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ROH Final Battle 2022 preview & predictions

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The latest Tony Khan-booked Ring of Honor event comes our way on Sat., Dec. 10 from College Park Center at the University of Texas-Arlington — it’s Final Battle! The PPV portion begins at 4pm ET (on Bleacher Report domestically; the rest of the world can use Fite). The PPV starts at 4pm ET with the free “Zero Hour” pre-show at 3 pm ET., with the free Zero Hour pre-show starting an hour earlier.

We’ll give you everything you need to get ready for this afternoon’s show, with a quick rundown of the stories leading to each match (or whatever explanation we’ve gotten for them), and predictions from our staff’s proficient prognosticators.

Let’s boogie.

ROH World championship: Chris Jericho (c) vs. Claudio Castagnoli

Chris Jericho won the ROH World Championship from Claudio Castagnoli at AEW Grand Slam. That began Jericho’s reign with The Ocho to desecrate the legacy of ROH. Jericho had successful title defenses against former ROH champions Bandido, Bryan Danielson, Dalton Castle, Colt Cabana, and Tomohiro Ishii. Le Champion even retained in a four-way against Claudio, Danielson, and Sammy Guevara. Claudio wanted another taste at title glory so bad that he is wagering his status as a professional wrestler. If Claudio loses, then he will be forced to join the Jericho Appreciation Society and embrace the ways of the sports entertainer.

Sean Rueter: Is Jericho going to be an AEW star or an ROH one? If Tony Khan is going to announce some sort of TV deal for his acquisition at the post-show scrum, that could be mission accomplished for the Ocho. And if this really is the end of the BCC/JAS war, the good guys should win... right? Pick: Claudio Castagnoli

Claire Elizabeth: Yeah, Jericho as ROH World Champion has been good friendly “holy hell 2022 professional wrestling” fun but it’s time for it to come to an end. I wish it was somebody else just because I hate the idea of minting yet another two-time ROH World Champion after it had been such a special thing for such a long time, but that horse is out of the barn so let’s go Claudio. Pick: Claudio Castagnoli

Cain A. Knight: If Chris Jericho truly wants to tarnish the ROH brand, he’ll retain the title and refuse to defend it on whatever platform Tony Khan has lined up for future ROH content. Sports entertainer Claudio better start picking out the right size Jake Hager hat for his head. Pick: Chris Jericho

Manolo H. Pizzazz: As much as I want to pick Jericho to retain, Jon Moxley’s fiery Blackpool Combat Club promo makes me think Claudio will triumph. Claudio should be ready for all Jericho’s tricks by now, and the Swiss superman already has the confidence of beating Le Champion in previous matches. Pick: Claudio Castagnoli

Kyle Decker: Final Battle is traditionally ROH’s biggest show of the year. It’s the time you dethrone the big bad who’s tarnishing the title. (Though is Jericho actually doing that?) Pick: Claudio Castagnoli

ROH World Tag Team championship: FTR (c) vs. Briscoes in double dog collar match

Bring on round 3. FTR won the ROH tag titles from the Briscoes at Supercard of Honor in April. FTR took the rematch winning best 2-of-3 falls at Death Before Dishonor in July. Both those matches were awesome. Despite FTR sweeping the first two bouts, the finishes were a little dusty. Enough so that there is still doubt that FTR is truly the better tag team. Now, the bad blood will be settled with a dog collar stipulation.

Sean Rueter: If Dem Boys don’t ever go over the Top Guys on ROH PPV, why even sign them? This year’s proven Dax & Cash will be over regardless of their booking, but can they really take a second straight loss in a title match? Or will their dropping belts be a storyline? Am I stalling because I don’t know who to pick? Pick: The Briscoes

Claire Elizabeth: I love the Briscoes despite... everything... but I’m still completely sick of the idea of ROH talent who can’t appear on AEW TV for as long as they’re joined at the hip and even the promise of that changing soon isn’t enough for me to change my mind. Pick: FTR

Cain A. Knight: I think this is where FTR begins to drop all of their championship gold, especially if Tony Khan has some kind of deal in place for future ROH content that is not on a Warner Bros. Discovery platform. Pick: The Briscoes

Manolo H. Pizzazz: I think FTR have the Briscoes’ number. Sometimes, that’s just the way it goes in sports. Top Guys retain. Pick: FTR

Kyle Decker: Maybe a TV deal is coming, maybe it’s not. But as long as ROH and their champions are represented on a Warner product, the Briscoes isn’t going to hold the titles. Pick: FTR

ROH Women’s World championship: Mercedes Martinez (c) vs. Athena

Athena developed a rude attitude acting bigger than her britches taking post-match liberties on defeated opponents. She even punched referee Aubrey Edwards. Mercedes Martinez made a surprise return from injury to restore honor. The OG Badass is ready to knock the Fallen Goddess down to size.

Sean Rueter: Athena has people talking, ergo... Pick: Athena

Claire Elizabeth: Athena hits hard, Mercedes Martinez hits harder. Cannot and will not pick against her. Pick: Mercedes Martinez

Cain A. Knight: Athena is the one receiving the big push right now. Pick: Athena

Manolo H. Pizzazz: I thought for sure Serena Deeb would dethrone Martinez at Death Before Dishonor in July. That wasn’t the case. I’m never doubting the OG Badass again. And if the plan is to branch off for a separate women’s division in ROH, then Martinez is a strong choice as the godmother of the locker room. Pick: Mercedes Martinez

Kyle Decker: Even though it’s never on Dynamite, it feels like this evil Athena character is going somewhere. Pick: Athena

ROH World Television championship: Samoa Joe (c) vs. Juice Robinson

Samoa Joe is the King of Television holding the TNT Championship and the ROH World Television Championship. Juice Robinson recently signed with AEW, and he’s looking to increase his status by winning gold.

Sean Rueter: I’ve been surprised by Juice title wins before, and I can’t rule that out completely here either. Robinson is someone I could see ROH building around. Maybe it’s cause I’m a long-time Joe fan, but I say his “One True King of Television” gimmick has legs. Pick: Samoa Joe

Claire Elizabeth: Joe just destroyed Darby Allin on Dynamite and Darby is higher up the food chain than Juice freakin’ Robinson. Pick: Samoa Joe

Cain A. Knight: There are way too many titles in AEW/ROH, so it makes the most sense to keep two of them on Joe for a while. Pick: Samoa Joe

Manolo H. Pizzazz: Joe’s gonna kill him. Clap, clap, clap! Pick: Samoa Joe

Kyle Decker: I don’t think Joe loses the TNT title before losing the ROH TV title. The TNT is more important so that’s the one that should go first. Pick: Samoan Joseph

ROH Pure championship: Daniel Garcia (c) vs. Wheeler Yuta

Pure rules rubber match. Wheeler Yuta retained the ROH Pure Championship against Daniel Garcia at Death Before Dishonor in July. Garcia won the Pure title on AEW Dynamite in September. Time to settle the debate which style is better, professional wrestler or sports entertainer.

Sean Rueter: Sticking with my “BCC should win the JAS feud” theme from the main event pick. Also hoping Yuta received William Regal’s message and starts to show some villainous tendencies. Pick: Wheeler Yuta

Claire Elizabeth: Both men have crooked mentors, but Garcia is a better student, and so I gotta think Red Death’s got this one, y’all. By hook or by crook. Pick: Daniel Garcia

Cain A. Knight: Isn’t is strange how Daniel Garcia received a ton of TV time in the Jericho/Danielson story, but then he immediately went back to being a background player? Pick: Daniel Garcia

Manolo H. Pizzazz: Garcia needs this win to fortify his status as a young gun after so much drama in the BCC feud. Winning the rubber match over Yuta can be a building block to higher levels. Pick: Daniel Garcia

Kyle Decker: A true toss up here so I’ll pick the good guy. He could a positive turn after his mentor left. Pick: Wheeler Yuta

ROH Six-Man Tag Team championship: Dalton Castle & The Boys (c) vs. The Embassy

Dalton Castle looks at the Embassy and sees a challenge worthy of delivering a show that the audience craves. Peacock power will explode over those mountains of meat.

Sean Rueter: The Party Peacock deserves better than this, but Nana’s crew needs hardware more than Dalton & The Boys. Pick: The Embassy

Claire Elizabeth: I don’t know anything about the Gates but I do know Dalton is broken down and Prince Nana knows how to run a stable. Now let’s just get Alex Shelley in here and we’ll have a real Embassy going! Pick: The Embassy

Cain A. Knight: I just have a really hard time picking a team with the very boring name of “The Embassy.” Pick: Dalton Castle & The Boys

Manolo H. Pizzazz: My mind’s telling me no, but my body, my body’s telling me yes. Pick: Dalton Castle & The Boys

Kyle Decker: It’s been awhile since I really watched ROH, but the Boys don’t feel like a match for the dudes on the other side of the ring. Pick: The Embassy

Swerve in our Glory vs. Shane Taylor & JD Griffey

It appears that Keith Lee is a drama king leaving partners over the years. He’s currently experiencing a rough patch with Swerve Strickland. Lee also left Shane Taylor and JD Griffey in the past. Taylor called Lee out, and a tag match was made.

Sean Rueter: TK’s been giving us some swerves within swerves lately — how can he resist throwing a few into the program with a guy named Swerve in it? Tease peace between Strickland & Lee. Just when they’re setting up for the Stomp/Spirit Bomb combo on Griffey, The Limitless One steps out of the way. Swerve flies right into Taylor who nails him with a piledriver. Keith & Shane reveal a Pretty Boy Killers reunion. Pick: Shane Taylor & JD Griffey

Claire Elizabeth: I’m not sure I wanna run right back to the Pretty Boy Killers, but I’m one hundred percent for sure it’s way past time for Swerve in Our Glory to be past tense. Pick: Shane Taylor Promotions

Cain A. Knight: The Lee/Swerve relationship should proceed to full on breakup, and that’s best accomplished with a loss in this match. Pick: Shane Taylor & JD Griffey

Manolo H. Pizzazz: On one hand, I don’t trust the partnership between Keith Lee and Swerve Strickland. On the other hand, the inclusion of Griffey feels like he’s there to eat the pin. Pick: Swerve in Our Glory

Kyle Decker: Lee and Swerve are going to fully break up eventually (a classic example of TK dragging his feet instead of fulling go for it on an angle) so they should not win. Pick: Shane Taylor & JD Griffey

Now give us your picks & thoughts on Final Battle! Then join us for our live results post this afternoon and we’ll see if any of us were right.

EDITOR’S NOTE: We put this together before last night’s Rampage, which is when AEW ROH TK added five more matches to Final Battle. RUSH will team with his brother Dralistico on the main card, and four bouts were booked for Zero Hour. Read about them all here.

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