12/13 Powell’s ROH Final Battle 2019 live review: Rush vs. PCO for the ROH Title, The Briscoes vs. Jay Lethal and Jonathan Gresham for the ROH Tag Titles, Shane Taylor vs. Dragon Lee for the ROH TV Title, Bully Ray vs. Mark Haskins in a street fight


By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)

Ring of Honor Final Battle 2019
Aired live on pay-per-view, FITE TV, HonorClub
Baltimore, Maryland at UMBC Event Center

Hour One (Free Portion)

The broadcast team of Ian Riccaboni, Colt Cabana, and Caprice Coleman checked in and turned things over to ring announcer Bobby Cruise for the introductions…

1. Silas Young and Josh Woods vs. Dalton Castle (w/fake Boys) and Joe Hendry. Riccaboni said they had two matches scheduled for the hour one portion and a third is possible if time permits. The wrestlers adhered to the Code of Honor. Late in the match, Young catapulted Castle into Woods, who drove a knee into Castle and then pinned him. Riccaboni noted that Woods pinned a former ROH World Champion.

Silas Young and Josh Woods beat Dalton Castle and Joe Hendry in 9:10.

After the match, The Bouncers were shown watching the match from the front row. “To hell with Silas Young,” Brian Milonas told Beer City Bruiser…

Powell’s POV: The push for the Young and Woods tag team continues and the disappointing year for Castle is nearly over. The arena lighting is dark, but it was easy to spot a lot of empty seats during the ring entrances. For that matter, there are empty seats in the front row of the seating off the main floor that can be seen via the hard camera. I assume some of those seats will fill up with late arrivals, but it’s sad to see how far ROH has fallen in a year.

The broadcast team ran through the pay-per-view lineup…

Backstage, Brian Zane said he’d been searching all day for The Allure and he found them. Zayn entered a room and interviewed Angelina Love and Mandy Leon. Zane asked if Love is afraid of Maria Manic. Love asked if she looked afraid. She said she’s been in the business for 20 years and faced bigger women. She told Zane that he was sweating and wasting her time…

Alex Shelley made his entrance and stood on the stage with a mic in his hand. He said ROH is pro wrestling’s greatest classroom. He spoke about wrestlers who have started in ROH and moved on to become stars. Shelley said sometimes people come back and they work behind the scenes and take on different positions. Shelley said ROH has one of the greatest technical wrestlers of all time and he doesn’t have a match on this show.

Shelley said he was referring to Colt Cabana. Shelley said they’d never had a match together and asked for a singles match against him. Cabana stood up at the broadcast table and said it was kind of Shelley. Cabana said spoke of being the NWA National Champion and his recent tour of New Japan Pro Wrestling and said his heart sank when he saw he wasn’t on the Final Battle lineup.

Cabana said he does commentary, but in his heart of hearts he is a professional wrestling. Cabana said he’s known for a comedic style of wrestling, but Shelley is one of the greatest wrestlers and he would love nothing more than to put on a technical exhibition. Cabana accepted the challenge and both men said “see you later.” Cabana left the broadcast table to go get ready for the match…

A video package recapped the Kenny King and Rhett Titus storyline…

2. Kenny King (w/Amy Rose) vs. Rhett Titus. Titus came out and kissed his wife and child, who were in the crowd. King and Rose came out and did the All Night Express (King and Titus’s team name) handshake on the stage. King clotheslined Titus using the top rope, then went to ringside and exchanged words with Titus’s wife. Titus performed a 360 splash from the ring onto King at ringside.

Later, Titus picked up a couple of good near falls and then performed two big boots on King in the corner. Rose distracted Titus by grabbing at his foot. With referee Todd Sinclair distracted by scolding Rose, King kicked Titus in the balls and hit his Royal Flush finisher before scoring the pin.

Kenny King defeated Rhett Titus in 11:15.

After the match, King taunted Titus’s wife before heading to the back with Rose…

Powell’s POV: A solid match. It seemed odd to have Titus’s wife and child in the front row and have him lose, but perhaps the story will continue at the Philadelphia show. This feud got plenty of attention for a stretch of time on television, then got lost in the shuffle. They still haven’t bothered to explain the King and Rose relationship on their weekly television show.

A Final Battle pay-per-view ad aired (um?)…

The Bouncers were interviewed by Brian Zane while they stood in the crowd. Bruiser dropped a reference to watching the Baltimore Ravens game the night before, but it didn’t get much of a hometown sports team pop. Zane asked them who would win the ROH Title match. Bruiser and Milonas bickered over their predictions…

3. Jeff Cobb vs. Dan Maff. Riccaboni emphasized that the match could run into the pay-per-view portion of the show. The wrestlers adhered to the Code of Honor. After an early exchange, Cobb clotheslined Maff and knocked him to the mat, and Cobb tumbled under the bottom rope to the floor in the process.

Back inside the ring, Cobb performed a German suplex. Cobb worked over Maff in a corner of the ring with right-handed strikes. The referee pulled Cobb back, then Cobb got a running start and blasted Maff with an uppercut. Maff came back with a spear. Maff got Cobb back to his feet and turned him inside out with a lariat clothesline that led to a near fall.

Cobb came back with an overhead suplex that sent Maff crashing into a corner. Cobb placed Maff on the top rope and set up for a suplex, but Maff broke free and both men ended up in the ring. Cobb performed his Tour of the Islands finisher twice and scored the clean pin.

Jeff Cobb defeated Dan Maff in 9:05.

After the match, Cobb offered Maff a handshake. Maff looked to the crowd and then shoot Cobb’s hand. Maff chopped Cobb, who fired back with his a chop of his own. They laughed and shook hands again… Riccaboni said the pay-per-view would start with Villain Enterprises…

Powell’s POV: A good match between the big men. I was surprised to see this match on the free portion of the event, but it worked out in that it ended the free show on a high note. Speaking of which, ROH did a good job with the free portion of the show. I like the idea of labeling it the “first hour free” rather than calling it a pre-show, but the important thing was that they made this feel like the first hour of a pay-per-view rather than a mislabeled pre-show. Well done.

ROH Final Battle Pay-Per-View

A video package opened the pay-per-view…

4. Marty Scurll and Flip Gordon vs. Bandido and Flamita. Brody King sat in on commentary with Riccaboni and Coleman. King said Gordon has done a great job in Villain Enterprises thus far. The wrestlers shook hands prior to the match. Flamita stood on the shoulders of Bandido and fell into a splash onto Gordon for an early two count.

Later, Scurll hoisted up Flamita in powerbomb position, then Gordon came off the ropes with a Blockbuster style move that led to Scurll getting a two count. Gordon ran into a Scurll boot that was intended for Flamita, who then made a hot tag. Scurll caught Bandido with a forearm and a snap dragon suplex.

Scurll and Gordon set up for a double team move on Bandido, who broke free and performed his moonsault fallaway slam on Gordon. Scurll immediately put Gordon in a chicken wing. Bandido escaped and then Flamita performed a 450 splash on Scurll. Flamita performed a 619 on both opponents, then Bandido hit his 21 Plex on both men and scored the pin on Scurll…

Bandido and Flamita defeated Marty Scurll and Flip Gordon in 13:50.

Powell’s POV: An entertaining match. Scurll taking the loss is interesting, though the recent rumblings are that he will or has re-signed with ROH. Only time will tell. Either way, Bandido is a star and it’s good to see him healthy again. ROH needs to position Bandido as a major player in 2020. Meanwhile, I’m still not sure why Gordon is a heel. He has major upside as a babyface, but he’s spinning his wheels as the fourth man in Villain Enterprises. I wonder if the long term plan is for Gordon to break away and feud with Scurll.

A video package recapped Vincent (Marseglia) turning on Matt Taven…

5. Matt Taven vs. Vincent. Vincent came out first, then Taven made his entrance and attacked Vincent to start the match. Taven sent Vincent over the ringside barricade, then performed a running leap over the barricade and onto Vincent. Taven rolled Vincent back inside the ring and looked to the crowd as they chanted “F— him up Taven.” Taven performed a sit-out powerbomb that resulted in a two count.

Coleman noted that Taven was favoring his surgically repaired knee. Vincent performed a suplex onto an exposed portion of the ringside area. Back inside the ring, Vincent told Taven “this is what I wanted.” Vincent targeted Taven’s knee. Taven got to his feet and superkicked the back of Vincent’s head. Taven performed a running knee that knocked Vincent from the apron to the floor, then performed a running dive over the top rope and onto Vincent at ringside.

With Vincent lying over the apron, Taven went up top and splashed him. Back inside the ring, Taven covered Vincent for a near fall. Vincent came back with a couple of running forearms and performed his Redrum senton bomb from the top rope for a near fall. “It’s about me,” Vincent said. Taven came back with his Just The Tip knee. Taven performed his Climax finisher and went for the pin, but Vincent’s foot was on the ropes. Taven hit the move a second time in the middle of the ring and only got a two count. Taven went to ringside to get Vincent’s axe from under the ring, but when he returned Vincent caught him with a cutter and pinned him.

Vincent defeated Matt Taven in 13:30.

After the match, Vincent jawed at Taven, who got to his feet and was about to go after him when Bateman attacked Taven from behind. The heels put Taven’s bad leg on a wood block, then Vincent slammed a chair onto Taven’s right ankle…

Powell’s POV: Taven and Vincent worked an intense style from the start and it woke up the live crowd. Taven is obviously working to get Vincent over and that’s why he was given a clean pinfall victory. Bateman debuted on the ROH television show last week and is a recent ROH signee. Given his look, he fits in nicely with Vincent.

A video package set up the street fight…

6. Bully Ray vs. Mark Haskins (w/Vicky Haskins) in a street fight. Haskins came out first. Bully ran out and slammed a barbwire board onto Haskins from behind. Haskins was tended to, but Bully barked at those helping him and slammed a chair over the back of Haskins before rolling him inside the ring.

Bully brought a piece of the guardrail into the ring and set it up in a corner of the ring. Haskins fought out of Bully’s attempt to suplex him onto the guardrail. Bully performed a Bully Bomb on Haskins. Bully grabbed a cheese grater ringside. Ray wound up, but Haskins caught him with a kick that knocked him down. Bully put Haskins down again and then went to ringside and tossed a chair and a kendo stick inside the ring.

Bully grabbed a mic and sat down on a chair inside the ring. Bully taunted Haskins by recalling that he called his wife and children trash. Bully said Haskins is a lowlife, bottom feeding jobber. Haskins took the mic and said, “Hit me, you pussy.” Bully hit him with a kendo stick shot to the chest. “F— you,” Haskins said. Haskins got back to his feet and repeated himself, then kicked Bully’s legs out from under him so that he fell face first onto a chair.

Haskins worked over Bully with a chair. Haskins pulled a ladder out from underneath the ring and side it inside. Haskins ended up taking the bump onto the section of the guardrail. Bully pulled a table out from underneath the ring and slid it into the ring, then tossed the barbwire board into the ring. Bully placed the board on top of a table.

Bully dragged Haskins to the corner and set up for a powerbomb from the ropes, but Haskins fought back, but Bully powerbombed him onto the barbwire board, but the table didn’t break. Bully splashed Haskins so that the table broke. Bully covered Haskins and only got a two count. Bully took out the referee. REF BUMP!!! Bully tossed the referee to ringside.

Bully set up another table inside the ring. Haskins was bleeding, and Bully wiped some of the blood onto his own face. Bully placed Haskins onto the table. Vicky entered the ring and slammed the cheese grater onto Bully’s nuts and then twisted the grater while Bully yelled, “My balls!” Mark and Vicky kissed, then teamed up to toss Bully from the ropes and through the table. Haskins performed a double stomp from the ropes. The referee returned and counted the pin…

Mark Haskins beat Bully Ray in 16:00 in a street fight.

Powell’s POV: A typical Bully Ray style ROH pay-per-view match where he gets a bunch of heat before the babyface comes back and beats him in the end. The crowd had fun with it, but the feud felt like an abbreviated version of what Bully and Flip Gordon did. Hey, maybe ROH creative can take whatever Haskins gets out of beating Bully and throw it away by turning him heel just like they did with Gordon.

ROH merch ads aired… Riccaboni and Coleman recapped the angle with Alex Shelley challenging Colt Cabana to a match…

7. Colt Cabana vs. Alex Shelley. The wrestlers adhered to the Code of Honor. Shelley applied an early pendulum surfboard hold. Cabana came back and both men got to their feet simultaneously. Shelley tried to roll Cabana into a pin, but Cabana stopped his momentum and had Shelley down for a two count. Shelley ended up rolling Cabana into a pin and got the three count. Both men shook hands afterward…

Alex Shelley defeated Colt Cabana in 6:40.

Powell’s POV: A good mat based match and it was nice to see both men on the show. It provided a nice change of pace coming out of the Taven vs. Vincent grudge match and the street fight. It’s interesting that Cabana mentioned that he’s the NWA National Champion and then the broadcast team also mentioned it, as ROH hasn’t played up the NWA since the two sides ended their working agreement.

A video package set up the women’s match…

8. Maria Manic vs. Angelina Love (w/Mandy Leon). Manic charged Love and was dominant to start. Leon went to the ropes to interfere, but Manic caught her and tossed her into the ring. Manic ran Leon into Love, then splashed them both in the corner. Manic performed a sit-out powerbomb on Love. The crowd chanted “one more time.”

Manic went to the ropes and played to the crowd. Leon entered the ring with a hairspray canister, but Manic kicked it out of her hands. Love dove from the top rope at Manic, who caught her and stumbled while performing a fallaway slam style move. Manic set up for a move on the apron until Leon grabbed her leg. Manic released Love and slammed Leon on the floor.

Manic grabbed Love and pressed her over her head, then walked over and dropped her onto the timekeepers table (someone in the timekeepers area is doing some boozing, as there was a beer can under the table). A “this is awesome” chant broke out. Manic took a scarf from a fan and put it around her own neck while walking around the ring. Manic rolled Love back inside the ring and then put her in a Torture Rack and got the submission win…

Maria Manic defeated Angelina Love in 6:20.

Powell’s POV: It was absolute domination for Manic, who was on the offensive for the entire match. Love is going to feel that one in the morning. By the way, there’s still no indication as to what ROH intends to do with the WOH Championship after pulling their contract offer from current champion Kelly Klein. Perhaps we’ll get some answers at their Final Battle Fallout event this weekend. If you’re going to the show, I’d appreciate a report or basic results via dotnetjason@gmail.com.

A video package set up the ROH TV Title match…

9. Shane Taylor (w/Ron Hunt, Moses, Kaun) vs. Dragon Lee for the ROH TV Title. Lee offered a handshake, but Taylor spat on his hand instead. Taylor was in offensive control early. Lee came back and performed a top rope double stomp onto Taylor, who was lying on the apron. Lee performed another double stomp onto Taylor in the ring and got a two count.

Lee performed a running knee, but Taylor came right back with a clothesline. Taylor performed his finisher and went for the pin, but Lee kicked out. Lee performed a suplex. Taylor avoided the poison rana and then suplexed Lee. Taylor went to the ropes. Lee kicked Taylor’s legs out from under him and Taylor ended up hanging from the ropes. Lee went up top and double stomped Taylor. Lee performed a running kick and covered Taylor for a two count.

Taylor rebounded and hit his finisher, but Lee kicked out again. Taylor acted shocked. Hunt slid a chain to Taylor, who wrapped it around his fist. Referee Todd Sinclair barked at Taylor not to use it. Lee hit Taylor with a knee to the head and then performed a rough Canadian Destroyer.

Hunt bickered with the referee. Lee wrapped the chain around his leg and hit Taylor with a running knee that only led to a one count. Lee followed up with another move that resulted in a two count. Lee dropkicked Hunt off the apron. Lee lowered his kneepad an then blasted Taylor with a running knee and pinned him…

Dragon Lee beat Shane Taylor in 14:40 to win the ROH TV Title.

Powell’s POV: A decent match, but not nearly as good as the Taylor vs. Bandido matches. I don’t like the title change. Taylor has really shined on the mic and might be the only person in the company who has actually benefitted from their new television format. And while I like Lee, ROH creative did nothing to set this up to make viewers anxious to see Lee beat Taylor. I guess the company is all in on brothers Rush and Lee since they currently hold the two men’s singles titles.

PJ Black joined the broadcast team and said he was scouting and thinking of teaming with someone from the dojo…

10. Jay Briscoe and Mark Briscoe vs. Jay Lethal and Jonathan Gresham for the ROH Tag Titles. Lethal had a brace on his broken arm. The Briscoes had family in attendance and the crowd came to life with “Man Up” chants. At 10:40, the challengers set up for a Doomsday Device, but the Briscoes avoided taking their own move. Jay hoisted up Gresham and then Mark performed the Doomsday Device clothesline. The Briscoes had the pin, but Lethal broke it up.

The Briscoes targeted Lethal’s bad arm. Lethal performed a one armed Lethal Injection on Mark. Gresham performed a shooting star press on Mark and had him pinned, but Jay shoved Lethal into the pin to break it up. Cool sequence. The challengers isolated Mark.

Later, Lethal went for a figure four, but Jay countered into an inside cradle for a two count. Jay hit Lethal with a Jay Driller and had the pin, but Gresham pulled the referee from the ring. Gresham held Mark at ringside while Lethal put Jay in a figure four. Mark broke free and went up top. Gresham grabbed his foot, but Mark slammed him onto the apron. Mark went up top and broke up the figure four with Froggy Bow.

The Briscoes set up for their Doomsday Device finisher, but Gresham shoved Mark off the top rope. Lethal rolled Jay into a pin and held the tights while getting the three count. After the match, Lethal barked at the Briscoe family members in the crowd…

Jay Lethal and Jonathan Gresham defeated The Briscoes in 22:05 to win the ROH Tag Titles.

Powell’s POV: A good match. Unlike the out of nowhere Lee win over Taylor, ROH dedicated a ton of time to Lethal and Gresham turning heel.

A video package set up the ROH Title match…

11. Rush vs. PCO in a Friday the 13th No Rules Massacre for the ROH World Championship. Bobby Cruise delivered introductions for the title match. Todd Sinclair was the referee. Early in the match, Rush ended up at ringside and tossed a chair at the head of PCO. Rush took a cord from the cameraman and whipped PCO with it at ringside. Back in the ring, Rush dropkicked a seated PCO and then played to the crowd and received more boos than cheers. Rush cussed at a fan. Rush did the tease for his finisher, stopped short, and struck his pose in the middle of the ring.

Rush left the ring and returned with a stepladder, which he threw at PCO. Rush tried and failed to wedge the ladder between the ropes and opted to set it up in the corner instead. Rush whipped PCO into the ladder and then laughed. The crowd responded with boos. Rush went to the ropes and posed, which drew more boos. Riccaboni said Rush loves the attention. PCO came back with a corner splash and then ran Rush into the ladder. PCO hit a popup powerbomb. Rush rolled to ringside. PCO performed a cannonball dive through the ropes and onto Rush at ringside.

Both men went to ringside where Rush suplexed PCO onto a table. They fought to the side of the stage where a smoke filled hearse that was apparently used during the entrances (sorry, I needed a quick bathroom break). Rush set up pieces of the barricade and several chairs on top of one another. They went to the stage and Rush threw PCO off the stage and onto the pile of barricades and chairs. Rush jawed at the fans that he’s the champion as he walked to the ring.

PCO’s trainer Destro made his entrance used a crowbar on the smoke filled hearse. Destro pulled the grill off and then attached jumper cables to the fingers of PCO. “He’s alive!” Riccaboni yelled. PCO slammed Rush onto the hood of the hearse and then game him a leg drop. PCO went to the top of the hearse and played to the crowd. Rush got to his feet and suplexed PCO onto the hood, and PCO slid quickly to the floor. PCO picked up the crowbar and swung it at Rush a few times, but Rush dodged it and PCO smashed out the hearse windows. Rush threw an equipment case at PCO.

Back at ringside, Rush pulled a few of door boards out from underneath the ring and threw them inside. Rush set two of the doors up in opposite corners. PCO entered the ring and was suplexed by Rush, who followed up with a running knee and got a two count. Rush went to the ropes and hit a senton that led to a one count. Rush picked up a door board and slammed it over PCO’s head until it broke. PCO got up and charged at Rush, who suplexed him through one of the tables set up in a corner of the ring.

Rush set up for his finisher, but PCO recovered and speared him through the other door board and covered him for a two count. Rush went up top and hit a moonsault for a near fall. Destro slid a table inside the ring and then PCO set it up. Rush stood up and slammed a chair over the head of PCO (he put a hand up). Rush went to ringside and knocked Destro down, then ran him into the barricade before dumping him into the front row. Rush returned to the ring where PCO chokeslammed him. PCO placed Rush on the table and then went up top and moonsaulted him through it and scored the pin.

PCO defeated Rush in 22:30 to win the ROH World Championship.

After the match, Destro brought a crowbar into the ring and then PCO bent it with his hands. Former ROH owner Cary Silkin entered the ring and presented the title belt to PCO. Bobby Cruise announced PCO as the winner and new champion. The other members of Villain Enterprises came out and celebrated with PCO to close the show…

Powell’s POV: It’s a nice story that PCO won the championship at age 51 (soon to be 52). So much for my hunch that ROH was all in on Rush and Lee. Sadly, the Rush title reign was completely forgettable. PCO winning sets up some interesting storyline possibilities with the rest of Villain Enterprises. Even so, this just isn’t what I’m looking for when I think of an ROH Championship match in a pay-per-view main event. It felt like the time to strike with PCO was when he challenged Matt Taven for the title in Canada. Changing all three major titles does send a message of change. I just hope the creative team has real plans in place for each of these titles and they’re not just hot-shotting with the goal of drawing some much needed attention. I will have more to say about the show my audio review coming up later tonight for Dot Net Members.


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