ROH Survival of the Fittest Night 2 Review
Ian Riccaboni, returning from his one night hiatus, and Colts Cabana welcomed us to the second night of the three night tour of Texas and the proceedings quickly got underway.
Survival of the Fittest First Round Match
Jonathan Gresham vs. Vinny Marseglia w/ Matt Taven & TK O’Ryan
The Kingdom got on the mic before Gresham made his way out. All three spoke about being the first six man team to ever make it into the finals of the Survival of the fittest tournament, as they all expect to win their matches. Marseglia spoke about how an octopus out of water shrivel and dies, which was very amusing to O’Ryan. They spoke about the Kingdom conspiracy and then Taven encouraged the fans to take a picture of their next ROH World champion.Taven joined commentary for the match. Gresham ran circles around Marseglia to start this one, but just as Gresham went to jump over Marseglia in the corner, a serious injury seemed to occur. Officials came down to help Marseglia to the back, along with Gresham. Marseglia proved that the Horror King can act, as everyone in the crowd really seemed to think he was injured. He then attacked Gresham and flung him into the guardrail repeatedly, as Riccaboni became incensed on commentary and derided the antics of the Kingdom. Despite the advantage, Marseglia couldn’t finish Gresham, even after a suplex on the exposed ringside floor. Gresham blocked Marseglia’s Redrum, but then had his 450 splash blocked as well. He hit two shooting star presses, only for O’Ryan to break the pin up. Marseglia went for a quick roll up, but Gresham kicked out and then won with reverse jacknife pin to move on the tournament.
Winner: Jonathan Gresham
Survival of the Fittest First Round Match
TK O’Ryan vs. Flip Gordon
As O’Ryan and Marseglia argued that Marseglia was cheated, Flip Gordon came out for the next match. O’Ryan attacked Gordon immediately and threw him into the barricades before slamming him down and taunting the crowd. The two eventually went back inside and O’Ryan had control for most of this one. After Gordon was able to hit the Samoan pop followed by a standing shooting star press, he was only able to get a two count. Taven got up from commentary, which he wasn’t able to be heard from any way, and argued with referee Todd Sinclair. As he did, Marseglia went to hit Gordon with a bat, but missed and hit O’Ryan instead. Gordon then hit the Star Spangled Stunner, a twisting springboard stunner to pick up the win and move on in the tournament. This new finisher really suits Gordon and looks spectacular. O’Ryan looked strong her ein singles competition and the Kingdom as a whole really garner a great deal of heat through the first three matches.
Winner: Flip Gordon
Survival of the Fittest First Round Match
Matt Taven vs. Cheeseburger
Instead of adhering to the Code of Honor Taven checked Cheeseburger’s biceps, chiding him for being think and lacking muscle mass. He hen grabbed a streamer and wiped his derriere before tossing it back to the fans. Taven finally did shake Cheeseburger’s hand, but immediately attacked him. Taven dominated most of the match, with Burger seeing a short comeback. Fun fac: during this match we found out that Ian Riccaboni once rode a mechanical bull at the venue. He apparently was not very good. Burger connected with a Shotei that secured him a very near fall, but Taven was able to kick out. Cheeseburger ten locked on an octopus stretch and just as it seemed Taven might tap, he swung Cheeseburger around and hit the Climax driving bulldog finisher to pick up the pinfall victory and move into the finals of the tournament. Post match Taven and his cronies sent Paul Turner out of the ring before hitting Rockstar Supernova on Burger before leaving ringside. Taven worked well as a dominating heel here and Cheeseburger, as always, is the quintessential under dog. Good short match between these two and an overall effective start to the show, as the Kingdom drew a ton of heat from a very lively crowd.
Winner: Matt Taven
Women of Honor Match-NO DQ Match
Deonna Purrazzo vs. Karen Q
Madison Rain came down and joined commentary before the match got underway.Both wore t-shirts and jeans to add to the street fight-y feel. Purrazzo came in swinging and the two brawled before Q took control by driving Purrazzo’s head into the turnbuckle. Purrazzo recovered and sent Q to the outside, grabbing a chair after hitting a super kick and a cannonball. She then built up a head of steam, only for Q to stand and catch Purrazzo in the throat with the chair. Q continued to connect with the chair, but back on the inside Purrazzo was able to wrest the chair away and wedge it in the corner. Q stopped short of being irish-whipped into the chair, instead driving Purrazzo into the object head first. From then on Q was a typical cocky heel, punishing Purrazzo and making half-hearted pin attempts. Q grabbed tape and used that to hold Purrazzo down, but that wasn’t enough, so she went for talcum powder. Purrazzo ducked and Sinclair was blinded, preventing him from making the count when Purrazzo pinned Q. Q then grabbed a heavy wooden chair and dropped Purrazzo on it with a Samoan drop, but Purrazzo managed to kick out. She then used the chair to injure Q’s arm before winning the match via submission with the Fujiwara armbar. This was tough, gritty and really drew the crowd in. The end was a little overbooked, but it allows for these two to clash again, and that’s a good thing for the division.
Winner: Deonna Purrazzo
ROH World Tag Team Championship Four Corner Survival Match
The Motor City Machine Guns (c) vs. The Dawgs (Rhett Titus & Will Ferrara) vs. Rey Cometa & Esfinge vs. Silas Young & The Beer City Bruiser
This was a chaotic match from the onset, and the Dawgs did a lot of the heavy lifting here. Shelley and Sabin played small roles here and this almost felt like a night off for them here, still being involved, but not seeing a great deal of in ring action. The Dawgs and then BCB and Young really dominated most of the match, with Efinge and Cometa showing off their ariel skills. During a no-brainer match like this one, Cabana and Riccaboni really shine, with mentions of Everybody Poops, Billy Willy Style and Cabana plugging his book during the match really adding another layer of enjoyment to the match. The Dawgs seemed poised to win after Ferrara hit a BLL on Sabin, but Titus missed the Big Dawg splash and Sabin used Ferrara to hit a tornado DDT on Titus, which he quickly followed with a cradle, winning the match and keeping the titles. It can’t be overstated how over both Efinge and Cometa have been on this tour and the crowd really added enjoyment to even the most mundane moments. A fan match, even if the winner was always a clear one.
Winners: The Motor City Machine Guns
Marty Scurll vs. Josh Woods
Before the match started, Scurll asked the crowd if they “got” FTRR. After the hijinks with the crowd the two got down to the business of wrestling and Scurll quickly transitioned to a front facelock in an attempt to out wrestler Woods, but was quickly overmatched and forced to grab the ropes when Woods reversed him. Scurll then put himself in an amatuer position and offered himself to Woods in an effort to prove how much better he is. Woods took advantage and rolled Scurll around, getting several two counts. Scurll then challenged Woods to do the same as he did as the crowd chanted “on your knees”. Woods obliged, only to have Scurll kick him right in the face. Woods did take control and slowed the match down a bit, but Scurll did take a brief opening to call for the chicken wing that was shockingly blocked. Woods spun Scurll around in a gutwrench position before dropping him and applying a leg leg that forced Scurll to grab the ropes for a break. Scurll hit his fake out superkick to the thigh and tried to get the win using the ropes as leverage, but was caught before the three count. He was not caught when he rolled through with a victory roll, grabbing a handful of tights to pick up the win via pinfall. Scurll can get a good match out of anyone and Woods is starting to work with opponents with different styles and showing he can hang.
Winner: Marty Scurll
ROH World Television Championship Match
Kenny King (c) vs. Scorpio Sky
King started this one off quickly, knocking Sky to the floor with a shoulder block before hitting his pose. After Sky was back up on his feet the two tangled again, with King working of Sky’s wrist, only for Sky to wiggle out and applying a hammerlock that King escaped with a Mexican arm drag. The two tried suplexes from the apron, but King cut it short by hitting an Eddie Gordo kick on the apron, sending Sky to the arena floor. Cabana and Riccaboni dropped some Michael Jackson references as Sky took control. This was a good match between the two, with Sky locking on a dragon sleeper that almost won him the title, but King slipped out and ended up winning after locking on a submission of his own. Sky tapped to King’s Last Chancery, but King put him over afterwards. King then got on the mic and called out Shane Taylor, Punishment Martinez and Silas Young. The three brawled as King ran commentary on the mic, eventually dropping hit and launching over the ropes to take all three men down.
Winner: Kenny King
Dalton Castle & Jay Lethal vs. The Young Bucks
Castle came out last, sans his usual elaborate ring attire, something he continued to do until Final Battle, which is a nice touch to show how focused his is. The Bucks wouldn’t shake Castle and Lethal’s hands, but they shook each other’s ad then hugged, urging their opponents to do the same. Lethal finally did side hug Castle, but wouldn’t kiss Castle once the Bucks did and the match got underway with Castle and Matt in first, only for Castle to land a smooch on an unsuspecting Lethal. After Castle took Matt down quickly, the two went back and forth until Castle struck the peacock pose. The two backed into their respective corners, with Lethal helping Castle out of his shirt and laying on a smooch of his own. Lethal then tagged in, which begged the question why did Castle just tag out to take his shirt off. Nick and Lethal squared off, with Lethal besting Nick quickly and holding him in a full Nelson so that Castle could deliver a peck on Nick’s cheek. There was wrestling here, and Matt was the victim for a long while until he finally fought his way to tag out to Nick, who quickly delivered a kick off he apron to Castle and then his own brother as he wound up to catch Lethal. In the outside Lethal whipped Nick into the barricade but there was a pole there and Nick scaled it, moonsaulting off of it and flooring Nick. In the end, Lethal thwarted a Meltzer driver attempt by catching Nick with a cutter. Lethal then hit a Lethal Injection in Matt and immediately dove to the outside, taking out Nick which allowed Castle to hit Bang-A-Rang to pick up the victory via pinfall.
Winners: Dalton Castle & Jay Lethal
ROH World Championship Texas Death Match
Cody (c) vs. Christopher Daniels
Bobby Cruise reminded us of the rules before introduction here- the winner is the man who scores and a pinfall and incapacitates his opponent so much that the fallen foe can’t answer a ten count. Cody predictably asked Daniels to kiss the ring, which Daniels responded to with a middle finger. As Cody took his vest/duster, Daniels attacked him nd best him into the corner. Cody was about to fight him off and catch him with punches to the face with his ring hand, but was sent outside when he tried to apply a figure four. On the outside Cody ended up grabbing a chair and went to hit Daniels, who had scampered back into the ring. A game of cat and mouse ensued, during which Cody left the chair in the ring. As Riccaboni and Cabana made references to Ernest “The Cat” Miller and the “Big Cat” Ernie Ladd, Daniels wielded the chair and bashed Cody with it, sending him to the arena floor. Daniels sent Cody into the pole with a slingshot, but when he charged at Cody he drove into the pole head first. Cody then sent Daniels into the ring post and one of those shots busted the Almighty open. Cody beat him about the arena floor, eventually going for a suplex on the stage. Daniels slipped out and scoop slammed Cody, before sending him back to the rig where he followed with another scoop slam, this time on a chair. Daniels then grabbed Bobby Cruise’s belt and whipped Cody with it and then grabbed a mic, trash talking Cody and the fans as he peppered the champion with rights. Daniels found some conveniently placed extra guardrails outside and built a makeshift table, but couldn’t suplex Cody on to it, instead being suplex into the ring. Cody took the advantage and ran with it, beating Daniels to the stage area, but the suplex attempt was thwarted as Daniels wigged out and scoop slammed him on the stage.
Daniels then led Cody back to the ring where he scoop slammed him on a chair. Daniels and Cody traded straight kicks to the ding ding, but Daniels recovered and hit a Best Moonsault Ever that went for a two count. Daniels then scaled the ropes, only to be knocked off and sent on to the previously built structure. Cody tried to pin him back inside, but to no avail, so he went to grab a table and set Daniels on it. As he was about to fly off, Daniels stopped him and then lit the table on fire. Daniels went for a hurricanrana from the top, but was instead powerbombed through the flaming table, allowing Cody to pick up the victory and retain the title. There were some good spots here, but there seemed to be a disconnect with commentary and the in ring action. Neither Cody nor Daniels ever secured a pinfall before the deciding one. This was essentially a last man standing match, but the drama of someone jus making the ten count was never there. Cabana continually question why Cody or Daniels were going for quick pins that would not get them a complete win and questioned why neither would allow themselves to pinned to earn a breather. The convoluted rules were unnecessary and essential ignored.
Final Thoughts: C-
The logic of the main event ruined the show, that truth be told, felt like a result of the normally two night event before stretched to three nights. The Kingdom starting the night off with consecutive matches and almost losing all three was well done, but everything else seemed to lack any real urgency here and was simply an okay show. It’s difficult to recommend this show, as one would be better off skipping to night three.