ROH World Television Champion Kenny King def. Caprice Coleman
This match took place at the recent Lakeland, FL house show ROH ran and I liked that it wasn't completely random because it was built up on Coleman's Pulpit. Of course, with King set to defend his ROH World Television Championship at Final Battle this coming Friday, it was obvious Coleman wasn't winning, but they put together a well-wrestled matchup. Shane Taylor standing at ringside throughout the bout was a nice touch given his history with both men and how he'll be vying for the championship himself in a four-way at Final Battle. Speaking of which, fellow challengers Punishment Martinez and Silas Young surfaced afterward to make an impact.
The Addiction Attacked Warbeard Hanson
Apparently, Raymond Rowe was "suspended" in storyline for attacking a fan in the crowd last month, even though it was inadvertent. But he will be back for Final Battle, we were told. This was a great way to put heat on the heels, though, with The Addiction double-teaming Hanson and attempting to shave his beard and cut his ear off. Unfortunately, they didn't go through with it (I'm bloodthirsty), but the segment did make me care about the upcoming tag team match at Final Battle more than I did before.
ROH COO Joe Koff Announced The Briscoes vs. Bully Ray and Tommy Dreamer for Final Battle
You didn't think Bully was actually retired, did you? Yes, it was an angle the entire time, and it was a wisely executed one at that. The Briscoes have turned into ruthless heels in such a short span of time and this was an excellent promo from them calling out Bully and Dreamer. Once the match was made official for the pay-per-view, a hot brawled ensued. New York City is the perfect place to host the match given the ties Bully and Dreamer have to there.
Matt Taven def. Jay Lethal
The whole premise of the Lethal vs. Marty Scurll rivalry is that Scurll is attempting to make a "villain" out of Lethal again, so Scurll spent a majority of the match on commentary talking about that and hyping up their Final Battle bout. The match itself was entertaining while it lasted and I appreciated that the interference from The Kingdom was kept to a minimum at ringside. Lethal was conflicted over using the umbrella Scurll handed him, and when he didn't, Taven rolled him up for the victory. Lethal heel turn incoming?
ROH World Champion Cody and Dalton Castle Signed the Contract for Their Final Battle Match
Contract signings have been done to death in wrestling and this wasn't much different from most we've seen, but it was cool that Cody looked the part of arrogant a-hole and Castle's promo was strong. I wish we would have heard more from Cody because he can really be a prick on the stick when he wants to be, but at least this segment didn't drag on forever and was instead short and sweet.
As a go-home show, this edition of ROH was certainly successful in building toward Final Battle and hyping up the biggest bouts on the card. Speaking of which, it looks like a pretty good show on paper and I can't remember the last ROH event that underwhelmed, so it should be nothing short of solid. My status for the show is still up in the air, but I'll be doing everything in my power to make it, as I'll likely regret missing it if I have to!