Final Battle and Final Thoughts on 2014

Discussion in 'ROH Feed' started by ROHNEWS, Dec 10, 2014.

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  1. By Nigel McGuinness
    What an exciting, interesting, year it has been for ROH. Adam Cole began the year as a seemingly unstoppable world champion, racking up a string of title defenses before Michael Elgin unseated him in June. Elgin fulfilled his prophecy, only to fall from grace within three months when Jay Briscoe shocked every person in attendance - except himself it seemed - that night in Toronto. Suddenly, Jay Briscoe stood as the second-ever two-time ROH world champion.

    We lost one of ROH’s most enigmatic hell-raisers in Kevin Steen, but saw the return of plethora of world class former ROH stars including Christopher Daniels, Matt Sydal and "The Phenomenal" AJ Styles. The young talent all turned up the game to keep pace, with ACH sky-rocketing through the competition to become one of the most exciting and sought-after performers in the sport today. World Tag Team Champs reDRagon justifiably laid claim to being the best tag team in the world, adding the prestigious IWGP junior tap straps to their resume in Japan. The Decade have continued their embittered and ultimately fractured journey toward an absolution some say will never come. And Tommaso Ciampa came up short in his quest to be world champion, losing the plot and nearly his job when he attacked both Bobby Cruise and Kevin Kelly. As always, his story - along with every other - came to a head at Final Battle.

    It was the first show we ever had at Terminal 5, a more intimate, club-style, venue on the west side of Manhattan. Standing room only day of, we managed to squeeze in as many fans who’d showed up as possible. It was an honor, no pun intended, to be able to present my friend and former ROH owner Cary Silkin with a lifetime achievement award. Jimmy Jacobs really elucidated the point when I talked to him before the show, noting how different the landscape of professional wrestling be today if Cary had not continued to financially back the company through all those hard years. Think of all the guys who came here to become the high level performers they did and the effect they have all had on the professional wrestling world since. Whatever else happens in the future, I believe ROH will always have a strong chapter in the annals of pro wrestling history. It is in no small part due to the hard work of everyone involved, but ultimately because Cary put his money where his heart was.

    I always consider it a blessing when my match-making and other official duties allow me to sit ringside to call the action alongside the best announce team in the business right now. The show started with an exciting four-way, followed by a brutal, hard-fought, smash-mouth, match between former Decade member Roderick Strong and current member Adam Page; or vice versa if you ask Jimmy Jacobs. Then Tommaso Ciampa took on Michael Elgin, more than living up to Tommaso's promise of beating the hell out of each other. But then he clotheslined the ref: Everyone saw it; no way of denying it. At the same time, one could also protest - as he did at the time and later that evening - that it was purely accidental. I really feel it’s too soon to make any decision on this. I wish to consult the people he attacked before and the higher up Sinclair officials, as well as contemplating what precedent it will set if I don’t stand by my word. After going straight to the back to consult with Ring Of Honor COO Joe Koff, I have decided I will make a final decision live in Nashville on January 3rd.

    I watched the rest of the show from the balcony and as always was so proud of the talent we have amassed here in ROH. Cedric Alexander and The Addiction vs. The Young Bucks and ACH blew the roof off the place, more than living up to the match people had been salivating about since the moment it was signed. Matt Sydal vs. Jay Lethal turned into the fantastic matchup everyone expected also, with Lethal retaining the World Television title, and also furthering his claim to be the most consummate professional wrestler in the company today. reDRagon retained in a fast moving technical masterpiece against the world class duo of former ROH star Alex Shelley and New Japan star KUSHIDA. Moose continued his streak with the help, whether he needed it or not, of the venomous Veda Scott, who nonetheless has her finger firmly on the pulse of things as we go forward. I’d felt mixed emotions signing the Fight Without Honor between Jay Briscoe and Adam Cole...but it seemed the only way to settle things. I wouldn’t watch the match; but at the end of the day Jay Briscoe was standing tall as World Champion once again and I for one find it hard to see someone taking that belt from around his waist any time soon.

    As I look into 2015, I feel some pressure immediately concerning my decision about Tommaso's conduct, but beyond that I have no concerns for the company as a whole. There is so much talent gunning for the top positions that my job as matchmaker is an easy one for me. Enjoy the holidays and New Year celebrations. We’ll see you in Nashville January 3rd, 2015.

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