Welcome to PWInsider.com’s live coverage of ROH Best In The World 2018! You can watch the show live or catch the VOD replay by signing up for the Honor Club at rohwrestling.com!
The show opens with a video package showing the ROH experience and running down the top matches, then Ian Riccaboni and Colt Cabana welcome us to the show and throw it to the ring for our opening match…
World Six Man Title Match: The Kingdom vs Los Ingobernables
TK and EVIL start us off in a pretty big size mismatch. TK circles EVIL and Taven cheapshots him from behind, but EVIL fights Taven off and then turns TK inside out with a shoulderblock. TK tags Taven in, and he walks right into a side suplex, and then tags Sanada in. Sanada hits a back elbow and standing moonsault on Taven, then they fight over a standing switch until they just decide to tag out, though all six men wind up in the ring and Los Ingobernables wind up getting the advantage. TK is trapped in the ring and on the receiving end of some double teams from EVIL and Sanada, but that only lasts a moment until TK and Marseglia hit a double hotshot on EVIL, who is now in peril. Marseglia looks like Elias’ less well-kempt younger brother, but he unloads some hard hitting punishment on EVIL before TK tags in to flatten EVIL with a spinebuster for 2. TK goes for a superkick, but EVIL catches the foot and superkicks him in the thigh, and makes the hot tag. Sanada comes in and cleans house on the Kingdom, ties Taven’s arms and legs up, TK comes in and tries to do the same to Sanada but Sanada reverses him, and stacks him next to Taven and hits a running dropkick to both their butts. Sanada goes to the top, but Marseglia distracts him with a batch of red balloons, and all heck breaks loose with both sides going for their finish and failing. Taven drills Sanada with a running knee to the face for 2, he goes for the 1% but Sanada gets out and dropkicks him in his bad knee. Now everyone comes in and a spotfest breaks out, with kingdom hitting a flurry of high impact moves on Bushi. TK drills EVIL with a Pelle kick, then the Kingdom hits Bushi with the Rockstar Supernova for the win.
Winners: The Kingdom
A little disjointed at times, but otherwise solid opener.
Bully Ray vs Flip Gordon
Gordon jumps Bubba as soon as he hits the ring, driving him to the floor and taking him out with a dive. Gordon heads back into the ring and hits another dive, this one with…a flip! Bubba moves away from the ring, but Flip hits yet a third dive, this time from the top rope, and hammers Bubba with right hands for good measure. Bubba tries to beg off, but Flip doesn’t let up for one second, kicking Bubba in the ribs and ramming him into the ringpost. Flip has the fans hold Bubba’s arms so he can beat him up some more, then rolls him back into the ring. Flip hits a Samoan drop, a standing shooting star press, and a second rope moonsault for 2. This has been all Flip, but he backs off just long enough for Bubba to rip his head off with a HUGE clothesline. Bubba goes to the second rope, but misses the Vader Bomb, starting a Vader chant for the recently-departed WCW World Champion. Flip springboards off the ropes for the STar Spangled Stunner, but Bubba kicks him in the ding ding on the way down, causing the ref to call for a DQ.
Winner by DQ: Flip Gordon
Bubba is a man possessed, attacking Flip and repeatedly bashing both his legs with a steel chair. An ROH dojo guy tries to run in and make the save, but Bubba lays him out and goes back to beating on his legs with the chair until Cheese burger runs in. He unloads on Bubba and…gets powerbombed into next week for his trouble. He gets a table from under the ring and sets it up inside, shoving the referee down when he tries to intervene, and suddenly Colt Cabana jumps up from the broadcast booth and runs in with a chair of his own. He and Bubba have a standoff until Bubba decides to fight another day and head back up the ramp while Colt checks on the youngsters Bubba destroyed.
Before the next match, Ian personally appeals to Joe Koff to take action against Bully Ray, up to and including getting rid of him altogether. Colt rejoins him as we go into our next match…
Sumie Sakai, Jenny Rose, Mayu Iwatani & Tenille Dashwood vs Kelly Klein, Hazuki, Kagetsu & Hana Kimura
Sumie Sakai starts off with Kagetsu, and they have a quick exchange before Kimura and Dashwood come in. Tenille gets the better of that, then tags Rose in to hit a corner splash and Perfectplex on Kimura for 2. Kimura hits dropkick and tags Klein in, and she puts the boots to Rose and goes for a German suplex, but Rose reverses to a victory roll for 2. Klein takes her out with a hard clothesline for 2, Jenny gets a rollup for 1, and Hazuki and Iwatani tag in, Iwatani hits a slingblade and she and Sakai hit a double team before Sakai gets tripped from the floor and winds up in the wrong part of town. Sumie hits a DDT on Klein and tags Tenille, who comes in and cleans house on everyone, dumps Kelly to the apron, and hits a neckbreaker over the second rope on her before hitting a double crossbody in the corner on Kimura and Hazuki. Someone fell on top of a cameraman as Tenille gets a tarantula on Klein, then Tenille comes off the top with a crossbody for 2. Rose spears Hazuki into next week, Iwatuni comes off the top with a splash on Kimura, and everyone breaks it up at 2. Sumie catches Kimura in a front guillotine choke, but Kimura powers out and vertical suplexes Sakai into the air, delaying before dropping her for a very close 2. All heck breaks loose with everyone brawling in the ring, then out of the ring as Sumie wipes everyone else out with a crossbody as Sakai picks Kimura up and hits a SWEET dragon suplex for the win.
Winners: Sumie Sakai, Jenny Rose, Mayu Iwatani & Tenille Dashwood
Good match, and glad to see the ladies get showcased.
Austin Aries vs Kenny King
Feeling out process to start, as Aries takes King to the ropes and breaks kinda clean with the double chest slap thing. King returns the favor with the same, so Aries kicks King in the gut and uses his speed to go around King and get a side headlock. Shoving match ensues, and King…bounces his pecs at Aries. Aries responds by chopping those same pecs and backdropping King to the floor. Aries goes for a dive, but King is back in the ring and blocks, then rakes Aries’ back and turns him inside out with a clothesline. King sweeps the leg, and Cabana says to put him in a bodybag. The crowd chants to sweep the leg, so King obliges, plays to the crowd, gets rolled up by Aries for 2, and sweeps the leg again as Colt asks if pain is allowed in this dojo. King gets a modified abdominal stretch that Ian calls the Reseda stretch, they go to the floor and King sweeps the leg again. Daniel would never walk again if this happened to him. They wind up back in the ring and King gets a rear chinlock, but Aries maneuvers him to the floor. King tries to springboard back in, but Aries dropkicks him off and back down to the floor, then Aries comes off the top with the double axhandle. Aries rams King into the barricade, then sends him back inside and hits a slingshot rolling senton for 2. Aries continues working King over until King hits a springboard blockbuster for 2. The tide has turned as King hits a leaping elbow in the corner, followed by a t-bone suplex, but Aries hits the kneebreaker/suplex combo, and goes right into the Last Chancery. King makes it to the ropes, so Aries hits a neckbreaker over the second rope, and King tumbles to the floor. Aries goes for the heat seeking missile, but King DRILLS him with a leaping enziguiri on the way down, and that made a very loud sound. Aries piefaces King, but King just starts unloading on him with forearms, then picks him up in a fireman’s carry and Aries starts pleading with him that he’s his friend and not to do it. King thinks it over, and just rolls him inside. Aries catches him with a small package for 2, King kinda hits the Royal Flush, and Aries is close enough to the ropes to break the fall at 2. Aries is literally clinging to the bottom rope and pulls himself to the floor, grabbing his belts and starting to walk out, but King takes him out with a twisting dive. He picks up the Impact World Title belt, holds it up to the crowd, and stalks Aries with it. Aries begs off, so King tosses the belt, and Aries immediately jumps up, kicks him in the gut, and hits a brainbuster on the floor. Aries picks King up and dumps him into the ring, slowly stalking him and…gets small packaged for 2. Aries quickly follows up with a roaring elbow and brainbuster for the win.
Winner: Austin Aries
This was a bit disjointed, it just felt like their timing was off through a lot of the match and it wasn’t a bad match or anything, it just looked awkward for much of the bout.
Jay Lethal vs Kushida
Feeling out process to start, with neither man able to get an immediate advantage. Crowd is split right down the middle as they go to the mat, Lethal taking a side headlock and really grinding on it. Lethal reverses a hiptoss, misses the cartwheel dropkick, but Kushida gets Lethal down and connects with his own dropkick, as well as a trio of dives after Lethal rolls to the floor to catch a break. Kushida goes to the top for the double axhandle, and he is methodically stealing all of Lethal’s trademark spots one by one. They fight over a vertical suplex, each man almost getting it, until Lethal kicks Kushida’s leg out on a Lethal Injection attempt. Serves him right for ganking all of Lethal’s spots. Lethal spends the next several minutes working over Kushida’s legs, then he tosses him to the floor and hits a pair of dives, but Kushida counters to an armbar on the third. WOW! Lethal gets the Lethal Combination back inside, but Lethal goes for Hail To The King and Kushida catches the arm on the way down and gets a cross armbreaker. Lethal rolls Kushida to his back for 2, then goes right into the figure four right in the middle of the ring. Kushida makes it to the ropes, and they start trading kicks with one another, then they pieface each other, then go back to the kick exchange. Kushida slaps Lethal, and Lethal responds with a bicycle kick, and Kushida responds to that with a Pelle kick. Lethal with a bicycle kick and a spinning enziguiri, he goes for the Lethal Injection, but Kushida catches the arm coming back and counters to the hoverboard lock. Lethal goes to the ropes, they fight over pinning combinations, Lethal gets a pop-up Ace Crusher, then hits the Lethal Injection and covers for the win.
Winner: Jay Lethal
Another good match, both guys are SO on right now. Lethal moves another step closer to a shot at regaining the World Title.
TV Title Match/Baltimore Street Fight: Punishment Martinez vs Hangman Adam Page
They start brawling during introductions, and Page gets Martinez to the floor and wipes him out with a dive. Page rams Martinez back and forth into the barricades, then Martinez nails Page as he goes under the ring for a table. Page brings a chair into the ring and whips it at Martinez, smashing into his face, then he wedges it in the corner and rams Martinez into it, then goes and gets that table, leaning it against a ringpost and coming off the apron and misses the shooting star press. Martinez picks Page up and powerbombs him onto the ring apron, then tries to chokeslam Page onto the barricade, but misses and drops Page right onto the floor. Martinez dumps Page back into the ring and brings another chair in with him, knocking Page right back out to the floor with it. Martinez picks Page up and starts running, nearly propelling Page through the barricade. Martinez sets up a chair platform and tries to chokeslam him onto the chairs, but Page escapes and starts firing back on the champion. he rams Page into the corner of the barricade and tries a Yakuza kick, but Page moves and Martinez winds up hung up on the barricade. He tries to climb over, but Page superplexes Martinez onto the floor, then they go back into the ring where Martinez turns Page inside out with a hard clothesline. Martinez gets a chair and goes for a Tombstone onto the chair, but Page reverses and hits the cradle Tombstone onto the chair for a very close 2. They wind up on the apron where Martinez curb stomps Page’s face right into the apron, then zip ties his wrists together. Page tries to grab the chair, but Martinez stops that with a kick to the face and then stomps Page’s face into the chair and covers for a very close 2. Martinez gets another table from under the ring, sets it up, and tries for a chokeslam, but Page spits in Martinez’ face and ducks a charge, sending Martinez to the floor. Page breaks the zip ties, then goes to the floor and spears Martinez through the first table that was against the ringpost. Page goes to the top rope and moonsaults onto Martinez, then they head back inside and…Page takes too long playing to the fans and gets bicycle kicked off the apron and onto the chair platform Martinez set up before. Martinez starts to go back in, but then changes his mind and grabs a bag out from under the ring. He pours the bag out, and it contains…thumbtacks! I wish I could describe the look on Page’s face as he watched those get poured out, but he blocks the attempted powerbomb and backdrops Martinez onto the tacks. Page picks Martinez up and goes for the Rite of Passage, but Martinez blocks and chokeslams Page through the table. He falls on top and the referee counts 3.
Winner: Punishment Martinez
Ian points out that Martinez had his shoulders down during the pinfall as well, so this might lead to a rematch, but as far as this match goes, that was one HELL of a hardcore brawl.
World Tag Team Title Match: Jay & Mark Briscoe vs The Young Bucks
The crowd is split right down the middle as Nick and Mark start us off, and almost rightoff the bat all heck breaks loose, with all four men fighting in the ring. Briscoes block a double superkick, and go nose to nose with the Bucks. This turns into a pier six brawl, which the Briscoes handily win, but they hit hte ropes and charge right into a pair of superkicks from the Bucks. Assisted double dropkick sends Mark to the floor, and the Bucks hit the double hiptoss/double dropkick combo on Jay. Jay responds by ripping both of their heads off with clotheslines, and Mark comes in to hit Redneck Boogie on Matt for 2. and Matt gets caught in the wrong part of town, getting mercilessly worked over by the Briscoes. Jay crushes him with a corner clothesline, snapmare, and diving boot for 2. Jay and Matt wind up on the floor and Matt connects with a superkick, but can’t make it to his corner, getting dragged back out ot the floor by Jay. Mark goes for a baseball slide, but Matt moves and Mark hits Jay. Matt hits a twisting stunner off the apron on Mark, then gets back in the ring and tags Nick in, and Nick immediately takes the Briscoes out with a dive from the floor before cleaning house on both Briscoes with a flurry of past paced kicks, superkicks, and eniguiris. Matt is back up, and the battle continues on the floor. Nick takes Jay back in the ring and drills him with a running kneelift in the corner, but Mark comes out of nowhere with a rear naked choke, then passes him off to Jay, who drills Nick with a hard clothesline before hitting a blockbuster off the apron on Matt. Mark hits Froggy Bow, but Nick is out at 2. Briscoes go for a top rope Redneck Boogie, but Matt drags Jay to the floor and Nick hits a super Frankensteiner on Mark. Nick tags Matt, who comes in with clotheslines for Mark, but Jay is right back in and nailing Matt. Matt takes out both Briscoes with a double clothesline, but runs right into a death valley driver from Jay. Bucks come back with superkicks, Briscoes fire back with superkicks of their own, Bucks respond in kind, Briscoes flatten them with lariats, and Jay hits Matt with a Jay Driller, and Nick breaks it up at THE last second. Briscoes go for the Doomsday Device on Matt, but Nick hits Mark with a springboard Ace Crusher as Matt victory rolls Jay for 2. Jay fights off both Bucks by himself, but they turn it around on Jay and give him the Doomsday Device for 2. Bucks hit More Bang For Your Buck, but Mark breaks it up by giving the referee Froggy Bow before he can count 3. Mark gets a chair, but the Bucks superkick it into his face and knock him to the floor. Bucks go for the Meltzer Driver on Jay, and the ref comes to just in time to count 2 as Mark breaks it up at 2. Now the Bucks go for a Meltzer Driver on a chair, but Mark has another chair and just WINGS it at Nick’s face, knocking him off the apron. Jay hits a Jay Driller on Matt onto the chair, but somehow Matt gets out at 2. Briscoes hit a top rope Redneck Boogie, and that’s finally enough to put Matt away for 3.
Winners: Jay & Mark Briscoe
This was just an unbelievably hard fought match, easily the best thing on the show so far. The Briscoes put the boots to the Bucks after the match, and SoCal Uncensored runs in after the match and act like they’re going to join in on the fun, but they lay the Briscoes out instead. They have a tense standoff with the Briscoes, who head to the back and leave the Bucks alone for their own tense standoff with SCU, who also leave without incident.
And with that…IT’S MAIN EVENT TIME!
ROH World Title Match: Dalton Castle vs Cody vs Marty Scurll
Dalton is heavily bandaged up, and Cody and Scurll quickly toss him to the floor. Castle reverses a whip and sends Cody into the barricade, then hits a spinning headscissors on Scurll. He sends Scurll back into the ring and gets a waistlock takedown for 2. We see that NWA Champion Nick Aldis is at ringside watching as Castle dodges a springboard dropkick from Cody, who connects with Scurll instead. Cody hits Castle with a Flatliner and does a double bicep pose (as Gary Strydom, according to Ian), and Scurll gives Castle a superkick and tornado DDTs Cody on the floor. Scurll sends Cody back into the ring, and Cody begs off, causing Scurll to hesitate. Cody takes the opening to dish out some chops to Scurll, who responds in kind. Scurll unloads with a series of forearms, but Cody hits a release vertical suplex before finding himself on the receiving end of some punches from Castle, who then takes turns hitting kneelifts on Scurll and Cody. Castle goes for a big boot on Cody, who catches his boot and drops him on his face. Castle looks like he’s REALLY struggling out there. Castle knocks Cody off the top rope and drills him with a running boot, and hits a super butterfly suplex for 2. Castle goes for an armbar on Cody, but Scurll comes in from behind and gets the crossface chickenwing on Castle. Cody gets a figure four on Castle’s other end, and Cody pulls Marty off of Castle, who rolls out to the floor again while Cody and Scurll go at it. Scurll dodges an armdrag, but Cody hits a DDT for a couple of 2 counts. Scurll hangs Cody in the corner and sets up for Shattered Dreams, but Brandi gets on the apron to distract everyone and allow Cody to kick Scurll low and small package him for 2. Marty goes to the fingers and we go snap, and Scurll steals Cody’s ring! Castle suddenly comes in out of nowhere and hits Bangarang on Scurll, but Aldis jumps up and pulls the ref out of the ring before the 3 count. The Boys try to intervene, but Aldis brutally swats them away, and Cody takes Aldis out with a dive, but Scurll smashes Castle in the face with the belt and makes a cover, but both Cody and Brandi pull the referee out of the ring. The ref kicks Aldis, Brandi, and the Boys out of ringside as all three actual participants wind up back in the ring, they trade rollups for 2, then they trade punches in the middle of the ring, Castle knocks Cody to the floor, Scurll and Castle knock each other out, and everyone’s down. Cody is up first and has powder in his hands, but Scurll knocks the powder into Cody’s face, then Cody gives Scurll CrossRhodes, Castle dumps Cody to the floor and covers Scurll for 2. Castle goes for Bangarang again, Scurll counters to a rollup for 2, then goes right into the crossface chickenwing. He has him trapped right in the middle of the ring, but Cody is in and goes for CrossRhodes, Scurll reverses to one of his own, Castle hits Scurll with Bangarang again, and the champion retains.
Winner: Dalton Castle
Well, that was a bit unexpected! Dalton was obviously WELL below 100% here, but they did a great job working around it, and we finish so close to the end of their time that we pretty much wrap up the show right there.
This was easily the best ROH show I’ve seen in years, and they just KILLED it in the last four or five matches. Everyone worked hard, some people worked hurt, and they told great storylines throughout. This was everything an ROH show should be, and if you didn’t see it live, sign up for Honor Club and watch the replay. If you like the kind of stuff you see on NXT TakeOver, this was that level of quality.