This week’s ROH TV has more Survival of the Fittest action, as we find out who the other 3 entrants for next week’s final will be.
Roderick Strong (w/ Truth Martini) vs. Homicide: Wait, didn’t Strong qualify last week? That was Davey Richards? Sorry, I have trouble telling them apart. Homicide is using his old TNA music with Konnan rapping. Both guys try working the arm to start. A headscissors from Homicide and Strong bails, Homicide sends him to the barricade and chokes him out with a cable. Back to the guardrail again and Strong ends up on a chair, and Homicide does the 10-count punch spot on a sitting Strong. Back in the ring and a blind charge from Homicide earns him a boot to the face, Strong stomps away and goes for the 10-count punches in the corner, with the punches barely making contact. See, that’s what I’m talking about when I complain about the ROH camera work, they always seem to zoom right in on stuff like that instead of going to a wide-angle shot to try and hide it. Homicide comes back with the European uppercut and starts biting Strong’s ear, another uppercut but Strong gets a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker for 2 as we go to commercial.
We’re back with Homicide hitting an atomic drop. He tries the 3 Amigos (triple suplex), but only hits the first one before his back gives out on him, and Strong drops him on the top rope. Vertical suplex gets 2 and Strong goes to work on the back with a seated bearhug. Homicide gets free with the double ear clap and gets a roll-up for 2. Running belly to belly and Homicide tries a monkey flip in the corner, but gets caught and put onto the top rope. He punches back and hits a knee to the back of the head from the second rope for 2. Homicide tries what looked to be a Diamond Cutter, Strong blocks it but Homicide hits a neckbreaker anyway for 2. Homicide goes for a tornado DDT but gets tossed, and Strong goes back to the back. Gibson Driver (Tigerbomb) is blocked and Homicide hits a spear in the corner. They fight it out on the top and Homicide lands a top-rope rana for 2. Exploder suplex gets 2, Gringo Killer (Vertebreaker) is blocked and Strong hits a GTS variation (dropping him on the chest instead of the face). Kick to the face from Strong gets 2, Gibson Driver finishes it at 10:15 aired. Damn it, I was really hoping Homicide would go over. Still, a really fun match. ***, I take back what I said about Strong earlier, and I appreciate how Homicide sold the injury throughout the match, unlike a certain guy we saw last week.
Kyle O’Reilly vs. Mike Mondo: Jushin Liger guy’s sign: “I paid to see Kyle O’Reilly”. Unlike me in last week’s review, he spells “O’Reilly” right. As an Irishman that’s a bit embarrassing. Technical battle to begin as Davey Richards joins us at ringside for whatever reason. They do a test-of-strength sequence that leads to a couple double 2-counts as Kelly and McGuiness actually mention Shawn Michaels and HHH as former opponents of Mondo. I totally forgot that he even used to work for WWE. Mondo takes a knee to the face and bails to the apron, and O’Reilly tosses him onto the chair that Strong found himself sitting on in the last match, then hits a dropkick from the apron. Crowd pops pretty good for that as we head to break.
They slug it out as we come back from commercial, and O’Reilly gets a seated dropkick for 2, then lays in some decently stiff kicks. He hits a weird-looking suplex (called, I think, a kravate-plex by Kelly) for 2. He goes up top but spends too much time playing to the crowd and gets caught. Mondo hits a superplex, but it takes as much out of him as it does out of O’Reilly and it’s a double-KO. They’re both up at the same time and they slug it out again, then Mondo hits an awful looking Diamond Cutter for 2. O’Reilly with more martial-arts stuff, but he misses a legsweep and gets booted in the back. Mondo goes for the double-arm DDT but can’t hit it, and both guys start throwing knees. O’Reilly’s kick to the seated Mondo misses and he gets rolled up for 2. He then proceeds to hit a horrible looking reverse rana on Mondo. That just looked scary… More kicking from O’Reilly and he hooks an arm bar that Mondo reverses into a sort of Texas Cloverleaf, and O’Reilly taps at 10:40 shown. *1/2, too much sloppiness from both sides dragged this one down. Mondo broke his leg at the recent PPV, so next week will be the last time we see him for a while.
Inside ROH: Clips of the Evans/Ciampa/Marshall angle from last week and Marshall’s match with Jay Lethal. Adam Cole cuts a promo hyping up his match with O’Reilly at the next TV taping.
Michael Elgin vs. Rhino: Willie Wanker, I mean Truth Martini, accompanies both guys to the ring. I guess they’re going with the slow burn on Elgin’s face turn. Martini bitches about this match being a conspiracy to break up the House of Truth and tries to get both guys to just walk away from the match. Both of them decline, obviously. Brawling in the ring to start, Elgin gets tossed to the apron but hits a springboard elbow back in and Rhino bails. They brawl on the outside as Roderick Strong makes his way out to ringside. Back inside with Elgin hitting a clothesline from the top for 2. Rhino hits a belly-to-belly but misses the Gore. More brawling and Rhino hits a spinebuster for 2. Dueling “Let’s go Rhino” “Let’s go Elgin” chants from the crowd, and a fan hits Strong in the head with a streamer. Short-arm clothesline from Rhino for 2 and he hits the chinlock. Elgin backs him to the corner to get loose and hits a jumping enziguri. More brawling now, then Elgin hits a bicycle kick and the Black Hole Slam for 2. Rhino escapes the powerbomb but hits a German suplex for 2. Elgin gets backdropped on powerbomb attempt #2 and Rhino hits a modified RKO for 2. And now Strong is up on the apron to complain about the count to the ref, Rhino sets up for the Gore but Martini gets in the way and Elgin gets a Gore of his own, and the sit-out powerbomb sends Elgin to the finals at 7:52. **1/2, pretty decent brawl.
Much better show than last week, with the shitty workers being left in the back and mostly clean finishes. Next week has the S.O.T.F. finals, a 6 man elimination tag match with Adam Cole vs. Davey Richards vs. Jay Lethal vs. Roderick Strong vs. Mike Mondo vs. Michael Elgin.