Greg DeMarco is back with his next Daily DeMarco, taking a look at ROH Final Battle 2018! How did the show rate?
ROH presented Final Battle 2018 from the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City on December 14, 2018. The event had clearance of 4 hours, and ran just 12-minutes short of that timeframe.
A note about my ratings: I don’t rate on workrate, spots, technical ability, etc. This is a rating of my entertainment factor. Simply put, how much did I like the match? Not every match has to be a spotfest, technical wizardry, or catch-as-catch-can classic. The card should be varied, and fun. This event is a great example of that concept.
Results & Ratings
- Kenny King pinned Eli Isom in 9:10 with a Michinoku Driver – **1/2
- ROH World Television Champion Jeff Cobb pinned Adam Page after two Tour of The Islands to retain at 13:39 – ****1/2
- Kelly Klein beat Sumie Sakai, Karen Q and Madison Rayne in 13:43, eliminating each of her opponents (Sakai last) to capture the ROH Women Of Honor World Championship – ***
- Zack Sabre Jr pinned Jonathan Gresham with the European Clutch at 12:02 – ***1/2
- Matt Taven pinned Dalton Castle to “retain his championship” at 15:49 – ***1/2
- Marty Scurll beat Christopher Daniels by submission with the Chicken Wing at 17:48 – ****
- Flip Gordon made Bully Ray quit in 14:44 to win their I Quit Match – ***
- ROH World Champion Jay Lethal beat Cody Rhodes by submission with a Figure Four Leglock to retain at 23:44 – ***
- Jay & Mark Briscoe beat SoCal Uncensored (champions) and The Young bucks to win the ROH World Tag Team Championships at 22:32 of Ladder War – ****
King vs Isom was a serviceable opener for a regular ROH show, but didn’t belong on this show. This belonged on a television taping. … Cobb defeating Page was one of my favorite matches on the show, and if Page leaves it’ll be a shame. ROH seems to be THE place for him to shine at this point in his career. … I loved the commentary team focusing on individual Final Battle records, adding to the prestige of the event. … Kelly Klein winning the WOH World Championship made sense for the event, and Klein is overdue to be champion. It’s fitting that her win came in the first WOH title match in Final Battle history. The women worked hard but the crowd wasn’t into it. … Fantastic match between Sabre and Gresham that left me wanting more–exactly what it was supposed to do for ZSJ in his ROH debut. … Matt Taven entering second (like a champion would) and having confetti for his entrance was absolutely perfect. … Nasty bump on the guardrail for Taven on his dive. … Love the story here with Castle’s injuries hampering him throughout the match (he’s visibly not 100%, including his conditioning). … Taven-Castle was a great change of pace with the brawling outside of the ring, interference that made sense, and Taven picking up the big win. … I might be biased towards Daniels, but the match with Scurll was a great display for both men and deserves four stars (from me, at least). … At 48-years old, Christopher Daniels performs better than men 15-20 years younger. The man is ageless. … I’d expect “The Villian” to leave G1 Supercard with the ROH World Championship. … Bully Ray, Flip Gordon, Christopher Daniels, Cary Silkin, Todd Sinclair, Flip’s girlfriend, Silas Young, Cheeseburger, Colt Cabana, The Sandman, and one hell of a spectacle in the I Quit Match that was the storybook ending Flip needed for this feud. … I didn’t love Cody & Brandi doing the military gimmick right after Flip Gordon’s triumph. … Lethal and Cody did a great job setting the stage and getting the crowd riled up before ever touching–pure classic talents. … The Hangman Page/Bell Ringing spot literally cost this match half of a star. … Lethal winning “by any means necessary” in order to keep the World Championship in ROH sets the stage for his run with Marty Scurll in many ways. … Stoked to see Scorpio Sky main event an event like Final Battle–so well deserved. … There is nothing I can say about the Ladder War, you just have to watch it!
Overall Rating – 8/10
Hell of a show with a few slow spots, but some of that was crowd fatigue. A great way to end the year, with the door left open for Christopher Daniels to stick around after sacrificing himself for Cary Silkin, Flip Gordon overcoming all odds, and Jay Lethal establishing himself as a champion who will do anything to hold on to his title.