Sunday, May 29, 2016

ROH Best In The World 2015: Battle Of The Belts Review

It's a Battle of the Belts as Jay Briscoe & Jay Lethal duke it out with both the ROH World Title & ROH World TV Title on the line!!

The DVD includes the opening from this PPV, which was freaking awesome!! It really gets you hyped up for the Main Event!!

ROH Best In The World 2015: Battle of the Belts
New York City, New York 6/19/15

1.) Mark Briscoe (with ODB) vs. Donovan Dijak (with Truth Martini): **3/4

Our first match of the night came about when Dijak attacked Mark Briscoes after “Dem Boys” picked up the win over The House of Truth on ROH TV. This match also serves as a good contrast to the Main Event, with a Briscoe taking on a member of The House of Truth, which is pretty cool, if you ask me. I thought this was a solid opener. It wasn’t anything special, but it served its purpose. The highlight of the match was easily Dijak scoop slamming Mark Briscoe over the top rope, sending “chicken” crashing to the floor!! That was easily one of the craziest spots of the night. Towards the end of the match, ODB would get into it with Truth Martini, snatching The Book of Truth and tearing the cover to shreds (that will come into play later). In the end, Mark Briscoe would come back from that nasty spot earlier to win the match.

2.) ACH & Matt Sydal vs. The Decade (BJ Whitmer & Adam Page with Colby Corino): ***

Given the promo they showed before the match, you would think this was going to be an ACH vs. Adam Page singles match, but instead, we have a tag team match with their respective partners. I would have preferred a singles match, but the tag team match is fine, as it does get Sydal on the card. This was a fine tag team match. It wasn’t spectacular by any means, but it good for its spot. We actually got some interesting chants towards BJ Whitmer by the fans in Terminal 5, including “BJ Weiner” & “Blow Job Whitmer”. I’m sure Steve Corino really enjoyed that. Anyway, ACH & Sydal looking to have the win sealed up, but a distraction from Whitmer allowed Adam Page to take advantage, pinning Matt Sydal for the win.

3.) Silas Young vs. Dalton Castle: ***1/4

There really hasn’t been that much build to this match. It’s just a way to get these two on the show, but more importantly, it’s a battle of two REAL MEN. The match was pretty solid, in my opinion. There was some good wrestling, as well as some comedy, as Young kept getting his trunks pulled down. We also saw, for the first time, the “Fan Up” chants, as the crowd in Terminal 5 reacted to The Boys trying to get them behind Castle. Towards the end of the match, Young got scolded by the referee for using underhanded tactics on Castle, and seconds later, while the referee was distracted, Castle returned the favor, hitting Young with a low blow before rolling him up for the win.

After the match, Silas Young attacked one of The Boys, and quickly retreated before Castle could retaliate.

4.) War Machine vs. C & C Wrestle Factory: **

So on the episode of ROH TV right before the PPV, Cedric Alexander seemingly turned heel when he used a wrench to end Moose’s undefeated streak. In response, Alexander’s former tag team partner, Caprice Coleman, reached out to him, and suggested teaming up with him to help him stay on the right path. C & C Wrestle Factory have a truly big challenge in front of them in the form of War Machine. This match was pretty much a sprint right from the opening bell, as Alexander skipped the pre-match handshake and went right after War Machine. The match was actually pretty short, but the did a lot in the time they were given. Towards the end of the match, Alexander wanted to use a wrench, but Coleman wouldn’t allow it. In response, Alexander didn’t tag in Coleman, which resulted in him getting pinned by War Machine. I think it was a bit of a waste of War Machine on this show, but I’m sure where else you could have put them.

After the match, Alexander teased using the wrench on Coleman, but he didn’t. Instead, he simply told Coleman that their team is done. I actually liked that. Alexander is turning heel, but he still had enough respect for his longtime tag team partner that he didn’t attack him.

5.) #1 Contender's Triple Threat Match - "Unbreakable" Michael Elgin vs. Moose (with Stokely Hathaway & Veda Scott) vs. Roderick Strong: ***3/4

It was announced shortly after the match got underway that the winner would receive their ROH World Title Match at Death Before Dishonor XIII on July 24th in Baltimore, Maryland. I really enjoyed this match! These thee guys went right at it from the opening bell and seemingly never let up. Some good action from all three competitors throughout this match. Elgin & Strong were their usual great selves, but Moose showed a lot here in this match. I’d say it was easily his best performance in ROH, up to this point. There was a rough spot or two here & there, but this still a really good match. Strong would pick up the win after pinning Moose, earning himself a shot at the ROH World Title.

After the match, Veda Scott verbally berated Moose for the loss, slapping him multiple times. It looks Moose is going to hit her with a spear, but Cedric Alexander comes out, and attacks both Moose & Stokely Hathaway with a wrench! Alexander stands tall with Veda Scott, as a new partnership has seemingly been formed.

6.) Six-Man Tag - The Kingdom (Adam Cole & IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champions Matt Taven & Michael Bennett with Maria Kanellis) vs. The Bullet Club (IWGP Heavyweight Champion "The Phenomenal" AJ Styles & IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Champions The Young Bucks): ****1/4

These two trios had an awesome Main Event at War Of The Worlds 2015: Night 2 in Philadelphia (a match which I saw live). In that match, The Kingdom used nefarious tactics to pick up the win over The Bullet Club, which has led to this rematch being signed. While I don’t think this was quite as good as their first encounter, this was still a pretty awesome match, with lots of insane action, as you would expect. Bodies were flying all over the place, and they did enough here to make this match feel different from the match in Philadelphia. Maria, once again, got taken out by a double superkick/pele kick combo from Styles & The Young Bucks. The finish was very interesting, as Bennett & Taven were taken out, and Cole had to fight off The Bullet Club all by himself. He actually held his own for a minute or two, but it wouldn’t be enough, as The Bullet Club would score the victory.

After the match, there seemed to be dissension amongst The Kingdom, as Bennett & Taven appeared to be upset with Adam Cole.

7.) ROH World Tag Team Titles - No DQ Match - The Addiction vs. reDRagon: ***1/2

Of course, this match came about after The Addiction, along with Chris Sabin, stole the ROH World Tag Team Titles from reDRagon, and revealed themselves to be behind the red-masked KRD. Daniels debuts his awesome new entrance gear, which is mainly made up of a cool looking general’s jacket. He’s also changed up his ring gear, and is now wearing a singlet. I thought this was a pretty good match, but I was expecting a little bit more. Maybe that’s because a No DQ Match really doesn’t suit the style of either team. Still, this was a fun hardcore brawl. We got some cool spots, and we saw a variety of weapons get involved, including a Ladder, chairs, and one of the steel guardrails. At one point, it looked like reDragon were about to win the titles back, but Chris Sabin ran out and pulled out the referee. This would prove to be The Addiction’s saving grace, as they would, soon thereafter, score the victory to retain their ROH World Tag Team Titles.

8.) ROH World Title vs. ROH World TV Title - Jay Briscoe vs. Jay Lethal (with Truth Martini): ****1/2

I’ve really liked the build towards this match. Even though I don’t think it’s the biggest match in the history of ROH (as the announcers would claim), there’s no doubt that this match has a big fight feel to it. Jay Lethal & Truth Martini come out in new white & red gear, and Martini has a new Book of Truth, with a white cover. Donovan Dijak & J. Diesel also come out with Lethal & Martini. Thankfully, they were sent to the back by referee Todd Sinclair almost immediately after the match started, which was a good move. As far as the match goes, I thought it was awesome!! It was just a combination of a few different things coming together. The crowd made this feel like a special match, chanting for both Briscoe & Lethal at the beginning. You also had the parents of both Jay Briscoe & Jay Lethal at ringside, which again, helped add to the big fight feel. Of course, the match itself was pretty fantastic. It started slow, but as the match progressed, things continued to build and build until things really kicked into high gear. Briscoe hitting Lethal with a Jay Driller through a table a ringside was the turning point, as from the there, the match just got insane. Lots of near-falls at the end, but finally, Lethal was able to put Briscoe away with The Jay Driller (Briscoe’s own finisher) and a 2nd Lethal Injection to win the match and the ROH World Title!!!

Lethal celebrates with Truth Martini (who returned after being ejected by Nigel McGuinness late in the match) as the fans give Lethal a massive ovation. Jay Briscoe eventually recovers, and in a really cool moment, the two competitors shake hands. Briscoe leaves the ring as Lethal continues to celebrate with his two titles, as “You Deserve It” chants rained down from the crowd to close the show.

Overall: 8.25/10

For the most part, this was really good show from ROH. The way it played out was very interesting, as the first four matches all took place within (or around) the first hour of the show. They really blew through those matches quickly, and the quality of that first half was fine, but had me a little concerned. However, things really picked up in the second half. The Triple Threat Match #1 Contender’s Match was really good. The Six-Man Tag between The Bullet Club & The Kingdom was pretty awesome, despite not being quite as good as their first match in Philadelphia. The No DQ Match was a fun match for what it was, and the Main Event was fantastic. It was built up really well, and definitely had a big fight feel. Lethal winning the ROH World Title was an amazing moment, and it’ll certainly be one of the highlights of ROH in 2015.

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