Ring of Honor Wrestling comes home on June 28th, presenting Best in The World live on pay-per-view.
Since losing The Elite to AEW, ROH has received more criticism than ever, with the Bully Ray controversies as well as Matt Taven’s polarising title reign. Ring of Honor will look to silence the critics with this presentation, featuring fresh title matches, a taste of nostalgia, and a blockbuster complimentary offering.
Rush vs Flip Gordon
Wow, this one caught me by surprise. ROH’s pre-shows typically feature some of the lower card talent mixed with an occasional local offering, but this one is a clash between two headliners. Thirty minutes before the paid portion of the card, Flip Gordon and Rush are scheduled for what could potentially steal the show. Flip has established himself as one of the staples of Ring of Honor while Rush has been undefeated in singles action. Rush has gone toe-to-toe with the likes of Bandido and Silas Young while steamrolling over former champ, Dalton Castle in Madison Square Garden.
Flip Gordon initiated a challenge to the newcomer, before being attacked as a form of acceptance to the proposal. Flip plans to put up a better fight than Dalton Castle did and hand Rush his first loss. I see Rush taking this one, and advancing to a possible main event position. This match is free because ROH wants you to see Rush beat a now established company mainstay and showcase a great, decisive victory for their rising star.
The Allure (Angelina Love & Mandy Leon) vs Kelly Klein & Jenny Rose
The former Beautiful People, Angelina Love and Velvet Sky, made their controversial Ring of Honor debut at Madison Square Garden two months ago. The notorious duo sided with Mandy Leon to take out the Women of Honor Champion, Kelly Klein. The Allure has been continuously dodging Klein and her foe turned friend in Jenny Rose, but at Best in The World, they will finally clash after months of build. With this being The Allure’s first match as an alliance, I expect them to defeat the team of Rose and Klein, setting up Love or Leon for a title bout.
Prediction: The Allure
Nick Aldis & ??? vs The Briscoe Brothers
For the NWA representation at Best in The World, the two male faces of the brand, Nick Aldis and Colt Cabana were scheduled to face The Briscoes. The ROH veterans are still fired up following their disqualification from the Crockett Cup, engaging in a war against the NWA. The Briscoes have gone as far as attacking champions, Aldis and Cabana, causing the two to defend the brand they represent in the NWA. A few days before the big event, National Champion Colt Cabana was forced to pull out of the tag team bout due to injury. The NWA is frantically searching for a replacement partner to assist their face, Nick Aldis. The mystery ally is scheduled to be revealed on the eventful pre-show thirty minutes before the PPV, also featuring Flip Gordon against Rush. I would expect to see the NWA come out on top regardless of the partner, as their team still features their headlining champion.
Prediction – Nick Aldis & ???
ROH Six Man Tag Team Titles – Villain Enterprises (Marty Scurll, PCO & Brody King) vs Lifeblood (Mark Haskins, Tracy Williams & PJ Black)
Lifeblood was caught up in recent headlines following founding father Juice Robinson’s departure from the company. With Juice and David Finlay on the sidelines while Bandido remains busy, that left the stable in need of a new face. PJ Black offered his assistance, teaming with Williams and Haskins in a victorious effort and also coming to the aid of the duo during a vicious attack from Bully Ray and company.
With their new partner, they will look to take some gold away from the longest reigning Six-Man Champions, Villain Enterprises. Marty Scurll, PCO, and Brody King will also be adding a fresh face to the group, possibly being revealed that night for the following television taping. I expect the fourth person to make their presence known during this title match, allowing Scurll and the gang to retain their prizes.
Prediction: Villain Enterprises
Dalton Castle vs Dragon Lee
At the G1 Supercard in Madison Square Garden, Dalton Castle was embarrassed at the hands of Rush, who defeated him in sixteen seconds. There’s no better way to redeem himself than to defeat his younger brother, Dragon Lee. Castle has displayed a darker side since this loss, promising to injure the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion. I’m afraid Castle is in store for a tough match-up, likely leaving him looking at the lights of the UMBC Event Center.
Prediction: Dragon Lee
Match Three, Best Of Three Series – Jay Lethal vs Kenny King
Kenny King and Jay Lethal’s ongoing best of three series will culminate at Best in The World with much more on the line than just a friendly competition. King took Match 1 before intentionally getting disqualified in Match 2. Injuring the arm of Lethal ensured an easier Match 3, even if he was forced to take a loss. Now with the two men neck at neck, Match 3 will be more heated than ever, with the former ROH World Champ, Jay Lethal likely getting the last laugh with the odds stacked against him.
Prediction: Jay Lethal
Pure Rules – Silas Young vs Jonathan Gresham
In one of the more unique matches of the night, Silas Young will put his self-endorsed technical wrestling skills to the test against Jonathan Gresham in a Pure Rules Match. Once upon a time, Ring of Honor featured a Pure Championship, with a rule set focusing on the more technical side of wrestling and stricter enforcement of rules and shortcuts. Silas Young has defeated The Octopus twice with methods that would not fly under these conditions. He will look to prove that these actions were not necessary for victory and will attempt to outclass the technically sound Gresham. Of course, with two tainted victories and an unproven skillset, I expect Gresham to showcase his “pure” grappling ability and take this one.
Prediction: Jonathan Gresham
ROH Television Title – Shane Taylor (c) vs Bandido
Bandido entered Ring of Honor with a buzz, with many expecting a major push immediately. The international star has worked his way up the card, now getting his first title opportunity nearly six months later against the newly crowned champ, Shane Taylor. Becoming the titleholder in May, Taylor wants to prove that his gold was earned, hoping to embark on a long-lasting reign as Television Champion. While Bandido is surrounded by hype, he must prove his worth by becoming successful in his championship endeavours. Taylor’s reign just began as champion however, Bandido is a tough guy to beat. This is a bit of a toss-up but I’m leaning towards Shane Taylor to retain. Expect some outside interference.
Prediction: Shane Taylor
ROH World Title – Matt Taven (c) vs Jeff Cobb
Following an unfortunate Television Title loss, Jeff Cobb kept his aspirations high, now challenging the World Champion, Matt Taven, to a match for his gold. Despite losing the belt, Cobb remains unpinned in Ring of Honor, however, that’s a challenge Taven is willing to accept. Even with his Kingdom stablemates banned from ringside, Taven expects to continue his winning ways, ending the streak of PCO and adding Jeff Cobb to his list of victims. Taven’s reign is likely to stay strong here, with him possibly taking on another undefeated star next, in Rush.
Prediction: Matt Taven
You can find the author of this article on Twitter @JIWrestling. Thanks for reading!