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The ROHbot Report: Final Battle 2017 Review And More

By James Bullock Dec 16, 2017 - 11:24 AM print


(ROHbot Report Note: For the tenth year in a row, the coveted Honor Sprockets will be up for grabs in The ROHbot Report Year End Awards two weeks from today. The categories include Breakout Star of the Year, Feud of the Year, Event of the Year, Match of the Year, Biggest Story of the Year, Tag Team of the Year, and, of course, Wrestler of the Year. Feel free to share your thoughts and who & what should take the awards.)

Welcome to another edition of The ROHbot Report – the only article you need for all the Ring of Honor news you have to know. It’s the biggest weekend of the year for ROH as it produces not only the “Final Battle 2017” pay-per-view, but also a TV taping that’ll see the immediate fallout from the big event. Lets find out what went down when Ring of Honor returned to the Hammerstein Ballroom.

“Final Battle” Results; December 15th, 2017; New York, NY
- Matt Taven defeated Will Ospreay
- War Machine defeated The Addiction
- Jay Lethal defeated Marty Scurll
- ROH World Tag Team Championship: The Motor City Machine Guns defeated Best Friends to retain
- ROH World Television Championship: Silas Young defeated Punishment Martinez, Shane Taylor and Kenny King to become the new champion in a Four Corner Survival Elimination match
- Street Fight: The Briscoes defeated Bully Ray & Tommy Dreamer
- ROH World Six-Man Tag Team Championship: The Hung Bucks defeated Flip Gordon, Dragon Lee & Titan to retain
- ROH World Championship: Dalton Castle defeated Cody to become the new champion

“Final Battle” kicked off in grand fashion this year with one of the least anticipated bouts of the evening from a build standpoint, but had the talent able to steal the show early in former TV champs Will Ospreay and Matt Taven. Of course Ospreay didn’t waste any time utilizing his highflying skills, hoping to take out not only Taven, but also Matt’s Kingdom brethren Vinny Marseglia & TK O’Ryan. Unfortunately for Ospreay the numbers cost him as the distractions from The Kingdom members cost him some precious time on offense; eventually leading to “The Aerial Assassin” not only taking some big strikes, but also holds such as the Boston crab. The match’s finishing sequence saw Taven get his frog splash countered and put in position for the OsCutter. Being aware of what was about to happen, Taven countered the attack with Climax to pick up a big singles victory only a week after his victory over Jay Lethal on ROH TV. This was a perfect opening contest with everything you’d want to get excited for the rest of the card topped off by Taven picking up another big victory that could position him as a future World title contender.
A feuding dating back to last spring restarted on ROH TV recently as The Addiction cost War Machine the ROH World Tag Team Championship. Hanson, who almost got his beard cut off by The Addiction on ROH TV, was on fire early on by helping his partner power their opponents around while Christopher Daniels and Frankie Kazarian tried to find any type of shortcut possible to turn the tides; finding that moment when Ray Rowe tried to suplex Kazarian into the ring and Daniels tripped Rowe to send “The Heavy Metal Rebel” descending atop him. This illegal activity from “The General” put Rowe on the wrong part of town and forced him to fight his way to his partner before tagging out to a fired up “War Beard”. Though acts of cowardice have been The Addiction’s thing for the last few months, their abilities as a duo allowed them to stand toe-to-toe with the much stronger & larger competition as they stopped the Fallout and set up the Best Meltzer Ever on Rowe after a series of big maneuvers and tags allowed Ray to become the legal man yet again and Daniels as the person who could potentially pint him. Thankfully for Rowe, Hanson was there to make the save with double back handspring back elbows that wiped out Kazarian and left Daniels prone to the Fallout for the three count in another highly entertaining bout that probably could’ve gone a little longer to really put it over the top.
After antagonizing Jay Lethal for not being the man (and winner) he once was, Marty Scurll – decked out in all white – entered his second “Final Battle” to take on the arguable face of the company and the only man to hold the ROH World & Television titles at the same time. Being “The Villain” that he is, Scurll tried to use every dirty trick in the book early from using the referee as a shield, using the ropes for leverage when trying to pin Lethal off roll up, and even playing possum in hopes of catching his opposition off guard (the latter failing as Lethal did the same while utilizing a chair that he placed around his neck as if Scurll had bashed his head in). But between all the chicanery was the action expected of this match as Lethal took the sky, Scurll tried to attack the left arm of Lethal in preparation for the Chicken Wing, and they traded chops aplenty. The fans were into everything down the home stretch as Scurll pulled off the Last Shot for a near fall. Growing desperation was starting to show in Lethal’s face as he left the ring to retrieve Scurll’s infamous umbrella. Conflicted just like he was on ROH TV, Lethal couldn’t make a decision as the referee took the potential weapon from him; leaving Jay open to an umbrella to the head as Scurll had another planted under the ring. Lethal somehow kicked out before the three count, countering the Chicken Wing with a low blow as the referee removed the second umbrella from the ring; executing the Lethal Injection for good measure to pick up the victory to cap off an exceptional match that lived up to the hype. Scurll looked so comfortable in the ring for a match that could be a pay-per-view main event down the line. Lethal had to resort to desperate measures to win – something that left him conflicted, but could easily leave the door open for a rematch down the line.
The first title match of the night was up next as The Motor City Machine Guns defended the ROH World Tag Team Championship against Best Friends Beretta & Chuckie T. The opening moments were fast, furious, and even funny as moments like Alex Shelley stopping a Best Friends hug in the ring, only for Chuckie to somersault plancha his opponents on the floor to run up the aisle and embrace his partner were the norm. For some reason the fans started losing interest as the champs (specifically Shelley) got a little dirty by performing such actions as the tree of woe to Beretta’s groin. Chuckie was the house of fire when he eventually got the tag; re-invigorating the crowd was the challengers tried to isolate Chris Sabin. Though Shelley was there to save his partner from sure pins off such big maneuvers as the double team sliced bread and Strong Zero, Sabin couldn’t make it to the right part of town and seemed to be ready to be pinned off one more big move. Chuckie had the piledriver in mind when Sabin countered with a cradle for a rather anticlimactic pin to retain. What should’ve been a great bout turned into just a solid one unfortunately. A rematch down the line to see if they can put together the bout expected of them here shouldn’t be out of the question.
It was time for more multi-man action, but it was the Television title being contest for as Kenny King found himself on the wrong end of a challenger sandwich early in this Elimination match. Things broke down quickly and bodies started diving through & over the ropes to wipe out opponents at ringside. Unfortunately for Shane Taylor, King took advantage of the hired gun trying to take out everyone by executing the Royal Flush to put him out of the match almost out of nowhere thanks to some help from Punishment Martinez (who was the recipient of a Death Valley driver against the turnbuckles moments earlier). With Beer City Bruiser by his side, Young went for broke and called on his buddy to help him as King started running wild. As King went for the pin on Martinez following another Royal Flush, BCB distracted the referee so Young could break a beer bottle over the champ’s head. Knocked unconscious, Kenny King’s TV title reign came to an unceremonious end via a pin fall; leaving Martinez and Young. Young used a high & run approach, but couldn’t avoid the multi-faceted offense of Punishment. But being a jack-of-all-trades in the ring eventually cost Martinez as he used a somersault plancha to take down his opponent, but hurt his ribs in the process. “The Last Real Man” took advantage of the situation Martinez inadvertently created for himself by avoiding a flying back elbow in the corner that rattled his abdomen and left him prone to several knees and Misery that allowed Young to pick up the three count to become the new ROH World Television champion. While it was great to see Silas Young finally become a ROH champion, the match itself was definitely lacking the quick insanity expected of Four Corner Survival bouts as well as a crowd greatly appreciative of what was happening. It’s also disappointing King’s reign is already over; though it’ll be interesting to see if he’s chasing the new champ or will Martinez be the first man coming after “The Last Real Man”.
Probably the second most anticipated bout of the evening was up next as “The Extreme Originals” of Tommy Dreamer & Bully Ray entered the ring Sandman style for a match with The Briscoes that, as expected, was a crazy brawl from bell to bell. On the floor & around ringside were the areas where Ray & Dreamer thrived as they beat the brothers with a trashcan housing a collection of streamers thrown through the night thus far, chair shots and even somersault dives off the apron; Ray & Dreamer even had light sabers to contend with The Briscoes’ kendo sticks. Unfortunately for Bully & Tommy it was their want to give the fans what they asked for in a big table moment that cost them as Mark dropkicked the retrieved table in their faces to split Ray’s head. The Jack Daniels violence of The Briscoes were in full display as they used a cheese grater on Ray’s forehead, wore out Dreamer with chair shots including a chair-assisted time bomb neck breaker, and prepared to bash Bully in the head with a table just like Jay did to him at “Death Before Dishonor XV”. The latter intended action is what cost Dem Boys as Bully stopped what they had in mind and set of a chain of offense that included the 3B, a Spicolli Driver off the apron through a table on Mark by Dreamer, and Bully using the Superfly splash to put Jay through a table. The Extremists had one big intended ace up their sleeves: lighting a table on fire in hopes of driving Jay through it with 3D. Mark stopped the igniting, helping his brother hit the 3D on a table that wouldn’t break until Mark drove Bully through the table with his Froggy Bow to win this excepted barbaric brawl that saw the right people win. This was an ode to a style of wrestling that is no longer en vogue with guys doing incredibly harmful things to their bodies. While a little slow at times, it perfectly encapsulated what the feud has been about and reiterated that The Briscoes are the baddest team in the ROH landscape with or without the Tag Team title while giving Ray an appropriate sendoff if this is his last ROH match.
Following the long-awaited announcement of a Women of Honor title being instituted in 2018 with the belt being shown off as well as some of the women from the Women of Honor division and STARDOM wrestling who will compete for the gold in a probable single elimination tournament, The Hung Bucks looked to welcome Flip Gordon and his latest tag team partners in CMLL stars Dragon Lee & Titan to Ring of Honor courtesy of a #SuperKickParty. Scorpio Sky – who Gordon asked to help him fight The Bullet Club once, only to leave him behind for other wrestlers like Lee & Titan – joined the commentators to air his grievances while the champs put on their typical show of high flying, faux Code of Honor handshakes and dives including one by Nick off the entrance ramp to level everyone. The CMLL stars were not to be outdone by their opponents as they pulled off some impressive maneuvers including Lee’s head scissors over the top to pull Nick off the apron. Unfortunately for the challengers headed by Gordon yet again they (in this case Flip and Lee) were the recipients of that Rite of Passage/Indytaker/Meltzer Driver that put them down for the three count in a thrilling bout that fell short of the classic eight-man tag seen on ROH TV a few weeks prior. After the match, Sky left the announcers’ table to attack Flip Gordon alongside The Addiction. Sky planted the seeds of dissension between himself and Gordon on commentary and it’ll be interesting to see how The Addiction play into this.
It was time for the main event as Cody – rocking blonde hair – defended the ROH World title against Dalton Castle after the latter came to the ring with a host of Boys carrying him to the ring. Attempting to end this one quickly with a low blow similar to what unknowingly started this rivalry in February, Cody found himself fighting from behind as the challenger was ready and proceeded to beat “The American Nightmare” until the point he was leaving the ring on a constant basis to slow down the pace. In a lot of ways, Cody was more Ric Flair than Dusty Rhodes as he tried to keep Castle from gaining any momentum while Mrs. Rhodes not only tried to distract “The Peacock”, but Brandi also took out The Boys with a cross body block from the top to the floor. The champ tried to keep Castle grounded while working over any limb available including the arms with the LeBell Lock and the figure four leg lock. Castle – who took a power bomb through the timekeeper’s table earlier in the match – wouldn’t be denied, countered a spread eagle against the steel ring post to send the champ face first against the post to cut the Cody’s forehead and put him behind the figurative eight-ball as Castle finally found that constant series of attacks including his patented suplexes and that modified crossface chicken wing. Unfortunately during the commotion the referee took a bump and couldn’t see Cody submit in the submission. Cody survived the submission thanks to unseen tapping out, hit the Disaster Kick and Cross Rhodes to no avail, and ran in to the Bang-A-Rang when setting up another Cross Rhodes to be pinned for the first time in ROH since May to make Dalton Castle the new ROH World champion! While Castle got a rightful time to celebrate, pay-per-view time limitations really hurt this one as they were running close to the cutoff and couldn’t get the time they deserved. It was a really good match, but for the main event of the company’s biggest show of the year it felt somewhat underwhelming thanks to the time length and not because of the action that’ll hopefully keep the door open for a rematch in the very near future.
“Final Battle 2017” had all the makings of being a classic event, but fell short in the end thanks to some matches not reaching the level of promise they had on paper; specifically the Tag Team and TV title bouts. The Street Fight will definitely be a “love it or leave it” type of match depending on what side spectrum you’re on when it comes to the hardcore matches that were a staple of the “Attitude Era”. The main event was a nice sprint, but time constraints took away from it reaching epic heights. On the positive side were many moments such as Silas Young becoming the TV champ, the Women of Honor finally getting a title, Lethal & Scurll tearing the house down, the first two matches being great highlights as well as the Six-Man bout, and, most importantly ROH not waiting to pull the trigger on a Castle title reign. It won’t go down as one of ROH’s best shows of 2017, but definitely one of the most important in quite a while.

Mandy Leon vs. Stella Grey


Lou Gotti vs. Andy Dalton


And there you have it. Show that love, or like, for The ROHbot Report and Honor Nation on its Facebook page. Also, if haven’t already, make sure you listen to the latest FREE “Honor Nation” as I talk about the 21st season of “South Park” and more (http://www.wewantinsanity.com/am2/publish/free_audio/31_Mins_Honor_Nation_A_Victimized_South_Park.shtml). And don’t forget to send those questions in for the next “Honor Nation either through the comments section below, on Facebook (The ROHbot Report and Honor Nation on its Facebook page), on Twitter (@fasjab), or by e-mailing me at Bullock@wewantinsanity.com.
Here’s to a great week for you and yours; and as always, thanks for reading.

Till Then.



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