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By James Bullock Jun 11, 2017 - 6:51 AM print

Welcome to another edition of The ROHbot Report – the only article you need for all the Ring of Honor news you have to know. ROH is on the road to its second biggest event of the year and it rolled through the Midwest. Lets find out went down when the gateway was golden.

“Windy City Excellence” TV Taping/“Road to ‘Best in the World ‘17’” Results; June 3rd, 2017; Chicago Ridge, IL
Episode One
- Jonathan Gresham def. Flip Gordon
- Silas Young def. Bobby Fish
- Jay White def. Punishment Martinez
- ROH World Television title #1 Contender match: Kenny King def. Beer City Bruiser, Chris Sabin, and Mark Briscoe in a Four Corner Survival match
Episode Two
- Jay Briscoe def. Josh Woods
- ROH World Tag Team Championship: The Young Bucks def. Tempura Boyz and Coast 2 Coast in a Triple Threat match to retain
“Road to ‘Best in the World ‘17’”
- Jay White def. Punishment Martinez
- Jay Lethal def. Caprice Coleman
- Bully Ray def. Matt Taven in a Street Fight
- Colt Cabana defeated Vinny Marseglia
- The Rebellion def. Dalton Castle & The Boys
- The Young Bucks def. Will Ferrara & Cheeseburger
- The Addiction def. Cody & Hangman Page

This turned out to be not a prototypical taping as many were questioning why only results for two episodes were initially released followed by a list of match results without much rhyme, reason, or promos in between. According to many of those in attendance, everything up to the pull apart brawl between Christopher Daniels and Cody – a moment that will be seen on ROH TV before their “Best in the World” clash – was taped for ROH TV while everything after will be a part of what has become an annual tradition with a “Road to ‘Best in the World’” show. This turned out to be true - making some of the match selections for the live event and not ROH TV definitely leaving a little to be desired including Jay White’s second victory over Punishment Martinez. With Martinez being ROH’s resident monster from both a size and character perspective, it’s quite shocking they’d have him lose twice in one night to the same opponent. There’s also the breaking up of Will Ferrara & Cheeseburger as a tag team. While not a major story in the ROH landscape, it’s be something that has been brewing for some time as the pair continuously lost and Ferrara was growing more frustrated and aggressive in the ring.
When it comes to the actual matches & events taped for TV proved to be incredibly interesting heading into the second biggest show of the year on ROH’s challenger every year. 2017 Top Prospect Tournament winner Josh Woods, who earned a TV title shot with the Tournament win, looked to prove himself against top tier talent en route to his inevitable title match. Very few are better to call out if you want top tier competition in ROH than Jay Briscoe. Woods got more than he could chew and lost his first ROH match against a man who took great exception of being called out and refused to follow the Code of Honor after his victory. On the opposite end of the spectrum were two talents looking to make waves on a lower level as Flip Gordon and Jonathan Gresham reportedly almost stole the show with the first match – a bout that convinced Alex Shelley to give Gordon some kudos about being the future of ROH. Some of the other important stories coming from this taping is Kenny King becoming a top contender to the TV Championship and Bobby Fish’s losing streak causing his frustrations to get the better of him to the point he almost assaulted ROH officials. It’ll be interesting to see how much of this taping makes its way to TV and how much is solely made for VOD/DVD consumption (and maybe even for a “Road Rage” style episode as well).

“Gateway to Gold” Results; June 4th, 2017; Collinsville, IL
- Myron Reed def. Curt Stallion
- Frankie Kazarian def. Flip Gordon
- The Rebellion def. Coast 2 Coast
- Jay Briscoe def. Shane Taylor
- Gauntlet For The Gold #1 Contender Match: Cheeseburger vs. Dalton Castle vs. Jake Crist vs. Jay White vs. Jonathan Gresham vs. Kenny King vs. Punishment Martinez vs. Sho vs. Will Ferrara vs. Yohei went to a double count-out with White and Martinez as the final two
- Mandy Leon def. Stacy Shadows
- Bobby Fish def. Jay Lethal
- Silas Young & The Beer City Bruiser vs. Bully Ray & Mark Briscoe was declared a no contest
- ROH World Tag Team Championship: The Young Bucks def. The Kingdom to retain
- The Bullet Club (Hangman Page & Cody) def. The Motor City Machine Guns
- ROH World Championship: Christopher Daniels def. Jay White and Punishment Martinez in a Triple Threat match to retain

Ring of Honor retuned to Collinsville with a show featuring mostly predictable result, but memorable action for those in attendance thanks to the obviously talented roster. The main event is where things really got interesting as the “Gauntlet For Gold” ended in double count out. Christopher Daniels, only a few weeks away from “Best in the World”, took on the challenge presented to him as he had to defend the gold against Jay White and Punishment Martinez. Taking advantage of Martinez and White focusing on each other and their continued feud, Daniels retained the title in another Triple Threat match. Another title retention seen during the show was The Young Bucks finally gaining a big win over The Kingdom in a championship situation – though the best match of the evening reportedly went to the semi main event that featured not only a fantastic encounter, but also an impassioned speech about their future in the division.
Bobby Fish finally won a match in ROH in 2017, but only due to the interference of Silas Young & Beer City Bruiser – which is incredibly interesting considering the problems Fish and Young have had over the last couple of months. Last, but certainly not least is the growing problem between Jay Briscoe and Dalton Castle. Recently on ROH TV, The Boys cost The Briscoes, Dalton Castle & Bully Ray a match against Los Ingobernables when they saved Castle from taking the blinding mist of BUSHI. Unfortunately for Jay Briscoe, The Boys helping Dalton put him in the line of fire that resulted in Jay taking a rare pin fall loss. Since that night, Jay has been gunning for The Boys and actually cost Castle his match in the Gauntlet in the process. It’ll be interesting to see if we’ll see a singles match between Briscoe and Castle or if it’ll be used to further the Six-Man Tag Team division comes from their issues. This looks like a solid show all around that has become something of a common story when ROH is building toward a big PPV with live events.

Three years after its debut as Ring of Honor’s first-ever live, Best in the World returns to pay-per-view on Friday, June 23rd emanating from the Lowell Memorial Auditorium in Lowell, MA! The ROH Board of Directors have been working overtime signing bouts for the extravaganza and the World Tag Team Championship will be on the line: The Young Bucks defend against War Machine!

When War Machine lost the ROH World Tag Team Championship during the annual ROH-New Japan “War of the Worlds” tour last year, their focus didn’t stay on regaining the gold, but getting revenge on the men responsible. What came from that was a series of matches that removed them from the Tag title scene while opening doors to something different – the shores of Japan. Getting a chance to tour with New Japan, War Machine found success quickly - culminating during “Sakura Genesis” where they became the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team champions. But something was still bugging them: the fact War Machine have done well in a brand new environment while sacrificing the status they had gained in what was once their sole home promotion. Recently on ROH TV, Hanson & Ray Rowe made sure to put everyone on notice that they were coming for the gold and, because of who is in possession of it, The Young Bucks as well. Though War Machine have been successful in New Japan and ROH as of late, the fact remains The Young Bucks have a pair of wins over their next challengers in 2017 under the ROH banner (and another one in PWG). Their most recent encounter was incredible – giving off the initial feeling this rematch should be just as good, if not better their previous clashes. The big question is whether or not War Machine can finally get the stars to align for them in the same way it did in New Japan when they won the IWGP Tag Team title. This might not look like a tall task for War Machine, but history tells a different story. Title change or not, expect a fantastic clash of styles to further make this event a memorable one.

The ROH World Six Man Tag Team title will be on the line in Lowell on Friday, June 23rd when The Briscoes & Bully Ray defend against Dalton Castle & The Boys!

“War of the Worlds: Philadelphia” was meant to be a fun night for The Briscoes, Bully Ray & Dalton Castle. Though they were in the ring with four of the best New Japan had to offer, it was obvious that something had set in emotionally & mentally that forced everyone to act a little less vicious and a little more hilarious. But by the match’s end everything got serious and Los Ingobernables’ BUSHI decided he wanted to use his blinding mist to take his team to victory. But that’s when everything went wrong for the mixed quartet as The Boys saved Castle from being blinded. Unfortunately for Jay Briscoe he was still in the line of fire and couldn’t avoid the dangerous attack. Jay fell into a roll up that resulted in him being pinned – a rarity in ROH. Jay Briscoe obviously took exception to what happened and blamed The Boys for what he believed was an unnecessary loss. Since then, Jay has been hunting the trio in hopes of avenging the loss; going as far as to cost Castle a World title shot in Collinsville. In hopes of killing two birds with one stone, Jay has agreed for his team to put their title on the line for a first-time Six-Man Tag bout featuring one team that has been incredibly dominant since joining forces and another who hasn’t found the same level of success including on pay-per-view. Could this change in Lowell thanks to Jay’s anger blinding him just like the mist the last time Castle and Briscoes were in the same ring. If Castle & The Boys can do the seemingly impossible it will prove to be one of the biggest upsets in ROH history.

At Best in the World Jay Lethal has the opportunity to do battle with Silas Young once again!

It had been over two years since these two men have shared a ring in singles competition before ROH’s most recent return to Lockport. Then, “The Last Real Man” was just getting his footing in ROH after failing to overcome some of the best ROH had to offer including Mark Briscoe. Jay Lethal, on the other hand, was attempting to return to the mountaintop he once occupied as the ROH Television champion. From their previous encounter that saw Lethal overcome Young, “The Greatest 1st Generation Wrestler” went on to become not only a two-time ROH World Television champion, but also the ROH World champion a year-plus after he bested “The Last Real Man”. Then came this year’s conclusion of the “Reloaded Tour”. The two men fought not once, but twice in one night. Their first encounter was a singles bout that saw the same result from their previous match where Lethal walked away as the victor. Though Jay won the battle that night, the spoils of war went to Silas Young as they both men were involved in the Honor Rumble match. They kicked off the match and wrestled throughout until they were the last two men standing. And in a somewhat shocking twist, Young eliminated the former World champion to earn himself a future ROH World title opportunity. Only two weeks after their clash during the “Tour”, Lethal and Young did battle yet again with “The Last Real Man” being unable to avenge his singles loss while Lethal continued to his quest toward regaining the championship he lost at “Death Before Dishonor XIV”.
It would take another six months before these two men found themselves standing across the ring from one another. During this encounter, Young had the home field advantage and took advantage of the situation to pick up a clean win over “The Franchise of ROH”. Young’s victory gave Silas the belief that he was deserving of more from ROH, but it was ROH management going to Lethal with opportunities presented such as sponsorship commercials. Attacking Lethal to make his point that Jay was less of a man deserving fewer opportunities in comparison to him, Young put a target on his back that Lethal looked to hit literally. Coming close to accomplishing his goal early was Lethal on ROH TV, but Beer City Bruiser took the figurative bullet before a tag match alongside Young against Lethal & Bobby Fish (another man who Silas angered over the last couple of months) turned out successful for them. It’s incredibly ironic that Young now has the same opportunity presented to him this time three years ago when he took on another ROH franchise player in Kevin Steen. Young came up short that night, but proved he had to potential of becoming a “big deal” in the company. While things didn’t pan out as planned for Young due to injuries and setbacks, he’s established himself as one of ROH’s unsung heroes while Lethal has taken the spotlight like very few before him. Their previous clashes have been nothing short of fantastic and this one should be no different as the lights are on bright and both men have the opportunity to establish themselves as a top contender in either the TV or World Heavyweight title divisions.

One of ROH’s most intense feuds will reach a violent apex at Best in the World when Hangman Page and Frankie Kazarian fight in a Strap match!

This match had to happen eventually for all the right reasons. Before Frankie Kazarian showed his true colors and helped his best friend overcome The Bullet Club and win the ROH World Championship at ROH’s “15th Anniversary”, “The Heavy Metal Rebel” found himself in the ring with five other grapplers including Hangman Page in hopes of becoming a top contender to the TV Championship. Thanks to his then-unknown temporary partnership with Page, Kazarian walked away with the win to unknowingly set up a glorious night for him and Christopher Daniels. From that night on, The Bullet Club’s enforcer took it upon himself to hunt down Kazarian. Page’s actions went beyond simple in-ring confrontations as Hangman not only cost Frankie the Television title, but also attacked him in the parking deck. Kazarian, who is usually a fun-loving guy in the ring not known for blood feuds, has been involved in some barbaric bouts including Ladder War VI and, most recently, his “War of the Worlds” match with Page that saw Hangman cheat his way to victory following one of the most disgusting moments in ROH history where they traded snot-filled spit. From that night on, Page has taken it upon himself to drive Adam Cole out of ROH while Kazarian has stepped up to prevent Hangman from strangling and whipping prone individuals such as the aforementioned Cole – thus setting the stage for a Strap match for the first time in ROH since “Final Battle ‘13”. Though Page is essentially hunting Kazarian, Frankie will be coming for blood in what should be another wild brawl full of hard-hitting action where Page could gain another big PPV win, or “The Heavy Metal Rebel” could make avenge his most recent pay-per-view loss while settling the score between himself and The Bullet Club once & for all.

Coast 2 Coast vs. The Tempura Boyz

Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Kevin Steen

Samoa Joe vs. Austin Aries

Kelly Klein vs. Jenny Rose

And there you have it. Show that love, or like, for The ROHbot Report and Honor Nation on its Facebook page. Also, if haven’t already, make sure you listen to the latest FREE “Honor Nation” as I talk about Brock Lesnar’s upcoming clash with former ROH World champion Samoa Joe and more (http://www.wewantinsanity.com/am2/publish/free_audio/28_Mins_Honor_Nation_Battle_of_the_Beasts.shtml). And don’t forget to send those questions in for the next “Honor Nation either through the comments section below, on Facebook (The ROHbot Report and Honor Nation on its Facebook page), on Twitter (@fasjab), or by e-mailing me at Bullock@wewantinsanity.com.
Here’s to a great week for you and yours; and as always, thanks for reading.

Till Then.

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