#Preview: Ring of Honor Presents Best in the World

Ring of Honor airs live on Pay-Per-View presenting Best in the World on June 28th at 8 PM EDT.  This show is deeply entrenched in some extremely heated feuds that have transpired over the last few months if there is one particular stand out that defines this PPV.

The Briscoes are out on a mission to symbolically trash the rich history of the NWA.  Dalton Castle has had Rush on his mind for months following his humiliating defeat at the G1 Supercard and hopes to get under his skin by going after his brother Dragon Lee.

Jonathan Gresham and Silas Young, as well as Jay Lethal and Kenny King, have all gone to war with each other over the last few months as both these feuds finally conclude at Best in the World.  And much more is on the card as tensions mount and reputations are on the line in many high stakes matchups!

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World Championship Match

Jeff Cobb vs Matt Taven (Champion)

Jeff Cobb lost his Television championship to Shane Taylor a few weeks prior in a Four Corner Survival Match under controversial circumstances.  It was a defining moment when Cobb took out Brody King, in which he was seemingly a moment away from consolidating a pinfall on him.

But Shane Taylor came in out of nowhere and finished King off himself, stealing the pinfall.  It was not exactly a dirty finish, but it also did little to convince spectators that Taylor has primed himself to be a superior Television champion in comparison to Cobb.  This is further highlighted given the track record in previous matches between these two competitors in singles competition, which saw Cobb victorious over Taylor on all occasions.

Many expected Cobb to seek a rematch in singles competition for the Television title to settle unfinished business between the two.  But Cobb looked to the future for bigger and brighter opportunities, as he demanded a match against Matt Taven for the ROH World Championship.  One door closed, and another door opened, as Taven accepted the challenge.

Cobb has all to gain in his quest for gold.  However, if Taven can consolidate this victory, especially a clean victory, he could gain much prestige as the first competitor to defeat Cobb by pinfall or submission during his ROH tenure thus far.  This would certainly give Taven some necessary legitimacy, given Taven’s track record of dirty wins against PCO, Tracy Williams, Mark Haskins and Flip Gordon in his most recent title defenses.

Both competitors have an opportunity for this match to be a major stepping stone depending on who walks away as the victor.

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Television Championship

Bandido vs Shane Taylor (champion)

Bandido consolidated a Television title shot against Shane Taylor by defeating the juggernaut himself weeks before he took the championship from Jeff Cobb.  It would only be natural and fair that the two return back to the ring together once more for a rematch, especially if Taylor wants to lay claim to being the greatest Television champion of all time. 

The twenty-four-year-old luchador Bandido has an impressive winning record overall; even greater than Taylor’s in recent times.  In fact, he had an impressive undefeated streak starting from his debut in ROH, which was cut short when he finally lost to Rush at ROH’s 17th Anniversary show.  High flying agility collides with size and brute strength at Best in the World, as Bandido finally earns his well-deserved title shot against Shane Taylor.

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Dalton Castle vs Dragon Lee

Dalton Castle has had a major chip on his shoulder ever since facing an embarrassing defeat at the G1 Supercard when Rush pinned him in a mere 16 seconds.  Castle has decided that the best way to deploy revenge is to go after Rush’s own brother Dragon Lee.

Though Dragon Lee is not a regular in Ring of Honor, he is flying in for Best in the World to step into the ring with Castle, as the ROH Board of Directors have signed off and given the green light for this match to take place. 

At Best in the World, we will find out if Castle is in for further embarrassment should he lose to Dragon Lee, or if he will make due on his promises to cause much pain and agony, both physical and mental, to his current enemies.

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Flip Gordon vs Rush

2018’s breakout star, Flip Gordon, will go head-to-head for the first time against Rush, potentially ROH’s 2019 breakout star.  Rush certainly has the intimidation factor going for him in this matchup as he enters the ring still undefeated in singles competition thus far in his ROH tenure. 

Rush accepted Flip Gordon’s challenge in Kent, WA on June 1 with a powerful blow to Flip’s jaw, thereby shaking the hand of his unconscious limp body.  Though there is little history between these two competitors, expect these two to bring out the best in each other, being two of the best high-agility athletes in ROH today.

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Briscoes vs Nick Aldis and ???

Initially, this match was scheduled to pit Mark and Jay Briscoe against Nick Aldis and Colt Cabana, the latter two being iconic to the NWA in its contemporary state.  One could also view this match as simply the Briscoes versus the NWA. Ever since the Crocket Cup, the Briscoes have held a grudge against the NWA league and everything its long-running history represents, after being disqualified from the tournament under murky circumstances. 

Any competitor strongly affiliated with the NWA or holding one of its historic titles is considered an enemy to the Briscoes.  It was only natural that the Briscoes decided to become confrontational with the likes of the Nick Aldis, the current NWA Heavyweight Champion, and Colt Cabana, the current NWA National Heavyweight Champion. 

Unfortunately, Colt Cabana just recently faced an in-ring injury and will not be able to compete in this matchup.  Nick Aldis’ mystery partner will be announced at the Best in the World pre-show. The two will take on the Briscoes at Best in the World to try and defend the honor and integrity of the NWA against two brothers with a vendetta against the league and everything its history stands for.

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Pure Rules Matchup

Silas Young vs Jonathan Gresham

Silas Young and Jonathan Gresham have been engaged in one of the most heated feuds in recent times.  Silas Young has made a mockery of “The Octopus” Jonathan Gresham by claiming to be “The Technician of Honor” in recent times.  Such a nickname is quite the overstatement given Silas’ cheap tricks and dirty tactics he normally adheres to in the ring.

Gresham has earned a reputation as one of the most scientifically sound and technical grapplers in contemporary professional wrestling today.  Unfortunately, Gresham has faced injury and disdain in the face of Silas’ dirty tricks, which included a hammer to his noggin a few weeks prior.

Finally, at Best in the World, Gresham will get to face Silas Young in a Pure Rules matchup, where there will be zero tolerance for any rule-breaking.  While the ball is seemingly in Gresham’s court, Silas has the chance to elevate his overall prestige as a sound grappler if he can defeat Gresham at his own game. 

Best in the World
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Jay Lethal vs Kenny King

Jay Lethal squares off against Kenny King in the final match of the Best in Three series.  Kenny King won the first match using dirty tricks, thereby stealing the victory. In the second match between the two, King decided he could afford a single loss and decided to get himself disqualified in knocking Lethal out with a microphone and crushing his arm with a chair. 

Lethal certainly will not be entering this match in his full capacity, given the injuries he suffered in the second match.  King has made it his mission to go after Lethal out of the blue, some months ago. After all, Lethal was the longest reigning ROH World Champion and potentially most accomplished athlete in ROH history.  It is perhaps King’s mission to use Lethal as a stepping stone to elevate his own career.

In recent weeks, King has made this grudge highly personal, even claiming Jay Lethal’s finishing move, the Lethal Injection, as his own and deploying it in the ring against him.  At Best in the World, these two collide for the decisive and final third match in this Best of Three series. Depending how matters transpire, it could either break or make Kenny King, as Jay Lethal enters the Best in the World in full fiery.

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The Allure (Angelina Love and Mandy Leon) vs Jenny Rose and Kelly Klein

The Allure has made it apparent they do not like Kelly Klein, especially since winning the Women of Honor championship months ago.  The Allure debuted at the G1 Supercard by attacking Klein just moments after her much deserved to win. Klein made history becoming the first competitor to become a two time Women of Honor champion.

But The Allure appears to have an issue with “The Gatekeeper” Kelly Klein, making their own bold statements claiming to be the ones that established the “revolution” that has given rise to greater prestige in female wrestling in modern times.  However, The Allure have made for a lot of big talk in recent times for competitors that have yet to step in the ring.

At Best in the World, they will have their chance to prove whether their words can be backed by action as they take on two of the best female competitors today in Jenny Rose and Kelly Klein.

Best in the World
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Villan Enterprises vs. Mark Haskins, Tracy Williams, and PJ Black

Finally, Villain Enterprises returns from Japan and puts their Six Man Tag Team titles on the line against Tracy Williams, PJ Black, and Mark Haskins.  The latter three will have to learn to work together quickly, given they have only teamed up one time in their past.

This is further exemplified by the fact that Villain Enterprises are undefeated in six-man tag team matches.  Additionally, Brody King and PCO have defeated the Briscoes, the most prestigious tag team champions in ROH’s history, which is no small feat.

Haskins, Williams, and Black are clearly the underdogs going into this match, going against Marty Scuryll, one of the best competitors in ROH today, and two of the most vicious beasts in ROH history in Brody King and PCO.  But if the three underdogs can somehow manage a surprise upset, they have a chance to bring some much-needed gold to their stable, Lifeblood, as the Six-Man Tag Team Championship is on the line.

Micah Shapiro, a native of Seattle, a father, and a husband, holds a Master of Science degree in Conflict Analysis and Resolution from George Mason University, and is a war and history junkie with a fascination for the dramatization and narration of human conflicts (obviously, pro wrestling fits that spectrum very well). He avidly watches independent pro wrestling as an escape from the daily anxieties of life in general, and his logistics day job. Though a typical hermit, sometimes he'll actually leave his house to go to DEFY's shows. Besides pro wrestling and global conflicts, he enjoys BBQ'ing (his specialty is Turkish Aleppo-pepper chicken kabobs), playing adventure and RPG video games, board games, painting war game miniatures, and reading science fiction, horror and fantasy novels.