The show opens up with highlights of last week’s Survival of the Fittest match between Adam Cole and Tadarius Thomas, which saw Cole pick up the win to advance to the Survival of the Fittest Finals.
Mike Bennett w/ Maria and Brutal Bob vs Davey Richards
Richards immediately kicks Bennett in the head and goes for a roll-up, but Bennett kicks out. Richards continues the hot start with a clothesline and an ankle lock, however Bennett reaches the ropes. Bennett rolls to the outside. Richards tries to run along the apron and kick Bennett, but “The Prodigy” pulls Maria in front of him. Richards chases Bennett around ringside, and Brutal Bob gets involved by punching Richards in the face. Richards and Bennett brawl around ringside. Back in the ring, Richards mocks Maria while he has Bennett in the Indian Death Lock. On the outside, Bennett spinebusters Richards against the corner of the apron as the show goes to break.
Back from commercial and Bennett is still in control as he hits a clothesline. They slug it out in the middle of the ring. Bennett gets the better of the exchange with a superkick. Richards clotheslines Bennett to the outside and then immediately connects with a suicide dive. They fight on the apron, and Richards misses a kick and hits the ring post. Bennett takes advantage of the situation with a spear on the apron. Richards is able to fight back and apply the ankle lock. Bennett fights out of it and sends Richards into the ropes where Maria slaps him. Mondo runs to ringside and sexually assaults Maria. Bennett chases Mondo to the back. When Bennett gets back in the ring he’s met with the alarm clock and a sliding kick, which is enough for Richards to pick up the three count and advance to the Survival of the Fittest Finals.
Winner by Pinfall: Davey Richards
ROHWorld.com’s Thoughts: This was a fine way to start the show. I don’t remember these two ever squaring off, and if they have it’s been a rare occurrence. They showed tremendous chemistry here and it made for a very good match. Bennett always looks good when he’s in the ring with talented performers, and Richards is more than capable of having good matches with anyone. Other than the Mondo interference, this was a great way to start the show. The interference did leave Bennett looking pretty good, though, as he was in control until Mondo distracted him. They are two-for-two thus far in delivering really good opening round matches for this year’s Survival of the Fittest.
Kevin Kelly says Tommaso Ciampa is scheduled to face Jay Lethal in a Survival of the Fittest match and he explains Ciampa’a injury from “Boiling Point.” Kelly says RD Evans has promised Ciampa will wrestle tonight.
Evans and Ciampa come to the ring, and Ciampa is on crutches. Evans says Ciampa suffered a torn ACL and meniscus at “Boiling Point.” Evans says Ciampa proved he was a warrior; a gladiator; a thoroughbred. Evans says you know what you do with thoroughbreds with broken legs; you shoot them. He introduces his new client: QT Marshall. Ciampa comes close to hitting the Project Ciampa on Evans but stops when he sees Marshall coming to the ring. Evans hits Ciampa from behind on the bad knee with Ciampa’s crutch. Marshall beats down Ciampa using the crutch.
QT Marshall w/ RD Evans vs Jay Lethal
Lethal hits a superkick the moment the bell rings. He quickly follows it up with a springboard dropkick and suicide dive! Lethal looks to be setting up another suicide dive, but Marhsall cuts him off with a tilt-a-whirl slam. Marshall goes for a pin, but the referee catches him with his feet on the ropes. A springboard crossbody and handspring back elbow momentarily gives Lethal the advantage, but Marshall answers back with a clothesline. Lethal hits a superkick out of nowhere and connects with the Lethal Combination. Evans distracts Lethal, but Prince Nana runs in and attacks Evans. Lethal hits the Lethal Injection to pick up the pinfall to advance to the finals of Survival of the Fittest.
Winner by Pinfall: Jay Lethal
ROHWorld.com’s Thoughts: This was Marshall’s best showing in Ring of Honor by far. If he is able to keep giving performances like this, he will stick around for a while. However he won’t always get to wrestle someone as talented as Lethal, so I’m going to have to see more out of Marshall before I begin to get too excited out of what I see from him. I was pleasantly surprised by this match.
It’s now time for Inside ROH. We see a clip of last week’s match between the BJ Express and Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team. Rhett Titus says he’s the guy who’s going to surprise everyone and take Kevin Steen’s World Title. We now see a clip of last week’s segment featuring Steen and Michael Elgin. Truth Martini says there is a plot against the House of Truth because Rhino and Elgin have to face each other in the Survival of the Fittest, and he asks either Rhino or Elgin to back out. Elgin and Strong talk about how they don’t like Martini.
ROH World Title
Kevin Steen w/ Jimmy Jacobs (c) vs. Rhett Titus w/ BJ Whitmer
Steve Corino is on commentary and says after Steen punched a fan at “Boiling Point” he is not allowed at the affiliate’s dinner, and if Steen shows up he will be arrested.
Titus takes the fight to Steen when Steen is making his entrance. In the ring, Titus connects with a dropkick and follows it up with a dive over the top rope. Steen hits a rope-assisted elevated DDT, which gets a two count. Steen ties Titus in the Tree of Woe and hits the cannonball. Titus fights back with a big boot and clothesline combination. Steen pulls Titus to the outside and hits a pop-up powerbomb onto the ring apron. Back in the ring, Steen tries for a moonsault but Titus moves out of the way. Jimmy Jacobs tries to hit Titus with the spike but Whitmer stops him. Titus grabs the spike and tries to use it on Steen. Todd Sinclair stops him and this gives Steen the opportunity to hit a superkick. Steen follows it up with the F-Cinq and he gets the pin to retain the ROH World Title.
Winner and STILL ROH World Champion: Kevin Steen
ROHWorld.com’s Thoughts: This was a decent enough match and an ok title defense for Steen. It was nothing too great, but it was acceptable for a television title defense. The ending was a bit weird with Sinclair getting involved the way he did. Both wrestlers have had better matches, and both wrestlers will have better matches.