8. The Survival of the Fittest final was our main event, with the six qualifiers being Mark and Jay Briscoe, Kyle O'Reilly, "Die Hard" Eddie Edwards, "Unbreakable" Michael Elgin and Roderick Strong. This was an elimination match, and the match started slow, and the crowd was a little flat, coming off of the Champion's Challenge match where they were hot throughout. But that would change by the end of this match. It was almost a three-way tag team match in how the first few minutes were laid out, with the Briscoes obviously aligned, Strong and Elgin as the House of Truth, and Edwards and O'Reilly as the lone babyfaces. The pace picked up significantly, and after going a long while with all six men, the first four eliminations came within fairly rapid-fire time as Edwards eliminated both Briscoes (Jay via a "Die Hard" suplex, Mark via dragon sleeper). The remaining four men fought in almost a tag team fashion for a few moments, and a huge spot occurred when Edwards laid out Strong and was setting up for O'Reilly to take flight from the top rope. At this time, Truth Martini hopped on the apron and Edwards decked him, but in a great looking spot, Martini took a huge flopping bump where he hit the ropes with his hands from the apron, and that caused O'Reilly to lose his balance and take a huge bump through a ringside table. As Edwards was looking at Kyle, Elgin charged him, but Edwards moved and Elgin accidentally hit Strong, letting Edwards roll Strong up and eliminate him. Edwards turned back into Elgin who turned him inside out with a huge western lariat and pinned him, setting up a final between two guys in which one was guaranteed to be elevated with this win, Elgin or O'Reilly. O'Reilly did a really nice job selling this bump, it took him forever to get into the ring as he was so battered from the table break, as the crowd was fully behind him, and he finally made it only to get dominated by Elgin. The story of this battle would be Elgin just destroying O'Reilly but Kyle clamping on a quick guillotine submission that Elgin would sell more and more each time but still eventually break out of. The crowd was eating O'Reilly's comebacks up, and it would seem more likely each time he'd hit a big move that he'd win, but Elgin would always kick out. O'Reilly got visibly frustrated and started kicking Elgin down, and Elgin rose to his knees and just was begging O'Reilly to give him more kicks, doing an awesome monster heel role, impossible to kill. Eventually the two were brawling on the floor and Elgin took Kyle out on the floor, they returned to the ring and Elgin finished him with a spinning sitout powerbomb to win the match and the Survival of Fittest tournament, earning a future title shot to cash in. It should be noted that for the last five minutes or so of the match, World Champion Davey Richards came out to second O'Reilly, cheering him on, making the atmosphere of the match even better. After the final bell, Richards was checking on O'Reilly, and slowly rose to his feet to bump backwards into Elgin, staring menacingly at Richards and motioning for the title around Richards' waist - all the while Martini is holding up Elgin's trophy, celebrating.
A fantastic card, top to bottom, crowd was great throughout, and I can't comment enough how impressed I was by Michael Elgin and Kyle O'Reilly. Two guys getting perhaps their first big rub on an ROH supercard, and both shone, playing their parts perfectly. Elgin was just tremendous, a monster heel that sells very believably, and is equally believable when he no-sells or withstands a babyface's attack, and his offense is very good looking. He even pulled off a top rope moonsault to the floor in the six-way final. He is absolutely a star in the making. O'Reilly looked really good too, playing the face-in-peril, and did an awesome job selling.
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