7/1/15 – Andrew Berg – @WrestleRosters
AJ Styles def. Adam Cole
On a down week between Best in the World and a new TV taping schedule, ROH cobbled together a few of the most entertaining matches from its War of the Worlds tour with NJPW that did not fit in the televised storylines. The headliner among those matches pitted the IWGP Champion Styles against Cole, a younger wrestler who must remind Styles a bit of himself from a decade ago. These two have worked together before, including in a singles match last summer, but this one was particularly fun since it was Cole’s return to singles action after major surgery on his arm.
After a slower paced start in which the wrestlers felt each other out, Cole hit a wheel-barrow slam onto the apron. He failed to lock Styles into his Figure Four, but did hit a big running knee. From there, he gave Kevin Kelly and the fans the middle finger to remind everyone that he is the heel in the match. The delay let Styles recover and hit a suplex into the turnbuckle and a torture rack slam. He tried to enter the ring with a springboard splash, only to meet a superkick from Cole on his way in. Styles fought out of a Figure Four and hit a brain-buster on the apron.
The match built to a very exciting finish that saw lots of counters both ways. Cole ducked a Pele kick and hit his own version of the Styles Clash for a two count. He anticipated several movements from Styles and hit him with big kicks every time. Finally, Styles ducked a running knee and hit the Pele kick. After two piledrivers, he hit the Styles Clash and got the win. Some tense moments between them gave way to a handshake at the end, only reaffirming that Cole could have a similar career trajectory to Styles.
The Addiction def. Kazuchika Okada and Gedo
Naturally, the fans spent this entire match hoping to see Okada as much as possible and cheered accordingly. Early on, Okada broke up an arm-bar by Daniels. A frustrated Daniels shoved Red Shoes (the iconic Japanese referee) and Red Shoes stood up to him and shoved him back. Gedo finally reached Okada for a hot tag and he hit a neck breaker, a drop kick, and a back breaker for a near fall. Daniels and Okada went for cross-bodies at the same time, which slowed both of them down. When Daniels recovered, he missed the Best Moonsault Ever and almost ran straight into the Rainmaker Lariat. Instead, Kazarian threw him to the outside and The Addiction hit Celebrity Rehab on Gedo for the pin. After the match, Okada rescued his mentor with a dropkick and a Rainmaker Lariat to clear house and get some of his heat back.
Adam Page def. Takaaki Watanabe
This match was joined in progress to fill out the show, but still showcased some good wrestling. Page impressively flipped through a German suplex on the floor and hit a shooting star press off the apron. He followed it with a leaping DDT in the ring for two. Watanabe fought back with a side superplex for a near fall of his own. With the referee’s back turned Colby Corino kicked Watanabe from outside. That hiccup in his momentum let Page hit his Rite of Passage inverted neckbreaker to get the win. Page continues to impress and definitely belongs on the list of rising stars in ROH, even if his Decade storyline is not clicking like it could.