One of the most important tournaments in Ring of Honor history begins next month to determine who challenges for the richest prize in the sport at ROH’s biggest show of the year. Eight top contenders will compete in a single-elimination tournament, with the winner facing the ROH World Champion (currently Matt Taven) at the Final Battle pay-per-view in Baltimore on December 13.
First-round matches will take place at Sam’s Town Live in Las Vegas at the Death Before Dishonor pay-per-view on Friday, September 27 and Death Before Dishonor Fallout on Saturday, September 28. The semifinals and finals will be taking place at Glory By Honor in New Orleans at the UNO Lakefront Arena on October 12.
Two former ROH World Champions are among the first four entrants announced for the upcoming tournament to determine the challenger for the ROH World Title in the main event of Final Battle in December.
Jay Lethal, the record-holder for most combined days as ROH World Champion, and Dalton Castle, who held the title for nearly 200 days in 2017-2018, are confirmed for the eight-man tournament, as are “The Villain” Marty Scurll and Kenny King. Lethal has said repeatedly that being World Champion is an obsession for him, and Castle announced during Saturday Night at Center Stage in Atlanta last week that he is focused once again on regaining the title, which he won at Final Battle 2017 over Cody.
Scurll, the CEO of Villain Enterprises and a co-holder of the ROH World Six-Man Tag Team Title, has come close to winning the ROH World Title on several occasions, most recently at G1 Supercard before a sellout crowd at Madison Square Garden in April. King, a two-time former ROH World Television Champion and former ROH World Tag Team Champion, is enjoying one of the greatest years of his career, highlighted by winning a best-of-three series over Lethal.
Three competitors who burst onto the scene in ROH this year and one longtime ROH star fill the four remaining spots in the upcoming tournament to determine the challenger for the ROH World Title in the main event of the Final Battle pay-per-view in December. PCO, Bandido, Mark Haskins and ROH veteran Colt Cabana join previously announced entrants Jay Lethal, Dalton Castle, Marty Scurll and Kenny King.
With two members of Villain Enterprises (PCO, Scurll) and two members of LifeBlood (Bandido, Haskins) in the tournament, we very well could see faction mates competing against one another. The bracket will be revealed on Monday. PCO, Bandido and Haskins have all made a huge impact in ROH since signing with the company eight months ago. They immediately won over fans and achieved main event status.
Cabana made his ROH debut in 2002, the company’s first year in existence. A two-time ROH World Tag Team Champion, Cabana has had a very successful career, but the ROH World Championship has eluded him. Now that he divides his time between wrestling and doing colour commentary on ROH broadcasts, this may be Cabana’s last shot at competing for the richest prize in the sport.
Here is the bracket of the tournament:
The bracket for the Final Battle #1 Contender tournament has finally been revealed, and there are a number of exciting first-round matches and compelling possible finals matchups. On one side of the bracket, PCO takes on Kenny King, and Dalton Castle faces Mark Haskins. The other side of the bracket has “The Villain” Marty Scurll meeting Colt Cabana, and a dream match pitting two-time former ROH World Champion Jay Lethal against Bandido.
The PCO-King and Scurll-Cabana matches will be on the Death Before Dishonor pay-per-view from Sam’s Town Live in Las Vegas on Friday, September 27. The Castle-Haskins and Lethal-Bandido matches will be part of the Death Before Dishonor Fallout event in the same venue on Saturday, September 28. All of the first-round matches are taking place in an ROH ring for the first time. The way the bracket is set up, there is a possibility that Villain Enterprises members PCO and Scurll could face each other in the finals, as could LifeBlood members Haskins and Bandido.
All pics courtesy of ROH