Last week on ROH Wrestling #507, we saw the return of the ROH Survival of the Fittest Tournament. With the tournament now underway, we thought it would be fun to take a look back at every single winner of the ROH Survival of the Fittest Tournament to see where their professional wrestling career has taken them. Some of these men have reached the pinnacle of the industry… others, not so much.
Let’s take a look at the winners of wrestling’s most honorable tournament.
ROH Survival of the Fittest 2004: Bryan Danielson
2004’s tournament winner was ‘The American Dragon’ Bryan Danielson. Danielson defeated Jack Evans in his tournament qualifying match. He would go on to defeat Austin Aries, Colt Cabana, Homicide, Mark Briscoe, and Samoa Joe in the 2004 tournament finals. Danielson would get his championship match at the ROH Midnight Express Reunion event against ROH World Champion Samoa Joe. Joe would defeat Danielson in 39:16. However, Danielson would eventually win the ROH World Championship at ROH Glory Honor IV by defeating Nigel McGuinness. He would hold the belt for 462 days, dropping it to Homicide at ROH Final Battle 2006.
Danielson would go on to sign with WWE but was released shortly after his debut following an incident of “excessive violence” on WWE television. Months later, Danielson returned to the WWE, now competing under the name “Daniel Bryan.” Bryan would go on to become a grand slam champion in WWE – holding the WWE Championship four times. (Far more than anyone could have ever expected of the ROH Original).
Bryan is currently in contract limbo with World Wrestling Entertainment. He wrestled his last match on the April 30, 2021, edition of SmackDown in a losing effort against WWE Universal Champion, Roman Reigns.