2014 ROH Year in Review Part 1

Discussion in 'ROH Feed' started by ROHNEWS, Dec 30, 2014.

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  1. January - May 2014

    Fresh off of Final Battle 2013, Ring of Honor would start off 2014 off with a bang. With all eyes on the most important championship in the world, the Ring of Honor World Champion Adam Cole would start off the year looking over his shoulder, the list of challengers vast and hungry.

    Former Champion Jay Briscoe, having felt robbed of his title in 2013, took to carrying his own “Real World Championship”. Michael Elgin feeling his time had come wanted another chance to prove himself. Former Champion Kevin Steen would be in the hunt for another reign. Former ROH World Tag Team Champion Chris Hero shocked everyone at Final Battle and immediately put Cole on notice that he too wanted what Cole held so dearly. “The Phenomenal” AJ Styles would return and put Cole on notice with a victory over “Mr. ROH” Roderick Strong. With so much world class competition lined up, it was very obvious why 2014 was destined to be the best year in Ring of Honor history.

    January would see the devious Cole would pair up with his mentor, “The Icon” Matt Hardy to face Jay & Mark Briscoe and Chris Hero & Michael Elgin in 3 way match up. If Cole was beaten, the person who beat the champ would be awarded a future ROH World Championship opportunity. At the end of this wild match in front of a huge Pittsburgh crowd, Chris Hero electrified the fans by pinning Cole to earn an ROH World Title opportunity at the 12th Anniversary spectacular.

    The ROH World Tag Champions Bobby Fish & Kyle O’Reilly, reDRagon rolled into 2014 on fire. Though arguably the best tag team on the planet, both would dip their toes into the deep end of singles competition. Fish would face off with a very angry “Real World Champion” Jay Briscoe. Fish would lose via disqualification after interference by ROH World Champion Adam Cole. At the Wrestling’s Finest event, Kyle O’Reilly would not fare so well in one on one competition with Kevin Steen. With those two big match-ups out of the way, they refocused and set out to make history as a unit in 2014.

    New ROH World Television Champion Tommaso Ciampa would show himself to be a fighting champion. He put his title on the line in January against Silas Young and then in a 3 way featuring former champions Matt Taven & Jay Lethal. Facing the best in his first defenses, Ciampa was setting the tone for a big year.

    Ring of Honor’s annual Top Prospect Tournament kicked off in January. The Top Prospect Tournament would feature Raymond Rowe, Hanson, Kongo, Corey Hollis, Mike Posey, Andrew Everett, Cheeseburger and The Romantic Touch, all fighting for not just a contract with Ring of Honor, but also a shot at the ROH World Television Championship. The two biggest men, Hanson and Rowe would meet in the finals at “Wrestling’s Finest” to determine a winner. With Michael Elgin watching in the aisle, Hanson would have his hand raised in victory. These two monsters would shake hands out of mutual respect and that respect would come into play as the year moved on.


    The excitement was building for the much anticipated 12th Anniversary show and the first ever ROH HonorCon! The harsh February cold was thawed by the intense heat in Philadelphia, PA on February 21, 2014. ROH World Champion Adam Cole would successfully defend his championship against Chris Hero. Kevin Steen would defeat Cliff Compton in a very intense Philadelphia. “The Phenomenal” AJ Styles would get past Jay Lethal. ROH Tag Champs reDRagon would retain their titles in a classic battle with ACH & Tadarius Thomas and Jay Briscoe would defeat a growing antagonist in Michael Bennett.

    The HonorCon weekend was something the fans will never forget after an announcement that set the wrestling world on its ear, Ring of Honor and New Japan Pro Wrestling would come together to put on joint shows in May titled Global Wars and War of The Worlds. Ring of Honor was clearly setting a new standard in its effort to be professional wrestling’s true alternative.

    The Decade consisting of Ring of Honor veterans Jimmy Jacobs, BJ Whitmer and “Mr. ROH” Roderick Strong were starting to make their impact felt. The mission of gaining and teaching respect was in full force. First looking to dull the impact of stars they deemed left ROH and returned as conquering heroes, The Decade would start a campaign to add a “Young Boy”. Their initial efforts were focused on Adam Page & Tadarius Thomas. Cedric Alexander would start his rise as a future star and be the first of many to stand up to the Decade!


    There was an uprising coming. ROH World Champion Adam Cole clearly aligned with “The Icon” Matt Hardy, Michael Bennett and Maria Kanellis. This treacherous group had set out on a mission to rid Ring of Honor of “The Real World Champion” Jay Briscoe. Jay would not sit back and wait for the attacked to come. He would pair up with his brother Mark and turn their sights on getting revenge.

    The Midwest saw the aptly-titled, Raising the Bar Nights 1 and 2, which set the tone for a very exciting spring. Matt Taven, mired in getting revenge on Truth Martini, received an opportunity at Adam Cole’s ROH World Championship in Milwaukee, WI. Taven was a breath away from upsetting Cole for the championship, before the ever-opportunistic champion pulled victory from the jaws of defeat.

    Night 2 saw the first major title change of 2014, The Young Bucks defeated reDRagon to become the new Ring of Honor World Tag Team Champions. The Bucks’ victory appeared to be the start of a storybook rivalry between two of the greatest teams on the planet.


    Violence was the theme heading into Supercard of Honor VIII, as the issue between ROH World Champion and “Real World Champion” Jay Briscoe had reach critical levels. Nigel McGuinness had agreed that these two would face off to determine one champion, signing Ladder War V to settle it.

    “Mr. ROH” Roderick Strong was starting to feel the pressure of Cedric Alexander, who was looking to break through to the next level and most felt that a victory over Strong would propel him. They would meet at Supercard with Strong coming out on top, but this was not the end of this budding rivalry.

    Supercard of Honor VIII took place on one of the biggest weekends of the year in front of likely the most diverse crowds in ROH history. The boisterous RD Evans with the smart, seductive Veda Scott kept “The Streak” rolling with a big victory over “The Last Real Man” Silas Young by disqualification.

    After some very close calls, it was set that ROH World Television champion Tommaso Ciampa would defend again former champion Jay Lethal in a personally significant 2 out of 3 falls match. Lethal would win but with help from his new manager, the despicable Truth Martini. Lethal was now the first two-time ROH World Television Champion and the newest member of the House of Truth.

    “Unbreakable” Michael Elgin would defeat former ROH World Champion Kevin Steen to win a chance at the prestigious IWGP Heavyweight Title. reDRagon, with a chip on their shoulders due to being former champions would defeat Forever Hooligans and the destructive War Machine. Fish & O’Reilly would publicly call for their title rematch against The Young Bucks at War of The Worlds in New York City.

    The Cole/Briscoe rivalry was blazing hot. It had now grown to include more than just the two dominant personalities. Mark Briscoe would go down to defeat to Cole’s running mate Michael Bennett in a wild No DQ match early in the night but the main event Ladder War was brutal, intense, physical, chaotic and violent. In the end, a bloody Jay Briscoe was looking up at a victorious Adam Cole holding both the “Real World Title” and the Ring of Honor World Championship. This battle was won by Cole, but the war was far from over.


    With Ring of Honor long known for being the standard bearer for the best in-ring action in the US, New Japan Pro Wrestling would start a major resurgence with fresh faces like Hiroshi Tanahashi, “Rainmaker” Kazuchika Okada and Shinsuke Nakamura and a troop of bandits known as “Bullet Club” as ROH rolled into a sold out Toronto, Canada and the raucous crowd saw an amazing event.

    Cedric Alexander would prove a lot of doubters wrong by scoring a big win over “Mr. ROH” Roderick Strong. The Briscoe Brothers would defeat The Decade’s, Jimmy Jacobs & BJ Whitmer and reDRagon to maintain momentum heading into an IWGP Tag Team Title match up at War of The Worlds. In a match that left many with their jaw on the floor, ROH World Tag Team Champions The Young Bucks would defeat fellow NJPW tag teams, Forever Hooligans and The Time Splitters in an outstanding spectacle. The legendary Jushin “Thunder” Liger returned to ROH to team with Hiroshi Tanahashi in a winning effort against Shinsuke Nakamura & Jado. ROH World Television Champion Jay Lethal would stand in victory once again beating Matt Taven, Silas Young and Tommaso Ciampa in an outstanding 4 way contest.

    The Bullet Club, IWGP Heavyweight Champion AJ Styles & Karl Anderson defeated CHAOS’ Okada & Gedo. “Unbreakable “Michael Elgin would step in to face off with both men he would be facing the following week in New York City. The ROH World Champion Adam Cole would successfully defend his championship against Kevin Steen. The fans of Toronto got a night of very special action but New York City would see a true War of the Worlds!

    Headed into the Big Apple, The ROH World Championship, World Tag Team titles and World Television Championship would all be on the line. New Japan Pro Wrestling brought the biggest prize in Japan, the IWGP Heavyweight Championship to be defended in front of the fans of Ring of Honor. The greatest fan base in the world was getting a chance to see a once in a life time card.

    War of the Worlds was a night of classics. It started with Matt Taven, ACH & Tommaso Ciampa defeating Forever Hooligans & Takaaki Watanbe, The Decade defeated The World Class Tag Team, Gedo & Jado. ROH World Television Champion Jay Lethal defeated the young upstart Kushida to retain his title.

    IWGP Tag Team Champions The Bullet Club, Karl Anderson & Doc Gallows defeated The Briscoe Brothers. Fans saw Shinsuke Nakamura battle Kevin Steen, with Nakamura coming out on top. Steen wanted to make a special announcement in front of the NYC faithful, but was interrupted by “The Last Real Man” Silas Young. Young proceeded to ruin a special moment for Steen and insulted his family, enraging Steen. Hiroshi Tanahashi, one of the biggest stars in the world, would take on Michael Bennett, with Maria Kanellis. But the lovely Maria showed she would do anything to lead her man to victory and while Bennett had chances to win, ultimately Tanahashi proved to be just too much on this day.

    reDRagon would prove to be the very best on this day as they reclaimed the Ring of Honor World Tag Team Championship. This victory set the tone for a record setting year for the cavalier duo that had UFC’s “Filthy” Tom Lawlor train with Fish & O’Reilly to prepare them for their successful rematch against The Young Bucks

    The final two matches of the night saw ROH World Champion Adam Cole retain his championship with a win over a true legend in Jushin “Thunder” Liger. Cole showed why he is one of the best in the world with this victory. The show closed out with IWGP Heavyweight Champion AJ Styles defeating Kazuchika Okada and “Unbreakable” Michael Elgin in a fantastic match up that saw Elgin separate himself from the pack. He might not have won this match, but he did not skip a beat heading into the biggest match of his life at June’s Best in The World Pay per View.

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