The results are in for Ring of Honor (R.O.H.)’s Final Battle pay-per-view.
This battle, which emanated from the Hammerstein Ballroom in downtown New York City, was to be headlined by a huge title defense by Adam Cole as well as a special appearance by former WWE star – and son of “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes – Cody, who took on the promotion’s MVP of sorts over the past two years, in Jay Lethal.
The complete results for R.O.H. Final Battle included a title change as well as some of the top-notch wrestling action that fans have come to expect from the nearly 15-year-old promotion.
First, a video package aired to highlight the impending R.O.H. Final Battle main event Heavyweight title match between champion Adam Cole and his former “Future Shock” tag team partner Kyle O’Reilly. While once considered one of Cole’s closest R.O.H. confidants, it should be noted that O’Reilly has traditionally played a “second fiddle” type of role compared to his former ally.
On to the Final Battle results!
The Rebellion (Caprice Coleman, Kenny King, and Rhett Titus) vs. The Motor City Machine Guns, (Alex Shelley and Chris Sabin) and Donovan Dijak
This fast-paced Final Battle opening matchup served as a throwback of sorts to some of the classic breathtaking, high-flying action that has helped define and characterize R.O.H. over the years. And the end results, obviously, did not disappoint.
Chaos would reign supreme in the final moments of the battle as all six men frantically battled in the ring. In the end, Titus was able to capitalize on Caprice Coleman’s pinpoint Sky Splitter leg drop on Sabin, following that move up with his own Big Dawg frog splash to pin the former T.N.A. Impact Wrestling Champion Sabin in the middle of the ring for the win.
Silas Young (with The Beer City Bruiser) vs. Jushin Thunder Liger
Liger, a 52-year-old Japanese masked wrestling legend had been slated to take on Young – who was once rumored to be the nephew of another legend in Japan in Stan “The Lariat” Hanson – since Young issued the challenge during a recent R.O.H. television taping.
This Final Battle match felt like a throwback of sorts to a bygone era in wrestling that was known to have been popularized in Tokyo in the 1970s and 1980s. It also made for quite an interesting contrast in styles given Liger’s propensity for high-flying, high-risk maneuvers and Young’s more traditional, ground-and-pound, wear-down type of offense.
In the end, the ground-and-pound won out. Liger attempted a top-rope press but was met with Silas’ knees, followed by Young hitting his Misery variation of a Fireman’s Carry into a cutter for the Final Battle pinfall victory.
Dalton Castle (with The Boys) vs. Colt Cabana
Perhaps the most memorable part of this Final Battle match happened before a single bell was even rung, as Castle entered the ring on his own custom chariot. After the pageantry ended, however, the two men who go right to work against one another. After suplexing Cabana nearly onto his head, Castle attempted a bridge suplex, which the more experienced Cabana reversed into his Billy Goat Curse submission hold, a reverse Boston Crab. After escaping, Castle would go on to hit his Bang-A-Rang spinning double-leg facebuster to get his hand raised in the end.
Cody (with Brandi Rhodes) vs. Jay Lethal
This Final Battle match was seen by many as an R.O.H. “dream match” of sorts.
Nearly immediately The Addiction (Christopher Daniels and Frankie Kazarian) come down to ringside as Daniels talks at length about the inspiration that Cody’s father Dusty Rhodes had on his own career, having grown up as a native North Carolina resident and fan of the National Wrestling Alliance (N.W.A.) out of Charlotte. Rhodes, who had held the promotion’s title, was obviously among the most popular N.W.A. stars of all time.
After a long, back-and-forth battle, Cody attempted a top-rope moonsault that fell short of the mark, while Lethal responded by hitting a cutter and attempting a top-rope elbow drop. Cody would catch his opponent and roll him up in a crucifix cradle pinfall attempt, to no avail. The former WWE star, with the R.O.H. crowd booing him, then hit the former R.O.H. Champion Lethal with his Cross Rhodes rolling cutter to pick up the win.
While R.O.H. has traditionally presented an environment where – like the name would imply – honor and respect prevails, Cody would instead mock R.O.H. Final Battle’s Hammerstein Ballroom crowd, flip off his beaten opponent, and begin to stomp on him.
Fortunately for Lethal, The Addiction were still at ringside to make the save.
Cody would also attack Steve Corino at the commentary desk, shoving him down hard.
Six-Man Tag Team Championship Match:
Lio Rush, Jay White, and Kushida vs. The Kingdom (Matt Taven, Vinnie Marseglia, and T.K. O’Ryan)
This R.O.H. Final Battle match was actually the tournament final for this new championship title, which was also introduced to the crowd just before the start of the match. The result was frantic action for which it was quite difficult for most fans at ringside to truly keep track.
As the action spilled to the outside, Lio Rush and Matt Taven remained in the ring. Taven would whip Rush into the ropes, at which point T.K. O’Ryan hit him with his partner Taven’s cane. One triple-team powerbomb later, Taven would pin Rush to win the new title for his team.
R.O.H. Television Championship Triple-Threat Match:
Marty Scurll (c) vs. Will Ospreay vs. Dragon Lee
Bobby Fish had been pulled from this Final Battle match, which was formerly a four-way match, presumably due to injury. Toward the end, Ospreay would nail Lee with a spinkick and cutter, only to be thrown out of the ring by Scurll before securing the pinfall. Marty Scurll then applies his chicken wing submission to Dragon Lee, forcing him to tap out.
R.O.H. Tag Team Championship:
The Young Bucks (Matt and Nick Jackson) (c) vs. The Briscoe Brothers (Jay and Mark Briscoe)
As could be expected, this Final Battle match was a true contrast in styles between the high-flying Bucks and tough-as-nails brawling Briscoes. This match, however, would be more notable for what happened after the Bucks pinned the Briscoes to retain their belts.
Former WWE and R.O.H. star – and current T.N.A. Impact Wrestling tag team champion “Broken” Matt Hardy appeared on the screen to challenge the Bucks to a tag team match, alongside Matt’s brother Jeff, to the complete delight of the crowd. This was truly an unexpected, groundbreaking moment.
R.O.H. Heavyweight Title:
Adam Cole vs. Kyle O’Reilly
With the R.O.H. Champion bleeding profusely, Kyle O’Reilly made use of a steel chain hidden under the Final Battle ring. Cole, however, cut off his former partner, hitting him with his Last Shot vertical suplex-neckbreaker combination move, then attempts to suplex O’Reilly again.
This time, however, he tried to do so onto thumb tacks.
O’Reilly thwarted this attempt, however, and applied a triangle choke hold, followed by a brutal brainbuster onto the tacks.
Kyle O’Reilly would follow up this move by applying his armbar submission, as Cole lay prone on those same thumbtacks.
The result? A new R.O.H. Champion in Kyle O’Reilly as the raucous New York City crowd soaked in the experience.
[Featured Image by Michael N. Todaro/Getty Images for WWE]