While things are a bit different than normal, Ring of Honor begins to close out 2020 tonight with its traditional biggest pay-per-view of the year.
Final Battle 2020 will be the first ROH PPV of the pandemic era. The show was taped in advance and is being headlined by Rush defending his ROH World Championship against Brody King.
The ROH Tag Team titles will be on the line as Jay Lethal & Jonathan Gresham defend against Mark Briscoe & PCO. Gresham is pulling double duty and also defending his ROH Pure Championship against Flip Gordon.
Dragon Lee will defend his ROH Television Championship against the winner of a four-way match from earlier in the night, Matt Taven & Mike Bennett are facing Vincent Marseglia & Bateman in a grudge match, and Danhausen will square off with Brian Johnson. If Danhausen wins, his ROH contract will become official.
Final Battle Hour One is airing for free starting at 8 p.m. Eastern time and will feature Tony Deppen vs. Dak Draper vs. Josh Woods vs. LSG to determine Lee's challenger and Tracy Williams & Rhett Titus vs. Fred Yehi & Wheeler Yuta in the first-ever Pure Rules tag match.
Jay Briscoe vs. EC3 was originally set for Final Battle, along with Bandido, Flamita & Rey Horus defending their ROH Six-Man Tag Team titles against Shane Taylor Promotions (Taylor & The Soldiers of Savagery). But EC3, Bandido, Flamita, and Kenny King were pulled from the PPV tapings due to pre-travel COVID-19 testing. The subsequent changes to the card will be announced during Final Battle Hour One. The Final Battle main card will then begin on PPV and HonorClub at 9 p.m. Eastern.
Show Report --
The commentary team of Ian Riccaboni, Caprice Coleman, and Dalton Castle welcomed us to the broadcast. They ran down the stacked card for tonight's show.
Tony Deppen defeated LSG, Josh Woods, and Dak Draper in a Fatal 4-Way Television Title #1 Contenders match
This match is being contested under Lucha Rules because Dragon Lee is the ROH Television Champion.
Draper and Woods began the match. Woods and Draper exchanged control a few times early on. Once Woods got control, LSG tagged himself in the match. Deppen ended up tagging himself in and sent LSG to the outside, making Draper the legal man. Draper controlled Deppen, hitting a big boot from a flying Deppen off the top rope at one point.
Draper attempted a Magnum Drop on Deppen, but it was stopped by LSG trying to tag himself in. Deppen tried to go to the top, but Draper followed him up there and hit a superplex. LSG tagged himself in and instantly hit a clothesline on Draper. Draper poached LSG on the top rope, but Woods came from behind and suplexed both men.
Draper recovered and delivered a Doctor Bomb to Woods, but Woods recovered quickly and locked in a triangle choke for a split second. Woods really needed some more offense in this showing after his weak showing against Flip Gordon on ROH TV earlier in the week. LSG came off the top rope and hit Woods, then Deppen came from behind and rolled up LSG in a pinning combination for the win.
A promo for RUSH aired. He’s prepared to go tonight after being locked down for 8 months.
Tony Deppen joined Quinn McKay backstage after his win. Deppen said he did it for his wife and his son that was born three weeks ago. Deppen said that Dragon Lee will have to kill him because he’s not leaving tonight without the Television Title.
Quinn McKay is joined by Shane Taylor and the Soldiers Of Savagery. The ROH Six-Man Tag Team champions Mexi-Squad offered to forfeit the championships to them, but they declined. Taylor said he wants to win the titles the right way:
Next, Quinn McKay is joined by Brian Johnson. Johnson is pumped up for tonight’s show, citing some of the best matches in ROH history have taken place at Final Battle. Johnson states that tonight is Danhausen’s funeral.
Jay Briscoe arrived at the arena. Jay tells Mark that he’s free for the Tag Team Championship match, but Mark told him he already had a partner. Shane Taylor approached Jay and told him he was going to knock him on his ass. Quinn McKay basically confirmed that the match is happening tonight.
Tracy Williams and Rhett Titus defeated Wheeler Yuta and Fred Yehi in a Pure Rules Tag Team Match.
Code Of Honor was adhered too.
Yehi and Williams began the contest. Yehi took down Williams with an arm wrench, but Williams quickly regained his composure and tagged in Titus. Yehi stayed on the attack and got Titus in a Koji Clutch, causing Titus to use his first rope break. Yuta and Williams eventually tagged in and Williams held Yuta in place as Titus dove off the second rope with an axe-handle. Yuta tagged Yehi in who went straight for the Koji Clutch again on Titus, causing the team of Titus and Williams his third and final rope break. Yehi was on par with his timing on the submissions.
Williams and Yehi became the legal men eventually, and Yehi smushed Williams in the corner with a running splash. Williams got distracted and Yehi locked in another Koji Clutch. Titus realized he couldn’t break up the hold, so he launched Yuta into the clutch, breaking the hold. Titus tagged in after Williams recovered. Yuta tagged in after and hit an atomic drop-german suplex combo on Titus. Williams came in and spiked Yuta with a piledriver, but Yehi broke it up costing his team their final rope break. Williams followed it up with a crossface but with Yuta out of rope breaks, he submitted.
Jonathan Gresham and Jay Lethal defeated PCO and Mark Briscoe to retain the ROH Tag Team Championships
Code Of Honor adhered too.
Briscoe and Lethal began the contest. Briscoe is aggressive early, trying to down Lethal. Commentary noted that Lethal is trying to wrestle, while Briscoe is trying to fight. Good stuff from Lethal keeping his “pure” reputation. Gresham and PCO tag in, but again PCO is trying to fight while Gresham is trying to wrestle. All hell breaks loose and PCO dove onto Lethal on the outside while he regrouped with Gresham, and Briscoe dove onto Gresham.
Briscoe set up a chair and hit another springboard dive on the outside onto Gresham and Lethal. Eventually both teams made it back in the ring and Gresham began to cut off the ring. Lethal tagged in and tried to throw Gresham into Briscoe in the corner, but Briscoe caught Gresham with an elbow. PCO tagged in and hit repeated chops on Lethal. At a later point in the match, PCO and Briscoe hit a combination Froggy Bow and PCO-sault, but only for a two count.
In the closing sequence, Gresham and Lethal hit a doomsday device, and Gresham followed it up with a phenomenal moonsault on PCO. PCO shouldn't have kicked out of this, but somehow he did. Gresham rolled up him quickly afterwards for the win.
Ian Riccaboni cut to earlier in the broadcast when Dalton Castle got upset that Rey Horus was in the building with no match. Castle got the match signed, and it’s up next! Should be a fun match, but not really needed.
Rey Horus defeated Dalton Castle
Horus tried to start with a fast, lucha style pace but Castle slowed him down every time. Castle got overwhelmed and frustrated following a springboard arm drag. Castle didn’t take lightly to the maneuver and started to ground Horus. Castle held a gut wrench lock on Horus for a good minute, slowing the pace down. Horus did regain his style of pace, clearing the top rope with a diving senton onto Castle on the outside.
Later in the match, Horus baited Castle into running at him but sidestepped him, sending Castle knee first into the barricade. Horus rolled Castle back in the ring and kept on the attack with a great looking springboard tornado DDT. Castle sold it very, very well. Horus baited Castle to the top rope and planted Castle with a tornado driver for the win. Castle losing again is a choice i'll question for now, but we'll see where it goes.
Mike Bennett and Matt Taven defeated Vincent and Bateman (w/ Vita VonnStar)
Bennett and Taven rushed Vincent and Bateman as the bell rang. Taven superkicked Vincent, and Bennett followed it up with a spear. Vincent taunted Taven, but Bateman tagged in and went for the knee of Taven immediately. Taven struggled to get a tag but eventually did, and Bennett went to work on Bateman in the corner with multiple chops. Von Star distracted Bennett, and Bateman regained control with a big boot. Vincent tagged in and hit a side slam, cutting off the ring to prevent a tag from Taven.
Vincent locked in the Grim Sleeper on Bennett. Bennett escaped out of the hold with a beautiful snap brainbuster. Taven got the great hot tag and hit a rolling cutter. Taven ducked a clothesline from Bateman and dove onto Vincent at ringside. Taven attempted the Climax on Bateman after getting back in the ring, but Vincent caught him and locked in another Grim Sleeper submission. Vincent does the hold very well and hopefully he uses it as a finisher going foward.
Vincent hit a red rum on Taven which got him a win over Taven last year, but Taven powered out at 2. Bateman and Bennett both got hot tags, and Bennett ended up spearing Bateman. Bateman’s offense looked very unbelievable and slow. Taven and Vincent returned to the ring, and Taven hit his signature knee strike. Bennett drug half of Vincent’s body off the apron, and Taven came off the top rope with a frog splash onto Vincent onto the concrete. Bennett spiked Bateman with a piledriver and followed it up with the spear for the win.
After the match ended, Vita Vonn Star low blowed the winners. Vincent and Bateman began attacking Taven and Bennett. Vincent introduced a wooden block and put it between Bennett's feet. Vincent smacked a chair into Bennett's ankles. Commentary requested to cut away from the attack as officials helped Bennett out of the ring.
Danhausen defeated Brian Johnson via DQ
Code Of Honor was adhered too.
While Johnson was trash talking, Danhausen pump kicked him. Johnson almost lost the match fast, kicked out at two. Johnson grabbed a mic and told the commentary team to shut up. Johnson told the viewers at home that Danhausen looks better cross-dressing than most girls look doing their makeup. Johnson hits a scoop slam for a two count on Danhausen. Danhausen grabs the mic from Johnson and tells him not to swear, and spears him into the corner. I love when promo's get intertwined within matches, it's usually very entertaining.
Johnson continues to yell on the mic, saying it’s him vs everybody. Danhausen takes advantage of Johnson and hits a roll-through german suplex. Danhausen grabs his jar of teeth and hits the go to sleephausen, but Johnson kicked out. Johnson poured the jar of teeth into Danhausen’s mouth and hit him, but the teeth flew out and hit the official. Danhausen rubbed his face paint on the microphone and pretended to be hit by it. The official disqualified Johnson, therefore earning Danhausen a ROH Contract.
Dragon Lee defeated Tony Deppen to retain the ROH Television Championship
Deppen and Lee start fast, exchanging constant pinning attempts. Lee went to fix his mask, and Deppen tried to roll up him to no avail. Deppen kept up the constant high speed action, springing off the rope and drop kicking Lee. Lee gained control back quickly, locking in a headlock. Lee spit in his hand and slapped Deppen, which made Deppen “hulk” up. Deppen came charging off the ropes and hit a moonsault northern lights DDT.
Lee climbed the top rope but Deppen halted him with an enziguri. Lee no sold it and perched Deppen on the top rope, but Deppen grabbed Lee and dove off with a somersault neckbreaker. Deppen tried to pin again but Lee kicked out. Lee sprung up and hit a poison rana, followed up with a pump knee. Deppen still kicked out, so Lee followed it up with another pump knee strike for the win.
This match really woke up the PPV. I questioned the four-hour format going in, but so far so good.
Shane Taylor (w/ S.O.S) defeated Jay Briscoe
Briscoe and Taylor adhere to Code Of Honor. Taylor catches Briscoe in the corner early, delivering big blows to the top half of Briscoe. Briscoe tried to run the ropes, but Taylor mowed him over with a shoulder tackle. Taylor has one of the best shoulder tackles in wrestling. As Briscoe tried to return to his feet, Taylor delivered a great forearm to Briscoe, buckling his knees and sending him to the canvas. Taylor is easily one of the best strikers in wrestling.
Briscoe started to fight back finally, clubbing multiple forearms to the skull of Taylor. Briscoe rolled Taylor in the ring and continued the hard hitting blows. Taylor spun around and clubbed Briscoe again with a great forearm. They worked really stiff in this match and it came across great on TV. Mark Briscoe came down to the ring to try to cheer on Jay. Taylor tried to drop Briscoe with the tower city DDT, but Briscoe turned it into a chokehold from behind. Briscoe worked Taylor down to the mat with the hold, but Taylor reached the ropes eventually. Briscoe hit his signature neckbreaker, but Taylor kicked out again. Taylor hit his signature headbutt followed by Welcome To The Land piledriver to pick up the win.
After the match, Mark Briscoe tried to elbow bump Jay. Jay was hesitant, but still followed through.
Jonathan Gresham defeated Flip Gordon to retain the ROH Pure Championship
Code Of Honor is adhered too.
Gresham worked on the arm of Gordon early. Gordon used his first rope break when Gresham wrenched the arm hard. Gordon is clearly getting outclassed early as Gresham locks in a knee bar. The submission caused Gordon to use his second rope break. Gresham continued to completely outclass Gordon, locking in a hammerlock armbar. A few moments later, Gresham baited Gordon into using his third and final rope break.
Gordon finally ended up getting some control, popping Gresham with a superkick. Gresham used his first rope break during the pinfall attempt. At one point, Gresham dove off the top rope and hit knee first. Gordon started to work over the knee of Gresham, locking in a grounded knee bar. Gresham kept trying to get back into the contest, but Gordon kept working on the knee. Gordon tried to lock in a Submit The Flip but Gresham used his second rope break.
Gordon hit a great falcon arrow moments later, and transitioned it into the Submit The Flip, but Gresham used his third and final rope break. Gresham regained composure but Gordon struck Gresham with a closed fist. The official issued Gordon his one warning. Gordon got Submit The Flip locked in for a third time but Gresham forced himself out of the ring with both men hitting the concrete instantly. Great spot there to put over the STF as a legit submission. Gresham brought Gordon to the top rope and hit a beautiful hammerlock suplex, but Gordon still kicked out. A frustrated Gresham started charging Gordon with forearms which eventually led to a referee stoppage, giving Gresham the win.
Credit to Jon Gresham for putting on TWO amazing matches in one PPV. He's my favorite thing in the company at the moment.
Rush defeated Brody King to retain the ROH WORLD Chanpionship
King offered a handshake to Rush, but Rush kicked his hand. King dove onto Rush as he was recovering on the outside. King flung Rush skull first into the turnbuckle, then body slammed him onto a pile of chairs. Both competitors made their way back in the ring, with King in firm control. King cannonballed himself onto Rush in the corner.
Rush took the match to the outside again, clearing the top rope and diving onto King. Rush grabbed a power cord that was at ringside, and began whipping King with it. Rush began to choke King with the cord, but Todd Sinclair broke it up while he was laughing it off. Rush being a confident heel is great stuff. Rush rolled King back in the ring and continued dominating him. King charged Rush at one point, but Rush caught him with an overhead suplex. King spit on his hand and chopped Rush, and then threw up the tranquilo sign. Rush didn’t take it lightly, and began delivering knees to King. Dragon Lee came to the ring and distracted the referee while Bestia came to the ring and smacked Brody King with a chair. Rush followed up with Get The Horns for the win and to retain his ROH World Championship. The broadcast ended with The Foundation staring down La Faccion Ingobernable, teasing a power struggle in ROH.