By Graham "GSM" Matthews
Adam Cole, Dalton Castle and Bobby Fish Interrupted ROH World Champion Kyle O'Reilly
O'Reilly's celebratory speech was perfect in that he was showered with "You deserve it!" chants and his mic work was kept short and sweet. He isn't known to be the greatest talker, so that was wise. It was a pretty formulaic segment with the other three staking their claim at the ROH World Championship, and each of them played their roles well. Castle's logic about pinning Cole in a random tag team match weeks earlier was a bit questionable, but he is a fresh face in the title picture, nevertheless.
Christopher Daniels def. Mark Briscoe Decade of Excellence Tournament Round 1 Match
I really like the idea of this Decade of Excellent tournament as it gives the veterans of ROH some shine and an ROH World title match at the 15th Anniversary Show being on the line is an added bonus. I was going to question why Daniels was back to being a heel after seemingly turning face a few weeks ago, but he and Frankie Kazarian actually did not cheat here and Daniels won as clean as a sheet. They even shook hands afterward. This was a fun little match and you would never know Daniels is almost 50-years-old with what he can still do in the ring.
Lio Rush def. Caprice Coleman
The new Rebellion shtick for Coleman, Kenny King and Rhett Titus is more interesting than whatever The Cabinet was supposed to be, but I still can't bring myself to care about the trio with as little credibility as they have. Thus, I was happy the match was over in the matter of a minute and Rush was given the quick win. The babyfaces (Donovan Dijak and Jay White) coming to his aid afterward furthered their feud nicely coming out of Final Battle.
Dalton Castle and reDRAGON def. The Bullet Club
If you absolutely hate "indie" matches (and by that I mean there being an abundance of superkicks and unrealistic spots), this match won't be for you, but if not, you'll think it's a ton of fun like I did. These six guys had a hell of a match against each other; not necessarily from an in-ring standpoint, but just for the pure entertainment factor. My only gripe is that The Bullet Club are supposed to be a heel faction yet the cheers they receive are off the charts. Couldn't they do more to make people boo them?
I was very glad to see ROH air some original content (excluding Women of Honor) only a few weeks removed from Final Battle. They easily could have waited until the new year since next week's episode will be that "Best of 2016" show I assumed would air this week, but I'm pleased they're already setting a few things in motion ahead of 2017. There is plenty to look forward to, so here's hoping 2017 is as strong of a year for ROH as 2016 has been.
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