Here's my review of 2005 edition of Survival of the Fittest
ROH Survival of the Fittest 2005
Dorchester, Massachusetts 9/24/05
1.) Survival of the Fittest Qualifier: Jay Lethal vs. Sal Rinauro: **1/2
Pretty standard opener. Nothing much else.
2.) Survival of the Fittest Qualifier: Colt Cabana vs. Ricky Reyes: **
Never really cared much for Ricky Reyes (unless he's teaming with Homicide). Worst match of the Qualifiers, but furthers the Homicide/Cabana story to a degree.
3.) Survival of the Fittest Qualifier: Roderick Strong vs. Jerrelle Clark: ***
Pretty standard qualifying match (an entertaining one)
4.) Survival of the Fittest Qualifier: Austin Aries vs. Jimmy Rave (with Prince Nana & Jade Chung): ***
Obviously this furthered the Generation Next/Embassy Story (with Aries winning via DQ, which in context made sense).
5.) Survival of the Fittest Qualifier: Samoa Joe vs. Milano Collection AT: ***1/4
An interesting mash-up of opponents that proved to be entertaining.
6.) Survival of the Fittest Qualifier: James Gibson vs. Christopher Daniels: ***1/2
I think the commentators mentioned that this was going to be a World Title Match before Gibson lost it to Danielson. This was still a pretty good match (the best of the qualifiers) but I think, if Gibson still had the title, it could have been a little longer.
7.) ROH Pure Title - Nigel McGuinness vs. BJ Whitmer: **3/4
Another Pure Title defense from Nigel. Not his most memorable defense, but a decent one.
8.) Survival of the Fittest Elimination Match: Samoa Joe vs. Christopher Daniels vs. Colt Cabana vs. Jay Lethal vs. Austin Aries vs. Roderick Strong: ****
This match had a lot of star power (ROH circa 2005 Star Power), and it made for a really good match. Joe going out first provided shock value, and with Strong & Aries working together, the rest was history. The Aries promo when it was just him & Strong was a little strange, but made sense.
This is the kind of show Survival of the Fittest should be. Decent to Good Qualifiers (There will probably be at least one crappy qualifier but depends on who is involved), a filler match or two, and the SOTF Finals, which SHOULD be the match of the night, which in this case, it was. Nothing really much to complain about, just a solid wrestling show.