Match 1 - (Survival of the Fittest Qualifying Match) Roderick Strong (with Truth Martini) def. Homicide in 11 minutes. I didn’t love this. Technically, there was nothing wrong with it, but it just lacked a certain spark.
The match begins with some standard back-and-forth and whips into the barricade. Homicide chokes Roderick with a camera cord and, in the corner, punches him in the head diez times. Roderick escapes. Homicide charges but gets two boots to the face. Roderick responds with nine shots of his own. Homicide avoids the tenth, hits an uppercut and bites Roderick. Roderick comes back with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. Two count.
Roderick bends Homicide’s head under the bottom rope arms over the middle rope, then stretches him. Two count. Homicide comes back with one of the three amigos, but his back gives out on the second. Roderick capitalizes. He goes for a delayed suplex, but drops Homicide over the top rope instead. Homicide rallies with a knee to the side of Roderick’s head. Two count.
After a tussle on the top turnbuckle, Roderick hits a backbreaker on Homicide. Roderick tries for the Gibson Driver, but Homicide throws a shoulder to the gut and places Roderick on the top turnbuckle. Roderick sets up Death by Roderick from the middle turnbuckle, but Homicide reverses into a hurricanrana. Two count.
Homicide hits an exploder suplex. He tries for Da Cop Killa, but Roderick reverses and hits Death by Roderick. He launches off the ropes, hits a double boot to Homicide’s face and then nails the Gibson Driver for the three count.
Match 2 - (Survival of the Fittest Qualifying Match) Mike Mondo def. Kyle O’Reilly in 12 minutes. This was a really good match. There were a lot of technically proficient moves and counters executed quickly and fluidly. The result of the match was always in question. Good stuff!
Almost immediately, Davey Richards brings a chair to ringside to observe. Kyle and Mondo exchange a series of moves and counters too quickly to write down, but trust me, they’re a lot of fun.
A test of strength puts Mondo on his back. He bridges up and forces Kyle down into the bridge. Their hands stay linked as Kyle fights up, drops down, puts his knees in Mondo’s gut and flips him over onto his back. Mondo reverses by doing the same thing. Now they’re both laying face-up on the mat with their hands still linked and they alternate pin attempts. Kyle disengages and kicks Mondo in the gut. Cool series!
Kyle throws Mondo to the floor, runs the apron and delivers the Daniel Bryan-style flying knee, then poses triumphantly in the corner.
CROWD: Holy shit! Holy shit!
They trade maneuvers for a couple minutes - slaps, chops, whips to the buckle, kicks, forearms, knees. Kyle hits a suplex, then Mondo hits a superplex. It takes both men time to recover. They trade shots, then Kyle transitions a three-quarter facelock into an implant DDT.
Mondo goes for a suplex. Kyle knees him in the head, kicks the back of his legs, smacks him in the chest, knees him in the head, kicks him in the shoulder and goes for a roundhouse. Mondo jumps over it and stomps Kyle’s back hard on the way down. Oh my god! He killed Kyle! REAL close two count.
Mondo tries a double underhook DDT. Kyle reverses into a full nelson, but Mondo rolls through for a two count. Kyle kicks, Mondo catches, so Kyle smacks Mondo in the face twice. Mondo punches Kyle in the gut four times. Kyle grab’s Mondo’s arm and elbows him in the back of the head. Mondo reverses and knees Kyle in the gut. Kyle reverses with elbows to the back of Mondo’s shoulders. Mondo reverses with gut shots. Mondo winds up and...knees Kyle in the face.
Kyle off the ropes gets a forearm to the face. Mondo off the ropes gets caught and snap mared. Kyle sizes up a kick to Mondo’s face but misses. Mondo rolls Kyle up for a two count. Kyle misses a stomp, misses a crescent kick, dodges two of Mondo’s punches but hits with the enzuigiri and elbows to the back of the head. Kyle crosses Mondo’s arms across his shoulders, jumps onto his back and drives his back and shoulders down in almost a direct straight line. He follows with a unique suplex for a dramatic two count!
Kyle stays on the offense with two Daniel Bryan-like kicks to Mondo’s chest. Mondo catches Kyle’s leg on the third. Kyle falls, turns Mondo over and goes for an arm bar. Mondo fights hard to block it and escapes. Mondo grabs Kyle’s legs, crosses Kyle’s feet, stands him up and leans forward like a sharpshooter or Boston crab while applying pressure from behind him. Kyle taps out.
TRUTH: In a random drawing Rhino is supposed to face Michael Elgin in Survival of the Fittest. A random drawing? Random!? Random my boot! It’s a plot to try to break us apart. Nobody likes to see family fight. Do you guys want to see them fight?
CROWD: Yes! Yes! Yes!
TRUTH: Rhino, I pay you lots of money to bring unity. Do the right thing, Rhino. Step down from this match.
RHINO: I step down to no man! [crowd cheers]
TRUTH: Elgin, look at the bigger picture here - the House of Truth. You do the right thing. Step down from the match.
CROWD: No! No! No!
ELGIN: There’s no way I’m stepping down from anyone! [crowd cheers]
Match 3 - (Survival of the Fittest Qualifying Match) Michael Elgin (with Truth Martini) def. Rhino (with Truth Martini) in 7 minutes.
This starts as a brawl with both men throwing haymakers in and outside the ring. Elgin hits a top rope shoulder block. One count. Rhino counters an Irish whip into a belly-to-back suplex. He sets up the Gore.
CROWD: Gore! Gore! Gore!
Elgin sidesteps the Gore and executes a schoolboy. Two count.
CROWD: Let’s go Rhino! Let’s go Elgin! Let’s go Rhino! Let’s go Elgin!
Roderick Strong comes to ringside. When Elgin sees him, he swats at him. This allows Rhino to maintain his advantage with a short arm clothesline. Two count. Rhino follows with a rear chinlock with a knee into Elgin’s back.
Elgin hits a jumping twisting enzuigiri, some more shots, a bicycle kick and spinning side slam in succession. Two count. Elgin hits a fisherman suplex. Two count.
Truth is apoplectic on the outside, shaking his head and throwing his jacket to the ground. Meanwhile Rhino lands a big back body drop and follows with a shoulder block to Elgin’s gut. Rhino hits a TKO. Two count.
Roderick Strong jumps to the apron and complains to referee Todd Sinclair. Truth uses the distraction to enter the ring.
TRUTH: Rhino, please don’t do this!
Rhino physically places Truth on the top rope. When Rhino turns around, Elgin greets him with a forearm shot that knocks him back into the corner, causing Truth to fall into a tree of woe. Elgin his a gore, then a powerbomb. He covers Rhino and gets the pin.
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