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Csonka’s ROH Survival of The Fittest 2018 Primer

November 3, 2018 | Posted by Larry Csonka
ROH Survival Primer

It’s time for the 2018 ROH Survival of The Fittest tournament. The first-round match winners will compete in a multi-man elimination match at the end of the night to earn a shot at the ROH World Title. Past winners include Michael Elgin (x2), Bryan Danielson, Roderick Strong, Delirious. Chris Hero, Tyler Black, Eddie Edwards, Jay Lethal, Adam Cole, Bobby Fish, and Punishment Martinez. Today I will break down the field and share my thoughts on their chances of winning. It’s wrestling, we love it and will disagree. The only rules are “have a take, be respectful, and don’t be a dick.”

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Andrew Everett: Andrew Everett was recently released by Impact Wrestling, and spent most of 2018 with them (being underutilized) while also working AAA, NOAH, and various indies. I think Everett is a great addition to bring in for this and would love for him to become an ROH regular. Everett is a tremendously fun wrestler that also brings a fun highflying style. His chances of winning aren’t great, but I think he has a solid chance and would be a fun babyface title challenger. Chance of victory: MEDIUM

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Flip Gordon: Flip Gordon has had a really great 2018, working in CMLL, the BOSJ, and growing as a performer while becoming a great babyface star in the making for the company. Unfortunately, he’s been weighted down by the Bully Ray angle, and that has really hurt his growth. I can see Gordon putting in good performances, but would expect him to get screwed over by Bully as they build to him vs. Bully at Final Battle. Plus, he just had an ROH title shot and lost, so I can’t see him picking up another here. Chance of victory: LOW

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Jonathan Gresham: Jonathan Gresham is an absolutely tremendous performer who has been largely underutilized by the lizard man. But he’s also a reliable performer that consistently has great high-level matches when given the chance. He’s the kind of guy that thrives in a tournament format and also a wrestler you want wrestling more than once in a night. I can certainly see him moving on and into the final match, where he’s a legit threat and fan favorite to win. But considering his recent loss to Lethal in a great championship match, I don’t see him winning it all. Chance of victory: MEDIUM

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Marty Scurll: Marty Scurll is a former main eventer, title contender, and wildly over performer. Unfortunately since then, he’s been locked into nothingness, including a horrible feud with Hurricane Helms. It feels like ROH has no clue what to do with him right now, but he’s still performing at a high level, delivering bangers with Ospreay & KUSHIDA in NJPW. The good news for Scurll is that he’s far enough away from his title match losses and hasn’t been featured a lot, so he may be the kind of guy they look at as a dark horse to come out of this with a win. I think his chances are very good here Chance of victory: HIGH

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Tracy Williams: Tracy Williams was a mainstay of EVOLVE until his recent departure, and is a good fresh face to bring in. Williams’ style isn’t for everyone, but I find him an overall entertaining performer that can work with a wide variety of opponents, thanks to his time in CHIKARA. Williams may not pull off a victory and earn a title shot, but I love the idea of bringing him in and he’d be a good and fresh face to bring in. Also, if he comes in full time, I’d have him team with and mentor Josh Woods, as Williams played huge role of acclimating Matt Riddle into pro wrestling in EVOLVE and could likely do the same for Woods if given a chance. Chance of victory: MEDIUM

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Colin Delaney: Colin Delaney is a former CHIKARA & WWE wrestler, who has also popped up on WWE TV in an enhancement role a few times here in 2018. I see him being brought is as a new name to fill out the field, and really nothing more. He was fine in his “Mikey Whpwreck” style role in WWE, but I’ve honestly never been overly impressed with him. I hope he makes the most of his opportunity. Chance of victory: NONE

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PJ Black: PJ Black was a former Nexus member in WWE, and following his release, hit the indie scene and hooked up with Lucha Underground. Black can be a really fun performer, but I find him to be extremely inconsistent in singles matches and feel that he’s largely underachieved in his career. I much prefer him as a tag guy or in wild multi-man scrambles, where his skill set plays better. It will be interesting to see who he gets paired with and how he does, but I don’t see him chances of winning being very good. Chance of victory: LOW

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Adam Page: Adam Page has really had a breakout 2018, putting in a ton of great performances, getting a run in the G1, and if ROH can keep him, he’s a future star and world champion for them. he’s worked hard, constantly improved, and taken his association with the Young Bucks and has gotten over huge as a babyface n ROH. If the move is to put the word title on Matt Taven at Final Battle, then setting up babyface Page with a title shot to be a guarantee challenger is far from the worst move they could make. I think with Martinez gone, and the program with Page over due to that (as well as the previously rumored Final Battle match between them) Page needs a new direction and the main event may be it. Chance of victory: HIGH

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Beer City Bruiser: The Beer City Bruiser is a character for sure, and one that a lot of fans absolutely hate. But despite the fact that he feels like an early 90s WWF gimmick wrestler, the Bruiser is more than just a pretty.. er.. face. He actually moves well for a man his size, and when asked to step up (like in Japan for the Honor Rising shows) he’s had good matches. I think he’s perfectly fine, and worlds better than his partner Brian Milonas, but can’t see him winning this and earning a title shot in any way. Chance of victory: LOW

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THE LUCHA-FUCKING-SAURUS: The Luchasaurus was in WWE developmental as Judas Devlin from 2012-2014 until he was released following injury. He had a run on Big Brother 17 (placing 5th), and then signed on with Lucha Underground. He had a run with the trios titles, and during his final appearances, really started showing some skill and was impressive for a big guy. Unfortunately, he was killed off via decapitation by a sword wielding Johnny Mundo. The good news is that he recovered from that and is getting a chance with ROH. Normally I’d make a joke about Lizard Man signing a member of his family here, but in a post Punishment Martinez ROH, I am all about the Luchasaurus getting a shot here. If he does well, he could fill a big void left by Martinez. Chance of victory: MEDIUM

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Stuka Jr: Stuka Jr is in as par of CMLL’s working agreement with ROH, which I like as it adds some variety to the card. He’s in his late 30s, but still a fun performer, working a more than full schedule, and has worked well in ROH in the past. I’d love to say he has a chance, as I tend to enjoy his work, but he’s filling the “we need a lucha and he’s one of the only one’s CMLL will give us” quota since ROH refuses to talk with talent directly, which is why MLW got RUSH and they didn’t. Chance of victory: LOW

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Guerrero Maya Jr: Guerrero Maya Jr is in as par of CMLL’s working agreement with ROH, which I like as it adds some variety to the card. He’s 33, a veteran of 14-years and was tremendously fun when ROH brought him in for the Texas shows back in June. I really enjoyed his performance son those shows, and while Stuka Jr is the senior CMLL performer, I think that Guerrero Maya Jr has the better chance of moving on from the first round. Chance of victory: LOW

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Silas Young: Silas Young is a former two-time TV champion, and Honor Rumble winner. He’s also one of the more consistent performers in ROH. Young is a victim of extremely inconsistent booking, and recently lost a world title match to champion Jay Lethal at Glory by Honor. With Young being a heel, recently losing his shot at the title, and the likely shift to Taven as champion, his chances of winning don’t look good to me. Chance of victory: LOW

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Dalton Castle: Dalton Castle is the former ROH World Champion, who lost the title to Jay Lethal following a long and severe list of injury issues. Castle had a solid, but disappointing run as champion, which was a mix of lackluster booking and the injuries really hurting his performances. But now he’s had time off to recover, and looks to get back into the mix here at Survival of the Fittest. Castle went out on a strong note despite the injuries, and will surely be looking to prove he’s back at 100% and that he’s a threat to the championship. Survival of the Fittest could be a big way to bring back the former champion, and I feel his chances of winning are extremely high, as setting the former champion as a contender right away plays well, especially if they pull the title change to Taven. Plus, if Castle can put in quality performances along with winning the title shot, it’s a big shot in the arm to the main event scene. Chance of victory: HIGH

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Christopher Daniels: The story is that the ROH brass has had enough of Kaz & Daniels and if they have no gold, they have no hold over ROH and will be done at Final Battle. SCU held the trios titles but lost then, then lost chances at the tag titles. They got another chance at them and Daniels was taken out of the match, so Sky filled in and reclaimed the magic from All In as he and Kazarian became the champions. That’s all well and good for them, but Daniels (the only grand slam winner in ROH history) is currently out in the cold right now. Daniels making a last minute run, winning one more ROH accolade and entering himself into the likely Lethal vs. Taven title match at Final Battle could be a hell of a story. While unlikely, I’d say Daniels has a damn good chance of pulling off the miracle here. Chance of victory: HIGH

– End Scene.

– Thanks for reading.

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“Byyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyye Felicia!”