ROH World Champion Kevin Steen defends against hated rival El Generico in a Ladder War. Matt Hardy returns to ROH. Jerry Lynn makes his final appearance. A title changes hands. A team reunites. Plus, much more!
Ring of Honor presents Final Battle
From: New York, NY
1.)Roderick Strong defeated Michael Elgin
2.)Jay Lethal defeated Rhino
3.)RD Evans defeated Prince Nana
4.)Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team defeated BJ Whitmer & Rhett Titus in a street fight
5.)Mike Bennett defeated Jerry Lynn
6.)The American Wolves defeated Bobby Fish & Kyle O’Reilly
7.)Matt Hardy defeated ROH Television Champion Adam Cole in a non-title match
8.)the Briscoe Brothers defeated ROH World Tag Team Champions Steve Corino & Jimmy Jacobs, and Caprice Coleman & Cedric Alexander to win the titles
9.)ROH World Champion Kevin Steen defeated El Generico in a ladder match to retain the title
1. Former partners kick off the show trading right hands until Elgin catches Strong on the floor. Strong avoided a powerbomb but chops the ring post! Truth Martini makes his way down to watch the match. Elgin suplexs Strong over the top to the floor. Elgin follows up with a shoulder block off the apron. Elgin hits a running powerslam on the floor! Strong battles back with a back suplex on the apron! These two have been battling on the floor, and I don’t hear a count from the referee. Elgin drops Strong with a spinning side slam back in the ring for a two count. Elgin sends Strong into the corner with the Death Valley Driver but can’t keep Roderick down. Strong kicks Elgin in the head and hit a backbreaker over the top turnbuckle for a two count! They are both on the middle rope where Elgin is able to superplex Strong from the apron showing great strength! Elgin hits a buckle bomb and they begin to trade strikes. Strong hit a gut buster but runs into a big clothesline. Martini gets on the apron and kicks in his book. Strong blocks a powerbomb by hitting Elgin with the book and hit a backbreaker to win the match. (***1/4. A solid match to kick off the event, but I hate the decision to have Strong go over. Perhaps it was far too predictable to have Elgin go over. I just think it was necessary for Elgin to go over here. Oh well.) After the match, Strong reminds Martini that he quit the House of Truth. Martini turns his attention to Elgin and tells him he didn’t mean what he said to Strong. So, he is trying to win over Elgin. Martini tells Elgin that he loves him and gives him a hug! Elgin goes to powerbomb Martini but Truth asks for a minute. Martini proceeds to get angry and says that no one ever heard of Elgin until he met him. Martini is taking credit for everything that Elgin did. Truth slaps Elgin and is powerbombed into the corner and slapped to the floor.
2. Steve Corino has come out to ringside for this match for some reason. Kelly is hyping up a possible chance that Corino is trying to rekindle a friendship with Rhino. Lethal hit a springboard cross body early on. Lethal hit a springboard dropkick to knock Rhino off the apron as well. Rhino misses a clothesline on the floor and is met with a superkick and a suicide dive! Corino says that he dated Lethal’s mother! Rhino plants Lethal with a spine buster! Rhino has continued to work over Lethal for the majority of the match so far. Lethal fights back with a heel kick and clothesline. Rhino spears Lethal in the corner and hit a belly to belly suplex. Rhino signals for the GORE but Lethal hits a superkick and drives Rhino face first into the canvas! Lethal has the koquina clutch locked in but Rhino powers his way out of it. Rhino slams Jay down and Rhino gets a two count. Lethal hits the Lethal Injection and that’s good enough for the win! (**1/2. A decent match, but the main purpose of this was to give Lethal a quality win heading into ’13.) After the match, Corino gets on the microphone and on the apron. Corino tells Lethal he has a lot of balls to say he is going to get involved in the main event tonight. Corino tells Jay he dated his mother and he doesn’t have the balls to challenge Steen. Jay wants Steve to get in the ring, but Jimmy Jacobs gets in the ring and attacks Lethal. SCUM attack Lethal and Rhino GORES Lethal! Corino says that Lethal will never be the ROH World Heavyweight Champion. “You’ll forever be a second match turd.”
3. Evans slaps Nana and is tackled for doing so. Nana splashes Evans in the corner and slams him out of the corner. Evans misses a slingshot cross body and hits the floor. Nana takes Evans and QT out with a suicide dive! Evans is working over Nana’s lower back. Nana gets his boot up to block a forearm drop from RD. Nana gets a two count after a senton splash. Nana counters a springboard attempt with an ace crusher but QT pulls the referee out! Ernie comes out but is sent into the guard railing by QT. Nana crotches RD on the top rope and hit a superplex! Evans gets the win with an inverted Styles Clash. (**. I was expecting a strictly comedy match, but they went the serious route and it wasn’t awful.) After the match, Tommaso Ciampa appears through the crowd but is being held back.
4. All four men are wearing jeans and whatnot. Whitmer and Titus attack before the bell and from behind to kick off the street fight. They are brawling on the floor in the opening moments of the fight. Titus has a giant stocking, which has a crutch in it and candy canes. They use the canes on Benjamin and Haas. Titus has a Christmas tree and tosses that int the ring. Benjamin hits Titus in the face with the tree, though. Benjamin is working over Titus while Haas is slamming a name plate over BJ’s back. Benjamin superkicks Whitmer on the floor to save Haas from a piledriver on the floor. Haas is whipping Titus with a belt now. Haas whacks Rhett over the back with the crutch. Whitmer whacks both men with a kendo stick to save Titus. Haas takes Whitmer over with the Olympic Slam for a two count. Benjamin tosses a guard railing into the ring. Whitmer is slammed back first across the top of the railing! Titus slams Shelton face first into a steel chair for a near fall. Haas is hip tossed over onto the guard railing by Titus. Benjamin superkicks Titus. A table is set up on the floor and Titus brawls with Benjamin on the apron. Shelton sends Titus through the table with Paydirt! Whitmer almost rolls Haas up right after that! BJ hits an exploder suplex on Haas for a near fall. Whitmer decides to bring a second table into the mix. Haas stops Whitmer on the top rope and hit an overhead belly to belly suplex that saw Whitmer go through the table head first. Haas covers and wins the match. (**3/4. That was a sick spot at the end of the match to close out a decent fight between two teams that hated each other. They didn’t over do it with spots and whatnot, so that was refreshing.)
5. They start off with a slow start focusing more on mat wrestling. Lynn is getting the better of Bennett early on thus far. Bennett avoids the cradle piledriver quickly. Lynn hit a tilt a whirl head scissors and takes Bennett out with a cross body on the floor. Brutal Bob Evans clotheslines Lynn on the floor to help Bennett. Mike stops Lynn with a backbreaker in the corner. Lynn absorbs a few punches and yanks Bennett down to the mat several times. Lynn pokes Bennett in the eyes and rakes his back. Lynn plants Bennett with a DDT for a two count. Lynn drives Bennett off the apron down to the floor with an ace crusher for a two count. Bennett hit a spine buster but can’t keep Lynn down. Maria gets on the apron and Bennett gets a chair. Lynn counters the TKO with a crusher onto the chair for a near win of his own! Lynn has Maria but is dropped throat first across the top. Bennett hits the Box Office Smash to win the match. (**3/4. A fine match with the right outcome coming from it. I feel like the fans weren’t behind Lynn was I would have thought, but they put together a solid match to give Bennett more momentum heading into the new year.) After the match, Lynn DDT’s Maria onto Brutal Bob’s groin and plants Bennett with the cradle piledriver!
6. Lynn gets a microphone to do a speech. He thanks the fans and says that ROH gave him a shot in the arm to keep in going for a few years. Lynn puts Cary Silkin over as an honorable promoter. Lynn says that Cary kept the company going even though they were losing money since day one for the fans and boys in the back. Lynn thanks the boys for welcoming for allowing him into their locker room. Nigel McGuiness comes out and the locker room clears as well, it looks like. Nigel says that a lot of his moments in ROH involve Lynn. Nigel tells a story defining what “being over” really means and puts Lynn over for being over all the time. Nigel gives Lynn an award for his accomplishments for everything in the business. The fans want one more match and tells the fans he has six more left. Lynn thanks the fans before leaving.
7. Jay Lethal makes his way out to the ring to talk to Nigel. Lethal thinks Nigel has been ducking him all day. Lethal wants a piece of ROH World Champion Kevin Steen. He is still standing after the attack by SCUM and believes the main event spot belongs to him. Jay is putting himself in that spot. Nigel suggests Lethal cheer for El Generico because if he wins, Lethal will be the first in line for a title match. They have a pull apart to end the segment.
8. Kevin Kelly conducts an interview with the injured Mike Mondo. Kelly says that Mondo avoided surgery and rehabbed it and will be back in five months. Mondo says he is Mike Mondo, and that’s how he recovered quickly. Well, the fans aren’t getting behind Mondo. Mike doesn’t need the crutches anymore and throws them to the floor. Mondo is back in four weeks and says people will get no mercy and no fear. Here comes Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly. Fish wants to know what Mondo is doing right now. Fish reveals there will not be an American Wolves reunion. Fish suggests that Mondo be Davey Richards partner. O’Reilly leg sweeps Mondo’s leg and Mondo is attacked again. Davey Richards comes out and makes the save. Richards is worked over until Eddie Edwards runs out! Richards is held by O’Reilly and Fish. Edwards superkicks Fish and O’Reilly is kicked by Richards. The Wolves have reunited!
9. The Wolves hit double suicide dives on the floor to kick off the bout. Edwards slams Fish down gut first to the canvas and Richards hit a missile dropkick off the top. O’Reilly is worked over in the corner. Fish and O’Reilly have failed to get any offense going and we are several minutes into the match. Richards has a cloverleaf on Fish in the middle of the ring. Fish blocked Richards kick from the apron on the floor and Kyle knocks Richards off with a big kick. O’Reilly dropkicks Edwards into the guard railing! Eddie is being worked over by Fish and O’Reilly. Backbreaker/knee drop combo by Fish and O’Reilly on Edwards for a near fall. Kyle nearly pins Eddie following a punt, but Richards enters to deliver a few kicks. Kyle and Richards trade kicks until Richards hits a suplex on Kyle. Fish hits a Falcon Arrow on Richards. The action is really picking up with a series of nice spots. The Wolves hit double suplexs sending Kyle and Bobby over the top to the floor. Richards and O’Reilly are in the ring and just slapping each other with full force and trading kicks. Kyle gets a choke hold on Richards but Davey gets an ankle lock on Kyle! Kyle gets out of it but runs into a kick from Eddie. Wolves hit a superkick/tombstone combo but only get a near fall. O’Reilly plants Edwards with a tornado DDT and a brain buster for a near fall. Fish hits a moonsault on Eddie to break up a pin attempt. Fish appears to be hurt. Davey turns O’Reilly inside out with a clothesline Powerbomb/back stabber combo on O’Reilly and Edwards goes for the Achilles lock but Davey hits a double stomp! Edwards locks in the Achilles Lock and stomps on Kyle’s head to win by TKO! (***1/2. That was a really good tag team match. Just a great job by all four men.)
10. The fans do not like Matt Hardy one bit. Cole slaps Hardy early on and hit a dropkick. Cole takes Hardy out with a suicide dive on the floor! Cole follows up with another slingshot crossbody on the floor. Matt stops Cole with the Side Effect on the apron! Hardy can’t make Cole tap with a butterfly submission type move. Cole counters the Twist of Fate with the figure four but Matt countered quickly. Hardy hits another Side Effect but only gets a two count. Hardy decides to hit the same move for a third time. How about a fourth one? Sure, but Cole kicks out at two. Jesus, Matt hit a fifth Side Effect for a two count. Cole stops Hardy with a superkick for a near fall. Cole plants Matt with the Twist of Fate of his own but can’t get the three count. Cole kicks Hardy a couple of times for a near fall. Hardy nearly pins Cole with a sit down Razor’s Edge. Cole blocks the Twist of Fate and go to the floor where Cole hits the Florida Key! Hardy recovers to hit the Twist of Fate for a two count. Adam yanks Hardy off the middle rope and locks in the figure four. Hardy pulls the referee’s shirt over his head and low blows Cole to steal the victory. (***1/4. I enjoyed the match and thought the finish did a good job of making Hardy look like a prick. Hardy was getting some very good heat from the crowd and the win helps Hardy in ROH. Hopefully he sticks around for a while because it will only help ROH, in my opinion.)
11. This is a sudden death triple threat tag match. There are no eliminations. All six men are going at it to start the match with SCUM getting beaten up in the early moments. Alexander dropkicks Corino and tries to steal a win from Jay. Coleman hit a nice spine buster on Jacobs and Mark hit a frog elbow smash on Jacobs for a near fall. SCUM is leaving the ringside area but the Briscoe Brothers attack them on the floor to prevent that from happening. Alexander takes the Briscoe’s out with a somersault dive over the top and Coleman hits a moonsault on Corino for a two count. Mark nails Coleman with a yakuza kick. Jacobs plants Mark with a springboard ace crusher for a two count. Coleman plants Jacobs face first to the mat for a near fall. Jay jabs Coleman several times but is driven face first to the mat. Jacobs spears Coleman and Corino nearly wins with a back suplex. Jacobs hit a Slice Bread and a sitting lariat by Corino for a two count only. Corino misses a punch with a roll of quarters. Corino nearly pins Alexander with a punch of quarters after Alexander hit a hurricanrana on Jacobs off the top. The Briscoe’s hit the Doomsday Device on Jacobs to regain the titles. (***. A sold tag team match, but the finish wasn’t all that hot. The fans seemed to be uninterested in the idea of the Briscoe’s being champions. I’ll stand by my thought that Coleman and Alexander should have gone over and been established. Or, just keep the belts on Corino and Jacobs.)
12. These two have had a classic ladder match in PWG and now it’s time to try their luck for ROH. I’m greatly interested in this and it’s just Steen’s entrance. That’s when you know this has been a great feud. They start off just pummeling each other with Generico getting the better of the exchange and hits a tornado DDT followed by a yakuza kick. Generico takes Steen out with a top rope somersault dive! Generico rams a ladder into Steen’s face a couple of times and tosses the ladder at the champ. Steen backdrops Generico through the ladder! Steen cannonballs the ladder into Generico’s body in the corner. Steen whacks Generico over the back with the ladder as if it’s a chair. Steen sends Generico into the guard railing, which collapses. Steen sends Generico into a ladder in the corner and the challenger spins around on the ladder. Steen begins to climb the ladder but Generico gets up and pulls Steen down. Generico hits an exploder suplex sending Steen onto a ladder! Generico hits another suplex sending Steen head and face first onto a ladder! Generico climbs but the ladder is tipped over and Generico lands face first over the top turnbuckle. Steen counters a tornado DDT with a backbreaker. Steen climbs the ladder but Generico puts a stop to that quickly but Steen just tosses the challenger to the floor. Steen sends Generico through the guard railing a second time. Steen lays a ladder over the apron and railing. Steen grabs a ladder from under the ring as well. He places the table on top of the ladder! Generico backdrops Steen over the top and the champ goes through the table and onto the ladder! Generico tells some people to go backstage to get him something. They return with a bigger ladder. Generico stops Steen on the top but can’t get the brain buster. Steen proceeds to hit the F-5 sending Generico off the apron and through a table on the floor! Steen climbs the ladder but Generico is back and hits Steen with another ladder to stop his movement upward. Steen bridges a ladder across two other ladders. Steen powerbombs Generico across the ladder! Generico battles back to plant Steen with the Package Piledriver! Generico begins to climb the ladder but Steen has gotten up to prevent him. Steen puts another ladder across the other two to create a second layer. They are standing on the second layer where Steen low blows Generico and hits the Package Piledriver! That was insane! Steen climbs the ladder and grabs the championship to retain the title. (****. A great main event to close the show and probably end the feud with Generico. I will say that Generico should be seen as a ROH World Champion contender in the future. Some people seem to not see him in that way, but I’m a believer and think he would do great business. A job well done here by Steen and Generico.)
I thought it was a very good show overall. There wasn’t a match on the card that was bad. I’m interested to see where ROH goes heading into 2013. The only decision I strongly disagreed with was the opener with Elgin and Strong. There is no reason for Elgin to lose here. Anyway, Final Battle: Doomsday gets a thumbs up from me.
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