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ROH TV Episode 325: Declaration of Battle
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By James Bullock Nov 19, 2017 - 1:35 PM print


Welcome to another edition of The ROHbot Report – the only article you need for all the Ring of Honor news you have to know without stepping in the ring. (Although you can step in the ring here ) Ring of Honor returned to Florida for a big TV taping that should get everyone ready for “Final Battle”. Lets find out what went down in “The Sunshine State”.

The Elite Results; November 11th, 2017; Ft. Lauderdale, FL
- Rain defeated Brandi Rhodes
- Silas Young & Beer City Bruiser defeated Coast 2 Coast
- Jonathan Gresham defeated Josh Woods & Simon Grimm
- Punishment Martinez defeated Shane Taylor
- Best Friends defeated The Addiction and Marty Scurll & Adam Page
- The Dawgs defeated Cheeseburger & Hanson
- ROH World Tag Team Championship: Motor City Machine Guns defeated The Kingdom to retain
- Matt Taven defeated Flip Gordon
- ROH World Championship: Cody defeated Rocky Romero to retain
- Dalton Castle, Jay Lethal & Kenny King defeated The Elite (Kenny Omega & The Bucks)

ROH returned to Florida in the same manner as it did this time last year with an event setting the stage for “Final Battle” without any major story developments or title changes; just a good amount of high quality action. While moments like Cody retaining his ROH World title in a match with Rocky Romero that was said to be incredibly entertaining, The Machine Guns still being the Tag Team champions, & Coast to Coast coming up short yet again, there was the fact The Bullet Club had an unusually disappointing night when it comes to winning. Top contenders to the ROH World Tag Team champions in Best Friends overcame their recent adversaries of The Addiction and The Bullet Club contingent of Marty Scurll & Adam Page. Even more profound was The Elite not being able to keep the momentum coming from their series of wins during the “Global Wars” tour. In building toward “Final Battle”, some of the stars that will surely shine in New York win or loss had a true moment here by defeating Kenny Omega & The Young Bucks while teaming for the first time. One very interesting aspect was the fact the Six-Man Tag Team title wasn’t on the line like the other times The Elite was in a ROH ring since the faction won the gold. By all accounts this was a very good house show that had a very unexpected finale.

“Sunshine State Excellence” TV Taping Results; November 12th, 2017; Lakeland, FL
- Marty Scurll defeated Beer City Bruiser
- Flip Gordon defeated Adam Page - Mandy Leon defeated Stella Grey.
- ROH World Television Championship: Kenny King defeated Caprice Coleman to retain
- Matt Taven defeated Jay Lethal
- Dalton Castle, Hanson, Silas Young, Jonathan Gresham & Marty Scurll defeated Cody, Scorpio Sky, Punishment Martinez, Josh Woods & Chris Sabin
- Sumie Sakai defeated Rain
- Shane Taylor defeated Eli
- The Dawgs defeated Simon Grimm & Flip Gordon
- ROH Six-Man Tag Team Championship: Young Bucks and Omega defeated Rocky Romero & Best Friends to retain

You know the routine – I’m not going to judge too harshly about what happened during the TV taping without actually seeing the product these tapings were done for. With that being stated, Ring of Honor is on the road to “Final Battle” as a lot of what happened between the action set the stage for what will go down during ROH’s biggest show of the year including the contract signing for the event’s main event. The confrontation, of course, saw someone go through a table – in this case the champ himself. By old school WWF logic, the man who is left on their back during the contract signing has a seventy-five to ninety percent chance of winning at the pay-per-view. While Cody has been an admirable champion who might not have hit his stride thus far as a titleholder (something that has been a long-running theme for ROH World champions who go beyond four to six months of being a champ), it feels like the perfect time for a title change as Castle has become one of the company’s most recognizable and popular stars while being able to go in the ring with some of the best the world has to offer (and that’s not mentioning Team Castle defeating Team Cody in what appears to be the annual wildcard ten-man tag that was taped before the contract signing, but might air on the weekend of or after “Final Battle”). Another big moment heading into “Final Battle” was the believed tag team match between The Briscoes and Bully Ray & Tommy Dreamer now being official. For some who have lambasted ROH for reaching into the past instead of building the future, long-time fans of ROH know how the company has not only honored the past, but also utilized older stars to showcase and build up its current talent and/or storylines. As a story, this has been one of the most well-built narratives any company has produced in 2017.
There were some rather interesting developments in regards to the handling of the proposed “Flip Army” with Flip Gordon heading a potential group of men to take on The Bullet Club. By himself, Gordon succeeded during this taping, but with the debuting Simon “Gotch” Grimm he failed to win against The Dawgs. While it wasn’t emphasized whether or not The Bullet Club interfered & caused the loss, the fact remains ROH is walking on shaky ground when building up new stars at The Bullet Club’s expense – something that didn’t happen at the tapings end when Best Friends Vice failed to become the new ROH World Six-Man Tag Team champions. These results look good, but the most interesting aspect is what amount of action airs during & after “Final Battle” weekend.

“Survival of the Fittest: Night ” Results; November 17h, 2017; San Antonio, TX
- Cheeseburger defeated Jastin Taylor
- Survival of the Fittest Qualifier: Silas Young defeated Josh Woods
- Survival of the Fittest Qualifier: Shane Taylor defeated Beer City Bruiser
- Survival of the Fittest Qualifier: Punishment Martinez defeated Jay Lethal
- The Kingdom (Matt Taven, TK O'Ryan & Vinny Marseglia) defeated Search and Destroy (Alex Shelley, Chris Sabin & Jonathan Gresham)
- Deonna Purrazzo defeated Britt Baker
- Esfinge & Rey Cometa defeated The Dawgs
- ROH World Television Championship: Kenny King defeated Joey Ryan to retain
- Dalton Castle defeated Marty Scurll
- The Bullet Club (Cody, Stephen Amell, Kenny Omega & The Young Bucks) defeated The Addiction, Scorpio Sky & Flip Gordon

Easily the biggest story to come out of this one was the appearance and eventual in-ring action of “Arrow” star Stephen Amell. Earlier in the night, Amell buried the hatchet with current ROH World champion and former rival Cody “Stardust” to officially join The Bullet Club – making him the first full-time actor of the faction. But rather than just be a second for the main event featuring friends & foes alike teaming up to take on The Elite & “The American Nightmare”, Amell interjected himself in the match to officially make it a five on four handicap match that was eventually won by The Bullet Club when Amell helped perform stereo Indytakers alongside Nick Jackson – mind you, this was after Daniels put Amell through a table on the floor courtesy of a uranage off the apron. In SotF tournament news, Silas Young and Shane Taylor not surprisingly advanced to the finale (a first for both men) and Punishment Martinez pulled off one of the biggest opening round upsets in SotF history thanks some timely interference from Marty Scurll. Scurll would face karma in the show’s semi-main event and resulted in Castle picking up another big win heading into “Final Battle”. Kenny King retained his title against a returning Joey Ryan in a match that was said to have had the crowd on its feet during the closing moments thanks to the power of Ryan’s Dong Style. All in all it seems like a strong way to start the tourney that’ll move through Texas & Oklahoma over the next two nights.

ROH returns to Dallas on Saturday, November 18th for Night Two of Survival of the Fittest! a pay-per-view main event rematch has been signed and it will see Cody defend the ROH World Championship against Christopher Daniels in a Texas Death Match!

Cody’s name was nowhere near the list of potential title challengers when the May “War of the Worlds” tour cards were initially being put together , but “The American Nightmare” made sure his presence was known with or without anything to truly gain by attacking ROH World champion Christopher Daniels following his successful defense against Dalton Castle at “Supercard of Honor XI”. Cody took things up a notch by verbally taking Daniels to task for not being a “fighting” World champion and demanding Cody be added to the PPV title match on the twelfth by not using his stroke as champion to change the match. According to ROH’s website, Cody’s conversation with Daniels on ROH TV following the historic event was the forming of a verbal contract that, while wouldn’t stand in a court of law considering the wording during the exchange, cemented Cody’s spot in the “War of the Worlds: New York’s” main event. The night was a grand one and had all the makings of being historic after Daniels was driven through a table and left for dead while Cody and the other third of the pay-per-view match in Jay Lethal continued their rivalry. Cody trapped Lethal in the figure four leg lock, sending so much pain through Lethal’s body that he seemed to be on the verge of tapping out when Daniels utilized his Best Moonsault Ever to pin the prone Cody while he held Lethal down with the submission hold. The referee didn’t pay attention to the fact Lethal’s shoulders were touching the canvas as well while he counted down Cody to eventually give “The Almighty” the pin fall victory.
Cody made everyone know the truth: he was robbed of becoming the ROH World champion. From facts to conspiracies, Cody claimed the referee purposefully counted down Cody instead of Lethal because ROH management doesn’t want an unsigned free agent holding the company’s top prize. Cody proceeded to send a message to not only ROH management, but also Daniels by putting the champ on notice via a victory over Daniels’ best friend & tag team partner Frankie Kazarian. It wasn’t long after the episode aired where Cody bested and tried to hang Kazarian alongside Hangman Page was it announced Cody would get justice as he will do battle with the man who is nothing short of a ROH legend at the same event the introduce the world to ROH live on pay-per-view. On that night in Lowell, Cody became the new ROH World champion at Daniels’ expense in front of a pro-Bullet Club crowd that changed the very perspective Daniels & Kazarian had in regards to the fans’ appreciation of The Addiction. Coming into the first annual “Soaring Eagle Cup” event, Cody and Daniels stepped into the ring yet again, but with nothing but pride & the possibility of winning the one-night tourney.
Like their previous encounters, the match’s length in Michigan went into the double digits; resulting in a time limit draw that didn’t go into overtime because “The General” declared he wouldn’t put himself through another lengthy encounter with “The American Nightmare” if the World title wasn’t on the line. Now, just weeks before ROH’s biggest event of the year, Christopher Daniels gets his wish of challenging for the gold for a third time this year. But unlike his match with Adam Cole at the “15th Anniversary” and the Two Out of Three Falls rematch with Cody on ROH TV, Daniels can’t win the gold by a simple pin fall or submission. If Daniels wants to become a two-time World champion or Cody wants to retain they’ll have to beat each other to the point that following a pin or submission the fallen opponent has to stay down for ten seconds. This is the first time the ROH World title will be defended in a Texas Death Match and considering the high quality of what they produced in their past two matches this should set a remarkable benchmark.

The Best Wrestling on the Planet returns to Oklahoma City on Sunday, November 19th for Night Three of Survival of the Fittest! In OKC, Kenny King’s open Television title challenge has been answered by one half of the ROH World Tag Team champions, Chris Sabin!

When Kenny King became the new ROH World Television champion at “Death Before Dishonor XV” he had a declaration in mind that would dictate the future of his reign if his first defense proved to be successful. By defeating Josh Woods on ROH TV, King found the confidence to proclaim that any time he was on a ROH card in singles competition his TV title would be on the line. Answering the call in the OKC will be a fellow champion who has found great success on his own as well as a part of a tag team, Chris Sabin. In TNA/Impact Wrestling, Sabin became one of the foundation builders of the X-Division King would eventually become a part of years later. Sabin elevated his game and even became a TNA World Heavyweight champion between Tag Team title reigns in both TNA and, most importantly in this case, ROH. The master of the Cradle Shock is a highly underrated singles competitor who has the ability to become a champion on his own better than most in not only ROH, but the entire wrestling business as well. Kenny King has been tested greatly since becoming the TV champ, but this might be one of his biggest tests of his ROH career that could conclude with a new champion being crowned. This should be a very unique, almost old school ROH in nature when it comes to the style being presented as both can take to the sky, grapple on the mat, and brawl with the best of them.

In OKC, Kaz has the ultimate opportunity: defeat one half of the Final Battle main event and potentially alter the course of ROH history!

The road to “Final Battle” for Dalton Castle hasn’t been an easy one thus far, but it has been one paved by wins with the intent of it ending in golden glory. For Castle, this is a chance to give the fans something they’ve wanted to see for quite some time: “The Peacock” standing on the mountaintop of ROH. Ironically enough, Castle’s opponent for this event has been thinking the complete opposite in regards to giving ROH fans what they want. Since “Best in the World”, Frankie Kazarian has taken to verbally abusing & insulting fans of Honor because of their lack of support for Christopher Daniels during his reign as ROH World champion – the same fan base that was so quick to tell “The General” how much he deserved to be the World champion after attaining the title at the company’s “15th Anniversary”. With Castle being one of the most popular wrestlers in ROH, Kazarian could use a victory here to not only upset ROH fans by pinning or submitting a fan favorite, but also become a top contender post-“Final Battle” as he would’ve bested the number one contender before his title shot. But as it’s been seen so many times heading into ROH’s biggest event of the year anyone is prone to a Bang-a-Rang out of nowhere that will end with a victory in Castle’s favor. There’s a great chance there will be quite a bit of comedy and Southern style wrestling seen here.

Just one night after he could potentially become a two-time ROH World champion in Dallas, Christopher Daniels takes on one of Bullet Club’s aces ahead of Final Battle, Marty Scurll!

In 2002 when Ring of Honor came into fruition, Christopher Daniels took a stand against everything connected to the Code of Honor including the handshake before & after matches. Daniels’ attitude that night in the Murphy Rec Center set the stage for what it meant to be a villain in ROH. With the changing times came a changing “Fallen Angel” as the ROH founding father discovered himself on the same side of Honor while those younger than him took up where he left off including Marty Scurll. Going as far to nickname himself “The Villain”, Scurll made an immediate splash in ROH; becoming a Television champion that was ready to retain his title & win any match without a single qualm of breaking the rules. Eventually Daniels and Scurll crossed paths when their respective career highs had met their ends when Cody defeated “The General” for the ROH World Championship and Kushida ended Marty’s title reign. Since those specific nights of failure for Daniels and Scurll the two have found each other in the same ring thanks to The Addiction’s problems with The Bullet Club resulting in a tag team match during ROH’s “War of the Worlds: Edinburgh” where Scurll & Cody bested The Addiction when Cody pinned Daniels after Kazarian got caught in Scurll’s Chicken Wing. With Daniels still crusading against everything the fans care about including The Bullet Club, this is a perfect opportunity for “The General” to avenge so many losses The Bullet Club has handed out to him since “Best in the World ‘17” – a loss Daniels blamed Marty for due to his interference in the match that was mostly stopped by Kazarian. With his match against Jay Lethal right around the corner at “Final Battle”, this could easily begin a streak for Daniels defeating a literal “who’s who” of ROH greats in what should be a Match of the Night candidate.

Ring of Honor’s seminal event, Final Battle, emanates from the Hammerstein Ballroom on Friday December 15th at 9 PM EST! “The Villain” Marty Scurll was told by Ring of Honor officials that he could select any opponent he wanted for ROH’s marquee event. Scurll, who became an international star in 2017, is looking to close out the year with the biggest win of his career against the man who is known as The Franchise of ROH!

Jay Lethal finds himself in a very similar position that he found himself in last year following ROH’s “Reach For the Sky” tour. It was during the tour’s finale that then-ROH World champion Adam Cole retained the ROH World Championship over Lethal, putting him back down the line in terms of title contenders. Over the past year Lethal has mostly spent his time trying to fend off the figurative wolves be it Silas Young, Beer City Bruiser, or the current ROH World titleholder Cody. Following a mostly successful showing during the “Global Wars” tour that saw him go 3-0 in singles matches and 3-1 overall. Using ROH TV as a platform to discuss his future intentions, Lethal came face to face not with his believed destiny – another crack at the ROH World title – but a villain. In front of a pro-Bullet Club crowd, Marty Scurll entered the ring to confront Lethal – or, to paraphrase Scurll, the shell of Lethal’s former self. According to Scurll, the Jay Lethal who won both the ROH World Television and Heavyweight titles wasn’t the man who had been competing over the past year. In Scurll’s opinion, Lethal denying himself of who he really is has hampered his title aspirations. Before Scurll signed with ROH, Lethal ruled with a “by any means necessary” attitude – something that the future Bullet Club member admitted to admiring to the point that Lethal became a dream opponent. But since losing the World title, Lethal’s killer instinct has been lost in Marty’s mind. “The Franchise of ROH” didn’t think twice about how he would prove Scurll wrong: a match at “Final Battle”. Though it’s not for any type of championship, this is the type of match ROH was created for – a bout featuring two of the best to have never worked on the biggest of leagues wrestling better than any of their contemporaries. This could be a career-defining moment for Scurll if he can do what Cody did last year at “Final Battle by defeating Lethal. For Lethal, this is his chance to get back in title contention with a win over one of the most popular, yet devious stars going today. No matter the winner, expect a fantastic first-time ROH encounter in New York.

The ROH World Tag Team Championship will be on the line at Final Battle when The Motor City Machine Guns defend against Best Friends!

The Best Friends of Beretta & Chuckie T. burst onto the ROH scene shortly before “Best in the World” resulting in them picking up a big win over The Bullet Club prior to the pay-per-view. But like so many teams going toe-to-toe with The Young Bucks, Beretta & Chuckie failed to make it two for two. But there was one team to find the winning formula against Matt & Nick Jackson during the summer as The Motor City Machine Guns ended a decade-long drought in regards to winning the ROH World Tag Team Championship by dethroning, arguably, the best tag team in the world today at “Death Before Dishonor XV”. Interestingly enough, the challengers come into this one with a better win-loss record than the champs and could have the number of a team that is more known for their tactics in a ROH ring than the duo who took a significant break before returning to action alongside each other. This should be an exhilarating encounter and could easily see the title change hands.

Brian Milonas vs. Howie Timberche


The Briscoes vs. The Young Bucks


Sumie Sakai vs. Hollidead


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 Triple H’s recent return to the ring and more (http://www.wewantinsanity.com/am2/publish/free_audio/32_Mins_Honor_Nation_Same_Ol_Hunter.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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