ROH Survival Of The Fittest – Night 1 Review

Added by Gary Ward

Ever since Jax Dane’s impressed promo announcing his entry into this year’s Survival Of The Fittest, I’ve been awaiting the release of this VOD ; after a great Dallas Cowboys win over the Steelers last night it’s only right I watch Night 1 from Arlington today.

4 Corner – Survival of The Fittest Qualifier: The Panther vs Will Ferrara vs Silas Young vs YO

Another reason why I really enjoy Survival of The Fittest is being introduced to new talents like YO and The Panther, always enjoy watching unfamiliar wrestlers in action.

Some nice highflying action to start this one from both The Panther and YO, while Silas isn’t exactly a high flyer like the others, he can honestly work any match and doesn’t look out of place.

Some nice quick wrestling with all three men hitting some impressed moves and showcasing there abilities, a surprising win for The Panther, as he and Will Ferrara went back and forth before The Panther hit a solid clotheslines in the corner to set up a springboard dropkick from the corner rope to the seated Ferrara for the win.

Survival Of The Fittest Qualifier: Donovan Dijak vs Jax Dane

Honestly, this is the reason why I purchased this VOD, I’m a big Dijak & Dane fan, knowing that the former long time NWA World Champion is now in ROH has me extremely excited.

Kevin Kelly hit the nail on the head right away ” This match up, I think fans are going to be speaking about for a long time”

Jax Dane walked in like a man beast, 419 days as NWA World Champion went right up face to face with Donovan Dijak, this had instant chemistry for me, Dane hit some big belly to belly early on, he looks very like Scott Steiner someone I know he’s looked up to.

Dijak though is one of ROH most athletic wrestlers and he tried to use that to his advantage, Dane was able to stop him several times with brute power and strength.

This was a excellent match that really showed both Dane and Dijak’s abilities, Dane came out on top when he dead lifted Dijak into a Samoan drop before hitting a huge spear for the win.

A nice debut from Godzilla, excited to see what he does in ROH.

Triple threat – Survival Of The Fittest Qualifier: Colt Cabana vs Cheeseburger vs ‘Punishment’ Damian Martinez

I honestly never complain about ROH but I just don’t get Cheeseburger at all, I honestly can’t see the appeal or benefits of having him in a match like this, Cabana and Martinez are both on a different level. time will tell if he brings anything to this one.

Really like the work Punishment Martinez has been doing recently in ROH, another huge man with fantastic athletic abilities, honestly think sky’s the limit for him.

Colt Cabana cuts a promo, a very heel promo aswell, highlighting taking Dalton Castle under his wing before taking him out as he’s not ready to be a superstar, as he’s the “King Of The Indys” Cabana announces that he’s ready to be the ROH World Champion and the other two aren’t in his league.

Match started with both Cheeseburger and Cabana trying to take out Martinez, the big man was having none of it and used his height and strength to hold off both men, Martinez distoys Cheeseburger with a hard slap to the chest, Cabana quickly went to the ring appron to pretend to ask for a tag in from Cheeseburger, Cabana doesnt tag in as its obviously a triple threat; Cabana quickly jumps in and manages to take out Martinez before coxing Cheeseburger to help him before taking him out.

Cabana who throughout the man showed alot of comedic wrestling before flicking a switch into a more aggressive style and going toe to toe with the big man, Cheeseburger tired for a comeback with some offence but was quickly cut off by Martinez again when the big man caught him jumping from the top rope into devastating choke slam for the win.

Survival Of The Fittest Qualifier: Bobby Fish vs Kenny King with Caprice Coleman

An excellent well paced match between two talented wrestlers, I really feel Kenny King is underutilised in ROH currently and would like to see more of him in singles action, Bobby Fish has been excellent for months now defending the World TV Title against all comers, the action was nicely paced when working both inside and out of the ring.

King in the ring worked the champs neck and shoulder throughout the match, I like how he again worked a body part during the match, ROH are excellent in displaying this during their matches unlike alot of other promotions, in a typical good guy vs bad guy match up, King controlled large parts on the match before comebacks from the Champ.

Fish took over the match with a nice exploder suplex for a near fall, both men would then go toe to toe before Kenny King hits a lovely spinning body press over the top rope onto Fish,  the finish came as King was suplexed into the corner by Fish before King returned the favour for a near fall, Fish sinked in a sleeper hold over the ropes before sweeping the legs of King for a near fall, as King kicked out Fish locked in a knee bar for the win.

Triple Threat – Survival Of The Fittest Qualifier: Dalton Castle with The Boys vs Rhett Titus (with Caprice Coleman) vs Chris Sabin

I’m a big Dalton Castle fan and feel his momentum recently has slightly declined, I would really like to see him in a title picture and a program with Bobby Fish would really appeal to me.

Match started with Titus cheapshotting Sabin before him and Castle went back and forth in the middle of the ring, Castle managed to hit Titus with a delayed gutbuster before posing in the middle of the ring.

All three men have excellent inring skills and it showed throughout the match, Titus mostly impressed during this one, he managed to hit a big frog splash from the top onto Sabin but a delayed belly to back suplex from Castle for a near fall, Titus was up quickly to attempt a final comeback before Dalton Castle hits the bamarang for the win, a nice match from three excellent in ring workers, really pleased to see Dalton Castle coming out on top.

Post match Castle got the mic and said he thinks he’s doing pretty good on his own and that he’s fantastic while promising everyone at ringside that he’s going to be the next ROH World Champion.

4 Corner – Survival Of The Fittest Qualifier: Hangman Page vs Misterioso Jr. vs Sho vs Lio Rush

Another multi-man match with two CMLL stars, both of which is the first time I’m watching them wrestler and Bullet Club’s own Hangman Page.

Lio Rush the former Top Prospect winner whom battled former ROH World Champion Jay Lethal to cement himself as a future star, the match started with Rush and Sho going at it with some excellent fast paced action.

All four men were quickly into the match showing casing some excellent high flying manumovers, Rush and Page have outstanding chemistry with both completely shineing in this one, Lio Rush picked up the win with an excellent ‘Rush Hour’ finisher on Sho, a nice match.

Non Tournament Singles Match: Kyle O’Reilly vs Christopher Daniels with Frankie Kazarian

Other than the debut of Jax Dane, this match was one I was really looking forward too, Christopher Daniels is looking outstanding currently following recent matches and another World Tag Team Title run, Kyle O’Reilly is someone I really think will capture the ROH World Title next from his arch nemesis Adam Cole, O’Reilly is simply outstanding inside a wrestling ring.

This had everything to be a killer of a match and it really lived up to that hype, both men are at the top of their individual games right now, O’Reilly and Daniels displayed some brilliant mat work going back and forth during the early parts of the match.

Daniels started to work the arm of O’Reilly during most of the match following recent injuries Kyle has suffered recently, the veteran firmly controlled in large parts showing some outstanding wrestling, from a lovely moonsalt into a key lock armbar, is this the best Christopher Daniels we’ve ever seen  ?

O’Reilly being on the back foot for alot of the match managed to gain some momentum back with some really stiff strikes to the former ROH Tag Team Champion, before sinking in a knee bar before Daniels escaped, O’Reilly gain control of the match working a sleep hold before being cut off by Daniels.

The finish came as Kyle O’Reilly attempted a brainbuster before skining in a standing choke, as O’Reilly again went for a brainbuster but Daniels reversed into a last rights for a near fall.

Daniels went for his paten angles wings before O’Reilly beautifully counted into a triangle choke to a arm bar for the tap out victory, again an excellent match from both Daniels and O’Reilly.

Post Match – Kyle O’Reilly extended his hand to Daniels whom reluctantly accepted O’Reilly as the better man, a thank you Daniels chant breaks out and the Fallen Angel comes to the commentary position praising Kyle O’Reilly on the win.

Non Tournament Tag team Match: War Machine (Raymond Rowe & Hanson) vs The Briscoes

As WarMachine comes to the ring, Shane Taylor and Keith Lee enter saying that they want in on this and they want to finish what’s been started with WarMachine, enter The Briscoes for another triple threat match as The Briscoes announce  this will be a Street Fight.

The first few minutes on this one was just a brawl inside and out of the ring with all 6 men attempting to gain the upper hand, referee Todd Sinclair struggled to maintain control as Taylor and Lee stood tall inside the ring.

If you’ve see my previous ROH reviews you will know how much I like Tag Team wrestling and more importantly the division in which ROH currently has, Taylor and Lee have really cemented themselves into that division in little time and make excellent appoints for both The Briscoes and War Machine.

Jay Briscoes took a page out of Lio Rush’s book and dived onto the other two teams on the outside before Hanson followed in suit with a front flip from the top rope to everyone all 6 men then brawled around the arena., a large truck was at the back of the arena and the men started to brawl in and around that while Mark Briscoes went to the roof of the trunk and front flipped off onto Taylor, Lee and Hanson.

Back in the ring Jay Briscoes and Ray Rowe went face to face, toe to toe with some stiff brawling, as the other competitors made their way back, WarMachine looked some double team action on Mark Briscoes and Lee before Shane Taylor came in for a huge lariat to Hanson, a double team powerbomb for the near fall as The Briscoes came in to take over with some traditional Briscoes team work for a near fall.

All 6 men were in the middle of the ring brawling with the Briscoes maintaining control of the match, the finish came as all 6 men again squared off before everyone manages to hit a finishing/special move to one another before Jay Briscoes hits froggy bone for the win.

A nice brawling tag team match up to end a pretty solid event in general.

Until Night 2

@GaryRWard

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