The Briscoes & The Age of the Fall collide with the World Tag Team Titles on the line while Four Contenders vie for a shot at the World Title
ROH Final Battle 2007
Manhattan, New York 12/30/07
1.) The Vulture Squad (Ruckus & Jigsaw with Julius Smokes) vs. Matt Cross & Bobby Fish: **
Here we get the return of Matt Cross after the Resilience dissolution (and his 60 Day Suspension). It was a decent opener. Nothing really special.
2.) Claudio Castagnoli vs. Larry Sweeney (with Sweet 'n' Sour Inc.): * (Good Angle)
Claudio got this match with Sweeney by beating Chris Hero. Sweeney comes out first and introduces Daniel Puder (of WWE Tough Enough fame) and Sweet 'n' Sour Inc.'s newest member. He also says that after what Puder did to Claudio's leg, their match is off. Claudio comes out anyway and says he can wrestle. Loads of interference allows Sweeney to get the upset win in a quick match. This was not so much as match as it was an angle, which was fine, since it did it's job.
3.) No DQ Match - Necro Butcher (with Lacey) vs. Jack Evans (with Julius Smokes): **3/4
Here we get an interesting clash of styles. It was a fun little match. Not outstanding, but fun to watch. Lacey gets involved but Mercedes Martinez comes out to even the odds, which leads to Evans getting the win. Smokes then introduces Martinez as the newest member of the Vulture Squad, as "The Booty Vulture"
4.) Naomichi Marufuji vs. Davey Richards: ***1/2
I like Marufuji. I don't think I've ever seen a bad match involving him in ROH. Here he faces off against NRC member Davey Richards. This was very good. Lots of fast paced action. I'd say it was just as good as the match Marufuji had with NRC member Rocky Romero earlier in the year.
5.) Tables Are Legal - The Hangman 3 (Adam Pearce, BJ Whitmer & Brent Albright with Shane Hagadorn) vs. Kevin Steen, El Generico & Delirious: ***1/2
So essentially we have here a No DQ Match with an emphasis on Tables. This is also a rematch from the Undeniable PPV as well the debut of Red Poison Delirious (his black & red attire, which he wears whenever his feuds get really serious). This was a fun match that pretty much had everything, including a comedic run in by Bushwhacker Luke & Pelle Primeau getting involved (and subsequently getting killed by the Hangman 3). Very enjoyable.
6.) Rocky Romero vs. Ernie Osiris: *
So I'm just guessing here, but I'm assuming Romero was supposed to wrestle Austin Aries, but because of the Nigel McGuinness injury plans had to change (which I will explain a little bit more later). Nothing much here, just a squash.
Nigel McGuinness comes out to talk about how he can't wrestle because of the injuries he suffered in his title defense against Austin Aries the night before at Rising Above. The crowd certainly has a mixed reaction towards Nigel. It looks like he was going to drop the title, but decides he won't after all the sacrifices he's made. This means Austin Aries will be placed in the Fatal Four-Way, which will now be a #1 Contender's Match.
7.) FIP Heavyweight Title - Roderick Strong vs. Erick Stevens: ****
I may have mentioned this in previous reviews, but Strong & Stevens have always had a great chemistry and several great matches. This is one of them. Just a great match with Erick Stevens wins the FIP Heavyweight Title.
8.) #1 Contender's Four-Way Elimination - Takeshi Morishima vs. Bryan Danielson vs. Austin Aries vs. Chris Hero (with Sweet 'n' Sour Inc.): ***3/4
This was a very good Four-Way Match. You had a lot of entertaining stuff in here and it all led to a great match. The eliminations (in my view) all made sense and the last stretch with Danielson & Aires was pretty good.
9.) ROH World Tag Team Titles - The Briscoe Brothers (with Daizee Haze) vs. The Age of the Fall (Jimmy Jacobs & Tyler Black with Lacey): ***1/2
Here we finally get the big encounter between these two for the World Tag Team Titles. It was a pretty good match. It did have a lot of crazy stuff going on, which may of may not have taken away from it (depends on who you ask), but I thought it was good overall, and the image of The Age of the Fall winning the belts was a great image (as far as the story goes) to end 2007 with.
Final Battle has to be known as Ring of Honor's WrestleMania, where all stories come to a conclusion & new ones begin. We also are always treated to great matches, which is what we got here in several instances. Although it was not the best show of 2007, it was definitely up there.