With AEW fresh off the Full Gear PPV, it is time for Tony Khan to turn his attention to ROH.
ROH is holding the Final Battle PPV on December 10.
.@ringofhonor #FinalBattle is coming to @utacollegepark in Dallas/Ft. Worth TX on Saturday, December 10! Get your tickets to witness this annual #ROH event LIVE!— ROH - Ring of Honor Wrestling (@ringofhonor) October 19, 2022
️ Tickets (starting at $25+fees) go on-sale Friday 11/4 at 10am CT https://t.co/QXOgSKed9D | https://t.co/vrln7Khlk4 pic.twitter.com/vjAR8040S4
With building to Full Gear as the prime attraction on AEW television, the direction for Final Battle is understandably cloudy at the moment. There are still some hints out there for the lineup. Let’s break it down.
A good place to start is the list of current ROH champions:
- ROH World Championship: Chris Jericho
- ROH Women’s World Championship: Mercedes Martinez
- ROH World Television Championship: Samoa Joe
- ROH Pure Championship: Daniel Garcia
- ROH World Tag Team Championship: FTR
- ROH World Six-Man Championship: Dalton Castle & The Boys
Chris Jericho is the anchor to draw as ROH world champion. He’s made it his mission to dishonor the legacy of ROH by embarrassing former champions. After surviving the odds to retain at Full Gear, next on the list is Tomohiro Ishii on Wednesday night Dynamite. That’s going to be awesome.
#ROH World Champion @IAmJericho is putting his Title on the line against Tomohiro Ishii on Thanksgiving Eve THIS WEDNESDAY at #AEWDynamite LIVE from Chicago at 8pm ET/7pm CT on @TBSnetwork! pic.twitter.com/bLOiEsXSLy— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) November 20, 2022
Assuming Jericho gets past the Stone Pitbull, which seems highly likely, he’ll need a dance partner capable of drawing as well. Based on current storyline circumstances, my short list is Jerry Lynn and Jay Briscoe. Jericho planted Lynn with a piledriver on stage. If Lynn can still rock the ring, then a return to action would be pretty cool. Briscoe is the more unique matchup in terms of the dream realm. Briscoe can definitely go on a main-event level for an excellent performance, and he represents ROH through and through. There’s also a potential tease that he could be Jericho’s adversary for Final Battle.
The challenger for Mercedes Martinez seems clear. She returned from injury on Rampage to confront Athena’s bad attitude. Sign me up for that one, please.
Samoa Joe is a double TV champ after winning the TNT title at Full Gear. Wardlow isn’t going to let that slide, so a rematch will likely be in the works. Wardlow coming for ROH gold would make sense as a tit for tat. Will Hobbs might even have a case to run it back as a three-way hoss fight on ROH turf.
Daniel Garcia has been heating up the Pure title on the Dark circuit lately. Wheeler Yuta is a strong candidate to complete their personal trilogy for the year. Yuta retained the Pure belt at Death Before Dishonor in July, then Garcia won the strap on Dynamite in September.
Personally, that matchup doesn’t enthuse me all that much. Jericho Appreciation Society versus Blackpool Combat Club fatigue is real. Let’s get fresh blood on the scene. Unfortunately, I don’t see a needle-mover on the AEW roster that makes sense in story for a PPV at this moment. Time to throw a few names around. If Kyle O’Reilly is ready to return from injury, that would be a cool matchup. I’d like to see Frankie Kazarian get rewarded for his great main event at Impact Over Drive with some time to work with a young stud like Garcia.
FTR’s opponents appear to be set. The Kingdom duo of Matt Taven and Mike Bennett specifically arrived in AEW to challenge the ROH tag champs. OGK never got a title rematch after losing the belts to the Briscoes when ROH went on hiatus. For other options, I’d like to see FTR wrestle Claudio Castagnoli & Wheeler Yuta. They had a staredown at the end of Death Before Dishonor. That match would be electric in quality. The Gunn sons also make sense, however, that feud feels more suitable for television rather than PPV.
#FTR fought their hearts out here at #ROH #DeathBeforeDishonor. Have they sparked the interest of the #BlackpoolCombatClub? Is there a Champion's Challenge down the road? We will see you all on Wednesday at #AEWDynamite #FightForTheFallen LIVE at 8/7c on TBS! pic.twitter.com/h4p74NqHC9— ROH - Ring of Honor Wrestling (@ringofhonor) July 24, 2022
Dalton Castle & The Boys will bring the panache. It doesn’t matter who their opponents will be. Just pick a team who can make Castle shine in all his glory. Heels would be ideal, but I’m drawing a blank on AEW options who can eat a loss to the peacock master.
My guess for the Final Battle championship bouts stacks up as:
- ROH World Championship: Chris Jericho (c) vs. Jay Briscoe
- ROH Women’s World Championship: Mercedes Martinez (c) vs. Athena
- ROH World Television Championship: Samoa Joe (c) vs. Wardlow
- ROH Pure Championship: Daniel Garcia (c) vs. Wheeler Yuta
- ROH World Tag Team Championship: FTR (c) vs. Matt Taven & Mike Bennett
- ROH World Six-Man Championship: Dalton Castle & The Boys (c) vs. Beer City Bruiser, Brian Milonas, & Brian Johnson
Add in a Colt Cabana match to pop the crowd. Former ROH world champ Bandido should get a spot. I would absolutely love to see Bandido versus Dragon Lee as a special lucha libre attraction. As far as I can tell, they’ve never wrestled each other in singles action on the televised stage. Back in 2019, Bandido beat Dragon Lee in PWG, and who knows about the Mexican indie scene. There is also Prince Nana’s Embassy with Brian Cage, Bishop Kaun, and Toa Liona.
What’s your prediction for the ROH Final Battle card? If you could book a realistic lineup to your preference, what would it be?