El Terrible and Ultimo Guerrero def. The Kingdom
El Terrible and Guerrero are stars from CMLL, whose partnership with Ring of Honor started late last year. I'm all for the company bringing in fresh faces to work with the current talent, but I've never understood why they almost always lose to the wrestlers from other promotions. It doesn't look good for guys like The Kingdom, who have fared fairly well for themselves while TK O'Ryan has been out injured (not to mention Matt Taven beat Adam Cole clean not too long ago at a ROH live event). They picked up the pace down the stretch and had a nice little opening match, but its lack of purpose took away from it for me.
Frankie Kazarian def. Hangman Page in a Strap Match
Unlike most Strap matches, Kazarian and Page weren't tied together with a strap, and instead, they were allowed to use straps as a weapon. That made the match much more entertaining in my opinion and the intensity from both men was an excellent touch. The one thing I was hoping for was blood given the nature of their feud, and we got that in the final few minutes. After their War of of the Worlds match fell flat, this was a significant improvement from them. Similar to Taven, I was hoping Page would continue to build momentum after beating Cole earlier this month, but I didn't have a big problem with Kazarian picking up a rare win.
Search & Destroy def. The Rebellion (The Rebellion Must Disband)
This wasn't a long-running rivalry by any means, so it was slightly difficult to get invested in the stipulation, though I admittedly wanted The Rebellion to disband more than anything. I know Search & Destroy are probably better off doing their own thing, too, but at least they're more exciting to watch as a unit than The Rebellion. This was a well-wrestled match with the right finish, and I hope they finally do something with Jay White as a singles star going forward.
Jay Lethal def. Silas Young
Young has been doing some great work lately in his feud with Lethal and I surely hope this isn't the end of the push he's gotten lately. Based off what happened afterward, I don't think it is. As for the match itself, it was terrific and both guys had strong showings. Young shines when given the opportunity to and it looked like he was on Lethal's level here. The roll-up win for Lethal was a bit anticlimactic, but at least it protected Young in defeat. As noted, I dug the post-match attack on Lethal and that top rope splash through the table from Beer City Bruiser was a sweet sight. The commentators made mention of how this might ruin Lethal's chances of capturing the new IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship, so that will be worth keeping an eye out for. By the way, there was a reason why Bobby Fish didn't make the save for Lethal despite feuding with Young and Bruiser for the past few months. That will become clear very soon.
Dalton Castle and The Boys def. Bully Ray and The Briscoes to Win the ROH World Six-Man Tag Team Championship
Most of these ROH World Six-Man Tag Team Championship matches on pay-per-view are announced randomly with a minimal amount of build-up, so I appreciated how there was a story behind this bout. Jay Briscoe was fed up with The Boys after they cost him an eight-man tag team match on ROH TV and he couldn't control his temper here. This was a solid title match, but the babyface vs. babyface dynamic didn't help matters. It's awesome to see Castle win a title in ROH after all this time and it might be because he recently re-signed with the company. Look for the trio of Bully Ray, Jay and Mark Briscoe to implode sooner rather than later.
ROH World Television Champion Kusihda def. Marty Scurll
I was disappointed Scurll dropped the belt to begin with because he was so perfect in the role as champion, but if he was going to drop the strap to anyone, it might as well have been to an outstanding performer like Kushida. In fact, I was almost expecting a title change here, so the nearfalls in the second half were very convincing. They put together the best bout of the show up to this point in the evening and had tremendous chemistry. From here, I would love to see Scurll challenge for the ROH World Championship, but that would make very little sense at the moment with Cody now in possession of the prestigious prize.
ROH World Tag Team Champions The Young Bucks def. War Machine and Best Friends in a Triple Threat Tornado Tag Team Match
I was actually among those in favor of this turning into a Triple Threat match, and from a storyline standpoint, it was totally logical with Best Friends beating the Bucks on an episode of ROH TV this month. Plus, ROH can hold off on the Bucks vs. War Machine match for later on. The contest might have even been better with the addition of Trent Barreta and Chuck Taylor because the crowd was super into their offense and was on their feet for everything these six guys did. In other words, it was your typical Bucks match and that was what made it such a blast.
Cody def. Christopher Daniels to Win the ROH World Championship
Cody was supposed to be the "evil outsider" threatening to take the title from the company, but he was perceived as anything but from the crowd. Daniels had his fair share of fans, but the audience was behind Cody throughout the bout despite his attempts to turn them against him. It wasn't the most amazing technical masterpiece of all-time, but it was an exceptional effort from both men and featured plenty of enjoyable in-ring action. Daniels had his run as champion and thus it was time to pull the trigger with Cody. I'm intrigued to see where the story goes from here, but either way, he's definitely deserving of the honor.
This was a strong show on the whole with two title changes resulting in it being a newsworthy night, as well as above-average matches for the World Television and World Tag Team Championships. On the other hand, I wouldn't say I liked it as much as the ROH 15th Anniversary Show, Supercard of Honor, or even War of the Worlds. None of the matches were bad in any way, but the undercard didn't feel too important until the final three matches. Nevertheless, Best in the World 2017 gets a thumbs up from me and there are a number of things to look forward to coming out of the event.
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