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RADICAN’S ROH FINAL BATTLE REPORT
DEC 10, 2022
AIRED LIVE ON BLEACHER REPORT
ZERO HOUR PRE SHOW
Announcers: Ian Riccaboni and Caprice Coleman
The pre-show began with a video package highlighting ROH’s greatest Final Battle moments with comments from Ian Riccaboni and Bobby Cruise.
Ian Riccaboni and Caprice Coleman ran down the card for Zero Hour and Final Battle before kicking to the first match.
(a) MASCARA DORADO vs. JEFF COBB
This is Dorado’s ROH debut. Cobb and Dorado followed the Code of Honor. Coleman and Riccaboni seemed genuinely excited to be at the show. Riccaboni said doing commentary with Coleman is like riding a bike. Coleman said today could be the start of a new era. They went to the outside and Cobb picked Dorado up in the suplex position and drove him into the ringpost before dropping him face-first onto the apron. Dorado mounted a comeback and hit a corkscrew dive to the floor. They went back and forth and Cobb caught Dorado with Tour of the Islands for the win.
WINNER: Jeff Cobb in 7:00. (***)
(Radican’s Analysis: This was short, but full of some really good action with both men looking good and showcasing their strengths.)
A video package aired for the ROH World Six Man Tag Team Championship match with words from Prince Nana and Dalton Castle.
Next, a video package aired for the Mercedes Martinez vs. Athena ROH Women’s Championship match.
(b) “DADDY MAGIC” MATT MENARD & “COOL HAND” ANGELO PARKER vs. THE SHINOBI SHADOW SQUAD (Eli Isom & Cheeseburger)
Parker mockingly followed the Code of Honor and shook Isom’s hand over and over. Menard tagged in and also gave Isom an insincere handshake. Isom tagged in Cheeseburger to a big pop. Cheeseburger got cut off and Menard and Parker hit him with a combination of moves. Cheeseburger went for a Shotei, but Parker cut him off form the floor. Parker and Menard hit a double DDT on Isom and it was good for the win.
WINNERS: Matt Mennard & Angelo Parker in 6:00. (**)
(Radican’s Analysis: There wasn’t much to this match, but it was fine for what it was and the crowd was into the action while it lasted.)
A video package aired for the Daniel Garcia vs. Wheeler Yuta ROH Pure Championship match.
(c) TRISH ADORA vs. WILLOW NIGHTENGALE
Adora hit a northern lights suplex with a bridge for a two count. Nightengale fired back and hit an enzuguri and both men were down on the mat. They got up and Nightengale connected with a series of chops and a hip attack in the corner. Nightengale hit a shotgun dropkick, but Adora kicked out at two. Adora caught Nightengale by surprise with a snap German from her knees. Nightengale surprised Adora with a pounce. Nightengale took her straps down and hit a gutwrench powerbomb for the win.
WINNER: Willow Nightengale in 6:00. (**¾)
(Radican’s Analysis: This was short, but Nightengale is so much fun to watch. She brought a lot of energy to the match, but Adora looked good as well here. I’d love to see them again in a longer match.)
After that, a video package aired for the Chris Jericho vs. Claudio Castagnoli ROH World Championship match.
(d) TOP FLIGHT (Dante Martin & Darius Martin) vs. THE KINGDOM (Matt Taven & Mike Bennett w/Maria)
Both teams took turns on the advantage during the match. The action built at a rapid pace. They built to a big series of dives from both teams. Maria tried to distract Dante on the apron, but the ref caught her and kicked her out. The Kingdom set up for Hail Mary, but Dante pushed Taven off the top to the floor. Top Flight then hit a tandem sliced bread on Bennett for the win. HOLY S–T!!
WINNERS: Top Flight in 10:00. (***½)
(Radican’s Analysis: This got really good late and the tandem sliced bread finish off the top from Top Flight on Bennett was insane. WOW!)
A video package aired for FTR defending the ROH World Tag Team Championship against The Briscoes in a Double Dog Collar match.
Caprice Coleman and Ian Riccaboni did a final rundown of the main card for the show.
Ian Riccaboni and Caprice Coleman introduced the show and kicked to the first match.
(1) RUSH & DRALISTICO (w/Jose the Assistant & Preston Vance) vs. BLAKE CHRISTIAN & A.R. FOX
Dralistico threw his jacket at Fox when he got into the ring. Riccaboni called this the highest grossing ROH Final Battle. Dralistico is making his ROH debut. Rush worked over Christian on the floor during the early going. He then whipped Christian with some chords from under the apron. Dralisco was then shown powerbombing Fox onto the ring steps. OUCH! Riccaboni plugged the next AEW PPV, Revolution, which will take place on March 5 in San Francisco at The Chace Center. Christian continued to get worked over inside the ring a short time later. Christian fired back and caught Dralistco with a t-bone suplex. Fox got the hot tag and ran wild on Dralistco. Rush tried to cut him off, but he took him out as well and eventually hit him with a springboard dropkick.
Fox hit a pair of big Taker style dives to wipe out Rush and then Dralistico on the opposite side of the ring. Fox hit a senton over the top to the floor to wipe out Rush. He then hit a senton off the top on Dralistico for a two count. The Fans chanted for Fox as he set up for Lo Mein Pain, but Dralistico blocked it and Rush dragged him to the floor. Christian went for a running kick, but Rush caught it and rossed him into the barricade. Dralistico then wiped out everyone with a springboard SSP to the floor.
Dralistico took a combination of moves and Fox hit a 450. It looked like Dralistico kicked out, but the ref called for the bell. The fans chanted “You f—ed up” at the finish.
WINNERS: A.R. Fox & Black Christian in 13:00. (***¼)
Dralistico and Rush went to town on Fox and Christian after the match.
(Radican’s Analysis: This was amazing until the awkward finish with the ref getting in the way and Dralistico clearly kicking out of Fox’s in early.)
A video package aired for Mercedes Martinez vs. Athena.
(2) MERCEDES MARTINEZ vs. ATHENA – ROH Women’s Championship match
Ian Riccaboni said they had set an all-time Final Battle gate record. Martinez controlled the action early, but Athena caught her with a powerbomb. Athena caught Martinez with a big kick for a nearfall. A short time later, she tripped Martinez into the ropes and both women were slow to get to their feet. They went to the floor and Athena went for a running dropkick, but Matinez got out of the way and Athena connected with the guardrail. Martinez hit an Anarchist Suplex off the guardrail and Athena yelled in pain. Martinez continued to work over Athena and she got a surfboard. She tried to transition to a sleeper, but Athena bit his wrist. Athena countered a suplex and she got Martinez up on her shoulder and she twisted her around and dropped her down on her knees for a two count.
Athena yelled at the ref and then took one of the turnbuckles off. The fans booked as Martinez fired back and hit a pop-up powerbomb. Athena sent Martinez into the exposed corner and she hit the back of her head. AThena then hit the O-face for the win.
WINNER: Athena in 13:00 to become the new ROH World Championship. (***¼)
(Radican’s Analysis: This is a big moment for Athena to win the ROH World Title in her hometown in front of her parents. The match itself was good start to finish, but the fans were distracted a bit it appeared by an incident in the crowd at one point close to the finish.)
A video package for STP vs. Swerve In Our Glory aired.
Keith Lee went for a fist bump from Strickland, but Strickland blew him off.
(3) STP (Shane Taylor & J.D. Griffey) vs. SWERVE IN OUR GLORY (Shane Strickland & Keith Lee)
This is Griffey’s ROH debut. Griffey got a choke on Strickland during the early going. Strickland managed to get to the ropes. He tapped Lee on the chest to tag him in and Lee got a nice pop from the crowd and they sang bask in his glory. Griffey went for some MMA style kicks on Lee, but Lee shoved him down to the match. The fans chanted for Taylor. Taylor got the tag and the fans applauded. They were about to go at it when Strickland tagged himself into the match. The fans booed. Griffey and Taylor got the upper hand and tagged in and out to work over Strickland. Griffey dragged Strickland to the apron and Lee nailed him with a dropkick. Strickland fired back and tagged in Lee, who got a big pop.
The announcers said it was almost six years to the day that Lee walked out on Shane Taylor. Both men traded bombs in the middle of the ring. Lee caught Taylor coming out of the corner, but he got out of it. Lee got Griffey up, but he sat up to avoid a double stomp and raised up to avoid a kick with Lee holding him. He eventually caught Strickland with a knee to the jaw. Griffey went for a dive through the ropes, but Lee caught him. Griffey said his mom would kill him if he did anything, so Lee dropped him and Strickland kicked Griffey in the back of the head. Taylor then dragged Strickland back into the ring with a cutter for a nearfall. Strickland raked Taylor’s eyes and Grifffey tagged himself in and hit Strickland with a flurry of strikes, but Swerve caught him and hit a backbreaker. Griffey fired back and dropped Strickland face-first onto his knee for a two count. Griffey then got a triangle choke. Keith Lee went after Taylor instead of helping Strickland. He then finally went to make the save by hitting a moonsault off the top onto Griffey to break up the pin and the fans went nuts.
Both teams made it to their feet and traded blows in the middle of the ring. Griffey got wiped out with a double team move. Lee went for an elbow on Taylor, but he got out of the way and Lee hit Strickland. Taylor hit Welcome to the Land on Lee, but he kicked out. J.D. Griffey hit Lee with a Killshot and he kicked out. Strickland left Lee alone in the ring and the fans booed. He left the stage and Lee ducked a head kick from Griffey that connected on Taylor. Lee then hit his BBC on Taylor for the win.
WINNERS: Keith Lee & Shane Strickland in 15:00. (***¾)
(Radican’s Analysis: What could have been a difficult match to navigate storyline-wise was done really well in the end.)
A video package aired for the ROH World Six Man Tag Team Championship match.
(4) DALTON CASTLE & THE BOYS vs. THE EMBASSY (Brian Cage & Toa Liona & Kaun w/Prince Nana) – ROH World Six Man Tag Team Championship match
Loa and Kaun hit stereo suplexes on The Boys on the floor. Cage ended up wiping out Castle inside the ring. Cage used Brent to do some curls before tossing him over his head to the mat. Brandon ran into the ring and ate a clothesline from Cage. Castle and The Boys mounted a comeback. Castle threw Brent and Brandon through the ropes to wipe out Kaun and Liona. He then went after Cage. Brandon got the tag, but got cut off right away. Liona got both boys on his shoulders and hit a double Samoan Drop. He stacked them up, but only got a nearfall. Both teams went back and forth. Cage caught Brandon with a discus lariat. Cage hit the Drill Claw on Brandon, but Castle rolled into the ring. Nana tossed Brent into the ring to distract Castle. Castle dragged Nana into the ring and when he turned around Liona sent Brent CRASHING into Dalton Castle. Liona then tossed Brent to Cage for a big powerbomb for the win.
WINNERS: The Embassy in 12:00 to become the new ROH World Six Man Tag Team Champions. (***)
(Radican’s Analysis: This was a good match. The Boys did a great job of making Cage, Liona, and Kaun look like monsters in the ring.)
A video package aired for the ROH Pure Title match.
Top Flight was interviewed backstage. They were confronted by Menard and Parker. He said they won as well tonight. Dante went after Menard and both teams began brawling. They cut right away from the fight back to Riccaboni and Coleman. Both teams brawled into the arena. Dante hit an insane dive off the stage to wipe out Menard. Menard gave the mic to Parker. He asked the fans if they were feeling nostalgic. He said Cool Hand Ang had a question for them. He said if ROH was so great, why did it die in the first place. He said ROH died because it was filled with garbage flippy floppy wrestlers like Top Flight and the only man that could resurrect it was Chris Jericho. Daddy Magic asked the fans if they want to know what makes his nipples hard. He took out a purple bucket hat. He said after Castagnoli loses he will be known as The Hat Trick. He then said Garcia was going to tap Yuta out. The Blackpool Combat Club music played and Wheeler Yuta made his way down to the ring.
A graphic was shown and Riccaboni went over the Pure Rules.
(5) DANIEL GARCIA vs. WHEELER YUTA – ROH Pure Title match
Garcia and then Yuta both got warnings early for using a closed fist to the face. Garcia maintained control and eventually forced Yuta to use his first break. He then locked in a surfboard around the ropes, but it counted as a rope break. Yuta mounted a brief comeback, but Garcia forced him to use his third rope break. Yuta is now out of rope breaks and Garcia can use the ropes for leverage on submissions. Yuta mounted a comeback and hit a flying forearm. Garcia got a sharpshooter, but Yuta countered it into a crossface. They got up and began exchanging slaps to the face. They went back and forth no-selling dropkicks at one point before Yuta hit a brainbuster and both men were down. Both men got tied up in the ropes. Yuta went after Garcia’s face and Garcia tried to work a leg submission. The ref didn’t penalize Garcia a rope break.
They ended up brawling on the apron. Garcia went for a piledriver, but Yuta backdropped him onto the apron. Yuta hit a cross-legged piledriver, but Garcia kicked out at two. Garcia tied up Garcia in a crucifix and hit him with elbow after elbow until he passed out. The ref ended up calling for the bell.
WINNER: Wheeler Yuta in 16:00 to become the new ROH Pure Champion. (***½)
(Radican’s Analysis: This was really good. At times it felt as though the rules got in the way as both men picked up rope breaks.)
After the match, Yuta offered a handshake, but Garcia kicked the title out of his hand. Instead of shaking his hand, Garcia picked up the Pure title and handed it to Yuta and walked away to show respect.
A video package aired for FTR vs. Briscoes for the ROH World Tag Team Championship.
There is no time limit for FTR vs. The Briscoes
(6) FTR (Dax Harwood & Cash Wheeler) vs. THE BRISCOES (JAY & MARK BRISCOE) – ROH World Tag Team Championship Double Dog Collar match
The bell rang and a holy s–t chant broke out. Harwood was tied to Jay and Mark was tied to Wheeler. All four men began brawling right away and they went to the floor. Mark was shown already bleeding as Harwood choked him with the chain. Harwood appeared to lose a tooth. Mark knocked Wheeler down and helped Jay work over Harwood. Dax held up Jay and Wheeler whipped him with the chain. All four men were bleeding heavily at this point. Wheeler got Mark in the Gory Bomb position and used the leverage to choke him with the chain. He then hung Mark over the top rope to choke him with the dog collar. The fans chanted this is awesome. Jay eventually whipped Harwood into the chain to help free Mark. That was a creative spot.
Mark set up some chairs on the outside on the floor. The fans chanted for tables, so Mark set up a table. Wheeler used the chain to pull Mark back. They went back and forth and Mark hit a suplex on Wheeler away from the chairs. The ref got bumped and ended up bleeding like crazy. Paul Turner took over as the doctors attended to Mike Posey. The fans chanted fight forever as Wheeler and Mark went at it on the apron. Wheeler ended up dropping Mark back-first onto the apron. Wheeler set up Mark on the table, but he popped up and knocked Wheeler off the apron. Mark dragged Wheeler up to the apron and dropkicked him into the pile of chairs on the floor. Mark then went up top and turned towards Jay for the Doomsday, but Wheeler popped up and used the chain to whip Mark into the pile of chairs. ARE YOU F–KING KIDDING ME?!
Jay hit a Jay-driller on Dax onto the chain, but he kicked out at the last second. Jay got a chair and nailed Harwood across the back with it several times. Both men were bleeding from the head. Wheeler got into the ring and Jay nailed him with the chair. Harwood blocked a Jay-driller and hit a low blow. He then hit a piledriver onto a chair. Hardwood’s legs were on Jay’s shoulders and that was it and Jay kicked out at the VERY last second. FTR set up a bunch of chairs inside the ring. Harwood set up Jay for a npiledriver off the top into a pile of chairs. Jay slid under him and crotched him using the chain. He then hit a superplex onto Dax onto the chairs for a nearfall. Jay got a crossface using the chain. Harwood tried to save him, but Mark held onto the chain and he couldn’t make the save. Dax passed out. My god what a match.
WINNERS: The Briscoes in 24:00. (*****)
(Radican’s Analysis: What a blow off to this feud. The difference between their matches from match-to-match, has been incredible. This has been such an incredible feud in 2022. This match was so violent and the finish was perfect.)
After the match, FTR took a bow, but they were attacked by Austin and Coltin Gunn. The fans booed. Austin promised to kill FTR’s legacy. The Briscoes ran back down to the ring to make the save. Dax leaned into the mic and said their mission is to beat the Ass Boys’s asses. Top Guys out. FTR and The Briscoes then shook hands. The ref then raised the hands of all four men.
A video package aired for Samoa Joe vs. Juice Robinson for the ROH World TV Championship.
(7) SAMOA JOE vs. JUICE ROBINSON – ROH World TV Championship match 6:14
They went back and forth during the early going. Joe caught Robinson with a dive through the ropes. Joe began methodically picking Robinson apart inside the ring. He peppered Robinson with punches, but Robinson fired back. Joe maintained control and continued to pepper Robinson with punches. Robinson finally caught Joe with a powerbomb. Robinson began hitting Joe with punches and chops in the corner and Joe collapsed to the mat. Robinson then hit Joe with a big cannonball. Joe fired back and hit his signature STF sequence. He transitioned into a crossface and Robinson teased tapping. He finally managed to lunge forward to get the rope break. Joe staggered a bit setting up for a move and Robinson caught him with a nice side kick. Joe crotched Robinson when he went up top and hit a Muscle Buster for the win.
WINNER: Samoa Joe in 15:00 to retain the ROH World TV Championship. (***¼)
(Radican’s Analysis: They had a really good back and forth match. They slowed down the pace and were physical and kept the crowd into things despite following the Briscoes vs. FTR match.)
A video package aired for the Jericho vs. Castagnoli ROH World Championship main event match.
The fans booed Jericho when he was introduced and he flipped them off from inside the ring.
(8) CHRIS JERICHO vs. CLAUDIO CASTAGNOLI – ROH World Championship match/if Claudio Castagnoli loses he joins the Jericho Appreciation Society
Castagnoli offered to follow the Code of Honor, but Jericho kicked him in the gut and ran way. Castagnoli caught him with a kick by surprise running kick. Jericho apparently knocked out the announce booth when he went to the floor. Riccaboni and Coleman finally came back on commentary a short time later. Castagnoli blocked the Judas Effect and hit The Neutralizer for a nearfall. Claudio missed a move off the apron as Riccaboni went nuts on commentary and said he wanted honor restored to Ring of Honor. Jericho got up and drove Castagnoli into the ringpost. Jericho whipped Castagnoli into the corner and hit a series of clotheslines. Jericho hit 10 punches up top and went for a rana, but Castagnoli blocked it. Castagnoli then hit 10 punches and tried to send Jericho to the mat, but he turned it into a hurricanrana for a two count.
Jericho went for a springboard dropkick to the apron, but Castagnoli nailed him with an uppercut to cut Jericho off. Coleman talked about how Castagnoli had done his homework to cut off Jericho twice now. He blocked the Judas Effect earlier in the match. Jericho countered Castagnoli on the apron a short time later and nearly suplexed Castagnoli right into the cameraman on the floor, which made for a cool shot. Both men traded running boots off the ropes, but neither man would go down. They eventually hit running clotheslines at the same time and both men were down. Castagnoli and Jericho traded uppercuts and chops back and forth. Jericho poked Castagnoli in the eye, but he ducked a punch. Castagnoli went for the airplane spin, but Jericho turned it into the Walls of Jericho and the fans really fired up behind Castagnoli as he crawled towards the ropes. Castagnoli nearly got the ropes, but Jericho dragged him back to the middle of the ring. Castagnoli finally got to the ropes to break the hold. Daddy Magic and Parker ran down to the ring. They distracted the ref so Jericho could hit Castagnoli with the bat. Jericho rolled over and made the cover for a nearfall.
Daddy Magic and Cool Hand got thrown out of the match by the ref. The fans chanted the goodbye song at them. Castagnoli got a rollup for a nearfall, but Jericho caught him with a Codebreaker right after kicking out. Jericho measured Castagnoli, who was slow to get up. Coleman said Jericho should just cover him. Castagnoli countered the Judas Effect again and got the airplane spin. The crowd counted along with each rotation including saying Ocho! At eight, which was funny. Castagnoli went past 20 rotations and he slowed a little and picked up speed. Jericho eventually tapped out once the Airplane Spin reached 30. I was not expecting that.
WINNER: Claudio Castagnoli via submission in 18:00. (***¾)
(Radican’s Analysis: This was a really good match and it feels like the right move for Catagnoli to bring honor back to the title to end the year at Final Battle. The match itself was very good, but the Jericho tapout in airplane spin took me by surprise.)
Wheeler Yuta and Jerry Lynn came down to celebrate with Castagnoli, who threw streamers back and forth with the fans. Riccaboni said one year ago they didn’t know what was going to happen to ROH. HE said now Tony Khan had bought ROH and the heart of ROH was beating stronger than ever. He said Claudio Castagnoli had gotten rid of one of the biggest villains in ROH history. Castagnoli told the camera he would defend the title with honor. Riccaboni then signed off.
Contact Sean at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @SR_Torch