I recently wrote an article for this website regarding Adam Cole. As a former ROH and PWG champion I questioned where he would go from here. However, you will not find that article online because on the very day I wrote it, I heard news that Cole had announced he would be having shoulder surgery, thus making the article redundant.
It is not yet known quite how long Cole will be sidelined for, but rohwrestling.com announced that Cole will be present on January 3rd in Nashville as part of the Kingdom to address the issue. It seems likely therefore that after that point Cole will be out of action for a number of weeks at the very least. This is a huge blow for Ring of Honor as Cole is their poster boy.
However, thanks to development over the last few months this should not interrupt the quality product that has been produced recently. I wrote an article a while back questioning the depth of the Ring of Honor roster, but today I can say that ROH will cope without Adam Cole. He has been integral to their success over the last few years but thankfully recently, ROH have not rested on their laurels and have brought in new talent to supplement the existing stars. Matt Sydal for example has joined the company once more and has been a superb addition to the roster. He has put on great matches with Cole and Jay Lethal already, and I can’t wait to see what he is going to bring to the table in 2015. Alberto Del Rio has also been announced as joining Ring of Honor in January. It seems unlikely given his work in AAA that this will be a full time deal, but if he can play a similar role to AJ Styles I can only see benefits to the company. The Addiction have been a great addition to the tag team division, and both Daniels and Kazarian are able to produce stellar singles bouts when needed. Finally, the younger guys are being given a chance which is great to see. Alexander and ACH have both received pushes in the past few months, but the two main beneficiaries of ROH’s policy have been Hanson and Adam Page. They’ve been given opportunities to show their abilities and they have grabbed them with both hands. Page recently faced Roderick Strong at Final Battle, and Hanson has wrestled main event star AJ Styles not too long ago. Both seem destined for great things in the company.
Cole will be missed as he has been a constantly entertaining presence on ROH tv and on PPV. He is the top heel in the company today and has put on great performances across the card. A few months back the world title picture would have been in trouble had Cole suffered an injury. Today though, there are more men who deserve the right to face Jay Briscoe for the belt. Roderick Strong, although now a babyface, has to be in consideration, as does AJ Styles. Either of those matches would be fit to headline the next PPV. Television champion Jay Lethal is currently doing great work and should be in contention, as should former Television champion Tommasso Ciampa, despite his recent loss to Michael Elgin. Looking at the wider picture, perhaps Ciampa is the best bet to be world champion in 2015. Michael Bennett is arguably the top heel in Cole’s absence and so may get a shot, and what of the debuting Alberto del Rio? There are so many options that even without the stellar work of Adam Cole, there is reason for Ring of Honor fans to be optimistic about the upcoming year.
Who deserves a shot at the world title? Leave a comment or tweet me @MattSingleton17