Matt Taven def. Will Ospreay
Taven has really come into his own as a singles star this year, and I'm really glad he hasn't had to break off from the rest of The Kingdom to find success in one-on-one competition because they add to his act. Of course, Ospreay is an incredible athlete as well and I wish we would see more of him in ROH. Since Taven is an ROH regular and on the rise, it was logical for him to win here, but this was a very fun opening conetst.
War Machine def. The Addiction
This wasn't nearly as hot of a match as the previous bout, but it was still well-wrestled and I liked the aggression from both teams to make it feel as personal as possible. As I've said before, it's amazing what War Machine can do for men their size and The Addiction can always be counted on for an enjoyable outing. I did find it weird that War Machine scored the victory considering what would happen with The Addiction later on and how War Machine aren't currently under contract to the company.
Jay Lethal def. IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion Marty Scurll (Non-title)
This was the match I was looking forward to the most on this star-studded card and it ended up being the best bout of the night for several reasons in my opinion. Not only was the in-ring action excellent, they told a stellar story with Scurll attempting to lure Lethal over to the dark side. Ultimately, he was able to do just that because Lethal had to cheat to win. He was remorseful afterward, so I'm not certain it's a full-fledged heel turn just yet. The feud must continue because this has been an awesome use of both guys recently. By the way, how sweet was that Eddie Guerrero-esque spot with Lethal putting the steel chair over his head?
ROH World Tag Team Champions The Motor City Machine Guns def. Best Friends
For a match that had little to no build whatsoever coming into the event, I liked this for what it was. I don't recall the Machine Guns ever truly turning heel, but it was wise of them to play the heels here because Beretta and Chuckie T. were beloved by the audience. They did some cool stuff, but the real issue I had with this matchup was how abrupt the finish was. It felt like somewhat of a letdown and the crowd was a bit deflated by it.
Silas Young def. Kenny King, Punishment Martinez and Shane Taylor in a Four-Way Elimination Match to Win the ROH World Television Championship
Although this match had its moments, I would argue it was the worst thing on the whole show. Martinez had a memorable entrance and it's clear the company is grooming him for bigger things down the road, so I appreciated how protected he was here. King was the standout, but Young finally getting his first taste of gold was long overdue. That was unquestionably the right result and I hope he holds the belt for a while. Beer City Bruiser is a fine manager for him, but Young doesn't need him at this point.
The Briscoes def. Bully Ray and Tommy Dreamer in a New York City Street Fight
I've seen plenty of hate for this match online, but being in the arena for it, I can say firsthand that the crowd ate up everything they did. Was it perfect? No. Was it a technical masterpiece? Absolutely not, but as an ECW-esque brawl, it served its purpose. Bully and Dreamer whipping out the lightsabers led to a huge pop. The Briscoes putting Bully through the table at the end was botched, unfortunately, but at least Mark made up for it by immediately following that up with a Froggy Bow elbow to win it for himself and Jay. With this presumably being Bully's last match, he and Dreamer did the honorable thing by losing on their way out.
IAn Riccoboni Announced a women of Honor Championship Tournament
ROH picked a terrible time to hold this segment because it was going on while Bully was taking off his boots in the ring and biding farewell to the fans. Thus, the fans couldn't have cared less about what Riccoboni was saying. It's such a shame because this was a huge moment for Women of Honor and I'm happy they're getting their own title to fight for at long last. This should have happened way before those six-man tag titles were instituted.
ROH World Six-Man Tag Team Champions Bullet Club def. Flip Gordan, Dragon Lee and Titan
When it comes to The Young Bucks, you can't expect anything other than a glorified spot-fest with their matches, and that was exactly what this was. Gordan will be one to watch in ROH going forward, but it was too soon to put a title on him. Plus, Lee and Titan are far from established in ROH and were complete afterthoughts in this outing for the most part. Bullet Club continue to be one of the most popular acts in all of wrestling right now and they shined bright in this bout. The Addiction and Scorpio Sky look to be next in line for a title shot.
Dalton Castle def. Cody to Win the ROH world Championship
I was slightly surprised by how quiet the crowd was for the first half of the match, but they did get into it once Castle and Cody picked up the pace. I loved the pre-match video package as it set the stage nicely for the story of the main event and how this could have been Castle's final shot at the strap. That said, him capturing the gold was necessary because it was now or never. Cody retaining would have been predicable (and not bad might I add), but I do think he'll get the title back eventually. Fans were thrilled to see Castle get his crowning achievement after all these years and he cut a heartfelt promo to the audience in attendance when the show went off the air.
Final Battle 2017 was my second ROH show behind All Star Extravaganza 2016 and it was an entertaining experience for sure. They've had better pay-per-views this year, but this was a newsworthy night between the two title changes and several quality matches. Lethal vs. Scull is especially worth checking out, but the whole show gets a thumbs-up from yours truly and it was a great way to close out a strong year for the company.
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