Ring of Honor
“Best in the World 2014”
Sunday, June 22
Tennessee State Fairground Sports Arena
Tradition PPV & http://www.ustream.tv/RingofHonor
Ring of Honor launched a revolution in 2002. The company put workrate before storylines and ushered in a new era of quality wrestling on the independent scene. Over the last decade, the company has introduced some of the very best to the world. Men like Bryan Danielson, Samoe Joe, Tyler Black, Nigel McGuiness and CM Punk. More importantly, I’ve read several accounts of how ROH ignited a new passion for fans driven away by the lackluster post-Attitude Era years from WWE. This Sunday is a milestone for the company, they previously dabbled in both taped PPVs (which did well initially before tailing off) as well as early forays in the iPPV realm, but BITW14 is their very first live pay-per-view. For all independent wrestling fans this is a time to celebrate. Our little company is about to have its first shot at the big time.
On paper, this is a really solid card. Cedric Alexander has the chance to make his career against “Mr. ROH” Roderick Strong. Christopher Daniels will make his long awaited return to his old stomping grounds and he brought Frankie Kazarian with him! The former Bad Influence will take on reDRagon for the ROH Tag Team Titles. Kevin Steen will wrestle what is looking like his final ROH match against everyone’s favorite grumpy gym teacher Silas Young. In the main event Michael Elgin gets his chance to become the best in the world when he faces Adam Cole with world title on the line.
ROH World Television Title #1 Contendership Six Man Mayhem Match
ACH vs. BJ Whitmer vs. Caprice Coleman vs. Tadarius Thomas vs. Takaaki Watanabe vs. Tommaso Ciampa
Bryan Rose : Should be a fun bout. Honestly I haven’t watched too much Ring of Honor but I’ve been following the last few months and I like what I see! ACH seems to have the most potential out of any of these guys. Ciampa seems to be in the TV title mix, but I’ll go ahead and say ACH. Matches between him and Lethal can be really fun.
Warren Taylor: What happens when you have a lot of guys signed for the card but not enough matches? Easy, book a cluster match of doom. I am a sucker for these and I think this one will be a lot of fun. ACH and Caprice Coleman will fly all over the place. Whitmer and Thomas will be the heels that break up pins or cut off the dive fest that is sure to happen. Watanabe and Ciampa will throw the stiff strikes. Now figuring out who wins will be the tricky part, especially since Jay Lethal will need faces to challenge for his belt (more on that later). I don’t think that Thomas or Whitmer will take home the win for that reason. Ciampa never did get a one on one rematch for his title so that keeps him in play. I am not sure how much longer Watanabe will be in the US so I don’t think he will win. ACH had a tremendous weekend two weeks ago in Illinois unsuccessfully challenging for the ROH World Title and tearing the house down with Silas Young. “The Last Hero” has a lot of momentum on his side and I feel like he would be an excellent foil to Jay Lethal and the reformed House of Truth.
Kevin Steen vs. Silas Young
Bryan: Steen seems to be leaving imminently, so I guess he’s doing the job on the way out. It makes the most sense logically, and generally since ROH is good in terms of doing that, don’t see how Steen would win if he’s leaving the company. I like Silas’ gimmick (or maybe it isn’t one!) so I’d like to see where they go with him.
Prediction: Silas Young
Warren: If you follow Silas Young in any promotion you will know he never has a good thing to say about anyone. Well that is how we got to this match. In New York Steen was giving a good going away promo. Young interrupted him and actually paid Steen a compliment by saying he considered Steen a man. Moments later Silas retracted it by stating that Steen was being a pussy by catering to the fans. What followed was pull apart brawl and Silas escaping to the back. Silas Young is a guy who is on the rise in ROH. He is getting over as a heel and has had some great matches as of late. It appears that Steen is on his way out of the company and is heading to Orlando soon. It would shock me if Steen wins this match. I think Young wins clean and uses the victory as a launching pad into the upper mid-card.
Prediction: Silas Young
ROH World Tag Team Title Match
reDRagon (Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly) (c) vs. Bad Influence (Christopher Daniels & Kazarian)
Bryan: Filthy Tom Lawlor and reDragon were going to be my favorite tandem, then like everything else in the world TMZ had to go and mess that up for everyone. But even though they’ll now be managerless, reDragon is still really good. Great to see Daniels and Kazarian here in ROH as they’ll probably have something to do here as opposed to doing nothing in TNA. reDragon just won the titles, so I don’t see them losing them so quickly. They retain here, somehow.
Warren: Bringing in the former Bad Influence is a tremendous coup for ROH. The promos introducing both men were excellent, especially the introduction for Kazarian. Go look it up for a quick laugh. With that being said I’m not sure if throwing them in there with RedDRagon is the best move to start their run with the company. I think that ROH could have held off on this match and built it up for a show like say Final Battle. None the less who I am to complain? This will be a great match between two of the best teams in the world. Bad Influence will have extra motivation to put on a show in TNA’s backyard and ROH has extra incentive to put the belts on them to produce a great moment on the company’s first live PPV. So, your winner and NEW ROH World Tag Team Champions……
Prediction: Bad Influence
ROH World Television Title Match
Jay Lethal (w/Truth Martini) (c) vs. Matt Taven
Bryan: I don’t know too much about Matt Taven other than he got screwed over by Truth Martini. They have something going with Lethal as the champion, so I don’t see him winning. But like Warren will say, he needs to get revenge. So I’ll say Taven wins via DQ, but doesn’t win the title. Or maybe he will end up being the champion, I don’t really know. He didn’t stand out to be in the New Japan crossover shows, but I haven’t closed the book on him or anything yet so we’ll see.
Prediction: Matt Taven
Warren: Logical booking dictates that Taven will finally get his revenge against his former manager. Still, I don’t see Taven getting the win here. I like Taven and think that he has been getting over at many of the ROH shows I have been too but this feud needs to end or take an extended hiatus. ROH needs to take Taven and build him big up over the next months before he gets his revenge on Truth. What will be interesting to see is how Truth Martini escapes from his handcuffs. Maybe with help from a new member of the HOT who’s interference will lead to a victory by……
Prediction: Jay Lethal
Matt Hardy & Michael Bennett (w/Maria Kanellis) vs. The Briscoes (Jay Briscoe & Mark Briscoe)
Bryan: I’m guessing after losing on the last major ROH shows, the Briscoes need a rebound win. Bennett and Hardy aren’t a regular team, and unless I haven’t been following extensively they aren’t going to be a regular team in the future, so I think the Briscoes have a very good shot at winning here.
Prediction: The Briscoe Brothers
Warren: Hardy and Bennett are the two most despised men on the ROH roster so pairing them together will be a lot of fun. They will get nuclear heat on Sunday, especially since both men are masters of trolling the crowd. Jay and Mark Briscoe are always good for a fun match and I think this one will fit that bill.
Prediction: Dem Boys from Sandy Fork
Cedric Alexander vs. Roderick Strong
Bryan: I really liked their match last month, and I think this will be better. I really like how this feud has been done thus far, it’s the mean veteran vs. rising star type of deal you don’t see too often because 9 times out 10 in other promotions the veteran wins easily because PAYING DUES. Which is great because I think that’s what Jimmy Jacobs’ latest stable is all about. I think Alexander won his match last month against Strong, so I think the veteran takes it here, but I think instead of jobbing him out they’ll make Alexander look great in the process.
Prediction: Roderick Strong
Warren: This has been my favorite feud of 2014 so far in ROH and in my opinion is the best booked. Strong took offense to Alexander using a backbreaker as his finisher. Since then Roddy and his Decade buddies have beaten Alexander down and even cost him the chance to wrestle NJPW star Okada at War of the Worlds. Alexander has been built up perfectly as a resilient babyface and is getting a great reaction from the crowd. These two had a great match at Global Wars and I think if given time this match will surpass it. The only gripe I have with this is that I’ve never seen Alexander use a submission hold. In fact, he has not used one in the build up of this match. What interests me the most is the direction both men will go after this match.
Prediction: Cedric Alexander
ROH World Title Match
Adam Cole (c) vs. Michael Elgin
Bryan: This should be a really good match. I’m really impressed with how Adam Cole is doing as champion, he has great poise that you don’t see too often with other world champions even in WWE and TNA. Elgin is good, really good in fact, but I don’t know if you want to pull the trigger on him yet as champion. Then again, it’s true that with your first live PPV you need something big, and thus Elgin could wind up as the champion by pinning Cole. I’ll go ahead and guess that will happen. Elgin will win the title, but maybe for a short run until Cole eventually grabs it back.
Prediction: Michael Elgin
Warren: ROH is in a real pickle in regards to the booking of this match. For the last few months Michael Elgin has been built up as a destroyer of men. Logic dictates that he win this match especially since he already has a few failed challenges and their are murmuring on the internet that he is in the same spot that Tyler Black was in a few years ago. What stops the decision from being elementary is just how good of a champion Adam Cole is. From his cocky mannerisms to his cowardice in between the ropes Adam Cole has been the best heel on the indy circuit over the last two years. Most importantly from all accounts he represents the company well during promotional work and his interactions with fans are always courteous. I’d be happen to see either man as champion but the company needs a big moment to close out the show and what better way than to see a new champion crowned.
Prediction: Michael Elgin
“Best in the World 2014” will be available via traditional pay-per-view, check with your local cable provider. It will also be available via uStream at the link below: