ROH 5 Count: Greatest Ladder Wars

In a Ladder War, heated rivalries are taken to new heights, competitors take extreme risks, and championships literally hang in the balance. With ROH World Tag Team Champions SCU (Frankie Kazarian and Scorpio Sky) putting their titles up for grabs against The Young Bucks and Briscoes in a Ladder War at Final Battle on Dec. 14, here’s a look at the greatest Ladder Wars in ROH history:

5. ADAM COLE vs. JAY BRISCOE (Supercard of Honor, 2014)

After Briscoe was forced to relinquish his ROH World Championship due to injury, Cole won a tournament to capture the vacant title, and then he attacked Briscoe when the former champion presented him with the title belt. When Briscoe returned, he showed up with his own title belt and proclaimed himself to be the real world champion since he was never defeated for the title. The dispute was decided in a Ladder War with both belts hanging from the ceiling. Briscoe seemed to have the match won on several occasions, but he was thwarted by Cole’s teammates in The Kingdom, Matt Hardy and Michael Bennett, and Cole prevailed to become the undisputed champion.

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4. YOUNG BUCKS vs. HARDYS (Supercard of Honor, 2017)

Matt and Jeff Hardy stunned the wrestling world when they appeared at Manhattan Mayhem and won the ROH World Tag Team Titles from The Young Bucks in an impromptu match. The Bucks received their rematch a month later in a Ladder War, the Hardys’ speciality match. The climax of the dream match saw two ladders side by side in the ring, with the Bucks on top of one and the Hardys on top of the other. After a struggle, the Bucks simultaneously super-kicked the Hardys off the ladders and then pulled down the belts hanging above the ring to become three-time ROH World Tag Team Champions.

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3. KEVIN STEEN vs. EL GENERICO (Final Battle, 2012)

Not even a Fight Without Honor at Final Battle in 2010 could end the long, bitter feud between these former best friends. It would take a Ladder War with Steen’s ROH World Championship on the line to settle the issue once and for all in ROH. The champion and “The Generic Luchador” punished each other with ladders and chairs for nearly 30 minutes before the match reached its violent conclusion. There were two ladders set up across from one another in the ring, with two other ladders bridged between them. Steen and Generico battled atop the first bridge before Steen delivered a low blow. He followed with a devastating package piledriver that broke the first ladder and sent Generico crashing to the mat. Steen then unhooked his belt for the win.

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The hatred between ROH World Tag Team Champions Jay and Mark Briscoe and the team of Steen and Generico had reached a boiling point, promoting ROH officials to settle the blood feud in the first-ever Ladder War. More than a decade later, it remains one of the most violent matches in company history. The two teams had absolutely no regard for their own bodies as they used ladders to execute high-impact moves and at times took the fight over the barricade into the crowd. During the latter stages of the match, Steen hit a package piledriver on Mark Briscoe through a ladder, and Jay Briscoe spiked Generico with a Jay Driller through a ladder. It came down to Jay Briscoe and Steen battling on top of a ladder, with Briscoe getting the better of the exchange and finally securing the victory.

1. YOUNG BUCKS vs. THE ADDICTION vs. MOTOR CITY MACHINE GUNS (All Star Extravaganza, 2016)

When calling this match, color commentator Steve Corino described it as “the craziest, most insane match I’ve ever seen,” and that’s saying something since it was coming from a former ECW star who certainly had seen his share of crazy, insane matches. The bout pitted three of the top tag teams of the past decade against each other with the ROH World Tag Team Titles held by The Addiction (Christopher Daniels and Frankie Kazarian) at stake. It was filled with one breath-taking, death-defying move after another, as the unforgiving ladders and tables left Daniels and Kazarian bloodied and all six competitors battered. The violent spectacle culminated with The Young Bucks pulling down the championship belts after sending Kazarian crashing through a table with the Indy Taker off a ladder.

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