ROH Survival of the Fittest Night 3 Review
Cox Convention Center
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Ian Riccaboni and Colt Cabana welcomed us to the third and final night of the three night tour of Texas and the proceedings quickly got underway.
Jay Lethal vs. Josh Woods
The two exchanged arm bars and ankle locks early on before a shoving contest led to Lethal lacing Woods with chops and Woods responded with kicks to the thighs that eventually sent Lethal tumbling through the ropes. Woods allowed Lethal to crawl back in before he connected with Stuff strikes, including a brutal knee to the head. Lethal was able to connect with a left jab and created separation, flooring Woods with a hiptoss cartwheel dropkick combination. The action spilled outside and Lethal connected with an enziguri after Woods missed a flying knee, capping it off with a rope suicida before the two headed back into the ring. Woods and Lethal engaged in a shot for shot game of forearms that Lethal cut short by going for a figure four. Woods countered to the attempt and rolled Lethal up, but quickly fell victim to a Lethal Combination.bWoods was able to reverse Hail to the King into an armbar that forced Lethal to grab the ropes and then reversed a Lethal Injection attempt into a rear naked choke that again made Lethal reach for a rope break. Woods placed Lethal on the top rope for a suplex but was knocked right back to the mat, allowing Lethal to hit Hail to the King. Woods surprisingly kicked out at one, but was not able to kick out after a Lethal Injection. Average opener, Woods strikes are really believable and Lethal sold the submission well here. The more exposure Woods gets, the more fan support he will get, but the crowds have been quiet when he’s on top and he desperately needs to develop a connection to the crowd in some way.
Winner: Jay Lethal
“The Unholy” Gregory James w/ The Insidious Follower vs. Cheeseburger
James was in control early, besting Cheeseburger down until he was hit with a quick Shotei, but by the charged up Shotei, as commentary explained. As Riccaboni and Cabana spoke about how James could have a chance to make an impact, the Briscoes came down to the ring and apologized for interrupting the match before they attacked both men. They hit a 3D on James before Jay got in the mic and said that the 3D is now their move, as Bully Ray is a deadman. Mark then insulted the fans, saying they don’t think for themselves because they are Bullet Club followers and he then told the children in the crowd that their parents are failures. He continued by saying that he’s confused every time he comes to Oklahoma because the women have facial hair and the men act like female dogs.
Winner: No Contest
Jay Briscoe vs. Cheeseburger
Briscoe immediately took it Cheeseburger, beating him down and just having his way with him. Burger did managed a small comeback, connecting with a charged up Shotei, but it was enough, as Briscoe hoisted Burger up for a press slam when the fan favorite went for a second Shotei. Briscoe dropped him with a Death Valley Driver, but Burger managed to kicked out just before three. Briscoe went for another DVD and then the Jay Driller. Just as it seemed he was going for a second one, he thought better of it and pinned his lifeless opponent, securing the victory in the impromptu match. Good for what this was, which was a vehicle to informed the uniformed that the Briscoes attacked Tommy Dreamer at a House of Hardcore show and to drive home the fact that they are despicable.
Winner: Jay Briscoe
Kikutaro vs. Joey Ryan
Ryan went through his pre mstchvritusl of giving his lollipop to a fan before piling up and offered his hand to Kikutaro for the code of honor, which the Japanese wrestler shook, albeit only the pinkie. Kikutaro went for a go behind from the lock up, only to have Ryan try to force him to grab his nether region. Kikutaro resisted and eventually feigned going to grab Ryan, instead pulling of chunks of chest hair that he blew in the wind like a dandelion. After Ryan thwarted Kikutaro’s charged to the corner, Kikutaro Irish whipped referee Paul Turner into Ryan, but still caught a boot to the face on a subsequent run. Kikutaro districted Turner and went for a low blow, but injured his leg instead in Ryan’s fable crotch and ill-advisedly went for an atomic drop, hurting the other leg before he collapsed and head butted Ryan’s crotch, possibly knock himself unconscious. Kikutaro managed to set Ruannup for his finisher, but called for a mic and announced it, allowing Ryan to reverse him and announce he was going for his finisher. A song grab and a super kick later allowed Ryan to pick up his first victory in ROH in over eight years. A typical Ryan Match here, which was certainly a deviation from the ROH norm and the crowd seemed to eat it up.
Winner: Joey Ryan
Rhett Titus vs. Marty Scurll
Will Ferrara joined commentary for this one. The two engaged in a Greco-Roman knuckle lock to start the match, with Scurll going for the fingers early, only to have Titus counter with a wrist lock before the two chained wrestled to a stalemate, starting from the upright position again. As Scurll worked on Titus’s arm, Ferrara shared that his hand was injured in a Dawgs training session. Apparently, the Dawgs train differently than other and alcohol was involved, most likely Bud Light Lime- a favorite of Ferrara.Colt asked Riccaboni to quit playing games with his heart-the musical references continue to be a fun part of this commentary duo. As Scurll built up to calling for the chicken wing, Ferrara hilariously commented that since Titis recently became a vegentarian, he wants to part of the move. Titus dropkicked Scurll before the move could be applied, but was only able to secure a two count. He missed a Big Dawg Splash, which allowed Scurll to “break” his fingers and try to steal a win by using the ropes during a roll up. As Turner and Scurll argued, Titus hit Scurll with a big boot and went for the World’s Doggest slam, but Scurll reversed into the chicken wing for the submission victory. Average short match here.
Winner: Marty Scurll
The Beer City Bruiser w/ Silas Young vs. Cody
Silas Young and Beer City Bruiser came out. BCB was set to face Cody in a non title match although in a pre match promo Cody reiterated how he wanted it to be for the title. Instead they settled on making the match for the ring. Cody offered his ring hand to BCB, who instead of kissing it, spit beer all pver it, before tossing Cody outside. BCB set Cody up on a chair near the barricade, but missed a cannonball attempt, allowing Cody to beat him about the ringside area. Young helped BCB up and gave him a sip of beer, which prompted Cody to motion for someone to come out. Marty Scurll ran down to ringside and sprayed Cody with some cologne before giving him a few motivational hugs and kisses. Despite this, Bruiser mounted prolonged offense, with Young’s help of course, until referee Todd Sinclair got fed up and tossed Young out. Cody immediately missed a charge to the corner, leaving himself prone for a Bullfrog splash from BCB. Bruiser was only able to get a two count and went up to the top for a second time, but this time Cody jumped up and tossed him off with an armdrag before hitting the Cross Rhodes for the win. A good heel/face match here, with Cody, as the face winning and then pulling the heel move of making BCB kiss the ring.
Deonna Purrazzo vs. Madison Rayne
Jessica James joined commentary before the start of the bout. Friendly chan wrestling, chock full of reversals to start the match, until Purrazzo honed in on Rayne’s arm. Purrazzo continued to work the arm over until Rayne was able to create separation to a quick roll up. Rayne continued on the offensive, landing Chance of Rayne, a ripcord cutter that went for a two count. A frustrated Rayne took her time going after Purrazzo, allowing herself to be caught with a jaw breaker and scooped up in a fireman’s carry. She slipped out, but her clothesline attempt was ducked Purrazzo was able to synch in the Fujiwara armbar for a submission victory. Rain looked good in the ring with Purrazzo, but could have benefitted from a bit more offense, as this match was a bit short. Nonetheless, another successful appearance for the Women of Honor on this tour.
Winner: Deonna Purrazzo
Kenny King cut a promo stating that due to a injury to his lip that the Oklahoma State Athletic Commission would not let him perform. So he did commentary with Ian and Colt for what I think was the rest of the night.
Christopher Daniels vs. Dalton Castle
Christopher Daniels came down to the ring and started to cut a promo about Dalton Castle did not deserve the spot he has against Vody for the title at Final Battle. Daniels pointed out that he knew that Castle wasn’t in the build, but after berating him a bit, Castle’s music hit and he came down to the ring. Daniels seemed to back off a bit, but still pushed forward, saying that he wanted to take Castle on at a later date. Castle suggested the do it right on the spot, but Daniels declined, even as commentary pointed out that this was the last event before Final Battle. It all made sense later, as Daniels eventually attacked Castle from behind and waved a referee into the ring. Castle dominated most of this match and Daniels wrestled in street clothes. This was actually surprisingly long, especially consider that Daniels really had torn the skin on his back due to a flaming table spot the night before. Seriously cannot say enough about the grit and toughness Daniels showed here work through the pain he must have been feeling. Castle won the match with a Bang-A-Rang, but Daniels is the real winner here, being able to work a match in his condition.
Giving your all can sometimes leave a scar… pic.twitter.com/I0kXySGBIp
— Christopher Daniels (@facdaniels) November 19, 2017
Winner: Dalton Castle
The Young Bucks vs. The Kingdom (Vinny Marseglia & TK O’Ryan)
The Kingdom attacked the brothers Jackson immediately, but as they went to whip the Bucks into one another, the Bucks floored them with simultaneous dropkicks. Nick then used Matt for leverage as he springboarded up to the top rope, delivering a dropkick/cross body combo that set the match into normal tag mode, with Matt working over Marseglia. The Bucks took turns leaping of the top and hitting Marseglia’s arm with double axe handles, spelling out FTRR along the way, with Matt punctuating the last R by jumping feet first onto the arm. As he asked the crowd if they got it, Marseglia raked Matt’s eyes and tagged out. The Kingdom went for Rise of the Terminators, but Nick and Matt thwarted the attempt, surprising Marseglia in ring, who was still preparing. The Bucks then hit the move themselves before the action went back inside, seeing Matt take the brunt of the Kingdom’s attack here. The closing stretch was fun as the Bucks hit a good deal of their offense, before throwing a superkick party and hitting the 5 Star Meltzer Driver on O’Ryan. Good match between the two teams, but the crowd was a bit muted here-the Kingdom didn’t seem to draw the heat they usually do, especially against a team like the Bucks. Either way, good action here although a Kingdom win here would have done them some good as a tag team in the division, even if it had been by cheating in the form of some help by Matt Taven.
Winners: The Young Bucks
Survival of the Fittest Finals
Punishment Martinez vs. Shane Taylor vs. Jonathan Gresham vs. Silas Young vs. Flip Gordon
Gordon and Gresham started off the bout at a quick pace, keeping step with one another. As they rose to their feet and went to engage in a second go around, Young came into the ring and mocked the. The two wrestled around him, but he did get a leapfrog in before all three then squared up. Taven came in and derided Young for being just like Gresham and Gordon, while the aforementioned two tagged out to Martinez and Taylor. Young and Taven comically realized that the big men were behind them and slow turned before being thrown from the ring. The two big men stood each other up with shoulder blocks before taking each other with a double clothesline. The pace picked up here, with Martinez eventually catching Gresham and Taven for a double chokeslam. Young faked a dive, instead opting to eye rake Martinez and prevent any damage on the outside for the time being. Taylor took the group down with a cannonball and Gordon capped it off with a plancha from the top to the arena floor. The Kingdom came down to help their leader Taven, giving him each of their weapons, even the deadly ax, but Sinclair whisked the objects away before disqualifying Taven for a low blow kick. Sinclair proved he would not stand for any junk jive, DQ’d Taven and then there five.
After tantrumed about a Kingdom Conspiracy, he and his cronies finally left ringside, with Taylor picking up steam and scoring a near fall on Gresham after a sit down driver. He scaled the ropes but was thwarted by Martinez. Young and Martinez faced off in front of Taylor who was sitting on the top rope and decided to team to take him down with a superplex. Gordon quickly followed with a 450, quickly rolling away as Gresham hit the shooting star press. Both Gordon and Gresham covered Taylor for the pinfall. Taylor tried as he might to kick out in the spot, but two proved to be a chore, and then there were four.
Gordon went on a run here, diving outside to keep Martinez at bay, before returning inside to sending Young to the arena floor. As he checked around to pick his next target, he backed into Martinez, who dropped him repeatedly with stiff forearms. Gresham finally chopped the big man down and used his speed to floor him, but couldn’t keep Martinez down for a pinfall, so he waved Gordon into the ring. Gresham got up on Gordon’s shoulders and attempted to chokeslam Martinez, but couldn’t lift in an inch. Martinez grabbed Gresham by the throat and kicked Gordon outside, hitting the South of Heaven Chokeslam on Gresham. Gresham fought mightily, but was pulverized with glee, Punishment pinned the Octopus and then there were three.
Young tried to roll up Martinez immediately, but only go a two count. Martinez took control but quickly lost it to Young, who then paired off with Gordon, challenging him to hit him as hard as hard as his dad used to hit him. Young absorbed a few forearms, staggering back before he unleashed a few rapid forearm shots of his own. As he seemed to be ready to attack Gordon more, Martinez caught Young with a spinning kick from the top rope that earned him a near fall. Young weathered a Psycho Driver and almost hit Misery, but Martinez slipped out and hit the South of Heaven Chokeslam before eliminating Young. Silas almost did what the others could not do, but Martinez choke-slammed him and then there were two.
The last segment of the match had a nice ebb and flow to it, Gordon tried everything he could to keep Martinez down, but the monster powered out of a 450 splash. Gordon was shocked, but went for another, scoring a very near pinfall. Martinez then seemed energized and went on a tear, charging at the corner repeatedly and crushing Gordon. Gordon did manage to slip out with a superkick, but Martinez hit a rip cord boot to the face and a curb stomp before pinning Gordon for the win. Gordon hoped the Punishment was done, but Martinez curbed stomped him and then there was one.Martinez finished a strong year on top, staring Cody down as the show ended. Martinez finished a strong year on top, staring Cody down as the show ended.
Final Thoughts: B-/C+
This show was really all about the main event. There were some matchups that we haven’t seen before, but nothing was so groundbreaking that a three night tour was needed here. The main event had a little bit of everything here, with two big men, two classic small under dogs and two slimy heels. All 6 men played their roles well here and Martinez looked really strong in this one, especially during the final stretch, as he seemed to find a reserve of energy that was impressive. Gresham and Gordon continue to impress no matter what spot they are in. Taven’s DQ was a bit head scratching, but saving him from being pinned just reinforces how much he is being set up to be a big player next year. Out of the three shows, this one was the second best of the trio, but this entire weekend would have been stronger as two shows-still there were some good performances here and seeing Martinez win was a great moment.