Written By: Bob Colling
Ring of Honor presents ROH on HDNET
From: Louisville, KY
Announcers: Mike Hodgewood and Dave Prazak
The show starts off with Mike Hodgewood introducing Louisville as their home for a few weeks as the new season of ROH starts tonight!
ROH on HDNET opening video
Opening Contest: ROH Television Champion Eddie Edwards defeated Mark Briscoe to retain the title: They shake hands before the contest to follow the Code of Honor. Mark with a go behind but Edwards counters with a wristlock, which Mark gets out of and takes Edwards over with a modified backdrop. Edwards controls Briscoe with a front face lock but Briscoe counters with a side headlock but Edwards comes back with a head scissors before they have a standoff. Edwards brings Briscoe down to the mat with a hammerlock wrenches on the arm. Briscoe rolls out of it and has a front face lock on Briscoe briefly. They continue mat wrestling until Briscoe gets out of it and they have another stand off. Edwards shoulder blocks Briscoe but Briscoe nails Edwards with a spinning heel kick after running the ropes. Briscoe runs into a big boot and falls to the apron after Edwards dumps Briscoe over the ropes. Edwards kicks Briscoe on the back and they both are on the floor now. Edwards chops Briscoe several times on the floor before sending Briscoe back into the ring. Briscoe is able to leap over the top rope and connects with a somersault dive on Edwards! Briscoe chops away on the champ a few times along with a few head butts. Briscoe heads to the top rope and leaps off connecting with a missile dropkick back in the ring for a two count. Briscoe taunts Edwards before going back on the attack with right hands. They start trading right hands and chops until Edwards head butts Briscoe. Briscoe big boots Edwards in the corner and connects with a running reverse neck breaker for a two count. Came clutch by Briscoe for a few moments before letting go after a forearm shot. Vertical suplex by Briscoe for a two count. Briscoe crotches Edwards on the top rope and looks for a hurricanrana but Edwards crotches Briscoe on the top rope and connects with a nice hurricanrana for a two count! Standing hurricanrana by Edwards and Briscoe ends up in the corner. Edwards with a forearm shot and a dropkick to Briscoe’s knee. Edwards nails Briscoe with a shining wizard but only gets a two count on the pin attempt! Edwards attempts a backpack stunner but Briscoe gets out and runs into a big boot from Edwards. Briscoe lands on his feet on a backdrop attempt and super kicks Edwards for a near fall! Briscoe chops Edwards in the corner and attempts a straight jacket power bomb but Edwards battles out and leaps off the middle rope but is caught by Briscoe who connects with a exploder suplex for a near fall! Edwards back elbows Briscoe in the corner and face jams Briscoe for a two count. Briscoe rolls Edwards up as Edwards attempted the Achilles lock for a two count. Edwards kicks Briscoe on the head from the apron after avoiding a clothesline. Edwards double stomps Briscoe after leaping off the top and gets a two count. Edwards has a leg lock on Briscoe but Briscoe reaches the bottom rope fairly quickly. Edwards sets Briscoe up on the top rope where they exchange right hands until Briscoe tosses Edwards off. Briscoe leaps off and connects with a elbow drop but only manages to get a near fall. Briscoe with a kick to the back of Edwards head and gets another two count. Running knee lift by Briscoe and attempts the Cut Throat Driver but Edwards rolls trough and has the Achilles Lock on Briscoe! Briscoe tries to reach the ropes but isn’t able to and taps out! ***¼
After the match, they shake hands as Edwards celebrates the hard fought victory
Backstage, Kyle Durden is with the ROH World Tag Team Champions King of Wrestling. Claudio Castagnoli says that back in Sweden they don’t have pissed off Puerto Ricans with stupid names like Homicide. Castagnoli is going to show Homicide why he is a really good wrestler.
A video promoting the ROH World Championship match between champion Roderick Strong and Davey Richards is aired. Clips from the match are shown to go along with various segments leading into the match. Strong was able to retain the championship.
Backstage, the giant killer Mike Mondo cuts a promo saying that everyone is going to fear him. Mondo believes it is his time and it is “gut check time.” He has a sign that says “Godzilla fears Mondo.”
Second Contest: Mike Mondo defeated Grizzly Redwood: Mondo with a go behind on the canvas but Redwood counters with one of his own. Redwood has a wristlock on Mondo before he is met with a right hand. Redwood arm drags Mondo and follows up with a hurricanrana. Mondo runs into a big boot but blocks a hurricanrana from the middle rope and power bombs Redwood into the corner for a near fall. Redwood runs into a tilt a whirl backbreaker from Mondo but kicks out at two. Mondo keeps the advantage with a rear chin lock. Mondo with a few knee strikes and a dropkick to a seated Redwood for a two count. Mondo returns to the rear chin lock with his knee across Redwood’s back. Scoop slam by Mondo and exchanges slaps with Redwood. Redwood inside cradles Mondo for a near fall but is met with a quick lariat which gets Mondo a near fall. Redwood counters a tilt a whirl backbreaker with a arm drag and goes to work on Mondo with forearm shots. Redwood plants Mondo with a running bulldog and gets a two count. Redwood connects with a tornado DDT but isn’t able to put Mondo away. Redwood heads to the top rope but is crotched by Mondo. Mondo goes for a superplex and connects! Mondo covers and picks up the win. *
A video introducing Shelton Benjamin and Charlie Haas to the ROH fans is aired. They go over their amateur wrestling careers. They mention they spent some time in the entertainment business. Haas and Benjamin announced that they will be wrestling on a regular basis for ROH in 2011.
Third Contest: Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team defeated the Bravado Brothers: Benjamin takes Harlem over with a fireman carry slam. Benjamin drags Harlem to his corner and tags in Haas. Haas with a big boot and a overhead belly to belly suplex for a two count. Lance sneaks a tag Haas is double teamed briefly. Lance blocks a backdrop with a boot to the face but Haas still manages to power slam Lance for a two count. Benjamin tags in and knocks Lance down with a right hand. Benjamin drives Lance down with a back suplex and goes for a power bomb but Lance drop toe holds Benjamin across the middle rope. Harlem enters but Benjamin is able to Samoan Drop both Bravados! Benjamin super kicks Lance to the floor and leaps over Haas to splash onto Harlem. Haas locks in the Haas of Pain and gets the submission win. *
Backstage, Kyle Durden is with Mike Bennent and his trainer Bob Evans. Bennent says that the media has been asking him if he really is as good as he says he is. Bennent is going to prove that he is better than he says he is. Next week, Bennent will be in action.
Main Event: Homicide defeated ROH World Tag Team Champion Claudio Castagnoli: Castagnoli has a wrist lock on Homicide but that doesn’t last long as Homicide has a front face lock on Castagnoli. Castagnoli slams Homicide but Homicide has a leg lock on Castagnoli briefly. Homicide uses his headband on Castagnoli to choke him after Castagnoli had done the same to Homicide. They trade slaps until Castagnoli delivers several uppercuts in the corner. Homicide with a few chops but is met with another uppercut from Castagnoli. Fall away slam by Castagnoli and has a rear chin lock on Homicide. Snap power slam by Castagnoli for a two count and delivers a few uppercuts. Castagnoli chokes Homicide on the apron and allows Chris Hero to big boot Homicide while the referee is distracted. Castagnoli snaps Homicide throat first across the bottom rope and uppercuts Homicide from the floor. Castagnoli attempts a suplex to the floor but Homicide blocks and drops Castagnoli throat first across the top rope. Castagnoli regains control with a uppercut and scoop slams Homicide followed by a elbow drop for a two count. Castagnoli delivers a few boots to a seated Homicide for a two count. Homicide comes off the ropes with a few shots and manages to clothesline Castagnoli after ducking a clothesline. Homicide with a few right hands but Castagnoli uppercuts Homicide and misses a elbow attack in the corner. Homicide with a series of snap suplex and heads to the top rope. Castagnoli manages to crotch Homicide on the top rope and attempts a superplex. Homicide fights back and punches Castagnoli to the floor. Homicide comes off the ropes but Castagnoli moves out of the way. Homicide leaps off the apron and somersaults onto Castagnoli! Homicide splashes Castagnoli from off the top but only gets a two count. Homicide attempts the Cop Killa but Castagnoli blocks with a few uppercuts until Homicide backslides Castagnoli for a two count. Castagnoli lifts Homicide up into the air and uppercuts Homicide as he comes down. Homicide blocks an apparent choke slam and connects with a swinging neck breaker. Homicide plants Castagnoli with a tornado DDT for a two count. Homicide runs into a lariat from Castagnoli who only gets a near fall. Castagnoli choke slams Homicide for a near fall. Homicide gets out of a snake eyes and sends Castagnoli into the exposed turnbuckle and hit’s the ace crusher for the win. *½
After the match, Homicide celebrates to the backstage area.
Next week, Mike Bennent makes his HDNET debut and ROH World Champion Roderick Strong wrestles Colt Cabana!
End of show
My Take: Edwards/Briscoe started off slow with the mat wrestling but they eventually picked it up and had a good match with a few high spots. A good opener despite the crowd being kind of dead for it, I thought. After seeing this outing, I think the Briscoe Brothers competing in singles more often isn’t a bad idea considering their tag team run has gone pretty stale.
Mike Mondo in ROH? I’m not really a fan of that. Mondo is still using the same type of gimmick he had in OVW since 2005. Mondo looks to be pretty jacked up, not looking like the cheerleader he was in WWE. A fine extended squash with Redwood, though.
Haas and Benjamin had a fairly simple debut on television for ROH. Not a bad squash by any means. I’m pretty excited to see how Haas and Benjamin fare inside the ROH ring on a regular basis.
Homicide/Claudio was a lackluster main event, I thought. Homicide appears to be nowhere near the same wrestler he was four years ago, the last time he was in ROH. Claudio is a great talent but he couldn’t make his match with Homicide come across all that great.
Overall, a good TV bout and a couple of decent debuts on this weeks show. Edwards/Briscoe isn’t must see but it was obviously the match of the night. Not a bad show but it doesn’t get a strong thumbs up from me.
Thanks for reading.