Fall is creeping up on us slowly but before we know it September 22nd will be here and it will be time for Ring of Honor to head back to The Du Burns Arena in Baltimore for another “Ring of Honor Wrestling” TV taping! This time featuring “Survival of the Fittest 2012”! Ten of the competitors have been set for the tournament with the final two to determined set at the “Death Before Dishonor X” iPPV event on September 15th.
This year, rather than hand-picking the Qualifying matches, ROH officials have opted to allow a computer program to randomly generate the pairings, allowing for some truly exciting possibilities. Last night the first of these matches was determined and the result was:
Kyle O’Reilly vs. “No Fear” Mike Mondo
Mondo, as has been mentioned previously, is having one heck of a year in 2011 with one tremendous bout after another. Be it fighting through in injury against Jay Lethal, pulling out victories over Mike Bennett, or challenging for the ROH World Title against Kevin Steen, Mondo has shown a heart and fire that quite honestly has surprised both fans and officials. Possibly the most integral of his accomplishments this year, the one that really caused fans to take notice, maybe the most important to this bout, is his time limit draw with Davey Richards at “The Nightmare Begins”.
“Honestly there's a part of me that looks back on it now and wishes I had gone that overtime period with Davey.” said Mondo to ROHWrestling.com, “If it happened now I would gladly go that extra five and prove not only that Davey can't beat me, but that I can beat him. Maybe I'll have the chance to make up for it down the line, but right now my focus is on two things...winning the ROH World TV Title in Chicago Ridge and then winning Survival of the Fittest and earning another World Title shot. I've got a hell of a roadblock in Kyle O'Reilly but let me send a message straight to Kyle about this one. Kyle...you're not Davey, you will never be Davey, and if he couldn't beat me, what makes you think that you'll be able to? I'm hungrier than you can imagine and as talented as you are, you think you're owed the world. Me...I'm willing to fight for it.”
As Mondo mentioned, he could head into SOTF the TV champion depending on the outcome of his “Death Before Dishonor X” bout where he will face the winner of the Adam Cole/Michael Elgin title fight this weekend on “Ring of Honor Wrestling” TV.
As for Kyle, he sees this fight a little differently...
“One year ago I was so close to winning SOTF.” he said to ROHWrestling.com, “Elgin and I tore the house down fighting for that title shot, and it took absolutely everything he had, including a table, to put me down, that will not that cannot happen this year. Mondo, I am telling you right now that you won't see the finals, that you will be tapping out in the center of the ring, and that you will be losing to the eventual winner of this tournament. Pull out your Davey card all you want, but remember you lasted the time limit with him all of one time...just once. In all the months we trained together, how many times do you think I went the distance with Davey? How many times do you think I made him tap? All I see in your draw is two weak men who couldn't get the job done fast enough. If you're putting all your hopes on that one, then Mondo, your entry into Survival of the Fittest is going to be very short lived.”
It's Kyle O'Reilly vs. “No Fear” Mike Mondo in a “Survival of the Fittest 2012” Qualifying Bout! The winner will advance to the 6-Man Elimination Finals with a shot at the ROH World Title on the line! What other match-ups will our computerized drawings pull out of the hat? Keep an eye on ROHWrestling.com for more match announcement in the coming days and go get your tickets for our 9/22 return to Baltimore right here!