The annual Survival of the Fittest tournament concludes this week as the winners of the qualifying matches compete in a six-person elimination match. The winner of the match receives a future ROH World Title shot.
Jay and Mark Briscoe vs The Bravados (Lancelot and Harlem Bravado)
Mark and Harlem start off for their respective teams. A sidewalk slam and leg drop combination gets an early two count for the Briscoes. The crowd is firmly behind the Briscoes. Lancelot grabs Mark’s boot, distracting Mark long enough for Harlem to connect with a big boot to the face to give the Bravados the advantage in the match. Mark fights back with Redneck Kung Fu and tags in his older brother. They attempt the Doomsday Device, but the Bravados fight out of it with a series of fast-paced moves. A top rope blockbuster gets a two count for the Bravados. The Bravados go for the gentlemen’s agreement, but Jay is able to duck out of the way and Harlem kicks his brother instead. A springboard forearm and rolling forearm gives the Bricoes the opportunity to hit the Doomsday Device on Lancelot to pick up the win.
Winners by Pinfall: The Briscoes
After the match, the Guardians of Truth come to ringside with microphones asking for everyone’s attention. They say Truth Martini is too busy trying to save the House of Truth and they’ve become an afterthought. They say they have decided to do things their own way. They say they’re former WWF tag team champions. They unmask themselves to reveal they are Mosh and Thrasher: The Headbangers. Jay Briscoe says the Headbangers haven’t done anything in ROH, but the Headbangers say they do things the Headbanger way.
ROHWorld.com’s Thoughts: The match itself was good. The Briscoes are one of the best tag teams in the world, and the Bravados are more than capable of holding their own. I wish the Bravados would get a bigger push as they’ve really improved since returning from Japan. As for the post-match segment, please get the Headbangers off my TV (or computer if you want to get technical). The fact they say they’re former WWF tag team champions proves how irrelevant they are. Nobody has cared about them since 1997, and now they offer nothing but bad promos and worse wrestling,
We see a video package detailing the results of past Survical of the Fittest winners and how they won.
Jay Lethal vs ROH World TV Champion Adam Cole vs Mike Mondo vs Davey Richards vs Roderick Strong w/ Truth Martini vs Michael Elgin
Richards and Strong start the match off. Elgin quickly tags himself in and goes after Strong, but Strong escapes to the outside before tagging in Mondo. Elgin hits a powerslam on Mondo before going after Strong again. Everyone hits dives to the outside. Mondo hits a moonsault from the top to the floor! Strong blind tags himself in and hits a Sick Kick on Mondo. Strong makes the pin and Mondo is the first person eliminated. Strong taunts Elgin, who jumps in the ring and clobbers Strong with a backfist. This wobbles Strong enough for Cole to connect with a superkick. Cole maks the pin, and Strong has been eliminated! Elgin counters a shining wizard attempt by Cole into a bucklebomb. He follows it up with a spinning powerbomb to eliminate Cole! The show goes to commercial with Lethal and Elgin in the ring.
Back from commercial, and Elgin has Lethal on his shoulder and catches Richards. Elgin launches them both overhead sending them to the outside. Elgin climbs to the top, but Strong pushes him off the top! Richards and Lethal slug it out in the middle of the ring. Richards grabs Elgin on the apron and delivers an exploder suplex from the apron and through a table! Richards and Lethal once again go blow for blow. Elgin crawls back in the ring, and Lethal and Richards team up to take Elgin out. Richards hits a double stomp and Lethal hits Hail to the King, but Elgin kicks out! A series of kicks from both Lethal and Richards is enough to finally eliminate Elgin. Lethal and Richards are the final two remaining in Survival of the Fittest as the show goes to commercial.
Back from the break and the ROH locker room is coming to ringside to watch Lethal and Strong do battle. Lethal immediately hits the Lethal Injection and Hail to the King, but Richards kicks out. Richards kicks out of two Lethal Combinations. Lethal seamlessly transitions into a Koji Clutch, but Richards counters it into an ankle lock. Lethal reverses it into the figure four/surfboard submission, but Richards reaches the ropes. They fight on the apron, and Richards hits an exploder suplex on the apron. Back in the ring, Lethal kicks out at one! Richards hits a series of kicks and Lethal kicks out again! Richards hits a superplex and holds on for a brainbuster, and once again Lethal kicks out. A dragon suplex gets a near fall for Lethal. Lethal hits an enziguri and follows it up with a Lethal Injection, which is enough for him to pick up the pin and become the 2012 Survival of the Fittest winner!
2012 Survival of the Fittest Winner: Jay Lethal
ROHWorld.com’s Thoughts: The crowd was chanting “That was awesome!” at the end of the match, and I completely agree. That match was great. I think it’s impossible for Lethal and Richards to have anything other than a very good match together, and the closing stretch of this match only further proves that. I liked the way all the other stories played out throughout the match, especially Elgin and Strong. Everyone played their role perfectly and everyone had at least one spot where they shined. In the end, I think Lethal was the right choice to win the tournament. I was unsure of the decision when I first saw the results, but the way Lethal’s character has progressed over the last few shows and the gigantic wave of momentum he’s been riding because of it makes him a good Survival of the Fittest champion. He has a future ROH World Title match. The only question is when he will use it. But this was one of the better episodes of ROH on SBG in recent memory.