BEST IN THE WORLD RECAP: DALTON CASTLE DEFIES THE ODDS
Despite battling lingering injuries as well as two top challengers in Bullet Club’s Cody and Marty Scurll, ROH World Champion Dalton Castle successfully defended his title in the main event of the Best in the World pay-per-view before a red-hot crowd in Baltimore at the UMBC Event Center.
With his gutsy performance, Castle -- who is closing in on his 200th day as champion -- silenced any of his remaining critics. As for Cody and Scurll, they were not allies in the match, as it truly was every man for himself.
In the ROH World Tag Team Title showdown, Jay and Mark Briscoe turned back The Young Bucks to retain their titles in thrilling Match of the Year candidate. ROH World Television Champion Punishment Martinez and ROH World Six-Man Tag Team Champions The Kingdom also successfully defended their titles, and Jay Lethal maintained his momentum by defeating KUSHIDA in their rubber match.
-- ROH World Six-Man Tag Team Champions The Kingdom (Matt Taven, Vinny Marseglia and TK O’Ryan) defeated Los Ingobernables de Japon (EVIL, SANADA and BUSHI)
-- Flip Gordon defeated Bully Ray by disqualification
-- Women of Honor Champion Sumie Sakai, Tenille Dashwood, Mayu Iwatani and Jenny Rose defeated Kelly Klein and Oedo Tai (Hazuki, Hana Kimura and Kagetsu)
-- Austin Aries defeated Kenny King
-- Jay Lethal defeated KUSHIDA
-- ROH World Television Champion Punishment Martinez defeated Adam Page in a Baltimore Street Fight
-- ROH World Tag Team Champions Jay and Mark Briscoe defeated The Young Bucks
-- ROH World Champion Dalton Castle defeated Marty Scurll and Cody in a Triple Threat Match
ROH World Six-Man Tag Team Champions The Kingdom (Matt Taven, Vinny Marseglia and TK O’Ryan) vs. Los Ingobernables de Japon (EVIL, SANADA and BUSHI)
The Kingdom has been riding high since regaining the titles in May, but the LIJ trio from New Japan Pro-Wrestling posed perhaps the biggest threat yet to their reign.
The champions gained the early advantage by isolating EVIL and triple-teaming him, but he eventually tagged SANADA, who neutralized both Taven and O’Ryan by tying them in knots with the Paradise Lock. After several more minutes of furious back-and-forth action, BUSHI sprayed mist in Marseglia’s face, but Taven and O’Ryan then hit Rockstar Supernova on BUSHI for the victory.
Flip Gordon vs. Bully Ray
Bully Ray tried to ambush Gordon before the opening bell, but Gordon was ready for him. A fired-up Gordon was all over Bully, bombarding the veteran with a flurry of high-flying moves and good old-fashioned fists to the face. Out of desperation, Bully went to his go-to move as of late -- a low blow. The referee called for the bell and awarded the decision to Gordon by disqualification as the crowd showered Bully with boos.
Bully wasn’t finished, however. He got a chair and proceeded to repeatedly bash Gordon’s left knee with it. Eli Isom and Cheeseburger both tried to make the save, but Bully overpowered them. He also shoved down the referee. Just as Bully was about to put Gordon through a table, Colt Cabana came off color commentary with a chair in hand. After a brief standoff, Bully retreated.
Women of Honor Champion Sumie Sakai, Tenille Dashwood, Mayu Iwatani and Jenny Rose vs. Kelly Klein and Oedo Tai (Hazuki, Hana Kimura and Kagetsu)
The eight-woman tag match, which featured competitors from both Women of Honor and Japan’s Stardom promotion, electrified the crowd, which broke out into a “This is awesome!” chant. At one point, Iwatani applied a Dragon Sleeper on Kimura, but Kimura powered out and amazingly reversed it into a delayed vertical suplex for a near fall.
The action broke down, with all eight competitors going at it. After Sakai hit a crossbody off the top rope onto Klein, Hazuki and Kagetsu on the floor, Iwatani and Kimura were the lone competitors in the ring. Iwatani hit a bridging Dragon Suplex on Kimura for the win.
Kenny King vs. Austin Aries
King was looking for retribution after Aries, his former friend and mentor, attacked him several weeks ago following the match in which Aries failed to win the ROH World Television Title from then-champion Silas Young. Aries came to the ring for this bout with his three championship belts from other promotions.
King frustrated Aries in the early stages of the match, repeatedly sweeping Aries’ legs out from under him, but Aries eventually gained the advantage with aggressive tactics both inside and outside the ring. With the action spilling to the floor, King set up Aries for the Royal Flush, but Aries begged him not do it. King showed mercy to his former ally and rolled him into the ring. King went on to hit Royal Flush, but Aries grabbed the bottom rope to break up the pin.
At that point, Aries retrieved his belts and started to leave, but King did a corkscrew flip over the top rope onto him. King took one of the belts and contemplated hitting Aries with it, but Aries took advantage of King’s hesitation and landed a brainbuster on the floor. Aries hit another brainbuster inside the ring for the win.
KUSHIDA vs. Jay Lethal
Lethal, who is on a quest to avenge all of his recent defeats, is 1-1 against KUSHIDA, so this was the rubber match. Surprisingly, KUSHIDA refused to adhere to the Code of Honor before the match.
KUSHIDA seized control early after landing three consecutive flip dives over the top rope, which was an obvious play off of Lethal’s trademark of hitting a trio of suicide dives. KUSHIDA also hit a double axe-handle off the top onto Lethal and mocked Lethal’s mannerisms.
Lethal fought back with hard kicks to KUSHIDA’s left leg. Lethal eventually applied the Figure-Four Leglock, but KUSHIDA made it to the ropes. Lethal went for Lethal Injection, but KUSHIDA countered with the Hoverboard Lock. Lethal managed to escape and went on to hit Lethal Injection for the win.
After the match, KUSHIDA offered a handshake and Lethal accepted.
ROH World Television Champion Punishment Martinez vs. Adam Page in a Baltimore Street Fight
Page set the tone by jumping on Martinez before the bell. The brawl quicky spilled outside the ring, as a chair and the guardrail were used as weapons. At one point, Page superplexed the champion off the guardrail onto the floor.
Martinez turned the tide in his favor after using a zip tie on Page’s wrists, but Page eventually freed himself and speared Martinez through a table that was leaning on the ring post outside the ring. Page then hit a moonsault off the top rope onto Martinez on the floor.
Martinez regained the advantage with a boot to the head and then reached into his bag of tricks -- literally -- by pouring thumb tacks onto the mat. Unfortunately for Martinez, Page back-dropped him into the tacks. Martinez, however, fought through the pain and delivered a South of Heaven chokeslam through a table. Martinez fell back-first onto Page and got the three count for the win, although it appeared that both men’s shoulders were down.
ROH World Tag Team Champions Jay and Mark Briscoe vs. The Young Bucks (Matt and Nick Jackson)
The much-anticipated clash between the ROH World Tag Team Champions and IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champions certainly lived up to the hype, as the match was fast-paced, hard-hitting, off-the-charts exciting and dramatic.
The arch rivals traded big moves throughout the match but both teams simply refused to lose. Jay Briscoe hit the Jay Driller on Matt Jackson, but Nick Jackson made the save just in time. The Young Bucks then hit a springboard Doomsday Device on Jay Briscoe for a near fall. The Bucks followed with More Bang For Your Buck on Jay Briscoe, but Mark Briscoe hit an elbow drop off the top rope onto the referee before he could complete the three count.
The Bucks double-superkicked a chair into Mark Briscoe’s face and followed with the Meltzer Driver on Jay Briscoe, but Mark Briscoe made the save. Jay Briscoe hit the Jay Driller on Matt Jackson onto a chair, but somehow Matt got his shoulder up at the very last second, which sent the already raucous crowd into a frenzy. Finally, The Briscoes hit Redneck Boogie from the second rope on Matt Jackson for an incredibly hard-fought victory.
After the match, The Briscoes continued to assault The Bucks. SoCal Uncensored (Christopher Daniels, Frankie Kazarian and Scorpio Sky) then hit the ring, presumably to join in on the attack. Daniels had a chair and teased hitting The Bucks with it, but he nailed Jay Briscoe instead. After The Briscoes exited the ring, SCU and The Bucks had a brief faceoff.
ROH World Champion Dalton Castle (w/The Boys) vs. Cody (w/Brandi Rhodes and Burnard The Business Bear) vs. Marty Scurll
Any questions as to whether Cody and Scurll would work together against Castle were quickly answered when Scurll hit a Tornado DDT on Cody off the apron early in the match. The two Bullet Club members then traded chops and punches. Later, Cody kicked Scurll low, but “The Villain” issued a receipt by snapping Cody’s fingers and then removing Cody’s “ring of honor” and placing it on his finger.
Castle hit Bang-A-Rang on Scurll, but NWA Champion Nick Aldis, who was seated at ringside and would’ve faced Cody in a champion versus champion match at the All In show in September if Cody had won this match, pulled the referee out of the ring before he could complete the three count. The Boys went after Aldis.
Meanwhile, Scurll grabbed the ROH World Title belt and nailed Castle in the head with it behind the referee’s back. When the referee turned around, Scurll was covering Castle, but Cody and Brandi pulled the referee out of the ring while he was making the count. The referee ejected Aldis, Brandi and The Boys (Cody had ordered Burnard The Business Bear to the back before the match began). Scurll hit Cross Rhodes on Cody, but Castle then hit another Bang-A-Rang on Scurll for the win.