By Kevin Eck
Tonight’s the night.
Final Battle, ROH’s biggest pay-per-view of the year, kicks off with Final Battle Hour One, which airs for free from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. Eastern on Best on the Planet, STIRR City, Facebook and YouTube. The entire, four-hour Final Battle broadcast will be available on pay-per-view, HonorClub and FITE.
Final Battle Hour One features the Four Corner Survival Match between Tony Deppen, Dak Draper, LSG and Josh Woods for a shot at ROH World Television Champion Dragon Lee during the pay-per-view.
Also during Final Battle Hour One, Jay Briscoe addresses the situation regarding his match against EC3 at Final Battle being cancelled. EC3 was pulled from the pay-per-view because of pre-travel COVID-19 testing protocols.
Want to watch #FINALBATTLE tonight with the stars of ROH? If you're an HonorClub subscriber, you can join us for the Exclusive Final Battle Watch Party on Zoom!
Limited to the first 100 subscribers!
Check your email for a link to register for this exciting HonorClub event. pic.twitter.com/eSmRjWzocH
— ROH Wrestling (@ringofhonor) December 18, 2020
There are four title matches on tonight’s show. Here’s my outlook on each:
ROH World Champion RUSH vs. Brody King: RUSH has only been pinned once during his two years in ROH. That shows just how dominant RUSH has been. It also proves that he’s not unbeatable. PCO, King’s former tag partner, defeated RUSH for the title at last year’s Final Battle. Will history repeat itself, this time with King walking out of Final Battle as the new ROH World Champion? Six weeks ago I would’ve said no. But after watching King defeat former ROH World Champion Dalton Castle and former ROH World Television Champion Shane Taylor, I don’t see anyone beating him right now, not even RUSH.
ROH World Television Champion Dragon Lee vs. Four Corner Survival Winner: I’m picking Woods to win the Four Corner match. I’ve been thoroughly impressed with Woods since ROH returned from hiatus, and I believe he will be wearing singles gold one day. But today is not that day. Lee is one of the best wrestlers in the world and he’s well-rested and healthy after spending the past 10 months away from the ring. Woods, on the other hand, will already have wrestled once tonight before he faces Lee.
ROH Pure Champion Jonathan Gresham vs. Flip Gordon / ROH World Tag Team Champions Gresham and Jay Lethal vs. Mark Briscoe and PCO: I put these two matches together because I believe one will have a bearing on the other. ROH officials have not announced the order of the matches on tonight’s card, so I have two different scenarios. Even though Briscoe and PCO have only teamed together once, they’re two of the craziest, most intense competitors in ROH, so I’m predicting they knock off the champions. As for the Pure Title Match, if it goes on before the tag match, I think Gresham will retain. However, if it takes place after the tag match, I’m predicting Gresham leaves Final Battle with no belts. He’s not coming out of the tag match unscathed, and that would give Gordon the advantage.
Look for an announcement this Sunday across ROH’s platforms regarding shows in January. It’s something I’m certain fans are going to enjoy, but I can’t say more than that.
Former ROH owner and current ambassador Cary Silkin was my guest on the latest episode of “The ROHStrong Podcast,” which drops this Monday morning on ROHWrestling.com and most podcast platforms.
Silkin has led quite an interesting life and always tells great stories. During the podcast, he revealed for the first time which longtime pro wrestling promoter expressed interest in purchasing ROH from him and which former ROH World Champion asked him via text message how much he’d sell the company for.
Silkin also talked about keeping ROH going even though he was losing money; how the deal to sell ROH to Sinclair Broadcast Group was brokered; ROH’s participation in the movie “The Wrestler;” his infamous brush with John Belushi in the late 70s; and much more.
ROH has a special holiday gift for its fans: 12 Days of Honor on YouTube.
Beginning tomorrow and continuing every day until Dec. 30, an ROH star will select a match from the ROH archives that will be shown uncut and for free.
Lethal, Castle, Matt Taven, Mike Bennett and Kenny King are among those choosing the matches. Included is an ROH World Title change never before seen on ROH’s YouTube channel, as well as bouts featuring some of ROH’s biggest stars from the past.
Until next time, have a safe and happy holiday 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.