RUSH defending the ROH World Championship against Jeff Cobb is a dream match for wrestling fans, but it’s more than that for the two competitors.
Not only will the richest prize in the sport be at stake when the RUSH-Cobb showdown goes down on the Honor United UK tour stop in Bolton Oct. 27 (and streams live for HonorClub), but it will be a defining moment for both of them regardless of the outcome.
— ROH Wrestling (@ringofhonor) October 17, 2019
Cobb has had “future world champion” written all over him since the first time he stepped foot in an ROH ring last year. He destroyed Punishment Martinez in less than 90 seconds to win the ROH World Television Title and won his next 17 one-on-one matches as well.
The former Olympian was the favorite in many fans and observers’ eyes when he stepped into the ring against then-ROH World Champion Matt Taven at Best in the World on June 28, but instead of walking out with the gold around his waist, Cobb walked out with the first blemish on his record.
The crowd at the UMBC Event Center in Baltimore was stunned when Taven planted Cobb with his Climax finisher and pinned him clean in the center of the ring.
Cobb has an opportunity to get the bitter taste of that deflating loss out of his mouth once and for all when he faces RUSH in Bolton. Obviously, winning the ROH World Title from RUSH would be the biggest victory of Cobb’s career.
However, if Cobb loses to RUSH, it could severely damage his psyche. “The Hawaiian Juggernaut” would be 0-2 in ROH World Title matches and could be saddled with the dreaded “can’t win the big one” label.
While Cobb has been nearly unbeatable during his tenure in ROH, RUSH has been literally unbeatable since signing with ROH late last year. “El Toro Blanco” is 18-0 in one-on-one matches.
In addition to RUSH’s win over Taven for the world title at Death Before Dishonor on Sept. 27, his impressive list of victories includes a 16-second steamrolling of former ROH World Champion Dalton Castle at G1 Supercard before a sellout crowd at Madison Square Garden this past April, and pinfalls over the likes of Bandido, Flip Gordon and Mark Haskins, to name a few.
A successful title defense against a challenger the caliber of Cobb would send a message to the entire locker room that RUSH’s reign as ROH World Champion could be a long one.
On the other hand, if RUSH were to lose the title in Bolton, he would have the ignominy of being the shortest-reigning ROH World Champion in history. In an instant, RUSH’s aura of invincibility would be gone.
No disrespect to any of the competitors Cobb and RUSH have been in the ring with previously, but this will be the toughest test to date for both of them.
They’re both powerhouses, but I’d give the edge in agility and technical ability to Cobb. As far as intensity goes, no one is more intense or exhibits more killer instinct than RUSH.
Because of the high stakes and high caliber of athletes in this match, I’m expecting nothing short of an instant classic in Bolton.
Kevin Eck is a veteran pro wrestling journalist who has worked for The Baltimore Sun, WWE and WCW before joining ROHWrestling.com.