By Graham "GSM" Matthews
The Rebellion def. The Motor City Machine Guns and Donovan Dijak
The Cabinet gimmick was an awful use of three very good talents, so I'm glad Kenny King, Rhett Titus and Caprice Coleman have since rebranded themselves. I still can't bring myself to care about the trio, but ditching the outdated Cabinet gimmick is a good start. It looks like Dijak has begun a face start, which I'm in full favor of. The live crowd gradually got behind him and The Motor City Machine Guns throughout this bout and I would love to see more done with him in the future. The Rebellion winning didn't bother me too much, but the audience didn't seem too happy with the outcome.
Silas Young def. Jushin "Thunder" Liger
It never ceases to amaze me what Liger is still capable of in the ring at his age of 52. It speaks volumes that Young was selected as his opponent for this event because it shows they have faith in him to have a good match with the legend. Young winning was certainly a surprise, though seeing is believing when it comes to him finally getting his just due as a top guy eventually. As for the match, it was well-wrestled and solid for an undercard contest.
Dalton Castle def. Colt Cabana
Although I enjoyed this match for what it was, I was disappointed there wasn't more to it. Cabana turned on Castle only two weeks ago on ROH TV, so they really didn't have much time to build up the bout. And anyone who missed that episode would have never known Cabana was a heel (his new entrance music is a nice touch, though). They produced a decent match albeit nothing memorable, but I do expect the feud to continue past this point (or at least it should).
Cody def. Jay Lethal
Okay, as a massive "Back to the Future" fan, I appreciated the "Rhodes? Where we're going, we don't need Rhodes" line from Brandi Rhodes, but the rest of that intro was absolutely awful. And she was once a ring announcer for WWE? Wow. Anyway, The Addiction felt out of place coming out before the bout, and while I was happy they made the show, it was just weird, though it looks like they're officially babyfaces now. As for the match itself, it didn't exactly meet the lofty expectations I set for it, but it was quite good and Rhodes' heel turn caught me by surprise. He was welcomed with open arms by the fans, and then he turned on them, but I can't complain because he's always been an amazing heel. Not to mention he did a wonderful job of coming off like a total prick afterward with his actions.
The Kingdom def. Kushida, Lio Rush and Jay White to Become the First-Ever the ROH World Six-Man Tag Team Champions
I don't know if fans have much of an incentive to want to see one trio win the titles over the other, but it was nice match, nevertheless. All six wrestlers put forth a commedable effort, and I continue to like the presentaiton of the new Kingdom. I feel like I'm in the minority on that, in addition to how I'm happy they became the inaugural champions. This was the best match of the tournament by far, but now my hope is that they can make those belts mean something going forward.
ROH World Television Champion Marty Scurll def. Dragon Lee and Will Ospreay in a Three-Way Match
I haven't seen too much of any of these three, yet they managed to blow me away with one match. Holy shit! This was beyond awesome. I've heard nothing but tremendous things about Scurll, and he is every bit as talented as people say he is if this performance was any indication. The moves Ospreay can pull off should not even be possible, and Dragon Lee is an incredible athlete himself. I wasn't a huge fan of all of the recent TV title changes before, but if the division will be centered around these three for the foreseeable future, I'm ready for more fantastic matches such as this.
ROH World Tag Team Champions The Young Bucks def. The Briscoes
ROH was wise to follow up that masterpiece of a match with another spotfest they knew the fans would be hot for. And that's exactly what this match was: a spotfest, but there isn't anything wrong with that. I'm sure these two teams have had a million matches against each other over the years, but all of them are exceptional such as this one. I had The Young Bucks retaining, but there were definitely a handful of points where The Briscoes had me convinced they were winning with their suspenseful nearfalls. And then "Broken" Matt Hardy shocked the world by appearing on the big screen afterward! That must mean TNA and ROH have some sort of working agreement now, right? Either way, color me intrigued.
Kyle O'Reilly def. Adam Cole in a No Disqualification Match to Win the ROH World Championship
I was wondering why this match didn't have a stipulation attached it coming into the event if only because it's been a blood feud over the past year, and while they would have worked a stellar singles match, they made the most of the extreme environment. The crowd was engaged in the action the entire time and this was perhaps the perfect way to blow off their long-running ruthless rivalry. I didn't see O'Reilly winning the title on this show, but it was a cool moment. Of course, this will lead to speculation that Cole is WWE bound, and while I don't believe that will be the case just yet, it will be interesting to see what's next for him with his second title run ending so soon.
I had high hopes for Final Battle and it ended up delivering in being my favorite ROH pay-per-view of the year. Some matches may not have been as awe-inspiring as I would have liked or thought they would be, but it was a strong night for ROH on the whole with Cody's debut and heel turn twist, two title changes, a must-see TV title match, and more. The three hours flew by and left me anxious to find out where several of the storylines will go from here and what new ones will take shape in the weeks and months ahead.