2014 ROH Year in Review Part 2

Discussion in 'ROH Feed' started by ROHNEWS, Dec 31, 2014.

  1. June thru September 2014

    As the temperature heated up, so did the tensions in Ring of Honor! The summer of 2014 saw the culmination of one World Champion's reign...and the rise of another. Our successful collaboration with New Japan Pro Wrestling reinvigorated every single individual in ROH. With our LIVE pay-per-view debut on the horizon, the road to Best In The World lead us straight into June.

    Cedric Alexander continued to be a thorn in the side of "Mr. ROH." Along with The Decade, Roderick Strong pledged to teach "disrespectful" young athletes like Alexander to pay their dues and earn their place in professional wrestling. While some like Adam Page cowed to the bullying, Cedric took a stand - he worked and trained and FOUGHT to be where he is and deserves every bit of the success he has achieved. These two would battle their way straight to Best In The World!

    Another quickly escalating conflict emerged between Silas Young and "Mr. Wrestling" Kevin Steen. Young had taken offense to Steen's emotional speech after his match against Shinsuke Nakamura at War Of The Worlds. As we headed into Best In The World, we would see the stakes rise in this rivalry - with Silas insulting Steen's own family as well as his honor. Of course, Kevin Steen's story in ROH was about to take an unexpected turn.

    The month of June was marked by unexpected surprises. The rivalry between Matt Taven and Jay Lethal incorporated some serious mind games when Lethal took on The Romantic Touch in a World Television Championship Proving Ground match. Lethal was obviously not taking the mysterious lothario completely seriously. But as the contest heated up and - surprisingly - The Romantic Touch was in control, Lethal and his manager Truth Martini were baffled. Shockingly, Lethal LOST the Proving Ground match...and "The Romantic Touch" revealed himself to be Matt Taven! That night Taven seriously amped up intensity of this feud, proving to the House of Truth that they CAN be beaten.

    One of the other big shockers was a rare in-ring wrestling appearance by the masked man from the Edge of Sanity, DELIRIOUS! For years, Delirious was an integral member of the ROH roster whose unconventional style saw him involved in everything from hilarious comedy to vicious blood feuds. In recent years, Delirious has stepped away from ROH action. So Carbondale, IL was treated to a very special moment when he took on Michael Bennett on the ROAD TO BEST IN THE WORLD!

    Michael Bennett and Maria Kanellis would make their presence felt in a sinister way the very next night. Assisting World Champion Adam Cole, Bennett and Maria assaulted number one contender "Unbreakable" Michael Elgin. The tensions between Elgin and Cole had been brewing for a very long time, but NO ONE expected what happened in Collinsville on the ROAD TO BEST IN THE WORLD. Elgin's wife, MsChif, hit the ring to make the save, but the numbers were not in her favor. With MsChif forced to watch, Adam Cole and his cohorts SHAVED Elgin's head!


    There are some nights where the energy and excitement crackles in the air. You know you are part of something incredibly special. Sunday, June 22nd, 2014 was an historic night for Ring of Honor - our Pay-Per-View debut! It also saw the ROH of a team determined to make a run at the championship: "The Fallen Angel" Christopher Daniels and Frankie Kazarian. But while the duo that would be known at "The Addiction" came up short against champion’s reDRagon on this night, they made known that they have found a home in Ring of Honor!

    Former NFL star MOOSE appeared at Best In The World for a live interview discussing his decision to sign with ROH. Called the hottest free agent in pro wrestling, Moose showed up in Nashville to confirm that he had made his commitment to Ring of Honor! But Veda Scott interjected to make Moose an offer for managerial services - an offer which he soundly declined. For now...

    But the biggest story coming out of Best In The World would change the entire landscape of ROH. "Unbreakable" Michael Elgin defeated ROH World Champion Adam Cole LIVE on pay-per-view, finally achieving the dream he had been chasing since his first moment in Ring of Honor. With War Machine and MsChif there to finally negate the interference of Bennett and Maria, Elgin got the fair fight he wanted and became the NEW ROH World Champion! Elgin swore to be a fighting champion who would take on anyone, and he would spend the summer of 2014 making good on that challenge.

    Best In The World might have come and gone, but The Decade continued their campaign to teach "respect" to the young athletes in ROH. Despite what Jacobs, Whitmer, and Strong might claim, there was no honor evident in their tactics - and one of the other veterans of the locker room had enough of the bullying. Caprice Coleman assumed the role of mentor and partner, showing the up-and-comers that someone had their backs. Coleman brought some much needed positivity and encouragement to the stand against The Decade!

    Meanwhile, the rivalry between War Machine and The Briscoe’s picked up even more! Obviously, The Briscoe’s are one of the most tenured, respected teams not just in ROH but all of professional wrestling. With War Machine looking to establish themselves, Jay and Mark were more than happy to give Hanson and Rowe a warm welcome, Dem Boys style!

    Veda Scott's unsuccessful pitch to Moose at Best In The World apparently didn't deter her from continuing to push her offer on ROH's newest star. With #TheNewStreak bigger than ever, Veda kept trying to lawyer her way into a partnership with the giant ex-NFL player...with Ramon looking on in disapproval. Moose speared through his competition - solo - as the summer heated up!

    Speaking of heating up, the career of Cedric Alexander got a HUGE jolt when he survived the Golden Gauntlet in Dearborn for an ROH World Championship opportunity. Cedric outlasted the competition in this six man gauntlet match. World Champion Michael Elgin had sworn to defend the title against anyone worthy, and so Head Matchmaker Nigel McGuinness had the chance to open the field of contenders. Now Cedric Alexander was guaranteed a chance to make history and become World Champion!

    And finally, we would all say #ThanksSteenThanks in July, as Kevin Steen made his last appearances for Ring of Honor. Over his time in ROH, Steen won championships, clashed with management, and cemented himself as one of the most memorable and legendary athletes in our history. Steen's farewell tour culminated on July 19th in Dearborn, MI, when he battled his longtime friend and rival, Steve Corino. ROH allowed Steen to handpick his final opponents and Corino was given a one night reprieve from broadcasting duties to join this wild goodbye!


    War Machine was formed out of mutual respect after Hanson and Raymond Rowe battled each other in the finals of this year's Top Prospect Tournament. While Hanson would emerge victorious, the bond between these two brawlers meant ROH got a brand new, seemingly unstoppable tag team! But just as their journey was truly beginning, Raymond Rowe was injured in a horrific motorcycle accident, requiring surgery and extensive rehabilitation. Rowe promised he would be back - stronger and better than ever! But for the foreseeable future, Hanson was embarking on his own.

    In the unfortunate absence of War Machine, another new team stepped up - and this was an unlikely partnership for sure. MOOSE finally joined #TheNewStreak family, the "linebacker to my quarterback," as R.D. Evans proclaimed. Veda Scott ensured that all tag team victories would officially tally under #TheNewStreak!

    Cedric Alexander and ACH were both touted as 2014's Breakout Stars in ROH, and in August they both undoubtedly earned that mantle. Cedric took his World Title opportunity earned in the Golden Gauntlet and battled Michael Elgin. While he didn't leave with the title, he proved to the world that he is ready for the highest level of competition.

    That same night, ACH challenged Jay Lethal for the ROH World Television Title. That match would eventually conclude in a time limit draw...but every single person in attendance proclaimed it an instant classic and quite possibly the best match ever to air on ROH TV! The rivalry between these two is obviously not over yet. And ACH has cemented his place among the absolute best professional wrestlers on the planet.


    The summer of 2014 featured a unique new event from ROH: FIELD OF HONOR! With the ring constructed right on the baseball field, the fans were treated to a huge night of Ring of Honor action...outdoors under the stadium lights!

    And the outdoor setting meant there was literally no limit to the heights Matt Taven and Jay Lethal could take their Steel Cage Grudge Match! Throughout the year, this became a feud embroiled in a hatred that went far beyond the World Television Championship. Both athletes risked it all inside the cage, including a heart-stopping leap from the top by Taven! But in the end, Lethal remained champion...and the future of Matt Taven in ROH appeared to be over.

    Death Before Dishonor weekend was a gigantic two night event bringing the best of ROH to the Midwest! AJ Styles and Kyle O'Reilly squared off in a first time ever encounter in Milwaukee that had "dream match" written all over it. And it MORE than lived up to the hype! Plus Michael Elgin continued his campaign to be the hardest fighting champion in ROH history, taking on all challengers - including surly Silas Young in Young's own hometown.

    But it was Elgin's defense the next night in Chicago Ridge that would have long lasting effects on all of ROH! "The Sicilian Psychopath" Tommaso Ciampa had long insisted that he is overlooked and underappreciated by Ring of Honor officials. So in Chicago Ridge, Ciampa was granted the title match against Elgin he said he deserved. These two had a totally brutal violencefest, a FIGHT for the World Championship fitting of how elite this title is to professional wrestling. Ciampa was unsuccessful...but it was not a loss to be ashamed of by any means. However, Ciampa went on an absolute RAMPAGE after his defeat. He attacked ring crew, ROH officials, Kevin Kelly, and finally concussed ROH Announcer Bobby Cruise with knee strikes. It was an unconscionable, shocking attack and Tommaso Ciampa was justifiably suspended from Ring of Honor - indefinitely.

    Were we seeing some cracks showing in the previously unshakable unit that is The Decade? Jimmy Jacobs swore that everything was a-ok, but Roderick Strong appeared to get a bit frustrated with "young boy" Adam Page's increasingly bold attitude. This blooming confidence only seemed to be ENCOURAGED by Page's former chief antagonist, BJ Whitmer. With "Scrap Iron" Adam Pearce making a special 2 night ROH return to dole out some old fashioned "humility," The Decade's saga was only going to get more intriguing as the second half of 2014 continued.


    Our Canadian return to the historic Maple Leaf Gardens was broadcast LIVE on internet pay-per-view! And it was truly a night of shocking moments that shook up Ring of Honor from top to bottom. Michael Bennett and Maria Kanellis finally revealed what they'd done with the "real" World Title they stole from Jay Briscoe. Barely concealed under Maria's trench coat, the title belt had undergone a bit of a makeover. Bennett and Maria christened the Title of Love and festooned it with pink fur and photos of the power couple. The rivalry between Bennett and the Briscoe’s was obviously not over!

    Michael Bennett's partner in crime, former champion Adam Cole, took on AJ Styles one-on-one - and they tore the house down! AJ Styles is quite possibly the best in the world and his resurgence in 2014 has resulted in classic match after classic match. But if there were any doubts about Adam Cole, in Toronto he proved that he has ascended to the most elite level of competition in professional wrestling. Whether or not he's holding a championship, 2014 showed that Adam Cole has emerged as the pinnacle of ROH athletes.

    In the main event, reDRagon successfully retain their championship against The Young Bucks, continuing one of the hottest rivalries on the planet. These two teams have taken their feud quite literally around the world. They have battled on multiple continents over both the ROH World Tag Team Championship AND the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Championship. The absolute best in tag team wrestling is showcased in ROH, and that's only going to be more evident in 2015!

    But after the conclusion to the main event, Tommaso Ciampa charged into the arena and attacked the ringside area! As previously noted, Ciampa had been suspended indefinitely from ROH following a horrific attack on ROH officials and non-wrestling personnel. Ciampa's rampage in Toronto left Nigel McGuinness with a number of serious decisions to make regarding the future of "The Sicilian Psychopath."

    The biggest shocker coming out of All Star Extravaganza centered around the ROH World Championship. As part of his pledge to be a fighting champion, "Unbreakable" Michael Elgin challenged any and all former champions to face him. Jay Briscoe still maintains that he never officially lost the World Championship - he was stripped of it the summer before. So of course he was ready to step up to Elgin in Toronto! Briscoe had not been pinned since his return, but Elgin seemed so dominant as a champion that most people thought this was the night Briscoe's streak would end. Shockingly, after a spine-shattering Jay Driller, Jay Briscoe defeated Michael Elgin to win the ROH World Championship! This makes Briscoe a two-time World Champion, only the second man in ROH history to secure such an honor. Who would be the next challenge for this two-time title holder? As we headed into the fall of 2014, the entire championship landscape of Ring of Honor was once again up in the air.

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