Wrestling With Words will be providing live coverage of Final Battle 2015 beginning at 6 PM PST/9 PM EST.
Ring of Honor
December 18, 2015
Result of the pre-show match (that was supposed to be streamed, and I don’t even know if it was taped at this point).
— Cartoon Dave (@DaveMuscarella) December 19, 2015
Right as the pay-per-view warning was played, Cruise’s audio was leaked which was quite humerus. He was getting the crowd hyped up.
A video package leads us in, as it carries over the orange destruction tint with lots of weird zoom-ins and audio cuts. It definitely gives the apocalypse vibe.
We are live in the 2300 Arena for Final Battle 2015. They’re still going with the Mr. Wrestling III gimmick, and BJ Whitmer promised to come to the arena and attend as a ‘fan’. Also, Jerry Lynn will be in attendance tonight. Based on prior TV, I wouldn’t be surprised if he was used as a scapegoat for the Styles/Lethal main event.
This is a #1 Contenders match for the ROH World Tag Team Championship. A really good spotfest opener. There were a few dynamics I really enjoyed. The one thing I did not enjoy however, was the fact that The Bucks were booked so prominently even without winning/losing. There’s a line between a gimmick and what goes on in a match. The superkick metre far exceeded the typical during a match, as there were some points where it became too much and too ‘exposing the business’ like, but so be it. ANX got heat like hell here in Philly, as the fans split chants between The Bucks & The Briscoes. ANX kept saving each other which ended up paying off, as they even survived a Meltzer Driver. Eventually, ANX beat Briscoes in the mini, within the match war, and fended them off. That allowed them to get rid of The Bucks as well, as King caught one of them after a More Bang For Your Buck attempt to prevent that as well. The rest was history. ANX won off of a Super One Night Stand on Mark Briscoe. As predicted!
This match is the definition of sloppy. I don’t know what it is, or why is it, that these guys don’t have better chemistry in the ring. My buddy, and fellow staff member D. Spence explains exactly what I mean by this.
There's been a few spots in this match designed to be big "ohh" impact spots where the impact just hasn't been there.
— Spence (@DSpenceCantLose) December 19, 2015
There was even a Sami Zayn DDT like spear that was going to be hit through the gap in one of the ringposts; but it wasn’t executed properly. The crowd was hot from the beginning but slowly faded out the more and more the “ohh’s” became “o-oh’s”. This match didn’t even last long, and was completely the opposite of what a grudge match should be. If anything, this sets up even more matches between them. Silas won with Misery after The Boys prevented a Deadlift German, and caused an awkward distraction. This sucked. Near DUD territory. If you’re planning to watch the show, skip this match. Lousy on all fronts, with nothing designed to make you further invested or feel a pay off.
After the match, Silas harassed Dalton and forced him to call him ‘a man’. After he refused, he got the boys to get chairs to hit him because he wouldn’t say so. Dalton obliged and called Silas ‘a man’. He adds to it by saying he’s a foolish man. The Boys then smash Silas with some of the worst chair shots I’ve ever seen. A terrible execution to an exhausting feud that never seemed to end; taking far too many turns to count and remember. Lame yet pleasing since The Boys are back.
Moose came out in his glow-up football gear as he’s done on other big occasions. This match better actually live up to its potential and not pull a Silas/Dalton. I think I might have cursed this match too. Another sloppy failed attempt at what they should have been going for [naturally] in the ring. Everything felt so slow and set-up, with so urgency or decency to put on an Elgin/Ishii level beat-up pace. Another pair that fail to match the levels of chemistry we expected from them. The crowd was derailed here as well, except not to the same extent as before cause these two are good personalities. After a long, brutal stretch of essentially nothing moves, the two finally got back on pace and started to add to the story. Moose kicked out of the Elgin Bomb, staying resilient except finally being put down for more than a 1 count. Elgin kicked out of a spear after a bounce back post-Elgin buckle bomb delivery. They let me down again, and ended the match abruptly. Moose went to run-up the turnbuckle to flip back over Elgin but got pushed. Then, Elgin took him off the top and delivered a Burning Hammer for the win, calling out Lethal in the process. Incredibly disappointing. Moose came off as not even half the star he is in other encounters or places. Elgin was flat here as well. Lame.
Okay. This HAS to deliver. If not, then this falls down the show landslide even more. This is officially labelled as a ‘Grudge Match’, minus the Fight Without Honor stipulation that I wish was placed upon it. The first pair to do a grudge right tonight. This was the intensity we needed. Right from the bell, you could tell these two were at the peak of hatred — with O’Reilly using a chair to put Cole in and missile dropkick him 10 seconds in. There were tons of fantastic work-overs from both men, as O’Reilly focused on Cole’s left arm to counter Cole’s work on his left leg, which was a highlight of the match. The match kept building and building and never stopped. The two beat the everloving hell of each other, and still told a wonderful story; keeping continuity with limbwork in-tact throughout the match as well. The finish was the peak of storytelling, with a sketchy finish actually being okay in this situation. After tons of Kawada kicks, submission attempts, and close calls, O’Reilly finally got Cole trapped in a triangle, with Cole previously getting out of anything locked in and sneaking around, working over the left leg, even keeping it in-tact with a damn suplex. Kyle kept continuity too by locking in a hold and keeping the arm locked in and trapped on his back. The triangle was locked in, but Cole leveraged his way towards the ropes, and got in a perfect position to get his feet up and attempt a roll-up. 1-2-3, Cole wins the grudge match. O’Reilly was a mad man screwed out of another loss, locking in the armbar for what seemed like ages, until 6-ish security guards had to fix the situation. Perfect.
This was, and still is, one of the lesser appealing matchups tonight. I have a feeling it could surprise me though. Prince Nana is on commentary for this one if not other matches too. The only noteworthy thing about this match was the good heel work from Sabin, as the crowd were going nuts for the first MCMG confrontation; except Sabin tagged back out to garner a better reaction/pop than anything else ever could have during this. We got a neat hot tag chain, with Sydal spinning heel kicking Sabin out of mid-air to get to Shelley, who had some neat spots with Daniels, and then ACH came back in to put on a show (to no reaction really); running all the way around for a shitty looking wrap-around kick. That defines this match. It ran all the way around to get no reaction at the finish line. There was absolutely no heat on these finishing attempts. Kelly saying that the action was far from over made me mad. This is why I’m rambling on a keyboard instead of paying attention to the match. Eventually a Midnight Star/SSP combo was hit on Sabin for the win. Wow. It really was as bad as expected. Philly didn’t even pop for anything sans the Sabin heel trick. Laughable.
Time for the workhorse bout of the evening. Even if there wasn’t a definitive reason to be invested, or an exact grip on what the match was, it was just as I said it’d be. These two gradually built up something good, with the match feeling a bit flat at times; yet they tried to go hard or go home with some huge impact spots that made the match the workhorse type of match you thought it’d be. The thing that was missing in this match was crowd reaction. Danny, from Get in the Ring, who was in attendance, said the crowd started to make a big deal of Bobby’s scarf instead of the match. There was no heel, or face, until the finish. The two showed why they’re technical sound to no praise or emotion intertwined with reaction. It was simply alright because of that, but good from an in-ring perspective. The finish saw Roddy locked in a submission, then tapping secretly, making Bobby think he won the match, but in reality he didn’t — Bobby was stuck with a final knee strike and got pinned. A good point in the match was a massive top rope Falcon Arrow that was hit by Bobby. At least I liked that?
Yes! Veda & Cedric are here. Veda cuts another shoot-ish promo on not missing Final Battle and the ‘male dominated industry’. She talks shit about Nigel, and goes on about the lawsuit against ROH. Veda gets drowned out by “STFU” chants, but retorts back saying that an agreement has been reached. The terms are confidential, and that the pair are happy with the settlement. Legally, there is nothing you can do to stop the 2016 inbound with both competing more than ever. Decent work and I look forward to seeing Cedric back ASAP. Some nice continuity as they dressed up more wealthy than before.
Oh boy. Just what the crowd needed to turn back up in time for the main event. Me too. Not. This was short, and these guys killed each other. Fallout was hit on Bennett, and War Machine are new champions. They might have gone home early because of Taven getting completely wrecked. At least it kept the destroyer narrative none the less. It’ll be interesting to see the War Machine vs. ANX match that’s next up for the division.
As we switch gears to the main event, Whitmer comes in out of nowhere to join commentary as Mr. Wrestling III left because of two ‘guest commentators’ for the main event. Security blitz’s Whitmer and leads him out I guess. Nigel & Lynn are on commentary. This is coming closer and closer to a potential correct prediction of Lynn getting involved in the main event.
Wow. What an interesting turn of events during the match, and more branched off because of the finish. Jay Lethal pinned AJ Styles clean in the ring. I underestimated the booking of this main event. Most of the shit show tonight lowered my confidence even more, and the direct, clean result was one that I did not expect at all. These two killed each other, specifically AJ was the one being killed. I don’t approve once bit of the bumps he took, as he’s a few weeks away from the biggest series of matches in his entire career. Shinsuke at the Dome, Zack Sabre Jr., Rey Mysterio, southern folk. And this man decides to go 100% out on Final Battle, even taking multiple variations of Lethal’s injections, as well as being dropped through a damn table for the finish, also being swung around landing on his back at different points. I wasn’t the biggest fan of the typical ROH main event slow build, but it left a better taste in my mouth via a clean finish and not an overbooked compilation of storyline intertwine-ment. Lethal was on offense for a good chunk of the time, except for when AJ would counter with his signature moves and try to deliver big time on a broken back. The story told was that AJ would simply not give up. The man, after going through all of the aforementioned pain, kicked out of the Lethal Injection. This led to the final blow — a Lynn cradle piledriver as well as a final Lethal Injection were hit for the win. That’s right. I have to say it again. Lethal pinned Styles clean. A scenario I thought was near-impossible played out in front of my eyes. This was one thing that struck close to gold and providing a logical outcome on the basis of a logical wrestling match. I commend Styles for going all out, even if he was idiotic in the taking bumps attitude, knowing what he has coming up.
In closing, this pay-per-view was nowhere near the levels I thought it could reach. Besides Adam Cole vs. Kyle O’Reilly, and the also fantastic main event, nothing is worth your time checking out. The opener was a nice spotfest to resolve a contendership issue, Silas/Dalton, as well as Moose/Elgin & the 6 man completely dropped the ball in their efforts; and everything else in-between was a good solid Canadian “eh” *shrugs off shoulders*. This was absolutely nowhere near a $45 price point, but I at least got my moneys worth with the two most important matches on the card. It’s obvious that BJ/Corino will keep on feuding for eternity, as the feud nor any of the problems came to an end tonight. This was ROH Final Battle 2015. About as below average as you can get when it comes to a wrestling show. Two memorable, great matches with the rest of stuff being forgetful-DUD territory. Thanks for checking out Wrestling With Words’ live coverage of the event.