Some spoilers lie ahead.
5) Young Bucks & ACH vs The Addiction & Cedric Alexander – Final Battle 2014 – This was supposed to be a nothing match. There was no build up to it, just a combination of stars thrown together to get them on the card at the biggest show of the year. Due to the fact that the Young Bucks and The Addiction are two of the best teams around, and ACH and Alexander are closing in on becoming main event calibre stars, this match ended up being the best on the show, despite being stuck in the middle of the card. The crowd were red hot for this one in Terminal Five in New York, mainly due to the popularity of the Young Bucks and the Bullet Club. The two teams didn’t disappoint. We got all the favourite trademark moves by all the men plus that little bit more. ACH joining in to make it a triple superkick was one of the many highlights. ACH flipping off the apron to avoid Alexander but being caught by the Addiction in a powerbomb/neckbreaker combination was another. Every minute there was another highlight, and the crowd ate it up.
4) Roderick Strong vs AJ Styles – ROH Television – AJ Styles returned to Ring of Honor in January 2014 and straight from the beginning it was clear that this was to be his year. Thankfully he was paired with perhaps the most underrated wrestler in the business today, Mr ROH, Roderick Strong. The two put on a performance that set the bar for the rest of the locker room. This was the match to beat in the next 12 months. For almost thirty minutes the two went to war. Roderick pulled out everything he could, from horrible looking back breakers, to knees, to the sick kick. However he just couldn’t put the Phenomenal One away. It only ended when Strong finally took a nasty looking Styles Clash. This was a precursor to the work Styles would go on to execute in America and in Japan especially throughout 2014. Unfortunately, Roddy would get lost in the shuffle, stuck in the mid card for the rest of the year. Let’s hope he can climb back up the ranks in 2015.
3) Adam Cole vs AJ Styles – All Star Extravaganza VI – Two of the very best in the business today met and absolutely stole the show. That is quite an achievement considering on the very same night the Young Bucks challenged ReDragon in a 2 out of 3 falls match and Jay Briscoe defeated Michael Elgin to become a two time champion. Cole and Styles though, displayed such great chemistry that it was an instant classic. Both men produced technical wrestling to begin before it broke out into a back and forth bout that could have gone either way. The Styles Clash was not enough for AJ, and neither was the Florida Keys for Cole. Styles, the IWGP champion at the time, would eventually pick up the win after hitting a hugely impressive top rope Bloody Sunday DDT. It’s safe to say if these two are ever able to feud in Ring of Honor, especially if it involves the world title, then it could be a defining rivalry in the same vein as Steen/El Generico.
2) Kevin Steen vs Shinsuke Nakumura – War of the Worlds – The crowd was split on this one and rightly so as a Ring of Honor legend battled a New Japan legend in what can only be described as a dream match. Going into this match these two were no doubt regarded as two of the best wrestlers on the planet. It was a lot to live up to, yet they somehow seemed to surpass all expectations. There was no holding back, with stiff shots being thrown throughout. Steen was the victim of some hard-hitting knees at numerous times, such as when Nakumara sent him flying into the barrier after a powerful strike to the back of the head. Steen would not lie down though, hitting a powerbomb onto the apron and even throwing in a dropkick on the IWGP Intercontinental Champion for good measure. All of that action was only in the opening moments, after which the match erupted into one of the most stunning matches of the year in any promotion. It was enough to exhilarate any crowd in any arena in the world.
1) ReDragon vs Young Bucks – War of the Worlds – These two teams are without a doubt, the two best tag teams on the planet today, and over the last year, we Ring of Honor fans have been lucky enough to witness them battle it out three times with the titles on the line. In all honesty all three bouts made a good case to take a place on this list, with both teams bringing something new every single time. First time out, the matchup was a breath of fresh air with the two teams showing great chemistry immediatedly, and the final bout between the two, was settled in a fantastic 2 out of 3 falls match, but it was the middle match that really stands out as the best of the bunch. This match stole the show at War of the Worlds, the best iPPV of the year. That was a show with Steen/Nakamura and Styles/Okada/Elgin on the card. Everything these two teams touch turn to gold there’s no doubt about it. This match epitomised that. From the very beginning it took place at a break neck and there was no chance of calling it; you just have to sit back and enjoy it. One moment that sticks out is Nick Jackson catching O’Reilly with a superkick as he attempted to stomp on him at the chair near the barrier. Also the Bucks kicking O’Reilly’s legs away so he hit a tombstone piledriver on his own partner was another standout moment. Just genius. After that, like the Steen/Nakamura match, it escalated into a classic. There were so many amazing moments it’s impossible to note them all down here. Just go back and watch not just the best tag team bout of the year, but the best match period.
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