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   April 24, 2014



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ROH: Cole tops Elgin, wins ROH World title, then turns heel
By MATT MACKINDER- SLAM! Wrestling


Finally, the Ring Of Honor World title tournament finals come to free TV as tonight, Adam Cole and “Unbreakable” Michael Elgin battle for arguably, the top prize in all of pro wrestling.

Tonight’s show, part of Death Before Dishonor XI, is the culmination of the 16-man tournament that started back in July and ended two weeks ago in Philadelphia. Granted, it’s out there who won, but I have always found it gratifying to still watch it unfold as if I had no idea.

Former ROH champ Jay Briscoe and his brother, Mark Briscoe, are in the parking lot on their way into the building. Jay doesn’t want to go in, but Mark talks him into it.

After a recap of how Cole and Elgin advance through the tournament (Cole beat Mark Briscoe, Jay Lethal and Tomasso Ciampa, while Elgin defeated Paul London, QT Marshall and Kevin Steen), Jay Briscoe comes to the ring with the World title belt. His comments get severely bleeped, but essentially, he picks on ROH matchmaker Nigel McGuinness for stripping him of the title, but said he’s just the messenger. He said he’s been in ROH since he was 18 and has spent his entire adult life making ROH the best company – mission accomplished in my book. Jay finishes by saying he’ll present the belt to the winner later tonight.

A quick promo airs for the debut next week of Outlaw, Inc. – Homicide and Eddie Kingston. Good to see these guys back on TV.

The match on tap, McGuinness announces that in the event of a 60-minute draw, three judges will be ringside – former ROH owner Cary Silkin, ROH talent scout Prince Nana and ROH CEO Joe Koff.

McGuinness and Kevin Kelly are ringside and here we go!

Match #1 – Adam Cole vs. “Unbreakable” Michael Elgin – ROH World Title Tournament Finals

Wow. Just an incredible match that had EVERYTHING! If this doesn’t get votes somewhere for Match of the Year, I will have lost all faith in pro wrestling critics. This match told a story, with Elgin selling an injured neck early and Cole teasing his long-teased heel turn.

The bout probably went a good 25-plus minutes and was a back-and-forth heartstopper. Moves were countered and the pace was perfect. The crowd was geeked for this match, too, as was I. This match is why we are all pro wrestling nerds.

With a table set up on the floor, Elgin goes for a back suplex on Cole through the wood, but Cole turns mid-air and lands on Elgin, who takes the brunt of the table spot.

Elgin goes for his spinning powerbomb finisher, but Cole’s legs clip referee Todd Sinclair, who can’t count the pin. Elgin is miffed, but keeps on with the match.

Without looking at the clock, you can sense the finish is near. Cole drills two belly-to-back suplexes and then hits the Florida Key and gets three! We have a new champ!

Winner via pinfall … and NEW ROH World Champion: Adam Cole

Cole plays the Shawn Michaels WrestleMania 12 emotional card in the ring and the crowd is on its feet for the 19th ROH World champ. Jay Briscoe’s music hits and out he comes, but is he a man of his word?

Jay presents the belt, albeit reluctantly, to Cole and turns to walk away, only to have Cole KO Briscoe with a superkick from behind and then do the same to Elgin with a belt smash to the noggin. Nigel is up in arms and the crowd takes it all in as Cole poses with the belt and a demonic look in his eyes.

Kelly ends the show saying this win will always be remembered for treachery. Well, yeah, but this whole hour had me immersed and I can’t wait until next week. See everyone then!

Matt Mackinder interviewed Adam Cole for SLAM! Wrestling way back when. Now he’s the champ. That makes two World champions Matt has had exclusive chats with for this site. The other? Someone named Bruno Sammartino. Google it, people. Contact Matt at mackindermedia@yahoo.com.