After their latest iPPV, Death Before Dishonor X, left fans with a sour taste in their mouths due to major technical difficulties with the online broadcast, Ring Of Honor (ROH) were under the gun to make good with their audience. Their first chance at redemption was this past Saturday at their TV tapings in Baltimore, MD, at the Du Burns Arena.
The focus of the tapings was the Survival Of The Fittest Tournament where the winner would earn the right to a title shot against ROH World Champion Kevin Steen in the near future. The participants included all of ROH's top singles stars like Davey Richards, Michael Elgin, Roderick Strong, Jay Lethal, Homicide, Rhino, Adam Cole, Kyle O' Reilly, Mike Bennett and Mike Mondo.
Two other things of note were that B.J. Whitmer returned to the promotion in a full time role and The Guardians Of Truth unmasked.
Thankfully the show delivered, garnering rave reviews. In particular, the tournament finals were said to be awesome and one of the best matches in ROH this year, which certainly sounds like something that you should go out of your way to see.
Unfortunately, though the show was a critical success, it wasn't a commercial one. Having burnt out the market with too many tapings in rapid succession, the crowd was down to just 450 fans.
1. In a dark match, Veda Scott & Ryan McBride defeated Marti Belle & Matthew Justice.
2. Adam Cole defeated Tadarius Thomas in a Survival of the Fittest tournament match.
3. Rhett Titus & BJ Whitmer defeated Charlie Haas & Shelton Benjamin but were laid out by the heels after the match.
ROH World champion Kevin Steen was cutting a promo with his SCUM comrades Steve Corino and Jimmy Jacobs when they were interrupted by Michael Elgin and Truth Martini. Elgin attacked Steen, but was beaten down by the heel trio, until The House of Truth minus Roderick Strong, made the save. Still pissed off from what happened at Death Before Dishonor, Elgin wasn't happy with their late help.
4. Caprice Coleman and Cedric Alexander defeated ROH Tag Team champions Jimmy Jacobs and Steve Corino via disqualification when Corino used a roll of quarters. A post match beat down ensued until Michael Elgin broke it up.
5. Davey Richards defeated Mike Bennett in a Survival of the Fittest match after Mike Mondo came out and kissed Maria Kanellis again, distracting Bennett and allowing Richards to nail him with a sliding kick.
The injured Tomasso Ciampa was cutting a promo when his manager RD Evans interrupted. Copying Jimmy Hart in Memphis, he called Ciampa a thoroughbred and you shoot a thoroughbred with a broken leg. Evans then introduced his new client "God's Gift" QT Marshall who was replacing Ciampa in the tournament.
6. Jay Lethal defeated QT Marshall in a Survival of the Fittest match with the Lethal Injection. After the match, Prince Nana returned to attack RD Evans.
7. ROH World champion Kevin Steen defeated Rhett Titus.
8. Roderick Strong defeated Homicide in a Survival of the Fittest match.
9. Mike Mondo defeated Kyle O'Reilly via submission in a Survival of the Fittest match.
10. Michael Elgin defeated Rhino in a Survival of the Fittest match.
11. The Briscoes defeated The Bravados.
The Guardians Of Truth unmasked themselves to reveal the late '90s WWF tag team The Headbangers.
12. In a match taped for the ROH website, The Headbangers defeated Fusion DS with their old finisher the Stage Dive.
13. In the Survival Of The Fittest tournament finals Jay Lethal won by last eliminating Davey Richards via pinfall with the Lethal Injection. The order of the other eliminations was Mondo out first by Strong, Strong second by Cole after a superkick with help from Elgin, Cole third by Elgin after a Tornado bomb and finally Lethal and Richards used stereo kicks to eliminate Elgin.