Obviously there are a lot of big WWE related stories going on at the moment with “Tables Ladders and Chairs 2015”, the events on this week’s “Monday Night Raw” and “Takeover: London”, but things really aren’t going to pick up until January with the road to “Wrestlemania XXXII” starting. Therefore, let’s talk about Ring of Honor instead.
We’ll start with the pre-show match airing exclusively on YouTube between Cheeseburger (yes Cheeseburger) and Brutal Bob Evans. These two were former partners in the team Brutal Burgers but split up months back, triggering a feud between the two. Evans has laid Cheeseburger out several times now but Cheeseburger keeps getting up, setting up what should be the final battle (oh I get it now) between the two. I’ll take Cheeseburger as Evans really gains nothing by beating him again.
On to the main card, we’ll start with Moose vs. Michael Elgin. Both of them want a shot at the ROH World Title so they had a competition to see who could beat a much smaller opponent in the fastest time. Amazingly enough that didn’t solve anything so the solution was to take two big power guys and have them fight each other. This has the potential to be one of the more fun matches on the card in the vein of a Sheamus vs. Roman Reigns match, but without the stupid storyline around it.
I’ll take Elgin to win here as he’s been on a roll in Japan lately and whatever happens in New Japan has a big impact on everything that happens in Ring of Honor. Moose is still young and dominant but he really isn’t ready to be a big time challenger. Elgin has a much stronger resume and is a former World Champion, plus there’s a chance of his title shot taking place on the January 4 show in Tokyo. I’ll go with Elgin in a fun power brawl.
Next up we have Dalton Castle vs. Silas Young in another grudge match. This is a culture clash as Castle is very flamboyant and had his two Boys fanning him off while not wearing much clothing. Young won them in a match and promised to turn the boys into men. The Boys have seemed to agree with their new way of life and turned their backs on Castle when he tried to take them back recently.
To the best of my knowledge the Boys aren’t on the line here, but it wouldn’t surprise me to see them go with the winner. I’ll go with Castle here as there’s really no reason for Young to keep them any longer and they work better with Castle anyway. This feud has been better than it has any right to be and this should be no exception.
The Knights of the Rising Dawn (KRD, comprised of Chris Sabin and the Addiction (Christopher Daniels and Kazarian)) are facing the returning Alex Shelley, ACH and Matt Sydal. ACH and Sydal have recently completely a best of five series and are teaming with Shelley for lack of anyone better to team with him. This is really about Shelley vs. Sabin due to their former partnership and Shelley imitating Sabin’s red mask act in recent weeks. It would seem that this is just a way to set up Sabin vs. Shelley down the line so I’ll take ACH/Shelley/Sydal for the win here.
We’ll move on to the first title match with new TV Champion Roderick Strong defending against Bobby Fish. Strong has only been champion for a few weeks now and I can’t imagine they change the title again so soon. However, Fish is the kind of guy who has to win something on his own soon and I’m not sure how long they can go with just having him get close over and over. Fish doesn’t get it here though and Strong retains in his first major title defense.
Next up we have the Briscoes vs. the All Night Express vs. the Young Bucks for the #1 contendership for the Tag Team Titles. The Bucks are the hottest team in the company, the All Night Express has a claim to the titles as they were never defeated for the titles in the first place and the Briscoes are the most successful team in ROH history.
The tag division has been one of the best things about Ring of Honor in recent months and this should be one of the more fun matches on the show. Again you have to consider the New Japan connection for the Bucks as they’re a very big deal over there and could get into the title picture here for the sake of making a bigger connection. The Express are a talented team but I see them more as gatekeepers than a top level team. That leaves the Briscoes who are established enough that they could lose for months and still be as strong as they were before.
Therefore I’ll take the Bucks, who are so incredibly over right now that it would be almost insane to not capitalize on it and move them into the title picture. The other teams are both good but neither of them are really in a good place to take the titles at this point. The Bucks will win here and that probably opens up the most options going forward.
Speaking of the Tag Team Titles, the Kingdom (Michael Bennett and Matt Taven) is going to defend against the monster team of War Machine (Hanson and Rowe). As much as I love a good power team like War Machine and as middle of the road as Kingdom has been (save for Maria Kanellis who is an awesome heel manager), I think the titles stay with Bennett and Taven as War Machine feels a lot more like an obstacle for the Kingdom instead of a real threat to the belts. That would set up Kingdom vs. Young Bucks soon down the road in what should be the big title change.
In the only gimmick match on the card we have a Fight Without Honor (street fight/no holds barred) between former Futureshock partners Adam Cole and Kyle O’Reilly. Cole is a former World Champion and O’Reilly was called a future World Champion, which didn’t sit well with Cole whatsoever. They’ve cost each other matches and threatened each other for weeks now, setting up one of Ring of Honor’s rare brutal matches. These things don’t happen often but they work when they do come around.
I’m going to go with Cole here in what should be a star making performance from O’Reilly. The problem with O’Reilly is that he isn’t the best talker while Cole is one of the best in the company. That gives him a lot more future potential as a main event player (assuming he isn’t snatched up by WWE) and I believe makes him the better option to go with here over O’Reilly, though the match should rock either way.
That leaves us with the main event for the Ring of Honor World Title as champion Jay Lethal defends against #1 contender AJ Styles. I’m not the biggest Lethal fan in the world but he’s certainly gotten better in recent months. However, I think Styles is here just to put Lethal over instead of being the top star in Ring of Honor. Styles is going to be a big star no matter what he does here but a win over him would mean a lot more for Lethal. Therefore I’ll go with the title being retained here, though it’s going to be interesting to see the show ending on a less than thrilling note.
Overall “Final Battle 2015” has the potential to be a really fun show. Ring of Honor is on a roll right now and is starting to show off the depth of its roster. This should be a fun show and a good way to cap off the year. It’s a show that has been well built and should be entertaining throughout. If you haven’t been watching Ring of Honor lately, this is a good place to jump on because it’s a really entertaining show every week.
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