My name is Rick, and I’m your ROH recapper! As per the usual, I am here to try my hardest to convince you to part with some of your hard-earned dollars this Friday to watch a Ring of Honor PPV; this time, it’s Best in the World 2016! So without further adieu, let’s dive in to this thing!
First things first, this is the 7th edition of Best in the World; the event dates back to 2006, which boasted a main event of Samoa Joe and Bryan Danielson vs. KENTA and Naomichi Marufuji. Last year’s event was headlined by a belt unification match, as Jay Lethal won the ROH World Title while already the TV champion; he will be facing Jay Briscoe once more this year, with just the ROH World Title on the line in the match. The PPV is on Friday, June 24th, and there are 8 matches on the card; let’s break them down, shall we?
For those looking at wagering, I went 6 for 7 at the last PPV, calling a mulligan on the main because of the Bullet Club interference, so maybe I’m on a hot streak! Place those bets! (Don’t. I suck at this.)
MOOSE (W/STOKELY HATHAWAY) & WAR MACHINE vs THE BULLET CLUB (ADAM COLE, MATT JACKSON, & NICK JACKSON)
WHO ARE THESE GUYS? – Moose is a former NFL player, an agile big man who has recently been programmed against strong talent in ROH; he’s faced Michael Elgin & Okada at consecutive PPVs, tagging with Okada at the last one against Elgin and Tanahashi. He’s improved in leaps and bounds over the last year, and this MAY be his swan song in ROH, as he’s rumored to be on his way out. War Machine is Hanson and Rowe, two Viking-like wrestlers who are surprisingly spry in the ring while also being much larger than most ROH talent. The Bullet Club is represented by Matt and Nick Jackson, the Young Bucks; one of the more polarizing tag teams in wrestling today, they’re real-life brothers who incorporate a lot of superkicks and intricate spots in their matches. Adam Cole is one of the best overall wrestlers in the world. A great talker and excellent worker, along with being a former ROH World Champion, Cole joined the Bullet Club at the last PPV, Global Wars, attacking Jay Lethal and Colt Cabana during the World title match; he has already issued a challenge to whoever wins the main event.
WHAT’S THE ISSUE HERE? – Uh, nothing. These guys needed a match, moreso the Bullet Club than the others, and this match was signed to get them on the card.
WHO WINS? – The match has been signed to be under Tornado rules, which means that everyone is legal at all times, and that should favor the Bullet Club here. I don’t honestly think that Moose and War Machine has a chance here, because the Bullet Club angle is the biggest thing that ROH has going and they should put some weight behind it; with Cole looming as a challenger for either Jay, I expect that he’s going to get the pinfall and look strong here.
YOUR WINNER – The Bullet Club
ACH vs SILAS YOUNG
WHO ARE THESE GUYS? – ACH is one of the best high-flyers in North America. He’s been around ROH since 2012, tagging with Matt Sydal for a long time before striking out on his own. His character is care-free and a showoff, with an array of big offensive spots that play off that. Silas Young is a mustachioed brawler who calls himself the “Last real man in wrestling”; his character frequently plays off of that in his feuds, previously with Dalton Castle and now with ACH, as he tries to bring back a stereotypical manly attitude in his dealings.
WHAT’S THE ISSUE HERE? – Young has been after ACH for a few weeks now, with the primary argument being that ACH doesn’t take wrestling seriously, as he’s always playing video games or being silly backstage, so Young is going to teach him a lesson about how men act. ACH, for his part, doesn’t understand what the big deal is; he should do whatever he wants and Silas shouldn’t worry about it. It’s very Vader/Ospreay. So, they’re gonna fight about it.
WHO WINS? – Who cares? Sorry, that wasn’t cool. But this feud is completely underwhelming, to say the least. They threw it together in the last 3 weeks or so, and the build hasn’t been all that great. Match should be good, but either one of them could win; I’ll go with Silas, assuming this is the first part of a longer program.
YOUR WINNER – Silas Young
KYLE O’REILLY vs KAMAITACHI
WHO ARE THESE GUYS? – Kyle O’Reilly is one half of the tag team reDRagon with Bobby Fish, and one of the very best wrestlers in the world. A noted Junior lightweight in ROH and NJPW, Kyle just had an excellent run in the annual BOSJ tournament this year. Kamaitachi is a former NJPW Young Lion, who has wrestled in NJPW, CMLL, PWG, and now ROH. He also worked in Great Britain and is considered a top Junior wrestler.
WHAT’S THE ISSUE HERE? – Bobby Fish, Kyle’s partner in reDRagon, is the world TV champion and will be defending that title later on in this event; Kyle needed something to do. Kamaitachi answered the call and that’s your match. Nothing personal on the line here, just two guys who want to put on a good match.
WHO WINS? – One would have to consider Kyle O’Reilly the favorite here; he’s had an abysmal PPV record in ROH, true, but if they decide to go with Adam Cole as the future World champion, he has built-in issues with Kyle that will give O’Reilly good credibility as a challenger, so keeping Kyle strong with wins is probably the way to go.
YOUR WINNER – Kyle O’Reilly
MARK BRISCOE vs RODERICK STRONG
WHO ARE THESE GUYS? – Mark Briscoe is one half of the Briscoe brothers, the most successful tag team in ROH history. They’ve been ROH World tag champs 8 times and are the current IWGP Heavyweight tag champs as well. He’s been around ROH since 2002, with a break from 2004-2006. Mark and Jay are rednecks in character, and Mark moreso than his brother. Roderick Strong is the self-proclaimed “Mr ROH”, and he’s been around ROH for almost 13 years. He’s a former ROH World Champion, World TV Champion, and World Tag Team Champion. He is a superb technical wrestler; this will also be his last PPV appearance for Ring of Honor, as he’s given his notice to the company.
WHAT’S THE ISSUE HERE? – Well, Jay’s wrestling in the main event, so Mark’s gotta do something; they decided to manufacture a feud with Strong, with Briscoe putting it over through most of commentary last week. The basic story seems to be that Mark is tired of Roddy treating him like a little brother backstage, while Strong doesn’t have much respect for Mark in the first place, so he’ll treat him however he sees fit. So they’re going to fight about it.
WHO WINS? – With Strong having given his notice, this one got easier. I’m picking Mark Briscoe for the sole reason that with Strong leaving, it doesn’t make a ton of sense to put him over. So I’m probably wrong.
YOUR WINNER – Mark Briscoe
BJ WHITMER vs STEVE CORINO – FIGHT WITHOUT HONOR
WHO ARE THESE GUYS? – BJ Whitmer is one of the longest-tenured ROH wrestlers with the company, having worked off and on with them for 13 years. He’s one of the founding members of The Decade, an ROH heel stable. Steve Corino has had a long and decorated career in various promotions including ECW and ROH, and has extensively toured Japan; this will be his first match back after having been a commentator for several months and after major neck surgery.
WHAT’S THE ISSUE HERE? – These boys don’t like each other, pure and simple. BJ took on Corino’s young son, Colby, as his young boy in the Decade. He proceeded to abuse him under the guise of making Colby ‘pay his dues’. He taunted Steve for months, which caused Corino to finally take physical action by knocking BJ out with a roll of quarters and forfeiting his job at commentary, due to the zero tolerance policy for non-wrestlers fighting wrestlers in ROH. While suspended, Corino returned under a mask as Mr. Wrestling 3, fooling no one and causing Whitmer to continue tormenting Corino, including destroying his son mid-ring in front of him. Steve initially turned to Adam Page to fight in his stead after his surgery, but now he appears to be recovered enough for this fight; BJ has taken to video taping Steve’s family at home and taunting Steve even more. Corino has promised to end BJ’s career in ROH as a result.
WHO WINS? – This feels like a one-off match to me; the feud has gone on for months without either guy actually getting in the ring with each other, primarily due to Corino’s neck surgery. I don’t expect that Steve will come back as a full-time wrestler, so this will probably be his one chance to get revenge. I expect a straight garbage brawl with blood (Fight Without Honor basically just means No-DQ), and I expect Corino will be the one getting his hand raised in the end.
YOUR WINNER – Steve Corino
THE ADDICTION (CHRISTOPHER DANIELS & FRANKIE KAZARIAN) vs THE MOTOR CITY MACHINE GUNS (CHRIS SABIN & ALEX SHELLEY) – ROH WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP
WHO ARE THESE GUYS? – The Addiction are Chris Daniels and Frankie Kazarian, who are two of the more celebrated independent wrestlers of all-time. They initially started as a team in TNA under the moniker Bad Influence, and are both former champions in various companies, along with being multiple-time ROH tag champs. The Motor City Machine Guns are Alex Shelley and Chris Sabin, former TNA tag team champions; Sabin used to be aligned with The Addiction, but turned on them to reunite with his long-time tag partner, Shelley.
WHAT’S THE ISSUE HERE? – A few weeks ago on ROH TV, there was a triple threat match in which the Addiction faced off against The Guns and Roppongi Vice; the Addiction had previously stated that anyone who could beat them in that match would receive a tag team title shot. The Guns were victorious and claimed their chance at Best in the World, so here we are.
WHO WINS? – The Addiction feel like transitional champs to me, but not in this match. They just picked up the straps from War Machine a month ago, and I suspect that they’re going to keep them for a little while longer. The Guns could certainly win, but I’m not seeing it here.
YOUR WINNER – (And STILL your tag team champions) The Addiction
BOBBY FISH vs DALTON CASTLE (W/ THE BOYS) – ROH WORLD TELEVISION CHAMPIONSHIP
WHO ARE THESE GUYS? – Bobby Fish is the current ROH World TV champ, having won the title in a hard-fought match against Tomohiro Ishii at Global Wars in a mild upset. He is one-half of the tag team reDRagon with Kyle O’Reilly; they are former ROH World tag team champs multiple times over. Dalton Castle is the single most flamboyant personality in Ring of Honor. He is accompanied to the ring by two scantily-clad young men he calls ‘The Boys’, who fan Castle off during the match and occasionally interfere on his behalf. Castle is easily the ‘biggest’ personality in ROH and refers to himself as a peacock with his colorful ring attire.
WHAT’S THE ISSUE HERE? – At Global Wars, Castle was the winner in a 4-way match to determine the #1 contender for the TV title over ACH, Roderick Strong, & Adam Page. Since Fish won the belt at that same PPV, Castle has decided to cash in his title shot at this event. No personal issues here, its all about the belt.
WHO WINS? – Castle is, to me, the perfect guy to carry the TV title. He’s crazy over, he can work, and he’s a very different type of wrestler than the trunks and boots standard guys that ROH normally pushes. But, I think that Fish is probably retaining here; Kyle has been doing more and more singles work, so it makes sense to continue giving Bobby something to do, as he’s still a very, very good pro wrestler. I wouldn’t delay Castle getting the title if it were me; he’s ready now. But I think that ROH is going to disagree.
YOUR WINNER – (And STILL your World TV champion) Bobby Fish
JAY LETHAL VS JAY BRISCOE – ROH WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
WHO ARE THESE GUYS? – Jay Lethal is the current ROH World champion, now more than a year into his reign. He may look familiar to you from his years in TNA, but has been in Ring of Honor now for quite some time; before the World Title, he was the World TV Champion for more than a year. He is a member of the House of Truth and has been a dominant champion over the last year. Jay Briscoe has been with ROH since the beginning, wrestling on the very first show in 2002; he is an 8-time former ROH World Tag champ with his brother Mark and a 2-time former ROH World Champion; he seeks to become the first man to ever win the ROH World title 3 times at this PPV.
WHAT’S THE ISSUE HERE? – At Best in the World 2015, Lethal and Briscoe battled with both belts on the line; Lethal’s TV championship and Briscoe’s World championship. Lethal came out on top and unified the belts, handing Briscoe his first pinfall loss in more than 2 years. After that match, Briscoe did not receive a rematch and has now invoked that right, as he and Lethal will now face off one year later in their rematch for the ROH World title.
WHO WINS? – This is the hardest World Title match to call in a very, very long time. There are a few reasons for this, but one of the biggest is the looming shadow of the Bullet Club, Adam Cole specifically; Cole promised not to interfere in the match, but that doesn’t mean anything as Cole could either be lying, or he could be telling the truth and have the Bucks interfere instead. Cole has made it abundantly clear that he wants the ROH World title back and will probably be the immediate challenger for whoever wins this match; he has a long history with Jay Briscoe that has only seen Cole come out on top once in a ladder match, while suffering multiple losses to Jay. On top of that, Jay Briscoe doesn’t lose a lot; can Lethal really pin him again? On the other hand, Lethal has had the belt for more than a year; should his reign come to an end against the man he beat? Is full-circle the way to go here? Should Lethal’s fall come at the hands of the Bullet Club to keep him strong and further than angle? Will Truth Martini finally return to help Lethal out? I’m honestly not sure about this pick and I’m going mostly on my feelings…..
YOUR WINNER – (and STILL your ROH World champion) Jay Lethal
That should about do it! The build for some of these matches has been suspect, I grant you, but the main event should be great as Lethal and Briscoe have very good chemistry together. Most of the undercard is filled with solid workers and matches, so I think you’re likely get some bang for your buck.
See you on Friday night!
Thanks for reading this thing I wrote,
@MrSoze on Twitter