Report courtesy of Scott Bearup and The Wrestling Observer:
Survival of the Fittest Qualifying Matches
1. Rhett Titus pinned Colt Cabana – Match started with some good Cabana comedy; there was a guy in the crowd wearing a red shirt who kind of looked like Hulk Hogan, so Cabana started using the Hogan finger point during the match (to pretty good “You!” crowd reactions). I thought these two had a decent match once the wrestling got started. At the end, Cabana was arguing with the referee about getting Titus out of the corner, Titus grabbed the ring bell and propped it between the top and middle turnbuckles, and after Cabana shoved the ref out of the way, he was drop-toed into the bell and pinned. Afterward, Cabana pointed to the ROH logo in the ring and complained to Cary Silken how his defeat either wasn’t with honor or wasn’t wrestling.
2. Claudio Castagnoli pinned Grizzly Redwood – Classic big man vs. little man match. Grizzly got a little more offense than I would have thought; I think I would have just had Claudio squash him like a bug, but the match wasn’t bad. Claudio pinned him after the torture rack airplane spin.
3. Kevin Steen pinned Kyle O’Reilly – Steen is so fantastic right now as a heel. He actually spent a good portion of the match hilariously ripping on this one fan who heckled him. O’Reilly was actually pretty impressive in this match, though I’m not sure if that’s him or being in there with Steen. O’Reilly was working on Steen’s left arm for a little while, and when Steen went to hook the package piledriver, he couldn’t hold him with both arms. So he ended up only hooking one arm and hitting a half-package piledriver. He then pulled up O’Reilly’s shoulders before he could be pinned, went to his corner and put on the Generico match, and finished O’Reilly with a brainbuster. This match was pretty great. Post match, Steen wanted to kill O’Reilly with a chair, but Steve Corino stopped him and tried to calm him down. Steen tried to go into the crowd to go after people wearing Generico masks. It was really well done. Corino then called out Adam Cole for their match.
4. Adam Cole pinned Steve Corino – Steen grabbed a mic and started doing commentary during the match; it was awesome. After some back and forth, Cole hooked Corino in some kind of cradle for the pinfall. Afterward, Steen and Corino started beating down Cole when Generico (wearing a all-black mask) came down to attempt a save. He was beating on Corino when Steen double-teamed him, then ended up sit-down slamming him from the ring apron through a table on the floor. Steen then said Generico would be fine as long as the fans chanted “Ole, ole ole ole ole!” Generico was helped to the back holding his ribs, but not before Steen attacked him again.
5. Eddie Edwards submitted Chris Hero – I thought this was a pretty good wrestling match, with started out with some basic hold/counterhold grappling before it started to pick up. Toward the end, Eddie dove out of the ring onto Hero in the entryway, and he must have had a bad landing on the dive, because they pretty much went to the finish at that point, and Eddie was holding his arm (right shoulder) close to his body. Edwards hooked Hero in the Achilles lock for the submission. Hero tweeted after the match the Edwards had dislocated/fractured his shoulder.
Intermission time. ROH will return to Dearborn Friday, April 29. During intermission, it was announced that Steen would be locked in handcuffs until the Survival of the Fittest final.
6. Kenny King pinned El Generico – Generico came out with a thin wrap on his ribs due to his earlier confrontation with Steen. Decent match between these two. King gets the pin.
Homicide pinned Andy Ridge – Homicide was really over with the crowd, but this match didn’t do much of anything for me. Homicide pinned him after a clothesline.
Christopher Daniels and the Briscoes defeated Roderick Strong and the House of Truth – Before the match, Truth Martini announced that Raymond was out of the HOT and was being replaced with, of all people, Zach Gowen; and since Abel was injured, he had a potential member replace him in Michael Elgin. Basic six-man tag match, actually had more interaction between Strong and Daniels than I would have expected. Gowen hit all his usual one-legged spots. Daniels pinned Gowen with the BME for the pin.
Survival of the Fittest Finals – Eddie Edwards defeats Kenny King, Claudio Castagnoli, Rhett Titus, Adam Cole, and Kevin Steen – This match felt weird, as there were four heels, one babyface who was clearly injured and couldn’t do much, and one guy who is basically a new guy that no one cares about. Steen was introduced last, and after the handcuffs were removed, was attacked by Generico. Steen rolled into the ring to escape, and turned around into a pump kick from Claudio, so he’s out. I didn’t see the actual bit, but it appeared as though after he was eliminated, Steen must have hit Corino, because I saw Steen get all apologetic and then Corino chased him to the back. In the match, everyone started taking turns beating on Cole, until he’s pinned by Claudio. Edwards comes in, clearly favoring his right shoulder, and when Claudio yanks his right arm, Edwards is sent to the back, so now it’s the All-Night Express versus Claudio. Claudio pins Rhett Titus. Edwards comes back down the entryway and distracts Claudio, allowing King to kick him in the head and pin him. Edwards climbs back into the ring with King. They go back and forth where normally both guys would be throwing right hands, but since Edwards right arm is injured, he’s doing head butts instead. In fact, then he’s doing rapid-fire head butts. Much respect to Edwards here if this isn’t a work, the man is tough as nails. King goes for an acrobatic kick, but Edwards catches it and turns it into the Achilles lock for the submission victory.
Overall, I thought it was a really good show, but I don’t know how my opinion compares to those of the ROH diehards. They did a good job continuing the Steen/Generico feud, teased some dissension between Steen and Corino, and Edwards has a world title shot, which (I’m assuming) would probably be against his tag team partner. Edwards’ injury appears to throw some things into doubt; hope it’s not too serious.