This was for Cole’s ROH World Championship.
Turning off your brain should not really be a requirement for good professional wrestling, but sometimes it’s nice to just get lost in a nostalgia-based match that has to take every shortcut in the world to ensure its success.
There’s so much about the context of this match that you need to ignore. You have to ignore that ROH is bleeding young talent out the ass because of how much people hate working for them. You have to ignore that ROH has gotten stuck in a pattern of having no vision for years. You have to ignore that ROH has basically run out of fresh wrestlers to be “the guy” that they had to rely on a nostalgia build for this switch.
Then there’s so many aspects of the match itself that you have to look past. Adam Cole is still acting like the hammiest heel in the world. Daniels did an obvious blade-job five minutesin. Ref bumps. Phantom pinfalls. Frankie Kazarian showing up and SWERVING everyone to help Daniels. These are all cheap tactics that a Ring of Honor Championship title match (let alone title change) should never need to use in order to pull off a successful bout.
This is not the ROH World Championship now though. This is now, and has been for a while, the TNA World Championship. And this was a very successful TNA World Championship title change that gave everyone a nice moment that can make everyone not completely loath ROH for a second.
After failing for fifteen years, Christopher Daniels got to win the ROH World Championship. That’s about as big of a victory as ROH is capable of pulling off these days, and they pulled it off in a lively manner. Sadly, what more can you reasonably ask for from what Ring of Honor in 2017? (***)