Ring of Honor’s seminal event, Final Battle, emanates from Manhattan Center’s Hammerstein Ballroom on Friday Dec. 14. Final Battle is ROH’s biggest card of the year and has been the site of some of ROH’s most memorable matches.
All roads lead to the G1 Supercard, co-promoted by ROH and New Japan Pro-Wrestling, at sold-out Madison Square Garden on April 6, 2019, and the results at Final Battle undoubtedly will have an impact on the historic show.
The first official match signed for Final Battle pits Kingdom leader Matt Taven against former ROH World Champion Dalton Castle in a highly personal clash. Taven, the self-professed real world champion, will put his purple-leathered world title belt on the line as these top stars face off in a one-on-one match for the first time ever inside an ROH ring.
“REAL WORLD CHAMPION” MATT TAVEN VS. DALTON CASTLE
Taven’s obsession with defeating Castle dates back to May when then-ROH World Champion Castle was scheduled to defend his title against him. Castle was not medically cleared to compete, however, and the match was called off. Taven still has yet to receive a one-on-one match for the championship.
He did, however, compete in the Four Corner Survival Match for the title in June, which was won by Jay Lethal and also included defending champion Castle and Cody. During the match, Taven had Castle pinned for eight seconds, but the referee’s attention was diverted. Taven believes he was robbed of the title and thus has declared himself to be the real world champion.
Taven, wanting to erase any doubt of his superiority over Castle, challenged “The Peacock” to a “title match” for Final Battle during a stop on the Global Wars tour in Buffalo, N.Y., this past Sunday. He did more than simply issue a challenge, though.
Taven and fellow Kingdom member Vinny Marseglia were booked to face Castle’s Boys in a tag team match, but Taven had other plans. Just before the opening bell was about to ring, Taven and Marseglia attacked The Boys. They dished out a brutal beatdown that included the use of chairs and a leather belt and Marseglia delivering a brainbuster to one of The Boys on the floor.
Taven grabbed the microphone and said the beating would continue until Castle came out to stop it. A furious Castle, who had been getting examined by the New York State Athletic Commission, appeared on the stage. Before Castle could answer the challenge, he was ambushed by The Kingdom’s TK O’Ryan, who was Castle’s scheduled opponent.
Despite being hampered by the back and hamstring injuries that had kept him out of action for several months, Castle managed to defeat O’Ryan. He then accepted Taven’s challenge, stating that Taven’s belt is fake but the fire Taven ignited inside him is real.
Will Taven successfully “defend” his disputed title, or will Castle exact revenge for Taven brutalizing his Boys?
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ROH FINAL BATTLE
Friday, Dec 14, 2018, 8 p.m. ET
The Manhattan Center’s Hammerstein Ballroom
311 W 34th Street
New York, New York 10001