On Saturday December 11th, Ring of Honor presented Final Battle: End of an Era, likely the promotion’s final PPV event. The event featured appearances by former ROH stars including: Eddie Edwards, Jimmy Jacobs, Hangman Page, Adam Cole, The Young Bucks, and Bryan Danielson. During the show, there were several guest commentators including Danhausen, Rocky Romero, and Quinn McKay. Over the course of the event, ROH teased what could become of the ROH championships and ROH talent. ROH gave fans a fantastic show with impressive in-ring work and story building to create a night filled with nostalgia and enjoyment for ROH fans.
The First Hour
ROH Six-Man Tag Team Championships: The Righteous (Vincent, Bateman, and Dutch) def. Shane Taylor Promotions (Moses, Kaun, and O’Shay Edwards) (c)
Miranda Alize and the Allure (Angelina Love and Mandy Leon) def. The Hex (Allysin Kay and Marti Belle) and Chelsea Green
10-Man Wildcard Tag Team Match: The team of Brian Milonas, Beer City Bruiser, World Famous CB, Flip Gordon & PJ Black defeated the team of Sledge, Demonic Flamita, Will Ferrara, LSG & Max The Impaler.
Dragon Lee v. Rey Horus
This was a fast-paced match as one would expect from two accomplished Luchadors. The match went back-and-forth with each competitor gaining offense and showcasing their ability. Ultimately, Lee won the match with a ripcord knee to the back of Horus’ head. Overall, this match set the tone of the show and allowed each man to share their skills with the audience.
*Dragon Lee def. Rey Horus
ROH World Television Title Four-Way: Rhett Titus vs. Dalton Castle (c) vs. Joe Hendry vs. Silas Young
This match was strong in-ring, but was more compelling in storytelling. From the beginning of the match, the history of each wrestler in ROH and in competition with one another was heavily emphasized by commentary. Though Castle and Hendry were a tag team in the past, their relationship quickly fell apart after Hendry hit Castle with the title belt. Dak Draper ran to Castle’s defense, only to be kicked by Rhett Titus. Silas Young went for Pee Gee Waja Plunge, but missed. This allowed Rhett Titus to land a kick to Young’s head and pin him for the win.
*Rhett Titus def. Dalton Castle, Joe Hendry, and Silas Young
ROH Pure Title Match: Josh Woods (c) vs. Brian Johnson
For anyone unfamiliar with the rules of ROH’s pure matches, each competitor is allowed just 3 rope breaks and 1 closed-fist strike. In a competitive bout, both Brian Johnson and Josh Woods showcased their technical ability and charisma. Johnson attempted to break the rules on numerous occasions -even using brass knuckles at one point- in attempts to beat the champion. However, each attempt led to a near-fall. Woods hooked Johnson into an arm triangle sleeper and Johnson (out of rope breaks) was submitted.
*Josh Woods def. Brian Johnson
Fight Without Honor Match: Shane Taylor vs. Kenny King
This match was the perfect culmination of the feud between Taylor and King. There were many violent spots, the most notable of them a package piledriver from Taylor to King through a ladder balanced precariously between the ring apron and the guardrail. The piledriver was not enough to score the victory for Taylor, who delivered a chair shot to the head of King and a second package piledriver for the win. Taylor gave King his baseball jersey after the match as a sign of respect as ROH’s Black talent joined the pair in the ring.
*Shane Taylor def. Kenny King
ROH Women’s World Championship Match: Rok-C (c) vs. Willow
Rok-C is called the prodigy, and this match showed why. Though there were a few clumsy spots, this match allowed each competitor to showcase their offense and ability. The match ended after Rok-C blocked a superkick and delivered the Code Red to Willow to retain her championship. After the match, Impact Wrestling’s Deonna Purrazzo entered the ring and challenged Rok-C to a “Winner Takes All Match” for the ROH, Impact, and AAA women’s championships. Rok-C accepted.
*Rok-C def. Willow
Eight-Man Tag Team Match: VLNCE UNLTD (Brody King, Tony Deppen, and Homicide) and Rocky Romero vs. EC3, Eli Isom, Taylor Rust and Tracy Williams
This match featured many callbacks to former ROH talent and each competitor’s signature moves. The match was fast-paced and showed the great variety of wrestling present in ROH. The match eventually devolved into a brawl between King and Isom. King picked up the win for his team with a brutal lariat and Gonzo bomb. After the match, EC3 implored Isom and the audience to see the corruption and dishonor in ROH and the wrestling business. He advised all wrestlers to take control of their own narratives. On the stage, two men (one of whom was Wesley Blake) waited. EC3 told the men to “release the titan” and Adam Scherr (f.k.a. Braun Stroman) entered the ring and brawled with Isom. The group then carried Isom backstage and were not seen again.
VLNCE UNLTD and Rocky Romero def. EC3, Eli Isom, Taylor Rust, and Tracy Williams
ROH World Tag Team Championship Match: The Briscoes vs. The OGK
With the Briscoes’ children ringside, the team delivered an incredible match against The OGK (Matt Taven and Mike Bennett). The match was full of team offense and coordinated attacks. The Briscoes defeated The OGK in a great showing for all competitors. After the match, The Briscoes were in the ring when the lights turned off. When they came back on, FTR were on the apron. The two teams continued to brawl inside and outside the ring, making it clear that a feud between these teams is coming in the future.
*The Briscoes def. The OGK
ROH World Championship Match (vacant): Jay Lethal vs. Jonathan Gresham
After Bandido was forced to vacate his title and forfeit his position in this match due to COVID-19, AEW’s Jay Lethal stepped in. The match was highly technical, as one would expect from this pair. The match featured strong grappling and reversals, as well as signature offense from both men. Lethal went for the Lethal Injection, which Gresham countered with a backslide and then an inside cradle. Gresham trapped Lethal in the Octopus Stretch for the win.
* Jonathan Gresham def. Jay Lethal
This was an incredible swan-song for ROH. Each match showed the best of the talent. As a true variety show, Final Battle 2021 was ROH at its absolute best. New ROH World Champion Jonathan Gresham and The Briscoes had particularly excellent showings. The show ended with a tease for April 2022, suggesting ROH has plans for a comeback next year. If that does not happen, this was a satisfying ending for ROH fans. The various teases to inter-promotional matches (Purrazzo vs. Rock-C AND The Briscoes vs. FTR) will keep ROH and its championship titles relevant going forward.