Thursday, February 12, 2015

ROH Best In The World 2014 PPV/DVD Review

Ring of Honor makes their debut on Live PPV!!

ROH Best In The World 2014
Nashville, Tennessee 6/22/14

1.) #1 Contender's Six Man Mayhem - ACH vs. Takaaki Watanabe vs. Caprice Coleman vs. TaDarius Thomas vs. BJ Whitmer vs. "Sicilian Psychopath" Tommaso Ciampa: ***

After getting a great promo to open the show, we get our first match of the night! The Six-Man Scramble has seemingly always been a staple of ROH undercards for years, so it's fitting that this is the opening match. The winner gets a future shot at the ROH World TV Title. This was a really fun opener. Pretty much exactly what you would expect, given the guys involved. Lots of solid action, and it got the crowd into the show almost immediately. ACH would eventually pick up the win with a  huge 450 Splash on TaDarius Thomas to win the match and becomes the #1 Contender to the ROH World TV Title!

2.) ROH World TV Title - Truth Martini Is Handcuffed To The Ring Post - Jay Lethal (with Truth Martini & Seleziya Sparx) vs. Matt Taven: **1/2

Up next is a match that has been building for a few months. Taven left The House of Truth after losing the World TV Title, and while making Taven's life a living hell for leaving him, Martini brought Jay Lethal into The House of Truth, leading him to his 2nd ROH World TV Title reign. The gimmick here was that Truth Martini would be handcuffed to the ring post, but the fact that Seleziya Sparx was also out there with Jay Lethal kind of defeats the purpose of the stipulation. The match was ok, but I just don't think it worked. The stipulation and all of the shenanigans with Truth Martini, Seleziya Sparx & even Jay Diesel (interfering on behalf of Truth Martini) really took away from the match. Jay Lethal eventually gets the win to retain his ROH World TV Title, in what was without question the worst match on the show.

3.) Submission Match - Roderick Strong vs. Cedric Alexander: ***3/4

We get a really good video package highlighting this feud. The Decade's bullying of Cedric Alexander led to a series of matches between Alexander & Roderick Strong. Strong won the first match at Supercard of Honor VIII, while Alexander won at Global Wars. Things seemed to constantly escalate, as Jacobs insulted Alexander's family, and The Decade as a whole beat up Cedric Alexander really bad at Global Wars, setting up this Submission Match. This was a really good match, as you would expect. These two are fantastic wrestlers, so it's no surprise that this was going to be great. We got some really cool spots in this match, including Strong giving Alexander a back body drop on the ring apron, which looked scary! I actually think they told a really good story, as Alexander, who isn't exactly a master of submissions, trying to find a way to beat a submission specialist in Strong. Alexander was able to fight back & overcome the odds, getting the win by making Roderick Strong submit to his own submission, The Strong Hold! Strong refuses to shake hands with Cedric after the match, but despite this, Alexander stands tall in victory.

4.) No DQ Match - Matt Hardy & Michael Bennett (with Maria Kanellis) vs. The Briscoes: ***1/2

This feud between The Briscoes and the stable that would soon be known as The Kingdom has been going on for a few months. Things got even more heated when, after Supercard of Honor VIII, Cole gave Jay Briscoe's custom ROH World Title belt to Matt Hardy, who rechristens it as the ICONIC Title, even going as far as to put his face on the title! Hardy & Bennett were accompanied not only by Maria Kanellis, but by Nick Searcy, an award-winning actor from the TV Show Justified. This originally started as a traditional tag team match, but got thrown own after Hardy & Bennett caused a DQ. This brought out Nigel McGuinness, who restarted the match as a No DQ Match. From, this match was actually pretty good. It was a really entertaining hardcore brawl that saw pretty much everything. Chairs were used, Nick Searcy got taken out, Mark Briscoe hit Bennett with a Froggy 'Bow through a table, and Jay Briscoe gave Matt Hardy a superplex from the top of a ladder through two tables!! This leads to The Briscoes getting the win, thought Maria would escape with the ICONIC Title. Not the best match on the card, but one of the most entertaining to be sure, and the crowd definitely enjoyed it a great deal.

Up next, we have Larry Mercer (aka Larry Legend) and Mandy Leon interviewing Ring of Honor's newest signee, Moose, who is an NFL Player turned Pro-Wrestler, and who had recently been spending time in Dragon Gate USA/Evolve as the bodyguard of The Bravado Brothers. The interview doesn't go long before Veda Scott comes out and cuts a promo. She essentially extends an offer to Moose to join up with RD Evans & "The New Steak". Moose said he's think about it. Definitely the worst item on the show (Moose can't cut good promos yet), but I get why it was on here (to serve as a mini-intermission since there was none on the PPV).

5.) Silas Young vs. Kevin Steen: ***1/4

This match came about after Silas Young insulted Kevin Steen & his family at War of the Worlds, which lead to a brawl. These two had a perfectly good match, though I think some people were expecting more. I also think that others were expecting Silas Young to get the win here, but again, the match was still good, and Steen was massively over, so there's not much else to say. Steen puts Young  away with The Package Piledriver.

After the match, Steen takes the mic, putting Young over as an exceptional pro-wrestler, and gives him a lot of credit. He mentions that although he doesn't have many matches left in ROH, he was happy that he got to wrestle Silas Young on PPV. He asks Young to shake his hand, and surprisingly, he does! Steen then goes to thank the fans, but Young quickly returns and attacks Kevin Steen! That handshake was too good to be true. At least it sets up their No DQ Match in Cincinnati a few weeks later.

6.) ROH World Tag Team Titles - reDRagon vs. Christopher Daniels & Frankie Kazarian: ****

The team formerly known as Bad Influence are coming off their releases from TNA. Daniels, one of ROH's founding fathers, is making his return, while it's (technically) a re-debut of sorts for Frankie Kazarian, who I believe had one lone ROH match back in 2002/3. They're challenging Bobby Fish & Kyle O'Reilly, who are coming off of their big Tag Team Title win against The Young Bucks at War of the Worlds. I thought this was really great. reDRagon looked awesome, and Daniels & Kazarian came off as stars. They told a great story with reDRagon going after Kazarian's arm. They even did a funny spot where Bobby Fish pulled the referee out of the ring to break up a pin, and then ran to the other side of the ring to hide. Creative. Of course, the action picked up a good deal down the stretch. We even got the see The Flux Capacitor!! In the end, though, reDRagon would pick up the win & retain their World Tag Team Titles.

They air the video package for the Cole vs. Elgin Main Event, which was really awesome.

7.) ROH Wordl Title - Adam Cole vs. "Unbreakable" Michael Elgin: ****

It's all come down to this. Two guys who've seemingly been intertwined in some way, shape or form since both came into ROH. We all know these two can put on great matches, and that's exactly what we got here. It really had the feel of a big time Main Event. After a lot of back & forth action, Referee Todd Sinclair eats an accidental superkick (which looked great) from Adam Cole, which would lead to Michael Bennett & Matt Hardy coming out. Elgin was able to fight them off initially, but War Machine of Hanson & Raymond Rowe came out to help Elgin even the odds. Then Maria Kanellis tried to interfere, but MsChif (Elgin's wife) came out and blew green mist in her face! Elgin then almost got a 3 Count with the Elgin Bomb, but Cole kicked out, causing the fans to throw streamers in the ring, thinking that was the finish. They then chanted "We Fucked Up" at themselves, which was hilarious. After a little bit more back & forth, Elgin was able to take out Cole with a series of Powerbombs to score the win and finally captures the ROH World Title! He celebrates with MsChif as confetti rains down from the ceiling to close the PPV.

Overall: 8.0/10

While this wasn't exactly the best show to have for their PPV debut, I thought ROH still did a good job with Best in the World. Aside from one match, every contest on the card was entertaining in some way, shape or form. You got to see a little bit of everything. An fast-paced Six-Man Scramble, a hard fought Submission Match, a Hardcore Brawl, a Grudge Match, great Tag Team Wrestling, and a Drama Filled Main Event. Even though the Main Event might be seen as overbooked by some, it was still a great match that saw Michael Elgin finally rise to the top of the mountain in Ring of Honor. A good show from ROH, and definitely one they can build on as they looked toward the future.

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