Reaction of Honor – Best in the World 2013 (Briscoe v Briscoe)

The Glimpse:

Nobody fights like family indeed – Jay Briscoe defends his Ring of Honor World Title against little brother Mark Briscoe.  Matt Taven defends the TV Title against Jay Lethal and Jimmy Jacobs.  ReDRagon defends the ROH World Tag Titles against the C&C Wrestle Factory and Titus/Compton of SCUM.  Kevin Steen returns to full matches with a grudge against Matt Hardy.

The Action:

Match 1: Mike Bennett vs BJ Whitmer

Winner:  BJ Whitmer via pinfall

This one came about as a result of Maria convincing Bennett that BJ trash talked her – Maria seems to be running a “strong woman taking over” gimmick out of nowhere and it’s fine.  Corino is out of control in the best way possible on commentary.

Bob Evans tries to shoulder tackle Whitmer behind the ref’s back and gets tossed out, then Bennett walks into an Exploder for the loss.  Maria screams at Evans for his mistake and distraction, then walks Bennett away from him.  Interesting.

Match 2: American Wolves vs Adrenaline Rush (ACH and Tadarius Thomas)

Winners:   American Wolves via pinfall

A match where Eddie Edwards is the tallest guy in the ring by two inches…that’s kinda funny.

Richards participating in kind of a comedy spot was out of character, but he follows it up with a cheap shot.  Nice to see a bit of a change to his ROH character.  Lots of action toward the finish, including a superkick/German/jackknife pin combo from the Wolves.  After some ring clearing (thank you terrible ROH feed as usual), Edwards lays out TD with a superkick on the floor, ACH wipes Edwards out with a flip dive and gets cradled after Richards gets his knees up on a 450 splash attempt.

Match 3:  Adam Cole vs Roderick Strong

Winner:  Adam Cole via countout

Cole ignored a handshake from Roddy which is what spawned this one.  Roddy is back to the “firefight” intro to his music, so you can tell he’s a face again.

Figure fours and Strongholds back and forth near the end of this one, as well as a strike exchange on the apron, ending in Cole superkicking Roddy through a table at ringside.  Cole tries to lift and help Roddy into the ring, but eventually dumps him to the floor and rolls back in.  Strong tries to get back in, but can’t beat the ref’s count.  Corino follows Cole to the back.

Match 4: Michael Elgin vs Tommaso Ciampa

Winner:  Michael Elgin via pinfall

RD Evans is on commentary for this one, considering he was the last one associated with Ciampa before he was gone for quite some time.

Ciampa pulls a page out of Elgin’s book and hits a stalling vertical suplex for about 15 seconds on the bigger man.  Elgin eventually answers with his and gets to a count of, I believe, 45 from the crowd.  Ciamps tries a suicide dive but dive into a forearm, leaving him draped on the middle rope – From the floor, Elgin deadlifts him into a vertical suplex and drops him on the exposed concrete.  Ciampa begs for more and gets a buckle bomb into the barricade.  Elgin rolls him back in and heads to the top for the corkscrew senton, but Ciampa still kicks out.  Elgin hits an in ring buckle bomb now, but Ciampa counters the follow up into a Kryptonite Krunch for two.  Once again, thanks to the feed, I skip to seeing Ciampa hitting a top rope Krunch, but Elgin still escapes.  Elgin hits a deadlift Hellevator for a two of his own.  Elgin lands a backfist while Ciampa is on the apron, then tries the deadlift superplex, which Ciampa rolls out of.  Ciampa uses the positioning to land Project Ciampa, but Elgin gets the rope at 2 and 9/10.  Ciampa follows up with a third Kryptonite Kunch, this time on the apron.  Elgin rolls through a Project Ciampa attempt into a deadlift buckle bomb and the Elginbomb, but Ciampa kicks out and locks in a triangle choke, which Elgin deadlifts out of twice.  Ciampa ends up hitting a running knee and Elgin pops up at one.  Lariat from Elgin and just another nearfall.  Three backfists, a rolling elbow to the back of the head and a rip cord lariat is enough to finish Ciampa off.

QT Marshall comes down in a suit and gets in the ring, taking off his jacket.  The feed cuts to him on the floor, jacket in hand.  I don’t even know if anything happened.

Match 5: Jay Lethal vs Jimmy Jacobs vs Matt Taven (c), Ring of Honor Television Championship

Winner:  Matt Taven, presumably by pinfall

I’m long since over this whole Hoopla nonsense with Taven, Truth and company.  But I’ve written that many times, so I’m not going to harp on it much here.

Taven’s tights almost come down for a gratuitous ass shot, then Lethal hits a combination flatliner/DDT on Jacobs and Taven.  Lethal later hits a belly to back pop up neckbreaker and heads up for Hail to the King, which connects.  Jacobs breaks it up.  Jacobs wants the Contra Code, but Lethal tosses him to the floor, then dropkicks Taven down there as well.  Lethal nails a suicide dive on Taven, and Scarlett gets in the ring to slap Lethal.  Lethal grabs at her shirt and she ends up topless.  Martini takes umbridge at this and slaps Lethal himself.  Jacobs hits a spear on Lethal and Truth wants to celebrate.  Martini hits his knees to beg for forgiveness.  The other hoopla hottie gets in and Jacobs can’t move her out of the way.  She takes Jacobs up for a Kryptonite Krunch and ends up superkicked by Lethal.  Jacobs hits a springboard cutter and my feed cuts to Taven being the winner.  ROH, you honestly do not deserve the fans’ money when this garbage happens.

Match 6: C&C Wrestle Factory vs Rhett Titus & Cliff Compton vs reDRagon (c), Ring of Honor Tag Team Championship

Winners:  reDRagon via pinfall

Silly spot where Titus runs at C&C and they gently toss him away, resulting in him flip-diving onto Compton on the floor.  They hit Overtime on O’Reilly, but SCUM drag him away.  Coleman dives onto SCUM from the top rope and Alexander lands a brainbuster on O’Reilly.  Fish hits a kick to the back of Alexander’s head and drags O’Reilly on top of him for the win.  Insanely anti-climactic.

Match 7:  Matt Hardy vs Kevin Steen

Winner:  Matt Hardy via pinfall

Steen says he knows SCUM will get involved and asks Nigel to make it no DQ so we get a real ending.  Nigel agrees and Steen makes a brother joke at Matt’s expense as they go to war.  Because psychology only exists where necessary, the ref immediately admonishes Steen for beating Hardy in the corner.  In a no DQ match.

Plunder starts early on as Corino throws a trash can to Hardy, who uses it but ends up taking a Cannonball in the corner, driving it into his face.  Steen wants an F-Cinq through a table on the floor but Titus hits the ring and immediately gets a Package Piledriver.  Thanks to the distraction, Hardy hits a Side Effect and Steen rolls to the apron.  Hardy wants another Side Effect through the table, but Steen counters – Now Jacobs runs in for the save.  He gets a pair powerbombs onto the apron, then one for Hardy.  Compton in now with a chair shot to the back.  He readies another but when Steen falls and only his head is exposed, he hesitates, then hits a back shot when able to.  So glad for that.  Hardy pulls out a ladder to complete the TLC motif.  Steen blasts off a Codebreaker driving the ladder into Hardy’s face then hits F-Cinq but Hardy kicks out.  Steen wants a Package Piledriver, but Hardy hits a low blow and another Side Effect, this time onto the ladder – Good for a two count.  Hardy sets up a pair of chairs and drives Steen through both with the Twist of Fate to win.

SCUM beat on Steen after the match and nobody from the locker room comes to help.

Match 8:  Mark Briscoe v Jay Briscoe (c), Ring of Honor World Championship 

Winner:  Jay Briscoe via pinfall

The crowd gets cute with a “Let’s go Briscoe” chant.  Both of the brothers are fan favorites, but Mark is playing the babyface here.  He offers the Code of Honor, but big brother isn’t having it.

Mark’s Redneck KungFu vs Jay’s boxing jabs is a hell of a fun exchange.  Jay goes looking for a table and Mark helps him set it up at ringside.  Forearm exchange and Jay scoops Mark up for a powerslam.  Cut to Mark on the floor on the opposite side of the ringside area, table still intact.  This is so damn frustrating.  Mark’s turn to try the table, but we end up with a fight on the apron.  Mark ends up back in the ring and hits a plancha on big brother Jay.  Mark lays Jay on the table and heads to the top rope, feed cuts to Jay down in the ring for “Froggy Bo # 2”.  He apparently hit Froggy Bo through the table on the floor, followed by a second in the ring, but Jay kicks out either way.  Cutthroat Driver from Mark, but Jay kicks out again.  Mark wants another Cutthroat Driver, but Jay rakes his eyes, leading to a strike exchange mid-ring.  Jay lands forearms and a Jay Driller, but Mark is out at two.  Jay follows with a huge lariat and another Jay Driller, but Mark pops up at one.  Trio of superkicks from Jay and a third Jay Driller to finish off Chicken.

The Reaction:

Good opener for an ROH show – Nice to see an opener that doesn’t go overboard on high spots and shenanigans.  Bennett has shaved his head and seems to be wrestling a little more “WWE style”.  Maria’s angle on this is a bit different, and that’s always welcome.

Cute comedy spot and a back kick from Richards.  TD is finally making good connection on his capoeria kicks, which will make a big difference for him in the ring.  The Wolves do a few usual spots (like the chinlock applied to Richards applying a lock of his own for extra torque) and appear to be the heels of the match, despite what the fans may think.  Great action, followed by Richards calling out reDRagon.  One thing which seems to be a pattern with Richards in Ring of Honor is him winning after a counter and a cradle or small package.  Seems like this happens as often, if not more often, than him hitting a finisher and getting a pinfall.

A lot of back and forth between Cole and Roddy.  This was a good balance of that “ROH over the top go go go” style and a good, methodical match.  Both men apply their submissions in exchange, as well as their signature strikes.  Roddy takes a nasty fall through a table after a super kick on the apron.  That heel turn has been building and building for Cole; about time they pulled the trigger.  Interesting to see if it results in him joining SCUM or if he’s just going to run solo.

That’ll be your bruising, hard hitting match of the night.  Ciampa and Elgin just brutalized each other both in the ring and on the floor.  My plan was to type up match endings for this review.  I started typing at the point I did because I thought that was just about it.  That whole exchange was absolutely nuts.  Definitely suffers from a bit of that ROH-syndrome, but the real ending exchange was excellent and the crowd was completely into it and really, that’s the most important measure of the success of a match.  The crowd’s reaction to this one may very well elect it for a Match of the Week spot, depending on the rest of this show.

Sometimes a triple threat works and sometimes it doesn’t.  Sometimes you add so much schmozz that nobody really gives a damn.  That was the result here.  If it wasn’t for the presence of Lethal and the sudden presence of the top half of Scarlett Bordeaux, this would have been a total dud for the crowd.  Add to the mixture that I didn’t get to see the ending of the match and my frustration multiplies.  Crummy lead up to the end of a match regardless.

This is one of those times that I’m happy to not be writing up every step of the action.  Six guys in an ROH ring makes for way too much to track in one go.  The crowd seems to be completely anti-Compton and I’m with them.  I still don’t get any appeal to the guy, as he’s barely done anything in the ring since he’s come in and it’s always the same couple of basic moves.  I get he’s a former WWE Tag Champ, but that’s all he has as far as name appeal.  For all the over the top action we see in these matches, Fish finishes a guy off with a sneak attack kick.  In a way, I can appreciate that because it’s a change of pace.  On the other side of the coin, the live crowd hated it – Not because of who won, but because of the ending itself.

Well that amounted to about a 5 on 1 situation for Steen.  And he paid for it.  So we’re obviously playing up that Steen has no friends in ROH and has to go it alone until there’s some breaking point that will bring him some help in the form of ROH bonding with him.  The match itself was…ok.  I usually expect a bit more from matches involving Steen, to be honest.  Most of his highlights were bashing the other members of SCUM.  Steen of course gets a great reaction from the crowd, but they do need to come up with something to rebuild him as far as storyline goes.

Lots of offense out of Mark and it takes three straight finishers out of Jay to put his little brother away.  The high spots were of course entertaining, but this didn’t have that “huge match” feel to it in the end.  Glad to see that there wasn’t shenanigans in this one, at least.  Between the feed and the other matches, that would have been the straw that broke the back.  Safe to assume Jay continues being the big headed champion.  Interesting to see how the tag dynamic works with them moving forward, as well as what is in store for Mark as far as singles goes.  I think the lack of input on this particular paragraph shows that the main event wasn’t the expected epic.

Overall…not a must-see iPPV from Ring of Honor with Best in the World 2013.  Elgin/Ciampa was great, but one match does not a show make.

Rating for stream quality:  Worse than usual.

The Shill:

As always, if you like what you read here, let me know in the comments or on twitter @sbfantom.  I sincerely would like to hear what people think and strike up some conversation!

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