ROH Best in the World 2016 (6/24/2016)- Concord, NC
KYLE O’REILLY vs. KAMAITACHI- 7.5/10
Nigel and Kevin talk about how when Kamaitachi came to ROH, “he fell under some bad influence. He didn’t understand the Code of Honor. But since then I think he’s understood. I think he had some veterans explain it to him.”
Since when has Kamaitachi had an angle going on? And who were these “bad influences?” What is so hard for Delirious to understand about the fact that you have to play your stories out ON SCREEN, SO THAT THE FANS CAN ACTUALLY SEE THEM?
This match went a lot longer than I expected it to. Kyle worked the arm while Kamaitachi worked Kyle’s injured knee, which wound up slowing Kyle down at one or two important points allowing Kamaitachi to counter Kyle’s moves and take over the match.
Kyle offered a handshake after the match, but Kamaitachi responded to the offered hand by spitting into it and running away. This made Kevin Kelly look like an idiot for his earlier statement that Kamaitachi wasn’t a heel anymore. That could have been avoided (and caused me less confusion) if instead of Kevin making his earlier statements about a bunch of crap we didn’t see backstage, they had just played this match up as straight babyface vs. babyface and let this incident be Kamaitachi’s heel turn.
SILAS YOUNG vs. ACH- 6.75/10
A fun match with some cool counters to some of the usual moves in both men’s arsenals.
MARK BRISCOE vs. RODERICK STRONG- 7.5/10
So apparently Mark Briscoe shaved his head but came out to the ring in a wig for this match, just for the purpose of baiting Roddy into ripping said wig off when he turned around. That’s stupid. What advantage does this get him? And what was his plan if instead of grabbing his hear when he turned around, Roddy had decided to just punch him? Kevin Kelly tried to claim this stupidity was “mind games,” which is the lamest, most pathetic and ridiculous excuse we get for dumb angles in professional wrestling and quite frankly I’m sick and tired of it. If you can’t come up with a REAL reason for doing something then DON’T DO IT.
Anyway, Roddy works the back as usual. Mark actually used quite a few of Roddy’s signature moves and wound up getting the win after two Fisherman’s Busters and also kicking out of most of Roddy’s stuff. Roddy shows Mark respect after the match. This was a really great match, but is kind of disappointing for one of Roderick Strong’s last two matches in ROH (unless this is an angle, which I’m really hoping it is.).
TORNADO TAG TEAM MATCH: Bullet Club (Adam Cole & the Young Bucks) vs. War Machine & Moose (w/Stokely Hathaway)- 6.5/10
Matt Taven did commentary for this match. He was extremely entertaining. I particularly enjoyed him calling Adam Cole “Faux-mega.” The match was fine for what it was, although I did quite annoyed by the Bucks’ (and to a lesser extent, Cole’s) need to ensure that they get cheered by showing their asses like a babyface would even though they are supposed to be the heels. Stokely ate a triple superkick because he is apparently just too stupid to figure out how to get down from the apron.
While delving into the reasons why Bullet Club were not suspended the announcers spent at least as much time talking about how much merch they sold as they did talking about how everyone in the locker room wants to get their hands on them. Obviously I have no evidence for this, but I have the feeling that the Young Bucks are the ones asking (or even insisting) that the announcers say this as a “f*ck you” to WWE to point out that the Bucks are making tons of money without them. That definitely seems like the sort of thing they’d do, and we’ve seen that they are WAY too interested in getting themselves over in a non-kayfabe way even in kayfabe situations where they really shouldn’t be. For example, after this match, one of the Jacksons felt the need to come over to the announcers and yell “hey, Meltzer! That’s what you call a five star match!” What purpose does that serve other than as an appeal to Dave to give them more snowflakes? Star ratings don’t matter for sh*t in kayfabe. It’s wins and losses that matter. Ronda Rousey made her whole career off of what are basically squash matches.
ROH WORLD TAG TEAM TITLE MATCH: The Addiction(c) vs. Motor City Machine Guns- 6.75/10
Can the announcers please start calling the moves instead of talking about how much time all of these guys have spent in the gym?
This was standard tag team fare. I will give them some credit for creativity on the finish. Rather than the standard distraction of a guy trying to interfere or a partner trying to enter the ring, the way they had the referee get distracted here was by having Kamaitachi come out to ringside, but instead of trying to interfere in this match, he made a bee-line straight for Jay White, who was sitting at ringside and who they had previously made a big deal out of as a top prospect from New Japan. Kamaitachi pulled White over the barricade and they started to brawl, and it was this that distracted referee Paul Turner (as well as Nigel McGuinness and the other referees who had come out to stop Kamaitachi. The distraction allowed for a low blow to Shelley and then the Addiction hit the Best Meltzer Driver Ever on Sabin to get the pin.
And… now I don’t like the finish as much anymore as it turns out that Kamaitachi was working with the Addiction all along because they’re celebrating together. Does the Addiction really need a third guy again?
UNSANCTIONED FIGHT WITHOUT HONOR: Steve Corino vs. BJ Whitmer- 7.75/10
A great grudge match that would have been even better without the extremely frustrating finish.
Before the match Nigel explained to us that he had no choice but to make this match even though he didn’t want to. He said he did what he could to make it “as safe as possible.” IT’S A F*CKING FIGHT WITHOUT HONOR!
Nigel said he had these guys get “tested” first. Aren’t wrestlers always “tested” before matches to make sure they are healthy? Anyway, Nigel is so against this match happening that he doesn’t want to even have to be at ringside for it so he goes to the back and sends out Ian Riccaboni to replace him.
Corino has gone back to his heel blond hair (not that he hasn’t also been a heel when he had black hair, but, you know, this is the “old school” Corino ECW/early ROH look).
Kevin Kelly kept harping on how Corino had become a new person with a happy family and wasn’t “evil” anymore, which played into the “rehab from being evil” angle they did with him in 2011. It would have been great if Steve himself had mentioned this at any point over the past two years or so. As part of this, Kevin told us that Steve had recently reconciled with his son Colby. That sounds like the sort of thing that we 100% should have seen on screen! Hell… the last time we saw them together, Steve was sitting there on commentary as Mr. Wrestling III and letting BJ beat the sh*t out of Colby instead of saying “to hell with my announcing career! Saving my son is more important!”
Whitmer busts Corino open via punches to the forehead, and they bring the doctor in to close the cut. In a FIGHT WITHOUT HONOR! Hell… this is even an “unsanctioned” Fight Without Honor, where they just explained that the “unsanctioned” part meant that they didn’t have to worry about any of this stuff because ROH wasn’t liable. It became obvious that this wasn’t a “commission” thing and that it was a planned spot in the match because the cut never got closed and Corino wound up using stuff from the doctor’s bag as weapons, but it was still a little silly in an unsanctioned Fight Without Honor.
Both guys wore white, so you knew both would be bleeding all over the place, which they did. They had a really great match, incorporating various little bits of the feud (like the roll of quarters that Steve punched BJ with to get suspended) and other parts of their careers (Whitmer teased piledriving Corino onto the apron to try to end his career, just like almost happened to Whitmer himself) as well as the various injuries they suffered that had put this match off for so long (Corino’s neck, Whitmer’s knee) into the story of the match. They did a great job of ensuring they got that real violent grudge match feel, and went well above and beyond anything we’ve seen in ROH since the Cole vs. Briscoe Fight Without Honor at Final Battle 2014. Just about the only thing that was missing was Colby.
Instead of Colby, we got someone else… and a terrible f*cking finish along with him. Someone had just hit a big move and we got a double-down… and then, for no f*cking reason whatsoever, the lights went off. This is now the second straight PPV where they’ve done that idiotic, clichéd bullsh*t spot. When the lights were back on, Kevin Sullivan was in the ring… except that pretty much everyone knew who it would be the moment the lights went off because he had appeared in videos with both of them to build up the match which ROH had posted on YouTube. We got the standard, also stupid and also clichéd tease that he would hit one guy first, but because of the two videos, everyone knew whoever he went to first would be a swerve so no one bought it. He then pivoted and hit Corino with his spike and THAT is how this big feud that has gone on for years finally ends: Interference by a sixty-six year old man who didn’t enter into the feud until last week, and who hasn’t been relevant in the wrestling business in twenty years. Apparently this is what ROH has come to.
ROH TV TITLE MATCH: Bobby Fish(c) vs. Dalton Castle (w/the Boys)- 6/10
Apparently Fish is unhappy with Dalton because they were supposed to get brunch together but Dalton cancelled. WHO GIVES A SH*T?!
The fans are chanting “Boys are gonna fan you!” In a f*cking TITLE MATCH!
This match really very all over the place, and didn’t feel cohesive at all. They went way too much time stuff on the outside and it didn’t really even feel relevant once they got back into the ring. Fish took a nasty bump onto his head and Castle did a spot where he landed extremely recklessly onto some ringside security.
“MAKE WRESTLING GREAT AGAIN” ANX PROMO- WHY ARE WE WASTING PPV TIME WITH THIS?!
Caprice Coleman has apparently joined them. They are now calling themselves “The Cabinet.” Yes, like JBL’s stable. Caprice whines that Rhett and Kenny had the titles stripped from them four years ago and never lost them in the ring. We already did this angle as part of the build-up to their title shot at the 14th Anniversary Show, and even then it was too late for it to be an effective angle because Delirious had ANX lost in just their third match back for absolutely no reason, months before eventually giving them their title shot. And now that they had their title shot and it’s been a dead issue for months, they’re bringing it up AGAIN?! At this point, I don’t think Delirious’ deranged, incoherent crazy-man persona is a gimmick anymore. His mind is clearly WAY too twisted to be able to tell a story in an effective, coherent manner.
Caprice complains that they had to “pay for this segment,” meaning that someone in the ROH office thought it would be a good idea to sell the company’s PPV time to wrestlers who want to cut promos. This person should be fired immediately (and if I had to guess who it was, I’d say it was probably Hunter Johnston. FIRE HIM!).
Fans chanted “BORING!” Rhett cuts a promo that confirms that this has stopped being a parody gimmick with potential and has now devolved to a combination of stupid comedy and trying to steal Silas Young’s gimmick. They tease that Kurt Angle is supporting them. They have their own cronies to chant “no more superkicks!” and “this is awesome!”
This was a HUGE F*CKING WASTE OF TIME! ON A PPV! And coming from a company that put on a grand total of FOUR new episodes of TV in the past two and a half months… and this week’s TV show is a completely pointless “Women of Honor” show for their completely pointless women’s division which, in the nine months since its (re-)creation, has been literally nothing other than mediocre nine-minute matches between interchangeable faces with no storylines at all. Why could this stupid Cabinet promo not have aired on TV at any point in the past MONTH?! Adding in something like this or some backstage promos, you could have stretched things out into at least a fifth new episode, which would also allow you to not have to scrunch the matches together so much that they all get edited for time and we can have a main event on TV that goes more than twelve minutes!
ROH WORLD TITLE MATCH: Jay Lethal(c) (w/Taeler Hendrix) vs. Jay Briscoe- 5.75/10
The “biggest rematch in ROH history” (I guess we’re not supposed to think about Joe vs. Punk II)… and it didn’t even go thirteen minutes. They did some stuff in the ring, then we got the series of topes you get in every Jay Lethal match. Then Taeler Hendrix attacked Jay Briscoe, but this was not a disqualification. Instead she was merely ejected from ringside. We then had to waste time watching her throw a temper tantrum and yell at Nigel. This was all done so that ROH timekeeper and also female wrestler Mandy Leon could get in Taeler’s face. Because the main event of a PPV is the definitely the appropriate time to run an angle to push a match that you’re just going to wind up putting on YouTube on some Wednesday in the next month or two. I’m sure that has nothing to do with the fact that Mandy is dating the booker… but even if it doesn’t, this should still be a sign that he needs to be replaced.
By the time the two wrestling finally got back in the ring, there were less than ten minutes left in the show. They did a move or two, then did what would have been a fantastic finishing sequence to a match that had already been going on for twenty minutes… but seeing as how this one had been going on for less than five minutes of real action, it was a good sequence, but nothing really felt like it could have been the finish this early into the match.
This show was a fantastic example of a problem ROH has had pretty much all year, but especially on PPV. You get a lot of really great matches, but you are rarely getting anything outstanding anymore. Nothing that makes you think this show was worth the $35.00 they charged for it. At $15.00 it would have been fine, but at $35.00 it feels like a rip-off.
One big reason for this has been that they give all of the matches the same 12-16 minutes. That is a formula that is guaranteed to get you a bunch of solid matches, but will rarely get you anything that will get people talking. In the future ROH, should refrain from booking any more than seven matches (and NO segments that don’t directly follow from the events of one of those matches) on a PPV, and should do whatever it takes to ensure that their top two or three matches all get the 18-25 minutes that will allow the wrestlers to go out there and blow the fans away, like the top of a PPV card should do. An extremely disappointing PPV from ROH. You know what? I’ll even call it bad. There is no reason why the first half of the card should deliver more than the top of the card. I’m not paying $35.00 for these PPVs anymore unless Delirious is replaced as booker.
STUPID ANNOUNCER QUOTES:
1. Kyle O’Reilly landed funny and hurt his knee so Kamaitachi started to work the knee over. Kevin Kelly decried this for not being “sportsmanlike.”
The other guy has an injury, so you go after it! That’s wrestling. He’s not breaking the rules at all!
2. Kevin Kelly- “Whitmer clad in white as if he’s some sort of angel.”
HIS PANTS SAY “EVIL” ON THEM!
3. Kevin Kelly (about Kevin Sullivan’s presence in Whitmer & Corino’s recent YouTube promos)- “I thought he was a figment of the imaginations of Steve Corino and BJ Whitmer.”
How could he possibly be a figment of their imaginations if YOU SAW HIM?!