ROH FINAL BATTLE PPV ON-SITE REPORT (12/15): Zilem’s in-person details on FTR & Briscoe vs. Moxley & Castagnoli & Danielson, Ethan vs. Nese, Vikingo vs. Taurus, Athena vs. Starkz

By Brian Zilem, PWTorch contributor


DECEMBER 15, 2023


The first Final Battle took place in 2002. It’s the final performance of the promotion for the year, taking place in December. The show’s 2009 iteration marked both the first live ROH broadcast and the first ROH internet pay-per-view. Live web broadcasts of the 2010 and 2011 events were also available.

Last year, I went to the Final Battle PPV in Arlington, Texas. It would be difficult for this year’s exhibition to equal the caliber of 2022’s. So, how did this PPV compare to its predecessor from the prior year?


AEW has yet to run a show from the American Airlines Center in downtown Dallas, so ROH ran Final Battle from the Curtis Culwell Center, a familiar territory for AEW. The venue Curtis Culwell Center, originally known as the Garland Special Events Center, is a conference center and arena with 6,860 fixed seats[1] (8,500 maximum capacity). Dallas natives traveling to the venue had a reasonable commute of thirty minutes. I made the trip from Austin, Texas, roughly a three-hour drive.

The Presentation

Unless it’s one of their four primary PPVs, all AEW/ROH shows appear identical. There are things you can do aesthetically to give the show a different feel for a PPV event, and I understand the practical reasons behind not wanting to go all out for an event with nearly two thousand attendees.

The Atmosphere

Per WrestleTix, the final count of tickets distributed was 1,964

at the event. I haven’t gone back to watch the show yet, but I’m hopeful the fans sounded as good in person as they did live. Considering the first match shown was at 5:30 pm CST and the show wrapped at 11:00 pm CST, it’s amazing they didn’t get tired. The fans were fantastic from start to finish, and I was highly impressed with their support of the main event.


El Hijo del Vikingo vs. Black Taurus

There was great action throughout, and it was a good idea to open with a match so different from everything else on the card.

Ethan Page vs. Tony Neese

The match delivered exceptionally to my expectations. Ethan Page, who I’ll circle back to later, took this opportunity seriously and put on a great match with Neese. The surprise return from Scorpio Sky got a good reaction from the crowd.

ROH World Television Title Survival Of The Fittest 2023 Final Six-Way Elimination Match – Kyle Fletcher vs. Bryan Keith vs. Dalton Castle (w/Brandon & Brent) vs. Komander (w/Alex Abrahantes) vs. Lee Johnson vs. Lee Moriarty

Going into the match I thought it was just single elimination, but I was wrong.With Bryan Keith winning his spot in the match during Zero Hour, I assumed he would win, especially being from Texas. Kyle Fletcher and Komander worked their butts off and created a ton of false finishes in the closing moments of the match. Fletcher going over is an interesting option, but with great singles matches against Kenny Omega and Bryan Danielson, I understand why Tony Khan would push Fletcher.

FTR (Cash Wheeler & Dax Harwood) & Mark Briscoe defeat Blackpool Combat Club (Bryan Danielson, Claudio Castagnoli & Jon Moxley)

The match broke down into two parts. First, it was a traditional trios tag match and then turned into a fight without honor. I would have just made the match a fight without honor from the start, but the match was ultimately a success because all six men were through it to honor the memory of Jay Briscoe.

ROH Women’s World Title Match Athena vs Billie Starkz

As we were getting closer to a 10:30 CST bell time for the main event, I was worried the crowd would be exhausted, but to my surprise, not only did the fans have plenty of energy, but there were several occasions where they stood for the main event. For a match that went nearly thirty minutes, it certainly didn’t feel like it. Both wrestlers put on a tremendous main event; Athena defeated Starkz to retain the ROH Women’s World Title, which was the right decision.


The show was fantastic. I would give it an 8.0. My main feedback to AEW is that the card was generally very drawn out. Fifteen matches were scheduled for the main and pre-shows. You had 12 matches on the card in total last year. If you change the start time, you can perform lengthier shows like this year’s. Last year, Final Battle 2022 began at 3:00 p.m. CST, so the card from a viewing experience was night and day to have a show from 6:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. on a Friday night.

RECOMMENDED NEXT: ROH FINAL BATTLE PPV RESULTS (12/15): Greg Parks’s detailed results and analysis including Athena vs. Starkz, FTR & Briscoe vs. Moxley & Castagnoli & Danielson, Ethan vs. Nese, Vikingo vs. Taurus

OR CHECK THIS OUT AT PROWRESTLING.NET: ROH Final Battle results: Vetter’s review of Athena vs. Billie Starkz for the ROH Women’s Title, Mark Briscoe and FTR vs. Jon Moxley, Bryan Danielson, and Claudio Castagnoli

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