ROH Final Battle 2022 Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights

Doc-Chris Mueller@@BR_DoctorFeatured Columnist IVDecember 10, 2022

ROH Final Battle 2022 Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights

0 of 9

    Chris Jericho and Claudio Castagnoli.

    Welcome to Bleacher Report's coverage and recap of Ring of Honor Final Battle 2022.

    The final pieces were put in place for the show during this week's All Elite Wrestling tapings. Here is a look at the card as it stands:

    • Chris Jericho vs. Claudio Castagnoli (ROH World Championship)
    • Daniel Garcia vs. Wheeler Yuta (ROH Pure Championship)
    • FTR vs. The Briscoes (Dog Collar, ROH Tag Team Championships)
    • Mercedes Martinez vs. Athena (ROH Women's Championship)
    • Dalton Castle and The Boys vs. The Embassy (ROH Six-Man Championships)
    • Samoa Joe vs. Juice Robinson (ROH TV Championship)
    • Swerve in our Glory vs. Shane Taylor Promotions
    • Blake Christian and AR Fox vs. Dralistico and Rush
    • Mascara Dorada vs. Jeff Cobb
    • Matt Menard and Angelo Parker vs. Eli Isom and Cheeseburger
    • The Kingdom vs. Top Flight
    • Willow Nightingale vs. Trish Adora 

    Let's take a look at what happened during the final ROH event of 2022.

Zero Hour

1 of 9

    Here is a quick rundown of the results from the Zero Hour pre-show:

    • Cobb defeated Dorado (B)
    • JAS defeated Isom and Cheeseburger (C)
    • Nightingale defeated Adora (B-)
    • Top Flight defeated The Kingdom (B)

Rush and Dralistico vs. Blake Christian and AR Fox

2 of 9

    Rush and Dralistico were out first to open up the main show. They took on the team of Christian and Fox.

    We saw a fast-paced exchange between Dralistico and Christian to kick things off. The crowd popped when they came to a stalemate. The former Mistico refused a handshake and uncorked a forearm in response.

    Fox and Rush both tagged in and traded chops and forearms until El Toro Blanco took his opponent down with a spinning forearm smash. La Faccion took the fight out of the ring and began decimating their opponents.

    The luchadors had the upper hand for a long time, but Fox eventually used his high-flying skills to make a comeback and was able to score the win for his team with a 450.

    However, the finish looked like it might not have gone as planned. It looked like Dralistico kicked out at two and the ref called for the bell by mistake. It's hard to say what happened, but even Fox looked surprised to hear he had won the match.

    Winners: AR Fox and Blake Christian

    Grade: B

    Notable Moments and Observations

    • Fox's chest was getting red before Rush was even done chopping him. It was a deep shade of purple by the end of the match. 
    • The series of dives Fox hit on both opponents looked great, but one of them almost ended in disaster.

Mercedes Martinez vs. Athena (ROH Women's Championship)

3 of 9

    The first title match on the main card saw Martinez put the ROH Women's Championship on the line against Athena. They obeyed the code of honor, but Martinez was hesitant to shake hands.

    Athena tried to slap her, but Martinez dodged it and hit her own to take the challenger off her feet. What followed was a physical exchange of strikes.

    The champ found herself on defense after Athena unloaded on her, but once they took it down to the mat, Martinez had her locked in a submission and fighting to survive.

    These two held nothing back and delivered a match that was hard-hitting and fun to watch. Athena's new attitude was on full display, and Martinez did a good job playing the babyface after spending much of her career as an aggressive heel.

    What was weird was how Martinez became the heel about halfway through the match. The crowd really wanted Athena to win, so when the champ hit a suplex on the floor, she was met with a chorus of loud boos that she gladly took in.

    They did a great job playing into the way the crowd was reacting, especially as they built toward the finish. Athena set up and hit the Oh Face for the win to become the new ROH women's champion.

    Winner: Athena

    Grade: B+

    Notable Moments and Observations

    • Athena was smart to ditch the mechanical wings for her entrance. 
    • The video that was played before the match did a good job of establishing the history these two women have with each other. 
    • Athena teasing her usual back handspring in the corner and then stopping midmove to hit a backhand slap was hilarious. 
    • Martinez took some big bumps in this match, but they always looked as protected as possible. 

Shane Taylor Promotions vs. Swerve in Our Glory

4 of 9

    STP and Swerve in our Glory.

    Shane Taylor and JD Griffey were up next to take on two men they know very well: Swerve Strickland and Keith Lee.

    This was a perfect matchup of teams because both duos are set up the same way. Lee and Taylor are the big powerhouses, while Swerve and Griffey are agile lightweights by comparison.

    The smaller competitors got the match going, but Swerve quickly tagged out when he became frustrated. Griffey used his striking ability at first, but Lee's power was a little too much for him to handle, so Taylor took over.

    The former partners were ready to square off when Swerve ruined the party by tagging himself in. He came to regret that decision when Taylor began to establish his dominance.

    When we finally got Lee and Taylor in the ring together, the crowd lit up. The big men circled each other before engaging in the battle everyone came to see.

    This match had a little bit of everything. We had high-flying action, stiff strikes, huge feats of strength, long-term storytelling and some great spots. This will be a contender for Match of the Night for many fans.

    Lee and Swerve had several miscommunications throughout the match that led Swerve choosing to leave his partner alone in the ring with two angry opponents. The Limitless One was able to dodge a kick from Griffey that connected with Taylor. This allowed Lee to hit his finisher to score the win.

    Winners: Swerve in Our Glory

    Grade: A-

    Notable Moments and Observations

    • Swerve refused the fist bump Lee offered him during their entrance. 
    • The way the Arlington, Texas, crowd reacted when Swerve deprived us of seeing Taylor and Lee face off was hilarious. ROH crowds are great at participating in the show. 
    • Lee catching Taylor in his arms might be one of the most impressive feats of strength you see all year. 
    • Seeing a guy like Lee hit a moonsault from the middle rope will never get old. 
    • The way all of the different stories unfolded in this match was done so well. 

Dalton Castle and The Boys vs. The Embassy (6-Man Tag Titles)

5 of 9

    The next championship to be defended was the ROH Six-Man Tag Team Championship. Toa Liona, Kaun and Brian Cage challenged Castle and The Boys for trios supremacy.

    Kaun and Castle started for their teams. The Prince showed off his power by backing Castle to the corner, so the former ROH champion rolled out of the ring and tried to get the crowd to fire him up.

    The Boys used their agility to keep Cage at bay, but Liona took them down. The powerhouses of The Embassy caught both Boys at ringside and put them down, while Kaun dispatched Castle in the ring.

    By the time we got to the spot in the match when everyone was taking turns hitting their biggest moves, it was clear who was going to leave with the belts. The Embassy hit a three-man powerbomb to get the pin and become the new six-man tag champs.

    This match had a lot of entertaining moments, but it definitely needed a little more structure in the middle portion.

    Winners: The Embassy

    Grade: B-

    Notable Moments and Observations

    • Cage's tribute to Chris Kanyon was a nice touch. 
    • Castle might be kind of niche, but he is a great showman. He knows what his audience wants and always delivers. 
    • Doing arm curls with your opponents is quite the flexβ€”no pun intended. 
    • How Cage did not have more success in AEW is a real mystery. He has so many unique qualities for a big man. He should be a draw in any promotion. 

Daniel Garcia vs. Wheeler Yuta (ROH Pure Championship)

6 of 9

    The Pure Championship was up for grabs between two men who have been feuding over this title for months.

    As soon as the bell rang, Yuta and Garcia were throwing forearms at each other. They traded shots for a long time until Garcia received a warning for a closed-fist punch. Yuta hit his own punch to get a warning moments later.

    Red Death took control when the fight spilled out of the ring, but Yuta never let him stay in control for too long. Garcia definitely had the upper hand more often during the first six or seven minutes though.

    This match was as technical as you would expect, but it also had a lot of great strikes and high-flying moves sprinkled throughout. All in all, this was another Match of the Night contender.

    After surviving a brutal fight, Yuta ended up unloading on Garcia with a series of elbows to knock him out and win back the Pure Championship.

    Winner: Wheeler Yuta

    Grade: A

    Notable Moments and Observations

    • Top Flight got into a brawl with Daddy Magic and Cool Hand Ange before this match could get going. Parker and Menard gave a promo that was interrupted by Yuta's entrance. 
    • Stepping on your opponent's face while it's against the metal turnbuckle screws is cold-blooded. 
    • Garcia using a surfboard submission while Yuta was in the ropes was an awesome spot. 
    • The way Garcia applied the Sharpshooter was beautiful. 

FTR vs. The Briscoes (ROH Tag Team Championship)

7 of 9

    The Double Dog Collar match was up next when Cash Wheeler and Dax Harwood put the Ring of Honor tag titles on the line against the former champions, Jay and Mark Briscoe.

    These teams have already put on two classic encounters, so the pressure was high for them to repeat that kind of performance with a stipulation that can be somewhat limiting.

    As soon as the ref called for the bell, everyone was fighting. Both teams used the chains and other weapons early, so they wasted no time trying to draw blood. Mark appeared to be the first one to show some color with a head wound.

    Trying to recap all of the action in this bout would be impossible because it was like we were watching two singles matches happening at the same time. When the camera wasn't moving from one duo to the other, we were watching the action in a split-screen format.

    Needless to say, this match was wild in the best possible way. This was about as far removed from traditional pro wrestling as it gets, but that made it a fun fight and arguably the most competitive battle of the night.

    Jay pulled the ref into a chair shot from Dax that busted him wide-open, so a new official stepped in for him. After blood was spilled, teeth were lost and both teams took each other to their limits, The Briscoes won by submission when Dax passed out and Wheeler was unable to get to him. What a match!

    Winners: The Briscoes

    Grade: A+

    Notable Moments and Observations

    • There was blood drawn less than two minutes into the match. They were not holding back one bit. 
    • Harwood lost a tooth and you could tell he was feeling the pain. 
    • The chain-assisted Doomsday Device was a nice spot from FTR. 
    • Making the chains as long as they were really helped keep this from feeling like they were limited by the amount of space they had in which to work. 
    • Mark falling onto a pile of chairs when Wheeler yanked him off the top rope looks wild. There is no way to take that bump safely, but he seemed to take it as well as anybody could. 

Samoa Joe vs. Juice Robinson (ROH TV Title)

8 of 9

    Robinson made his way out in full Bullet Club gear to take on Samoa Joe for the ROH Television Championship.

    They started off with a simple lockup that began an exchange of holds and counters. This was a smart way to differentiate themselves from the brutal encounter we got before this.

    They eventually began to trade punches, and Robinson had to resort to an eye poke to get out of the situation he found himself in.

    This match consisted of short bursts of high-energy offense between the slow periods when Joe was trying to punish his opponent with submissions.

    It would be hard for anyone to follow what we saw from FTR and The Briscoes, but Joe and Juice did a great job making this bout feel more like a traditional wrestling match. It worked in their favor because the crowd was into it.

    Despite a good effort from Robinson, Joe hit the Muscle Buster for the win to be the first person to retain his title on this card.

    Winner: Samoa Joe

    Grade: B

    Notable Moments and Observations

    • In case you don't remember, Robinson was actually CJ Parker in NXT several years ago. 
    • The "Joe is gonna kill you" chant is always fun. 
    • Robinson hitting Joe with a delayed side suplex was impressive. He does not look like a powerhouse, but you need a lot of strength to hold Joe up for any amount of time. 
    • The side slam Joe hit out of nowhere looked awesome. 

Chris Jericho vs. Claudio Castagnoli (ROH World Championship)

9 of 9

    Fittingly, the main event of the night was the match for the World Heavyweight Championship between Jericho and Castagnoli.

    Jericho immediately chose not to obey the code of honor and kicked Castagnoli. He ran out of the ring and tried to attack the announcers, but the challenger got in his way and started beating him all around the ring.

    Jericho found ways to use his veteran experience to combat The Swiss Superman's power and speed, but neither man had a huge advantage at any point.

    This match had a more measured pace than most of the bouts on this card, and in some ways, that worked to both its benefit and detriment. This was a good match, but it didn't stand out on a card with so many great performances.

    Daddy Magic slipped Jericho a bat behind the ref's back and he used it to hit Castagnoli, but the challenger managed to kick out. Not only did Castagnoli win, but he did so by making Jericho tap out to the Big Swing. It might be the most unexpected and unique finish of the year.

    Winner: Claudio Castagnoli

    Grade: B

    Notable Moments and Observations

    • The pyro setup they had for Jericho went off a second late and was a bit paltry compared to what he usually gets, but the smaller stage would have made anything more than what we saw much more difficult to pull off. 
    • The way Caprice Coleman and Ian Ricabonni ran away from Jericho was hilarious, but it also made no sense for Jericho to go after them. At least wait until after the match is over, or do it before it begins. Doing it right after the bell was a weird decision.
    • Castagnoli pressing Jericho above his head like it's no big deal is truly impressive. 
    • Having Jericho tap out to the Big Swing was a great way to end this match and got a huge pop from the crowd.