ROH Review – Temperature Rises between Cole and The Kingdom

8/5/15 – Andrew Berg – @WrestleRosters
Adam Cole and Kyle O’Reilly def. The Addiction
Cole, scheduled for a main event match with his old friend and partner O’Reilly, explained that his friendship with O’Reilly would not interfere with his membership in The Kingdom. To that end, the two wrestlers had a familiar, respectful match that revolved around counters and dodges to one another’s offense. O’Reilly took Cole to “head lock city” and kept him in some form of a headlock for several minutes, through a handful of escape attempts.
When Cole finally freed himself, he shoved Christopher Daniels to prevent the guest commentator’s interference in the match. Daniels fought back, Frankie Kazarian joined him, and the match restarted with a reunited Future Shock against The Addiction. Cole hit a brain buster and locked in a figure four. O’Reilly followed it with an O’Connor Roll to win. Chris Sabin and Bobby Fish hit the ring to join the fracas.
The Addiction started to retreat while Cole stood tall with Redragon. Meanwhile, The Kingdom stood on the entrance ramp and stared angrily at Cole. Patient, drawn-out character development tends to work very well in wrestling, particularly when the transition reflects a believable personal development. Here, Cole is reasonably torn between his old friends and his new friends, who happen to be professional rivals. Furthermore, he’s torn as to how to conduct himself in the next stage in his career. It’s a fascinating story that has added a lot of depth to Cole’s already strong character.
Jay Lethal Sends Roddy Strong to the Back of the Line
Although neither appeared in the ring, both Strong and Lethal had taped promos that addressed their match at Death Before Dishonor. In a cold open at the top of the show, Strong demanded a title rematch and said that the fact that Lethal could not beat him in an hour meant that he deserved another match. Conversely, Lethal asserted that he made Strong’s career in their matchup and that Strong wasted his opportunity. Between the slow, steady build that got Strong to this point and the hazy outcome of their first encounter, it’s clear that there is more to come between these two. I’m excited to see it because they work well together and because viable rivals for Lethal are essential to help him reach his potential as a champion.
Young Bucks and AJ Styles def. War Machine
The show had a hot opening match between the rising team of War Machine and the wildly popular Young Bucks. Hanson and Rowe used their big size advantage until Matt and Nick Jackson started their superkick party on the floor. They tried simultaneous moonsaults, but Hanson and Rowe caught them on the floor and slammed them into one another. From the start of the match, there was not a single tag for several minutes. Finally, Nick came down awkwardly on the floor and turned his ankle. AJ Styles came to ringside to check on his Bullet Club stablemate and offered to join the match alongside Matt when Nick could not make it back to his feet.
The referee allowed Styles into the match for the first tag of the evening. When he accidentally hit the referee, Nick jumped back to his feet and hit a superkick. The man advantage helped Styles set up for a Styles Clash on Rowe, which earned his team the win. The dirty finish was an appropriate way for the heelish Bullet Club to pick up a win. The match also helped War Machine because they stood toe-to-toe with one of the most famous tag teams in the world (not to mention Styles) and only lost due to cheating.

Cedric Alexander def. Romantic Touch
With Veda Scott in his corner, Alexander continued to show his more aggressive side. He jumped Romantic Touch at the opening bell and beat him very powerfully. Romantic Touch managed a flurry of offense that culminated in a Topez con Giro. Back in the ring, Alexander continually broke little rules and took shortcuts at every opportunity until he hit a double-knee backbreaker to get the victory.
After the match, Scott told Alexander to remove Romantic Touch’s mask. Caprice Coleman and then Moose entered the ring to chase Alexander away. It was a nice touch to get Alexander some heel heat by integrating his manager’s old beef. I hope to see more of him in bigger spots, particularly since he acquitted himself so well against Roddy Strong last summer when he had the chance.