ROH Final Battle 2023 is coming up this Friday! Before the event takes place, let’s run down everything you need to know about the upcoming pay-per-view.
Who is scheduled for the card? How interesting does the show seem? What’s going to happen with all the matches?
Here is a full preview of ROH Final Battle 2023.
PPV EVENT INFORMATION
Date: Friday, December 15, 2023
Start Time: 7 p.m. ET (kickoff), 8 p.m. ET (main show)
Location: Curtis Culwell Center in Garland, Texas
MATCH CARD, PREDICTIONS & HEAT INDEX ANTICIPATION LEVELS
(as currently advertised; card is always subject to change)
Temperature Scale = Scorching > Hot > Lukewarm > Temperate > Chilly > Cold > Freezing
Heat Index is my assessment of how interesting the segment is, including how excited I am for the match and how intriguing the feud has been. The hotter, the better. Scorching translates to not being able to wait to see it, while Freezing means I couldn’t possibly care less and think it will be awful.
How excited am I for the event as a whole?
Heat Index = Temperate
Thoughts: Why am I doing this here, at the start, rather than at the end like I normally do? Because I need to explain where I’m coming from before people get butthurt in the comments for what I say about the individual matches. So here it is. I do not watch Ring of Honor television. They haven’t given me a reason to care, as it just always felt like a series of matches for the sake of it, featuring talent that I’m overall not as interested in. Frankly, if it wasn’t directly related to AEW, I wouldn’t be watching this event at all. Therefore, I’m not high on this event, as even though it does have some talented people on the lineup, nothing particularly appeals to me. Now, if you’re heading into this review expecting it to be from the perspective of a super big ROH fan, then you’re going to be disappointed. You’re not getting “OMG I’m so excited” for the sake of it. What you are getting, though, is my honest approach from a somewhat outsider’s POV. I’m not going to feed you “this is the best match and I’m so hyped” just for shits and giggles, because I have more integrity than to lie. With that being said, I’m not going to bother replying to any comments that might whine and complain that the thing YOU like (in this case, ROH) isn’t being celebrated by my own personal tastes, which somehow means I’m some terrible human being. People tend to do that, and it’s ridiculous. You and I can agree OR disagree, and it doesn’t mean my lack of hype takes anything away from your excitement. For that matter, I WANT this to be a great show that EVERYONE loves, because I’m going to be watching it. Why would I want it to be a terrible experience for myself and others? So yes, I’m not hyped about this, but the better way to approach your disappointment in that is to leave a comment explaining why you are excited, rather than to bitch and moan that the article you’re reading doesn’t echo your personal thoughts. Some matches down below have a pretty high Heat Index despite what I’m saying, but I know full well Tony Khan is going to add 8 other matches that I couldn’t care less about, which will make this feel like it’s dragging on forever. With that being said, let’s get into more specifics…
SINGLES MATCH FOR THE ROH WOMEN’S WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH:
Athena (c) vs. Billie Starkz
Heat Index = Hot
Prediction: Billie Starkz wins.
Thoughts: By all accounts, Athena has been killing it this year. As someone who doesn’t watch, I’m flying a bit blind here, particularly on the skill level of Billie Starkz. However, I’ve heard great things about her, too, and I know that Athena does have talent that hadn’t been realized in quite some time. From that distant viewpoint, I would assume Starkz is going to win the title here so Athena can move on to bigger and better things as part of the true AEW women’s division, which desperately needs help. Being a big fish in a small pond can do wonders for your career, and if she’s truly the standout of ROH, it would be a shame for that program to lose her, but AEW is more important than ROH, and if Starkz is as wonderful as everyone makes her out to be, she can surely fill in those shoes instead. Why am I “hot” on a match that I’m not as familiar with? Because everyone else keeps hyping it up enough and I want to see if it matches the buzz.
SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST FINALS FOR THE VACATED ROH WORLD TELEVISION CHAMPIONSHIP:
Dalton Castle vs. Komander vs. Kyle Fletcher vs. Lee Johnson vs. Lee Moriarty vs. TBD
Heat Index = Cold
Prediction: TBD wins.
Thoughts: Yikes. This is not the lineup I would have gone with for who could replace Samoa Joe. Frankly, I’m not fond of any of these guys walking out with the title. That’s not to say they’re terrible, but they all do feel like a massive step down in comparison. Then again, whoever TBD is could make a big difference. I’m hoping that person will be a big enough name and will win it, rather than anyone else walking out with the belt. But to be honest, this is a great summary of why I don’t watch ROH, as this is a primary belt and if this is the best they had to offer, it seems like the roster is working with the D squad cosplaying as upper-midcarders. From my perspective, it seems like the WWE equivalent to this lineup would be if Gunther vacated the Intercontinental Championship and WWE opted to have a Six-Pack Challenge featuring Apollo Crews, Erik, Sanga, Ridge Holland, Ashante “Thee” Adonis and Wolfgang or something.
I QUIT MATCH:
Ethan Page vs. Tony Nese
Heat Index = Chilly
Prediction: Ethan Page wins.
Thoughts: Tony Nese is a guy that at one point in WWE, I thought he was being underutilized. Eventually, I came to the realization he had given everything he likely has to offer and reached his ceiling. Ethan Page is in the same boat, but having been overlooked on the AEW roster, only to lose favor for me where I’m no longer his cheerleader that he deserves way more. Could this be great? Maybe. I have no context of this feud. I Quit matches are a 50/50 split, depending on how they’re booked. If done well, they can be intense, like Stone Cold vs. Bret Hart type material. Sadly, they can also run the risk of being boring, where the wrestlers just kill time until the obvious ending. Hopefully, we get the former. As far as the winner, I’ll go with Page, since he’s the babyface.
JAY BRISCOE MEMORIAL FIGHT WITHOUT HONOR:
FTR (Cash Wheeler and Dax Harwood) and Mark Briscoe vs. Blackpool Combat Club (Bryan Danielson, Jon Moxley and Claudio Castagnoli)
Heat Index = Hot
Prediction: FTR and Mark Briscoe wins.
Thoughts: This is easily the match that I have the most confidence in and I’m looking forward to the most. Look at the group. These guys are going to beat the tar out of each other and steal the show. I have faith in that. Blackpool Combat Club pretty much can’t win this match if it’s called the Jay Briscoe Memorial. That’d be an odd choice. I thought BCC would win up until I noticed that.
Keith Lee vs. Shane Taylor
Heat Index = Temperate
Prediction: Keith Lee wins.
Thoughts: Keith Lee was once someone I wanted to see beat Brock Lesnar for a world title in WWE, win a Royal Rumble, main event WrestleMania, etc. Since joining AEW, he’s just not been a big deal. Yes, I get that these two have history together, but remember, from an outsider’s perspective who doesn’t have an intense bond with ROH’s past, this just comes off to me as “Wow, Keith Lee’s fallen down the totem pole.” I haven’t been floored by what little of Shane Taylor I’ve seen. I’m sure there are some people super buzzed about this, but I’m not one of them. It seems like it fits a solid midcard match concept for the current ROH roster, and I hope it exceeds expectations for people who wanted to see this play out, but I’m going to need them to impress me within the first few minutes or I might end up diverting my attention elsewhere, to be honest.
SINGLES MATCH FOR THE AAA MEGA CHAMPIONSHIP:
El Hijo del Vikingo (c) vs. Black Taurus
Heat Index = Lukewarm
Prediction: El Hijo del Vikingo wins.
Thoughts: If you thought I had little context for ROH, well, magnify that WAY more when it comes to AAA. I haven’t seen 10 minutes of that promotion’s material this entire year. As such, I have ZERO context of this feud. Is Vikingo in a spot where it’s obvious that he’ll drop the title? Or, for that matter, obvious that he won’t? I’ve seen a little bit of Black Taurus and thought he was cool, and I’ve loved some of Vikingo’s stuff. His match against Kenny Omega from the March 22nd episode of Dynamite was on my best matches of the year list. So despite how I’m flying blind, I have more faith this will be a fun segment than some other matches. When it comes to a winner, I guess I’ll go with Vikingo retaining just because I’d assume AAA would rather see the title change hands on one of their own shows.
What do you think is going to happen at ROH Final Battle? Which matches are you most excited to see? Keep the discussion going in the comments below!