Ring of Honor
Final Battle 2022
December 10, 2022
College Park Center
Watch: PPV / FITE (Non-US)
Meet our Previewer
Suit Williams: The last ROH showing of 2022 has shaped up to be a fun matinee event with all sorts of happenings. You can read more of my writing right here on Voices of Wrestling, and you can follow me on Twitter @SuitWilliams. Remember when Twitter was gonna die? It still might!
The Kingdom (Matt Taven & Mike Bennett) (w/Maria Kanellis) vs. Top Flight (Dante Martin & Darius Martin)
Suit: This Zero Hour match will really blow people away if it’s given time. Top Flight are two of the best young prospects on the AEW roster. An innovative pair of flyers both under the age of 24 who have already impressed in some big spots. They go up against the Kingdom, who despite getting dumped on in certain circles of Twitter, are a high-end tag team in the scene right now.
This will be a red-hot match that gets some impulse buys for the main card, and I can’t think of any better compliment for a pre-show match. As far as the winner, I expect new challengers for the tag team titles after FTR/Briscoes III, and I expect those challengers to be Bennett and Taven. Prediction: The Kingdom
Willow Nightingale vs. Trish Adora
Suit: Whoever wins this can probably be penciled in for the next shot at the Women’s Title. Adora is a name a lot of people have circled for big things in the future, and I wonder if Willow may have different plans than challenging for the ROH Women’s Title. I’ll go with the safe pick and pick Willow, but don’t be surprised if Adora gets an upset here. Prediction: Willow Nightingale
Shinobi Shadow Squad (Cheeseburger & Eli Isom) vs. The Jericho Appreciation Society (Angelo Parker & Matt Menard)
Suit: A JAS squash with a pair that I believe will get some more shine in ROH. Parker and Menard have taken every opportunity they’ve been given in AEW and knocked it out of the park, and they should get more chances with *ahem* a larger ROH platform coming soon. Prediction: Parker & Menard
Mascara Dorada vs. Jeff Cobb
Suit: The ROH/New Japan partnership is alive and well! This has every chance to be a fantastic clash of styles, as Cobb is athletic enough to keep up with Dorada’s speed and strong enough to throw him around with relative ease. Cobb has flirted with AEW before, being Chris Jericho’s hired gun in the feud against Moxley in 2020. That history, plus his history in ROH as a former TV champion tells me that Cobb will win this match and go on to challenge for a title while he’s around. Prediction: Jeff Cobb
ROH Pure Championship
Daniel Garcia (c) vs. Wheeler Yuta
Suit: The trilogy match between these two has every bit of potential to be a classic. Yuta took the first one at Death Before Dishonor that ended as soon as it was kicking into the next gear. Garcia won the second match on Dynamite in his hometown of Buffalo. As far as who wins this third match, I don’t have much of a feel for it. Both guys are great at the Pure style. I think Garcia has more upside than Yuta, but Yuta fits ROH more as the proud pro wrestler. Plus, with these two factions facing off in the World Title match, I don’t see one side losing both titles. I will say that Yuta gets payback for Garcia turning his back on the BCC and wins the Pure Title back. Prediction: Wheeler Yuta
ROH Women’s World Championship
Mercedes Martinez (c) vs. Athena
Suit: What a difference one match can make. When Athena went into the Toronto Dark Elevation taping, she was a babyface with no direction after losing to Jade Cargill. After beating the hell out of Jody Threat and causing a minor controversy online, she and AEW leaned into it, making her the new Scott Steiner and just brutalizing jabrones every week. It’s a neat way of using something that got attention and steering into it instead of running away from it.
Mercedes Martinez has been injured as of late, so she’s coming into this match cold as champion. Even if they do plan on Martinez being the champion long-term, Athena winning this match gives them a chance to build Mercedes back up for the title later on. It also gives this new Athena character a stamp of legitimacy, getting the job done and winning a title. Athena? More like A-mean-a! …because she’s mean now. I’ll leave the puns to Andrew Rich. Prediction: Athena
ROH World Television Championship
Samoa Joe (c) vs. Juice Robinson
Suit: The King of Television Samoa Joe, fresh off of murdering Darby Allin in defense of his TNT Title, defends against “Rock Hard” Juice Robinson. There’s not much to this one. Juice made the challenge on Rampage, and I expect him to lose. It’s been an odd few months for Juice, getting a rebrand in New Japan before letting his contract expire and moving on to AEW/ROH. I still think Juice has the potential to be a player, but he won’t be doing it as Television Champion. Prediction: Samoa Joe
Swerve In Our Glory (Swerve Strickland and Keith Lee) vs. Shane Taylor Promotions (Shane Taylor and JD Griffey)
Suit: A match well built for its position on the card, as laid out on this week’s Flagship. It’s a fun use of Keith Lee’s past history to play into his current story. I’m a big fan of Shane Taylor and the STP act, and I’m happy to see him in the revitalized ROH. I expect Swerve to be on his best behavior and help Keith take care of business. Prediction: Swerve In Our Glory
Rush and Dralistico vs. Blake Christian and AR Fox
Suit: This late addition is a welcome one, as Rush welcomes in his brother Dralistico (the second Mistico, the first Dragon Lee, the less famous of both) to take on the team of Christian and Fox. Rush has been a reliable hand for AEW and these ROH PPVs. Imagine calling Rush a reliable hand at any other point in his history. It’s wild. This match will be wild as well, as these guys will want to impress. LFI gets a formative victory here. Prediction: Rush and Dralistico
ROH World Six-Man Tag Team Championship
Dalton Castle and The Boys (Brandon Tate and Brent Tate) (c) vs. The Embassy (Brian Cage and Gates of Agony (Bishop Kaun and Toa Liona))
Suit: Dalton Castle and his act is super over with crowds, as it’s always been, so he and the Boys were a good choice to be the first Six-Man champions of the Khan era. This will be a fun undercard match with the big heels throwing around the Boys, and Castle throwing them around to boot. Plus, I need to see Prince Nana interact with the Boys. That would be a fun time for all. Prediction: The Embassy
ROH World Tag Team Championship – Double Dog Collar
FTR (Cash Wheeler and Dax Harwood) (c) vs. The Briscoes (Jay Briscoe and Mark Briscoe)
Suit: After teasing a Gunn Club defense for a few months, the bait and switch was completed successfully on Dynamite, with the Gunns making the challenge for a Double Dog Collar match on behalf of the Briscoes.
This guarantees to be drastically different from the last two title matches these teams have had on PPV. The first was the highly-anticipated first encounter that lived up to the hype. The second was the epic best of three falls match that played into FTR’s strength of thoughtful pro wrestling. This will be the bloody final battle (pardon the wordplay) that plays into the Briscoes strengths of swinging until the other guys stop swinging. I have no doubt this will be up to the standards of these two teams, if just a bit bloodier. As far as who wins, I have to go with FTR. Having the Briscoes lose three high-profile tag title matches in a row is tough, but as long as they are literally banned from Turner television, I can’t see them getting belted up. Plus, they’re the Briscoes. In ROH, those guys are as bulletproof as it comes. I just hope Tony sprung for Lynard Skynyrd. Prediction: FTR
ROH World Championship (If Castagnoli loses, he will have to join the Jericho Appreciation Society)
Chris Jericho (c) vs. Claudio Castagnoli
Suit: The Final Battle main event, and the culmination of a feud that has been going on since Vince McMahon was a part of the pro wrestling business. Chris Jericho has been nothing but a net positive since winning the ROH World Title at Dynamite: Grand Slam. He’s had fantastic matches on a near-weekly basis, putting out some of the best work of his career at age 52. This is the culmination of his year, as he takes on the man he beat for the title in Claudio Castagnoli.
The problem with Claudio as the top babyface of a promotion is that I don’t think that’s Claudio’s position of best use. While he’s a likable guy by all accounts, and an incredible wrestler to boot, he doesn’t have that “get behind a guy” charisma about him. That may be why this match feels cold going in, after the clunky set up promo on Rampage a few weeks back. But they’re going with Claudio here, as I think this will be the spot where professional wrestling stands tall over sports entertainment. Jericho can easily be a part of ROH TV in some form or fashion, and Claudio as champion is a nice mission statement for what Tony Khan’s ROH is going to be. Prediction: Claudio Castagnoli