We see the usual intro, then we go to Kevin Kelly at the ROH Studios in Baltimore, Maryland.
This week will be a special edition of ROH as we look at the rise of Adam Cole. Cole joined ROH in 2009 and became a full-time member of the roster in late-2010, alongside Michael Bennett, Michael Elgin, Kyle O’Reilly and Tommaso Ciampa. Cole & O’Reilly formed a tag-team known as FutureShock soon after and faced tag-teams such as WGTT, the American Wolves, the Briscoes and the Kings of Wrestling, which takes us to our first match joined in progress.
From ROH Honor Takes Center Stage Night 2 on April 2, 2011: The Kings of Wrestling (Chris Hero & Claudio Castangoli) w/Shane Hagadorn & Sara Del Rey vs. FutureShock (Adam Cole & Kyle O’Reilly)
Hero back in and O’Reilly avoids the Kings’ double team and makes the tag to Cole. Cole with dropkicks to both Kings and then hits a senton on Hero. Cole comes off the second rope with a leg lariat, and then sends Claudio to the floor with a dropkick. Cole over the top rope with a frankensteiner onto Claudio, and then O’Reilly comes off the apron with a missile dropkick to Claudio, sending Claudio crashing into the barricade. Crowd comes alive for Cole and O’Reilly. Crossbody by Cole gets a close 2 on Herp. Crowd chants “ROH”. Superkick to Hero, but Hero fights back with the rolling elbow to both Cole and O’Reilly. Claudio makes the tag but it is hit with a Tornado DDT to and O’Reilly holds on to apply the guillotine choke. Hero kicks O’Reilly in the head repeatedly, but O’Reilly refuses to break the choke. Cole superkicks Hero to the outside and nails him with a dive. O’Reilly still has the hold locked in, but Claudio fights out and scores with the Pop-Up European uppercut. A Double bicycle kick by the Kings to O’Reilly and they pick up the win.
Winners: The Kings of Wrestling via pinfall
After a year of teaming together, FutureShock impressed fans and ROH officials more and more during each outing. However, things slowed down for FutureShock when Kyle O’Reilly decided to train more with then-ROH Champion Davey Richards. FutureShock disbanded and Cole formed a partnership with Eddie Edwards, who took Cole on as a protege. This led to the 10th Anniversary show in March 2012, where Cole & Edwards defeated Richards & O’Reilly. We see video from the end of the match when Cole beat Richards with a crossbody, securing the biggest win of his career at that time. But one match really cemented Cole in ROH, we will see that match……………..NEXT!
At Best in the World 2012, Cole took on former tag partner Kyle O’Reilly in a Hybrid Fighting Rules Match where you could only win via knockout or submission. This match seemed to favor O’Reilly, but this match showed Cole was as much of a fighter as anyone in ROH. This became a war and with the following footage, parental discretion is advised.
From ROH Best in the World on June 24, 2012 in a Hybrid Fighting Rules Match (Must win by KO or Submission): Adam Cole vs. Kyle O’Reilly
Cole with a series of back elbows using his good arm, but then both men exchange forearms. Both men hit simultaneous big boots and both go down. Both men then trade right hands back & forth and while doing so, Cole’s front teeth are knocked out and Cole’s mouth is bloody.
The footage shown goes into black and white, with Cole’s mouth being blurred. Both men then trade headbutts coming off the ropes until Cole drills O’Reilly with a superkick. O’Reilly beats the count and knocks Cole down, but he pops right back up. Both men are covered in blood as O’Reilly hits a series of hard strikes, followed by a backdrop driver. The crowd boos as a doctor from the NY State Athletic commission takes a seat at ringside. O’Reilly locks in a front guillotine choke, but Cole counters out into a brainbuster onto his knee. O’Reilly gets to his feet, then Cole superkicks him again, sending O’Reilly tumbling out to the floor. O’Reilly gets back in and tries for a cross armbreaker, but Cole reverses into a Texas Cloverleaf.
O’Reilly tries to reverse into the LeBell Lock, but Cole blocks it and then locks in a Figure 4 and O’Reilly has no choice but to tapout.
Winner: Adam Cole by submission (Figure 4)
After the match, Cole extends his hand, but O’Reilly slaps him across the face and walks off, while the fans give Cole a standing ovation.
Adam Cole then turns his sights to ROH gold, NEXT!!!!
We go to comments from Jay Lethal. Lethal says he is torn inside, because part of me is clinging to the Adam Cole I used to know, the Adam Cole that rode in the cars with me and we would talk about how we can’t wait to be a big success in wrestling and then there’s this new Adam Cole, who takes shortcuts and is a real jerk. Quite frankly, I don’t like him.
We go to comments from Steve Corino. Corino says that everyone seems surprised in the “attitude change” of Adam Cole. I knew from day one that Adam Cole would be the biggest superstar in the history of ROH. In just 3 years, he went from a boy to THE MAN. When they write the history of ROH, they’re not gonna think about Kevin Steen, Davey Richards, Eddie Edwards, Roderick Strong, they’re only gonna talk about one man, the ICON, Adam Cole, just like Matt Hardy.
Shortly after the match with O’Reilly, Adam Cole would win gold for the first time in ROH. We go to video of when Cole defeated Roderick Strong to win the ROH TV Title on June 30, 2012 on an episode of ROH TV. Cole was an defending champion, taking on all comers, but it was the self-professed ICON, Matt Hardy, who brought the change in Adam Cole.
We see video comments from Matt Hardy ripping on Cole in the fall of 2012. Hardy entered ROH and immediately focused on Cole. Hardy got under everyone’s skin very quickly and delivered back-handed comments to Cole. So all eyes were on Final Battle 2012 when Adam Cole faced Matt Hardy in a Non-Title Match.
We go to video of Adam Cole vs. Matt Hardy from Final Battle 2012 in which Hardy cheated to defeat Cole.
After Cole lost to Matt Hardy, Cole became more aggressive. This became more clear after losing the ROH TV Title to Matt Taven at the 11th Anniversary show in March 2013. When Cole got his re-match, it was a three-way match also involving Matt Hardy at Supercard of Honor VII in April 2013. During the match, Cole resorted to using a low-blow to eliminate Hardy, the same way Hardy beat him at Final Battle. The eye for an eye mentality served Cole well and fans certainly appreciated it.
Prior to the three-way match, Cole and several others were awarded ROH World Title shots that was held at the time by Kevin Steen by match-maker Nigel McGuinness after Steen said he had beaten everyone in ROH. But before Cole could get his shot at Steen, Jay Briscoe defeated Steen for the title at Supercard of Honor VII. This set-up Cole vs. Jay Briscoe at Border Wars, which we will see……..NEXT!!
We go to comments from Jay Briscoe. Briscoe asks if they want him to comment on Adam Cole. Y’all don’t want me to do that. OK………here you go, I’m commenting on Adam Cole. That m****rf***er ain’t nothing but a sorry b***h ass, little b***h, f****g sumb***h, I hate his guts, I hope he f****ng rots in hell. F**k that m****rf***er, he can go to hell, he can s**k my d**k.
The H.O.T. then wishes us a HOOPLA Holiday from ROH, followed by Kevin Kelly and Steve Corino, wearing goofy Santa hats.
Adam Cole did get a title match against Jay Briscoe at Border Wars, but was unsuccessful. It looked as if Cole was gonna attack Jay from behind after the match, but he didn’t and walked off.
After Border Wars, Cole began to lose some momentum and matches to BJ Whitmer and Roderick Strong. But more than Cole losing was the way he acted after he lost, displaying a lack of sportsmanship that was very uncharacteristic of Adam Cole. Most notably at Honor in the Heart of Texas when Cole refused to adhere to the Code of Honor after losing to Strong. Those losses forced Cole to buckle down and put wins and losses at the forefront of his mind, which brought about a noticeable change in his attitude, nothing drastic, but obtaining wins anyway possible became paramount and Adam Cole’s new goal. This re-focused mentality began to help Cole, picking up wins and at Best in the World 2013 against Roderick Strong, something happened that seemed to indicate a shift in Cole’s tactics.
We see video from Best in the World 2013 when Strong was superkicked through a table by Cole and at first Cole went to get Strong back in, but when the 20 count by the ref reached its end, he decided to instead leave Strong on the outside and took the count-out win, then celebrated after like he won a hard-fought contest.
One month later, the ROH World Title Tournament kicked off in Providence. It was time for Cole to prove he was the best. We will see Cole’s rise in the tournament……………NEXT!!
The ROH World Title Tournament kicked off in Providence when Cole faced Mark Briscoe in the first round. Mark had just came back from concussion symptoms and when it appeared that Briscoe could not continue, Cole took advantage and superkicked Briscoe, then beat with his brother Jay’s own finisher, the Jay Driller.
Nothing illegal, but suffice to say, Adam Cole’s means to victory were far from honorable. We see video from when Cole defeated Jay Lethal at All-Star Extravaganza V in August 2013 in the Quarter-Finals and then Tommaso Ciampa in the Semi-Finals at Death Before Dishonor XI on September 20, 2013, where Cole showed a very aggressive streak, knocking Ciampa out with a series of kicks to the head to lead him to victory.
So it was down to 2 men, Cole and Michael Elgin in the finals of the ROH World Title Tournament. We go to that match.
From ROH Death Before Dishonor XI on September 20, 2013 in the finals of the Ring of Honor World Title Tournament: Adam Cole vs. Michael Elgin
Elgin with a quick shoulder tackle that sends Cole to the outside. Elgin with a powerslam for a nearfall. Cole counters the Buckle Bomb with a backdrop. Elgin sends Cole to the outside to get out of the Florida Key. Cole with a chancery, then works on Elgin’s arm. Elgin shows off his agility and hits a dropkick. Cole sent into the corner, then Elgin with a press slam for a nearfall. Cole gets out of the delayed vertical and hits a neckbreaker. Snapmare and knees to the back. Basement dropkick for a 1 count. Cravate applied. Elgin gets out with a back suplex for a 1 count. Cole then sidesteps a back drop with a DDT for a nearfall. Chinlock applied by Cole. Elgin fights out, but Cole avoids the spinning backfist and takes down Elgin in a sleeper hold. Elgin gets back up and gets free by driving Cole into the corner. Cole with a pump kick and an enziguri. Elgin with a rolling elbow, but Cole avoids a corner charge. Cole charges, but Elgin with the ST-Joe. Elgin with multiple clotheslines to the front and back of Cole. Elgin with 2 big clotheslines, Black Hole Slam for a nearfall. Cole gets out of the Deadlift German, Shining Wizard for a nearfall. Elgin gets out of the Figure Four, sending Cole to the outside. Cole comes back with an enziguri. Elgin then deadlift Germans Cole from the apron into the ring for a nearfall. Another German by Elgin for a nearfall. Both men head up top, but they then go through CRASHING THROUGH THE TABLE! Ref begins his count and Cole gets back at 16, with Elgin JUST BARELY making it back in! Elgin with a series of offensive moves, ending with the Elgin Bomb, but Cole JUST BARELY KICKS OUT!!! Elgin cannot believe it. Elgin brings Cole back in the ring, but Cole dropkicks his knee when Elgin tries to get back in. Figure Four applied by Cole, but somehow, Elgin is able to make it to the ropes. Cole hits the Florida Key, ELGIN KICKS OUT!!! Cole can’t believe it. “This is awesome” chants by the crowd. Cole with a slingshot DDT to Elgin on the apron. Back in, Elgin blocks the Florida Key, Crossface applied. Cole counters into a pinning predicament for a 1 count.
Cole with a German, followed by ANOTHER FLORIDA KEY!!! 1-2-3!!! NEW CHAMPION!!!
Winner and NEW Ring of Honor World Champion: “The Panama City Playboy” Adam Cole by pinfall (The Florida Key)
Cole celebrates his win, then the music of Jay Briscoe hits and he makes his way to the ring. Jay has the ROH World Title belt and hands the title over to Cole. Cole & Briscoe shake hands. Jay turns his back to Cole and COLE SUPERKICKS JAY IN THE BACK OF THE HEAD!! Elgin gets to his feet and COLE LAYS HIM OUT WITH THE ROH WORLD TITLE BELT!! Cole blows a kiss to Nigel McGuinness and poses with the World Title belt.
A new Adam Cole is born. Adam Cole, World Champion. We see video of Cole with his new music as we go to credits.