FINAL BATTLE 2022 comes your way this Saturday afternoon LIVE on pay-per-view from the College Park Center on the campus of the University of Texas-Arlington!
With every Ring of Honor championship on the line, this is going to be one explosive event true to the tradition of ROH's longest-running, unbroken event! Every year since 2002, without fail, Ring of Honor has presented FINAL BATTLE and it has been home to many of the promotions most memorable events. 2002 can be remembered as the night Jay Lethal first stepped into an ROH ring and when four of pro wrestling's finest battled to a 45-minute draw. 2003 saw The Great Muta, Satoshi Kojima, and Kaz Hayashi make their ROH debuts while 2004 was the night Samoa Joe's historic 645-day World Championship reign came to an end. 2005 welcomed KENTA and Naomichi Marufuji, 2006 bore witness to Homicide finally becoming ROH World Champion, 2010 and 2012 put a spotlight on one of pro wrestling's greatest rivalries between Kevin Steen and El Generico, 2015 saw Jay Lethal continue to cement his “Franchise” moniker with victory over AJ Styles, and 2018 gave fans an epic Ladder Match between The Young Bucks, The Briscoes, and SCU.
Last year's edition was billed as the end of an era, with the future of ROH uncertain heading into 2022, but this new year has breathed new life into the most influential wrestling promotion of the 2000's, and FINAL BATTLE 2022 is a celebration of this new era of honor with every championship at stake!
The festivities kick off at 3pm ET/2pm CT with the FINAL BATTLE 2022: ZERO HOUR on the official YouTube channel, and continue on Bleacher Report, PPV.com (CANADA ONLY), FITE (INTERNATIONAL) and traditional pay-per-view providers!
ROH WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH... “The Ocho” Chris Jericho(c) vs. Claudio Castagnoli
***IF CLAUDIO LOSES, HE JOINS THE JAS***
Jericho himself said it; in his efforts to desecrate the legacy of Ring of Honor, he has become one of the best champions the company has seen in its 20-year history. Well “The Ocho” actually said the best, which is debatable as he's only been champion for 80 days, but that begs the question of which is more important: the length of the reign or the substance of it?
In his 80 days, Jericho has successfully defended the ROH World Championship in six matches, and every challengers save Sammy Guevara was a former ROH champion in their own right. But even that match with Sammy that took place at AEW's FULL GEAR 2022 event contained two former champions in Bryan Danielson and Claudio Castagnoli. Bryan, Claudio, Colt Cabana, Bandido, and Dalton Castle all fell to Jericho, and none can forget that brutal war “The Ocho” went through against Tomohiro Ishii en route to defeating that former ROH World Television Champion. Jericho has faced more former ROH champions than anyone else in that time frame, and although he's dipped into his bag of tricks to score some of the victories, he's still performed at a top level in each bout. Clearly it was not his intention, but through these matches Chris Jericho has only elevated the profile of the already prestigious ROH World Championship to the next level.
Despite that, at the root of Jericho's reign is a disdain for Ring of Honor and a desire to make his Ring of Jericho something built upon feeding his own ego. Chris doesn't care about raising the prestige beyond how it bolsters his ego, he doesn't care about beating former champions beyond how it boosts his need to say he's the best ROH champion ever, all this is about is feeding Jericho's ego and, as he did with The Inner Circle, if someone doesn't take the ROH World Championship away, Jericho will just discard it when he feels he's used it for all it's worth. Claudio Castagnoli is not going to sit back and let that happen...
Even though it means risking his place within The Blackpool Combat Club and being forced into The Jericho Appreciation Society, redeeming his loss to Jericho at DYNAMITE: GRAND SLAM 2022 and reclaiming that championship for Ring of Honor means everything to “The Swiss Superman”. As a former World Tag Team Champion, as well as the man Jericho took the ROH World Title form, Ring of Honor means everything to Claudio. ROH helped make him who he is today, it helped mold him into the world-class professional wrestler that faces Chris Jericho this Saturday afternoon, and it is the reason he is taking a stand as the man to end the Ring of Jericho once and for all.
Who will carry Ring of Honor forward into 2023? Claudio Castagnoli and The Blackpool Combat Club or Chris Jericho and his Appreciation Society? The future of ROH hinges on this battle...
ROH WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP DOG COLLAR MATCH...
FTR (Cash Wheeler & Dax Harwood)(c) vs. Jay & Mark Briscoe
A Double Dog Collar Match; four men with leather collars wrapped around their throat and steel chains binding them to one another, there can be no escape, nor cessation to the hostilities, just unadulterated violence from bell-to-bell and given the history between the four men involved in this ROH World Tag Team Championship fight, it really can be no other way!
It began with FTR assaulting Jay and Mark Briscoe one year ago after they defeated The OGK of Mike Bennett and Matt Taven at FINAL BATTLE 2021: END OF AN ERA to claim the titles for the 12th time, and only escalated from there. Words were exchanged on social media, plenty of trash talking and challenges, until the fight finally happened at SUPERCARD OF HONOR 2022 on April 1st. For nearly 28 minutes, Dax, Cash, Jay, and Mark engaged in one of the greatest tag team bouts in modern professional wrestling, possibly the best Ring of Honor has ever experienced (which is saying a lot given the teams that have come through those ropes), but when it finally came to a conclusion, it was FTR who stood as the new ROH World Tag Team Champions, adding that championship to the AAA Tag Titles they already held.
Given how that contest went down, round two felt like an inevitability, and it would come in the form of a 2 Of 3 Falls match as a result of a Briscoe challenge, and take place at DEATH BEFORE DISHONOR 2022. Having added the IWGP Tag Titles to their trophy cases between the two events, FTR were riding high going into that fight, but it would take nearly 44 minutes before Dax and Cash emerged from the fray still Ring of Honor World Tag Team Champions. The Briscoes scored the first fall after sixteen minutes of hard-fought action, but FTR would take the next two and manage to escape DBD '22 with the titles around their waist. For the second time in less than a year, FTR and The Briscoes had competed in a match that ranks among the best in ROH history, if not the best in modern tag team wrestling, but none of that matters when there are no championship titles to go along with it.
And that is the position The Briscoes have been in since April's SOH '22 event; these 252 days are not the longest Jay and Mark have gone without being ROH World Tag Team Champions, but they just may be the most painful. They've had to watch Cash and Dax run around on AEW programming claiming to be the best tag team in the world, sporting the titles that The Briscoes spent years validating as the most important in tag team wrestling, and face teams like Roppongi Vice, The United Empire, and old Briscoe foes, The Young Bucks. Clearly it has been eating away at the brothers Briscoe, and as speculation began about who FTR would defend the ROH World Tag Titles against at FINAL BATTLE 2022, it is safe to say Jay and Mark got themselves an idea that they used Colton and Austin Gunn to convey last Wednesday, and followed up with themselves via Twitter. Be warned, the content of the Briscoe tweet below is not for those offended by a plethora of four letter words:
So it will be these four men will experience something none of them ever have before with this Double Dog Collar Match, and it just feels apropos that they go through this hell together. Four men who have dedicated the bulk of their careers to tag team wrestling putting their bodies, not to mention the longevity of their careers, on the line for the right to be called champion. History shows that on five occasions FINAL BATTLE has been the site of The Briscoes becoming new ROH World Tag Team Champions, will 2022 make it number six? Will thirteen (as in 13th championship reign) be a lucky number for Dem Boys, or will FTR's seventh defense be their lucky number? Tune into FINAL BATTLE 2022 this Saturday at 4pm ET to see the next chapter in the greatest tag team rivalry in professional wrestling today!
ROH PURE CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH... Daniel Garcia(c) vs. Wheeler Yuta
Each wrestler has three rope breaks to stop submission holds and pinfalls.
1.After a wrestler exhausts his rope breaks, submission and pin attempts on or under the ropes by his opponent are considered legal. 2.No closed-fist punches to the face permitted. 3.Open-handed slaps or chops to the face are permitted. 4.Punches to the rest of the body are allowed, excluding low blows. 5.The first use of a closed fist to the face receives a warning. 6.The second use of a closed fist to the face results in disqualification. 7.The title can change hands via disqualification and countout. 8.Outside interference will result in automatic termination from the roster for the wrestler that interferes.
A bit of a history lesson right off the bat: in the history of the Pure Championship, dating back to its original incarnation as the Pure Wrestling Championship won by AJ Styles in February 2004, no man has ever been a 2-Time Champion. Three former champions have attempted to reclaim the title after their losses: Samoa Joe from Nigel McGuinness at BUFFALO STAMPEDE in October 2005, Jay Lethal when he faced Jonathan Gresham some 16 years after his reign ended, and Josh Woods when he fought Wheeler Yuta on the May 17th edition of AEW DARK following his SUPERCARD OF HONOR 2022 defeat. There were plenty of challengers who received more than one chance to dethrone a champion, but of those three former champs who received a second opportunity, all came up short in their return bouts.
So with that being said, Wheeler Yuta stands on the precipice of history as another former Pure Champion with an opportunity to become the first 2-Time Pure Champion; all he has to do is win this rubber match with Daniel Garcia on Saturday afternoon. No easy feat by any means, especially with everything each man has experienced since their last clash on September 7th's DYNAMITE that resulted in Garcia's title victory. It was a night that “Red Death” actually achieved his greatest success without the help of The Jericho Appreciation Society, a triumph many fans had hoped would put Garcia on the path to joining The Blackpool Combat Club, or at least divorcing himself from Chris Jericho. Instead, it would prove one more step in pushing Garcia back into the J.A.S. fold while simultaneously driving a wedge into The BCC, at least between Yuta and Bryan Danielson, when “The American Dragon” actually strapped the Pure Championship around the waist of Garcia right in front of his BCC teammate.
That moment lit a fire under Yuta for sure, watching his supposed mentor recognize his enemy in such a fashion, and since then Wheeler has had a burning desire to reclaim that which he lost three months ago. For Wheeler, it is about the Pure Championship but it is also about putting an end to this perpetual drama with The J.AS. and with Daniel Garcia, it's about definitively showing Danielson how he made the wrong choice that night in Buffalo, NY, and about reclaiming the Pure Championship for those who love professional wrestling as a sport.
Much like Yuta, Garcia wants to be quits with Wheeler and The BCC, and wants to move on with his career as ROH Pure Champion. He's had two impressive title defenses thus far, and could go down as one of the great Pure Champions alongside Danielson, McGuinness, and Samoa Joe given his abilities inside the squared circle, but for Daniel it seems to be about rubbing it into everyone's faces that a man who calls himself a “sports-entertainer” is walking around as Pure Champion. At times it feels as if his ownership of the Pure Championship is more about that than any actual pride in what being Pure Champion actually means.
Can Wheeler Yuta make history and become a 2-Time Champion this Saturday afternoon?
Everything he has gained from his tutelage under Regal, Castagnoli, Moxley, and even Danielson has provided him with all the tools to be one of the greats, now it is up to Wheeler to put it all together and reclaim that which was taken from him. Can Garcia retain the title? He clearly has the tools as well, but he also has the J.A.S at his side who will, quite possibly, look for some way to skirt the rules of the Pure division and interfere on his behalf. This could be a beautiful wrestling exhibition or it could be a knockdown drag out fight. It could be technical brilliance, or violent business between two men who loathe one another; which ever way it swings, it is sure to be a must-see collision at FINAL BATTLE 2022!
ROH WORLD TELEVISION CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH...
Samoa Joe (c) vs. Juice Robinson
Samoa Joe's history with Ring of Honor has been well-documented; coming into ROH at the first GLORY BY HONOR on 10/5/02, he established his violent tendencies in rapid fashion through competition in the first Fight Without Honor against Low Ki. That ultra-physical affair showed the ROH faithful what Joe was all about, and by March 2003 he was standing atop the mountain as ROH Champion. He was the man who took the belt internationally to make it a World Championship, he was the won who dominated for 645 days as champion and put down twenty-nine challenges to his throne before it ended at FINAL BATTLE 2004.
Joe was the man who had no problem crushing his own protege Jay Lethal to become the ROH Pure Champion, he was the man who made history fighting Kenta Kobashi on 10/1/05, and who had the guts to look into the Ring of Honor cameras and declare to that world “My name is Samoa Joe and I am pro wrestling!”. Even after Joe left ROH in 2007, his legacy loomed large and every champion that followed has been compared to the standards set by Samoa Joe both as a champion and as a representative for ROH. During some of hard times in those early years, Joe put ROH on his back and carried the banner everywhere he went, believing with all his heart that Ring of Honor was the home for professional wrestling.
So when Joe returned to the fold at SUPERCARD OF HONOR 2022, well quite frankly there is nothing comparable to what it meant for Ring of Honor, especially given the new era of honor that the company was just starting to begin. And when Joe smashed his way through Minoru Suzuki to claim the ROH World Television Championship, the first ROH title he had held since Nigel McGuinness took the Pure Title in August 2005, it made Joe part of the illustrious Triple Crown Club, and it also heralded to the wrestling world that Samoa Joe had returned home.
Trent Beretta, Jay Lethal, Josh Woods, and Brian Cage have all come for the ROH World TV Title since Joe's April victory over Suzuki and all have fallen before the self-proclaimed King of Television, a sobriquet he bequeathed on himself after claiming the TNT Championship from Wardlow. The Samoa Joe that stands before us today is the scariest version of the man that has ever stood inside the squared circle, it's as if all the experiences of his last 20 years have coalesced into this entity of rage and destruction, and it has been unleashed upon both AEW and ROH.
So what's equally scary is how Juice Robinson has witnessed all this play out, albeit from a distance, and still called out Samoa Joe for this fight on Saturday afternoon! Now Juice has his own history with Ring of Honor, first debuting for the company during GLOBAL WARS 2016, and taking part in the joint shows with NJPW that followed the next two years. He even challenged for the ROH World Television title on the 1/28/17 edition of ROH's television program, but failed in achieving championship status that evening in Atlanta. In 2019 he would bring together a collection of like-minded individuals to form a group that included TracyWilliams, Bandido, and David Finlay, among others, but Lifeblood's existence would prove short-lived as Juice focused on his NJPW career coming out of the G1 Supercard event in April 2019.
So as much as this challenge to Joe is about Juice immediately establishing his bonafides in the United States after building his name in NJPW as a 3-Time IWGP United State Champion, it is also about returning to ROH for some unfinished business. Samoa Joe helped to establish Ring of Honor with his World Championship reign, he gave it a credibility that remained long after he left, and now he is doing the same for the World Television Champion in this new era. What that means is a championship victory over Samoa Joe is instant credibility, and that is what Juice Robinson is chasing at FINAL BATTLE 2022. Eighteen years ago, Austin Aries got it when ended Joe's historic ROH World Championship reign at one FINAL BATTLE; can Juice repeat history at another FINAL BATTLE?
TAG TEAM GRUDGE MATCH... Swerve In Our Glory (Keith Lee & Swerve Strickland) vs. Shane Taylor Promotions (JD Griffey & Shane Taylor)
On September 16th of 2017, a relationship that had been built-up over the last three years abruptly came to an end, coincidentally enough, right in Arlington, Texas. Shane Taylor and Kieth Lee, collectively known as The Pretty Boy Killers, had defeated Homicide and Low Ki in a successful defense of the VIP Wrestling Tag Team Championship titles they'd won five months earlier from War Machine. Then like so much dust in the wind, their partnership was over and Shane Taylor was left high-and-dry as Keith Lee explored his own options in professional wrestling separate from his PBK partner. It was shocker to Taylor, they'd been making waves around the independent circuit for several years by that point, and since May 2015 had been competing under the Ring of Honor banner against teams like The Briscoes, The All Night Express, Colt Cabana & Dalton Castle, and had even toppled War Machine in a No Rules contest during SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST 2016. Then it was over, the partnership that is, because while Keith Lee went about evolving his career, finding a team with Shane Strickland that has persevered to this day and competing around the independents before signing his name to contract elsewhere, Shane Taylor stayed true to Ring of Honor.
He founded The Rebellion with Rhett Titus, Caprice Coleman, and Kenny King, a unit that brought Taylor his first FINAL BATTLE win in 2016, but was ultimately forced to disband after losing to the Search & Destroy unit of The Motor City Machine Guns, Jonathan Gresham, and a young Jay White. He had the honor of fighting Hirooki Goto during the WAR OF THE WORLDS 2017 events with New Japan Pro Wrestling, went on the hunt for championship gold that year as well as part of the SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST 2017 finals and in the ROH World Television Championship bout at that year's FINAL BATTLE event. Neither would lead to titles for Shane Taylor, but they amped up his hunger to become someone greater on the ROH landscape. He collected the experiences, as both partner and foe, being in the ring with members of The BULLET CLUB, with competitors like EVIL, Jay Lethal, Jeff Cobb, and Bandido, before finally achieving his championship dream during the 2019 WAR OF THE WORLDS tour when he defeated Jeff Cobb, Hirooki Goto, and Brody King to become the 22nd World Television Champion.
But the work was just beginning, and for 218 days across 10 successful defenses, Shane Taylor was a dominating champion until Dragon Lee ended his reign at FINAL BATTLE 2019. He beat Bandido, a young Danhausen, Joe Hendry, and survived multiple Four Corners matches with title still around his waist. He founded Shane Taylor Promotions, bringing together Kaun, Moses, Reverend Ron Hunt, and O'Shay Edwards to form one of ROH's most dominant factions of the last several years.
For 295 days, Taylor reigned as ROH World Six Man Champions with Kaun and Moses as his partners, with O'Shay Edwards being allowed to pinch-hit on a few occasions for STP. They defended the titles more than any other trio, eleven instances to be exact, and while MexiSquad may be the longest reigning champions thanks to pandemic travel restrictions preventing them defending the titles for over 400 days, it was STP that ended that reign and brought the titles back to prominence in ROH, even defending them in outside promotions. Shane Taylor fought his way onto Ring of Honor events, from the dark matches to the main events, and along the way established a true force in wrestling with Shane Taylor Promotions, a force that has grown bigger than ROH, and that has now brought JD Griffey into the fold.
But who is JD Griffey to Keith Lee? Why this choice of partner for Shane Taylor on Saturday afternoon? Because JD Griffey is a man with his own Keith Lee history, one dating back over a decade to their early wrestling days in Texas, where they were both partners and foes, and even trained together for a period in Muay Thai. Shane Taylor made this choice of partner, not just because Griffey is a supremely talented athlete, but also because of its personal nature. This entire situation is rife with tumultuous history, just as Keith's present with Swerve Strickland is tumultuous, so the question is if Keith's past or his present will decide this contest?
Can Swerve In Our Glory patch over their issues to leave Arlington, TX as the victors? Or will Shane Taylor make it three years in a row where he leaves FINAL BATTLE in victorious fashion?
ROH WOMEN'S WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH... Mercedes Martinez(c) vs. “The Fallen Goddess” Athena
It has been more than eleven years since the first time these two women locked up inside the Eagles Club in Berwyn, IL for the first of three extremely physical matches. As both women described in the ROAD TO FINAL BATTLE, it was Athena looking to prove herself against one of the women who had blazed the trail “The Fallen Goddess” was now treading. Athena was only a few years into her career by the time they met while Mercedes had been grinding it out for a decade by that point, fighting in front of fans who may have started with no respect for women's wrestling, but who had no choice but to give it once they saw the fight Martinez brought. Mercedes crawled, she learned how to walk, so that the women who followed in her footsteps could run, and she's never forgotten the grind it took to bring women's wrestling where it is today in the United States.
But those clashes in SHIMMER, those weren't about the growth of women's wrestling, those were about the growth of Athena and quite shockingly, of those three matches, the only one that had a definitive winner was their final battle in March of 2012 where Athena bested the “OG Badass”. It could come as no surprise that their rivalry followed both women to Florida and into the next stage of their careers. A singles match in 2017 went in Athena's favor, as did a tag team match almost nine years to the date of their last SHIMMER bout, and now their paths have intersected once more on the AEW/ROH landscape.
Athena's unleashed violent streak has brought her fourteen consecutive victories, twelve of those in singles matches, and seen her stoop low enough to actually strike referee Aubrey Edwards after defeating Madison Rayne. Meanwhile, Mercedes is freshly back to the action after spending the last several months recovering from injury, last competing at DEATH BEFORE DISHONOR 2022 before her in-ring return on the 11/21 edition of DARK: ELEVATION following her confrontation with Athena on the 11/18 RAMPAGE.
But instead of just jumping into the fray this Saturday cold, Mercedes actually traveled to Australia and New Zealand to get herself prepared for this championship fight with Athena at FINAL BATTLE 2022. And that is exactly what this match will be, a fight, not a catch-as-catch-can or technical wrestling exhibition, but a fight between two women with lots of bad blood between them, further enhanced by the opportunity to represent ROH in this new era of honor. It's not an opportunity that existed for Athena in 2013 when she last competed under the ROH banner, and what a career highlight it would be for her to claim that crown at the expense of Martinez.
It may not be a Wednesday night, but this match is pure dynamite and it's primed to explode in Arlington live on pay-per-view!
ROH WORLD SIX MAN CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH... Dalton Castle & The Boys(c) vs. The Embassy (Brian Cage, Kaun, & Toa Liona)
Dalton Castle and his Boys, with their second ROH World Six Man Championship reign, have proudly carried the titles since defeating The Righteous at DEATH BEFORE DISHONOR 2022 back in July. They've got two successful defenses in their pocket against Primal Fear and The TrustBusters, but this Saturday afternoon they are faced with monstrous opposition unlike anything they've faced in their entire time together. Sure they've battled The Briscoes and Shane Taylor, The Kingdom, the BULLET CLUB, but as good as those trios were, none of them were the freakish physical specimens Prince Nana has amassed for the latest iteration of The Embassy.
Brian Cage, Kaun, and Toa Liona are three of the most imposing and intimidating forces under the banner of either ROH or AEW, and while their experience as a trio is limited, they make up for that with sheer destructive power, and an athleticism that defies their size. It's rare to see men as muscular as these three, as utterly powerful as these three, be the kind of athletes they demonstrated, but here we are with this Embassy standing as Prince Nana's most terrifying collection of talent in the 19 years since he first began collecting talent with the late former ROH Champion Xavier at FINAL BATTLE 2003.
Dalton and The Boys know they're at a disadvantage from a physical standpoint, but there is no substitute for experience and this trio has that in spades. The Boys know how Dalton thinks, they are willing to sacrifice themselves at his behest, and all the theatrics aside, they've spent several years gelling into a championship trio. That being said, the defending champions are going to have to pull out every trick they have in their playbook to survive this defense and escape Arlington with the ROH World Six Man Championship titles still in their camp.
Prince Nana has always said The Embassy is forever, and for nineteen years, through a tremendous line-up of talent, it has lived up to that decree. Will Brian Cage and The Gates of Agony bring championships back to Prince Nana this Saturday in Texas?
TAG TEAM BOUT... AR Fox & Blake Christian vs. Dralistico & Rush
It's been more than five years since Dralistico stepped inside a ROH ring, during the massive 2017 WAR OF THE WORLDS: UK tour that involved ROH, NJPW, CMLL, and RevPro to be exact. Those bouts, fought under the Mistico name, were but a tease of what Dralistico brought to the table, but now he's coming back to Ring of Honor and joining his older brother Rush in tag team competition! Now Rush and Blake Christian had themselves a solid bout back in August on AEW DARK in which the former ROH World Champion bested Christian in six minutes, but Blake has a chance for a little revenge here with this tag team bout!
Blake's partner for this pay-per-view outing is none other than one of AEW's newest acquisition's, the ultra-impressive AR Fox, and while these two men are quite familiar with one another, the history is as foes rather than allies. This will be their first time teaming up, and they're faced with a duo in Rush and Dralistico who have the bond of family, as well as the bonds of sharing the ring together on a multitude of occasions.
It's a tremendous opportunity for AR Fox and Blake Christian to score a major upset, and shake up the world according to LFI. If they can pull it off remains to be seen, but there's no doubt Fox and Chrisitan have a fight on their hands come FINAL BATTLE 2022 when Rush and Dralistico stand across the ring!
THE ZERO HOUR...
The FINAL BATTLE 2022: ZERO HOUR kicks off FREE on the official YouTube channel starting at 3pm ET/2pm CT and it is absolutely loaded! Four huge match-ups featuring former ROH champions, new faces to Ring of Honor, and some of the best talent All Elite Wrestling has to offer as well!
ONE-ON-ONE... Jeff Cobb vs. Mascara Dorada
This Saturday's FINAL BATTLE 2022: ZERO HOUR will see Jeff Cobb return to an ROH ring for the first time since his GATEWAY TO HONOR 2020 Four Corner Survival defeat. Prior to that, Cobb was in a position to challenge for the ROH World Tag Team Titles after he and Dan Maff defeated Jay Lethal & Jonathan Gresham in a Proving Ground Match, but because of the pandemic shutdown, it never came to pass, and Cobb parted ways with ROH.
Now he has a chance to remind the ROH faithful why he was such a dominant World Television Champion for 222 days, scoring victories over foes such as Hangman Page, Will Ospreay, Hirooki Goto, and Shane Taylor during his reign. He can remind them why he was such a threat when he faced Matt Taven and Rush during their ROH World Championship reigns, and show them why he has become such an impactful player in New Japan Pro Wrestling as part of The United Empire.
As for his opponent, this will be the first ROH match in Mascara Dorada's 17-year career, and thus it is not one he will take lightly. A multi-time champion in CMLL, Dorada returned to the independent wrestling landscape in the beginning of 2022, and has been tearing it up everywhere he has gone. Be it GCW, IMPACT, NJPW STRONG, or New Japan proper, Mascara Dorada has been in top form in 2022, and now he gets to display that during the ZERO HOUR! Will Cobb be victorious in his return to the fold, or will Mascara Dorado's Ring of Honor debut be a triumphant one for the luchador?
ONE-ON-ONE... Willow Nightingale vs. Trish Adora
Rewind 13 months to November 10, 2021 and bear witness to what could've been the birth of a wonderful tag team for Ring of Honor as Willow Nightingale and Trish Adora partnered up for the first time in a victorious effort. Now both were fairly new to the ROH ring, having started competing for Ring of Honor just a few months prior, and both competing in the ROH Women's World Championship Tournament eventually won by Rok-C. In fact, they could have been opponents in the Quarter-Final round had Willow bested Allysin Kay in the opener, instead their lone one-on-one meeting took place in May 2021 and it was Adora who picked up the victory
Can Willow even the score with a victory during ZERO HOUR, or will Adora be the dominant one yet again?
TAG TEAM ACTION... Jericho Appreciation Society (“Daddy Magic” Matt Menard & “Cool Hand” Angelo Parker) vs. Shinobi Shadow Squad (Cheeseburger & Eli Isom)
Not only will The Jericho Appreciation Society be in the house to support their man in his ROH World Championship match, but “Daddy Magic” and “Cool Hand” will also be in tag team competition against two of ROH's staples in Cheeseburger and Eli Isom. Now it's not the first time Menard and Parker have competed under the ROH banner, but it has been nine years since the last time they've done so, and Saturday afternoon on the ZERO HOUR, they aim to start The J.A.S' day off on the right foot with a victory over The Shinobi Shadow Squad!
TAG TEAM BOUT... The Kingdom (Matt Taven & Mike Bennett w/ Maria Kanellis-Bennett) vs. Top Flight (Dante & Darius Martin)
Mike Bennett and Matt Taven, collectively known as The Kingdom, make their return to the Ring of Honor stage this Saturday afternoon during the ZERO HOUR! Together these two warriors are former 2-Time ROH World Tag Team Champions, while Taven himself stands as a Grand Slam winner with multiple Six Man Championships to his credit, as while as a World Television Championship reign, and a ROH World Championship run that began in the hallowed halls of Madison Square Garden. They, along with Maria, aim to reclaim ROH as their territory, and it begins with this bout here.
Top Flight had their first taste of ROH action when they faced FTR for the ROH World Tag Team Championship recently, and now they'll get a proper welcoming with this first appearance on a Ring of Honor event. It's a huge opportunity for Dante and Darius to make their mark on the company as we head into 2023, can the Martin brothers score the victory over The Kingdom on Matt and Mike's home turf?
With six championship matches, the return of Shane Taylor Promotions to the fold for a grudge tag team match, and a loaded ZERO HOUR event, FINAL BATTLE 2022 is going to be another historic day in two decade history of ROH's signature event! The fights kick off at 3pm ET/2pm CT on the official YouTube Channel with the FINAL BATTLE 2022: ZERO HOUR, and the pay-per-view proper starts at 4pm ET/3pm CT over on Bleacher Report, PPV.com (CANADA ONLY), FITE (INTERNATIONAL), as well as on traditional pay-per-view providers! The new era of honor is just getting started, but to use an old phrase born in ROH, do not miss out on the greatest pound-for-pound professional wrestling on the planet today!