Survival of the Fittest!
Briscoe Boys vs. The Bravado Brothers: Kevin Kelly plays up the Bravado’s stay in NOAH. Mark and Harlem start us off, Mark gets a big boot, tags in Jay, and they hit the Sidewinder for 2. Mark back in with a brainbuster for 2, and hits some odd looking chops to the face and a couple headbutts. Harlem reverses an Irish whip and Lancelot grabs Mark’s foot as he comes off the ropes, and Harlem hits a nasty kick to the face for 2. Lancelot in now and they hit a double elbowdrop, Jay comes in for the save but Mark kicks out on his own. Suplex from Lancelot and he tags out, and Mark and Harlem slug it out, but Lancelot provides the distraction and Harlem takes over… for about 10 seconds. Harlem misses a blind charge, and Mark does this idiotic-looking chest slapping thing and hits an uppercut. Both guys tag out and Jay hits a falcon arrow on Lancelot for 2. Briscoes go for the Doomsday Device but Harlem knocks Mark off the top. Harlem hits the Blockbuster on Jay, Mark makes the save, Harlem accidentally enziguries his partner and the Doomsday Devices finishes it at 5:22. *1/2, pretty much a squash, and not a very good one, as the Briscoes were clearly not putting in a full effort here.
Match was just a backdrop for the angle anyway, as the Disciples of Truth make their way out, announce they’re leaving the House of Truth, and unmask as the Headbangers, to the shock of no one. They even referred to themselves as “former WWF tag team champs”, which is kind of weird to hear these days. Hopefully they will go back to the old WWF ring gear, as the D of T gear looked incredibly low budget.
Clips of the finishes from the previous S.O.T.F. matches, including the World Tag Team Champion, who won the inaugural match in 2004, and a couple guys that are now on NXT.
Survival of the Fittest 2012 finals: Jay Lethal vs. Adam Cole vs. Mike Mondo vs. Davey Richards vs. Roderick Strong vs. Michael Elgin: Richards and Strong start us off thanks to a “coin toss”, though how you’re supposed to do a coin toss with 6 guys is never explained. Nothing of note happens for the first couple minutes, until we get the lucha trainwreck spot, Mondo is the last man left and he hits a moonsault from the top onto everyone else on the floor. Crowd pops big for that, and with good reason, it was a damn fine moonsault. Doesn’t do him much good, as he's blasted with a kick to the face by Strong a minute later and he’s done at 4:48. Strong and Cole fight it out, though he seems more interested in talking shit to Elgin than he is in wrestling Cole. He also knocks Richards off the apron, just for the hell of it. Nice. Back to work on Cole now with some pretty stiff stuff, and a double-knee gutbuster gets 2. The mouthing off to Elgin finally bites him in the ass though, as Elgin comes in and pops him, and a Cole superkick finishes Strong at 6:35. Richards now in with the anklelock on Cole, but Cole gets loose and Elgin tags himself in. He and Cole fight over a rollup, Cole hits a jumping enziguri and goes for what looked to be a Shining Wizard but Elgin catches him, powerbombs him into the corner, and Cole is sent home via the sitout powerbomb at 7:36. And now the real fun begins, as Lethal is in with a seated dropkick on Elgin for 2 as we go to commercial.
Back with Elgin hitting a Samoan drop on Lethal and a fallaway slam on Richards at the same time. I don’t care if the other 2 guys are cooperating, that’s still awesome. Lethal and Richards bail to the floor and Elgin goes to the top for some reason, and Strong (who had been lying on the floor since being eliminated) knocks him off. Lethal and Richards slug it out back in the ring while Elgin is lying on a table that’s up against the apron. Richards knocks Lethal down and tries to suplex Elgin through the table, but it’s plastic and it just bends in the middle as Elgin bounces off it. That was SICK. Elgin is down on the floor as Richards and Lethal slug it out for a while. Elgin finally crawls back in and Lethal and Richards double team him. Lethal hits a DDT, Richards hits a double stomp from the top, Lethal gets the Macho Man elbow and both guys make the cover, but Elgin kicks out. Richards tries some clotheslines and punches, but Elgin isn’t going down. Both guys superkick him, Lethal hits a Yazuka kick to finally knock him down, both guys hit simultaneous kicks to the head, and THAT is enough to eliminate Elgin at 13:10 shown. And we go back to commercial.
The locker room comes to ringside to watch the rest of the match as we come back from the break, and the audio is in and out for the remainder of the match. ROH production values at their finest… Jay hits a Diamond Cutter off a handshake (I knew we wouldn’t get through this whole show without seeing at least one) and the Mach Man elbow gets 2. A pair of Lethal Combinations get 2. Lethal then gets some sort of MMA hold (I don’t really know MMA, so I have no idea what it’s called, and with the audio out I get no help from the commentators), Richards reverses into the anklelock, Lethal reverses that into an anklelock of his own and adds a sort of surfboard-like maneuver to stretch him out. Richards makes the ropes and they fight it out on the apron. Richards suplexes Lethal to the floor, tosses him back in, and hits the double stomp from the top for 2. Richards kicks away and gets 2 off those. They slug it out some more and Lethal hits a superkick for 2. He misses the Lethal Injection and Richards gets the anklelock again, but Lethal quickly gets free. Richards does the cross corner whip and clotheslines, hits a superplex, and rolls that right into a brainbuster for 2. That was pretty sweet. Richards hits the sliding kick thing that used to finish off Mike Bennett a couple weeks ago for 2, and then back to the anklelock. Lethal gets free and just plants him with a German suplex, then hits a full-nelson suplex (though not a Dragon suplex, no bridge) for 2. Richards is a dead man walking here, as he has to pull himself up on Lethal to get to his feet. Lethal headbutts him and Davey spits in his face (that was uncalled for…), jumping enziguri and the Lethal Injection finish it at 20:30 aired. And now of course the audio comes back on. ****, this is a legitimate MOTY candidate, well worth checking out if you can find it online somewhere. Richards raises Lethal’s hand to close out the show.
Next week: Road Rage from Toronto, as we get highlights from the recent PPV. Next TV taping is November 3.