Geno brought you the surprisingly-not-embarrassing promo that Matt Hardy with the championship, but he also cut this one. It nicely ties up some Ring of Honor (ROH) continuity concerning Hardy, his time in S.C.U.M. and the current title scene.
While matchmaker Nigel McGuinness has not taken him up on his offer of replacing Davey Richards as Eddie Edwards partner, he has given "The Icon" a match at Final Battle. Here's the updated card and the promotional poster for this Saturday's show from the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City:
MAIN EVENT - ROH WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP TRIPLE THREAT MATCH
ROH World Champion Adam Cole vs "Unbreakable" Michael Elgin vs Self Proclaimed REAL World Champion Jay Briscoe
ROH World TV Championship Match
ROH World TV Champion, Matt Taven w/ Truth Martini vs "The Sicilian Psychopath" Tommaso Ciampa
ROH World Tag Team Championship
reDragon (Bobby Fish & Kyle O'Reilly) defend against Outlaw Inc (Homicide & Eddie Kingston)
Stretcher Match - Loser Must Stop Using The Piledriver
"Mr. Wrestling" Kevin Steen vs Michael Bennett w/ Maria Kanellis
Special Tag Team Match
Roderick Strong & Jay Lethal vs "Die Hard" Eddie Edwards & a Mystery Partner
Tag Team Attraction
IWGP Jr Heavyweight Tag Team Champions, The Young Bucks (Nick & Matt Jackson) vs Adrenaline Rush (ACH & Tadarius Thomas)
Mark Briscoe vs Silas Young
Special Challenge Match
Matt Hardy vs Adam Page
I'd call this a "must buy", but, of course, ROH has given up on internet pay-per-view (iPPV) - for realz this time after the free Death Before Dishonor stream didn't work despite their partner's assurances that they had fixed their past issues.
Still, I'll be anxious to see a DVD or Video on Demand (VOD) of the show. Both tag matches should be worth the price of admission, demonstrating two extremes on the independent wrestling styles spectrum. Young Bucks vs. Adrenaline Rush should have folks chanting "Holy $#!+" throughout, while the tag title match will most likely cause fans to cringe as much as they cheer when reDragon and Outlaw Inc kick the living $#!+ out of each other.
I'm always game to watch both Kevin Steen and Maria Kanellis, so the piledriver match is a win in my book before the bell even sounds. And I'm hoping the TV title changes hands, as Taven hasn't done much for me despite a nearly ten month reign and the Sicilian Psychopath is my favorite monster in ROH.
And then, there's the main event:
Heel Adam Cole rules. He's got a real Tom Cruise in Magnolia and Collateral delivery going, but he backs it up without the help of stuntmen. Jay Briscoe and Michael Elgin are very good at what they do, even if those aren't my favorite things in pro wrestling. And they have crafted a good story for why each man feels they deserve Cole's ROH championship.
This, as the saying goes, Gon B Gud.
The promotion has also announced four of the competitors for their annual Top Prospect tournament. The opening round matches are scheduled to take place at the Nashville tapings on January 4, 2014. The finals will be in Pittsburgh at the Wrestling's Finest event on January 25th, with the winner getting a shot at the TV title during the 12th anniversary show in Philadelphia on February 21st.
The competitors are Cheeseburger, Corey Hollis, "Benchmark" Bill Daly and Raymond Rowe.
Outside of Cheeseburger, an ROH Dojo alum who has gotten involved in storylines involving Charlie Haas, Michael Bennett and reDragon as an underdog character, I haven't heard of any of these guys. That, and the fact that this is the tournament that gave us Taven, doesn't fill me with confidence.
That catches you up on the biggest indie, Cagesiders. I do not catch the television show on the regular, despite it airing in my home market and it being free online, but the parts I have caught have been about what I expected. Some good stuff (heel Cole), some workrate-first, storytelling-second stuff that drives me crazy about independent shows (Roderick Strong vs. Davey Richards).
As always, it's worth checking out if you're a little burned out on the big boy(s). And, while I remain skeptical that the names most rumored for a future in WWE will ever get to Florida, there are definitely a few cats working in ROH now who will show up on USA or SyFy someday.
If you've watching regularly, or even if you're not, feel free to tell us what you're looking forward to in the comments below.