The demonic Punishment Martinez has been striking fear into opponents since he made his Ring of Honor debut last year. But at this past weekend’s Survival of the Fittest events, Martinez showed everyone just how scary good he truly is, as he won the Survival of the Fittest tournament and scored a career-defining victory along the way.
On Survival of the Fittest Night 1 in San Antonio, Texas, the 6-foot-7 “Creeper of Violence” defeated Jay Lethal, the former ROH World Champion and two-time ROH World Television Champion who rightfully is regarded as ROH’s franchise player.
Then, on Night 3 in Oklahoma City, Okla., Martinez put on a dominant performance as he emerged victorious in the Survival of the Fittest six-way elimination match, outlasting Silas Young, Shane Taylor, Matt Taven, Jonathan Gresham and Flip Gordon. Martinez eliminated Gresham, Young and Gordon in succession.
With the win, Martinez earned a future shot at the ROH World Title, a development that will likely cause nightmares for ROH World Champion “The American Nightmare” Cody -- or whoever will be champion when Martinez is standing across the ring.
“All I've wanted is to break and punish the best. Now that I'm the survivor of the fittest, I get to do just that,” Martinez told ROHWrestling.com. “Lethal has been on the top of my anarchy list, so it was very satisfying beating him. After I take the world champion south of heaven, all are welcome to enter my Ring of Anarchy. Prepare to be punished!”
Martinez, who has a freakish combination of size, power, athleticism and agility, has added his name to an impressive list of Survival of the Fittest winners that includes former ROH World Champions Bryan Danielson, Roderick Strong, Tyler Black, Eddie Edwards, Michael Elgin, Lethal and Adam Cole.
While Martinez has secured a shot at the ROH World Title, he also has the ROH World Television Title in his sights. He defeated Josh Woods recently to earn a spot in the Four Corner Survival Match for the TV title at the Final Battle pay-per-view on Dec. 15.
Martinez, who has used his devastating South of Heaven finisher to rack up one victory after another, has been trending upward in ROH from the moment he arrived in the company. Now, after what he achieved at Survival of the Fittest, it seems like just a matter of time before there is some type of gold around the dark warrior’s waist.