By Kevin Eck
Jonathan Gresham will head into his title match against ROH World Champion Bandido at the Final Battle: End of an Era pay-per-view on Dec. 11 in Baltimore either riding a huge wave of momentum or coming off a tough loss.
Gresham takes on Dragon Lee, a man he has never beaten, to kick off the Road To Final Battle series. Beginning with this match, which premieres Monday at 1 p.m. Eastern on YouTube, ROH will present a Road To Final Battle bout every day through Friday.
Gresham and Lee have met three times in singles matches, all in 2019, and Lee won all three. They’ve been on opposite sides in tag matches three times in ROH this year, and Lee’s team won all three of them as well, including one in which Lee and Kenny King beat Gresham and Jay Lethal for the ROH World Tag Team Title.
If Gresham can defeat Lee, I don’t think there will be any stopping him when he takes on Bandido. However, if Gresham loses again to Lee -- a wrestler who has a similar style as Bandido -- it could cause him to doubt himself heading into the biggest match of his career.
As for Lee, a victory over Gresham could prompt the ROH Board of Directors to add him to the ROH World Title match at Final Battle and make it a triple threat.
— ROH Wrestling (@ringofhonor) December 3, 2021
Another Road To Final Battle Match that could impact Final Battle is the ROH World Six-Man Tag Team Title Match between champions Shane Taylor Promotions (Taylor and Soldiers of Savagery) and Violence Unlimited (Homicide, Chris Dickinson and Tony Deppen) on Thursday at 7 p.m. Eastern.
STP is scheduled to defend the belts against The Righteous (Vincent, Bateman and Dutch) at Final Battle.
Here is the full schedule of the Road To Final Battle matches on YouTube:
* Monday: Jonathan Gresham vs. Dragon Lee, 1 p.m. ET
* Tuesday: Dalton Castle and Dak Draper vs. PJ Black and Flip Gordon, 7 p.m. ET
* Wednesday: Beer City Bruiser vs. Caprice Coleman, 1 p.m. ET
* Thursday: ROH World Six Man Tag Team Title Match: Champions Shane Taylor and Soldiers of Savagery vs. Violence Unlimited (Homicide, Chris Dickinson and Tony Deppen), 7 p.m. ET
* Friday: EC3 vs. Demonic Flamita, 7 p.m. ET
Who Castle will defend his ROH World Television Title against at Final Battle will be announced on the upcoming ROH Week By Week, which premieres Tuesday at 1 p.m. Eastern on YouTube.
Personally, I’d like to see Castle’s former nemesis, Silas Young, get the shot. “The Last Real Man” is ranked third in the TV Title division.
Young, a two-time former ROH World Television Champion, notched a big victory over Rey Horus at Glory By Honor in August and scored the winning pinfall for his team when he and Horus won the Trick or Treat Four Corner Survival Tag Match on Halloween weekend.
Castle and Young had a memorable feud several years ago. They haven’t faced each other in a one-on-one match since Castle beat Young in a Fight Without Honor in 2016.
Also on the next ROH Week By Week, The Righteous will prepare for their ROH World Six-Man Tag Team Title Match at Final Battle by taking on Primal Fear.
A wild-card 10-man tag team match will take place on Final Battle Hour One, which airs for free on multiple platforms, including HonorClub, YouTube and Facebook on Dec. 11 from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern. The pay-per-view portion of Final Battle begins at 8 p.m.
Former ROH owner and current ambassador Cary Silkin was my guest on the latest episode of The ROHStrong Podcast, which drops on Monday morning on ROHWrestling.com and most podcast platforms.
Silkin reflected on some classic Final Battle matches and gave his thoughts on the Final Battle: End of an Era pay-per-view. He also discussed the Briscoes’ place in history, Gresham’s rise to stardom, his obsession with 1970s preliminary wrestler Lee Wong and much more.
This weekend’s episode of Ring of Honor Wrestling is headlined by a non-title match between Bandido and Black.
Also on the show, Willow and Mandy Leon square off to determine who challenges ROH Women’s World Champion Rok-C at Final Battle.
ROH TV PREVIEW: https://t.co/5hfp5mqgpf
This weekend on ROH TV
— ROH Wrestling (@ringofhonor) December 2, 2021
On Ring of Honor Wrestling the weekend of Dec. 11, rivals PCO and Sledge meet in a Falls Count Anywhere Match; EC3 takes on Eli Isom; and Chelsea Green meets Miranda Alize.
Until next time, keep safe and stay #ROHStrong!
Kevin Eck is a veteran pro wrestling journalist who has worked for The Baltimore Sun, WWE and WCW before joining ROHWrestling.com. Eck’s Files appears every Friday.