Welcome to KB’s Old School (and New School) Reviews. I’ve been reviewing wrestling shows for over twelve years now and have reviewed over 6,000 shows. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, I’ll be posting a new review here on Wrestlingrumors.net. It could be anything from modern WWE to old school to indies to anything in between. Note that I rate using letters instead of stars and I don’t rate matches under three minutes as really, how good or bad can something that short be?

Best In The World 2019
Date: June 29, 2019
Location: UMBC Events Center, Baltimore, Maryland
Commentators: Ian Riccaboni, Caprice Coleman, Colt Cabana

It’s another pay per view and in this case, the show isn’t looking half bad. They’ve managed to build things up better than usual with television and I’ll take that over what they tend to put together. The main event is Matt Taven defending the World Title against Jeff Cobb because for some reason we deserve Taven as champion around here. Let’s get to it.

Kickoff Show: Flip Gordon vs. Rush

Rush shoves him in the face to start but smiles at Gordon trying to slap him in the chest. A shove by the throat puts Gordon on the floor and Rush drives him into the barricade as this is one sided so far. Back in and a basement dropkick to the back of the head lets Rush get in some pushups.

Flip finally manages a kick to the head and a springboard missile dropkick for a breather. Rush is fine enough to sent him into the corner for the kick to the face and TRANQUILO. Back up and Gordon scores with a kick and strikes to the head, knocking Rush down for one of the only times.

The Star Spangled Spear gets two and Gordon nails a jumping knee to the face, which just seems to wake Rush up. A powerbomb out of the corner gives Gordon two and he sends Rush outside for the suicide dive….which is countered into a whip into the barricade. That’s good for some near falls back inside, followed by the Bull’s Horns for the pin on Gordon at 10:21.

Rating: C+. Rush is all but guaranteed to get a World Title shot soon, though I have a feeling that they might wait until Final Battle to let him run through Matt Taven. It says a lot when they have someone as pushed as Gordon get mauled like this as Rush is clearly someone they want to push to the moon. Just give him a story and we can see how far he goes.

Post match Rush says that he’s going to the top. I think at least, as the audio doesn’t come through that clearly.

The opening video talks about how everyone here is the best but they’re here for different reasons, such as competition, territory or just to be the champion. Nice enough video, especially as this isn’t ROH’s strongest suit.

Dragon Lee vs. Dalton Castle

Lee’s brother Rush destroyed Castle in sixteen seconds at Supercard of Honor so Castle is fighting someone close to Rush without actually having to fight him. Lee goes right with the dropkick into the corner and the Bull’s Horns for two, followed by another dropkick to put Castle on the floor. A hurricanrana off the apron is countered into a powerbomb onto the apron and Castle sends him over the barricade.

Castle tosses him into the chairs and a DDT gives Castle two. The waistlock goes on and of course it’s time to rip at the mask. You know, because it’s always time to go for the mask. A bodyscissors with a half nelson keep Lee down and Castle shakes his head. The mask is ripped and that’s enough to fire Lee up for a whip to the floor. Castle is rocked by a suicide dive and a slingshot dropkick keeps him in trouble back inside.

A reverse hurricanrana gives Lee two as Castle can’t get anything going. Castle’s quick Bang A Rang attempt is blocked and a gutwrench powerbomb is countered into a hurricanrana. Another clothesline sets up the Bang A Rang for no cover, with Castle pulling Lee into the corner instead. The Bull’s Horns finishes Lee at 14:23.

Rating: C+. Castle continues to be someone who feels like the next breakout star, even though he is a former World Champion. That isn’t a good sign for Ring of Honor though as the other companies are going to come after him. When someone has that kind of charisma, you certainly can’t blame them either, and that’s going to be a problem for them.

We recap the Beautiful People showing up earlier this year and calling themselves the Allure for the sake of trying to not make it as obvious. They’ve gone after Kelly Klein and this is their in-ring debut.

Allure vs. Jenny Rose/Kelly Klein

It’s Angelina Love/Mandy Leon for Allure with Velvet Sky on the floor. Klein and Rose go straight to the brawling before the streamers can even be tossed out of the ring. Love drops Rose and yells at Klein, who comes in for some sneering. A shoulder drops Klein again but she’s right back with one of her own. Rose comes in for a double suplex on Love but Velvet gets in a cheap shot to take over.

Some running knees in the corner have Rose in more trouble and Leon gets in a cheap shot to Klein on the floor. Love dives onto the two of them as the announcers recap Mandy and Jenny’s history together. A spinebuster gets Rose out of trouble and it’s back to Klein for the house cleaning. Everything breaks down with Jenny spearing Mandy on the apron. That leaves Klein to hit a super fall away slam for two on Love but Velvet gets on the apron. The distraction lets Mandy get in a shot with a shoe, setting up the Botox Injection to give Love the pin on Klein at 9:30.

Rating: D. Yeah what else were you expecting here? The Beautiful People are back, even though they were a big deal over ten years ago. Love is still fine in the ring and Sky is still good enough at what she does while Leon….well Love and Sky are still good. That being said, it’s not like anything else is working in the division so it’s not the worst idea.

Post match the lights go out and we see a video of someone playing with dolls. Then the dolls are broken apart and the screen says MANEATER. It’s the rather scary looking Maria Manic showing up so the Allure bails, leaving Manic to beat up security, including a spinning torture rack and a Razor’s Edge toss to send one onto the rest.

We recap Jay Lethal vs. Kenny King with Kenny wanting to prove that he is the best after the first two matches of a best of three series.

Jay Lethal vs. Kenny King

Lethal won’t shake the hand so you know this is serious. They fight over arm control to start with King taking him to the arm and kicking Lethal in the back. The Fujiwara armbar goes on but King lets go to load up Lethal’s cartwheel into a basement dropkick. Lethal is ready for that and does it himself, followed by a snap suplex for one. King’s springboard is dropkicked out to the floor but he’s able to sit Lethal in a chair.

That just earns him a drop toehold onto the chair and Lethal teases Pillmanizing the arm (which King did to him recently to no apparent damage). King gets up and suplexes Lethal onto the apron to take over and it’s a Boston crab back inside. That’s broken up so they slug it out with Lethal nailing a middle rope missile dropkick. Lethal hits King’s Royal Flush for two, followed by another dropkick to send King outside again.

The suicide dive is countered with a spinebuster and King debuts a shooting star press of all things for two. Lethal is right back up with the Figure Four but lets go as a woman has thrown in King’s walking stick. Instead it’s the Lethal Injection for two on King and the shock is on. The woman runs off but King uses the distraction to hit a Blockbuster, his own Lethal Injection and the Royal Flush for the pin at 14:37.

Rating: B-. This was better than anything else on the show so far and it was a rather nice match. They have some chemistry together, though I’m still not entirely sure how much potential there is in King. Lethal on the other hand is the standard around here and someone who can be put in this spot and guarantee the big match and higher quality match against anyone. Good match here.

We recap Jonathan Gresham vs. Silas Young. Silas cheated to beat Gresham and has since declared himself the greatest technical wrestler in ROH. This sets up a Pure Rules match, with Young being the best jerk wrestler in years around here, as you had to expect.

Jonathan Gresham vs. Silas Young

Pure Rules (No fists to the face and if you do it twice it’s a DQ. Also, three ropes breaks and then falls under the ropes count.). They lock up against the ropes to start with Silas grabbing a hammerlock. Gresham is fine on the mat until Young gets up with a slap to the face (legal). Back up and Gresham uses his first rope break to get out of a waistlock as Young carried him over to the ropes in a smart move.

Young tries to do it again so Gresham pulls him down by the wrist for a save. Gresham blocks a stomp on the mat and grabs the leg as he gets back up. That’s enough to send Young over to the ropes and they’re tied at a rope break apiece. The Octopus sends Young straight back to the rope for the second break and frustration is setting in.

Back in and Gresham takes him down without much trouble before hitting a hard chop. Young punches him in the face, which is his only warning before a DQ. They head outside with Gresham being whipped into the barricade (There are no rules against that?) and then getting caught in the abdominal stretch back inside. The half crab sends Gresham to the ropes for his second break so they’re down to one each.

Young hits a backbreaker/clothesline combination to set up a seated full nelson. That means Gresham’s third rope break so he can start fighting again. Gresham goes up top but his back flares up, allowing Young to grab another full nelson. This time Gresham has to slip out and try the Octopus, but he gets clever and grabs Young’s hand to put it on the rope to get rid of the last break.

They forearm it out and trade failed suplex attempts until Young suplexes him over the top for a big crash to the floor. Back in and the referee goes to fix the apron, allowing Gresham to hit an uncharacteristic low blow. Now the Octopus can go on and with no breaks yet, Young taps at 18:15.

Rating: B-. This was a match with a big, long story coming in and I’m not sure how well the payoff worked. Gresham going with the cheating to win doesn’t feel right, though it certainly could lead to something. If nothing else, it was awesome to see Young being such a jerk leading into the match. What we got here wasn’t bad, but I think it slipped under the weight.

We recap the Briscoes vs. Colt Cabana/Nick Aldis. The Briscoes got annoyed at the NWA during the Crockett Cup so they laid out Villain Enterprises, Aldis and Cabana. However, Cabana is injured so Eli Drake has been put into his spot in a surprise.

Eli Drake/Nick Aldis vs. Briscoes

Mark and Eli start things off and it’s a long lockup with Drake sending him into the corner. it’s already off to Aldis vs. Jay with the latter slapping on a headlock. Jay knocks Drake off the apron so Aldis slugs away, only to get caught in the wrong corner. The big double shoulder has the Briscoes in control and the fans rather pleased.

Drake is right back in though and a double suplex puts Mark down. That means the E-LI-DRAKE elbow for two but that’s more than enough selling, meaning Jay comes back in for the double clothesline. Drake avoids a charge in the corner and hits a jumping neckbreaker, allowing the tag back to Aldis.

Everything breaks down and Mark hits an Iconoclasm for two on Drake. Aldis’ distraction lets Drake run the corner for a superplex, followed by a Burning Hammer of all things for another near fall. Jay comes back in and Redneck Boogey connects for two more. Mark hits a running dropkick through the ropes to Aldis, followed by the Bang Bang Elbow. The brawl is on and it’s a double countout at 10:57.

Rating: D+. I knew the ending to this one coming in and I still got annoyed at the double countout. I get why it needed to happen as you don’t want a big tag team to lose but you also don’t want the World Champion/newcomer to lose. That doesn’t make it any better, but it does make a little more sense. It doesn’t help when it was a pretty weak match in the first place without any time to really go anywhere. Drake looked awesome though, as usual.

Post match James Storm comes out so Drake spits water in his face and the two fight to the back. That leaves Aldis to get laid out on a table as Ian has to hold Cabana back. Kamille Kane comes out with security but that goes nowhere, allowing Mark to hit the Froggy Bow through the table. After the Briscoes leave, cue Marty Scurll to check on Aldis and help him out, teasing that Aldis could be the surprise new member of Villain Enterprises.

We recap Shane Taylor vs. Bandido for the TV Title. Bandido beat him in a non-title match, annoying the rather dominant Taylor. Rather simple story and there’s nothing wrong with that.

TV Title: Bandido vs. Shane Taylor

Taylor is defending and Bandido slaps him in the face to start. That ticks Taylor off so Bandido can start ducking and dodging in a fast manner. They head outside and this time Taylor catches him with a powerbomb onto the apron to take over. Back in and the chinlock goes on but Bandido kicks him in the head for the break. Another kick to the head sets up a corkscrew crossbody to send Taylor outside.

You don’t do that against a luchador and it’s a running dive to take Taylor down again. Back in and another middle rope moonsault keeps Taylor in trouble but he catches a charge in the corner with something like a chokeslam. The middle rope splash gives Taylor two but Greetings From 216 is broken up. A superkick rocks Taylor but the 21 Plex is blocked with a grab of the rope. The powerbomb and a knee to the head set up a package piledriver for two on Bandido.

That means frustration sets in so Shane goes up….AND BANDIDO CATCHES HIM IN MID AIR??? That’s the kind of thing that impressed people when Diesel did it to Bret Hart so good freaking grief man. Bandido powerslams him for two and a shooting star gets the same. Another 21 Plex attempt is countered into the Greetings From 216 to retain the title at 12:35.

Rating: B. It takes a lot to truly shock me with a spot but Bandido, who is far from a big guy, pulling Taylor out of the air, actually stunned me. I don’t remember the last time that happened but my goodness it was awesome. Bandido is a lot more than just a high flier but he’s awesome at that too, making this one a very nice surprise.

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Six Man Tag Team Titles: Mark Haskins/Tracy Williams/PJ Black vs. Villain Enterprises

Haskins and Williams (part of Lifeblood) and Black are challenging but the champs come out in Legion of Doom spikes so they win by default. They even have custom titles to make things that much better. Haskins and Scurll start things off and it’s time to fight over some wristlocks. Since they’re British, that means some very snazzy escapes until it’s a standoff with the fans rather pleased.

PCO and Black come in with Black’s kicks not having much effect. A superkick doesn’t do much either so PCO hits a pump kick, meaning it’s time for the other pair to come in for the first time. Williams blocks a chop and pulls King into an armbreaker over the rope. With that broken up, they strike it out again until Scurll comes in to crank on Williams’ eternally bad arm.

The challengers are sent to the floor for a cannonball from King and an assisted cannonball from PCO for the big crash. Back in and King charges into a German suplex from Williams. It’s right back to Scurll, who gets caught in the wrong corner for a Rocking Horse from Black. Some running kicks to the head get two but Scurll is right over for the hot tag to King.

A backsplash crushes Haskins and Williams and everything breaks down. PCO dives onto Williams and Black, leaving Haskins to take a backsplash from King onto Scurll’s knees for two. PCO comes back in but a chokeslam attempt is quickly blocked. Everything breaks down again (Were they ever back together?) and it’s an assisted piledriver for two on PCO (with the referee counting to three after the kickout to annoy Lifeblood).

Back up and PCO gives Haskins White Noise, leaving Black to superkick Scurll. PCO clotheslines Black to the floor but Williams powerbombs him onto the apron. Black’s springboard moonsault gets two on Scurll but King busts out a springboard double wristdrag n Williams and Haskins. Well of course he does. Scurll is back up as King Ganso Bombs Black and the PCOsault retains the titles at 16:58.

Rating: C+. The issues here are the same as always in a Six Man Title match: it’s entertaining and fun, but there is little in the way of actual tagging and these teams still don’t do much other than fight in title matches. That doesn’t make them bad, but it limits how high up they can go on the totem pole.

Post match the Soldiers of Savagery run in for the beatdown but Bandido makes the save. Cue Bully Ray (of course) with a chair but Flip Gordon (Ray is there so of course Gordon is too) with a kendo stick for the staredown. Ray leaves so Lifeblood offers Flip a shirt, but he doesn’t put it on.

Instead the lights go out and it’s Scurll coming up on screen to announce the newest member of the team: FLIP GORDON, who is on screen next to Scurll (recorded) and then in the ring to beat up Lifeblood. Eh I’ve heard of worse twists and it’s not like Lifeblood means anything anymore. The rest of the Villains come out for the beatdown, including the 450 from the top to put Williams through the table. Since it’s Flip, that was a dislocated elbow, though it’s not clear if he’ll miss time.

Ring of Honor World Title: Jeff Cobb vs. Matt Taven

Cobb is challenging after asking for a title shot instead of wanting a rematch for the TV Title. On the other hand, Taven is champion because Ring of Honor invested so much time into him and have to get their money’s worth, even as the attendances die with him on top. We get a handshake to start and Cobb hits a hard shot to put Taven on the floor early on.

Back in and Taven tries to speed things up, only to have Cobb catch him without much effort. An overhead belly to belly and a delayed suplex slam keep Taven in trouble so let’s have another breather. This time Cobb follows him out but gets caught with a cheap shot. Taven nails the suicide dive and Cobb’s shoulder is banged up. Back in and the frog splash misses, leaving Cobb to hit a one armed pumphandle drop.

The standing moonsault gets two and a northern lights suplex is good for the same. Cobb hits the swinging belly to back but a powerbomb is countered with a hurricanrana. Taven knees him in the head a few times for two and the Climax gets the same. A wheelbarrow suplex drops Taven but the Tour of the Islands is countered into the second Climax to retain the title at 9:48.

Rating: C-. So you remember all of Taven’s matches where he wasn’t all that interesting and people were sacrificed to get him over? This was one against Jeff Cobb that ran 9:48. For the life of me I don’t know what Ring of Honor sees in him but it’s certainly not something I can get behind. He’s just so completely average and right now, this company needs something a lot more exciting than that. The matches are perfectly fine (and he’s capable of very good) but there’s just nothing between the matches to make me care about him. Cobb will be back, but my goodness they need to get the title on someone else soon.

Overall Rating: B-. This show was very back and forth with some rather good matches and some stuff that makes me want to see whatever else is on. The wrestling is still much better than the storyline stuff so the show was fun, but I need a lot more stuff to care about. It was a good enough show, but some of the matches feel as uninteresting as you can get. They need to fix their creative issues and get rid of Taven as champion before it’s too late, though given all of the other companies growing so fast, it might already be.

Thomas Hall has been a wrestling fan for over thirty years and has seen over 60,000 wrestling matches. He has also been a wrestling reviewer since 2009 with over 6,000 full shows covered. You can find his work at kbwrestlingreviews.com, or check out his- Amazon author page with 30 wrestling books.

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