Adam Cole dominated screen time on the last in a series of Ring of Honor episodes taped in Kalamazoo as the build towards Final Battle continues. In the main event of this show, Cole was set to face Dalton Castle, but that evolves into a six-man tag team match also involving the Kingdom and War Machine. Elsewhere on the show, challenger AJ Styles confronts champion Jay Lethal and another miscue causes more tension in the Decade.
Mark Briscoe joined Kevin Kelly and Nigel McGuiness on commentary for the first match, which would play into the aftermath of the match itself.
Will Ferrara beat Adam Page (with BJ Whitmer & Colby Corino)
Page attacked Ferrara before the bell. On commentary, the announcers mentioned Page would not be at Final Battle due to the recent twist in storyline tied to Steve Corino’s neck surgery. As Page was pummeling Ferrara, Will fired up and jumped off the middle rope into a hurricanrana. Page cut him off and rammed Ferrara into the ring post on the outside. Back in the ring, Page executed a pumphandle into a fallaway slam.
Moments later, Ferrara started a comeback and used a sunset bomb for a nearfall. After clotheslining Page out to the floor, Ferrara did a dive through the ropes on to Page and Whitmer at ringside. Whitmer tried to toss his crutch to Page but Ferrara intercepted it. Ferrara hit Page with the crutch and covered him for the pin.
Afterwards, Whitmer attacked Ferrara. Mark Briscoe wanted to make the save but Kevin Kelly noted he was on commentary so he was forbidden from doing so. Whitmer suplexed Ferrara then shoved down the referee, who crotched himself on the bottom rope. Not able to let such dastardly action continue, Briscoe left the announce table to make the save as Ferrara smirked at Page for having just scored an upset. Briscoe would not return to commentary.
At ringside, Kevin Kelly interviewed the Addiction. Daniels said there is a bias in ROH against them. He gave various examples and mentioned being attacked recently by a woman (Maria) who instead belonged in a “nursery or the kitchen.” Daniels brought up the mysterious masked man also attacking them. He claimed it violated the rules of ROH saying “anytime an unknown quantity introduces himself into a match” then the match must end immediately.
Kazarian said the conspiracy continued as they were not recognized by the company or the fans as the “global superstars” they really are so they were leaving for New Japan. They vowed to win the upcoming (or actually ongoing at present time) tag team tournament before they return to reclaim their world tag team championship… of the world.
In his first (not counting a teaser of the main event in the open) and certainly not last appearance on this episode, a video package feature highlighted Adam Cole and his feud with Kyle O’Reilly. In another recap, a replay showed the angle where “Brutal” Bob Evans turned on Cheeseburger as he also tried to cut his head off (with a hacksaw no less), which led to a plug for their grudge match on the Final Battle pre-show airing on YouTube before the PPV.
Adam Cole appeared again in a commercial plugging his new t-shirt along with shilling a Kingdom shirt as well. The promo for the shirt was probably better than most promos on the last episode of Raw.
The House of Truth made their way to the ring for a Jay Lethal promo. Truth Martini along his Book of Truth and Taeler Hendrix along with her notable cleavage were in tow. Lethal congratulated Roderick Strong on finally beating him after losing previously in what Lethal sarcastically estimated as 1,000 times. Lethal predicated he would be champion again by next week because Strong would be unable to handle the stress of being champion.
Besides, Lethal claimed all the people want to talk about was how great of a TV champion he was, and they keep talking about him as the great ROH champion he is now. According to Lethal, that is why he will beat AJ Styles at Final Battle. Lethal went on to say how much he used to admire Styles as the greatest. Now, Lethal said he himself is the greatest because AJ never became TV champion or ROH champion or “undisputed” champion like Lethal had accomplished. Lethal then called out Styles.
AJ entered the scene to confront Lethal. Styles agreed that Lethal was one of the best in the world because of the bullseye on his back. Styles noted people keep calling him out and challenging Lethal. However, this time AJ pointed out it was Lethal instead that was calling out AJ. On losing the TV title, he said it was the best thing to happen to Lethal because he could now focus on AJ Styles.
Styles vowed to win the title and wanted no complaining when he did so. AJ challenged Lethal to shake his hand and say “may the best man win.” They shook hands, and then in a scene reminiscent of Ronda Rousey crazily ranting on Holly Holm at the UFC 193 weigh-ins, Lethal snapped and shouted about winning the match. He ranted about being the greatest wrestler in the world. They then had a stare down to close out the segment.
In yet another of his many appearances, it was “Story Time With Adam Cole”, which replaced what as Mandy Leon’s “Inside ROH” segment. Cole cut a marvelous promo on Kyle O’Reilly building up their upcoming match at Final Battle. That was definitely better than any promo on Raw.
In more Final Battle hype, Kevin Kelly plugged all the matches announced so far on the card. Imagine that, advertising almost the entire lineup for a PPV weeks in advance on a show taped weeks ago.
Dalton Castle beat Adam Cole (with the Kingdom) via disqualification
Before the bell sounded and as the Kingdom stalked an alone Castle, the Boys suddenly emerged dashing through the crowd, hopped the guardrail and darted into the ring to back up Castle. They even had their drama masks again. An angry Silas Young marched out and ordered the Boys out of the ring and shooed them to the back. The Boys did as they were instructed because, as it was explained by the announce team, stipulations mean something in ROH so they had to adhere to the orders.
As the match began, Matt Taven and Michael Bennett interfered early on and tripped Castle. Nevertheless, Castle sent Cole sailing out over the ropes to the floor before diving through the ropes on to Bennett and Taven. Cole dove off the apron into the waiting arms of Castle. He caught him and gave him a suplex on the floor. Cole cut him off moments later with a superkick. At ringside, Bennett and Taven joined Cole in attacking and stomping on Castle in plain view of the referee leading to the DQ.
The Kingdom looked to continue the beat down when War Machine made the save. Hansen and Raymond Rowe hit the ring to save Castle so Nigel booked an impromptu six-man tag team match.
Adam Cole & Michael Bennett & Matt Taven (with Maria Kanellis) beat Dalton Castle & Raymond Rowe & Hansen
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They all brawled at the outset in and around the ring. Eventually, Cole and Hansen paired off in the ring. Behind the ref’s back, Bennett and Taven crotched Hansen and delivered a double dropkick. The Kingdom proceeded to get heat on Hansen as they proverbially cut the ring in half and made quick tags. Hansen got a hope spot and a few moments later fought off all three Kingdom members to tag out.
Rowe came in off the hot tag running wild on the Kingdom. Cole cut him off but Castle tagged in and ran wild on Cole. Castle set up and delivered a missile dropkick off the top. Castle went to lift Taven up for a tombstone piledriver and he reserved it. They reversed each other’s reversals several times before Castle executed a tombstone. Bennett and Cole then took out Castle with a double team.
Rowe jumped in the fray and cleaned house in emptying the ring. Rowe then did a dive to the outside. Hansen went to the top turnbuckle jumped off into a senton and wiped out everyone. Back in the ring, Rowe and Hansen went to set up their Path of Resistance finisher and Castle helped by giving Cole a German suplex. Then, Hansen did a splash off the top. Castle cradled Cole but Bennett and Taven broke up the pin.
In jumping in the ring, Bennett and Taven dragged a load of used streamers behind them into the ring and the streamers hung from the ropes. Rowe and Hansen clotheslined Bennett and Taven over the top rope to the floor. Rowe held the ropes open for Hansen to do a dive. However, the streamers supposedly blocked his view so Hansen missed and crashed to the outside. Bennett gave Rowe a spear on the apron.
In the ring, Castle went to give Cole his finisher but Bennett and Taven hit a double superkick to make the save. Cole followed that with a suplex into a neckbreaker to score the pinfall.
On commentary, Kevin Kelly announced the return of Kyle O’Reilly for next week in the first episode of the new series of episodes taped in Nashville. They teased O’Reilly finally getting his hands on Cole. Despite that, the show closed with Adam Cole and the Kingdom standing victorious.