Tonight at ROH Best in the World 2019, Jeff Cobb gets a world title opportunity in the main event and ROH World Champion Matt Taven is all that stands in his way to complete his rise! Plus, ROH World Six-Man tag champs Villain Enterprises defend against PJ Black & LifeBlood and Shane Taylor defends the TV title against Bandido. All that and more tonight at ROH Best in the World 2019!
Pre-Show: Rush defeated Flip Gordon.
We are LIVE from the UMBC Event Center in Baltimore, Md. Ian Riccaboni, Colt Cabana, and Caprice Coleman have the call for this week.
Dragon Lee vs. Dalton Castle
Dragon Lee with dropkicks and dropkicks in the corner for a nearfall. Castle sent out and Lee handsprings to the outside. Castle sidesteps and runs Lee into the ring post. Lee tries to do a springboard hurricanrana on the apron, but Castle powerbombs him on the apron. Castle throws Lee into the front row, rolls back to look for the countout, then does it again after Lee gets up. Castle tries for a third time, but Lee whips him into the barricade. Castle able to stomp Lee down back inside and land a DDT for a nearfall. Castle pulls at the mask as he works Lee down. Lee strikes back up to his feet and Castle takes him down with a suplex for a nearfall. Castle goes back to tearing the mask. Lee with a hurricanrana to send Castle out and he lands a suicide dive. Lee runs Castle into the barricade outside and lands a butterfly neckbreaker. Penalty kick gets a nearfall on Castle. Castle elbows out of the corner and catches a kick for a Saito suplex. Lee lands a legsweep and slingshot dropkick back in to drop Castle in the corner. Castle again catches the leg for a suplex. Lee with a snap German suplex. Counters exchanged until Lee lands a reverse hurricanrana for a nearfall. Lee looks for Northern Lights, but Castle sends him to the apron. Lee kicks away and almost rolls into Bang-A-Rang. Lee counters and Castle with a lariat. Lee with a hurricanrana for a nearfall.
Running knees to the head land for a one-count nearfall on Castle. Lee cradles Castle up and Castle falls out for a clothesline and Bang-A-Rang. Castle rolls over to him and stops short of covering. Castle sweeps the leg of Lee in the corner and he looks to use Rush’s move against Lee. Bull’s Horns basement dropkick lands on Lee.
Winner by pinfall: Dalton Castle
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Fine enough opener, but a little methodical for a Dragon Lee match and Castle has slowed down his pace in recent years. A good match regardless.
Video package recaps the rivalry between The Allure and the team of Women of Honor World Champion Kelly Klein and Jenny Rose.
The Allure (Angelina Love & Mandy Leon) (w/Velvet Sky) vs. Jenny Rose & “The Gatekeeper” Kelly Klein
Klein and Rose storm the ring with double-leg takedowns and ground-and-pound. The Allure gets stomped out in the corners. Rose with corner splashes on Leon and Love. Rose gets dropped and Love taunts Klein on the apron. Klein tags in and takes Love down. Love counters with a front facelock of her own into the side headlock. Love with a shoulder tackle and Klein returns the favor. Love with a neckbreaker and jawbreaker. Klein with a shoulder tackle, but Leon causes a distraction on the apron. Love with a spinning heel kick for a nearfall. Klein with a sidewalk slam for a nearfall and it brings in Rose. Rose gets led on a chase at ringside and Velvet Sky clothesline Rose with the referee’s back turned. Leon works Rose down back inside and Love tags in to do the same. Sky tries to get involved outside and Klein walks her down, allowing Leon to drop her from behind. Love with a diving crossbody outside on Rose and Klein. Leon misses Rose in the corner and Rose with a spear. Hot tag made to Klein against Love and Klein with clotheslines and suplexes. Leon kicks out of the corner and lands a DDT. Rose pulls Leon off the apron and hits a spear. Press slam to the floor by Rose, but Leon pulls Rose into the barricade.
Love up top inside against Klein. Klein with a super fallaway slam off the top for a nearfall. The Allure cause a distraction in the corner with the referee and it allows Leon to spike a high heel into the spine of Klein. Botox Injection follows from Love.
Winners by pinfall: The Allure
Rating: 1.75 out of 5 stars
This was an okay match until a bit of sloppy end stretch to the expected finish. The crowd never really got behind it until the segment post-match.
Post-match, the lights go out and a video plays of someone destroying a doll, with the word “Maneater.” Maria Manic appears in the ring and security charges the ring, allowing The Allure to get out. Manic takes out security and puts one in the torture rack, landing a Razor’s Edge on another.
Video package recaps the best-of-three rivalry between Jay Lethal and Kenny King.
Best-of-Three (Tied 1-1): Jay Lethal vs. Kenny King
Jay Lethal turns down the Code of Honor. King with an armlock and Lethal with the rope break. Submissions exchanged and King works the arm. Lethal goes back to the rope break. King with arm wrenches on the left arm and a hammerlock slam. Lethal fights to his feet and gets sent to the apron. They exchange counters until Lethal lands a hip toss into the cartwheel dropkick. Lethal with ground-and-pound and a suplex for a nearfall. King gets control and looks for a springboard dropkick, but Lethal dropkicks him to the floor. Lethal works him against the apron and gets a chair. King drops him to sit him in the chair, but Lethal lands a drop toehold into it. Lethal puts the arm of King into the chair and the referee holds him back. King escapes to the entrance aisle and Lethal with punches. Lethal tries to send King into the apron and King steps up. Lethal with a kick that catches King on the dive, but King suplexes Lethal onto the apron and ropes. King with a neckbreaker inside for a nearfall and he applies a Boston Crab. Fujiwara armbar applied by King and Lethal fights up to exchange punches with King. Lethal with a back body drop and a clothesline. Missile dropkick follows and Lethal lands a Royal Flush for a nearfall. Lethal sends King out for a suicide dive, but a second one is caught for a spinebuster by King. Lethal barely beats the count.
Small package nearfall from Lethal sees King react with a Blue Thunder Bomb. Shooting star press from King gets a nearfall. King calls for his walking stick and Lethal pulls King down into a Figure-Four Leglock. Amy Rose slides the stick into the ring and Lethal releases to clear the stick to the apron. King tries to attack and Lethal lands the Lethal Injection for a nearfall. Lethal puts King up top and King knocks him off. Clothesline followed by a Lethal Injection and Royal Flush connect from King.
Winner by pinfall and winner of the best-of-three series: Kenny King
Rating: 3.25 out of 5 stars
Good match that won the crowd over in the end.
Pure Rules: “The Last Real Man” Silas Young vs. “The Octopus” Jonathan Gresham
Code of Honor adhered to and Gresham to the side headlock. Young reverses to a hammerlock and Young stacks Gresham on a cross armbreaker attempt for a nearfall. Young chops Gresham and says it is well within the rules because it was open-handed. Standing switch exchanges and he lifts Gresham between the ropes to force Gresham to use one of his three rope breaks. Young wins a test of strength and chops Gresham after armlocks. Shoulder tackle from Young and Gresham grabs a leg from guard, hopping Young back to the ropes and forcing him to use one of his rope breaks. Young to an abdominal stretch and Gresham counters to an octopus stretch. Young uses his second rope break and moves outside. Gresham with a drop toehold into the side headlock. Young fights up for a shoulder tackle and Gresham fakes him out with a chop. Young punches him and gets his warning for the use of a closed fist. Gresham sent into the barricade outside and Young works Gresham down, focusing on the back. Gresham hits a toss and headbutt to the body, but Young to a single-leg crab. Gresham uses his second rope break. Gresham blocks Young to land a suplex. Corner chop lands for Gresham, but Young with the backbreaker and clothesline combo for a nearfall.
Young to a crossface and full nelson and Gresham uses his final rope break. Back suplexes from Young connect. Gresham favors his back after kicking out of the corner and going up top, allowing Young to knock him off the top and to the floor. Anarchist suplex from Young back inside gets a nearfall and he goes back to the full nelson. Gresham gets to the rope, but used all his breaks. Counter exchange sees Gresham breaking out of submissions and landing a victory roll for a nearfall. Gresham with the octopus stretch and he forces Young’s hand on the rope to use Young’s last rope break. Forearm exchange between the two and Gresham pops up to a step-up enzuigiri. Gresham and Young exchange suplex blocks until they both go over the top rope to the outside on a suplex attempt. The ring apron gets hooked on the bottom rope and referee Todd Sinclair has his back turned, allowing Gresham to low blow Young and lock in the octopus stretch. Young tries a rope break, but he has none left.
Winner by submission: Jonathan Gresham
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
A very good match, but Gresham doing the “turnabout is fairplay” finish went down like a lead balloon with the fans, who booed the play. It sort of took away from a match that the crowd never got into overall because of the rules.
Video package recaps the rivalry between The Briscoes and NWA World Heavyweight Champion Nick Aldis.
“Cowboy” James Storm joins commentary.
Nick Aldis & Eli Drake vs. The Briscoes
Mark Briscoe starts with Eli Drake. Drake with submissions and he moves Mark to the corner. Mark fights out and sends Drake out to the apron. Drake with a shoulder from the apron that sends Mark back and tags made to Jay Briscoe and Nick Aldis. Jay with a side headlock and he clears Drake off the apron. Punches exchanged and Mark brought in to isolate Aldis in the corner. Aldis leads Mark on a chase ringside and Drake drops down to hit a shoulder tackle. Drake and Aldis isolate Mark and a suplex and elbow drop combo get a nearfall. Drake gets isolated by The Briscoes until Jay misses him in the corner and Drake lands a neckbreaker for a nearfall. Aldis in to work Jay in the corner with chops. Aldis with a Falcon Arrow for a nearfall and chinlock. Dropkick from Jay puts both down and hot tag made to Mark against Drake. Mark works the comeback and knocks Aldis to the outside. Arm drag takedown off the top gets a nearfall and Mark goes up top. Aldis causes a distraction and allows Drake to take Mark down. Jay tags in as Mark falls out of the ring and Jay knocks Aldis off the apron. Burning Hammer from Drake gets a nearfall. Jay hits Drake with a hurricanrana and lands Redneck Boogie for a nearfall that is broken by Aldis. Drake and Mark sent out and Aldis blocks a Jay Driller for a Cloverleaf. Mark breaks it up and takes Aldis out for a Cactus Special. Jay and Drake brawl outside and into the crowd well past the bell.
Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars
This felt like something thrown together at the last minute, as Colt Cabana was injured and was supposed to be Aldis’s partner. It was okay for what it was.
Drake spits water into the face of “Cowboy” James Storm at commentary, letting them brawl into the back. The Briscoes take out Aldis at ringside. Kamille runs out to try and make the save, but security holds her back and The Briscoes clear them out. Froggy Bow through the table lands for The Briscoes. “The Villain” Marty Scurll comes out to help Nick Aldis to the back.
Video package recaps the rivalry between ROH World Television Champion Shane Taylor and Bandido.
ROH World Television Championship: Shane Taylor (c) vs. Bandido
Taylor cusses Bandido out in Spanish and Bandido slaps him. Leapfrogs and ducks exchanged, allowing with counter strikes. Bandido lands a pump knee and flying headscissors to send Taylor out. Hurricanrana off the apron caught and Taylor with a powerbomb on the apron. Taylor with a chop to the chest against the barricade and he lands an elbow on the apron. Taylor with chops back inside. Clothesline gets a nearfall and Bandido tries to strike up, but Taylor with a headbutt that lays Bandido out. Taylor looks for the referee’s count and charges in as Bandido gets to a knee. Bandido with a dropkick to the leg and clotheslines. Corkscrew crossbody by Bandido and a wheelbarrow facebuster follows to send Taylor out. Fosbury Flop lands outside by Bandido. Springboard hurricanrana back inside by Bandido gets a nearfall. Taylor catches Bandido with a clothesline to stop Bandido for a nearfall. Moonsault DDT from Bandido lands, but Taylor with a uranage. Splash from the second rope gets a nearfall on Bandido. Bandido gets off the shoulders of Taylor and falls out to land a superkick. 21plex blocked by Taylor holding the second rope and he headbutts Bandido. Powerbomb and knee from Taylor set up a package piledriver, but Bandido kicks out.
Taylor goes up top and tries a crossbody, but Bandido catches him for a powerslam. Shooting star press off the top gets a nearfall on Taylor. 21plex blocked for Greetings from the 216 by Taylor.
Winner by pinfall and STILL ROH World Television Champion: Shane Taylor
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Probably the first match of the night worth really looking out for, as Taylor played monster effectively to shut down Bandido.
ROH World Six-Man Tag Team Championships: Villain Enterprises (PCO, Brody King, & “The Villian” Marty Scurll) (c) vs. “The Darewolf” PJ Black & LifeBlood (“Overkill” Mark Haskins & “Hot Sauce” Tracy Williams)
Scurll starts with Haskins and they exchange submissions to a stalemate. Black and PCO brought in. Black with a leg kick and side headlock. Black with a kick combo, but PCO catches one for a dragon screw. Black hit with a body block against the ropes and they exchange running strikes until PCO lands a pump kick that knocks Black down. Black avoids a senton and King brought in against Williams. Williams with strikes and chops, but King rocks him and lands chops in the corner. Williams locks in a cross armbreaker over the ropes and lands short-arm clotheslines that just make King mad. Williams ducks a lariat and lands a roundhouse kick to the body, but King blocks a German suplex. Scurll in to work Williams down. Things break down to the outside and King monkey flips PCO onto the LifeBlood team outside. Williams isolated in the Villain Enterprises corner. Williams elbows and kicks out of the corner against King and follows with a German suplex. Haskins brought in on the hot tag against Scurll and they make quick tags to isolate Scurll. Japanese Bucket applied on Scurll and he is hit with double dropkicks for a nearfall by Haskins. King able to get in on a tag and work over LifeBlood with chops and corner clotheslines. Senton on Haskins and Williams. Haskins rocks King with a forearm, but Scurll takes him down with a Boston crab. PCO takes everyone out with a dive outside and King with a senton on Haskins for a nearfall.
King lands an assisted-German suplex on Haskins for a nearfall and PCO tags in. Haskins elbows away and lands a dropkick to the leg. Head kick on the apron and Black with a flying double stomp. Frog splash from Williams gets a nearfall that is broken by Scurll. Things break down and PCO is to take a package piledriver from LifeBlood that gets a nearfall. The referee accidentally did a three count, but calls it for two and LifeBlood disputes it. Scurll in to snap some fingers and PCO faces off with Black. They both fall outside with a clothesline and PCO goes up top. Haskins meets Williams to take out PCO and lands a Michinoku Driver on the apron. Black with Scurll inside and a springboard moonsault gets a nearfall that is broken by King. LifeBlood team up on King and he lands a springboard double arm drag. Flip dive to the outside by King. Black rolls Scurll up inside for a nearfall and he lands a headkick, but moonsaults into a mule kick from Scurll. Ganso Bomb lands for King and the PCOsault follows.
Winners by pinfall and STILL ROH World Tag Team Champions: Villain Enterprises
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
This went all out during the tag breakdowns and was probably the first match with a good enough pace throughout to keep the crowd into it.
Post-match, Soldiers of Savagery beat down LifeBlood. Bandido runs out and makes the save. Bully Ray runs out and lays out Bandido. Flip Gordon runs out to chase Bully Ray off. LifeBlood offers Flip Gordon a t-shirt and he puts it on. “The Villain” Marty Scurll appears on the screen and he says it is fitting that the night they gain a new ally is the night he announces the new employee of Villain Enterprises. Scurll asks who knew that it would be someone under their noses the whole time and the camera pans to Flip Gordon. Gordon lays out Bandido with a superkick and escapes the ring to the safety of Villain Enterprises outside. The two teams fight in the ring and Villain Enterprises take out LifeBlood. Gordon with a 450 through a table on Williams outside.
ROH World Championship: Matt Taven (c) vs. Jeff Cobb
Taven chops Cobb into the corner to no effect and locks in a side headlock. Cobb lifts out and sits Taven up top. Cobb chops him to the floor and he sends Taven back out. Taven pulled to the apron by his hair and Cobb looks for a suplex. Taven falls out and tries one of his own. Taven and Cobb exchange leapfrogs and ducks. Cobb catches Taven for a cradle throw, but Taven transitions to the sleeper hold. Taven comes off the top and gets caught for a belly-to-belly suplex. Release suplex lands for Cobb and sends Taven back out. Taven spits at Cobb after taking his time outside and Cobb moves to the apron. Taven pulls him down face-first by the arm on the apron and lands a dropkick and a suicide dive to the outside. Taven with a neckbreaker and a cross armbreaker on the left arm he pulled on. Frog splash misses for Taven and Cobb lands snake eyes. Pumphandle drop from Cobb. Cobb with back elbows and double sledges to set up a lariat that drops Taven. Standing moonsault gets a nearfall on Taven. Northern Lights suplex gets another as Cobb counters a DDT from Taven. Taven kicks off the ropes, but gets hit with a running uppercut in the corner by Cobb. Ripcord twisting suplex by Cobb. Taven with a hurricanrana and a running knee that puts Cobb down. Climax partially blocked by Cobb, only getting a nearfall.
Cobb blocks a second attempt for a wheelbarrow German suplex. Aloha from Cobb blocked and Taven lands a Climax.
Winner by pinfall and STILL ROH World Champion: Matt Taven
Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars
This wasn’t a bad match at all, but it was felt spectacularly short and underwhelming in what was supposed to be the one match that would deliver on a lackluster card.
Overall: Ring of Honor booking is kneecapping the talent at this point and the product in the ring can’t really take shape or find the right identity for a product that is really just kind of there at this point. It wasn’t a bad night of wrestling necessarily, but completely forgettable, which might be worse.
Nolan Howell can be reached at [email protected] for any questions or comments.