By Kevin Eck
Due to the holidays, this is the first opportunity I’ve had to write about the fallout from Final Battle.
The biggest takeaway from the biggest show of the year is that a showdown between The Foundation (Jonathan Gresham, Jay Lethal, Tracy Williams and Rhett Titus) and La Facción Ingobernable (RUSH, Dragon Lee, Kenny King and La Bestia del Ring) is inevitable.
As LFI celebrated ROH World Champion RUSH’s tainted victory over Brody King, The Foundation came out to the stage and looked on in disgust.
The Foundation has stated its intention to “purify” all the divisions in ROH. The group already has the Pure Title (held by Gresham) and World Tag Team Title (held by Lethal and Gresham), and now it’s coming for RUSH’s World Title and Dragon Lee’s World Television Title.
It's no shock that the two factions are on a collision course, as their respective philosophies couldn’t be more opposite. The Foundation wants to restore honor in ROH; conversely, LFI lives up to it’s “ungovernable” moniker.
The power struggle between The Foundation and LFI could be the most compelling story in ROH in 2021.
Although Brody King came out on the losing end against RUSH, he proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that he is world championship material. If not for outside interference by Lee and Bestia, King would be the ROH World Champion.
On a side note, I found King’s somewhat-cryptic post-match comments interesting.
“Maybe my philosophy’s wrong. I gotta go back to the drawing board,” he said. “Obviously, their strength is in numbers, but this has just begun.”
There will be an injury update on Mike Bennett on this Tuesday’s “ROH Week By Week” on YouTube. Bennett suffered an ankle injury at the hands of The Righteous’ Vincent and Bateman at Final Battle.
If you haven’t done so yet, please join the ROH The Experience Facebook group to tell ROH officials which free agents and matches you want to see at the next set of TV tapings.
They’re listening. Some exciting things are already in the works.
Have a dream match in mind? Ideas for 2021? Match stipulations? New talent? Let us know by joining our Facebook group: https://t.co/Yw7dguVTIc
— ROH Wrestling (@ringofhonor) January 7, 2021
I was really impressed with Joe Keys, Dante Caballero, Ken Dixon and Eric Martin in the ROH Dojo showcase tag match on “Ring of Honor Wrestling two weeks ago, and I wasn’t the only one.
Dojo coaches Gresham and Will Ferrara went to the Board of Directors and proposed a gauntlet match between the four students with the winner getting a shot at Gresham's Pure Title.
The BOD signed off on it, and the match will take place on “ROH Week By Week” on Jan. 19.
Fans got a glimpse of wrestling's future when four rising stars from the ROH Dojo clashed in a special challenge tag team match!
Here are the highlightspic.twitter.com/UjHMV8L1f1
— ROH Wrestling (@ringofhonor) December 29, 2020
Speaking of Ferrara, he was my guest on the latest episode of ”The ROHStrong Podcast,” which drops Monday morning on ROHWrestling.com and most podcast platforms.
He discussed his transition from in-ring performer to coach; the ROH Dojo adopting aspects of NJPW’s Young Lions system; booking Future of Honor shows; paying his dues in ROH and working his way up the ladder; beginning his pro wrestling training at 14; and much more.
As first announced on “ROH Week By Week,” Lee will defend his ROH World Television Championship against Rey Horus on “Ring of Honor Wrestling” the weekend of Jan. 16. Horus earned the title shot by defeating former ROH World Champion Dalton Castle at Final Battle.
Also on that episode, Titus faces Flip Gordon in a Pure Rules Match. Needless to say, Titus and the rest of The Foundation weren’t pleased with Gordon for refusing to adhere to the Code of Honor after he lost to Gresham at Final Battle.
This weekend’s episode of “Ring of Honor Wrestling” features three of the best matches from 2020: PCO vs. RUSH vs. Mark Haskins for the ROH World Title; Gresham vs. Williams in the Pure Title Tournament final; and a battle royal for a shot at the ROH World Title.
This week on ROH TV
— ROH Wrestling (@ringofhonor) January 6, 2021
The long rivalry between Adam Brooks and Slex has reached a fever pitch in their native Australia.
Brooks will defend his Melbourne City Wrestling World Championship against former champion Slex in Three Stages of Hell at MCW Homecoming on Feb. 6. in Thornbury, Victoria, Australia. The first fall is a standard match; the second fall is falls count anywhere; and the third fall (if necessary) will be a ladder match.
Brooks and Slex were scheduled to wrestle each other at ROH’s 18th Anniversary pay-per-view last March, but the show was cancelled due to the pandemic.
It was a decade long journey for @theadambrooksy to capture the MCW World Championship, but he’ll have to go through @slexthebusiness to begin the #LooseLegacy#MCWHomecoming #MCW21 pic.twitter.com/X5MrUzMBuM
— Melbourne City Wrestling (@mcitywrestling) January 6, 2021
In tribute to Brodie Lee (Jon Huber), who died on Dec. 26 at 41, ROH’s YouTube channel is showing six of his ROH matches. The matches began airing daily earlier this week and will continue through Monday.
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.