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Monday, November 16, 2015

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#DARMidwestWeek - Nathan's Survival of the Fittest Night Two Review

As part of DefineaRevolution.com's Midwest Week, EyesontheRing.com presents Nathan's ROH Review from Hopkins, Minnesota.

Hello Ringers, Nathan here once again with another Ring Of Honor review. This is not a review of last night’s ROH TV episode a day late like we had a few weeks ago. No, I’m forgoing that this week. But, in its place will be a review of the latest (and greatest) event that I attended live in Hopkins, Minnesota over the weekend as we got Survival Of The Fittest Night Two. We have had three shows in Minnesota this year. And out of the three of them this one is not only my favorite but it’s also probably the best one by far. Without any further hesitation and before I hyperventilate due to excitement lets get started with this one.

I once again attended this show with my best friend Joe, you can follow him on twitter @SuperProLando (cheap plug) and we were in section C row 2.  This show although it wasn’t a pay per view it felt like it with the atmosphere and everything surrounding it.  I was extremely excited for this show and I am really happy that it delivered on its promises of being everything I wanted it to be. 

Enough of this housekeeping nonsense lets get down to business and on with the actual review portion of this article.

Dark Match
Shaheem Ali vs. Kevin Lee Davidson

Thoughts: I’ve seen Shaheem Ali a few times live and he’s not that bad but this was the first time I saw Kevin Lee Davidson and I honestly wasn’t all that impressed.  He’s a generic big man and big men for the most part (Hanson and Rowe are the exception) don’t fit the ROH mold and I will always believe that.  This dark match was better than the last one we saw in July but it’s still a dark match and therefore it didn’t really mean much.  The finish saw Shaheem Ali defeat Kevin Lee Davidson with a top rope splash.

Result: Shaheem Ali defeats Kevin Lee Davidson via pinfall with a top rope splash.
Match 1
Cedric Alexander vs. Will Ferrara

Thoughts: This was the official opener of the show and it was a decent match, Cedric always delivers in his performances and for me with Will Ferrara it depends who he is in the ring with.  I like Ferrara don’t get me wrong but sometimes his matches aren’t all that great.  This was a solid match for an opener and a great start to the night.  The finish of the match came when Cedric caught Will Ferrara with the Lumbar Check to pick up the win via pinfall.

Result: Cedric Alexander defeats Will Ferrara via pinfall with the Lumbar check.

After the match, Roderick Strong makes his way out to the ring for a promo. He says that he suffered a recent concussion and because of the strict protocol dealing with concussions in today’s wrestling business he isn’t being allowed to wrestle tonight. It sucks because he might have been a big time player in the match but we will never know. I was hoping they would have named a replacement as a new sixth guy but they decided not to do that and instead do the match with five people only which is fine but we will get to that later.

Match 2
Dalton Castle vs. Adam Page

Thoughts: Dalton Castle makes his way out to the ring sans the boys because they are doing stuff with Silas Young but Dalton is still the man.  This match was very good but on every show it seems like there is a filler match where they don’t know what to do with a few people on the show and I think this might have been one of those situations.  I’m not saying that the match wasn’t good because it was but I just found it to be an odd pairing.  Still these two had a good match that could have gone either way but in the end it was Dalton Castle picking up the win via pinfall after the Whirlybird.

Result: Dalton Castle defeats Adam Page via pinfall with the Whirlybird

Match 3
Mark Briscoe vs. Frankie Kazarian
Thoughts: Okay so remember what I said during the previous match write up about odd ball matches well I think this match fits that mold better than the Castle vs. Page match.  Reason being because both Christopher Daniels and Jay Briscoe were in the main event so they had to figure out what to do with both Mark and Frankie and this is what they came up with.  This match wasn’t bad, I like Mark but I like him better in tag team action and to me Frankie Kazarian is one of the most overrated wrestlers there is but I digress.  The match came to an end when Mark Briscoe came off of the top rope on top of a downed Frankie Kazarian with the Froggy Bow to pick up the win via pinfall.

Result: Mark Briscoe defeats Frankie Kazarian via pinfall with the Froggy Bow.

Match 4
Adam Cole, Matt Taven and Michael Bennett vs. Moose, Hanson and Raymond Rowe

Thoughts: This match was very fun and was one of the best matches of the night. The match was total chaos from bell to bell and all six men did a great job in the match and pulled their own weight.nI could barely keep track of who the legal men were and there were a few times where Scarlett Bordoux had to let us know via the PA system who were legal (because I don’t think she even knew at points).  

Moose was super over with the Hopkins crowd as he usually is everywhere he goes and he put on an excellent performance.  I had doubts about Moose when I first saw him wrestle but he is something special and there is no denying that.  At one point in the match War Machine hit Fallout and I figured that was it but The Kingdom were able to come back and win the match with the top rope spike piledriver. Very fun match and one you should buy the DVD for.

Result: The Kingdom defeats War Machine and Moose via pinfall with A Spike Piledriver

Match 5
Joey “Diesel” Daddiego vs. Cheeseburger

Thoughts: So the man formally known as J Diesel is now known as Joey “Diesel” Daddiego (Kevin Nash called he wants his gimmick back) taking on a guy whose gimmick I wish would change in Cheeseburger.

This match was nothing special.

I’m not a huge fan of Diesel due to the fact that he’s very generic and looks like a baby version of Dave Batista and Cheeseburger has zero business in a wrestling ring if I’m being honest.  I’ve said it countless times but the guy who coined the name “Cheeseburger” isn’t in the company and hasn’t been for quite some time so it’s high time they change his gimmick even though with a new gimmick I still wont take him seriously because by my book he can’t realistically beat anyone.  Anyways this match was what it was, nothing special but nothing overtly terrible either it was just a match that happened and even though I didn’t like this match it didn’t take away from the overall quality of the show.  The match came to a conclusion when J Diesel defeated Cheeseburger.

Result: J Diesel defeated Cheeseburger via pinfall.

Match 6
The Young Bucks vs. The All Night Express

Thoughts: This was the Hopkins debut of The Young Bucks and boy were they over (but not with me of course).  This was a great match between four young hungry guys and it’s matches like these that make me realize just how stacked Ring Of Honor’s tag team division is at the moment.  One of the best matches of the night but still not my match of the night we will save that one for later.  The bucks hit superkick after superkick after superkick per the usual and they couldn’t put ANX away. 

ANX came back with some of their signature offense including the One Night Stand but couldn’t get the job done either so it was very back and forth between these two teams.  The match came to a conclusion when The Young Bucks hit the Meltzer driver (after a failed Indytaker attempt) and picked up the win via pinfall very good match and I’m saying this as a known Young Bucks hater.

Result: The Young Bucks defeat The All Night Express via pinfall after the Meltzer Driver.

Match 7
AJ Styles vs. Matt Sydal

Thoughts: Match Of The Night right here, wow what a contest between two evenly matched wrestlers.  I was upset that Hopkins wasn’t getting the fifth match between ACH and Matt Sydal in their best of five series but this was a great match and it might be the best match I’ve seen in the Hopkins Eisenhower Community Center since they started running that venue back in 2013.  This was an evenly matched contest and both guys got their shit in so to speak.  This is one of those matches that you just sit back and watch as a fan and you don’t really care who wins at least that’s what it was for me.  This match was the definition of Instant classic.  Sydal fought off both The Styles Clash and the Bloody Sunday in order to hit the Slice for a near fall.  Sydal missed a shooting star press later on, which was the beginning of the end for him.  Styles followed it up with a Pele kick, Bloody Sunday, and capped it off with the Styles Clash for the win.  Outstanding match.

Result: AJ Styles defeats Matt Sydal via pinfall after the Styles Clash.

After the match the crowd chanted “Next World Champ” to which Styles responded with “You’re Damn Right I Am.”

Match 8
Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly vs. Jay Lethal and Donovan Dijak

Thoughts: I really liked this match although I would have liked to see Lethal defend the World Title but maybe next time.  Fish and O’Reilly worked over Dijak during the entire match by kicking him in the legs and grounding him.  Later on the House Of Truth would take over and Lethal hit the Lethal Combination on Fish while Dijak hit O’Reilly with a chokeslam.  ReDRagon was able to make a comeback and force Lethal out of the ring to isolate the much bigger Dijak before putting him away with Chasing The Dragon.

Result: reDRagon defeats Jay Lethal and Donovan Dijak via pinfall with Chasing The Dragon.

The BIG takeaway from this match was the fact that Dijak took the pinfall while Lethal didn’t--which is the smart thing to do.

From there we go to the main event of the evening.

Main Event – Match 9
Michael Elgin vs. Jay Briscoe vs. ACH vs. Silas Young vs. Christopher Daniels
2015 Survival Of The Fittest Finals

Thoughts: Very good match but I wasn’t a fan of the finish even though I sensed it coming. ACH hits Silas Young with a German Suplex to pin Young for the first elimination sending Young back to the locker room.

Silas Young has been Eliminated

Daniels put both Elgin and Briscoe through a table even though it was on the opposite side of me so I could barely see it.  ACH hits the Midnight Star (450 splash) on Daniels but before ACH can pin Daniels, Kazarian distracts the referee.  Sydal ran out to brawl with Kaz while Daniels hits a low blow and the Best Moonsault Ever to pin ACH back in the ring.

ACH has been Eliminated

Daniels hits the Angel’s Wings on Elgin but fails to land the BME and received a kick to the face by Elgin. Briscoe was lying in wait and caught Daniels with a Jay Driller and followed it up with a pin on Daniels.
Christopher Daniels has been Eliminated
The match is now down to Briscoe vs. Elgin.  Elgin powerbombs Jay into the barricade on the outside of the ring.  Meanwhile back in the ring Elgin hits a Buckle Bomb but when he went for the spinning sit out powerbomb it was countered into a Jay Driller for the nearest of near falls.  Briscoe goes for another Jay Driller but Elgin hits a Buckle Bomb followed by the Spinning sit out powerbomb (a successful one this time) for a near fall.  Elgin sets Jay on the top rope and puts him across his shoulders Elgin lands a Burning Hammer and picks up the win via pinfall.
Result: Michael Elgin defeats Jay Briscoe via pinfall with a Burning Hammer to become the 2015 Survival Of The Fittest Winner.

After the match, Michael Elgin grabbed a microphone and praised Jay before shaking his hand. Elgin says that by winning Survival Of The Fittest 2015 he has earned a title shot. Elgin says that he has earned both his fame and reputation in Japan and then drops a bombshell by stating that he wants his World Title match against Jay Lethal in Japan on Monday January 4th, in Tokyo Japan at Wrestle Kingdom 10.
Final Thoughts:
Great show this time around and possibly the best show that Hopkins has had so far. A great time and one to definitely check out once it makes it to DVD.

A return date was not announced (due to the fact that it is closer to the end of the year), so chances are that they don’t know when they are going to come back yet.  
That however will do it for me and this special ROH review.  Overall this was a good show albeit with a few missteps here and there but it’s to be expected.  It’s definitely a show I can’t wait to rewatch once it makes it onto DVD.  

In closing make sure to follow me on twitter @Headliner also make sure to follow @EyesOnTheRing and check out http://www.EyesOnTheRing.com for more of my reviews plus all sorts of different article from the entire EOTR team.  Finally, make sure to check out Eyes On The Ring radio each and every Sunday night as we come to you live via http://www.blogtalkradio.com/ElitePodcastNetwork at 11:00pm EST last but certainly not least check out http://www.Facebook.com/EyesOnTheRing and make sure to like us while you are there.  For now? I am Nathan saying so long and keep your Eyes On The Ring!


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