of S.C.U.M. interference, but the match itself was still good, one of Hardy's better ROH performances in this latest run. The self proclaimed "Icon" would eventually pick up the win, and Steen is beaten down by S.C.U.M. post match.
8.) ROH World Title - Jay Briscoe vs. Mark Briscoe: ***1/2
As far as a match goes, this was pretty good. However, this did not come off as a World Title/iPPV Main Event type of match. Both of Jay Briscoe's iPPV Title Defenses have been good but nothing exceptional, which is a problem in my eyes. The crowd was into it for parts of the match and not so much for others. Their were some brutal spots in this match. The top rope elbow through the table by Mark to Jay was pretty cool, and Mark braking out the Cutthroat Driver for the first time in awhile was cool as well. The three Jay Drillers, which included Mark kicking out of the second Jay Driller at one, was not necessary.
The rating is of course excluding the iPPV issues that plagued the show. This is probably the weakest ROH iPPV of the year. Their were still some great matches on here. Elgin/Ciampa stole the show and American Wolves/Adrenaline Rush was a great tag team encounter. Cole/Strong was good and had some great character advancement for Cole. The World Title Match was good but is probably a mixed bag for some, depending on how much you like the Briscoes. The rest of the card is just kind of there. I'd compare it to Liv3 & Let Die in that the first half was great but the second half was lacking. Overall a good show, but it's the second year in a row that Best in the World hasn't lived up to most expectations.
The DVD also includes the Kevin Steen/Cliff Compton Empty Arena Match from Liv3 & Let Die as a bonus. Matt Hardy also came out and cut a promo on Jay Briscoe after the show concluded, setting up their Title Match at the next day's TV Tapings: