“The Metalhead Maniac” Sledge and “The Mecca” Brian Johnson, who will meet in a Survival of the Fittest first-round match on “ROH Week By Week” on Tuesday, have more in common than one might think.
Both men toiled for years on the independent circuit before gaining access to the ROH Dojo, and then they worked their way onto the main roster. Sledge and Johnson also share some character traits, as both are ultra-intense and highly driven.
However, when it comes to attitude and integrity, they couldn’t be more polar opposites.
Sledge, who has overcome drug and alcohol addiction, believes in earning his opportunities and competing with honor. Conversely, Johnson believes everyone is against him and in taking short cuts.
“[Johnson is] a man who believes that Ring of Honor owes him something,” Sledge said. “Reality check, Brian: Ring of Honor doesn’t owe you anything.”
Said Johnson: “I think [Sledge] is a complete jackass, but he knows exactly what it’s like to go to bed at night wondering when you’re going to get your next fix. He knows what it’s like to have that feeling in the pit of your stomach where you will double-cross anybody just to scratch that itch. So do I.
“Because I am addicted to professional wrestling. So I have spent my entire life doing every single thing that I could so that I could go down as one of the all-time greats.”
Both competitors are coming off hard-fought losses: Sledge to fierce rival O’Shay Edwards in a no-disqualification, no-countout match, and Johnson to former ROH World Champion PCO.
Survival of the Fittest provides Sledge and Johnson with a chance to put those losses behind them and jump right into the ROH World Title picture.
One of them will advance to the SOTF six-way elimination final, and the winner of that match will receive a shot at the world championship.