This week’s episode of ROH TV was must watch, specifically for the Survival of the Fittest match.
Matt Taven and Dutch went to a no contest (7:47)
Taven sprinted down the entrance way and started taking it to the unphased Dutch almost immediately. Dutch tossed Taven across the ring very easily and Taven seemed overwhelmed.
Taven rolled out of the ring and was immediately attacked by Vita VonStarr, but it was put to a stop quickly after Maria Kanellis Bennett came down to the ring. She ordered VonStarr to the back like she was an animal which came off very awkwardly.
Taven and Dutch continued battling in the ring with Taven finally getting an upper hand, punctuated by a suicide dive. Taven followed it up with his signature frog splash, but Dutch powered out at one which the commentary team put over heavily.
Taven then hit his climax DDT, but before he could attempt a pin, Vincent appeared at ringside. Taven was distracted and followed him out to ringside. Bateman then blindsided Taven and beat him down, leading to referee Todd Sinclair calling for the bell and ruling it a no contest.
After the match, Vincent said he wouldn’t be having a match with Taven now, but gave him a firm maybe for a later date.
Bandido won the Survival of the Fittest six-way elimination tournament final (23:51)
Participants were Bandido, Eli Isom, Brian Johnson, Chris Dickinson, Flamita, and Rhett Titus. The match was also contested under lucha rules.
Bandido and Flamita started off which was appropriate considering their ongoing issues. Both quickly spilled to the outside and fought, allowing Dickinson and Titus to wrestle for a bit.
Isom was eventually able to get in the ring with Titus and showed out with some great power moves. Bandido and Flamita eventually made it to the top rope where Bandido hit a crazy moonsault press onto the rest of the competitors at ringside.
Bandido and Flamita continued to be the focus of the match once they got back in the ring. Johnson tried to get involved, but instead ate a Flamita superkick to the back of the head into the turnbuckle. Bandido took advantage of his former Mexisquad stablemate being distracted and rolled him up to eliminate him from the match.
After being eliminated, Flamita took his frustrations out and put Bandido through a table. Rey Horus came down and waved Flamita out of the match, preventing him from causing more damage.
Isom and Johnson were the next legal men up. Isom is a very likeable babyface. Johnson mostly dominated this exchange and was able to hit his Process draping DDT, but Isom rolled out of the ring. Dickinson was up next, but didn’t last very long and Titus came in. Titus hit a great belly-to-belly suplex on Johnson, followed by a few dropkicks and a pair of big boots. Titus then hit a top rope knee drop to eliminate Johnson.
Dickinson came in and went to work on Titus’ knee, immediately locking in a straight arm kneebar. Titus tapped almost immediately and it was good to see Dickinson get a big elimination.
That left Dickinson, Bandido and Isom. Bandido crawled his way back into the ring and Dickinson immediately focused on the arm of Bandido and cinched in an armbar. Isom reached up and put Bandido’s foot on the ropes, breaking the hold. Isom got in the ring and traded stiff forearms with Dickinson for a good minute. Isom eventually went to the apron but Dickinson applied a rear naked choke. Bandido came out of nowhere and hit his Blackjack 21-Plex on Dickinson to eliminate him, leaving he and Isom.
Isom applied a modified Rings Of Saturn and Bandido almost submitted but got his foot on the ropes to break the hold. Bandido hit a X-Knee, followed by a 21-Plex attempt but his arms gave out. Isom wasted zero time and planted Bandido with a side slam for a very good near fall.
Bandido and Isom kept going at it with a really good exchange. Isom tried to hit the Promise (brainbuster) but failed. Bandido went to the top rope and jumped, but Isom caught him in mid-air and hit a wonderful looking backbreaker for another great near fall.
Isom tried to hit his signature brainbuster again, but Bandido twisted him up into a headscissors/armbar combination submission. Isom hesitated for about 20 seconds before eventually submitting.
Bandido will now face ROH World Champion Rush at the Best in the World PPV on July 11th.
The SOTF match could be my new favorite ROH match this year. All six guys got a chance to shine in their own ways and I was sold on at least four near falls in this match. Eli Isom is a made man coming out of this match and it’s quite obvious ROH thinks very highly of him. His story is really easy to get behind and he’s such a likeable babyface.
Bandido was the right choice to win, though. He and Rush is a great main event and should move some PPV buys. When the participants for SOTF were announced, I suggested that Bandido should lose to Rush and join La Faccion Ignorable.
On the Taven-Vincent stuff? Ugh. This is just so overblown at this point. This feud has been going on since November 2019 and I'm just ready for both guys to move on. I still believe the feud should have ended at the 19th Anniversary PPV.
- Pure Champion Jonathan Gresham vs. Fred Yehi title match
- Mark Briscoe vs. Jay Briscoe "Fight On The Farm"