ROH Final Battle 2022: Claudio Castagnoli wins ROH Championship

Photo Courtesy: Ring of Honor

ROH Final Battle

December 10th, 2022

By: John Siino

College Park Center in Arlington, TX

Commentary: Ian Riccaboni & Caprice Coleman

Mascara Dorada vs. Jeff Cobb (Zero Hour)

Mascara Dorada comes out with some sick-looking Jushin Thunder Liger-inspired gear, with all of his previous masks showcased. Right away, Jeff Cobb tries to outpower Dorada but he’s able to run the ropes and knock Cobb to the outside and dives onto Cobb just to be caught and rammed into the ring post and dropped on the apron. Cobb throws him back inside and uses Dorada as a surfboard. Cobb does the Roman Reigns pump-up motion that gets a reaction from the crowd, but Dorada is able to counter him and toss him to the outside where he greets him with a crazy-looking tornillo. Dorada kicks out of a moonsault and counters Tour of the Islands for a pin attempt of his own but gets two. They fight on the ropes, where Dorada hits a top rope bulldog for a two-count. Cobb dodges a top rope moonsault and catches Dorada into a pop-up Tour of the Islands for the pin and the win.

Winner: Jeff Cobb by pinfall at 6:59

Shinobi Shadow Squad (Cheeseburger & Eli Isom) vs. Matt Menard & Angelo Parker (Zero Hour)

Cheeseburger wore a Delirious mask to the ring, as Ian Riccaboni mentions how it was gifted to him after they had the last match in Ring of Honor before they were sold to Tony Khan. Angelo Parker and Eli Isom started the match with a very uncomfortable long handshake that Parker went to again before tagging out to Matt Menard. Cheeseburger got tagged in and got a big chant as Parker came in and Cheeseburger psyched out his handshake before they got into a bit more of handshake shenanigans. Parker stays in control of Cheeseburger and stomps away at this body as the crowd chants ‘Let’s go Burger’. Parker and Menard continue to double-team Cheeseburger to keep him in their corner, but he’s able to escape and make the hot tag to Isom. Cheeseburger tries to go for the Shotei palm but gets sent to the outside as Parker and Menard hit Isom with their double DDT as Parker gets the pin for the win.

Winners: Angelo Parker & Matt Menard by pinfall at 5:55

Trish Adora vs. Willow Nightingale (Zero Hour)

The crowd gives Willow Nightingale a great reaction as many are dancing along to her theme and cheer her own as they take it to the mat right away where Trish Adora does an impressive set of push-ups while having a headscissors on. Willow stays in control, whipping Adora into the corners and meeting her with hip attacks. Willow chops Adora in the corner hits another hip attack, scales to the second rope, and hits a shotgun dropkick for a two-count. Willow tries the Doctor Bomb, but Adora counters and holds on to stretch Willow. Willow gets out but Adora hits her with a German suplex for a two-count. They run the ropes before Willow hits the pounce to a huge reaction. Willow follows with the Doctor Bomb for the pin and the win.

Winner: Willow Nightingale by pinfall at 6:19

Top Flight (Dante Martin & Darius Martin) vs. The Kingdom (Matt Taven & Mike Bennett) (w/ Maria Kanellis-Bennett) (Zero Hour)

The Kingdom came out with the Adam Cole remix version of their theme song. Dante Martin and Mike Bennett start the match, but right away Matt Taven attacks Dante from behind as they knock Darius Martin off the apron and double-team Dante. Top Flight is able to take back control, knocking Bennett to the outside and taking Taven down with a double dropkick as Darius gets a two-count before tagging Dante back in. Dante is able to dodge the Proton Pack and tag in Darius who is able to dodge and fight off The Kingdom. The Kingdom end up taking back control as Taven hits the Purple Thunder Bomb. Kingdom continues with double-team moves and pin attempts before Bennett teases a piledriver, just to get reversed by Darius. Bennett catches him in a double wrist lock, but Darius bridges out for a two-count. Darius and Bennett start trading slaps as if they are auditioning for Power Slap on TBS until both men are laid out and start crawling to tag out, as both Taven and Dante come in. Dante takes control and hits a standing moonsault for a two-count. Darius hits a Tornado DDT off of Dante on Taven, but Bennett pushes Dante onto them to break up the count. Bennett comes back with a Spicolli Driver on Darius, as Taven hits a penalty kick for a two-count. Darius back body drops Bennett to the outside and hits him with a suicide dive but quickly gets a dive from Taven. Dante tries to join them but unfortunately slips off the ropes. As Dante goes back inside to set up another dive, Maria gets on the apron to distract him but the referee ejects her. The Kingdom tries to take out Darius, but Dante knocks Taven off the top rope. Darius puts Bennett on his shoulders as Dante hits him with a Nose Dive for the pin and the win in a spectacular fashion.

Winners: Top Flight (Dante Martin & Darius Martin) by pinfall at 11:20

All four shake hands and embrace after the match as we now head into the main show.

Rush & Dralistico (w/ Jose the Assistant & Preston Vance) vs. AR Fox & Blake Christian

Before the bell can ring, Dralistico and Rush attack AR Fox and Blake Christian, but as the match starts it is Christian and Dralistico who start. They run the ropes with leapfrogs and arm drags until Dralistico hits a head scissors to good reaction as they stand off. Christian asks for a handshake but Dralistico punches him out instead. Fox and Rush tag in and start trading chops until Rush knocks Fox down with a punch. Christian tags in and gets punched and knocked to the outside where Rush starts tossing him into all four sides of the barricade. Rush grabs the cables and starts whipping Christian with them. On the other side, Dralistico power bombs Fox onto the steel stairs. Back inside the ring, Rush, and Dralistico stay in control hitting Christian with splashes in the corner followed by a double dropkick. Fox tags in and knocks Rush to the outside with a shotgun dropkick before diving onto him, followed by a dive to Dralistico, another dive to Rush, and a senton to Dralistico on the inside for a two-count. The crowd gets into it and chants for AR Fox. Fox meets Dralistico on the top rope, but Rush pulls him down to the outside by the leg. Christian tries to dive onto Rush, but Rush catches him and smashes him onto the barricade. Rush holds onto to Christian and Fox as Dralistico hits a shooting star press to them on the outside. Dralistico goes for the pin on Fox, but Christian breaks it up. Fox hits a springboard flatliner to Dralistico followed by a DDT from Christian, who then dives onto Rush as Fox hits a 450 Splash on Dralistico. It looks like Dralistico kicked out, but the referee calls for the bell, as Fox is just as surprised as I am.

Winners: AR Fox & Blake Christian by pinfall at 10:36

Dralistico and Rush were upset after and started to attack Fox and Christian with chairs and the cables, as Jose and Vance joined in.

ROH Women’s World Championship: Mercedes Martinez (c) vs. Athena

Athena comes out to a big Texas welcome here as she’s wearing gear that resembles blood splatter including glittery blood make-up on her face and a ‘third eye’. They start the match hard and fast and go right into a punch exchange before Athena knocks Mercedes Martinez down hard and mounts her with fast punches. Athena whips Mercedes into the corner, but Mercedes come back with a spinebuster for a two count as the crowd is booing Mercedes throughout. Athena comes back with a leg trip and hits running knees to the corner on Mercedes. Athena heads to the top rope, but Mercedes joins her and starts pounding the back of Athena. Mercedes tries the Spider German Suplex, but Athena kicks her off before sliding down and hitting Mercedes with a power bomb. Athena does the ‘sweet chin music’ taunt and hits a super kick for a two count. Mercedes comes back and hits a half & half suplex, a T-Bone suplex and a brainbuster for a two count. Mercedes starts stretching Athena, but she’s able to roll out, sending Mercedes into the ropes. Athena tosses Mercedes into the ring post and hits her with a back body drop onto the apron. Athena tosses Mercedes into the barricade on the outside, but Mercedes gets out of the way as Athena tries a shotgun dropkick, crashing into the barricade. Mercedes wraps Athena on the barricade and hits her with an Anarchy suplex. Back inside, Mercedes puts on the surfboard, but Athena bites her before she can put on the Brass City Sleeper. Athena counters her way out and hits with a powerbomb into her knees, but Mercedes grabs the ropes to break up the count. Athena gets frustrated and pulls off the turnbuckle pad, tossing it into the crowd. Mercedes comes back with a pop-up powerbomb for a two count. The crowd gets distracted with the padding in the crowd and boos as it’s given back. While this is all happening, Athena hits the O Face on Mercedes to get the pin and the win. Athena’s parents are shown in the crowd cheering her on.

Winner: Athena by pinfall at 13:08, to become NEW ROH Women’s World Champion

Shane Taylor Promotions (Shane Taylor & JD Griffey) vs. Swerve In Our Glory (Swerve Strickland & Keith Lee)

The story here is that when a team together in Ring of Honor, Shane Taylor and Keith Lee were slated to get a ROH World Tag Team Championship title shot at the ROH 15th Anniversary show until Lee went and signed with WWE, leaving Taylor to himself who ended up reinventing himself. As Swerve In Our Glory was heading to the ring, Swerve Strickland left Lee hanging. JD Griffey and Swerve start the match with Griffey sporting an MMA look. They trade off roll-ups, before Griffey puts on multiple choke hold attempts until Swerve grabs the rope. Swerve smacks Lee’s chest to tag him in, as Griffey right away goes to kick Lee. Lee eventually stops Griffey and knocks him down as the crowd chants for Shane. Taylor tags in and we get the face off between the former partners, but Swerve quickly tags himself back in. Taylor hits Swerve with a big leg drop on the apron for a two count. Swerve is able to roll out and makes the tag to Lee as we finally get the matchup between the Pretty Boy Killers. Taylor heads to the second rope for a dive, but Lee catches him to a big pop from the crowd. Taylor comes back with a right hook, as Griffey comes in and they try to double team Lee, but Swerve trips Taylor to the outside. Lee tags out to Swerve, who tries the Swerve Bomb, but Griffey is able to counter out and hit Swerve with a jumping knee sending Swerve to the outside. Griffey tries to dive to the outside, but Lee catches him. Griffey says ‘mom will kill you’, so Lee puts him down as commentary questions what kind of relationship they have. Swerve and Griffey go at it, with Griffey dropping Swerve on his knee for a two count before putting on a triangle choke. Lee and Taylor brawl on the outside, before Lee heads back inside and hits a moonsault onto Griffey, breaking up the choke. Lee and Taylor both tag in, as all four men face off and start brawling. Lee picks up Taylor, who gets out, Lee goes for a punch but misses Taylor and knocks out Swerve instead. Taylor hits Welcome to the Land on Lee, but he kicks out. Swerve slowly starts heading to the back, as Lee looks on in disappointment. Griffey knocks out Taylor by accident, as Lee takes advantage of the confusion and hits Griffey with a Jackhammer for the pin and the win.

Winners: Swerve In Our Glory (Keith Lee & Swerve Strickland) by pinfall at 13:47

ROH World Six-Man Tag Team Championship: Dalton Castle & The Boys (Brandon & Brent) (c) vs. The Embassy (Brian Cage, Bishop Kaun & Toa Liona) (w/ Prince Nana)

Brian Cage came out with Mortis inspired gear, as he was trained by Chris Kanyon. Dalton Castle and Bishop Kaun start the match, but Castle quickly heads to the outside and takes a lap around the ring with The Boys. Kaun makes the tag out to Cage, but Castle tags out to Brandon who Cage catches off the top rope and starts curling, before Cage gets schoolboyed. The Boys double team Cage and knock him to the outside with a dropkick. Toa Liona comes in and knocks The Boys down with a shoulder tackle before getting tossed to the outside by Castle. The Boys try to dive to the outside but get caught by Liona and Cage. Cage then starts curling Brent inside, but Brent escapes out and tags out to Brandon. The Embassy start triple teaming Brandon, with Liona hitting a senton on the apron followed by Cage suplexing Brandon from the apron to the inside. Brandon is able to fight off Kaun and make the hot tag to Castle as Cage tags in as well. Castle chops away at The Embassy and fights them all off with suplexes sending them all to the outside. Castle tosses The Boys onto The Embassy to the outside before hitting Cage with a knee for a two count. Liona is able to pick up both Boys and knock them down with a Samoan Drop and gets a two count. The Gates of Agony start double teaming Brent before Cage tags in. Castle comes in but gets taken out with a Belly to Belly Suplex by Liona, before Brandon takes Liona out with a missile dropkick. Cage hits the Drill Claw on Brandon, but Castle comes in and takes out Cage, knocking him to the outside with a running bulldog. Prince Nana tries to distract Castle, but Liona breaks them up by tossing Brent into them. The Embassy follows this with a swinging sitout powerbomb as Brian Cage gets the pin for the win.

Winners: The Embassy (Brian Cage, Bishop Kaun & Toa Liona) by pinfall at 10:04, to become NEW ROH World Six-Man Champions

The Hat Trick

Lexy Nair is backstage with Top Flight and congratulates them on their win on Zero Hour. Darius Martin says they are back and just picked up a big win as Dante Martin says they have been on fire and all the other tag teams will be drowning. Matt Menard & Angelo Parker walk in and say that the only thing they should be celebrating is winning without tearing an ACL as they should be celebrating their title win instead. Menard asks if they want to take a swing at him, and Dante does as they start brawling.

We cut to the commentary’s reaction on this before we realize that Top Flight, Menard & Parker’s brawl has now spilled to the entranceway as Dante hits a dive off the stage to Parker and Menard. Angelo Parker gets in the ring with a mic and asks if they are all having a good time and if they are feeling nostalgic and tells the crowd to pipe down as he has a question for them. Parker then asks why ROH died in the first place and only one person that can resurrect it is Chris Jericho. Menard then asks if you want to know what gets his nipples hard as he pulls out Jake Hager’s purple hat and says Claudio Castagnoli will lose tonight and form a team with Hager called The Hat Trick. Menard continues saying that Wheeler Yuta will lose to Daniel Garcia, which prompts Yuta to come out and chase them off as the next match starts.

ROH Pure Championship: Daniel Garcia (c) vs. Wheeler Yuta

The three judges ringside are Christopher Daniels, BJ Whitmer & Jerry Lynn. As soon as the bell rings, they start trading forearms and right away they both get their first warnings for using closed fists to the face. If either gets another one, they get disqualified. They head to the outside where Daniel Garcia hits a back body drop on the floor before whipping Wheeler Yuta to the steel steps. As they head back inside, Garcia rips off the protection on the turnbuckle and starts choking out Yuta on the metal part. Yuta comes back and does the same, but gets kicked off the apron as we see Trent Seven sitting in the crowd. As Garcia starts choking out Yuta again, he grabs the ropes for his first rope break. Garcia continues as Yuta uses his second rope break, as he now has one left. Garcia continues the assault, but Yuta is able to break out and hit an Enziguri and splash to Garcia in the corner, tries to jump off the top rope but gets caught with a chop and put into the Dragon Sleeper which forces Yuta to use his third and final rope break as Riccaboni questions if we have ever seen anyone use their three rope breaks so early in a match. They fight back and forth a bit until Garcia is able to put on the Sharpshooter, but Yuta is able to get out and put on a Crossface. They start trading chops and dropkicks until Yuta hits a brainbuster. Yuta hits a German Suplex and an Angle Slam for a two-count. Yuta tries a splash off the top rope, but Garcia catches him and hits him with a piledriver for a two. They start fighting on the apron where Yuta counters another piledriver with a back body drop Yuta follows with a leg trap Tombstone for a two count and goes right into hammer elbows with pin attempts. Yuta keeps dropping the elbows until the referee stops the match.

Winner: Wheeler Yuta by referee stoppage at 14:56, to become NEW ROH Pure Champion

Garcia hands the title to Yuta, before leaving the ring.

ROH World Tag Team Championship Double Dog Collar Match: FTR (Cash Wheeler & Dax Harwood) (c) vs. The Briscoes (Jay Briscoe & Mark Briscoe)

FTR has 12-11-2021/12-10-2022 listed on their tights. As the match starts the crowd is already chanting ‘Holy Shit’. Cash Wheeler and Mark Briscoe are chained together as Jay Briscoe and Dax Harwood make the other chained pair. A minute into the match Mark Briscoe is already bleeding as he and Cash Wheeler are going at it while Dax Harwood and Jay Briscoe are in the crowd, taking it up the stairs. Harwood and Jay make it back inside before bloody Mark breaks them up and they start double teaming on Harwood. Jay wraps his fist with the chain and knocks Harwood out with it. Wheeler is laid out on the outside as The Briscoes continue to work on Harwood. Harwood comes back and drives Jay into a chair that was set up in the corner. Harwood drives Jay onto the ring post on the outside, as Jay is now bleeding. FTR comes back and hits Mark with the Doomsday Device, but Mark kicks out from Wheeler’s pin attempt. Wheeler puts Mark in the Gory Special position while choking him out with the chain before Harwood whips Mark with his chain. Harwood gets whipped into a chain line as The Briscoes now take control as Mark hits a Froggy Bow with the chain on Wheeler for a two. Mark starts stacking chairs on the outside before grabbing a table, but ends up hitting a suplex to Wheeler on the floor instead. All four men are covered in blood now as Jay has Harwood on the top rope. Harwood knocks him down and wraps the chain around his head for a headbutt. As Harwood is punching Jay, Jay pulls the referee Mike Posey in the way who gets knocked out and starts bleeding as well! We get a new referee as Mark and Wheeler start fighting over their chain until Mark places Wheeler on the table. The Briscoes try the Doomsday Device, but Wheeler pulls Mark off the top rope onto the pile of chairs on the floor. Inside, Jay hits Harwood with the Jay Driller on top of the chain, but Harwood kicks out. Jay starts smacking Harwood’s back with the chair over and over before going for another Jay Driller, but Harwood kicks him down low and hits him with Piledriver on top of the chair for a two. Wheeler tosses chairs in the ring and tells Harwood to ‘fucking murder him’. Harwood and Jay head to the top rope, but Jay escapes and hits Harwood down low with the chain, followed by a superplex on the pile of chairs. Mark and Wheeler have a tug of war outside as Jay gets a two count on Harwood before wrapping his face with the chain. FTR tries to reach hands, but Harwood passes out to end the match as The Briscoes become ROH World Tag Team Champions for the 13th time.

Winners: The Briscoes (Jay Briscoe & Mark Briscoe) by referee stoppage at 22:20, to become NEW ROH World Tag Team Champions

As FTR is trying to get up, they get attacked from behind by Austin & Colten Gunn. Austin Gunn gets on the mic and says FTR’s legacy is dying and they won’t stop until they kill it. The Briscoes run back out and chase The Gunns away. Harwood, while on the mat, bleeding and his mouth against the mic tells The Gunns they will beat their asses.

ROH World Television Championship: Samoa Joe (c) vs. Juice Robinson

Samoa Joe starts the match in control, punching Juice Robinson in the corner, but Juice comes back with a back body drop before mounting with punches of his own. Juice tries a senton, but Joe catches him in a Coquina Clutch, but Juice quickly escapes to the ropes to the outside, as we see Tony Deppen sitting in the crowd. On the outside, Joe exposes the floor before putting on a choke hold, but Juice breaks it up by backing Joe back into the guard rail. Inside, Joe takes Juice down with a uranage, sending Juice to the outside where he meets him with a dive. Back inside, they start trading punches before Joe hits an atomic drop and a senton, but Juice puts his foot on the rope to break up the count. Joe continues punching Juice, but Juice stops him with a spinebuster. Juice continues, hitting a cannonball in the corner and a top rope cross-body for a two. Joe reverses Juice with a back body drop, before hitting a powerbomb for a two count, that he quickly transitions into an STF. Joe changes it into a Crossface, as Juice is able to fight off and grab the bottom rope. Joe goes for the Muscle Buster, but Juice reverses into a two-count before hitting a sidekick. Juice heads to the top rope, but Joe stops him and goes for the Muscle Buster again, this time hitting it for the pin and the win.

Winner: Samoa Joe by pinfall at 13:37, to retain

ROH World Championship: Chris Jericho (c) vs. Claudio Castagnoli

The stipulation here is if Claudio Castagnoli fails to win back the ROH World Championship, he must join the Jericho Appreciation Society. Chris Jericho comes out by himself, in what is his first official Ring of Honor branded match. As Claudio goes to shake Jericho’s hand, he kicks him and goes to chase Ian Riccaboni and Caprice Coleman away instead. Claudio goes right after him and starts tossing him against the commentary table, barricades and steel steeps, before sending him back inside as the commentary team goes back to their positions. Back inside, Claudio starts whipping Jericho who tries both the Codebreaker and Lion Tamer, as Jericho escapes. Claudio blocks the Judas Effect and hits the Neutralizer but Jericho kicks out at two. Claudio picks up Jericho for a press slam, and drops him on the ropes, followed by a big boot, kicking Jericho off the apron to the outside as Riccaboni is totally going against Jericho at this point. Back inside, they slow it up a bit, as Jericho is hitting Claudio with multiple clotheslines in the corner and continuously taunting the crowd as he’s in control. Jericho places Claudio on the top rope, and hits the ten punches, tries a hurricanrana, but Claudio blocks it and hits ten punches of his own (in both instances, the crowd says Ocho instead of eight, nice touch). Jericho does end up hitting the hurricanrana from the top rope for a two count. Claudio blocks the Codebreaker, and tries a Boston Crab, but Jericho stops it and clotheslines Claudio to the outside. They fight on the apron, as Jericho hits a suplex to the outside. The referee goes to count them both out, as the crowd says Ocho again, but both make it in before the 10 count. They both start testing each other and knock each other down with a double clothesline. They slowly get up to start trading chops and uppercuts until Claudio tries the Giant Swing, but Jericho quickly turns it into the Walls of Jericho. Claudio struggles to fight it until he finally grabs the bottom rope. Jericho gets in the ref’s face, as Claudio takes him down with an European uppercut. Matt Menard and Angello Parker make their way to the ring, as Parker distracts the referee as Menard hands Jericho his bat, which he uses to knock Claudio out. Jericho plays possum and slowly covers Claudio, who kicks out at two. Parker gets back on the apron, as the ref ejects both him and Menard. Claudio gets a two with an inside cradle, but as they get up, Jericho hits the Codebreaker. Jericho waits for Claudio to get up, but Claudio blocks the Judas Effect and puts on the Giant Swing (with the Ocho) and gets up to about 30 until Jericho finally taps out to end the match.

Winner: Claudio Castagnoli by submission at 17:06, to become NEW ROH World Champion

As Claudio is celebrating, he is joined by Wheeler Yuta and Jerry Lynn.

About John Siino 334 Articles
New York native and reporter at POST Wrestling. He is also Associate Producer and Social Media Director at upNXT, and the host of the 'Shot in the Dark' podcast.