Tonight at ROH Final Battle 2018, Ladder War VII sees SoCal Uncensored literally put the tag titles up for grabs against The Young Bucks and The Briscoes. Plus, Jay Lethal defends the ROH World Championship against Cody and Bully Ray and Flip Gordon look to make each other say “I quit!” All that and more at ROH Final Battle 2018!
Video promo previews tonight’s show.
We are LIVE from the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City, N.Y. Ian Riccaboni and Colt Cabana have the call tonight.
Kenny King vs. Eli Isom
Kenny King with the microphone before the match and he asks why Eli Isom is here and standing across the ring from him. King says he told people in the back that if he wasn’t wrestling for the title, he didn’t want to be here. Isom is a poster for the ROH Dojo and King calls Isom new school. King says the new school sucks and cheapshots Isom with the microphone.
King beats Isom down in the corner. Isom to the apron and King kicks him off for a slingshot corkscrew crossbody outside. King misses a clothesline and clotheslines the post. Isom tried to take advantage, but gets dropped by King. King misses a corner back elbow inside and Isom leapfrogs and ducks to land a high knee. Dropkick lands and King rolls out to stop the comeback. Isom follows with a flip dive outside and locks in an armbar back in the ring after a nearfall. King sweeps the leg and hits a superkick. King hits a suplex into a stunner for a nearfall. King taunts the crowd and Isom falls off the shoulders of King to land a forearm. Isom strikes back into the comeback and works King into the corner. Isom jackknifes King and lands a powerbomb for a nearfall. Isom goes up top after dropping King with a suplex, but King knocks him off. Chin Checker and King snaps the head of Isom off the top rope. Blockbuster gets a nearfall as King pulls Isom off the mat. King sits Isom on the top rope. Isom knocks him off, but King flips back up for an enzuigiri. King gets Isom up, but Isom with a small package for a nearfall. Backslide driver gets another nearfall and Isom frustrated. Isom caught leapfrogging by King for the Royal Flush.
Winner by pinfall: Kenny King
Rating: 2.75 out of 5 stars
Good opener with King playing the cocky veteran almost getting caught.
Post-match, King ignores the Code of Honor.
ROH World Television Championship: Jeff Cobb (c) vs. Hangman Page
Page tackles Cobb into the corner to start and lands big boots. Dropkick sends Cobb out and a shooting star press off the apron gets caught. German suplex by Cobb on the floor and he works Page down on the floor and inside. Corkscrew uppercut by Cobb inside. Page with a dropkick to the knee and a springboard moonsault for a nearfall. Slingshot senton lands for Page. Page stomps Cobb down. Page up top and Cobb meets him for an attempt at a German superplex. Page knocks him off, but Cobb with a jumping dropkick and he gets back up. Stalling superplex lands for Cobb gets a nearfall. Cobb with a standing moonsault for a nearfall, but another misses. Page puts Cobb up top. Cobb knocks him off and tries a crossbody, but Page rolls through for a fallaway slam. Page with a clothesline to send Cobb out and lands a suicide dive. Moonsault off the top from Page to the outside. Page rolls him back in and hits a standing shooting star press for a nearfall. Cobb pops him up on the kickout and Page hits another for another nearfall. They exchange forearms and go forehead to forehead. Cobb with chops to drop and rips him up for a sitout piledriver for a nearfall. Elbow and a German suplex sees Page flip through for a superkick and elbows. Cobb drops him with a headbutt that sends Page to the apron. Page fights back for the Buckshot Lariat and looks for a Rite of Passage, but Cobb blocks it for an F5. Cobb looks for his finisher, but Page falls back for the crucifix cover for a nearfall. Buckshot Lariat caught for two Tours of the Islands.
Winner by pinfall and STILL ROH World Television Champion: Jeff Cobb
Rating: 3.75 out of 5 stars
Four Corner Survival match for the Women of Honor World Championship: Sumie Sakai (c) vs. Madison Rayne vs. Karen Q vs. Kelly Klein
Sakai left standing after dropkicking Klein and Sakai lands a dropkick on Klein outside as Rayne lands a crossbody on Q. Rayne and Sakai inside and Sakai chops her in the corner. Sakai tossed out by Klein and Rayne worked in the corners by Klein and Q. Klein and Q take turns working Rayne over. Q takes out Klein accidentally as Rayne sidesteps. Rayne with forearms and a crucifix drop on Q for a nearfall. Tower of Doom in the corner sees Klein land a double powerbomb on Q and Rayne. Sakai with a missile dropkick. Klein clears the ring with Q left and Q with a full nelson bomb for a nearfall. Klein comes back with K Power on Q.
Karen Q has been eliminated.
Rayne hits a tornado DDT on Klein for a nearfall. Sakai comes in and gets hit with a Diamond Cutter for a nearfall by Rayne. Rayne Drop on Sakai gets a nearfall. Sakai with a swinging neckbreaker on Rayne and Klein throws her off to get the cover.
Madison Rayne has been eliminated.
Sakai and Klein exchange strikes and Sakai with a hip toss into the cross armbreaker. Klein tries to powerbomb out, but Sakai holds the submission. Klein gets the rope break, but misses Sakai in the corner. Smash Mouth by Sakai lands, but Klein kicks out. Hurricanrana attempt by Sakai caught for a powerbomb by Klein for a nearfall. K Power from Klein connects, but Sakai able to kick out. Klein sits Sakai up top and hits a super K Power off the top.
Winner by pinfall and NEW Women of Honor World Champion: Kelly Klein
Rating: 1.75 out of 5 stars
Everything leading up to the final two was pretty bad, but Klein winning was a moment the crowd was pretty into compared to the rest of the match and her and Sakai had some good moments down the stretch.
Jonathan Gresham vs. Zack Sabre Jr.
Sabre slaps Gresham before the intros. Gresham with the ankle pick and he controls on the mat with a back ride. Sabre continues to pieface Gresham and they exchange wristlocks. Sabre with armlocks on the mat and he works the fingers. Gresham hooks the leg and and works an ankle lock as Sabre tries to grab for a submission. Sabre spins and kicks away to force a reset. Headscissors exchanges and they exchange slaps on the mat. Gresham flips out of a bow and arrow for a nearfall as they reset again. Sabre with uppercuts and Gresham with a dropkick. Gresham transitions to armlocks and Sabre kicks and bridges out. Sabre brings it to the feet and lands a shoulder tackle. Hip toss blocked to an octopus stretch for Sabre. Gresham reverses to one of his own and Sabre to an armbar. Sabre kicks at the arm of Gresham and shoulder shrugs him in the face with his height advantage. Gresham tells Sabre to bring it on and he lands an uppercut. Sabre stomps the arm on the mat and they exchange palm strikes on the feet. Gresham with a German suplex for a nearfall and a running forearm. Sabre strikes back, but Gresham grabs the single-leg crab. Sabre to the triangle choke and Gresham spins out with an octopus hold and gets to an ankle lock. Sabre with an armbar and penalty kick for a nearfall. Sabre and Gresham go counter for counter and Sabre stacks Gresham with a neck bridge.
Winner by pinfall: Zack Sabre Jr.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Grappling masterclass here throughout and it was a good change of pace to see Sabre working as the powerful bully against the smaller Gresham.
Dalton Castle (w/The Boys) vs. Matt Taven (w/The Kingdom)
The ring announcer announces that this match is for Matt Taven’s “Real ROH World Championship.” They brawl against the ropes and to the outside, where Taven spits in Castle’s face. Hockey fight outside and back inside. They exchange clothesline attempts and duck under each other over and over until Castle lands a takedown. A slam from Castle stopped by his back giving out and Taven sends him out, but The Boys put Castle back in and Castle with a spinning back suplex. Castle with chops and a floatover suplex. Taven gets the bottom rope and Castle works him in the corner. Taven sidesteps Castle in the corner and Castle falls out. Taven tries a dive over the top rope and Castle moves away, allowing Taven to drop on the barricade full-force. Castle hits a knee off the apron, but Taven runs Castle into the apron and throws him against the ramp steps. Taven works Castle down inside on the braced back. Castle fights up with a Cobra Clutch and lands a suplex that puts both down. Taven with leg kicks and a spike DDT for a nearfall. Castle comes back with clotheslines and a DDT to put Taven down. TK O’Ryan drops Castle with the referee’s back turned and The Boys hit suicide dives to take him out. Vinny Marseglia appears from under the ring and hits a Scorpion Deathdrop on The Boys and drags them under the ring. Taven hits Castle with the belt inside, but Castle manages to kick out.
Castle rolls Taven up for a nearfall, but Taven lands a knee that puts Castle back on the mat. Taven up top and Castle knocks him down onto the top rope for a knee lift that drops Taven to the floor. Taven tries to throw Castle inside and Castle spins off the apron for a hurricanrana. O’Ryan taken out and Castle hits Bang-a-rang into the ring post. Castle takes Taven inside and O’Ryan military presses a Boy inside to break the pin. O’Ryan gets thrown out by the referee. Taven runs into a back elbow after O’Ryan leaves. Bang-a-rang connects, but Taven is able to get the bottom rope with his hand for the break. Castle with knees in the corner and he goes for Bang-a-rang again. Taven rolls through and lands a knee to set up Climax.
Winner by pinfall: Matt Taven
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Very good match that had some fun interference and some that went over the top, but the action was good in the ring.
Christopher Daniels vs. Marty Scurll
They shove each other to start and Scurll with a shoulder tackle. Daniels side headlock as they feel each other out with submissions. Scurll with chops and uppercuts in the corner. Daniels with chops and the tilt-a-whirl backbreaker on Scurll. Slingshot elbow drop gets a nearfall and elbows to the back of Scurll’s head follow. Scurll sends Daniels out and tries an apron kick, but Daniels sweeps him to the floor and lands a springboard moonsault. Daniels up top inside and Scurll gets a superplex. Apron superkick by Scurll and he sends Daniels into the barricade. Daniels bounced off the apron and catapulted against the bottom rope. Scurll works Daniels around the ring. Half-and-half suplex from Scrull lands, but Daniels gets up for a Blue Thunder Bomb that puts both down. Daniels works the comeback and hits an STO. Wheelbarrow facebuster gets a nearfall for Daniels. Springboard moonsault gets another and they exchange forearms. Scurll superkicks the leg. Daniels with a back elbow. Rolling elbow by Scurll and Scurll Driver gets another. Scurll calls for the Chickenwing, but Daniels rolls out for a nearfall and gets Scurll with a Burning Hammer for a nearfall. Scurll catches Daniels hanging on to the top rope and hits a Tombstone Piledriver for a nearfall. Scurll snaps the fingers and tries a Chickenwing. Scurll unable to get it, but snaps the fingers again. Daniels fights back to land Angel’s Wings for a nearfall. Best Moonsault Ever lands on the knees of Scurll and he lands a lariat on Daniels. They exchange strikes and Daniels rolls Scurll through for a nearfall. Superkicks and he stomps the neck of Daniels to set up Graduation. Daniels able to kick out. Scurll stomps Daniels down and locks in the Chickenwing.
Winner by submission: Marty Scurll
Rating: 2.75 out of 5 stars
This was a good match overall, but the crowd wasn’t really feeling it outside of the Scurll offense and it felt lackluster for what was supposed to be the twilight of Daniels’s career.
Post-match, Daniels soaks in the cheers from the crowd and Bully Ray low blows him as he goes up top to celebrate. Bully Ray tells Flip Gordon to let them do this right now.
“I Quit” Match: Bully Ray vs. Flip Gordon
Flip Gordon comes to the ring through the crowd in a military vest and attire with an American flag on a kendo stick. Springboard forearm into the ring by Gordon and he beats Bully down inside and out to the floor. Spinning back kick with a chair into the face of Bully. Bully rakes the eyes and beats Gordon down with a trashcan. Bully gets the table and tries to powerbomb Gordon through the table. Gordon falls out and hits a superkick as he sits the table up inside. Bully hits a back bodydrop to the floor. Bully tries to attack Cary Silkin ringside and Bobby Cruise and Todd Sinclair try to get in between them. Bully shoves them down and Christopher Daniels takes a kendo stick shot from Bully to protect Silkin. Gordon hits a slingshot crossbody to the outside that bounces off Bully. Bully hits a back bodydrop over the table on Gordon. Gordon won’t quit and Bully grabs Gordon’s girlfriend from the crowd. Bully threatens to powerbomb her if Gordon doesn’t quit. Silkin hits Bully with the kendo stick. Bully walks him down and Gordon’s girlfriend low blows him. Gordon makes out with his girlfriend, hits Bully with the American flag kendo stick, and applies a crossface with the kendo stick and chokes Bully with the flag. Bully doesn’t quit as Silas Young comes in the ring and attacks Gordon. Cheeserburger tries to make the save and gets hit with Misery. Young covers a table with lighter fluid and Colt Cabana comes from comementary with a chair. Young and Bully taken out until Young lands a low blow when they get the numbers. Young gets the lighter, but the lights go out.
Sandman appears in the ring with a kendo stick and beats Young down. Sandman spits beer at Bully and it allows Gordon to recover and land the Star Spangled Stunner. Sandman hands Gordon a kendo stick and Gordon beats Bully with two kendo sticks at a time across the back. Bully quits.
Winner: Flip Gordon
Rating: -5 out of 5 stars
This was quite possibly the stupidest thing I have ever seen in wrestling. I expected a bad match, don’t get me wrong, but this was something that has to be seen to be believed.
ROH World Championship Match: Jay Lethal (c) vs. Cody (w/Brandi Rhodes)
Cody with the microphone before the match and he says it sounds like people love him. Cody thinks he loves them too, but he says if he loved them he would do the Madison Square Garden show and they can all kiss his a**. Lethal gets the microphone and says he will leave the match with the title.
They feel each other out with submissions. Cody’s knee buckles and Lethal dives on for a nearfall and applies a front facelock. The referee forces him to break the submission and Cody pops right up and knocks Lethal down. Cody throws a drink in a fan’s face at ringside after doing knee raises. Lethal with a dropkick off the apron and chops against the barricade. Lethal works Cody down outside and back inside. Lethal with a cartwheel dropkick and he chops Cody in the corner. Corner clothesline connects and Cody escapes a Lethal Combination to land a powerslam for a nearfall. Cody works Lethal down. Disaster Kick misses and Lethal hits a chop block on the braced left knee of Cody. Lethal works the knee of Cody against the apron and the ring post. Kneebreaker inside gets a nearfall for Lethal. Lethal lands a victory roll and Brandi gets to the apron for a distraction. Lethal dropkicks the knee and yells at the referee. Cody and the referee argue after Lethal gets dropped and Brandi hits Lethal with a spear. Cross Rhodes connects for a nearfall. Lethal chop blocks the knee and crotches Cody in the corner. Shattered Dreams from Lethal stopped by the referee and Cody again distracts the referee. Brandi tries another spear and hits Cody. Lethal stops the referee from DQing the match and Cody accidentally sends Brandi into a Lethal Injection that doesn’t connect all the way. Cross Rhodes gets a nearfall.
Figure-four in for Cody and Hangman Page rings the bell at ringside that causes a distraction in the ring. Lethal goes for a figure four and Cody with a small package for a nearfall. Lethal hits a Cross Rhodes for a nearfall on Cody. Hail to the King elbow drop lands on the knees of Cody. Cody fights up and Lethal clotheslines Cody to the outside for suicide dives. Cody spits beer in the eyes of Lethal on a dive attempt and hits a Vertebreaker for a nearfall. Lethal kicks away a Cody punch that swings back and hits the referee. Lethal takes the belt to the knee of Cody and lands superkicks. Lethal Injection connects and Lethal goes for another. Cody grabs him and Lethal gets a figure four in. Cody stuck in the middle of the ring and forced to tap.
Winner by submission and STILL ROH World Champion: Jay Lethal
Rating: 0 out of 5 stars
Unlike the Bully Ray match that was fever dream fun, this really never got off the ground and was marred at every turn by overbooked nonsense between Bullet Club interference or referee bumps. ROH’s main event booking is dire.
Post-match, Marty Scurll and Nick Aldis come out to stare down Lethal.
Ladder War VII for the ROH World Tag Team Championship: SoCal Uncensored (Frankie Kazarian and Scorpio Sky) (c) vs. The Briscoes (Jay Briscoe and Mark Briscoe) vs. The Young Bucks (Matt Jackson and Nick Jackson)
The Briscoes throw chairs into the ring. Matt Jackson wrecking ball dropkicks a chair into one of the Briscoes and it all breaks down to the outside. Matt with a twisting cutter on Mark outside. Jay stomps Scorpio Sky through the table outside and chairs are being thrown around the ring by Mark on Matt and Kaz. Jay hits Nick Jackson with a trashcan outside. The Briscoes in control with the weapons early. Mark does the ladder helicopter spot, but Jay gets powerbombed by Matt onto a ladder in the corner. The Bucks take control with double-team offense inside and take out the Briscoes outside with suicide dives. SoCal Uncensored take out The Bucks and keep the Briscoes outside. The Bucks try to whip SoCal into the ladders and SoCal attempt a climb. The Bucks and SoCal fight for position on the ladder and the Bucks land superkicks in stereo. Kaz with a springboard facebuster on Nick to get him off the ladder. The Briscoes throw a chair at Kaz to knock him off the ladder. Kaz gets back bodydropped into the ladder and his ankle gets caught in the ladder. Sky sends Jay into a wedged chair in the corner. The Bucks knock Mark off the apron with a thrown chair and Sky with a flip dive on Mark outside. Nick with a dive and Matt tires to follow, but gets back bodydropped by Jay through a table outside. Jay gets a staple gun out and Kaz low blows him after spitting in his face. SoCal with a slingshot cutter on Mark through the table outside. Matt gets a sledgehammer inside on Jay and hits him with a superkick instead. Pop-up spear from the Bucks on Sky inside.
Ladder reintroduced to the ring and More Bang for Your Buck attempt blocked by Sky with a hurricanrana onto the ladder. Matt catapults the ladder into the face of Sky. Matt tries to climb and Jay hits him with a chair. Backbreaker on the chair by Jay collapses the chair. SoCal with a tornado DDT outside on Nick and Mark throws a ladder on SoCal outside. Teams exchange inside and The Briscoes intercept the Meltzer Driver with a springboard cutter and Jay Driller lands. Ladders and tables all brought out. Kaz hits a Styles Clash on the chair on Jay. Mark meets Kaz on the ladder and bites him up top.. Mark gets knocked off the ladder through a ladder bridge. Nick gets knocked off a ladder through a table on the floor outside. Kaz hit with a thrown chair and falls through a table in the ring.
Winners and NEW ROH World Tag Team Champions: The Briscoes
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
This really helped wash the taste of the prior two matches out of your mouth and was an insane hardcore spot fest, but a lot of the best spots missed initial impact because of bad camerawork and knocked just a little of the fun out of the match.
This seems to be a general theme throughout the last few years of ROH, but the main event booking seems to be rather directionless and it can live or die by The Elite/Bullet Club guys. There were some fun moments on this show from some of those guys between Hangman Page and The Young Bucks matches, but the Cody and Lethal match suffered after following up one of the worst booked feuds in years in a continuation of Bully Ray vs. ROH old-timers. In all, it is hard to not see the show as bad considering how low the lows were, but there were some things on here worth making time for as well.
Nolan Howell can be reached at [email protected] for any questions or comments.