ROH Survival of the Fittest Night 1 Review
San Antonio, TX
Colt Cabana and BJ Whitmer welcome us to night one if the three night event, as Ian Riccaboni had the night off. Bobby Cruise then introduced Stephen Amell as the guest host of the show. Smell out Texas and ROH over, but was quickly i erupted by Christopher Daniels and Frankie Kazarian who started rubbing him down. Kazarian called Amell the Green Hornet and Lantern, eventually saying that if the fans want real life superheroes they’ve got them already because Daniels is Amazing like Spiderman and that he’s jacked like the Incredible Hulk. After some more insults, Amell responded by saying that at least he isn’t a has been, which prompted The Addiction to diff their blazers and square up. Cody’s music hit next and he made it clear that Amell is his friend. Daniels then spoke about how everyone is sick of the Bullet Club, especially Flip Gordon. He laid down a challenge to the Bullet Club in behalf of Gordon and Scorpio Sky. Amell was then revealed as part of the Club, with his own Vigilante Club shirt and offered to throw down there, but the Addiction said they would wait until the main event. Cody then spoke about how the company that won’t let them two sweet is down the road, unable to sell out, while ROH sold San Antonio out, to a roar from the crowd.
Survival of the Fittest First Round Match
Silas Young vs. Josh Woods
Woods overpowered Young from the beginning of the match, tossing him first to the mat and then to the outside with a duplex. He feigned going for a five, only to springboard off the bottom rope into a backflip, point in the ring. Young was incensed by this and slid into the ring, shoving Woods’s face and as he jawed st him. Woods then hanged Young and missed him, going into the turnbuckle and allowing Young to take control. Young methodically wore Woods down, but a super back rake seemed to wake up Woods up, as he charged Young, ultimately missing and spilling onto the arena floor. Young rolled Woods back in quickly and Woods was able to recover, connecting with stiff knees and kicks that seemed to knock Young out. After an exchange of rights, Woods hit two consecutive gut wrench duplexes before transition to a powerbomb pin combination that very nearly won him the match. Woods scaled the turnbuckles, but as he set himself, Young shoved referee Todd Sinclair into the ropes, knocking Woods down. Young picked Woods up and hit Misery to secure the pinfall victory and move on in the tournament. Good match between these two, with Silas able to outsmart the rookie here.
Winner: Silas Young
Survival of the Fittest First Round Match
Shane Taylor vs. Beer City Bruiser
After a lock up the two started trading slaps to the face, with Taylor, who has a boxing background, was able to get the better of BCB and clotheslined him to the outside. As Taylor seemed prepared to dive to the outside, BCB thwarted him grabbing a leg and the two brawled in the apron. After reading duplexes, BCB sent Taylor to the floor and flew st him with a somersault senton to the arena floor. They went back inside and BCB hit a nasty looking DVD into the bottom turnbuckle that took a lot out of Taylor. Nevertheless, Taylor regained control and went for what appeared to be a moonsault, but BCB thwarted the attempt and hoisted Taylor up for a sit out powerbomb that earned him a very near fall. BCB then scaled the ropes as well, only to be duplex off the top rope, managing to kick out at two. The two then traded rights, with Taylor landed a knockout punch to the jaw, winning via pinfall.
Winner: Shane Taylor
Survival of the Fittest First Round Match
Punishment Martinez vs. Jay Lethal
The two exchanged a display of agility to begin, as Lethal continually avoided Martinez’s kicks. Lethal did finally take Martinez down with a hip toss followed by a cartwheel dropkick before sending Martinez to the outside. Lethal went for a tope suicida but Martinez absorbed the hit and seemed no worse for wear, beating Lethal about the outside. Lethal recovered and went for another tope, but was caught and choke slammed on the ring apron. Back in the inside Martinez hit a spine heel kick from the top and then slowed the math down, but he missed a spin kick that allowed Lethal to hit a Lethal Combination to earn himself a respite. Martinez lumbered to the outside and Lethal was finally able to connect with two topes before hitting Hail to the King on the inside. Martinez kicked out of spin attempt at one and went for his spin kick, but tweaked his knee and Lethal immediately locked on a figure four. Lethal released and went for another, but Martinez blocked it as Scurll came down to the ring. The Villain slid his umbrella into the ring and encouraged Lethal to use it. After some consideration, Lethal hit Marty instead. Lethal then went for Lethal injection, but Martinez countered with a Psycho Driver and a South of Heaven Chokeslam for the pinfall victory. Excellent match here, Martinez stood tie to toe with ROH’s best and picked up the win. Meanwhile, Scurll’s interference cost Lethal the win, protecting him. Furthering The issues between them here is a great bit of continuity and makes these VODs more meaningful in the process.
Winner: Punishment Martinez
The Kingdom (Matt Taven, Vinny Marseglia & TK O’Ryan) vs.
Search and Destroy (Motor City Machine Guns & Jonathan Gresham)
The Kingdom immediately attacked Search and Destroy and tossed them around the outside until a quick change in fortunes back inside. Alex Shelley was able to thwart the trio all by himself, albeit unconventionally by grabbing Marsella and O’Ryan un their nether regions. As Taven approached Shelley went all in and bit Taven’s junk, which was apparently not a disqualification. Both sides showed how well they work together, but the Kingdom looked particularly in sync during this one, using their numbers to overwhelm referee Paul Turner here. In the end, Taven hit his own team with a dive to the outside and was rolled back inside, prone for an attack from Gresham. Gresham’s shooting star press was blocked by Taven who raised his knees and then cradled Gresham to pick up the pinfall victory here. This was one of the better six man tag matches- the two teams are real trios here and the Kingdom winning cleanly is important because despite being heels they can not win every match and seem like real contenders.
Winners: The Kingdom
Women of Honor Match
Deonna Purrazzo vs. Britt Baker
Both adhered to the code of honor to start the match. The initial lock up lead to a bit of a stalemate and then went at it again, this time ramping up the action and throwing in some hip tosses along the way. Purrazzo went for an early Fujiwara armbar that Baker slipped out of, only to go for a super kick that Purrazzo backed away from. After getting Purrazzo to the mat Baker picked up steam by bounce off the ropes repeatedly, only to stop and apply a chin lock in a throwback to Adam Cole/Kevin Steen, which got a good reaction from the crowd. Baker connected with an elbow to seemed to lay Purrazzo out, but only secured a two count. Baker slipped outside for a breather and Sinclair stopped Purrazzo from following the short way, forcing her to exit on the other side. She charged Baker, but it seemed to be enough time for Baker to prepare and connect with a super kick. Baker rolled Purrazzo into the ring, but couldn’t secure a three count and found herself in the Fujiwara armbar after missing an elbow, forced to submit. This was definitely the best match from WOH on a VOD thus far, even if te crowd was a bit subdued here.
Winner: Deonna Purrazzo
The Dawgs (Rhett Titus & Will Ferrara) vs. Rey Cometa & Esfinge
Cometa and Ferrara started off for their respective sides, trading hip tosses and leg sweeps early in, proving to both be up to the task. Esfinge and Titus were in next and Titus sent Esfinge to the outside with a picture perfect drop kick, allowing Ferrara to hit a tornado DDT to the arena floor in the third generation CMLL Star. The Dawgs kept Esfinge in their corner, using their unique brand of double team maneuvers, mainly Titus using Ferrara as a weapon, to stay in control of this one. Esfinge managed to make the tag to Cometa and the two turned up the speed quotient, sending the Dawgs to the outside before Esfinge hit a plancha and Cometa followed with a springboard corkscrew plancha to thunderous applause from the crowd. The Dawgs seemed poised to win this one after a BLL from Ferrara and a Big Dawg splash from Titus, but Esfinge broke up the pin. After Titus was dumped into the arena floor, Cometa took him out with a moonsault as Esfinge wrapped up Ferrara’s legs and bridge backwards for a terrific pinning combination. This was a nice bought between two different styles, but aside from having the crowd pop here, I’m not really sure why the Dawgs didn’t pick up the win here to build off of the notion that they are defeating international teams, as they did with Roppongi 3K.
Winners: Esfinge & Rey Cometa
ROH World Television Championship Match
Kenny King (c) vs. Joey Ryan
Before the match could start, Ryan gave his lollipop to a “lucky” fan as the crowd chanted STD and he then proceeded to oil himself up before offering a code of honor handshake to a clearly disgusted Kenny King. Ryan urged King to grab his nether regions, but King wisely declined. The two locked up and King slipped behind Ryan with a waistlock, but quickly released as Ryan tried to force Kong’s hand onto the Ryan family jewels. King rolled outside and grabbed a mic, calling Ryan Joey CK and reminding him that no means no. Once the action really got under way King was in control until he ill advisedly went for an atomic drop, injuring his knee and selling it like Peter Griffin. Ryan continued to tease having King grab him, until he gave him no choice when King scaled the turnbuckle. Ryan stopped him in his tracks and prepped for a nick breaker, but instead finally planted Kong’s hand in his junk and used the power of his nethers to flip King off the second rope. Ryan then dug into his rights and pulled out a lollipop, placing it into Kong’s mouth before going for a super kick. King avoided the kick and hoisted Ryan up for the Royal Flush, retaining the title via pinfall. This was fun for what it was- not a huge fan of comedy in title matches, but Ryan was really over with the crowd and the match length was just right.
Winner: Kenny King
Marty Scurll vs. Dalton Castle
Both played some mind games, stalling before the initial lock up, but once they did engage the two showed off their considerable reversal acumen until Scurll trapped Castle’s hands and stepped on them. A wick dropkick later sent Castle to the outside, but Scurll’s pursuit cost him as Castle threw him into the barricade and then chopped him while Scurll was up against the ring post. Castle tried to follow up with the same move on the next post, but missed and caught the post instead. Back in the ring, Scurll countered the Bang a rang attempt and put his feet on the ropes during the pin attempt, but Paul Turner caught him. Scurll pandered to the crowd but Turner would have it . Scurll then even shoved Turner, who shoved him back, allowing Castle to get a quick two count. Turner backed into the corner, but so did Castle and Scurll splashed Turner instead. Castle lifted Scurll up for a deadlift German suplex pin combination, but there was no referee to make the count. Scurll grabbed his umbrella, but Castle was able to kick out. Scurll called for the chicken wing, but Castle blocked it, so he went for a tornado DDT that Castle reversed into the Bang-A-Rang, picking up the pinfall victory. This was a good match between two of the best characters in ROH. There could have more here, but this certainly feels like a clash between two wrestlers who will be facing off down the road again quite soon.
Winner: Dalton Castle
The Addiction, Flip Gordon & Scorpio Sky vs.
Bullet Club (Cody, Kenny Omega, The Young Bucks & Stephen Amell)
After elaborate entrances, Cody started off against Kazarian, who chose to shoot an arrow towards Amell before Cody offered Kazarian a chance to kiss the ring. Kazarian predictably turned the chance down, giving Cody the finger, prompting Cody to have a fan kiss the ring before he handed it off to Bobby Cruise and rolled back in. Not something that I normally notice, but Cody and Kaz’s lock ups were so good and believable that it really sold the beginning here. To break the stalemate, the two engaged in a test of strength that Kaz broke up with a knee before tagging out. Matt and Scorpio went at it next, proving to be mirror images before Matt offered Sky a handshake, asking him where he thought he was going on the mic.What ensued was crazy Match, a table was set up, but conveniently ignored for a while. Omega missed a V-Trigger on Daniels and was met with ANgels Wings. Daniels opted to go for Amell and he and Kazarian combined to hit a STO/powerbomb combo from the apron through the table. Kazarian rolled him inside and pinned him, but the star of Arrow kicked out. Desperate to win, Daniels grabbed a chair, but as he swung it back, Gordon stopped him. The Addiction went to take Gordon out, but he countered them with a springboard double blockbuster and convinced Scorpio Sky to leave. Cody tagged himself in an hit CrossRhodes on Kaarian and Omega hot a V-Trigger on Daniels, softening them up for simultaneous Indytakers for the pinfall victory, with Amell involved. Action-packed match that was always meant for the Bullet Club to win. The booking to end the match was
Winners: The Bullet Club
Final Thoughts: B
Night one of the Survival of the Fittest was a entertaining show, with a little bit for everyone. The opening and the main event with Amell as a main cog worked here. He did what he had to in the ring and Daniels and Kazarian took care of him well. Flip looks good in the main event and the way he left protected him in a logical way. Punishment Martinez continues to dazzle and the match with Lethal was excellent, as was the rios match. The Kingdom works so well together, it feels like a matter of time before they are six man champions again. Without seeing the other nights just yet, this one is certainly worth your time.
ROH Survival of The Fittest Night One can be purchased here.