For the first time in the illustrious history of Final Battle, Ring of Honor’s biggest pay-per-view of the year will take place in Baltimore, Maryland The main event will be an ROH World Title match between whoever the champion is and the winner of a star-studded tournament that culminates at Glory By Honor on October 12 in New Orleans. Final Battle has featured some of ROH’s biggest and most memorable matches.
Nearly one year to the day after RUSH and PCO made their ROH debuts, the two powerhouses will square off for the first time, and the epic clash will take place on the biggest show of the year and be for the richest prize in the sport. At Final Battle, ROH World Champion RUSH will put his title and undefeated record on the line against PCO, a force of nature who has proven to be virtually indestructible.
Competing for the world championship in a PPV main event has been 32 years in the making for the wrestler formerly known as Pierre Carl Ouellet. PCO wrestled for the WWF and WCW for the majority of the 1990s and was a three-time WWF Tag Team Champion, but he would spend the ensuing decade away from mainstream pro wrestling in the United States, competing primarily in his native Canada as well as Europe and Puerto Rico.
After retiring from the ring in 2010, he disappeared from the sport entirely for 6 years. As far as the wrestling industry was concerned, Pierre Carl Ouellet was dead and buried. Thanks to the mysterious Destro, PCO’s career — and perhaps even PCO himself — was resurrected. Adopting the moniker of “The French-Canadian Frankenstein,” PCO became one of the most sought-after wrestlers on the independent circuit, which ultimately led to him signing with ROH.
A little more than 2 weeks before he turns 52, PCO will have an opportunity to become a singles world champion for the first time. PCO winning the title would make for a great story, but RUSH, who is more than 20 years younger than PCO, has a much-less-sentimental ending in mind.
Few wrestlers in ROH history have had as dominant a year as RUSH has had in 2019. In addition to beating Taven for the title, RUSH has defeated top stars such as former ROH World Champion Dalton Castle (multiple times, including a 16-second victory at Madison Square Garden in April), Jeff Cobb, Bandido, Flip Gordon, Mark Haskins, Tracy Williams, Silas Young, and others. However, it’s safe to say that RUSH has never faced anyone like PCO and vice versa.
Shane Taylor has been a fighting champion since winning the ROH World Television Title in May, but he could be in for his toughest fight yet when he takes on challenger Dragon Lee at Final Battle. Taylor, the centrepiece of Shane Taylor Promotions, has scored pinfalls over the likes of former ROH World Champions Jay Lethal and Dalton Castle, as well as Bandido, Kenny King, Flip Gordon and Joe Hendry.
The high-flying Lee is coming off his biggest singles victory in ROH, as he handed former ROH World Television Champion Jeff Cobb a rare pinfall loss at The Experience earlier this month. The next night at ROH Unauthorized, Lee teamed with his brother, ROH World Champion RUSH, to defeat LifeBlood’s Mark Haskins and Tracy Williams. If Lee wins the title from Taylor at Final Battle and RUSH retains against PCO that night, they would become the first pair of brothers to hold the top two singles championships in ROH simultaneously.
Lee, a former IWGP Heavyweight Champion, has been in the ring with Taylor once before, in a four-way match for the title at Death Before Dishonor on September 27. Lee, who did not factor into the finish, got in Taylor’s face afterwards and told him he wanted a one-on-one match with him. Taking the title from Taylor will be a tall order for anyone, even a competitor as talented as Lee. Fueled by the huge chip on his shoulder, the bad man from the mean streets of East Cleveland is in the midst of the best year of his career.
When Dan Maff was asked in a recent interview after he signed with ROH who he would like to face, one of the first names out of his mouth was Jeff Cobb. ROH officials must’ve been paying attention. Just signed for Final Battle is a first-time-ever dream match between Maff and Cobb.
The two powerhouses have been in the ring together once before, as Maff (replacing the injured Brody King) teamed with Villain Entreprises’ Marty Scurll and PCO in a successful defence of the ROH World Six-Man Tag Team Title against Cobb, Colt Cabana and Cheeseburger at The Experience earlier this month.
Maff, a two-time former ROH World Tag Team Champion making his first appearance in ROH in 14 years, showed in that match, as well as the next night at Unauthorized when he went toe-to-toe with PCO in a violent anything-goes encounter, that he hasn’t lost a step.
Cobb, a former ROH World Television Champion who possesses one of the best win-loss records in ROH over the past year and a half, is one of the few competitors who can match Maff in intensity and toughness.
ROH Final Battle Complete Card:
- ROH WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP: Rush (c) vs. PCO
- ROH WORLD TV CHAMPIONSHIP: Shane Taylor (c) vs. Dragon Lee
- ROH WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP: The Briscoes (c) vs. Jay Lethal & Jonathan Gresham
- STREET FIGHT: Mark Haskins vs. Bully Ray
- Matt Taven vs. Vincent
- Marty Scurll & Flip Gordon vs. Bandido & Flamita
- Jeff Cobb vs. Dan Maff
- Angelina Love vs. Maria Manic
- PRE-SHOW: Dalton Castle and Joe Hendry vs. Silas Young and Josh Woods
- PRE-SHOW: Rhett Titus vs. Kenny King
ROH Final Battle PPV will happen this Friday at the UMBC Event Center in Baltimore, Maryland. The Pre-Show will air for free at 7 PM ET (midnight GMT) on ROH Facebook Live, Fite TV, and traditional PPV. The main card air on PPV at 8 PM ET (1 AM GMT) on Fite TV, HonorClub, and traditional PPV.
All pics and videos courtesy of ROH