From top to bottom, Final Battle more than lived up to its billing and reputation as Ring of Honor’s biggest show of the year. Here’s a look at the most memorable moments from the show:
5. MATT TAVEN AVERTS DISASTER, SCORES HUGE WIN
Just a few minutes into his match against Dalton Castle, Taven attempted a dive over the top rope, but Castle moved out of the way and Taven landed hard on his chest on the guardrail. It was such a bad landing that it wouldn’t have surprised anyone if Taven had been unable to continue the match or if he had suffered an injury that would’ve put him out of action for a while. Instead, Taven not only dusted himself off and continued the match, but he went on to score a clean pinfall victory over the former ROH World Champion.
It put an exclamation point on what has been an outstanding year for the Kingdom leader. Taven isn’t the “real world champion” he claims to be, but after his performance at Final Battle, even Taven’s staunchest detractors can’t deny his talent and toughness.
4. KELLY KLEIN WINS WOH WORLD TITLE WITH CLEAN SWEEP
Klein didn’t just score the winning fall in the Four Corner Survival Elimination Match for the Women of Honor World Title; she scored all three falls. First, Klein pinned Karen Q after hitting her K-Power finisher; then she stole the pin from Sumie Sakai after the defending champion hit Smash Mouth on Madison Rayne; and, finally, Klein hit a Super K-Power off the middle rope to pin Sakai and become the second WOH World Champion.
“The Gatekeeper’s” dominant performance left no doubt as to who the new face of Women of Honor is.
3. JAY LETHAL REACHES THE PINNACLE
Lethal wasn’t just fighting to retain his ROH World Title; he was fighting for the future of his company. Reminiscent of when Cody won the ROH World Title in 2017 while he was still a free agent, Cody vowed to regain the championship at Final Battle and take it with him into free agency. Lethal was determined not to let that happen and to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that he is the better man -- and that’s exactly what he did.
Lethal took everything that Cody had to dish out and he also had to deal with interference from Cody’s wife, Brandi Rhodes, before going on to make Cody tap out to the figure-four leglock in the middle of the ring.
2. FLIP GORDON MAKES BULLY RAY QUIT
The deeply personal issue between these two that began eight months ago culminated in an intense showdown that took fans on an emotional roller coaster ride. The no-holds-barred brawl saw the involvement of Silas Young, Cheeseburger, Colt Cabana and Christopher Daniels, but also ECW legend The Sandman, ROH ambassador Cary Silkin, ring announcer Bobby Cruise and even Gordon’s girlfriend.
The closing moments of the match saw Gordon -- with blood pouring down his face after being busted open by Bully’s chain -- take a kendo stick in each hand and begin punishing Bully with one brutal shot after another until Bully couldn’t take it anymore. By vanquishing the bully, Gordon showed the mettle of a true hero.
1. BRISCOES WIN 10TH TITLE IN LADDER WAR
Jay and Mark Briscoe’s 10th ROH World Tag Team Championship victory may have been their most impressive yet. The Ladder War between the Briscoes, Young Bucks and defending champions SCU (Frankie Kazarian and Scorpio Sky) was 22 minutes of non-stop action and chaos and featured countless insane moves and the repeated use of ladders, chairs, tables and trash cans as weapons.
Not surprisingly, the Briscoes were more violent and certainly far more sadistic than their opponents. It was exactly the type of environment in which Dem Boys from Sandy Fork, Del., thrive. Fittingly, the final image from Final Battle was of the greatest tag team in ROH history, their faces the proverbial crimson masks, raising up the championship belts while being showered with streamers.