Final Battle 2012 Preview

Ring of Honor’s biggest show of the year, “Final Battle 2012: Doomsday,” invades New York City’s Hammerstein Ballroom Dec. 16 with a stacked card. On paper, it’s the best card Ring of Honor has put together in a long time, and every match has the chance to be very good.

Let’s take a closer look at each match.

ROH World Title – Ladder War IV
Kevin Steen (c) vs. El Generico

The hatred between these two men has been brewing for nearly four years, and stems back to “Final Battle 2009″ when Kevin Steen betrayed his long-time tag partner in El Generico. A long and bloody feud ensued, and ultimately culminated in a Mask vs Career match at “Final Battle 2012.” After almost a half-hour of violence, Generico came out on top, ending Steen’s Ring of Honor career. But Steen wouldn’t stay away long as he tormented Ring of Honor throughout the second-half of 2011, before winning his way back into the company at “Final Battle 2011.” It didn’t take him and his S.C.U.M. allies long to take out Generico, who hasn’t been seen in Ring of Honor since “Showdown in the Sun” in March, and many people thought this feud had finally come to an end.

Generico may have been gone, but he wanted to make sure he was not forgotten. After a successful title defense against Michael Elgin at “Glory by Honor XI” in October, Steen opened a box given to him by Nigel McGuinness. Steen looked shocked as the crowd chanted “Ole!” before pulling out a Generico mask. The match has now been set: Generico will challenge Steen for the ROH World Title at “Final Battle 2012″ … in a Ladder War! Generico and Steen are the masters of the Ladder War, as they have competed in two of the three such matches in company history. It’s also the only match that is capable of handling both men’s hatred toward each other. This match is four years in the making, and at “Final Battle 2012″ it finally comes to an end.

ROH World Tag Team Titles – Triple Threat
Jimmy Jacobs & Steve Corino (c) vs. The Briscoes vs. Caprice Coleman & Cedric Alexander

Jimmy Jacobs and Steve Corino are evil. They’ll even admit it themselves. Since winning the belts in the finals of a tournament at “Death Before Dishonor X,” Jacobs and Corino have used almost every dirty trick in the book to make sure they keep the belts around their wastes. Two teams they’ve been able to beat using such tactics are the Briscoes and Coleman and Alexander. The two teams will be able to get a chance at revenge – and the titles – at “Final Battle 2012″ in a triple threat tag team match. Can S.C.U.M. find another way to keep the belts around their wastes? Or will the Briscoes become eight-time Ring of Honor tag team champions? It’s impossible to count out Coleman and Alexander, too, as they’ve been on fire throughout the year. One thing is for sure, whoever walks out with the belts will have had to earn it.

Adam Cole vs Matt Hardy

ROH World TV Champion Adam Cole has been wowing ROH crowds since his debut with his impressive athleticism and his great in-ring work. One man who hasn’t been too impressed is Matt Hardy. While Hardy has said that Cole is good, Hardy said Cole isn’t as good as Hardy. At “Death Before Dishonor X,” Hardy said he keeps hearing that Cole is a young Hardy, but Hardy said the difference is that he was better at Cole’s age. And he thinks he’s still better now. Hardy is out to prove that he still has it, while Cole is looking to knock off one of the more popular wrestlers from the last decade. A win for Cole would go a long ways in proving he is the future of the business, while Hardy can prove he still has something left in the tank.

The American Wolves vs. Kyle O’Reilly & Bobby Fish

The American Wolves reunite for the first time in ROH since “Gateway to Honor” in November 2011. Edwards and Richards have not seen eye to eye since then, mainly due to the ROH World Title, but they are putting their differences aside for this match. O’Reilly has been a thorn in Richards’ side since O’Reilly left Team Ambition during the summer. O’Reilly has recruited Fish to be his tag partner to torment Richards, leaving “The American Wolf” no choice but to reunite with his old partner to help him with this battle. This match has the potential to steal the show, as all four men are extremely talented. I expect nothing short of a great match with hard-hitting and exciting action. This is going to be a tough match to follow.

Jerry Lynn vs. Mike Bennett w/ Maria and Brutal Bob

Jerry Lynn has had an illustrious career that has spanned nearly two decades. Nothing lasts forever, however, and he has been on a retirement tour throughout 2012. Ring of Honor fans are getting their chance to say farewell to the former Ring of Honor World Champion when he wrestles Mike Bennett at “Final Battle 2012: Doomsday.” Bennett is used to wrestling veterans, and making sure they leave with a loss. He wrestled Lance Storm three times in 2012, and won two of the encounters. Bennett is looking to continue sending wrestlers into retirement with a loss, while Lynn is trying to get one last win in front of Ring of Honor fans.

Michael Elgin vs. Roderick Strong

The dissension in the House of Truth between Michael Elgin and Roderick Strong has been building for months, despite what Truth Martini wants everyone to think. It is finally boiling over at “Final Battle 2012″ when Elgin goes one-on-one with Strong. Elgin has had an amazing year, racking up numerous Match of the Year candidates and coming within seconds of capturing the ROH World Title on two occasions. He will look to finally break free of Martini and show Strong that he is the better man. Strong, however, will look to put Elgin in his place and prove to Elgin why Strong is the best in the House of Truth. Martini is just hoping the House he has built doesn’t crumble to the ground.

Jay Lethal vs. Rhino

Jay Lethal has found his killer instinct in recent months, unveiling a ruthless side nobody realized he had in him. It earned him a chance at Steen’s title, but the match was ultimately rules a no contest. Lethal has been livid about the events of that night ever since, using that aggression to further inch himself closer to another title match. Nobody will be able to bring out that killer instinct more than his opponent at “Final Battle 2012:” Rhino. The Man Beast is as vicious as they come, as he using his strength and power to overwhelm opponents. Lethal is going to have to dig deep and unleash that aggression if he wants to win this one.

NYC Street Fight
Charlie Haas & Shelton Benjamin vs. Rhett Titus & BJ Whitmer

Rhett Titus has been at odds with Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team for much of 2012. It started when he and his former partner Kenny King, known as the All Night Express, were challenging Haas and Benjamin for the ROH World Tag Team Titles in the first half of the year. The All Night Express finally captured the titles at “Best in the World 2012,” but King left Ring of Honor soon after and the titles were vacated. New champions were going to be crowned through a tournament, and Titus and Haas decided to team together since neither had a partner. Benjamin screwed Titus out of the titles in the finals of the tournament, and the feud continued. Titus later added Whitmer to the equation to even the odds, and the teams have been at each others throats ever since. It finally all comes to an end Dec. 16 in a New York City Street Fight. Whoever wins this match has to catapult themselves into the thick of the title hunt, while it’s back to the drawing board for the losers.

Prince Nana vs. RD Evans w/ QT Marshall

For the longest time, Prince Nana and Barrister RD Evans worked together in the Embassy. Nana was the leader, while Evans handles the legal work. Slowly Evans began to gain more and more power, and eventually kicked Nana out of the Embassy Nana created many years before. Nana has tried getting his revenged on Evans numerous times by jumping him at ringside, but security has always been there to break it up. Nana doesn’t have to worry about security any longer, as Nana vs Evans has been announced for “Final Battle 2012.”

“Final Battle 2012: Doomsday” takes place Dec. 16,  in New York City’s Hammerstein Ballroom. The show starts at 2 p.m. EST and will air live on iPPV on Ring of Honor’s official site.

Jon Shumake

Jon has been with ROHWorld since March 2011. The American Bearded Nightmare is one half of 'Team America' on ROHCast, which is available every week on ROHWorld, iTunes and Stitcher.