ROH on HDNet – Episode 004 – 11th April 2009
Last week saw things kick up a notch thanks to the tremendous workrate of Danielson and Aries, who put on a great main event to mark their HDNet debuts. Tonight marks the first time material from the SECOND night of the first round of TV tapings, meaning it’s the first time we won’t get an episode full of ‘introductory’ matches. Hopefully from here things should start escalating and a few storylines should start to emerge. Tonight’s main event sees new World Champion Jerry Lynn face the massive Brodie Lee. Lets head to Philadelphia, PA to join Dave Prazak and the porpoise-slapping HDNet announcer Mike Hogewood.
PREVIOUSLY ON HDNET – Dark City Fight Club squashed Up In Smoke, Chris Hero cheated to beat Necro Butcher whilst Danielson submitted Aries in the cracking main event.
Kenny Omega vs Austin Aries
After tapping out in the main event last week, Aries will be desperate to score an immediate rebound victory against Kenny Omega, who makes his first HDNet appearance tonight. Omega is crazily charismatic and full of talent and needs to be on as many TV episodes as possible.
Fans immediately start chanting ‘you tapped out’ at Aries after his defeat to American Dragon last week. The former World Champion cockily paws at the back of Omega’s head then engages in more verbal with the Philadelphia audience. Quick offence brings Kenny back into the match, before his own whacky interactions (and poses) with the fans piss Aries off even more. But the series of flips and tumbles across the ring count for nothing as A-Double sweeps his attempt at a hurricanrana aside. SHOTEI instead lifts Austin over the ropes to the floor. Omega looks for a springboard moonsault to the floor and winds up getting pulled off the ropes and knee’d in the side of the face. Neck Pinch locked in, followed by an STO into the Power Drive Elbow for 2. Knees to the neck next but it’s too early for the Brainbuster and Kenny counters with an enziguri. Omegan Hammers then the leapfrog bulldog for 2. He sends Austin out of the ring…SPRINGBOARD MOONSAULT TO THE FLOOR! He looks for the Electric Chair Suplex only for Aries to grab a rope to block it. He rakes the eyes and throws Omega into the ringpost. BRUTAL IED NAILED! KICK OF DEATH! BRAINBUSTER! Extremely violent finishing combo wins the match for Aries at 11:26
Rating – *** – Awesome opening match, with Aries getting an impressive win without squashing what was a successful HDNet debut for Kenny Omega, who ALWAYS delivers when ROH manages to get him booked. That Impact Explosion Dropkick has to be seen to be believed by the way. It looked like Aries absolutely KILLED him with it…
Jerry Lynn is the next guest in Kyle Durden’s Dungeon Of Doom. Lynn knows he’s outsized tonight but is confident he can ‘drop’ his huge opponent in the main event.
Ernie Osiris vs Delirious
Another HDNet debut here, this time for ‘Dirty’ Ernie, who brings his homeless bum gimmick to the TV show – including begging for change on his way to the ring. His affiliation to Prince Nana is noted so I guess it’s official that he’s part of The Embassy. Delirious is another man looking to rebound after an unsuccessful first match – he lost to Jerry Lynn on Episode 1.
Hog outs Delirious as a big Mike Hogewood fan. Honestly, I love this guy! Delirious chases Osiris around the ring and throws his own shoe at him. Armpit to the face from Dirty Ernie only for Delirious to fling him away with a BEARDMARE! Beard-neckbreaker gets 2. He blasts Osiris with a torpedo headbutt then Never Ending Story clotheslines in the corner. Ernie gets a token nearfall with a knee to the head but the Bum Rush is quickly turned into the Panic Attack. Shadows Over Hell wins the match and gives Hog his first porpoise slap of the night at 04:05
Rating – ** – Good mixture of comedy and an emphatic victory for Delirious. Although I’m not a huge fan of the homeless guy gimmick Osiris is currently working, at no point was this one dull, and that’s of tremendous credit to him. For what this match set out to do it was highly effective.
Kyle Durden asks Brodie Lee if he’s worried about being thrown out of Age Of The Fall like Tyler, Necro and Delirious. Jimmy Jacobs side-steps the question and encourages Brodie to boot Jerry Lynn into retirement in the main event…
COMMERCIALS – ‘Vegas Confessions’ looks like hilariously terrible television.
Sara Del Rey/Sassy Stephie vs Daizee Haze/Nevaeh
It’s a rematch of sorts for ROH’s core ‘Women Of Honor’. In Episode 2 we saw Sara Del Rey defeat Daizee Haze, and this time they’ve brought partners for a tag team match. Clearly both have done enough in the SHIMMER promotion to warrant this sizeable opportunity.
Sara and Daizee gladly start in the ring with each other to renew their rivalry. Haze counters a Del Rey power move into a lucha armdrag and clings onto the arm before bringing Nevaeh in. DOUBLE Regal Cutter from Haze and Nevaeh…and Stephie takes too long to save her partner so Del Rey nearly kills her too. Sara boots a boot through Nevaeh’s chest and scores 2 with a bridging fallaway slam. Stephie tags in, but she does so badly that Sara drags her back and furiously berates her. Haze lands a couple of takedowns then a missile dropkick. Heart Punch/Yakuza Kick combo nailed but Death Rey breaks the fall. Nevaeh takes Sara out with a crossbody off the apron as Haze’s Mind Trip scores a win at 05:08
Rating – * – Much the same as you usually get from the Women Of Honor. Lots of hard work, a fair chunk of poor execution, and you come away thinking Sara Del Rey is awesome and none of this bunch are in her league. In fairness, this match did a great job of putting Sara over as the star whilst still giving Haze a victory, so it certainly wasn’t a total write-off.
Brodie Lee vs Jerry Lynn
This is a tough ask for the veteran former ECW Champion. He was victorious in the first ever HDNet match on Episode 1, but now steps up to the main event with the massive AOTF member in his path. He’s crossed path with AOTF a few times this year and comes into this knowing that he needs the win to keep himself at the top of the chasing back for the ROH World Title (which he’d subsequently win before the match even aired).
‘Change my oil’ – Philadelphia at Brodie. Jerry escapes an early powerbomb attempt and desperately tries to control his huge opponent with a headlock. Lee effortlessly picks him up and drops him onto the turnbuckle like a small child. Sloppy little dropkick connects with Lee’s ankle but Brodie is so big that Lynn has no way to capitalise and soon finds himself being horribly outmatched and choked in the ropes. Backbreaker stretch, which is a good move on a veteran like Jerry who is known to have had some back issues. Kidney shots next, into a Michinoku Driver down onto the damaged back for 2. Lynn fights through the pain to hit a back drop on the floor, but gets caught going for a crossbody and driven spine-first into the ringpost. Jimmy Jacobs comes to ringside and takes his turn pulling at Lynn’s back out of sight of the official. Lee with a bear hug (which old school Hog marks out hard for). Big Boot in the corner misses though and Lynn takes him down with a rana. SOMERSAULT PLANCHA over the ropes to Lee as he looks to recover on the outside. Leg drop in the ropes followed by the TKO gets the new World Champion a 2. Lee comes back with a BUTTERFLY superplex for a nearfall. Black Hole Slam scores next but still Jerry kicks out…and he surprises the big man with a small package to snatch a win at 11:55.
Rating – ** – If you were being positive you’d say that it was a surprisingly competent wrestling performance from Brodie. But as a TV main event this was massively disappointing. The basics were fine and Lynn has plenty of experience of working a bigger man, but it just felt extremely tedious in parts, and the pissy little finish, although it made sense in the context of the match, didn’t particularly end it on a strong note either.
NEXT WEEK – Brent Albright and Claudio Castagnoli bring their rivalry to HDNet.
Tape Rating – * – ROH follow up their best HDNet episode thus far with their worst. Aries/Omega was a fun opening contest and worth watching if you can find it on Youtube or a VOD somewhere, but from there it was really bad. The interview segments were poor, the two undercard bouts after the opener were totally forgettable, and the main event was light years behind the quality that Danielson and Aries brought last week. With the majority of their cast now introduced to HDNet, this was the show where I was looking for ROH to kick on and start bringing some of their feuds and storylines to the forefront. They disappointed on that score too. Bad show…