Ring of Honor DVD Review: Best In The World, 3/25/06

Best In The World, 3/25/06

On the 25th of March 2006, Ring of Honor presented its third show in the Milestone Series, entitled Best in the World. One can read my review of the first show in the Milestone series, The 4th Year Anniversary Show here. One can also read Pulse Glazer’s review of the second show in the Milestone Series, Arena Warfare here.

This show is entitled “Best In The World” because the main event had 4 of the best wrestlers in the world in an International Dream Tag team match. The card also featured another big tag team match with the Briscoe Brothers taking on Jack Evans and Roderick Strong, Alex Shelley vs Christopher Daniels, and much more.

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Current Storylines: The ROH vs CZW feud has now turned into a war, after CZW invaded and nearly ruined ROH’s last show, Arena Warfare. Be sure to check Pulse Glazer’s review of that show (link posted above) for a full recap of what went down.

Claudio Castagnoli is going to receive his last Pure Wrestling Title shot at Nigel McGuiness at this show. He had 2 title shots on the months of November and December 2005, but Nigel McGuiness retained his title both times, in controversial fashion. Back in January of 2006, Claudio pinned Nigel McGuiness in a tag match, which earned him another title shot. Because he’s already had 2 shots at Nigel’s Pure Title, tonight is going to be his last one.

The Briscoe Brothers are hot off their return to ROH, and are looking to put themselves into the ROH Tag team title picture by defeating one half of the champions, Roderick Strong and his stable-mate Jack Evans.

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Let’s get onto the show!
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*Continuing from when Arena Warfare ended, Jimmy Bower tells us that they cut off the end of the show due to its graphic nature, but ROH is going to show it to us now. John Zandig (CZW’s booker) cuts a promo while BJ Whitmer is tied up in the ropes. He insults ROH and says that what happened to Whitmer is what happens when another company runs in their (CZW’s) building. Backstage, the ROH students get angry and run off the CZW wrestlers. ROH invites any CZW wrestler to their ring tonight, in New York City.

*Here are the ROH March Top 5 Rankings:
5. Samoa Joe
4. Alex Shelley
3. Christopher Daniels
2. Jimmy Yang
1. Roderick Strong.

1. Jimmy Rave (with Prince Nana) vs. Pelle Primeau: Jimmy Rave gets the usual TP (toilet paper) treatment during his ring entrance. Rave mounts Primeau and punches him the face to start. Pelle hits a springboard crossbody for 2. Pelle comes off the ropes, but Rave FOLDS HIM IN HALF with a spear, then hits the Greeting from Ghana (Pedigree) for the win. That was a fun little squash.
Winner: Jimmy Rave.
*.

*Prince Nana gets on the mic after the match and says that there’s nobody in attendance that can beat Jimmy Rave. Prince Nana berates Bruce Leroy (the star of the hit movie The Last Dragon) but Leroy brushes him off. Bruce’s friend Jimmy Yang comes out though, accepting Nana’s challenge.

2. Jimmy Rave (with Prince Nana) vs Jimmy Yang: Rave attacks Yang before the bell, but it’s not long before Yang gets a kick based offensive flurry in. Yang tries to skin the cat on the outside, but Prince Nana stops him. Rave beats Yang around on the outside. Back in Rave continues to use dirty tactics. Yang comes back using his speed, and hits a nice standing moonsault for a nearfall. Rave dodges a top rope moonsault, and hits a Running Knee Strike to the face for 2. Yang gets a crucifix pin attempt out of nowhere for the 3 count, 5 minutes in. Winner: Jimmy Yang.

Yang used his speed to gain the advantage, while Rave used the numbers game and dirty tactics to gain the advantage for him. Rave scouted Yang’s speed game (dodging the moonsault) in the finishing sequence to get some nearfalls, but in the end it was just Yang catching Rave off guard with the crucifix pin to get the win. The match wasn’t a masterpiece of anything, but it was very fun to watch and got the crowd excited like an opener should.
**1/2.

*Post match, Rave and Nana beat down Yang. Bruce Leroy will have none of that, s he comes in and cleans house, giving Prince Nana a superkick!

3. Allison Danger vs. Lacey vs. Daizee Haze vs. Mercedes Martinez (SHIMMER Four Corner Survival Match) : This is a showcase match for the women. Lacey and Haze start. They do a smooth mat wrestling sequence, which is followed by Martinez and Danger tagging into the match. Danger and Martinez go crazy on each other with strikes. Danger puts on a cool looking submission that’s broken up by Haze and Lacey. Lacey works over Danger a bit. Martinez gets the hot tag, and hits an AWESOME series of sick suplexes on Lacey and then destroys Haze with a spinebuster. Haze hits her facebuster on Martinez but Martinez comes back by shoving Haze off the top rope, onto Danger and Lacey on the floor! Danger swings the Haze’s head into the guardrail in a sick spot. Martinez hits the fisherman’s buster on Lacey but can’t pin her, because Danger is the legal woman. Haze hits a springboard dropkick on Martinez, which allows Danger to roll up Lacey to get the pin. Winner: Allison Danger.

That was a really fun match. They packed lots of action and stiffness into the time given, and kept the pace fast. The finishing sequence (especially with Martinez) was awesome, and had the fans going nuts. In the end it was only an exhibition match, but it was damn fun.
***.

4. Jason Blade & Kid Mikaze vs. Chris Hero & Necro Butcher: Blade and Mikaze sent out open contracts to any team, and Hero and Necro signed one, to get this match. Necro bodyslams Blade with a chair on the floor, while Hero dominates Mikaze in the ring. He puts Mikaze in a choke submission, and Todd Sinclair rings the bell because Mikaze is out. That was a complete burial of Blade and Mikaze, which really annoys me, because those 2 looked pretty good and showed potential. The match was nothing.
Winners: Chris Hero & Necro Butcher.
DUD.

*Hero gets on the mic and tells Scrap Iron Pearce to get his ass out here. Adam Pearce comes out from the crowd and attacks Hero. This match is on!

5. Chris Hero vs. Adam Pearce: Necro is in this match too, so this is actually a handicap match. Pearce brawls with Hero in the ring to start. Necro knocks Pearce to the floor and throws him into the crowd. He throws chairs at him but Pearce fights back. Pearce starts hitting Necro with chairs and then chokes Necro with his belt. Back at ringside he throws slam Necro’s back into the ring post and then slams through a table. Hero attacks Pearce from behind and rams him into the barricade. Back in the ring he kicks Pearce in the gonads and gets disqualified. Actually, the match turns out as a no contest, even though Pearce should have won via DQ. Anyways, that was a fun little brawl furthering the CZW feud and adding Pearce to it.
Winner: No contest.
**.

*After the match Hero and Necro beat down Pearce some more. Hero gets on the mic and calls out his “best friend” Claudio Castagnoli. He wants Claudio the join in the beat down on Pearce but instead Claudio European uppercuts Hero and Necro out of the ring! He says “F*ck CZW!” and calls himself the next ROH Pure Champion. Pearce and the fans chant “ROH! ROH!”

6. Christopher Daniels vs. Alex Shelley: Shelley has Daizee Haze and Prince Nana in his corner, Daniels has Allison Danger in his. They lock up to start and Shelley spits water in Daniels’ face. For the first few minutes Shelley keeps aggravating Daniels by slapping him in the face among other things, then bailing to the outside to stay away from him. Daniels slaps Shelley hard in the face, and Shelley bails to the outside! Shelley put a wristlock on Daniels out of a cartwheel attempt, which is awesome. Daniels catches Shelley flying with a Manhattan Drop. Daniels hits a clothesline for 2 and puts on a wristlock. He drops an elbow on Shelley’s arm and puts on a wristlock. Shelley makes a come back with a stomp to the face and a dropkick to the back. He starts working over Daniels, hitting a neckbreaker, a clothesline in the corner and a bulldog. He hits an Asai moonsault for 2, then a northern lights suplex for 2. Daniels blocks a slingshot move and slams Shelley face first to the mat. He hits a forearm and a clothesline, then a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker and an STO for 2. Shelley hits a superkick for 2. They have a neat rollup exchange for a few nearfalls. Shelley hits a dropkick to the top of the head but Daniels fires back with a blue thunder bomb. Shelley dodges the BME and gets his knees up on an Arabian press attempt. Daniels rolls out of a backslide and hits Angels Wings (the fans marking out like crazy) for the 3! Winner: Christopher Daniels.

That was an amazing contest. There wasn’t so much of a deep story, just both men used the opportunity’s they had and their wrestling skill to gain control. If you like crisp wrestling, THIS is the match for you. It contained some of the smoothest exchanges and coolest reversals you’ll see anywhere. Add an awesome finishing sequence and a hot crowd, and we have an excellent match here.
****.

7. Nigel McGuiness vs. Claudio Castagnoli (Pure Title Match) : The rules here (well not all, but the ones that apply to this match) are both men only have 3 rope breaks to use. After they’re all used, they cannot use the ropes to break up a pinfall or a submission attempt.

Claudio starts it fast with an offensive flurry consisting of European uppercuts and a dropkick. Claudio starts working over Nigel’s leg. He puts on a stretch Muffler (or The Neutralizer, which is actually his submission finisher) and Nigel uses his first rope break. Nigel regains control and works over Claudio’s arm, hitting a divorce court (hammerlock DDT) and suplexing Claudio by the arm. Claudio eventually comes back, hitting a really good looking Helicopter (spinning bodypress) Tope to the outside. Back in, Nigel ties Claudio up in the ropes and goes for a double stomp, but CC dodges it (Why the hell would Nigel use a double stomp?). Nigel hits a Tower of London (rope hang Ace crusher) for 2. Here come the finishers. Claudio hits 2 (yes, his finisher, twice) Alpamare Waterslides but Nigel kicks out cleanly. Nigel hits another Tower of London, but Claudio uses his first rope break to get out of the pinning predicament (why have Claudio use that rope break this late in the match?). They have a pretty cool battle of European uppercuts, with both men refusing to go down! Claudio hits a big running one, but Nigel uses that momentum to connect with the rebound/pendulum/jawbreaker lariat for the win. Winner: Nigel McGuiness.

That was a very generic pure title defence; it was good wrestling, but nothing special and packed with way too many finisher kickouts, no selling and contradictions to the limited rope break rules. The story was pretty good; both men dug down deep and fought as hard as they could for the pure title. They made Claudio look like a really credible challenger, but apart from that, I can’t think of many positive things to say about the match.
**1/2.

*Gary Michael Capetta is backstage at intermission. He shows us the infamous Jimmy Jacobs loves Lacey video, which was really the start of Jacob’s Emo gimmick. Nigel McGuiness then joins GMC (after his match) and cuts an intense promo, saying he’s the best pure wrestler in the world, and better than Bryan Danielson.

8. Ricky Reyes vs. Austin Aries: Rocky Reyes’ entrance music is BADASS. Aries is a fan favourite here tonight. They exchange holds on the mat to start. Aries uses his quickness to gain catch Reyes off guard and gain control over him. He hits some trademark Austin Aries moves, including the Power Drive Elbow, slow motion knee drop and the no hands Quebrada. Reyes comes back with a kick to the gut and a Golden Gate Swing neckbreaker. Ryes works over Aries’ neck, hitting a series of suplexes. He hits a nasty looking Saito for a 2 count. Aries makes a come back, and both men start hitting bigger moves. Aries goes for the 450, but Reyes moves. Reyes hits a cool looking arm drag into the turnbuckles, and then put on his Dragon Sleeper! Aries gets his foot on the ropes, but Reyes won’t break the hold. He keeps it locked on tight, as the ref disqualifies him. Aries wins, but the fans don’t care. Winner: Austin Aries.

That was very dull. There was barely any story; the only thing notable was Aries using his speed to gain control. The whole match was just your generic hard hitting, headropping Indy match. I blame Reyes for that, he sucks hard. I’ll give some points for some cool moves here and there.
**.

*Jack Evans and Roderick Strong come out to save Aries from the Dragon sleeper, so their opponents, The Briscoes come out and attack them, to get this next match started right away!

9. Roderick Strong & Jack Evans vs. Jay & Mark Briscoe: The match starts with Mark missing a tope to the outside but Strong selling it. Jack hits a rana that puts Jay on his head. The Briscoes soon isolate Evans. Mark hits a vertical suplex, Jay hits a back elbow and a spinebuster and slingshots Jack into Mark’s boot. Mark accidentally gets clotheslined by Jay, giving Jack the opportunity to tag Strong. Strong enters Evans onto Mark in the corner for a 2 count. Jack hits a few kicks to Mark’s head. Evans hits (sorta, he mostly hit Strong, his own partner) a 450 to the outside. Back in Jay hits a dropkick and a snap suplex. Mark tags in and monkey flips Strong into a dropkick from Jay, then hits Strong with a corkscrew senton. That gets 2.

Jay comes in but gets caught by Evans and Strong with a back suplex/neckbreaker combo for a nearfall. Evans hits a Falcon Arrow for a 2 count, then follows it up with a standing twisting SSP (like PAC). Jay makes a come back on Strong with a blockbuster off the ropes. Jay tags Mark, and he hits a butt-butt and an enziguri. He hits a gut wrench suplex and a knee drop. Strong hits a backbreaker and makes the tag to Evans. Jack hits an enziguri and a standing 450 splash for 2. Mark slams Evans into an ankle lock in a cool spot. The Briscoes than work over Jack’s legs, most applying submissions on the mat, like spinning toeholds and figure 4’s. Jay tags in and puts on a figure 4 leglock. After about 3 – 4 boring minutes, Jack hits a sh*t of his back flip neckbreaker and makes the hot tag to Strong.

Strong CLEANS HOUSE, hitting a leg lariat, some chops and a stiff dropkick. He hits a tiger driver on Mark for 2. Strong and Evans try their moonsault double stomp in the corner, but it gets stopped by Jay. Jay goes for the Jay Driller but Strong blocks and hits a Manhattan drop and his BIG BOOT. He assists Jack with a standing flippy move, which gets a 2 count. Up top Strong superplexes Jack (superplexes him into a 45o splash) onto Jay for 2 when Mark breaks it up. The Briscoes hit the springboard Doomsday Device for 2 on Jack when Strong makes the save. Strong hits the Gorilla Press gutbuster on Jay and a sick half nelson backbreaker on Mark. Strong and Evans proceed to hit the Ode to the Bulldogs Phoenix Splash (Evans jumps off Jay’s chest (Jay is in torture rack position) into a Phoenix splash on Mark while Strong gives Jay a torture rack backbreaker) for the 3! Evan’s body hit mostly canvas; his elbow went right into Mark’s head. Sick. Winners: Roderick Strong & Jack Evans.

That match was not very good. The story sucked, for it was completely ruined by Jack no selling his leg. The story was that Strong and Evans were a better team than the Briscoes; their double team work was more successful than the Briscoes’ in the early going. The Briscoes formulated a strategy, to take out Jack Evans so Strong and Evan’s tag work wouldn’t function 100% efficiently, so the Briscoes would be stronger (so to speak), increasing their chances of winning the match. In the end though, it was Strong and Evan’s double team work coming out on top. That wouldn’t have happened if Jack sold his leg, if he did choose to sell his leg his and Strong’s double team work wouldn’t have been so successful, and the Briscoes would have come out on top. So yeah, there went the story.

The match was a clusterf*ck with too many things going on. About 3 minutes into the match, I had no clue who were the legal men. The match was also very spotty, spots were everywhere. Now I would have liked that (I like faster paced/spottier matches) if everything wasn’t sloppy. Only a few moves were completely botched, but EVERY move was sloppy, nothing was hit full on/how it’s supposed to be hit. If a match is very spotty and all the spots suck, well the match sucks. The match was fun to watch, but as a wrestling match goes, it wasn’t very good at all.
**1/2.

*Colt Cabana is backstage. He talks about the Draino incident (at ROH Final Battle 2005, Homicide poured Draino/bleach down his throat). He talks about the fear one has about life threatening situations, and how he feels that fear every time he steps into a pro wrestling ring. Colt says he can run away from the feud, but that would be giving up the profession he loves (pro wres). Instead, he’s going to get into the ring and conquer his fear of the life-threatening situation, he’s ending the feud with Homicide in Detroit and Chicago. That promo was awesome, really putting over how the feud has affected Colt.

10. Bryan Danielson & Samoa Joe vs. KENTA & Naomichi Marufuji : Joe and KENTA are the only 2 people not to shake each other’s hand before the match. Interesting. Marufuji and Danielson start. They do the usual fast feeling out process with both men at a stalemate. KENTA comes in. He wrestles with Dragon and kicks Joe clean in the face sending off the apron! Joe tags in. They a few kicks, and KENTA slaps him in the face! KENTA kicks and slaps Joe in the corner, but Joe explodes on him with kicks and slaps, and the fans are going nuts. Marufuji tags in and runs into the STJoe. Danielson comes in and slams Marufuji’s thighs to the mat out of the surfboard position. He and Joe then proceed to work over Marufuji’s leg. Marufuji eventually comes back, hitting a drop toehold and a dropkick before tagging to KENTA. KENTA goes past Dragon to get to Joe who he fights with on the floor and throws into the barricade. Marufuji hits a slingshot elbowdrop and KENTA hits a kick variation. KENTA and Nao are now in control baby! KENTA . KENTA and ‘Fuji continue to work over Dragon, hitting some double teams. Danielson comes back with a roaring forearm makes the hot tag to Joe.

Joe cleans house, hitting an overhead suplex on Marufuji and killing KENTA with kicks. He hits a Manhattan drop, big boot then a senton for 2. KENTA hits a kick to the back and a back suplex. Marufuji and Joe have this STUPID comedy-esque exchange with ‘Fuji not being able to lift Joe for a suplex. Joe hits him with a powerslam then puts on a cross armbreaker, as the fans are silent. Joe hits a powerbomb for 2 and goes right into the STF. Marufuji makes it to the ropes. Danielson hits a diving headbutt for 2. Dragon and ‘Fuji exchange rollups (like the finish of their FB 2005 match) but this time no one can get the 3 count. ‘Fuji goes for the Shiranui but Danielson reverses it into the Cattle Mutilation. Marufuji hits a superkick and connects with Shirinau for 2. Marufuji puts Dragon in the Tree of Woe and hits his Van Terminator! He tries for a super Shiranui but Danielson reverses to a back superplex. Joe and KENTA tag in and IT IS ON! KENTA hits a pair of kicks RIGHT TO THE FACE and a springboard dropkick. He hits Joe with his tornado DDT hotshot, then a clothesline off the top rope for 2. Joe hits a Gordbuster, then goes for the muscle buster but ‘Fuji breaks it up with a superkick. KENTA hits a kick to the head, but Joe nails him with a LARIAT! Dragon comes in and hits a Dragon suplex. It gets 2. He hits the Regal-plex for 2 when ‘Fuji saves. Joe throws ‘Fuji to the outside and wipes him out suicide dive. Danielson climbs the ropes but KENTA catches him with the super falcon arrow for 2! Danielson gets a crucifix pin for 2 and starts hitting the MMA elbows!. KENTA powers them though, and hits the Go 2 Sleep for the win! Winners: KENTA & Naomichi Marufuji.

That was a good match, nothing great though. The story was Dragon knowing how to beat ‘Fuji (he beat him at ROH Final Battle 2005) and Joe’s problem with KENTA. Both those things were played off in the match a lot, and they kept the match interesting for the most part. My big complaint with this match is that it was heatless. Maybe the fans were tired out from the previous match (Briscoes vs Evans and Strong) or something, but they were dead for most of this. I don’t actually blame them though, because when Danielson and Marufuji were in the ring, the match was plain boring. When KENTA was in the ring (especially with Joe) the match was hot. The match was good, just little to no heat for a 30+ minute match doesn’t make the match very enjoyable.
***.

~~~~~

Best Match: Alex Shelley vs Christopher Daniels (****)
Worst Match: Kid Mikaze and Jason Blade vs Chris Hero and Necro Butcher (DUD).

Overall Show Thoughts: This show was disappointing. The 2 main event matches didn’t deliver at all. Apart from the gem that was Daniels vs Shelley, the undercard wasn’t much to write home about; the match quality on the show was generally lower than on your average ROH show. Despite the show not being so great, it’s actually very fun to watch and there’s some good storyline advancement here too (CZW feud, the result of the main event), so this show isn’t all bad.

Overall Score: 5/10.

As always, check out rohwrestling.com if you’re interested in picking this show up.

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