Tonight is the night – Ring of Honor crowns a new World Heavyweight Champion! Wrestlezone has been taking a look back at all the tournament matches leading up to Death Before Dishonor XI, including the FIRST ROUND MATCHES and the QUARTER-FINAL MATCHES, and tonight we find out who has what it takes to go all the way.
Before the show (and our live coverage) begins, I want to take a look at our four finalists, highlight their journey (or journey back) to the ROH World Heavyweight Championship, and give my predicted odds of each guy's chance at winning the gold.
Side note: In the interest of full disclosure, I have no idea how to calculate actual betting odds, and I kind of doubt a lot of you would know what they'd mean anyways, so…we're using percentages. As in, "I give this guy a 40% chance of winning the whole thing." If this were a Fatal 4-Way match, Michael Cole would remind you that everyone has a 25% chance of winning, but we all know that's just not true. #GDYC
ADAM COLE – 35%
I first talked to Adam Cole in the fall of 2010, freshly 21-years-old with big dreams and his entire career ahead of him. He was just starting to work with Kyle O'Reilly, and we talked about how competitive the ROH tag team division was. We recorded that interview twice, because my audio equipment stopped working ten minutes in. Less than three years later, Adam is the current reigning PWG World Champion, and has a great shot at becoming one the youngest ROH World Champions in history.
Cole has worked almost his entire ROH career thus far as a babyface. He was loved by the fans briefly as a member of Future Shock, was a beloved ROH World TV Champion, and continued to be a strong challenger even leading up to his title match against Jay Briscoe earlier this year. However, following his loss to the last World Champion, Cole started to show a mean streak – something PWG fans are definitely accustomed to – and it's lead to some of the best character progression I've seen from him since joining Ring of Honor.
Personally, I like heel Cole much more than babyface Cole. It's generally true that being a bad guy in pro wrestling is "easier", as getting crowds to hate you is a simpler process than getting them to legitimately cheer for you. However, my love for the "Panama City Playboy" gimmick transcends ease. Adam Cole is really, really talented. His heel work isn't lazy, it's fantastic. Watch THIS EXTREMELY RELEVANT VIDEO from 2012, prior to PWG's Battle of Los Angeles. He's only gotten better since then. Just a short while after recording that promo, Adam Cole won the PWG World Championship and the right to be called "Mr. P-W-G". Tonight, he's got to get through Tommaso Ciampa, and then through either Kevin Steen or Michael Elgin. But he's my odds-on favorite to win it all, and by the end of the night I think there's a very good chance we'll be calling Adam Cole "Mr. R-O-H".