Mike Lightning and I are back with our Ring of Honor Best in the World 2012 predictions! The card this year is once again stacked with potentially great matches, so let’s get down to business!
Hybrid Fighting Rules
Adam Cole vs Kyle O’Reilly
ML: So, this feud has come full circle to an O’Reilly special match where he can use his jiu-jitsu training against a professional wrestler. Having already beat who many consider a 2012 breakout star in Adam Cole, this match should be the end of these two fighting on iPPVs. If this match goes to a rubber match it will be on TV.
Prediction: Adam Cole
JT: Being two of the younger and hungrier athletes on the ROH roster, both of these men have to feel like they have a lot to prove. I really hope they start the show with this match and get the crowd hot. These two were a dynamic tag team and will shine as singles competitors in the future. I’m picking Kyle O’Reilly to win the match.
Grudge Tag Team Match
Jay & Mark Briscoe vs the Guardians of Truth w/ Truth Martini
ML: No speculation from me as to who the Guardians could be but with the Briscoes not receiving another title shot against WGTT, ROH needed to put them in a storyline to stay relevant amongst their fanbase. The Briscoes are arguably one of the best tag teams in the business today and with no real background behind the Guardians, this should make for an intriguing match.
Prediction: The Guardians of Truth
JT: The Briscoes have moved away from the tag title scene, but it doesn’t make them any less talented or fun to watch. The Guardians of Truth will probably be unmasked after the match. I’m expecting the best tag team in pro wrestling today(the Briscoes) to be victorious in this tag match.
Former ROH World Champions Do Battle for the First Time in NYC
“Die Hard” Eddie Edwards vs “Notorious 187″ Homicide
ML: With Edwards going through this road to get back into the World Title scene by facing former World Champions, we’re bound to see a lot of high quality wrestling. Edwards has already notched wins over Rhyno and Davey Richards(more to come a little later). Edwards is now primed to face Homicide. Haven’t really heard much from Homicide lately, but he should be able to put on a highly entertaining match with Edwards.
Prediction: Eddie Edwards
JT: Eddie Edwards declared that he wanted to wrestle the best of the best in Ring of Honor. Why ROH picked Homicide is a mystery to me. This will probably be a solid matchup that will elevate Edwards to going after the World Title next month. I predict Eddie Edwards to pick up the win.
3 Way Elimination Match for the ROH World TV Championship
ROH World TV Champion Roderick Strong defends against former champion Jay Lethal & “The Sicilian Psychopath” Tommaso Ciampa
ML: If done correctly, this match could end up stealing the whole card. These three guys are special to watch and Ciampa’s in-ring chemistry with Lethal alone is something special. Strong is one of the Top 20 Wrestlers in all three major promotions in my opinion, and watching him is always fun. Lethal I suspect will be moving into the ROH Title picture real soon.
Prediction: Roderick Strong to retain the ROH TV Title
QuickNote: Lethal will probably be eliminated first by Ciampa, and then Ciampa by Strong probably with a Lethal distraction. We’ll probably see Ciampa and Lethal one more time before Lethal moves on.
JT: I expect these three to have a fantastic match. I also expect Roderick Strong to take a face turn at some point before the end of the year. I don’t see Jay Lethal capturing the title for the simple fact that he needs to be one of the faces to challenge Kevin Steen for the World Title. I think Ciampa needs to continue chasing the title, and I think Strong is the guy who can make him look good over the next few months if the two continue to rival. The TV Title has a lot of prestige and has only had two title changes each year since its creation in 2010. I predict Roderick Strong will retain the title in this match.
Special Challenge Match
“The Belfast Bruiser” Fit Finlay vs “Unbreakable” Michael Elgin w/ Truth Martini
ML: Hard to argue with fact, but Finlay style of fighting plus his age, might take Elgin’s in-ring ability and turn this match into something of a lackluster contest. I hate to say that with as much as I like Finlay and with how much I love watching Elgib wrestle but Elgin is light years ahead of Finlay in terms of ability. I’m still impressed that Finlay can go in there and entertain at his age, though. Don’t look for anything special out of this match, but it should be to watch these two beat each other up.
Prediction: Michael Elgin
QuickNote: This match could send Elgin into the TV Title picture, maybe even catapult him into the World Title picture. We already know he can handle his own in the main event scene.
JT: Finlay loves to fight. Elgin loves to fight. Two powerhouse wrestlers kicking each other’s asses? The fans win here. I predict this to be the most brutal fight of the night without question. Elgin is on his way to big things in ROH, and defeating a vet like Finlay will help boost his stock even further. I predict Michael Elgin to win the match.
ROH World Tag Team Championship
Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team (Charlie Haas & Shelton Benjamin) vs The All Night Express (Rhett Titus & Kenny King)
ML: Before Rhett Titus’ knee injury, ANX was being heralded as the next Tag Champions. After a long drawn out feud with The Briscoes, WGTT finally got the upper hand and won their second set of tag team gold. ANX has been on a roll since Titus’ return and a loss here could kill their momentum. WGTT are two of the most talented wrestlers to grace a ring and Kenny King of ANX should have won Tough Enough 2.
Prediction: Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team to retain the ROH Tag Titles
QuickNote: I don’t think it’s going to get easier for WGTT, Caprice Coleman and Cedrick Alexander won a Proving Ground Match a few months back, they get a title shot whenever. The new tag team of The Guardians of Truth add another team to the mix and ROH, once again, shows why tag team wrestling is important.
JT: The tag team belts used to changed hands every couple of months on average for the first few years of their existence. In the last few years however, ROH has seen fit to have some lengthy title reigns(1 year for the KoW, 8 months for WGTT, 6 months for the Briscoes). I don’t expect Haas and Benjamin to drop the titles in this one, but I do expect quality tag team wrestling and for this to not be the last encounter between these two teams. Haas and Benjamin will retain.
ROH World Championship – ANYTHING GOES!
ROH World Champion Kevin Steen defends against Davey Richards
ML: Richards losing to Steen sparked a character “growth” in Richards’ gimmick, he cut a great promo on Steen the TV taping after Border Wars but he following week lost to Eddie Edwards…? The first time I’ve ever questioned ROH’s booking, I know the loss to Edwards was by a Jimmy Jacobs distraction but it would have made sense, to me anyways, had those two things been reversed, I would have felt the character change was more believeable. With that said, Steen and Richards II should provide less brawling and more wrestling and I imagine it’ll be a show stealer. Both these guys havd incredible talent and in the ring together have some of the best chemistry anyone could ask for. Jim Cornette said this is Davey’s last shot at the World Title.
Prediction: Kevin Steen to retain the ROH World Title
QuickNote: With Richards looming Japan tour departure on the horizon, it makes sense for Cornette to add that stipulation. Difference is; Steen wasn’t the former champ and it wasn’t a rematch. This is a perfect way to explain Richards departure. Steen’s next opponent wil probably be Eddie Edwards.
JT: This match will top their last and will leave the fans wanting a third encounter. I don’t think you’ll see another encounter from these two in 2012. This is it. Richards is going to bring his A-game and give one incredible final performance in ROH before taking some time away from the company. Steen is the top guy now and is building momentum; defeating Richards for a second straight month is the only way to continue doing that. Kevin Steen will retain the ROH World Title and continue his run as Jim Cornette’s worst nightmare.
ML: Best in the World: Hostage Crisis will deliver like most ROH iPPVs deliver. Steen and Richards II will be paced and carried more by Richards this go around and should really showcase just how incredible both guys are. Edwards and Homicide has the opportunity to be somethig special but my eye is on that Triple Threat Match. Those three have something special and if everything goes right, they could rival that Samoa Joe/Daniels/Styles 5-Star Match. As always, look for amazing tag matches and I’m excited for this card.
JT: This card is stacked and will be incredible. Every ROH ppv that I’ve ever seen has been incredible. It baffles me why anybody would pay forty to fifty dollars for a TNA or WWE ppv, but then wouldn’t consider paying just fifteen dollars for a show that gives you THAT MUCH MORE action and excitement. The crowd is usually hotter, and the show is usually better built based on well formulated rivalries. Best in the World will be awesome – check it out for yourself! Until next time, thanks for checking out our predictions!
Prediction scores for 2012(Includes WWE, TNA, and ROH ppv events)