SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
-ROH’s “Final Battle” PPV lineup has expanded, as several new matches have been announced. The show will air live on PPV , Fite TV, and also on Honor Club on Dec. 14 from Manhattan, N.Y. Most notably, a Triple Threat Ladder War has been signed with ROH World Tag Team Champions S.C.U. (Scorpio Sky & Frankie Kazarian) defending against The Briscoes (Mark & Jay Briscoe) and The Young Bucks (Matt & Nick Jackson).
Also, the company announced that Marty Scurll will be putting the ROH World title shot he won at Survival of the Fittest on the line against Christopher Daniels and Flip Gordon vs. Bully Ray in an I Quit Match.
All indications point to this being the last PPV appearance in ROH for S.C.U., Hangman Page, Cody, and The Young Bucks. Most of the talent expected to leave ROH once their contracts expire on at the end of December are expected to appear at the TV tapings on Dec. 15 in Philadelphia.
Other matches announced include: ROH World TV Champion Jeff Cobb vs. Hangman Page, ROH WOH Champion Sumie Sakai vs. Madison Rayne vs. Karen Q vs. Kelly Klein, Jonathan Gresham, and Matt Taven vs. Dalton Castle.
Correction: I fixed my analysis below where I incorrectly identified The Briscoes as the ROH World Tag Team Champions. S.C.U. are the current ROH World Tag Team Champions.
Radican’s Analysis: This is a great card that ROH has put together for Final Battle, but the main issue is that a lot of the talent that is expected to finish up with the company by the end of the year has been put in high stakes matches that leave little doubt to the outcome. S.C.U. are defending the ROH World Tag Team Championship in a Ladder War against The Young Bucks and The Briscoes. The Young Bucks and S.C.U. are both expected to leave the company at the end of 2018. Additionally, Jeff Cobb is defending the ROH World TV Championship against Hangman Page and Marty Scurll is defending his ROH World Title shot against Christopher Daniels. Both Daniels and Page are expected to depart from ROH at the end of 2018 as well.
If that wasn’t enough, as I’ve written about before and discussed on Radican Worldwide, which is available for PWTorh VIP members, ROH World Champion Jay Lethal is defending against Cody. Cody’s contract with ROH expired at the end of October and he is expected to leave the company at the end of the year with the rest of the free agents from the cast of Being the Elite.
It’s puzzling as to why ROH would put themselves in the position where so many matches on their biggest card of the year leave little doubt as to what the outcomes are going to be. ROH could pull some surprises and have the departing talent win matches that they aren’t expected to win and then let the ramifications of that play out out, but it appears as if that would cause a lot of disjointed and rushed angles to play out on ROH TV.
Most fans following ROH are going to know what’s going on with the talent expecting to depart from the company after the weekend of Final Battle and with the company running in The Hammerstein Ballroom, it’s going to be interesting to see what kind of crowd the company attracts for the show in terms of how they react to the matches. Will it be ROH casuals that follow the product on TV or will it be hardcore fans that know what’s going on and could possibly react accordingly by turning on the lame duck matches that company is presenting them with? The way the card has been put together could result in ROH taking some steps back heading into a period of uncertainty on Jan. 1 and I’m intrigued to see how the crowd in NYC responds to this show.
– A new series of weekly videos, ROH The Pinnacle, produced by Dave Lagana and Billy Corgan known collectively as Lightning One, have launched. Lightning One is the production team behind the Ten Pounds of Gold series. The first episode is called “Honor is Real” and is narrated by ROH announcer and wrestler Colt Cabana. The first episode lays out the origins of ROH and what makes it different from other promotions. The video features several wrestlers talking about the company and what makes it different from other companies. Wrestlers that speak include Flip Gordon, The Briscoes, Frankie Kazarian, Christopher Daniels, and Jay Lethal. The video also highlights the upcoming “Final Battle” PPV on Dec. 14.
You can watch the video from ROH’s YouTube channel below: