bobby cruise

‘The Voice Of ROH’ Bobby Cruise: The Entire Roster Plans To Go Out With ‘A Huge Bang’ At Final Battle

Bobby Cruise has been a vital member of the Ring of Honor team for nearly two decades, and he has been “The Voice of ROH” as its lead ring announcer for several years. As a result, perhaps more than almost anyone other than his fellow ROH originals, ROH Final Battle: End of an Era will be a remarkably emotional show for the veteran announcer.

Near the end of October, ROH announced that it will be going on hiatus in the first quarter of 2022 to “reimagine” itself. Several outlets subsequently reported that the company won’t be renewing the contracts of its talent roster at the end of 2021. As a result, the “End of an Era” tagline for this year’s edition of Final Battle couldn’t be more fitting because, at the very least, it will conclude this amazing chapter of ROH history.

In an interview with WrestleZone ahead of the show, Cruise shared his thoughts about the event and emphasized that he’s feeling a lot of “mixed emotions.” He also expressed his disappointment with the “tough situation”, but like many others, he noted that it is what it is.

“Honestly, a complete bag of mixed emotions,” said Cruise. “You know, I’ve been thinking back about the Ring of Honor memories in my 17 years with the company. This will be my 18th Final Battle, and if you would have talked to me two months ago, before the news came out, I would have thought I’d make it 20 with no problem. But it’s been interesting. Haven’t got a lot of sleep this week as we get closer to Final Battle, which, I’m not happy about that, I like to sleep. But it’s been a tough situation. You know, there’s really no other way to put it.

“It is what it is, and ‘End of an Era’ is a perfect tagline and I think there’s thoughts, is it the final Final battle, there’s all sorts of different cliches out there. So I guess a mixture of emotions, I can’t decide yet if I wanna get to the arena on Saturday ultra early and just take everything in and hang out, or if I wanna get there a little later so I’m not there for ten hours leading up to the pay-per-view. So I haven’t made a decision on that yet.”

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Later in the interview, Cruise made it clear that he just wants to “take it all in” because he knows Final Battle will packed with a lot of emotion for him personally. Specifically, he described how he’s expecting to react when he sees familiar faces, like the long-time fans he’s befriended over the years, and when he performs the introductions for the world title matches.

No matter what time I get there, I wanna take it all in. Especially when I get out to the ring. When I’m out there for those four hours, I know that I’m going to see a lot of familiar faces in the first several rows of fans that have been Ring of Honor fans for a long time, that have followed Ring of Honor around different places, and that’s gonna be an emotional thing because I have become friends with some of these fans….And those people have been so supportive, not only of Ring of Honor over the years but me personally. And so that’s gonna be tough.

“…Because we have the Ring of Honor Women’s World Championship match between Willow and Rok-C, and we have the Ring of Honor World Title match between [Jonathan] Gresham and Bandido. And the way we do our world title intros is we do the old style, you know, in-ring intros, boxing style intros, whatever people wanna call it. So during those intros, especially the start of those intros, the camera and the focus is on me. And I don’t know that I’m not gonna get emotional announcing either one of those. And I obviously don’t want to. I don’t wanna diminish or take away from those matches and what’s going on, but I have no idea what to expect with those. So those two specifically I’m worried about. So we’ll see what happens.”

[Note: the interview was recorded before ROH announced that Bandido would be unable to compete on Saturday night.]

Finally, Cruise expressed his belief that the entire ROH roster is focused on going out with “a huge bang” by delivering amazing matches and unforgettable moments that fans will look back on years from now.

“…Overall the plan for Ring of Honor is to go out with a huge bang on this, to create moments that fans are gonna remember for a long time,” said Cruise. “And if it is the last Ring of Honor pay-per-view, and the last Ring of Honor event or just the last event for three months, the focus, as to what we are gonna do as a company, is to have moments that fans remember and really make an impact and you know, are good for the wrestling world in general. So I’m looking forward to that stuff, seeing and hearing the reactions of the fans when they just sit there for four hours and hopefully are blown away and are on the edge of their seats.”

Tune in to ROH Final Battle: End of an Era to ROH deliver “the best wrestling on the planet” one final time on December 11. The show will be available for streaming on pay-per-view and  HonorClub.

The card for ROH Final Battle: End of an Era is as follows:

  • ROH World Championship: Bandido (c) vs. Jonathan Gresham
  • ROH Tag Team Championships: The OGK (Matt Taven & Mike Bennett) (c) vs. The Briscoes (Mark & Jay Briscoe)
  • Fight Without Honor: Shane Taylor vs. Kenny King
  • ROH Television Championship: Dalton Castle (c) Joe Hendry vs. Rhett Titus vs. . Silas Young
  • ROH Pure Championship: Josh Woods (c) vs. Brian Johnson
  • ROH Six-Man Tag Team Championships: Shane Taylor Promotions (O’Shay Edwards and Soldiers of Savagery) (c) vs. The Righteous (Vincent, Bateman and Dutch)
  • ROH Women’s Championship: Rok-C (c) vs. Willow
  • Violence Unlimited’s Brody King, Homicide & Tony Deppen vs. Taylor Rust, Tracy Williams & Eli Isom
  • The Hex (Allysin Kay & Marti Belle) & Chelsea Green vs. Miranda Alize & The Allure (Angelina Love & Mandy Leon)
  • Dragon Lee vs. Rey Horus
  • Hour One: Ten-Man Wild Card Tag Team Match