Saturday night saw Ring of Honor Wrestling present the 2013 edition of their Best in the World event. Live on Internet pay-per-view, ROH looked to give fans a great show.
With eight matches booked, all three titles on the line and many storylines coming to a head, ROH was going to do just that. Unfortunately, technical issues and bad camera work plagued the entire show.
I will get into those issues as they happened, which was right away during the very first match.
Mike Bennett w/ Maria Kanellis and Brutal Bob vs. B.J. Whitmer
B.J. Whitmer picked up the victory here over Mike Bennett with an exploder suplex after failed interference from Brutal Bob. The match itself was quite good.
Both Bennett and Whitmer gave fans solid back-and-forth action throughout, and they proved to be great talents inside the squared circle. It was a good way to open the show for sure.
There were at least two technical issues during the match. To make a long story short for future mentions of this, the issues were the stream freezing and buffering, thus forcing fans to miss parts of the match. It was pretty annoying.
I was hoping ROH would fix the issue, but unfortunately, it continued throughout the entire three-hour event.
The American Wolves vs. Adrenaline Rush
Davey Richards and Eddie Edwards defeated Tadarius Thomas and ACH here after Richards got his knees up to block a Thomas 450 Splash and roll him up for the victory. These two teams put on a great match here. It was fast-paced and really fun to watch. It was tag team wrestling at its finest.
It’s great to see Thomas and ACH finally get a team name. Adrenaline Rush fits them perfectly, too. Watching them in the ring gives you a major rush of adrenaline. Their unique styles are exciting to watch, and it makes them quite the exciting team as well.
The American Wolves are still one of the absolute best teams in wrestling today. They just got back together a few months ago and it was like they never spilt up. Richards and Edwards' chemistry as a team stayed intact.
The Wolves will no doubt be ROH World Tag Team champions again, but Adrenaline Rush isn’t far behind. The gold is definitely in their future as well.
As for any technical issues, the stream froze twice. Despite being a bit annoying, it wasn’t too bad. The majority of the action took place while the stream was working properly. That would soon change, though.
Roderick Strong vs. Adam Cole
Adam Cole defeated Roderick Strong here via count-out after he superkicked him off the apron and through a table. It seemed like Cole would actually help him back into the ring, but he ended up pushing him back down so that he wouldn’t be able to answer the 20-count. For those that don’t know, ROH has a 20-count instead of a 10-count.
This was a very good match between two of ROH’s best wrestlers. They gave fans great back-and-forth action as they continued a night of great wrestling.
It’s weird seeing Cole acting like a heel. He’s been a babyface for quite a while, so it's a different change of pace for him. Strong is typically a heel, but lately he’s been a good guy. I like Strong as a bad guy, though he is working out very well as a fan favorite.
As the match finished, I let out a cheer because there were no issues with the stream throughout the entire match! I thought that they had fixed whatever was going on, but as Steve Corino left the commentators' table to go after Cole, it happened.
Instead of seeing if Corino got to talk to Cole about joining S.C.U.M., fans were treated with a buffering stream. I celebrated too early.
Tommaso Ciampa vs. Michael Elgin
As things got back up and running, Veda Scott was trying to sit in on commentary since Corino left. Kevin Kelly instead wanted R.D. Evans, so Veda had to leave. That was a shame as I like Veda. It made sense, though, since Evans used to manage Tommaso Ciampa before turning on him.
Michael Elgin would then defeat Ciampa with a combination of moves that included spinning back fists, an elbow to the back of the head and a massive clothesline. This was a great match right here. Seeing two of Ring of Honor’s heavy hitters go at each other did not disappoint.
Ciampa and Elgin gave fans a hard-hitting, back-and-forth and very physical contest. There were many tests of strength, feats of strength and just outright intensity. These two guys work great together; their chemistry is phenomenal.
During the match, there were zero technical issues. Then Q.T. Marshall came out post match and, just as he entered the ring, the stream froze. When it returned, he was outside the ring with R.D. Evans. I have no idea what happened. Since Ciampa and Elgin were up, I assume they chased him off.
Matt Taven w/ Truth Martini and the Hoopla Hotties vs. Jay Lethal vs. Jimmy Jacobs: ROH Television Championship
Here is a match that was really hindered by the technical issues. After all three men were introduced, the show froze. When it finally unfroze, Taven was in the crowd as Lethal and Jacobs lay out on the floor.
Kevin Kelly mentioned that Taven flew over the top, but it was completely missed. In fact, I’m not completely sure how much of the match actually occurred during the buffering of the stream.
It continued without a hitch for the majority of the match after that, including when Lethal ripped Scarlet Bordeaux’s top completely off. For a split second, you saw everything! The “We want puppies” chant really brought me back.
Then the stream stopped, and when it finally came back, the match was over. Since Taven was leaving with the belt, I think it’s safe to say that he retained his title, but fans didn’t even get to see the finish.
For what I actually saw of the match, it was very good. The action that was seen was fast-paced and very fun to watch. All three wrestlers performed great in the ring, but the fact that I missed probably half of the contest due to a buffering stream was just ridiculous.
reDRagon vs. C&C Wrestle Factory vs. Cliff Compton and Rhett Titus of S.C.U.M.: ROH World Tag Team Championship
After a short moment of freezing during the introductions, Bobby Fish kicked Cedric Alexander in the head after Alexander hit the brainbuster on Kyle O’Reilly. Fish then draped his partner over onto Alexander to retain their titles.
This was a fun match that featured constant action throughout. It was great to see the champions and C&C work together at first to try to take out a common enemy in S.C.U.M. The Steve Corino-led group is trying to take over ROH, and it’s resulting in babyfaces and heels working together. It’s something TNA should be doing with the Aces & Eights, and something WWE should have done with the Nexus.
The teamwork didn’t last long, though, since it wasn’t an elimination-style match.
Both reDRagon and C&C are great teams. O’Reilly and Fish were put together just days before winning the titles and they have proven to be quite the cohesive unit. Like Adrenaline Rush, Alexander and Coleman have similar styles that mesh well together. As a result, they make a great and entertaining team.
Compton and Titus didn’t get much teamwork in, so I don’t really have much to say about them as a team.
My only issue with the match is that it seemed really short. The stream didn’t freeze during the match itself, so that was good.
Kevin Steen vs. Matt Hardy No Disqualification Match
Before the match, Steve Corino got on the mic to bash Baltimore and praise Matt Hardy. Throughout his promo, he was treated to chants of “Shut the **** up” and “You suck ****.” Just use your imagination and you’ll figure out what those words are.
Corino gave a pretty good promo as Hardy just stood their basking in Corino’s self-promotion. Kevin Steen soon came out to cut a solid promo and to ask Nigel McGuinness, who was now on commentary, for a No Disqualification match. It was granted, and the match got underway.
Hardy would ultimately pick up the victory after three members of S.C.U.M. came out, with Hardy delivering the Twist of Fate onto two steel chairs. The match was quite good, as Steen and Hardy beat the hell out of each other.
Much like Ciampa vs. Elgin, this was hard-hitting and very physical. Steen and Hardy had some help in the form of weapons, though.
It took four people to defeat Steen, so the former ROH world heavyweight champion looks strong in defeat. At the same time, Hardy continues his heelish ways as he prepares for an eventual world championship match.
This contest saw one major technical issue, which was the event freezing right when Steen grabbed a crutch from the crowd. The stream didn’t return until after it was used. Other than that, the use of a trash can, chairs and a ladder went uninterrupted.
Jay Briscoe vs. Mark Briscoe: ROH World Heavyweight Championship
With the entire Briscoe family in attendance, Jay defeated his brother Mark after hitting three Jay Drillers to retain his title. The two brothers gave fans what was the match of the night. They delivered a great back-and-forth matchup that saw nonstop action throughout the contest.
Their chemistry together is phenomenal. Being real-life brothers, they know each other very well inside the ring. It’s that chemistry that makes them a great tag team. They were able to transition it to singles competition, and they really showed that they are two of the best ROH has to offer.
The match saw the stream freeze during two crucial moments. The first was towards the beginning. It froze with both men in the ring, and when it returned, both were on the outside with fans chanting “Holy ****!” Once again, use your imagination. I have no idea what happened.
The second time was when Mark had Jay laying on a table on the outside. As Mark was climbing the ropes, the stream froze and didn’t return until Mark jumped off the top rope onto Jay inside the ring. The table was broken, so Jay most likely went through it. It would have been nice to see the move, though.
With the exception of those two incidents, the match went on without a hitch.
Overall, the 2013 edition of ROH Best in the World was a great night of wrestling. Every single match delivered the goods. All wrestlers were at the top of their game and gave the fans in attendance a night to remember. For what fans watching at home were able to see, we got that as well.
The wrestlers did their job, but it was Ring of Honor that dropped the ball.
For a company that has been around for 11 years and has been doing PPVs online for the past few years, this was unacceptable. Out of the three-hour event, I would guess an hour or so was lost due to their stream freezing and buffering.
You would think that they’d be able to solve this issue, but every ROH iPPV I have watched this year has been plagued with the same problems. Until they can solve this constant issue, this will be the last iPPV I watch from them.
A frozen stream wasn’t the only issue, unfortunately. Whoever is directing the camera cuts backstage needs to be fired. The camera would cut away from the action to show something else throughout the night.
A few examples include; the camera cutting to Truth Martini on commentary when Jimmy Jacobs was about to fly over the ropes during the TV Championship match, cutting away from the action during Steen vs. Hardy just so Kevin Kelly can randomly talk to the camera and the closing moments of the main event. Instead of showing a series of superkicks from Jay to Mark, the camera was cut to a few fans just standing there. They weren’t even cheering!
The crane camera was also constantly in the way of the hard camera. Ring of Honor needs somebody back there that knows what they’re doing.
Best in the World 2013 was a night filled with great wrestling and excellent matches, but technical issues and terrible camera work ruined quite a bit of the show. I love Ring of Honor Wrestling, but they made this fan an unhappy one Saturday night.