ROH Best In The World 2017
June 23rd, 2017
9:00 PM EST
Lowell Memorial Auditorium
Before I go into the full PPV card, I just want to quickly mention some a match that will be taking place before the start of the PPV. This weekend will feature the ROH debut of the current Stardom High Speed Champion Kris Wolf. ROH has established a relationship with Stardom over the past several months, and I believe this is the first instance of a Stardom talent appearing in ROH since that relationship became official. Wolf will be teaming with Sumie Sakai to take on the team of Deonna Purrazzo & Mandy Leon. I’m guessing this match will be taped for Women of Honor Wednesdays on ROH’s YouTube Channel. This will be a unique opportunity to see a rising talent from Stardom, who is making a rare U.S. appearance.
— Women of Honor (@Women_of_Honor) June 20, 2017
ROH World Title – Christopher Daniels vs. “The American Nightmare” Cody
While I doubt this will be the best match on the card, there’s no doubt that it’s the most anticipated. Rumors have been swirling for the past few months that Cody will inevitably become the next ROH World Champion. Everyone expected that moment to occur at the War Of The Worlds PPV back in May in a Triple Threat Match against Christopher Daniels & Jay Lethal. In a shocking result, Daniels retained his title that night by pinning Cody, who had Jay Lethal trapped in the figure four leglock, and thus, couldn’t kick out. Since then, Cody contested the result, noting that he had Lethal’s shoulders on the mat while in the figure four, and thus, the referee should’ve counted the pin. That has led us to this match, where Cody gets his one-on-one opportunity to capture his first major singles title since his departure from WWE last year.
I’m sure this will be a good match, but as I already alluded to, I’m not expecting anything amazing here. A lot has been said about Cody as a wrestler in the year that he’s been on the independents since his WWE departure. When it comes to his matches, there are certainly plenty that I would classify as “solid” to “good”, but we really haven’t seen anything from him that approached “great”. Plus, he’s not exactly the most exciting guy to watch in the ring. Could Daniels get a really good match out of him? He certainly has the ability to, but I won’t believe it until I see it. Everyone seems to be predicting that Cody will win here. Given all the rumors, he’s the safe pick, and that’s who I’m going with to win this match. However, I don’t think that Daniels has absolutely no chance to win. I could see Daniels retaining here, as crazy as that sounds. I don’t know what it is, but I just feel that the chances of Daniels escaping with the title are a little bit bigger than people might think. It’s just a hunch, and while a small part of me is pulling for Daniels, I fully expect Cody to win the title here. Prediction: Cody
ROH World Tag Team Titles – The Young Bucks vs. War Machine
The Young Bucks have faced a variety of different challengers over the last several months, but Hanson & Ray Rowe might be their toughest opponents to date. This is actually a rubber match, as both teams split victories back in February (The Young Bucks got the win on a ROH live event in Columbus, Ohio, while War Machine evened up the score during the Honor Rising shows in Korakuen Hall). On paper, KUSHIDA vs. Marty Scurll might jump off the page as obvious frontrunner for Match of the Night, but this clash over the ROH World Tag Team Titles will definitely be a challenger for that honor as well. The two matches they had in February were both great, and I fully expect that both teams will attempt to top those previous bouts here. The Young Bucks always deliver when it comes to big shows (in both ROH and New Japan), while War Machine have become so much better as a unit following their various tours with New Japan over the last several months. I fully expect The Young Bucks to retain here, especially since the future of War Machine has been in doubt from some time (rumors about them going to WWE have persisted for months), but that doesn’t change the fact that this will be an awesome tag team encounter. Prediction: The Young Bucks
ROH World TV Title – KUSHIDA vs. “The Villain” Marty Scurll
Everything seemed to be going well for Marty Scurll. He was in the middle of a dominant reign as ROH World TV Champion (he had defeated a variety of different challengers in some great matches), and he had a huge moment at War Of The Worlds when he took Adam Cole’s spot in The Bullet Club. That all changed in Philadelphia on a recent episode of ROH TV, when a distraction from Adam Cole led to Scurll losing his ROH World TV Title to KUSHIDA. Now that Cole is no longer a concern, “The Villain” is looking to reclaim the gold that was once his.
Honestly, I wasn’t that excited for this PPV, but my feelings changed when this rematch was announced. There’s no reason why this shouldn’t be awesome. I fully expect it to be the best match on the entire PPV. Scurll has been one of the highlights of ROH in 2017, while KUSHIDA always delivers quality performances whenever he comes over to the United States. The result could go either way, and while it wouldn’t shock me if Scurll regained the title, I think that KUSHIDA should retain here. It would seem premature for his title reign to end so soon. Plus, I feel like there’s a slight chance that Scurll could be moved up into the ROH World Title picture. Whether that actually happens remains to be seen, but regardless, this will be an incredible contest between two of the best wrestlers on the planet. Prediction: KUSHIDA
ROH Six-Man Tag Team Titles – The Briscoes & Bully Ray vs. Dalton Castle & The Boys
I really wasn’t that excited when this one was announced, mainly because I thought that Chuck Taylor & Roppongi Vice were a lock to challenge for these titles after their huge victory over The Bullet Club on ROH TV. However, after seeing what happened on different episode of ROH TV (both episodes were part of the TV Tapings in Philadelphia during the War Of The Worlds Tour in May), I now understand why this match is taking place. Dalton Castle teamed with The Briscoes & Bully Ray to take on Los Ingobernables de Japon in an Eight-Man Tag. At one point, BUSHI was about to spray his black mist into the eyes of the Castle, but The Boys pushed Castle out of the way. Unfortunately, this meant that Jay Briscoe (the legal man at the time) got hit with the black mist, and he was pinned by Naito shortly thereafter. Ever since, Jay Briscoe has been obsessed with getting his hands on The Boys. As we all know, Jay Briscoe is someone who rarely gets pinned in ROH, and when he does, it’s usually a very big deal. He can handle a loss if it’s a clean, hard-fought battle, but that’s not how that eight-man tag ended, and he’s upset over the fact that the actions of The Boys led to hit getting pinned in such a manner.
Honestly, I’m not sure what to expect from this one. With regards to match-quality, it should be solid, but I don’t know what the ceiling is here. I expect that we’ll get some fun interactions between The Briscoes & Dalton Castle. Bully Ray should be….fine (as I’ve said before in other previews/reviews, these six-man tags are the best spot for him). As for The Boys, they certainly have an uphill battle, as they’re going up against much larger opponents, but this could be a good showcase for them. This has been said many times before, but behind their personas, The Boys are very talented wrestlers. This is probably their biggest match to date, and I’m sure they’ll be looking to make a positive impression. While it might seem unlikely on the surface, there’s a strong chance that we’ll see a title change here. I could easily see Jay Briscoe’s obsession over taking out The Boys causing him to take his eye off the ball, which would allow Castle to take advantage for the win. It’s really a perfect storm for that kind of finish, and it could lead to a singles feud between Jay Briscoe & Dalton Castle, which would obviously be big for the latter. It wouldn’t shock me if the champions retain, and honestly, I expecting that result but for the sake of being different, I’m going with the upset choice. Prediction: Dalton Castle & The Boys
Jay Lethal vs. Silas Young
The issues between these two have picked up over the last several weeks, but their rivalry actually dates all the way back to last September. Essentially, Silas Young has been displeased with the fact that Jay Lethal has been treated as the “golden boy” of ROH, and he feels that he should’ve gotten all of the various opportunities that Lethal has received. It’s a simple story, but it’s been told pretty well on ROH TV. While Lethal defeated Young on two different occasions last fall, Young has really had the number of the former ROH World Champion as of late. He scored a big win over Lethal in his hometown of Milwaukee back in April, and pinned him again in tag team action a few weeks ago on TV.
Not a lot of people are talking about this match, but it definitely has the chance to be one of the show’s better bouts. Jay Lethal always delivers when it comes to ROH PPVs, and I’m sure Silas Young will be motivated to deliver a strong performance. As for the result, I see Lethal getting the win here. While it would be a huge moment for Young to pick up a victory like this on PPV, he’s really been dominating the feud over the last several weeks (as I already mentioned, Young has pinned Lethal twice over the last few months). Lethal losing to Young yet again wouldn’t make much sense unless Lethal is turning heel, and I don’t think that’s happening anytime in the near future. Prediction: Jay Lethal
The Kingdom (Matt Taven & Vinny Marseglia) vs. Ultimo Guerrero & El Terrible
While Ultimo Guerrero made an appearance in ROH late last year (he participated in the ROH Six-Man Tag Team Title Tournament as part of Team CMLL), this is El Terrible’s first time in ROH. This is a unique match on the card, not just because it features CMLL talent, but because it’s the only bout on the entire show that doesn’t have any ROH storyline behind. However, the two sides aren’t exactly unfamiliar. Matt Taven has been sort of a semi-regular in CMLL since his return from injury last year, and during his stint there back in March, he had a singles match with Ultimo Guerrero in Arena Mexico. The Kingdom was also the team that eliminated Team CMLL (which included Ultimo Guerrero, as I previously mentioned) from the aforementioned ROH Six-Man Tag Team Title Tournament. As far as the match itself is concerned, I don’t expect it to be spectacular, but it should be pretty good. It might seem odd that a major CMLL star like Ultimo Guerrero is being put with The Kingdom here, but given that Matt Taven has spent time in CMLL over the last few months, it might be the most logical pairing, since Ultimo Guerrero is very familiar with Taven. The result of this one doesn’t matter that much, but I’m going to go with The Kingdom here, who I believe will pick up the fall over El Terrible. I say that because Matt Taven & Ultimo Guerrero are having a singles match the next night at the TV Tapings, and I doubt that Taven will be winning that encounter. Thus, a victory here for The Kingdom in tag team action would balance things out. Prediction: The Kingdom
Strap Match – “The Hangman” Adam Page vs. Frankie Kazarian
The issues between these two date back to Kazarian’s brief stint with The Bullet Club earlier this year in the leadup to the 15th Anniversary Show. On that PPV, Kazarian (with help from Adam Page) won a Six-Man Mayhem Match to secure himself a shot at the ROH World TV Title, and later that night, it was revealing that his admission into The Bullet Club was nothing more than a ruse, and this revelation played a hand in Christopher Daniels winning the ROH World Title from Adam Cole. As you might imagine, this didn’t still well with Adam Page, and he’s been targeting Kazarian ever since, doing everything from costing Kazarian matches to attacking him in a parking garage. ROH hasn’t clarified whether this Strap Match will be of the “touch all four corners” variety, or (like the Texas Bullrope Match between Cody & Jay Lethal) the version where it ends via pinfall or submission. Based on the fact that ROH has been hyping it up as a brutal affair, I’m going to say (and hope) it’s the latter.
This might come as a bit of a shock, but I’m cautiously optimistic about this match. I was dreading their initial encounter last month at the War Of The Worlds PPV in New York City, but it ended up being a pleasant surprise. It was kept relatively short (around five or six minutes) and, aside from a disgusting mid-match spitting contest, it had some fun action. Obviously this Strap Match will probably end up being longer, but if they can bring that same intensity they had in that aforementioned bout at the last PPV (especially with a stipulation like this that pretty much guarantees foreign objects becoming involved), it could be pretty good. I’ve been very harsh towards Kazarian as a singles wrestler ever since he came to ROH three years ago (deservedly so, in my opinion), but I must admit, he’s seemingly improved over the past few months. He even had a fun little match on TV with Cody, which completely blew away my expectations, as I was certain that it would be a snooze-fest. As for the result, I’m going to say that Kazarian scores the victory here, since Page won in a heelish manner at War Of The Worlds. However, I can’t totally rule out a potential win for “The Hangman”, since he’s participating in the upcoming IWGP United States Title Tournament in Long Beach. Prediction: Frankie Kazarian
Eight-Man Tag – Losing Team Must Disband – The Rebellion (The All-Night Express, Caprice Coleman, & Shane Taylor) vs. Search & Destroy (The Motor City Machine Guns, Jay White, & Jonathan Gresham)
This is a feud that dates all the way back to the fall of last year, believe it or not. They’ve faced off in various different combinations (which is the one aspect of this rivalry I really liked) during the last several months, but now they’re facing off in a massive eight-man tag where the losing side must disband. Now the specifics of that stipulation, as it pertains to The All-Night Express & The Motor City Machine Guns (both teams were around well before their respective stables formed) haven’t been made clear, but I’m working under the assumption that those two tag teams will remain together, regardless of the result (the fact that Alex Shelley & Chris Sabin have a match with War Machine at the TV Tapings the next night reinforces that fact). It wouldn’t shock me if not that many people cared about this one, but it has the potential to be a really fun eight-man tag. I imagine it’ll be worked at a relatively quick pace, and it will probably break down into an massive brawl with bodies flying all over the place. While the anticipation might be low, this is easily one of the hardest results to predict. It would make sense for Search & Destroy to lose, since that side has two singles stars in Jay White and Jonathan Gresham that can prominently featured. They don’t really need to be part of a stable. At the same time, however, it feels like The Rebellion, who’ve been together for over a year at this point (this dates back to when they were known as The Cabinet), have overstayed their welcome as a group. Plus, they also have a singles star in Shane Taylor who can be pushed on his own. For the sake of this preview, I’m going to pick The Rebellion to win, though the result could honestly go either way. There really isn’t a wrong answer here. Prediction: The Rebellion