5 must-watch matches of Adam Cole before WWE
WWE NXT North American Champion Adam Cole has been on a roll ever since making his debut for the promotion last year at NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn II and current leader of The Undisputed Era is absolutely at the top of his game right now.
Cole, who despite rejecting an offer from the WWE in 2013, opted to stay with his then-home promotion Ring of Honor, where he became the first and only three-time ROH World Champion, a one-time ROH TV Champion, and also joined the legendary Bullet Club in mid 2016, which was pretty much the icing on the cake for ‘The Panama City Playboy’.
During his run with ROH and on the Independent circuit, Adam Cole pretty much saw it all and did it all and ever since making his Pro Wrestling debut in 2008, Cole has competed in some absolutely amazing and astonishing matches. Thus, with that being said, let us now take a closer look at Adam Cole’s top 5 matches prior to his WWE run.
Adam Cole vs Prince Devitt - RPW: Summer Sizzler, 2014
This contest was an international dream match at that point of time, as we witnessed two of the hottest non-WWE competitors go toe-to-toe against each other in a RevPro ring. Devitt, who was apparently on his way out to the WWE, came into this contest paying homage to another iconic comic book character, this time in the form of Bane.
As expected, Devitt had all the crowd support in the world during this match and used the momentum to his advantage, however, Cole eventually countered all of Devitt’s offense with some vicious heel mannerism and some brutal stiff kicks, which were something to watch out for. Cole also did some pretty solid work on Devitt’s leg, with the latter selling it in a decent manner.
Devitt eventually picked up the win via The Bloody Sunday.
Adam Cole vs Kevin Steen - PWG: Mystery Vortex, 2012
This match is pretty much where Adam Cole’s rise in Pro Wrestling Guerrilla started. This violent Guerrilla Warfare match was absolutely insane and fantastic bout, with an equally tremendous story to it.
Steen initially started this match in a pretty dominant fashion and went on to dominate the match through and through in order to capture the PWG World Championship from a very cocky Adam Cole.
Steen’s only motive was to destroy Cole during this showdown and he did exactly what he intended when he powerbombed the champion into the ring apron on numerous occasions in the starting stages of the match.
One of the rather standout spots of the entire match was the top rope suplex into a pile of steel chairs, which evidently was the opening that Cole needed in this match and thus allowed him to eventually get the huge win over a frustrated Kevin Steen.
Let us now look at the main list:
#5 Adam Cole vs AJ Styles - ROH/NJPW: War of the Worlds, 2015
This homecoming match for Adam Cole was a definite instant classic in my mind and the crowd reaction to Cole’s return was equally brilliant when compared to the reaction the ROH fans had for AJ Styles, who was arguably the most over Superstar in Ring of Honor alongside Adam Cole himself.
Cole’s immediate heel work was also a thing of beauty, as he went on to shake Styles’ hand in the beginning but instead just decided to spit on AJ’s hand. Both guys started off the bout in a slow and steady manner and eventually picked up the pace, which is something you’d expect from a classic AJ Styles match.
The closing stages of the match are pretty amazing as well, with both guys coming up with brilliant counters and sequences, with one of them being a crazy Bloody Sunday on the apron from AJ Styles.
Styles eventually connected with two Hollow Points on Cole, which was followed up by a Styles Clash, as the then IWGP Heavyweight Champion ruined Adam Cole’s homecoming party, only for the latter to eventually shake Styles’ hand after the match.