For those of you that watched a recent episode of Ring of Honor Wrestling, you’ll have witnessed ROH World Champion defeat Jonathan Gresham in a 30-minute Iron Man match to retain his gold. It was an exceptional match, and even though The Octopus gave it everything, it still wasn’t enough to topple the champion.
It seems like there aren’t a lot of options for legitimate opponents to beat the veteran. Sure, there’re guys like Christopher Daniels, Dalton Castle, and Marty Scurll waiting in the wings, and left field choices like Cheeseburger or Kenny King would be a great shout – they’d be great matches regardless. The thing is, there’s only one challenger that would be a logical next step for the legacy of Jay Lethal to be solidified in the history books. A guy who’s recent escapades not just in Ring of Honor, but around the world have given credence to his opportunity to fight the current champion…
If you’ve seen any of the highlights from PWG’s Battle of Los Angeles 2018, you’ll know just how much of an Impact the big man has made. The Battle of Los Angeles is one of professional wrestling’s most prestigious tournaments, giving a whole host of international stars the opportunity to enter it. This year featured a huge range of wrestlers from different nationalities, such as WALTER, Ilja Dragunov, Jody Fleisch, T-Hawk, and Puma King, but the conclusion of the three-day event saw a triple threat elimination match for the crown as Jeff Cobb faced Bandido and Shingo Takagi.
After three days of matches, wrestlers at the point of the finals are broken and bruised, but all three individuals put on one hell of a show, especially Bandido and Cobb. Takagi was eliminated by Bandido after his trademark top-rope somersault fallaway slam, leaving Cobb and Bandido to put on one of the most intense performances the event had ever seen. Near fall after near fall, finishing move after finishing move, the two gave it everything until Cobb hit his finisher from the top rope, then again in the ring for the win.
PWG isn’t the only promotion he’s been a part of over the last few years. He challenged Pete Dunne for the PROGRESS World Championship, competed in NJPW at the Kizuna Road shows, going on to face Hirooki Goto for the NEVER Openweight Championship at the G1 Special In San Francisco, as well as becoming the Lucha Underground Champion in his first match, in Aztec Warfare no less. The man is literally unstoppable at the minute. Since his ROH debut in July, he’s been an unstoppable and unsettling force. Wrestlers built like Jeff Cobb often tend to dominate but not many as convincingly as Jeff.
Hailing from Honolulu, Hawaii, Cobb participated in the 2004 Olympics in Athens, representing Guam in the 84kg weight class, facing the likes of UFC’s Yoel Romero. It was a long road ahead, and he didn’t start wrestling in the professional sense for around 5 years. It was on the amateur wrestling scene where Cobb garnered a lot of praise, eventually breaking into Lucha Underground. Jeff Cobb is a powerhouse, possessing great strength and superb mat skills, at 5 ft 10 and weighing 263 pounds, Cobb’s in ring abilities are nothing short of spectacular.
His appearances in ROH have been about making statements, attacking rising stars like Eli Isom and FR Josie mid match, as well as Charles Zanders and Marcus Kross in another. It’s scary seeing how easy his strength comes to him, tossing them all around like ragdolls and hitting pumphandle slams and his Tour of the Islands powerslam with ease.
Jay Lethal needs a new challenge, and at present, Jeff Cobb is the biggest mountain for him to climb. There’s no storyline at present for Lethal, and I believe it’s only a matter of time before we start to see wheels in motion for the two athletes to face off in the squared circle.Assuming that Lethal manages to retain his title this weekend against Will Ospreay at Death before Dishonour, The next Ring of Honor PPV isn’t until December, where Final Battle will be held in the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York. There’s plenty of time for the storyline to be introduced and subsequently built up, and if anything, ROH can hype big matches. There would be none bigger than this one, and when Jay Lethal has beaten the best, there’s only a force as great as Jeff Cobb left.
As of today, Jay Lethal had held the ROH World Championship for a total of 517 days between two different reigns, and throughout his runs as champion he’s seen off some of the best competitors in proffesional wrestling: AJ Styles, Adam Cole, and Jay Briscoe all fell to the champ. He’s one of the best champions in Ring of Honor history, and what better way to cement himself as the greatest against Jeff Cobb. They are two very different wrestlers, but their styles would compliment each other greatly, and Cary Silkin, if you’re reading, please just make the match already!