This match was storytelling perfection. All the elements of a well-written novel were in place.
For the introduction, neither team seemed like they were on the same page. Both Richards and Edwards tagged themselves in at the start of the match. Then Cole tagged himself back in to take on Richards.
The match was no longer about two teams vying for dominance. It was about four men with axes to grind.
As the action rose, we were shown a combination of O’Reilly/Edwards and Richards/Cole, building the narrative before the former teammates faced off.
When they did, the passion, the hatred and the betrayal spilled into the ring. The anger was palpable. The match even collapsed into a tornado tag match for 10 minutes.
The story reached its climax when Richards and Edwards stared each other down while destroying the others’ younger partner.
The best part was the falling action.
The easy ending is Adam Cole getting pinned or submitting. He was the latest to the feud. He felt like the guy invited to play golf only because they needed a fourth.
Adam Cole pinned Davey Richards after a flying crossbody.
Richards, the ROH Champion, accepted defeat like a sportsman, but O’Reilly refused to shake anyone’s hand after the match. It increased my hatred for O’Reilly and convinced me that his whiny sycophancy over the last month was intentional.
However, they were interrupted by Kevin Steen, who challenged Richards to convince Jim Cornette to set up a match between them. This was the first time that Kevin Steen detracted from what was happening.
Verdict: thumbs up.
Best Moment: Richards and Edwards facing each other with their partners locked in a single-leg Boston crab, seeing who could make someone tap first. That was awesome enough, but then they started slapping each other with their free hand. It was a microcosm of the entire storyline.