Ring of Honor Feuds and Angles Primer

Given that there seems to be a few people interested in checking out ROH lately, I thought I'd do a quick run down of the recent feuds and angles so people can get a feel for what's going on lately in the former home of many of our favorite WWE stars.

Adam Cole - Ring of Honor World Champion:

The biggest player in ROH currently is Adam Cole, the glorious heel champion that everyone is chasing. He's been champion since a tournament that was held after Jay Briscoe was forced to drop his title in an injury angle because he and his brother Mark were being heavily looked at for WWE (until Jay blew that up by posting homophobic garbage on twitter). When Jay Briscoe returned to action in ROH, he created his own "real" world title, because he had never lost his belt in the ring. This story had been going on for a few months, including Jay successfully defending the "real world title" against Adam Cole previously. Briscoe thus continued to refer to his as "The Real World Title" and encouraged Nigel McGuinness, ROH matchmaker, to have a match with both belts on the line in a Ladder War. Cole, sick of having his title reign denigrated by this false title assented to the match to end any doubt. In the Ladder War the belts were unified as Adam Cole defeated Jay Briscoe.

Adam Cole though, as a good heel does, has a few allies to fight his battles. His primary ally is "The Icon" Matt Hardy, who in kayfabe is his mentor, and might be the most reviled heel in the company, because... it's Matt Hardy, of course he is. Typically, Steve Corino is a relatively evenhanded commentator, but when it comes to Adam Cole and Matt Hardy, he turns into a preteen girl fawning over them. It's very reminiscent of The Brain's relationship with Ric Flair at the commentary booth. On a recent show, while Cole was providing color commentary, Corino, at Cole's request got up, left the booth and got him coffee. It's a sight to behold.

In addition to Matt Hardy, Cole recently gained a new ally by brokering a deal with "The First Lady of ROH" Maria Kanellis to get her real life and onscreen fiancé Mike Bennett to join forces with Cole and Hardy for their battle with the Briscoe Brothers. Bennett defeated Mark at Supercard of Honor VIII, and Bennett and Hardy aided Cole in winning the Ladder War with Briscoe. Now, the upcoming battle is Steen v. Cole, which came into focus on the last episode of the show. Kevin Steen won a title shot previously, but because of Hero coming in, and Briscoe's real world title, that was pushed back for a bit while he handled those two feuds, but now Steen is back into focus.

Additionally, last week, Matt Hardy was presented by Adam Cole with Jay Briscoe's "Real World Championship" to disgust from Kevin Kelly and the crowd, and absolute euphoria from Steve Corino. He decided to rename the title, as the final insult to Jay. Here's the new "Iconic" Championship:


You can see why people hate Matt Hardy.

The Decade:

Another feud currently taking up major television time in ROH is a new heel stable called The Decade. The Decade consists of Roderick Strong, BJ Whitmer, Jimmy Jacobs, Adam Page, and TaDarius Thomas. The idea of The Decade, as created by Strong, Whitmer, and Jacobs, at its inception is that they have been with ROH since the beginning, and never left, unlike all the guys that left for greener pastures like CM Punk, Samoa Joe, Austin Aries, and Daniel Bryan. This brought them into conflict initially with guys like Chris Hero who left ROH and then returned to the company.

The angle in recent weeks though has shifted, and is now focused on the new guys coming in not having respect for the business and the company and just using ROH as a stepping stone to make it into WWE like all the other guys that left. The people they targeted in a big way were guys like Cedric Alexander and Adrenaline Rush (ACH and the aforementioned TaDarius Thomas). They feel that they're not showing the proper respect to the "locker room leaders" like Strong, Jacobs, and Whitmer.

The feud has been especially targeted at Cedric Alexander. Cedric Alexander made the mistake of using a finisher he calls The Lumbar Check, which as its name implies, is a form of backbreaker. Roderick Strong, on the other hand, has been known for years as "The Messiah of the Backbreaker" and thus sees it as incredibly disrespectful that someone would dare try to just use a move he's famous for without even asking for permission. This perceived lack of respect has led to Alexander coming into the firing line of The Decade. A side element of the angle has been certain young guys joining the Decade, such as Adam Page and TaDarius Thomas (who turned on ACH to do it), and being treated as "young boys" by coming to the ring with a bucket and towel, wiping the ropes, giving the three leaders water, and similar menial tasks. The Decade and their "young boys" have continued to cost Cedric his opportunities at Strong, and now they'll be having a showdown at Global Wars, with The Decade barred from ringside to settle it.

The House of Truth:

Yet another feud involves Matt Taven and Truth Martini. Truth Martini is the premiere manager in ROH, and managed Matt Taven since the end of the 2012 Top Prospects Tournament. In the finals, he aligned with Taven by handing him the "Book of Truth" which is a large hardcover book that's akin to his "bible" and Taven smashed TaDarius Thomas with it to win the Top Prospect tournament. Because of that, he was guaranteed a television championship shot, and won the title. He lost it at Final Battle this year to Tommaso Ciampa and informed Truth that he no longer needs him and wanted to make it on his own. Truth did not take this well, and has been battling with Taven ever since, including burning his face, and seeking a new client to replace Taven.

As a corollary to this feud has been Tommaso Ciampa's battle with Jay Lethal. Jay Lethal had a two out of three falls match with Ciampa in August of 2012, where Ciampa tore his ACL. Since Ciampa won the television title, this feud was reignited, leading to matches between Ciampa, Taven, and Lethal in various combinations. Recently they had a triple threat match for the television title, where Ciampa retained the belt after Truth cost Taven his chance at the Gold. This led to a 1 on 1 match between Lethal and Ciampa for the television title, and Ciampa for the first time since his surgery removed his Austin-style knee brace before the match to send a message to Lethal that he has fully recovered from the injury Lethal inflicted on him. They battled back and forth until Truth Martini made his way down to the ring, and slid the knee brace into Lethal who clocked Ciampa with it to win the match and the television title, turning heel and aligning himself with Truth Martini. Now the House of Truth is feuding with both Ciampa and Taven.


The final notable angle worth being picked up on is #thenewstreak. This angle, other than Cole and Co.'s awesome heel work, is my favorite part of the current shows. Basically, it's a total comedic riff on the Goldberg streak, particularly later when it became a farce with all the added phantom victories, with Barrister R.D. Evans playing the role of Goldberg. It's also VERY over with the ROH crowds who are totally into the angle. Steve Corino, heavily, heavily puts it over on commentary, talking about how it's the "greatest streak in professional wrestling history." Evans also has a sign guy, Ramone. Ramone's sole role is carrying a sign keeping track of what the streak is up to and making amazing facial expressions while he does it.

But the most important person in putting over "The New Streak" is his manager, the lovely, hopefully WWE bound, Veda Scott. She works as his lawyer and manager and is doing some fine work in the role. The key to Veda's awesomeness in this angle is she could not give a crap about Evans, but solely cares about the extension of the streak.


One of the best moments so far is a match Evans had with Michael Elgin. The match started after Evans had a victory via Veda interference costing his opponent the match, and Veda wanted another match immediately to extend the streak and called out anyone in the locker room (and Evans was less excited about this), and out came Michael Elgin (ROH's current Cesaro) who basically totally dismantled him for 5 minutes. But because he didn't care about this match, and just wanted to send a message to Adam Cole (who he still feels he deserves a shot at), he brought two chairs into the ring and just powerbombed Evans' lifeless body through them for a disqualification.

The best part of all of this is Veda's acting in this moment. You can see her face visually change from terror to a huge smile as it dawns on her what is about to happen when she sees those chairs set up in the ring. Now did Veda express concern that her client was lying dead? Of course not. She was on the outside celebrating like she just won the super bowl, shouting "15-0 baby!" The streak currently sits at 83-0 as of this writing including wins over ‘Dennis Rodman' and ‘Horace Hogan', and defended in such exotic locations as "Old Orleans" and "Foreign Soil" with maybe five of the wins actually occurring on ROH television. I can't do this angle justice. It is pro wrestling at its finest.

For anyone interested, new ROH TV episodes get posted on their site on Thursdays, and registering for the site is pretty easy, so if you're somehow looking for more wrestling to watch, I'd recommend checking it out.

The FanPosts are solely the subjective opinions of Cageside Seats readers and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cageside Seats editors or staff.