Richards new champ at ROH Best in the World
DARREN WOOD - SLAM! Wrestling
|Davey Richards and Eddie Edwards shake hands after their epic bout. Photos by George Tahinos
With three Championships on the line, a no holds barred street fight and a shocking return to the company, Ring of Honor's Best in the World 2011 was a decent show overall to kick start what could be perceived to be a new era for the promotion.
Just this past week, ROH announced that the company will return to TV on September 24th. The iPPV Sunday afternoon was the first under the new ownership of the Sinclair Broadcasting Group, and emanated live from the Manhattan Center, New York City
The Ring of Honor World Championship clash between two long-time friends closed out the event as champion Eddie Edwards put his title on the line against his tag team partner Davey Richards.
Real intense crowd for this battle, as both men were heavily supported by sections of the fans. The story for this match was the respect between the two individuals mixed with the fact that Richards has had World title opportunities before but has never managed to capture the main singles championship.
The intensity of the crowd easily matched the intensity of the action inside the squared circle; both men gave it their all in a real hard hitting contest which showcased some great aerial manoeuvres blended in with superb scientific, technical wrestling.
An example of the incredible technical prowess that both men possess was for all to see when Richards hit a top rope superplex, he then rolled through the move, stood up and scored with another suplex. Richards then grabbed hold of Edwards arm and applied a cross arm breaker in the middle of the ring.
Edwards with all his might managed to turn this into his own submission move, the Achilles lock, but Richards managed to reach the ropes for the break.
This contest swayed back and forth several times, at one point it looked like it was going to be over when Edwards hit a 2k1 bomb onto the ring apron to an almighty thud. Edwards then proceeded to place Richards onto a table and hit the double stomp onto him from the top turnbuckle through the table to the floor below.
As both men showed exhaustion after 30 minutes of action, Richards finally managed to take full control of the contest as he hit stiff kicks to Edwards' chest; he then shot two hard clotheslines in a row.
Edwards did not give up, as Richards continued his assault with three stiff kicks to the head. Eventually Richards was able to put Edwards away when a running kick to the head, found the mark and ensured Richards captured his first ROH World Championship.
ROH BEST IN THE WORLD FULL RESULTS
There was a minor freeze right as they went live, Jim Cornette said that at the Manhattan Center it was the biggest crowd ever, and combined with those watching on iPPV, this event was the most watched in history.
Match 1: Tommaso Ciampa vs Colt Cabana
Proceedings started of slow as both men felt each other out in the early going. Lots of shenanigans from Cabana as he got a few near-falls, he then stepped on the hand of Prince Nana. Ciampa took advantage by hanging Cabana on the top rope and hitting a running kick. Ciampa blocked an attempted kick in the corner by Cabana and sat Colt on the middle rope before hitting a big suplex. He tried for another but Cabana countered into the Billy Goat's Curse. Cabana then tried to hit the Flying Apple but missed; Ciampa scooped him up and hit a powerbomb lift into a backbreaker on the knees for the win.
Winner: Tommaso Ciampa
Match rating: 3/10
Special Challenge Match - Jay Lethal vs. Mike Bennett w/Brutal Bob Evans
Lethal received a hero's welcome and came out to a huge ovation from the crowd, plus there was a massive chorus of unflattering TNA chants.
Contest started at a fast pace, Lethal got the best of Bennett and hit a flying head scissors, which was followed nicely by a suplex that saw Bennett go out to the floor. Lethal immediately followed with a dive to the outside.
Brutal Bob then got involved on the outside as he grabbed Lethal and hit a side slam on the apron behind the referee's back. Lethal fought back and hit a few running forearms. He then went to the top rope but Brutal Bob once again got involved by distracting him, which allowed Bennett to hit a giant super plex.
Bennett ascended to the top turnbuckle and missed a big elbow drop. Lethal then jumped to the top rope himself and hit a flying elbow in honour of his idol "Macho Man" Randy Savage for the win.
Winner: Jay Lethal
Match rating: 7/10
Homicide took the mic and said New York was the greatest city in the world and to f*** Michigan, the location where Rhino is from.
No Holds Barred Street Fight - Homicide vs Rhino w/The Embassy
Wild brawl to start this contest, which saw Homicide hit a suicide dive to the floor, Homicide tried to put Rhino through a table from the ring apron to the floor, but Rhino reversed with a back body drop and sent Homicide crashing through the table.
Rhino picked up Homicide and charged him into the railing and then rolled him into the ring followed by a ladder. Rhino hit Homicide with the ladder and went for a suplex onto it; however Homicide reversed and hit one of his own.
Homicide set the ladder in the corner, but Rhino fought his way back eventually tossing Homicide onto the ladder. Homicide smashed his elbow on the ladder in an awkward landing.
Rhino tried for a gore, but Homicide hit a kick and then his patented Ace crusher. Rhino then took control again, setting up a table in the corner, he lined up a proposed gore into the table. He went for it but Homicide reversed into a sunset flip for the surprise victory.
Match rating: 7/10
Post-match, Prince Nana hit the ring and tried to attack Homicide, but his attack failed, Homicide turned around and was met by a gore from Rhino through the table in the corner. Blood flowed out of the mouth of Homicide, as Kelly suggested Homicide could have cracked ribs.
Next up, Corino came to the ring with Jimmy Jacobs, he said that he and Jacobs were evil people but they are trying to be better, he stated that there's someone else who wants to make a change. Corino then said sorry to Jim Cornette and the new owners of ROH but he has to do what he has to do.
He then introduced Mr Wrestling Kevin Steen to an unbelievably huge ovation from the New York City crowd. Steen was in the balcony of the arena and tried to get into the ring but security held him back. Steen was then forced back through the crowd, to be escorted out of the arena. Elgin attacked Corino from behind to start the contest.
Steve Corino vs. Michael Elgin
Corino, got an abdominal stretch on Elgin and then put his thumb in his opponents bum, which drew laughs and cheers from the crowd. Elgin ran at Corino, who pulled the rope down which made Elgin fall to the floor. Corino went for a dive through the second rope but amazingly Elgin caught him in mid air and then slammed him into the railing and then hit a power slam on the floor.
Back inside the ring Elgin hit a northern lights suplex and tried to continue his onslaught by trying a Package Piledriver but Corino fought back. Corino's stint in charge wasn't for long as Elgin's power was too much for him; he hit a superkick and then a big suplex. Elgin continued by hitting three different variations of a Powerbomb for the victory.
Post-match, Elgin attacked Corino again. Jacobs ran in for the save, but Truth hit him with the Book of Truth. A two on one attack followed, which prompted Steen to come back through the crowd to make the save. He cleared the ring, as Corino begged ROH staff not to kick Steen out of the building ... again. He said Kevin wanted to speak and they should hear him.
Jim Cornette came out to ringside and agreed. Steen grabbed the mic and passionately said F*** ROH. Steen then attacked Jacobs and Corino. Security dragged him out of the ring and through the crowd. The New York fans were incensed to say the least.
Christopher Daniels (Champion) vs El Generico - ROH TV Championship
New ROH TV champion El Generico.
Incredible contest, with both men showing some amazing aerial maneuvers, Generico seemed to have a slight quickness over Daniels, which he used to his advantage. Daniels managed to gain a foothold in the match by using some very methodical offence, he exerted his authority on Generico by grounding the challenger. Daniels tried for the Angel's Wings, but Generico had it telegraphed, however the challenger doesn't manage to stop Daniels landing the Last Rites.
Generico managed to tangle Daniels up in the Tree of Woe and hit an amazing Coast to Coast dropkick. Generico set Daniels up for a brainbuster off the top turnbuckle; however the Champion escaped shoving Generico to the floor and into a ringside camera man.
Daniels hit a brainbuster of his own on the floor. Thinking the match was over and Generico
would be counted out, Daniels grabbed his TV title belt. Generico made it back in the ring and Daniels tried the Best Moonsault Ever with the belt still on but Generico got his feet up.
Generico then managed to hit a yakuza kick and then an incredible top rope brainbuster for the win.
Winner and new ROH TV Champion El Generico
Match rating: 9/10
The rules for the four way tag title match were then explained. The team that eliminated another team can then decide which team would go in next, confused? So was I. Cody B. Ware came out and rapped the Kings of Wrestling theme music as they came to the ring.
Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin (Champions) vs. The Kings of Wrestling vs. The Briscoe Brothers vs. The All Night Express in a four way elimination match - ROH World Tag Team Championships
What should have been an amazing contest was made so confusing by stipulations for the contest and also the fact that it was delivered at times at a very slow pace.
Nice chant of "Little Jimmy" starts off this contest, as Haas gives a child his hat. It was very hard to keep up with who were the legal men in this encounter, at times it was very messy.
Rebel Yell by the Briscoes on Kenny King, followed up by an attempted Doomsday Device on Titus but he victory rolled to escape.
King managed to duck a superkick attempt by Jay, who then got caught by King and Titus with the One Night Stand for the pinfall, Briscoes eliminated.
Castagnoli tagged in and hit a big tossing powerbomb on King, Sara Del Rey distracted the referee, as Hero hit a loaded elbow shot and Castagnoli pinned Titus to mark their elimination. Haas pulled the loaded elbow pad off Hero and threw it into the crowd.
Haas tagged in Benjamin and the WGTT beat down Hero, Hero fought back hitting a rolling kick on Haas, Haas reversed a powerbomb lift into a hurricanrana on Hero that also drove Castagnoli to the floor.
After near 40 minutes of action, the WGTT hit a double Alabama Slam on Hero for the victory.
Winners and still ROH Tag Team Champions Wrestling's Greatest Tag Team
Match rating: 7/10
Post-match, the Briscoes hit the ring with chairs and beat-up on Haas and Benjamin while the Kings Of Wrestling just watched from the corners. Titus and King ran out from the back with milk crates, a kendo stick and what appeared to be a javelin to chase off the heels.
A brilliant video recapped the world title feud between the two long-time friends and then the formal ring introductions occurred.
Eddie Edwards (Champion) vs Davey Richards - ROH World Championship
Winner and new ROH World Champion Davey Richards
Match rating: 9/10
Post-match, referee Todd Sinclair, a medic and Kyle O'Reilly checked on Richards. Eventually Richards and Edwards crawled toward each other and hugged.
Richards then proceeded to take the belt and talk on a mic thanking everyone, saying it meant everything to him to finally win the belt.
He cried while talking and thanking Eddie for being there. Eddie took the mic and said Davey was always telling everyone how great they were, but it was time for him to stand up and receive the adoration he deserved. Richards went into the crowd and celebrated as Edwards sat dejected in the corner to end the show.
Event Rating: 7/10
ROH Best in the World Photo Gallery
Darren Wood is a freelance journalist in the United Kingdom, working for various publications including SLAM! Wrestling, Fighting Spirit Magazine and The Wrestling Press.