What a difference a year makes. As Ring of Honor bowed out with Final Battle 2021 before a self imposed hiatus, few could have predicted that in the space of a year ROH would be bought by Tony Khan, and would produce several match of the year candidates en route to Final Battle 2022.
Taking place in Texas’ College Park Center, Final Battle saw Ring of Honor bow out of the year in style, with a few surprises, some hard hitting in-ring action, and a title change or five thrown in for good measure.
Full results below:
Jeff Cobb def. Mascara Dorada – Zero Hour pre-show
A ROH debut to forget for Mascara Dorada as the former Gran Metalik went up against United Empire’s Jeff Cobb, making his ROH return. Cobb quickly established control using his superior strength advantage to ground ‘The King of Ropes’. Hitting an impressive double suplex into the ringpost then into the apron after catching Dorada. Dorada got his licks in, hitting a gorgeous corkscrew tope and a big springboard Senton, but he couldn’t keep the big man down. Dorada managed to avoid a Tour of the Islands, but Cobb eventually nailed the spinning powerslam as Aloha Means Goodbye for Dorada.
Daddy Magic & Cool Hand Ange def. Shinobi Shadow Squad – Zero Hour pre-show
2point0 were in no mood for honour, as the ‘sports enerdainers’ antagonised the audience, and laid a beating on the ever popular Cheeseburger. Burger tried in vain for the hot tag to Eli isom, but Parker and Menard cut the ring off. Eventually Isom came in like a house of fire, but the JAS retook control shortly after, planting Isom with a big Double DDT for the win.
Willow Nightingale def. Trish Adora – Zero Hour pre-show
Evenly paced affair to start with as Trish Adora and ‘The Bae with the Power’ Willow Nightingale traded holds and strikes to duelling chants from the crowd. Trish took Willow down with a huge enziguiri, but Willow fired back with some clubbing clotheslines and a Bret’s rope shotgun dropkick. Adora nailed some meaty offence, but Willow fired back with a huge pounce and a nasty looking Babe with the Powerbomb for the win.
Top Flight def. The Kingdom – Zero Hour pre-show
A year on from dropping the ROH World Tag Team Titles to The Briscoes, The Kingdom returned to ROH, taking on Top Flight. Kingdom started in control, peppering Dante Martin with a host of strikes, before Darius entered the fray, allowing Top Flight to take flight. The Martins were rapid on the offence, evading several Kingdom attacks and causing collisions between Matt Taven and Mike Bennett. The experience of the OGK eventually shone through with the former champs hitting Darius with everything they had, but Top Flight would not say die, although they just couldn’t find an opening. Dante eventually took Bennett and Taven down, but as he went to follow up Maria Kanellis-Bennett attempted a distraction, only to be ejected by the ref. Hail Mary was foiled, as Darius hoisted Bennett up for a powerbomb, as Dante cut Bennett down with a double jump springboard moonsault for the win.
Blake Christian & A.R. Fox def. La Facción Ingobernable
Final Battle kicked off with the debuting Dralistico rejoining his brother RUSH in LFI as they took on recent AEW signing A.R. Fox and Blake Christian. LFI tried to swarm Fox and Christian before the bell, getting that early mental edge, and the brothers kicked off the match in the same mindset, with RUSH soon launching Christian all over the ringside area. RUSH choked Christian with an AUX cable as Dralistico powerbombed Fox into the steel steps as LFI’s Preston Vance watched on with glee.
Back in the ring the brothers further asserted control, peppering Christian with harsh chops and a series of double team moves, as RUSH had some fun with an imaginary field goal. A.R. Fox turned the tide with some huge topes onto Dralistico and RUSH, before getting a two after a cannonball senton on Dralistico. RUSH was once again the difference maker as he got control of Fox and ‘All Heart’ on the floor as Dralistico hit a huge springboard shooting star press. Things went wild at the end, and A.R. Fox got the surprise win with a 450 on Dralisitico – looked to be a botch with Fox looking genuinely surprised as the ref insinuated that Dralistico didn’t get his shoulder up in time. RUSH and Dralistico took the loss well, throwing chairs and attempting to tie Fox up with cables. Odd ending, defo seems like it was a botch, and considering it was Dralistico’s debut and due to RUSH’s prior ROH booking, I don’t think this was the intended ending.
Athena def. Mercedes Martinez (c) – ROH Women’s World Championship
Code of Honor upheld, but it soon gave way to stiff strikes as Mercedes Martinez and Athena went hammer and tongs for the ROH Women’s World Championship. Athena was in a good mood, faking out a Muta tumbling attack to chop Mercedes, but ate a big spinebuster from the champ as the crowd booed. The two fought for dominance on the top rope, with Athena coming out on top with a running powerbomb after slipping down to the mat. Martinez fought back with a half & half suplex, follow up t-bone suplex, and a brainbuster but could only get a two count.
The action spilled to the floor, with Athena missing a shotgun dropkick and eating a follow up neckbreaker to the mats. Martinez revelled in the boos and went for the Brass City Sleeper but took a forearm bite from the challenger as Athena followed up with a rolling facebuster. An angered Athena tore the turnbuckle pad off, and managed to dropkick the champ into the exposed buckle, before nailing The O-Face for the win and the title.
Swerve In Our Glory def. Shane Taylor Promotions
Frosty reception for Keith Lee from Swerve, as the former AEW World Tag Team Champions teamed for the first time since losing the straps at Full Gear in November. Swerve started off with JD Griffey and had a tough time trying to counter Griffey’s MMA inspired style, before aggressively tagging in Keith Lee. Lee and Griffey circled each other as loud “WE WANT SHANE” chants rang out, with Taylor tagging in to face his former partner, as Swerve blind tagged his way back in to boos. Taylor soon began manhandling Swerve, crushing Strickland with a big apron leg drop before finally wriggling free and tagging in Keith to a loud pop. The former Pretty Boy Killers teed off on one another, and Lee had the crowd on their feet as he caught Shane Taylor mid splash.
JD Griffey managed to avoid two huge double team moves and sent Swerve reeling, but the follow up tope saw Griffey caught mid air by Keith, as Swerve booted him in the neck after Lee showed mercy. Griffey peppered Swerve with more strikes before locking in a triangle choke as Lee and Taylor fought on the outside, before Keith broke the triangle with a huge moonsault to Griffey. Lee and Swerve teamed like old times, before Keith accidentally cleaned Swerve’s clock with a huge forearm. Taylor took advantage with a huge Welcome To The Land driver on Lee for two, as Swerve got revenge on Keith by walking away just like Lee did to him at Full Gear. Griffey accidentally KO’d Taylor, allowing Keith to hit the Big Bang Catastrophe on Griffey for the win.
The Embassy def. Dalton Castle & The Boys (c) – ROH World Trios Championships
Party time as Dalton Castle and The Boys arrived to a huge reaction to take on The Embassy in six-man tag action. Dalton pulled out his usual tricks to start things off, but the power of The Embassy soon tipped the match in their favour, with Kaun taking out Castle’s notoriously bad back with a backbreaker, as Brian Cage toyed with The Boys. Brandon Tate eventually got the hot tag to Castle, as Prince Peacock went on a suplex spree throwing Kaun, Cage, and deadlift German suplexing Toa Liona. The Embassy got another foothold after Toa hit an impressive double Samoan Drop on The Boys as Prince Nana barked instructions from the floor. Things fell apart as all six men exchanged moves in the ring, and Castle took his eye off the prize as he want after Prince Nana, as The Embassy put away one of The Boys with a big lay-up sit-out powerbomb for the win and the titles.
Lexy Nair interviewed Top Flight in the back, but the Martin brothers were soon interrupted by Daddy Magic and Cool Hand Ange, and the two teams started fighting, with the brawl spilling out into the arena. Dante Martin nailed a huge RVD-esque flipping Senton off the stage into the entranceway, as referees tried to re-establish order. Ange took a mic to criticise ROH and put over Chris Jericho, before Daddy Magic pulled out a Jake Hager bucket hat for Claudio Castagnoli and told him when Jericho wins tonight that Claudio will join Hager in a team as ‘The Hat trick’, apparently. Wheeler Yuta’s music hit as the BCC Young Lion hit the ring as the action turned to the PURE Championship scene.
Wheeler Yuta def. Daniel Garcia (c) – ROH PURE Championship
Christopher Daniels, BJ Whitmer, and Jerry Lynn were ringside to score this championship match, as Yuta and Garcia went straight into it, exchanging forearms as the bell rang. Garcia got an early warning as he hit Yuta in the face with a strike, with Yuta following up with some of the same, also receiving an official warning – such are the rules of a PURE match. Garcia crushed Yuta’s face into the turnbuckle rod, Yuta did the same, before receiving a boot to the throat. Trent Seven watched on from the crowd, as Garcia started toying with Yuta in the ring, forcing Wheeler to use his first rope break. Garcia forced Yuta into using a second break with a rope assisted Surfboard on the apron – smart move. Yuta tried fighting back but once again Garcia targeted the throat before hitting a Super Dragon curb-stomp in the middle of the ring. Yuta used his final rope break after Garcia locked in the Dragon Slayer, but soon fired back with a series of strikes whilst his throat continued to give him grief.
Garcia locked in the Sharpshooter in the centre of the ring, knowing that Yuta had no ropebreaks, but Yuta transitioned into a crossface before the two returned to stand up strikes. Yuta was growing into the match coming close with a two after a high angle Olympic Slam, but Garcia levelled him with a piledriver, before locking in The Sharpshooter once more as Yuta crawled through the ropes and choked Garcia beofre both men spilled to the floor. The fight returned to the ring as Yuta got a two with a leg trap Tombstone piledriver, before elbowing Garcia without mercy as the ref called the match. Wheeler Yuta is now a two-time ROH PURE Champion.
The Briscoes def. FTR (c) – ROH World Tag Team Championships Double Dog Collar Match
One year after storming Final Battle 2021 to brawl with The Briscoes, FTR and ‘Dem Boys faced off for a third time, this time in a double dog collar match for the ROH World Tag Team Championships.
Loud “HOLY S***” chants as the bell rang, not surprising after the two MOTY contenders from both teams previously in 2022. Mark Briscoe chained to Cash Wheeler, Jay with Dax Harwood, with the action spilling straight to the floor. Mark was bleeding almost instantly as this became a fight rather than a match. Harwood and Jay spilled into the crowd as Mark and Wheeler fought on the stage, Mark nailing a big flipping Senton off the stage to level Wheeler. The action finally entered the ring, as Mark hit Dax with some redneck kung-fu to save Jay, before Jay wailed on Dax with the chain, busting him open after he’d already lost a tooth. After taking Jay out with a chair, FTR combined to whip Mark with the chain as the champs took control of the match. Big chain assisted Doomsday Device took Mark down for two, before Cash locked in a tidy chain assisted Gory Special on Mark.
A bloody Jay Briscoe started teeing off on Cash Wheeler, before Mark Briscoe came off the top with a chain wrapped elbow drop for a close two. Mark then unearthed a stack of chairs before setting a table up at ringside, as Dax hit a chain wrapped diving headbutt on Jay in the ring. As Dax was teeing off on Jay with a chain wrapped fist, Jay pulled ref Mike Posey in the way who took a chained fist to the face and was busted open as a result. Five men bleeding in one match – carnage. Paul Turner took over officiating duties, but as Mark Briscoe went to hit Doomsday Device on Dax Harwood, Cash Wheeler launched him from the top onto the pile of chairs on the floor.
Jay Briscoe came agonisingly close to a win with a Jay Driller but a second attempt was countered as Dax Harwood hit a big piledriver onto a chair for a nearfall. Wheeler told Harwood to “f******murder him” as he slid more chairs into the ring, with Harwood going for a top rope piledriver onto the steel to no avail as Jay Briscoe fought out and planted ‘The Axe’ with a huge superplex onto the steel but could only get a two count. Jay got a chain assisted crossface on Dax as Cash tried in vain to reach for his partner, but Dax passed out as The Briscoes became ROH World Tag Team Champions for a record thirteenth time. As FTR were regrouping in the ring, The Gunns ran out of nowhere to dish out a beating before saying they want to kill FTR’s legacy. The Briscoes chased the ‘Ass Boys’ away as Dax Harwood promised to take The Gunns out.
Samoa Joe (c) def. Juice Robinson – ROH World Television Championship
Big striking affair to kick things off as ‘Rock Hard’ Juice Robinson and Samoa Joe went toe-to-toe, with Juice getting first blood after taking Joe down with a side suplex. Juice let his cockiness get the better of himself, getting caught in a Coquina Clutch after going for a theatrical Senton. The action spilled to the floor as Tony Deppen watched on from the crowd, with Juice launching Joe into the guardrail. Back in the ring it was time for vintage Joe as he hit the corner urinage before a big elbow suicida back to the floor and the running facewash into the front row.
Back in the ring Joe was toying with Juice as he peppered the New Japan star with strikes before Juice took the big man down with a spinebuster. Juice then hit the Tenryu combo in the corner and got a two count after a diving crossbody, but Joe was right back with the vintage powerbomb into STF into crossface combo with Juice making it to the ropes in time. Juice rolled through out of a Muscle Buster and levelled the champ with a Booker T jumping side kick, but Joe fought on and hit the Muscle Buster for the win.
Claudio Castagnoli def. Chris Jericho (c) – ROH World Championship
Big match in-ring introductions from Bobby Cruise for this one, as Chris Jericho flipped off the ROH crowd before declining the Code of Honor, kicking Claudio, and chasing off the commentary team. Claudio rushed Jericho and started beating him all over the ringside area before taking the action back to the ring with a big crossbody and hammer and anvil elbows. Claudio hit a quick Neutraliser but could only get a two count, before planting Jericho with an avalanche gut wrench suplex. Claudio continued his assault by sending Jericho to the floor, but missed a rolling senton off the apron, eating nothing but mat. Jericho peppered Castagnoli with chops before tasting Swiss Death for a two count as Claudio regained control of the bout, but his back was giving him grief. Jericho went for an avalanche Frankensteiner but was caught, as Claudio Claudio went for a Super Ricola Bomb – only for Jericho to finally hit the Frankensteiner.
Claudio fought back, avoiding a Codebreaker, but was sent to the floor before he could start the big swing. Jericho further took advantage of Claudio’s bad back with a huge suplex to the floor from the apron, but the ‘Swiss Superman’ fired up as he and Jericho exchanged strikes in the middle of the ring before getting a couple of rotations of the swing before Jericho rolled through into the Walls in the middle of the ring. Claudio looked like he was close to tapping but managed to get to the bottom rope, as Jericho threatened referee Paul Turner. Coll Hand Ange appeared to distract the ref as Daddy Magic handed Jericho Floyd the baseball bat, allowing Jericho to lay Claudio out… but could only get a two count. Paul Turner sent Ange and Magic to the back as Jericho hit a snap Codebreaker, but the follow up Codebreaker missed as Claudio finally got the big swing, with Jericho tapping out mid swing as Claudio regained the ROH World Championship. Certainly a unique finish for an ROH World Championship match. Wheeler Yuta arrived to celebrate with his BCC team-mate, as did former ROH World Champion Jerry Lynn as Claudio and the fans had fun with streamers. The Ring of Jericho era is over.
ROH Final Battle 2022 results:
- Claudio Castagnoli def. Chris Jericho (c) – ROH World Championship
- Samoa Joe (c) def. Juice Robinson – ROH World Television Championship
- The Briscoes def. FTR (c) – ROH World Tag Team Championships Double Dog Collar Match
- Wheeler Yuta def. Daniel Garcia (c) – ROH PURE Championship
- The Embassy def. Dalton Castle & The Boys (c) – ROH World Trios Championships
- Swerve In Our Glory def. Shane Taylor Promotions
- Athena def. Mercedes Martinez (c) – ROH Women’s World Championship
- Blake Christian & A.R. Fox def. La Facción Ingobernable
- Top Flight def. The Kingdom – Zero Hour pre-show
- Willow Nightingale def. Trish Adora – Zero Hour pre-show
- Daddy Magic & Cool Hand Ange def. Shinobi Shadow Squad – Zero Hour pre-show
- Jeff Cobb def. Mascara Dorada – Zero Hour pre-show