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ROH Survival of The Fittest results: A title change and Six-Man Mayhem


By Justin Knipper for

From Columbus, OH / Sunday, November 4th airdate

The Big Takeaway:

  • Marty Scurll won Survival of the Fittest and will receive a shot at the ROH Heavyweight Championship.
  • The Kingdom defeated Cody & the Young Bucks to become the new ROH Six-Man Tag Team Champions.
  • Madison Rayne beat Britt Baker to qualify for a match for the Women of Honor Championship at Final Battle.

Show Recap 

Ian Riccobani and Colt Cabana introduce the show. They ran down much of tonight’s 13th annual Survival of the Fittest card.

SOTF Qualifier: Christopher Daniels defeated Beer City Bruiser

Daniels came out with Scorpio Sky and Frankie Kazarian. They did the SCU bit in the ring but were pretty over as babyfaces with this crowd. Riccobani informs us that this is Christopher Daniels’ third ROH Survival of the Fittest and Beer City Bruiser’s second.

Bruiser slammed a beer before the match. Daniels then shook Bruiser’s hand and gave him a pat on the belly. Bruiser jumped Daniels before the bell and gave him a cannonball senton in the corner and then a modified Vader bomb/elbow drop, both for two counts. Daniels reversed things later and hit a jumping enzugiri. He went for Angel’s Wings but Bruiser blocked it by falling on top of Daniels; it looked more like he lost his balance here, but I do think it was the planned spot.

Bruiser went up top for a splash but missed. Daniels capitalized and used the double jump moonsault for the win; Daniels advanced to the finals. This match was decent but extremely short. It’s difficult to critique because hardly anything happened, but not bad nonetheless.

SOTF Qualifier: Hangman Page defeated Colin Delany (x) & Dalton Castle in a three-way match

The crowd was somewhat tepid for Delaney on entrance, but much of the crowd down in front stood up for Page when he came to the ring. Castle came out with The Boys and also got a good reaction and got some ribbons thrown in the ring for him. He wore lots of compression gear, including a large black wrap on his left thigh.

As the three felt each other out at the beginning of this match, Castle screamed something about there being a lot of testosterone in the ring. After the bell, the three exchanged strikes and rapid fire reversals. Castle threw Delaney out of the ring and did his “big stomp” taunt which received a fairly loud reaction.

While Delaney and Page were in the ring, Delaney showed off some smooth lucha styled offense, including a nice springboard arm drag. Page slowed things down with an aggressive boot to the face and a number of stomps. Page’s gutwrench suplex with a bridge was impressive, as per usual, and that too got the crowd to make some noise for the two-count.

Castle and Page fought over who was going to pin Delaney. They later did a lucha exchange spot that Page got the better of. Castle made a short comeback, then Delaney missed both wrestlers on a missile dropkick attempt. Neat tilt-a-whirl stunner from Delaney onto Castle, then stunner onto the ropes, and finally a regular stunner to Page for two. They all teased a double superplex spot, Page on the receiver’s end. Delaney gave up and did a Taiji Ishimori-styled sliding German suplex to Page.

Page’s comeback consisted of a Shooting Star Press to the floor and a moonsault dropkick for two on Delaney. Castle and Delaney then used an assisted Canadian Destroyer on Page and Castle then used a Doctor Bomb on Delaney for a very close two and 3/4 count. 

Castle hit a pair of running knees off the apron to both fellows, followed by a tope suicida. The crowd was sounded split between Page and Castle. The three exchanged more strikes and finisher attempts at a rapid pace before Page used a double Buckshot Lariat to take both wrestlers out, which the crowd loved. He used the Rite of Passage on Delaney for the win. This was a good and fast-paced match. People seemed most excited about Page, but Castle was noticeably over as well. Delaney might not be as well known but looked excellent throughout this match. 

SOTF Qualifier: Jonathon Gresham defeated “Hot Sauce” Tracey Williams

Before the match, Riccobani and Cabana announced that the winner of the Madison Rayne vs. Britt Baker match will received a spot at Final Battle. 

This is Williams’ ROH debut. Riccobani described him as one of wrestling’s hottest free agents today. He wore some kind of sling over his left shoulder.

Williams tried to jump Gresham before the bell with a running yakuza kick but Gresham took his back and took him down. Excellent, realistic chain wrestling after this. The story felt like no matter how dominant and skilled Williams was, Gresham was usually clever enough to escape. Williams used his size and power to punish Gresham until Gresham used a shotgun missile dropkick off the second rope. Gresham continued to lift Williams up for a vertical suplex, which they teased a few times prior. When he finally did it, the crowd responded with some well-deserved noise. 

Williams used a front facelock DDT and a diving DDT off the second rope for a two-count. Williams does lots of cool moves that aren’t too unrealistic or flashy; it all feels like it fits with his persona. Gresham broke up a Williams fireman’s carry attempt by twisting his fingers and arm, then used a frankensteiner to escape. Williams came back and spiked Gresham with a Death Valley Driver for another two. 

The two exchanged elbows to the face for an extended period. Both tried to out tough the other until Gresham broke the sequence with a jumping enzugiri. Williams came back with a massive lariat and jumping piledriver for two. Commentary put this move over strongly.

“This is awesome” chants came from the crowd at this point. Gresham and Williams traded high spots, and finally Gresham got the victory with an octopus hold with elbow strikes for the submission/TKO. The two shook hands afterwards.

This was excellent. Much of the of this match felt like something you’d see in either 1980s World of Sport or late-1990s All Japan, just more athletic and creatively advanced. It never felt like spot after spot; there was a fluidity in the pace not unlike a Bret Hart match.

SOTF Qualifier: Guerrero Maya Jr defeated Andrew Everett (x) & Flip Gordon in a three-way

People were chanting for Flip as he came out. He carried himself with much more confidence than he has in the past. 

All wrestlers shook hands before the bell. A few exchanges between Gordon and the two other wrestlers, one on one, at the beginning of this match; arguably indicative of this bout’s nature. They did a triple dropkick spot that looked unnatural, followed by a standoff pose that cracked Colt Cabana up.

Gordon landed a beautiful springboard missile dropkick on Maya Jr that elicited more “Flip!” chants. Everett used a springboard moonsault for two. Maya Jr and Everett finally spent some time in the ring working together. Maya Jr does a bunch of cool moves and has great charisma but there’s a general awkwardness in a lot of his basic wrestling. Coming off the Williams vs. Gresham match made him look like a lesser, kind of confused wrestler.

As the crowd chanted for Flip, Maya Jr clapped along like they were cheering for him. Gordon landed a picture perfect moonsault (or “Asai moonsault,” according to Michael Cole) to Maya Jr onto the floor, then Everett did a shoot star press to both guys onto the floor. This didn’t get as big of a reaction as I thought it would, but even still, both spots looked fantastic.

As Gordon went to the top rope to assumedly finish off Everett, Bully Ray started throwing full packs of streamers at him. Gordon still did a 450 and landed it but didn’t go for the pin. Instead, he did a springboard plancha to the outside and tried to take out Ray, who countered with a right hand upon impact. Gordon sold it like he had just been completely KO’d.

Everett missed a jackknife shoot star press. Maya Jr capitalized on this and won the match with the Mayan Sacrifice, a modified shoulderbreaker. 

This was another solid modern lucha-inspired match, but what I feel brought it down was how much more over Flip was with the crowd than the other two. It felt more like Gordon vs. two other guys.

SOTF Qualifier: PJ Black defeated Luchasaurus 

Black didn’t shake Luchasaurus’ hand before the bell. Luchasaurus used lots of taekwondo kicks and high flying moves throughout much of this. Black used a top-rope quebrada that he almost missed since Luchasaurus was out of place. 

Luchasaurus did a really ugly Spanish Fly and then kept trying to chokeslam Black. More taekwondo kicks, then finally hit that chokeslam and standing moonsault for only two. Just after the near falls, the crowd starting chanting for Luchasaurus with a smattering of counter chants for Black. Luchasaurus used a tombstone and then missed a shooting star press, allowing Black to pin him for the win. 

This was bad. It felt like a vehicle to get Luchasaurus over because he’s a giant ripped guy who does high flying moves, but the majority of them looked sloppy. Black missed a number of spots, too, and the finish was not good. I wasn’t sure if the crowd boo’d the finish because Black was playing heel or because it was such a lame conclusion.

SOTF Qualifier: Marty Scurll defeated Stuka Jr & Silas Young

Titus came out lathered up in baby oil. He said he was out to show who the fittest wrestler in ROH really was. Cabana said he smelled like bananas. When he came out, Scurll received the biggest reaction up to this point on the show. Young made fun of the fans for chanting his name. 

Stuka Jr used a frankensteiner and tilt-a-whirl backbreaker early on. Stuka looked a little bit heavy for the other guys to lift, kind of like a sandbag, but everyone made things work. Scurll used his apron superkick on Stuka Jr who had been knocked on the outside, but Young squashed the spot with a springboard lariat of his own to Scurll. He got lots of heat for this.

Stuka Jr and Scurll had a chop battle on the apron that ended when they both kicked each other to the floor. They teased a triple countout and it was mildly forced in execution.

Back in the ring, Stuka Jr power bombed Scurll onto Young for two. People chanted “Heavyweight” at Scurll and he later superplexed Stuka Jr in the ring. Young used a diving backrake on Stuka and tried to pull out his finisher, that modified Arabian press, but Scurll broke things up with a jumping enzugiri. Stuka Jr moonsaulted onto Young who was on the floor, then used a diving fish splash for two on Scurll.

After a finishing sequence between the three, Scurll was finally able to use Graduation on Stuka Jr for the win.

This was no better than it could have been. Again, it felt like Scurll vs. two other guys based on the crowd response, just this was better than Gordon’s match. Stuka Jr worked harder than he does when I see him on CMLL, doing all he could to impress the crowd. Young did a good job firing the crowd up with heel tactics. 

Your Survival of the Fittest main event: Jonathan Gresham vs. Guerrero Maya Jr vs. Christopher Daniels vs. Hangman Page vs. Marty Scurll vs. PJ Black

Women of Honor: Madison Rayne defeated Britt Baker in a Final Battle 1ualifying match.

There was lots of back and forth between the two in the beginning of this match. The fans didn’t make much noise but seemed to be behind Rayne. Baker landed a huge superkick for two, and this is where the final sequence kicked off, arguably. Ryan used a step-up enzugiri and then the two traded chops and elbows until Baker used a fisherman’s swinging neckbreaker for a two-count. Rayne hit a killer Northern Lights suplex and later the Bend the Knee knee strike for the win. The Twisted Sisters came out and attacked on both Rayne and Baker and got booed a lot.

This was better than the Luchasaurus vs. Black match earlier and harder hitting than much of what you see in WWE, but the crowd was noticeably out of it throughout. It was a good match that probably would have gotten a better reaction if it were the first or second match of the show. 

The Kingdom (Matt Taven, Vinny Marseglia (o) & TK O’Ryan) defeated Cody (x) & The Young Bucks to win the ROH Six-Man Tag Team titles

The Bucks and Cody did a lot of posing before the match. Matt Taven jaw-jacked with a fan in the front row and the crowd started chanting “Young Bucks” and “Cody” for a while. (Sidebar: Since Marseglia is the Horror King, does that mean he’s supposed to be scary, or just really likes horror movies?)

The Bucks opened the match with a few of their signature double-team moves, then a few newer triple team spots with Cody, all followed by a triple tope suicida and a few “Too Sweets” with people in the front row. Nick told Matt to tag Cody into the match. They even maximized this 20-second segment to its full effect, squeezing as much noise out of the crowd they possibly could. 

Next to Silas Young, Taven got the most heat of the night. He’s really underrated as a heel. He stormed into the ring and began pounding on Cody for a long while like a bully. I wish ROH fans paid more attention to him as he's really come into his own as a heel over the past year or two.

The Kingdom spent the middle part of this match in their corner punishing Cody. Each member tagged in and out frequently, constantly keeping Cody on their side of the ring. Cody used a snap powerslam on Marseglia that looked dangerously close to the bottom rope. The Bucks eventually made it back into the match and they and Cody did a triple sharpshooter spot, like what they did with Chris Jericho in their Cruise match. 

Cody did a plancha to both O’Ryan and Marseglia outside the ring while on the adjacent side, Nick Jackson accidentally superkicked referee Todd Sinclair courtesy of Taven. 

So they were using two referees for this match, one on the outside and one inside the ring, and right after Sinclair was knocked out, Taven accidentally Disaster Kick’d the other ref. Cody used CrossRhodes on Taven after this, but TK O’Ryan used a baseball bat to take out The Elite. He got booed a lot for this. 

The Kingdom used Rockstar Supernova on Cody. Taven waved to the back for a new ref to come down. Brandi Rhodes ran out in a ref’s shirt and baseball cap, counted to two, then flipped them off -- a riff on the Shane McMahon-Steve Austin from Survivor Series 1998 screw job. 

The Bucks superkicked everyone and Cody used a CrossRhodes on O’Ryan for three. The bell rang and music played, but the refs switched the decision after they recovered. The match had to be restarted. Cody carried Brandi for some reason and then O’Ryan took both of them out. O’Ryan and Marseglia used House of a Thousand Corpses on Cody for the pin and the championship.

This was good, mostly due to The Bucks and Cody’s consistency and crispness in the ring, plus Taven coming into his own as a heel.

Jeff Cobb & Jay Lethal def. ROH Tag Team Champions SoCal Uncensored (Scorpio Sky & Frankie Kazarian) in a non-title match

Kenny King did commentary during this match. 

Lethal and Frankie Kazarian were first in. They had two mostly crisp grapple & rope-running sequences until deciding to tag in their respective partners. Cobb and Scorpio Sky got in the ring and moved around like junior heavyweights for a couple of minutes. It’s really a spectacle to see, even on a television screen, these two guys doing things they’re not meant to do.

A wild spinning heel kick from Kazarian onto Lethal, followed up with hiptoss into a neckbreaker. He and the others in this match have an excellent sense of timing both in regard to the moves they do and how they work in 2-on-1 situations.

Later on, Cobb used a bear hug belly-to-belly suplex on Scorpio Sky and, somehow, made it seem like Sky was only 120 lbs. He’s really something. Cobb did a delayed vertical suplex and held it, tagged in Lethal and then passed Sky off to Lethal. Lethal held Sky for a few more moments until finishing the suplex. 

The pace in the middle of this match felt organic and was never boring to watch. Kazarian kicked up the tempo with a handful of innovative moves. The crowd was into the match but you could feel their fatigue through the screen. Cobb double pump-handle suplexed SCU, Lethal hit a flying elbow drop right after. Cobb used a deadlift German for two. People were chanting “This is awesome” here.

Scorpio Sky must have jumped five feet in the air for a top rope frankensteiner to Cobb. This was unreal; even Cabana on commentary mentioned it. After a double plancha spot to the outside, The Briscoe Brothers came out and attacked Scorpio Sky behind Todd Sinclair’s back. In the ring, Cobb used Tour of the Islands to pin Kazarian for the victory.

The Briscoes talked trash to SCU after the match, then left. The teams all shook hands in the ring at the end of the segment; all held their belts in the air before cutting back to the announce team.

This was another excellent match; a solid pace with a natural feel to it. All four wrestlers worked with the crowd, not against it, and it resulted in a naturally hot finish. Riccobani was especially terrific here with lots of subtle but hilarious references thrown in.

Survival of the Fittest Six-Man Mayhem Match: Marty Scurll defeated Christopher Daniels, Hangman Page, Jonathan Gresham, Guerrero Maya Jr and PJ Black

Before the match, ROH announced that Rush from CMLL will be appearing soon.

Daniels and Maya Jr started the match. Daniels was over as a babyface; Marty and Page too, of course. It became more and more apparent who this crowd was mainly there to see tonight. Scurll and Gresham had a nice exchange before a super power bomb superplex spot Scurll was on the receiving end of. Page broke it all up and carried Scurll away out of danger.

Maya Jr looked much better in this match for some reason. There weren’t as many slipups in footwork and he seemed to gauge the crowd more accurately until Black eliminated him just as he was picking up steam.

Gresham and Page had a fantastic sequence that sometimes mixed Scurll in. Page eliminated Gresashm with a Buckshot Lariat. I’d love to see those two work together. It’d be an interesting styles and size clash that’d tell a unique story.

The final four are Daniels, Black, Scurll and Page. The Elite break away from the group and both they and the duo of Daniels and Black make an informal agreement that they will wrestle under tag team rules. Scurll and Daniels kicked this meta-match off. I wasn’t sure if this match was actually turned into a tag match, like, officially, but the referee officiated it as such. The crowd chose Scurll and Page over Daniels at this point in the match, while people stayed indifferent over Black. 

Scurll played the victim for a long while. His chance came during a double clothesline spot. Page was finally back into the match and cleaned house, wrapping his sequence up with a tope suicida. 

Page’s “Dropsault” into Daniels and onto Black was picture perfect. Page got a loud “Hangman” chant after this. He then did a moonsault press to both Daniels and Black. Scurll and Page then did their own version of the Golden Lovers’ Cross-Slash spot, with this one with Scurll doing his apron superkick and Page with his shooting star shoulder block. Page landed awkwardly on his head here.

Scurll eliminated Black after a reversal-counter-reversal pin exchange. Page and Scurll continued to double-team Christopher Daniels. They brawled outside of the ring and got into it with a Daniels fan. Scurll was fired up here and started ordering Page around. Page didn’t like it, and the match was suddenly a three-way match.

Daniels did a uranage into an inverted DDT to both members of the Elite. That’s something you’re just going to have to watch for yourself. 

Page took Scurll out with a Buckshot Lariat, but Daniels snuck in, hit the Best Moonsault Ever and, in somewhat of a shock, pinned Hangman Page. After a Scurll Driver and a chicken wing attempt, Scurll landed two hard low-angle superkicks and then used Graduation to pin Daniels and win Survival of the Fittest.

This was a unique match and mostly entertaining throughout. If you think about it as a piece in three acts, the last act was by far the best part of this match. I’m wondering why they didn’t just go ahead with this match as the main event, which is what the crowd sounded like it wanted. The middle “tag” section of this match was weird, and, while not necessarily bad, it hindered the match in that it dragged it out. The first part of the match with six wrestlers was fine, but more of a showcase segment than anything else.