Ring of Honor Final Battle 2017 Preview

Ring of Honor is kind of an oddball promotion. Unlike most wrestling companies, they wait until the end of the year for their biggest show, which actually makes sense. WWE holds their big show in March/April and Impact Wrestling’s is in October/November. Those are kind of strange choices, which is why “Final Battle” being held in December makes some sense. Their biggest show of the year is being held tonight so let’s get to it.

Six Man Tag Team Titles: Young Bucks/Adam Page(c) vs. Titan/Dragon Lee/Flip Gordon

We’ll get this one out of the way early as I’m certainly not a fan of the Bucks. It doesn’t help that I can never even remember these titles exist. They’re hardly ever defended and the teams seem to be thrown together more often than not. That’s what’s happened here as Titan and Lee are CMLL wrestlers who are being brought in for another special appearance, this time getting a title shot.

Therefore, I’ll take the Bucks and Page to retain, as it’s not like they have anything else to do at the moment. It’s rather annoying to have these belts thrown around for no apparent reason other than for the sake of having more titles but having to deal with the Bucks makes it even worse. I’m sure the match will be entertaining and could make for a fun opener but it’s not much more than that.

Matt Taven vs. Will Ospreay

Another special attraction match with Ospreay coming in from New Japan for a guest appearance. Taven is another name that doesn’t do anything for me, along with the rest of the Kingdom. They’re just kind of there more often than not and this feels like a way to make sure Taven is on the card and fill in some time.

As awesome as Ospreay can be at times, I’ll go with Taven winning here. There’s no reason to have the outsider win here, though Ring of Honor has some weird opinions on how to treat the New Japan wrestlers. Taven seems better suited as a tag team wrestler but maybe having do a singles match will be a better fit for him. I mean, it’s not like it can get much less interesting.

Jay Lethal vs. Marty Scurll

Now this is more like it. Lethal has completely won me over and I see him as one of the true stars of Ring of Honor. He has consistently good matches, including pulling off a minor miracle against Beer City Bruiser a few weeks back. Scurll is a heck of a performer too and I’m actually starting to come around on this idea of cheering for someone whose gimmick is being a villain. They’ve even had a good story here with Scurll pointing out that Lethal was more successful on the dark side and trying to tempt him back.

I’ll take Lethal here, but Scurll winning would be a huge moment for him. It’s a case where you can’t go wrong with either pick and that’s a very nice situation to be in. Scurll isn’t quite a full time Ring of Honor guy and Lethal can absorb the loss just fine, though I think he needs the win at this point. I’m looking forward to this match and if it goes as I’m expecting, it could very easily steal the show.

Bully Ray/Tommy Dreamer vs. Briscoe Brothers

The build for this one has been downright impressive. In modern wrestling and especially in a promotion like Ring of Honor, it’s next to impossible to sell an angle. However, Ray sold the heck out of the thing and made it seem like he really was done. You could always feel that he was going to be in the ring at this show, but my goodness they made it work while they were building it up.

This is going to be the emotional rollercoaster of the show and it’s going to end with the Briscoes destroying the ECW legends. I’m not sure why this isn’t Ray vs. Jay Briscoe but the tag match works well enough. The Briscoes have their work cut out for them to get booed in New York but if there’s one team that can help them pull it off, it’s a pair of ECW alumni.

Tag Team Titles: Motor City Machine Guns(c) vs. Best Friends

We’re back to the matches that don’t feel like they have much going for them. The Best Friends showed up a few months back and haven’t exactly done much. That being said, they also haven’t done too little. The same is kind of true for the Guns, who are a semi-legendary team who deserve at least one run with the titles. That’s fine, though not exactly inspiring stuff.

I’ll take the champs to retain here as the Best Friends don’t quite seem ready for the belts. The Guns could lose them at any time (please, not back to the Bucks) but I really don’t think that’s the case here. The match should be well laid out, albeit in that Ring of Honor style that I’m just not a fan of most of the time. It won’t be bad, but I can’t see myself getting too far into this one.

Addiction vs. War Machine

This is more my style. These teams have built up a very nice rivalry over the last few weeks with War Machine wanting the titles back and Addiction using every heelish trick they can come up with to cut them off at every turn. Getting Ray Rowe suspended (likely for a tour or an injury) was a nice move and it gives you a reason to want to see War Machine crush them.

As much as I want to think it’s going to be the Addiction, I can’t get past the idea of seeing War Machine beat those two into the ground. Addiction doesn’t need a win like this and while they’re still good, are probably better suited more as gatekeepers for younger teams with more long term potential. War Machine is one such team, assuming they’re not eventually WWE bound.

TV Title: Kenny King(c) vs. Punishment Martinez vs. Silas Young vs. Shane Taylor

I’m not sure what to think of this but King has really grown on me in recent weeks. Who would have thought that someone who can talk and is a borderline athletic freak was better suited as a face? Again, they’ve built the heck out of this match and I really want to see who comes out as champion.

I’ll go with Young winning, as they’ve teased giving him something for so long now that they have to actually do it at one point or another. Having the match under elimination rules might make that a little more complicated, but he’s probably the best choice of the four. King would be the second best option and Martinez can be a solid monster, though I don’t see Taylor being much of an option no matter what he does. The match should be good, especially if they tell a story with some drama included.

ROH World Title: Cody(c) vs. Dalton Castle

As well as ROH has built Castle up, I just can’t bring myself to take him as a serious contender to the World Title. Having the Boys gone helps (though you can pencil them in for a return here, even if it’s just a run-in) and the wardrobe change is a good move, but Castle just doesn’t seem serious enough to take the title. Of course that being said, Cody hasn’t felt like a real World Champion since he won the thing and I don’t see that changing either.

In a prediction I’m almost sure to get wrong, I’ll go with Cody to retain. The problem is I’m not sure who takes it off of him if he gets by Castle. Lethal maybe? A Japanese import? Their options near the top of the card are a little limited as Castle could face the Bullet Club for months. I just can’t see them going with Castle though and that’s why the main event scene is one of the company’s biggest issues at the moment.

Overall Thoughts

This is one of Ring of Honor’s best built cards in a long time and that’s a nice thing to see. Far too often these shows feel like they’ve been slapped together and it’s cool to see them actually make the top show feel like the top show. There are multiple matches I want to see and I don’t get to that point very often around here. Well done on setting something up but now follow through on it.

 

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