Ring of Honor
Best in World 2021
July 11, 2021
7:00 PM EDT (Free Hour) / 8:00 PM EDT (PPV)
Chesapeake Employers Insurance Arena
Watch: HonorClub, PPV & FITE
Meet our reviewers:
Sean Sedor: If there’s a big Ring Of Honor event happening, you know that Sean will be ready to review it for the site! He’s very excited for ROH’s first show in front of fans in almost eighteen months. You can follow me on Twitter @SASedor2994. If you’re interested in some other stuff I do, you can check out my YouTube channel (just search my name) if you’d like to see me play the Formula 1 game, and you can also check out my Extreme Warfare Revenge thread on the Be The Booker forums (if you’re into those kinds of games).
Brandon Gordon: Brandon has been a wrestling fan from probably the Cretaceous Period and a listener of Voices of Wrestling since 2013. After a couple of columns focusing on New Japan Pro Wrestling, Brandon is now part of the mighty VOW machine that makes the IWC swoon. Keeping an eye on the weekly wrestling shows, Ring of Honor included, he is making his VoW review debut. You can follow Brandon @EstablishWres on the Twitter machine.
Rey Horus def. Demonic Flamita
Sean: I just got done watching an exciting battle for the win at the end of the NASCAR Cup Series race at Atlanta between the Busch Brothers, and now I’m going right into what should be an exciting match between Flamita and Rey Horus. These two had a great match on ROH TV a few weeks ago, and when the dust settled, I’d say they equaled that previous bout. Horus went after Flamita straight away, and from there, this match was just nonstop action from start to finish. I know this was on the free hour, but having this be the first match of the night was an excellent choice. Just two luchadores going out there and having a super fun opener. Horus ultimately caught him with a sunset flip, which led to a post-match attack by Flamita (who has some very noticeable bacne). A bit surprised by the result, but nice to see Horus get a win. ****
Brandon: This match started with intensity with the former MexiSquad members providing action from the word go. Flamita and Horus complimented each other well in this contest. The action only slowed down for either spots that needed to be set up or for the demonic one to show how cocky he is. The match was short, but it was a great way to open Hour One. ***1/2
Danhausen & PCO def. The Bouncers (The Beer City Bruiser & Brian Milonas with Ken Dixon)
Sean: This tag match followed a big in-ring segment involving Matt Taven and The Righteous that set up a Steel Cage Match between Taven and Vincent in Philadelphia on August 21st. Brian Milonas has a top knot, and The Bouncers are accompanied by former ROH young lion Ken Dixon. The Bouncers took control early and beat the crap out of Danhausen for a number of minutes, before Danhausen eventually made the tag to PCO, who ran wild. The bout featured some wild spots towards the end, and not just PCO doing his usual dives (he nailed the apron senton, by the way, which was a nice surprise!). Beer City Bruiser nailed a massive Vader Bomb on PCO from the second rope all the way to the floor, which was NUTS for a guy of his size. A short time later, Danhausen used his teeth on Beer City Bruiser, and that set up PCO to hit his big PCO-sault for the win. Entertaining for what it was, and for the most part, it’s pretty much how I would’ve booked it. I’ll give this match some extra points for that insane Beer City Bruiser spot near the end. Afterwards, PCO would get into a confrontation with Sledge, seemingly setting up a match for TV. ***
Brandon: ROH setting up Taven vs. Vincent at Glory By Honor Night 2 and Quinn McKay announcing that the reveals of the ROH Women’s Championship tournament bracket and title belt tonight save on filling up Hour One with video packages. Brian Zane is out with Ian and Caprice to make it a three-man booth. The Bouncers dominate early on as Danhousen takes the brunt of the punishment. Danhousen hits a very good Release German Suplex on the BCB and PCO takes over. PCO becomes reckless but fun and then “comedy” ensues. Sledge arrives halfway through the match. The final stretch delivered with Beer City Bruiser and PCO doing these painful-looking dives. Danhousen lifted Bruiser for a Death Valley Driver and nailed it. PCOsault gives PCO and Danhousen the W. The match started slow but had a good end. ***1/2
The Briscoes def. Brian Johnson & PJ Black
Sean: Brian Johnson spent his entrance cutting a wild heel promo on The Briscoes, just as Honor Club decided to crap out on me when I went to log in. Just when I need it to work, it screws me over in a big way, which wasn’t exactly ideal. Anyway, The Briscoes went right after Black and Johnson as soon as the bell rang, and they brawled on the outside for a bit before returning to the ring. Black and Johnson managed to gain the upper hand, and we actually saw some good teamwork between the two of them. At points, they had The Briscoes scouted, and nearly won on a few occasions. They weren’t able to keep ‘Dem Boys down for long however. They ran through some of their signature offense, and in the end, a Jay Driller and a Froggy Bow got the job done. This was a solid tag team encounter. Black and Johnson looked good, but they just didn’t have enough to beat The Briscoes, who this crowd was very much behind. A solid match as a whole. No real complaints from me. ***1/4
Brandon: Brian Johnson is out here thinking he’s at the Apollo or Def Comedy Jam roasting the Briscoes. His promo performance was fantastic, he can verbally spar with the best of them. The beginning of this match is brutality incarnate starting brawling on the outside. The action on the inside is delivered with hard strikes and heavy slams. Mark and Johnson talking trash and trading elbows. Johnson is taking loads of punishment from the Briscoes but he won’t quit. Jay kicked out of the Spike Eskin and Placebo Effect. The Briscoes were just one step ahead. Ironically, PJ Black was the one seeing the lights with the Jay Driller and the Froggy Bow. Great opener. ****1/4
EC3 def. Flip Gordon
Sean: So it sounds like the problems with Honor Club (as I type this) are a much wider issue, which is a slight relief, knowing that it’s not just me. Sadly, this feels a lot like 2012 all over again, when live ROH iPPVs rarely worked. EC3 looks like he was carved out of stone. It’s wild that he’s been able to stay in shape that well after going through COVID as well as the infection that put him in the hospital. We got basic back and forth early before Gordon started going after the knee. EC3 would fight back, but the knee kept bothering him, and Gordon kept going after it. At one point, EC3 nailed a huge superplex, and that was the beginning of the end for Gordon. A powerbomb, an Angel’s Wings variation, and a submission (called The Purpose) gave EC3 the win. The work from start to finish was technically fine, but it’s very hard to care about EC3 when it comes to his in-ring work. Jay Briscoe was able to get a pretty good match out of him, but this bout against Flip Gordon was definitely a step down. Afterwards, EC3 wanted a handshake. However, Gordon slapped him twice and spit in his face. **3/4
Brandon: EC3 has had a hard time staying healthy up until this point due to illness. Ian Riccobani emphasized that he almost DIED from an arm infection. Hopefully, the issues are far behind him. Solid, yet deliberate beginning to the match with lock-ups, attacks, and counter attacks. EC3 is dominant early but Flip kicks EC3 off the middle rope. Flip is working the left leg he kicked out. EC3 is effectively grounded for now and Gorden delivers a knee to his opponent’s face. Gordon showed signs of the babyface Flip of old with his counters and evasion tactics. The story of the match could be titled “Ouch: The Decimation of EC3’s Left Leg” by The Mercenary. EC3 received enough to hit Godon with a Superplex off the top. Face-ish EC3 being told he sucks by a few fans in the crowd ain’t great. EC3 puts Flip away with a slam on the mat followed by a Crossface-like move. Post-match, Flip refuses the Code of Honor and slaps EC3 twice, and spits on him. “Thank You, Flip” by some fans. It was fine. **3/4
ROH World Six-Man Tag Team Titles
Shane Taylor Promotions (Shane Taylor & Soldiers Of Savagery with O’Shay Edwards) (c) def. Dalton Castle, Dak Draper, & Eli Isom
Sean: The build to this match has been very…..strange, to say the least. Castle had a very elaborate entrance, while Shane Taylor Promotions were accompanied by their newest member, O’Shay Edwards. We got a big spot early when Draper got dropkicked out of mid-air by Kaun. Castle then managed to get one over on Moses before he spent a good minute celebrating. This led to Shane Taylor smacking Castle in the face. So the story of the match quickly became that Castle was too focused on showboating and being entertaining, while his two partners were trying to win the match. Moses went on a flurry at one point, and Taylor nearly had the match won with the Package Piledriver before Isom made the save. Things broke down from there, with everyone getting the chance to hit some offense. The bout eventually came to an end after Taylor hit Draper with Welcome To The Land. A solid six-man tag that served as a fine defense for Shane Taylor Promotions, while also setting up (presumably) matches with Castle against Isom and Draper. ***1/4
Brandon: Ladies love the Magnum, who starts the match with Kaun. Dak gets wrecked and tags out to Isom. Isom and Moses go at it but Moses’ strength proves to be too formidable. Castle tags in and he’s grappling with Moses and eventually dumps him on the outside. Castle showboats for a hot minute then is decked by a tagged in Taylor when he gets back into the ring. Isom is tagged in and Taylor drops him quickly. Kaun tags back in and is ganged up on. Draper, Castle and Isom take turns delivering damage to Kaun. Isom gets a two fall on Kaun which angers Castle. The infighting gave STP the advantage. Castle takes a powder with his new Boys. Isom tries to go to the top but Castle interferes trying to take credit. SOS and Taylor systematically take out their opposition and Draper gets a Welcome to the Land courtesy of Taylor. Fun 6-Man but a bit hard to follow at times.***3/4
Last Man Standing Match
Josh Woods def. Silas Young
Sean: This one got started right away as Josh Woods jumped Silas Young during his entrance. Woods tossed Young into the barricades a number of times, and once they got back in the ring, Woods used some of Young’s signature offense against him. Young would use some dirty tricks to gain control as the plunder started to come out. A chair, multiple tables, and a Ladder were brought out quickly, and the first major spot of the match saw Young drive Woods through a table set up in the corner. Woods was able to recover, and just went off on Young. He locked him in his leg submission for a good thirty seconds or so, and powerbombed Young on a Ladder. In between all of that, he got out more tables and more chairs (the fans actually booed Woods for not stacking the tables on top of each other).
Young then gained the advantage, and smacked Woods in the back with a chair after trapping him in the ropes. They eventually brawled onto the apron, and that led to a HUGE spot where Woods hit Young with a German Suplex off the apron, through two tables!! Woods got up, but Young wasn’t able to, so Woods handed Young his first loss in a Last Man Standing match. It’s a shame that the crowd wasn’t as into this as I was expecting, because these two really worked their asses off. I really enjoyed this from start to finish. It was intense right from the opening bell, and it was a very fitting way to end this feud. Should be interesting to see where both guys go from here. ****
Brandon: Woods jumps Young from behind and various weapons get dragged out. Woods rams Young’s jewels into a ring post and the ref starts the count. Young gets up and the two get in the ring. Woods sets up a table in the corner but Woods rams him into it. Woods applies the Gorilla lock and Young tries to tap. Woods releases the hold as the ref goes for another count on Young. Two tables are set up on the outside by Woods. Young gets power bombed on a ladder by Woods. Woods throws several chairs into the ring but Young ends up slamming Woods into them twice. On the apron, both men throw fists before Woods suplexes Young across the tables on the outside. Woods gets up just before the 10-count, Young was not so lucky. Good match with good action and a good way to break the tie. ***3/4
Brody King def. Jay Lethal (with Tracy Williams)
Sean: Tracy Williams comes out with Jay Lethal, who’s now wearing a wrestling singlet apparently. Both Lethal and Brody King got big reactions from the crowd when they made their respective entrances. They got off to a hot start, as they went right after each other. Lethal nailed a Lethal Injection about a minute or so into the match, and it got only a one count. This was followed up with four dives from Lethal, but Brody never left his feet. Brody gains control shortly after this, and then starts punishing Lethal. The former ROH World Champion would fight back briefly, but Brody remained in control. At one point, Brody set Lethal up against the barricade, and nailed a running crossbody with so much force that it actually moved the barricade.
Brody continued to punish Jay Lethal. A Death Valley Driver on the apron, a big lariat, and two Gonzo Bombs put Lethal down for the count. This was basically an extended squash match. Lethal was on fire in the first two minutes or so, but then once Brody King took control, it was pretty much over. If the goal was to get Brody over as this unstoppable force, they absolutely accomplished that goal here. Not only that, but with Lethal stepping in for Tracy Williams later on, he’s going into that match wounded, so there’s that story too. I loved this match. ****
Brandon: Prior to the match, Quinn McKay spoke with Matt Taven about his upcoming match with Vincent. Taven is happy because he’s going to get what he wants after his lengthy feud with Vincent. Tracy Williams is out with Jay Lethal. Williams was supposed to be in tonight’s Fight Without Honor match Tag Team Championship match but he was hit in a car accident and not cleared to wrestle tonight. Lethal wears a singlet to this match. King drew his ire and already the straps are down. Lethal Injection to King for the one count. Lethal is emptying the holster on King. Four topes and a basement dropkick to King and King was still standing. King is dominating Lethal with Lethal getting some strikes in. King goes for the Superplex off the top rope but Lethal counters with a Powerbomb. King drives Lethal down with a Pile Driver, Lethal escapes on the outside. King mocks Jay about fighting with honor while brutalizing him on the outside. King smashes a seated Lethal with a crossbody into a ring barricade. King with the DVD on the apron. Stop, stop, he’s already dead. Back on the inside, Lethal fights off the Gonzo Bomb several times, but King finally prevails. Back to back Gonzo Bombs and it’s over. King shakes the hand of a still knocked out Lethal. This is a great contest and the right man won. ****1/2
ROH Pure Title
Jonathan Gresham (c) def. Mike Bennett
Sean: The promo package before this match was very good. Cary Silkin also joined Ian Riccaboni and Caprice Coleman on commentary. Bennett and Gresham have a basic back and forth exchange early, but Bennett is able to force Gresham to use an early rope break. Gresham responded by going right after Bennett’s arm, as he worked it over with a variety of holds and submissions. Bennett eventually had to use his first rope break as the work on the arm began to really show. We then got a really cool spot where Gresham went for a dive, Bennet caught him, but then Gresham transitioned into an arm submission. While Bennett furiously tapped on the outside, it didn’t matter, since they were on the floor.
Bennett was still having trouble with the arm, but he was able to force Gresham to use a second rope break after locking him in the London Dungeon. We got some more back and forth action, and a flurry of offense and near falls from Gresham ultimately led to Bennett using up all of his remaining rope breaks. Gresham nailed a big dive, but when he went to do a springboard move, Bennett caught him and went on a long offensive flurry. He managed to hit the piledriver, and seemingly got the three count, but Gresham had one foot under the bottom rope, so the match continued. That led to Gresham going back to the knee of Bennett that he worked on earlier, and he scored the submission victory. I thought this was a great match. Again, much like the Last Man Standing match earlier, they didn’t necessarily get the biggest reactions, but both competitors really worked hard. Bennett took Gresham to the limit, and in the end, earned his respect. It’s a shame that (much like the Last Man Standing Match) the crowd reactions weren’t there, because both guys worked their butts off. ****
Brandon: Gresham with a quick handshake, a tale of him trying to maintain honor and his own professionalism but still disrespecting his opponent. Gresham and Bennett feel each other out. Bennett has the clear strength advantage and manages to force Gresham to use a rope break with Nigel McGuinness’ London Dungeon. Gresham starts to work on Bennett’s left arm. Gresham simultaneously stretches out and toys with Bennett saying to Bennett “You don’t belong here.” Gresham goes back to Bennett’s arm. Bennett is forced to use his first rope break. Bennett, on the outside, catches Gresham during his attempt for a dive. Gresham, in retaliation locks in the Kimura Lock, forcing Bennett to use his second rope break. Bennett responds by locking on the London Dungeon on Gresham. Both men only have one rope break left. It’s a game of one-upmanship with neither man having a clear advantage. Bennett burns his last rope break to escape from the Cobra Twist. Gresham wraps his body around Bennett but Bennett counters by driving him into the apron. Bennett nails the pile driver and the thought he won, alas, Gresham used his last rope break. Despite Bennett’s vigilance, Gresham trapped his leg and Bennett had to tap. This was amazing, Gresham is a special talent and Bennett opened my eyes tonight to his pure skill. ****3/4
ROH World TV Title
Dragon Lee (with La Bestia del Ring) def. Tony Deppen (c)
Sean: These two had a great match at Final Battle last December that saw Dragon Lee retain his title. This time around, Tony Deppen comes in as the champion. Much like a lot of the other bouts on this card, these two didn’t waste any time, and went after each other straight away. Forearm strikes, chops, and slaps right out of the gate. Deppen then nailed a HUGE dive through the ropes that turned into a Canadian Destroyer. That was wild. It didn’t take long for Dragon Lee to recover, as he nailed a Double Stomp on Deppen to the floor. These two are just trying to kill each other.
Kenny King then ran down from commentary to provide a timely distraction, but that didn’t matter too much, as Deppen immediately went to exchanging German Suplexes with Dragon Lee. The crowd finally started to come alive at this point, as we got poison ranas and big lariats. They continued to nearly kill each other as Deppen got hit with a Bastard Driver. Shortly thereafter, Dragon Lee connected with the Incineration Knee to capture the ROH World TV Title for the 2nd time. This was an awesome match from start to finish. Dragon Lee is awesome, as is Tony Deppen. They absolutely killed it here. Not much else to say about it. This rocked. ****1/2
Brandon: Kenny King joins Ian and Caprice at the commentary table. Starting off strong with a flurry of punches and then chest slaps. Big Boot by Lee on Deppen on the outside, Deppen counters with a Suplex. Deppen files to the outside and hits a Tope-Canadian Destroyer combo. This match is fast-paced with plenty of crisp action. Lee Bison Stomps Deppen off the top rope to the floor. Deppen rolls up Lee for the near fall. Kenny leaves the broadcast team and distracts Deppen. SUPLEX PARTAY by both guys. Lee Poisonrana, Deppen massive Lariat! Caprice throws shade at WWE. Deppen flips Lee off and the two exchange slaps. Dragon Driver on Deppen but Deppen kicks out. Lee with the knee strikes to the head. Deppen and Lee punished each other. Lee finishes Deppen off with Incineration! Post match, Chris Dickinson and Homicide come out to protect Deppen. So close to perfect. ****3/4
ROH World Tag Team Titles – Fight Without Honor
Violence Unlimited (Chris Dickinson & Homicide) def. The Foundation (ROH Pure Champion Jonathan Gresham & Rhett Titus) (c)
Sean: Before Tony Deppen vs. Dragon Lee started, we found out in a backstage video that Jay Lethal wasn’t cleared to compete after getting destroyed by Brody King earlier in the night. So, Jonathan Gresham stepped up to team with Rhett Titus. Homicide and Chris Dickinson had come out to check on Tony Deppen following his loss to Dragon Lee, but this led to Gresham and Titus running down to get this one started. Chairs got introduced immediately, and Titus took a huge bump on a chair in the early stages. It didn’t take long for him to recover though, as he hit a big Michinoku Driver on Homicide through a table a few minutes later.
This left Gresham and Dickinson alone in the ring to go at it for a bit, but Homicide and Titus soon got back in the fray, and Homicide nailed Titus with a very sketchy Ace Crusher off the top rope. We then got a fun spot where Dickinson hit Titus with a Michinoku Driver to break up an Octopus Lock that Gresham had on Homicide. An attempt by Homicide to use a fork was foiled, but that didn’t matter, as Dickinson nailed Titus with a huge Pazuzu Bomb off the second rope and through a table. Homicide then nailed Gresham with Da Cop Killa to capture the ROH World Tag Team Titles. This wasn’t quite as good as the Last Man Standing Match, and the crowd seemed quiet early, but again, these guys worked their asses off. Believe it or not, this is the first time that Homicide has held the ROH World Tag Team Titles. Very cool moment for Chris Dickinson as well. ***3/4
Brandon: Gresham (who is replacing both the not-cleared Williams and the squashed Lethal) and Titus run out to the ring and attack Dickinson and Homicide. There was no transition from Deppen’s rescue to this match and very little time to react. Titus drive Homicide into the timekeeper’s table. Dickinson meanwhile is taking apart Gresham who finished wrestling two matches ago. Titus and Homicide recovered from the table spot. Dickinson is nailed with a chair by Titus who himself is taken out by Homicide with an Ace Crusher. Titus is going off on VLNCE UNLTD with the chairs. Gresham almost submits Homicide but Dickinson throws Titus into them. Homicide brings in a table AND A FORK!!!! Titus makes the save but is Razor’s Edged from the top rope into the table by Dickinson. 1-8-7 on Gresham 1-2-3. What a rush! So much fun brutality and use of weaponry. ****
ROH Women’s Tournament Bracket Reveal
Sean: Maria Kanellis and Lenny Leonard (hey, look who’s back in ROH!) reveal the bracket for the ROH Women’s Title Tournament, the championship itself, and the fact that the finals will be at Death Before Dishonor (whenever that show happens). Maria then mentions how Vita VonStarr got removed from the tournament for not following the rules. This led to the announcement that Chelsea Green has joined ROH, and she came out to cut a promo about how she wants to prove that she’s the best by winning the tournament. Her arm is still in a cast, so she’s not cleared to wrestle in Maryland yet, but I guess she’s still going to be in the tournament. Maybe she’ll have her first round match on one of the Philly shows? Regardless, it’s a bit of a surprise to see Chelsea Green here, since she certainly would’ve been a contender to be the mystery opponent for Deonna Purrazzo at Slammiversary next weekend.
Brandon: Maria Kanellis is out with Lenny Leonard and as promised revealed the new title as well as the tournament bracket. With Vita Von Star blowing her chance at the tournament, the spot needs to be filled. Maria then announced CHELSEA GREEN! Now works for ROH. Like Williams, Green is not yet cleared to compete in the state of Maryland, but she plans to study up on her opponents and win the Women’s Championship. Surprised by the announcement, but a good call up.
ROH World TitleBandido def. RUSH (c)
Sean: RUSH came right out the gate with a dropkick followed by the Bull’s Horns, but he pulled up on the cover and taunted the crowd as he went right back to work on Bandido. Seems like RUSH wants to punish him some more. He sent Bandido into the barricades several times as he brought out the TV cables from under the ring to use on the challenger.
RUSH continued to dish out punishment, but Bandido finally found an opening, and nailed a series of dives. The two exchanged some offense for a bit, before RUSH regained control, and took the time to set up two tables on the floor. Bandido managed to nail a huge dive that sent both RUSH and himself crashing through both tables. The two men continued to trade offense, and Bandido eventually managed to nail the big moonsault fallaway slam off the top! A 21-Plex right after that somehow only got a two count. RUSH then resorted to ripping the mask of Bandido, in the ultimate sign of disrespect. However, after RUSH was distracted with yelling at Todd Sinclair, Bandido rolled him up to win the ROH World Title!! I was really pulling for Bandido, but I wasn’t sure if he could pull it off. Well, he managed to do it. I thought this match was really good, for the most part, though it definitely had some weird moments. RUSH matches are a very unique experience, both in a good way and a bad way. They can be pretty wild, and that was certainly the case here. LFI destroying Bandido to end the PPV was a pretty sour ending to end the show on, since Bandido barely got any time to celebrate, but still, seeing Bandido win the ROH World Title was very cool to see. I guess I’m feeling generous tonight, so I’ll go notebook on it. Even with how it ended, they definitely put forth the effort. ****
Brandon: There is a Spanish announce team for this Mexican represented ROH Championship Match. The match spills to the outside early. RUSH whips Bandido with the cables before being backed off by referee Todd Sinclair. RUSH drives a chair into Bandido’s leg. Bandido flies to the outside on RUSH twice. Shooting Star Press on the inside for two. Bandido and RUSH trade strikes inside the ring before RUSH dives on Bandido to the outside. RUSH sets up two tables to the outside. Bandido delivers a flying tackle driving both through the tables. Todd Sinclair nearly counts to 20 but they return to the ring and the match continues. The competitors trade Snap German Suplexes. RUSH drags Bandido by his hair and hits him with a second rope Suplex to the inside. Bandido retaliates with the Spanish Fly and 21 Plex but only got 2. RUSH started to rip off Bandido’s mask, but Bandido caught RUSH with the pin. Bandido is the new ROH ROH World Champion. Post match, Bandido is jumped by LFI. Solid main event and a surprising result. I am torn on what to give this match, it (most likely) unintentionally repeated some of the same things from the rest of the card and I can’t say the work was as good as the other matches. Still, the match held its own so it’s **** for me.