From Zach Levine and Pwinsider.com
Hey everyone. Just got home after a long day in NYC, but had a hell of a time at ROH's Best in the World 2011. Went with about nine friends, some who I have been to every ROH show in NYC last year with, as well as a few newbies who became die-hard ROH fans in the course of the day.
First things first, real glad they moved the show to the main floor of Hammerstein Ballroom. Much bigger space, bigger atmosphere and the crowd reflected that. I'd like to see them use this space more in the future, especially once the TV starts up and bigger names come to the company. Also on a personal note, I was happy not to have to walk up the eight flights of stairs to get to where the ROH shows are usually held, and instead only have to walk up one flight.
First match began at 3:45, and it was the "dark match" between Gen Me and Cole and O'Reilly. This was probably one of my favorite matches of the night, and I hope somehow they can hold this bout again in the future. Cole and O'Reilly are stars in the making, real solid hands. Amazing match, though the end had a random interference from the Bravado Brothers, who I believe made their NYC ROH debuts with this show. They quickly got laid out and were hit with the More Bang For Your Buck finisher, but I was just happy the crowd chanted "Mean Street Posse" at the sweater vest wearing duo.
Opener for ROH was my personal favorite ROH wrestler Colt Cabana vs Tommaso Ciampa. Cabana got a great reaction, and the crowd gave him an "Art of Wrest-ling" chant for a bit due to his popular podcast. Solid match, one I actually just watched last week as a bout between the two from 2009 was featured in Cabana's DVD "Wrestling Road Diaries." Solid match, though Ciampa seemed to slip a little on his powerbomb/backstabber combo.
Next was Mike Bennent vs Jay Lethal. Again a nice match, not too much to write home about. Not sure about Bennent, he seems to me like someone from FCW who just happens to be in ROH. Might be a better fit in Tampa then ROH, but Lethal and he had a great match, and Lethal got the win with the Savage elbowdrop. Not sure if he is going to stay since he's involved in All Wheels Wrestling, but would be nice to see him continue in ROH.
Following was a cool match between Rhino and Homicide. I saw both these guys a month ago at NJPW, and they seem to have good chemistry. Lot of plunder in the match, and was good to see Homicide pull out the win here. Post match Gore through the table looked brutal though, Homicide sold it for a good while before leaving.
Next was Corino vs Elgin. Pre-match Corino talked about how he wanted his friend back in ROH, and I felt someone stomping on the stairs next to where we all sat in the balcony. I turn and Kevin Steen was quickly walking down the stairs next to us, getting a huge ovation. Real cool scene with him and Cornette arguing, then shaking hands. Match itself was alright, I liked the fact my friend gave Elgin the nickname "Mason Rhyno" due to his resemblance to both men. Elgin is a powerhouse in every sense of the word. The post-match turn by Steen was PHENOMENAL. He had the crowd eating out of his hand, and by just nailing Jacobs in the head with the mic, followed by the package piledriver on Corino, a great heel turn was established for someone who really never turned face at all.
One of my favorite matches was next with Daniels vs Generico. Both men put on a hell of a show here, and Daniels enjoyed his heel persona. This was the fifth time I saw Daniels wrestle at Hammerstein at ROH, and every time the crowd would chant F TNA, leading to him waving them off and making them chant ROH. This time, we chant F TNA, and he smiles and does the Jeff Jarrett strut to mock us. Well played sir. But great match overall, Generico had an awesome flip coast to coast and a top rope brainbuster that gave him the TV belt. Not sure how much more of Daniels we'll see in ROH, but really enjoyed this bout.
Four corner tag match was long at points, with a ton of restholds, but what a good match here. Little strange all the teams changed up their music, but was cool to see KOW get their live rapping entrance back. ANX really looked like they belonged here. Some of my favorite spots included a flip dive over the top by Hero that looked like a high dive in track and field, Shelton's top rope jump that suplexed in King and Jay Briscoe, and Claudio's UFO on Haas. I thought ANX might get the belts here, really improved a lot, but was happy to see Haas and Benjamin retain. I'd love to see them go into single's action, maybe later on down the road though.
Last match was def a MOTY leader. Edwards vs Richards was outstanding from all aspects. Hard hitting, great ring psychology from each, lot of painful looking moves. Shame Eddie lost the belt so soon, but it made sense for him to lose to Richards than someone like Daniels or Strong. Richards deserves this belt for what he has done, and it will be interesting to see how well he defends it this summer. I think we could see him defend vs Strong at Glory by Honor X in a Final Battle rematch, or take on some new combatants like Elgin, Ciampa, etc. Personally I'd love to see Steen reinstated and lead to a Richards-Steen match later this year, as in one night Steen became the #1 heel in the company quite fast.
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