A2Z Analysiz: ROH Survival of the Fittest Night Two (Adam Cole, Hanson)

SOTF 14-2

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Seagate Convention Center – Toledo, OH – Saturday, November 8, 2014

Kevin Kelly and Steve Corino are on commentary.

~MATCH #1~
ROH World Television Champion Jay Lethal (w/ Truth Martini) defeats Cedric Alexander at 11:37. Lethal and Truth are both upset about his loss to Hanson in a Survival of the Fittest qualifying match last night. They say that the prize of winning Survival of the Fittest is a shot at the World Title, which is a secondary belt to Lethal’s own TV Title. Lethal then refuses to put that title on the line, but calls Alexander out for their match. The match is heated from the bell, as these two have a bit of history with each other. Truth of course interferes to help his charge gain the advantage. Lethal controls the bulk of the match but Alexander makes a really good run at him. Alexander makes a late comeback and tries an IED but Lethal cuts him out of the air with a superkick. One Lethal Injection later and Lethal is the winner. These two generally work well together and this was no different, a rock solid opener and a clean win for Lethal. Nothing to complain about there.
Rating: ***¼

~MATCH #2~
R.D. Evans & Moose (w/ Veda Scott & Ramon) defeat The Decade (Jimmy Jacobs & BJ Whitmer) (w/ Adam Page and Roderick Strong) at 10:26. Jacobs and Whitmer control most of the match with their expert teamwork cultivated by years of teaming together and fighting each other. They wear Evans down for a while until the inevitable hot tag, and the Moose is loose! The match breaks down, and gets especially crazy when Page interferes and Strong takes exception to it and a brawl breaks out. Jacobs tries to break it up, and the distraction allows Moose to hit Whitmer with a Spear! Evans steals the pin to keep the stupid streak intact. The match was fun enough and helped continue the tension in the Decade angle, so that’s good enough for their placement on the card.
Rating: **½

~MATCH #3~
Michael Bennett (w/ Maria Kanellis and Matt Taven) defeats Will Ferrara at 9:36. Once again Ferrara is replacing Caprice Coleman. Bennett pretty much dominates everything here, as the rookie Ferrara is no match for the experienced Bennett in the early going. As the match goes on Ferrara is able to hang in there, and he does get a decent amount of offense in. Maria tries to interfere but pays for it when Bennett accidentally hits her with Spear. Ferrara hits a tornado DDT and Taven has to pull the referee out to break up the count. As referee Sinclair is distracted, Bennett this Ferrara with a superkick and a Piledriver (which I forgot was banned) to get the pin. That’s A LOT of protection for Will Ferrara, who, no offense Will, is not in a position to need it. Solid match aside from that nonsense down the stretch though.
Rating: **¼

After the match the Kingdom continue with the beat-down until ACH comes out to make the save. That’s a perfect segue into the next match.

~MATCH #4~
ACH defeats Matt Taven (w/ Maria Kanellis and Michael Bennett) at 15:57. The high-flying ACH takes the early advantage with a variety of high flying assaults. Taven survives the onslaught and decides to keep ACH on the mat and work on his arm. Bennett interferes every chance he gets of course. He’s up on the apron at one point distracting the referee when Taven has ACH pinned, and as he apologizes ACH hits a dropkick that sends Taven into Bennett, knocking him to the floor. ACH then hits a 450 Splash to get the pin. You know what’s interesting about Matt Taven? Nothing. He sucked the life out of this match for almost 16 minutes. At least ACH got the win. After the match the Kingdom attacks ACH and lays him out with a spiked Piledriver.
Rating: **

~MATCH #5~
TaDarius Thomas defeats The Romantic Touch at 10:32. It’s hard to put into words how much I dislike The Romantic Touch. Thomas generally controls the early parts of the match with his unique Capoeira attacks. They take it to the floor and Thomas hits a cross body block into the guardrail and both men spill into the crowd. Back in the ring they do some stuff and Thomas finishes with a top-rope Sling Blade to get the win. This was pretty typical post-intermission stuff, nothing too interesting or exciting.
Rating: *½

~MATCH #6~
The Briscoes (Jay Briscoe & Mark Briscoe) defeat The Addiction (Christopher Daniels & Frankie Kazarian) at 21:55. This is a first-time ever matchup, and a bit of a dream match. Of course Kazarian and Daniels are talented, but I really don’t care for much of the Addiction shtick. Jay is the ROH World Champion, and he and his brother do a good job cutting the ring off in the early parts of the match. Daniels and Kazarian use their smarts to overtake Dem Boys, and they isolate Jay. Eventually Mark gets the hot tag and does all his usual stuff. Of course the action gets fast and out of control, with all four men unleashing copious amounts of offense. The finish finally comes when Jay hits Daniels with the Jay Driller, and then joins with his brother to hit Kazarian with the Doomsday Device for the pin. #LOLBriscoesWin. This was fun and all, but the Briscoes haven’t changed much of anything in years, so all their matches just kind of blur together now.
Rating: ***

~MATCH #7~
Adam Cole defeats Hanson, Tommaso Ciampa, Matt Sydal, Adam Page and Roderick Strong in the Survival of the Fittest 2014 Final Six Way Elimination Match at 40:26. Winner gets to face the ROH World Champion at Final Battle. Everyone gets a chance to show off their stuff in the early going, as they’re all trying to set the pace and keep themselves from being eliminated while maybe eliminating one of their competitors. The most prominent issue in this match is Strong’s desire to beat up Decade young boy Page, which he gets the opportunity to do. Eventually all six men make their way to the floor for a big brawl, and Corino speculates that all six might get counted out, but that’s stupid because not all six men are legal. Ciampa goes under the ring and produces a table but nothing comes of it yet. The chaos continues with bodies flying all over the place. When Strong locks Page in the Stronghold, BJ Whitmer comes out to distract him, and Page grabs an inside cradle to eliminate Strong at 17:17. Strong and Whitmer brawl to the back. The next elimination comes when Sydal hits Page with the Shooting Star Press to pin him at 21:15. For some reason Michael Elgin comes out and starts talking on the house mic, but I can’t understand what he’s saying because ROH refuses to invest in their sound equipment. Elgin gets up on the apron and pulls Ciampa to the floor and throws him into the guardrail, and then powerbombs him through the very table Ciampa set up earlier. #Irony. Hanson takes offense so Elgin hits him with a clothesline. Some referees plus Cedric Alexander, ACH, and Will Ferrara come out to drag him to the back. Officials also come out to help Ciampa to the back.

That leaves Cole, Hanson, and Sydal in the match. Truth Martini is hanging out at ringside, and then Matt Taven and Michael Bennett come out as well. Interference is plentiful until Ciampa makes his way back out with his ribs taped and brandishing a steel pipe. Ciampa takes out the Kingdom on the floor and then gets in the ring to fight Cole. Sydal tries to surprise Ciampa but he gets caught with Project Ciampa and pinned at 31:20. The referee is distracted by the Kingdom and that allows Elgin to sneak back in and drill Ciampa with a steel chair. Cole picks the bones and eliminates Ciampa at 32:09. We’re down to two – Adam Cole v Hanson, who’s working with a pretty injured knee. Cole immediately goes to the leg and uses the Figure-Four Leglock. Hanson fights back using his superior strength, and even hits a moonsault from the top rope! It only gets two. Hanson also uses the Rikishi Driver but Cole is too close to the ropes. After some more back and forth, Cole lands a superkick to the back of the head and then hits the Florida Key to get the win and earn an ROH World Title shot. There was a lot I liked about this match, particularly the final sequence between Cole and Hanson. The early interactions between Strong and Page were good too. However, there was way too much interference, and it just got distracting as a viewer. Michael Elgin’s deal was particularly annoying, and the Kingdom interference is getting ubiquitous to the point of obnoxiousness. Still, good effort from the six men involved, great performance by Hanson, and the right man won in the end.
Rating: ***½

After the match, Cole cuts a promo bragging about his win tonight, and then Jay and Mark Briscoe come out and run him and the Kingdom off.

A2Z Analysiz
The main event was mostly enjoyable, but the undercard didn’t have a lot of memorable stuff on it. I definitely prefer the Survival of the Fittest tournaments where the finals is the same night as the qualifying matches, as doing it the other way led to a lot of meaningless mid-card matches on night two. Besides the main, only two other matches reached three stars, which is somewhat unusual for ROH. Not their best effort here, but there were some bright spots.

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