The episode opened with a video package recapping some of the best moments in Survival of the Fittest history. Quinn McKay then welcomed us to the show and ran down the tournament as a whole. Survival of the Fittest features 12 wrestlers competing in a round of singles matches. The six winners to emerge from these matches will go on to a six-man elimination bout with a future shot at the ROH World Championship on the line.
ROH is really making this tournament feel like a big deal. Although some of the competitors are questionable choices, I’m extremely excited.
Survival of the Fittest first round match: Demonic Flamita defeated Rey Horus (11:02)
With the name change, Flamita also had a new titantron and new gear. He also had dark eyeliner on.
Flamita seemed to be cordial with Horus early on despite their recent tension, but that ended quickly. Horus matched Flamita’s intensity early on, and he hit a beautiful tornado bodyscissors. Flamita responded with a spear to the arena floor.
Flamita kept Horus grounded on the outside for as long as possible until Horus was able to slide back in the ring and hit a wonderful looking dive over the ropes. Flamita stayed outside the ring until a 15 count where he stuck half of his body in the ring to break the count. Horus followed Flamita to the outside and hit a brutal looking Spanish fly on the floor. This led into a commercial break.
Returning from the break, Horus tried to hit a Canadian Destroyer, but it rolled through into a pin attempt. Flamita was able to remain in control after this, hitting a stunning slingshot DDT. Flamita kept in control until Horus made an attempt to get back in a groove, but it didn’t pan out. Flamita ended up hitting a great musclebuster/gutbuster combo for the win.
A video package promoting Sledge vs. Brian Johnson for the Survival of the Fittest tournament aired. It was also announced that some SOTF matches will take place on ROH’s YouTube show Week By Week. Personally, I'm not a fan of some of these matches airing on YouTube instead of TV.
Pure Rules match: Josh Woods defeated Silas Young (21:29)
They began trading various submissions and holds back and forth to start off, but neither man really gained any advantage. Around six minutes in, Young struck Woods with a closed fist. Referee Joe Mandak didn’t see it, therefore Young wasn’t caught.
A few moments later, Young used another closed fist while the referee was bending down. Out of anger, Woods struck Young with a closed fist that sent Young tumbling outside the ring. Woods was issued a warning. Woods then took the fight back to the mat, cinching in multiple holds targeting the feet and arms. This led into a commercial break.
Returning from the break, Young had Woods backed into the corner, delivering constant chops and forearms. Young positioned Woods on the top rope for a superplex, but Woods was able to turn it into a swinging neckbreaker. Woods tried to capitalize quickly by applying a rear naked choke, but Young turned it into a pin for a two count.
In the final sequences of the match, Young used both of his remaining rope breaks. Woods would eventually hit a running swinging neckbreaker into the turnbuckle, but Young responded by attempting his Plunge. Nobody was home, allowing Woods to lock in his signature Beast Lock. After some hesitation, Young tapped.
We were treated with another great episode of ROH TV this week. Flamita vs. Rey Horus was great. I preferred Flamita’s match against Bandido personally, but this match was still good. Flamita’s new presentation is quite demonic, no pun intended. I like it so far -- we’ll see where it goes. Horus also had really cool angel-themed gear. I would have been fine with either guy winning, but it does seem like the company is bigger on Flamita right now.
Josh Woods vs. Silas Young was a fantastic Pure Rules match. It was the longest match on ROH TV since the Pure Rules gauntlet match back in March. It’s also the longest singles match on ROH TV since November 2018. Woods going over was the right decision, and I’m hoping they’re building toward Woods facing ROH Pure Champion Jonathan Gresham at next month's Best in the World PPV.
I’m gonna try out a ranking system for these shows,. It will consist of five options:
Go Out Of Your Way
Watch YouTube Clips
Avoid At All Costs
This week’s episode is: Recommended Viewing.