ROH on HDNet – Episode 019 – 1st August 2009
There are no DVD shows at all scheduled for the month of August. As far as ROH live events go, there’s actually only one weekend of HDNet tapings. With major talent shake-ups coming, you can sort of view August as a mini-off season for the promotion before they come back for the business end of a turbulent ’09 season. So the weekly TV show is all we ROH fans have for the next few weeks. And after two stellar main events in the last two weeks, including a fantastic MOTYC between Tyler Black and Bryan Danielson on Episode 018, that’s no bad thing. Mike Hogewood and Dave Prazak await us in Philadelphia, PA’s historic The Arena. This is the first episode from a fresh set of tapings.
Coming off the biggest win of his career last week, Tyler Black comes to the ring to open this episode. Before he can say anything Austin Aries comes to the ring. He wants to know why Tyler is worthy of another title shot, even after beating Dragon last week. Then they’re both interrupted by Nigel McGuinness. He basically calls Tyler a choke artist, eternally incapable of winning the big one. Aries lays poor Tyler out with the title belt to end a rotten opening segment for him.
Roderick Strong runs through his thoughts ahead of his triple threat main event with Jay Briscoe and D-Lo Brown tonight.
Kenny King/Rhett Titus vs Kenny Omega/Erick Stevens
These four were all part of an enjoyable trios match a few episodes back, and will now lock up again. Omega has beef with King and A-Double, and as we saw at Death Before Dishonor weekend, is now looking to secure himself a World Title match. And speaking of issues with Aries, nobody knows about that more than Stevens, who was recruited to The Resilience by the current World Champ, then left hanging when Aries disbanded the group to concentrate on his own, personal goals. The ANX bring a ridiculously hot, sensationally underdressed British girl to ringside with them. She needs to be booked for every show from now on…
King and Omega start, continuing their own rivalry which Omega certainly has the upper hand in. Japanese armdrags from him put King in his place as the Pretty Boy Pitbull starts getting cocky. Stevens tags in like a big goon and gets poked in the eyes by King. The hot British chick is from Coventry apparently. Only an hour’s drive from me…just sayin’. Erick watches in disgust as Titus starts posing right in front of him…then belts him in the mouth to give his team the advantage again. Omega drops King with a hurricanrana but gets crotched by Rhettski, then left in position for the amazing VERTICAL LEAP ENZI KICK from King for 2. ANX isolate Omega, wearing him down effectively and keeping him well away from his powerhouse partner. FROG CROSSBODY out of nowhere from Omega nearly causes Hog to have a heart attack. It gives him a window to make the hot tag to Erick though, who obliterates King and Titus multiple times over. Rhett falls off the top rope like a clown, and gets caught with a Samoan drop for 2. King goes for a spinning heel kick and is caught, only for Rhett to jump OVER him into a dropkick. Swinging backbreaker from King, into a top rope knee drop from Rhettski for 2. Doomsday Blockbuster blocked, and Omega takes a chance to land the BERMUDA TRIANGLE MOONSAULT TO THE FLOOR! He nearly KILLS Titus with a massive missile dropkick too, only for King to make a last ditch save. DOUBLE RANA ON BOTH ANX GUYS BY OMEGA! Leapfrog Bulldog nailed too. He lines up the Electric Chair Suplex, only for Titus to sweep his legs and hold him down for King to get a three count at 12:23
Rating – *** – Best opening match on the HDNet show thus far. I really mean that – to the extent that I’d have gone 4* on this were it not for a couple of obvious botches and the disappointing finish. Strong work from ANX as the heels, Omega was superb (as ever) as the babyface in peril, whilst Stevens displayed some nice power and held things together well when Rhett’s inexperience threatened to send things a little ugly in the latter stages. I didn’t want this to end…
D-Lo Brown says his strategy in the main event tonight is to keep one guy out of the ring to allow him to beat on the other opponent singles style.
Back from commercials with an update on Jerry Lynn. Apparently he’s considering his future, not just in ROH, but in wrestling.
Eddie Kingston vs Orange Cassidy
Last week saw Eddie get into a violent brawl with his hated rival Chris Hero. It started backstage and spilled all the way to ringside where ROH officials and a squad of willing jobbers were finally able to separate them. He’ll look to use youngster Cassidy to send a message to Hero tonight.
Orange SERVES King by declining the Code Of Honor…then gets punched in the face. Kobashi chops by Eddie next, taking Orange for a tour of all four turnbuckles and decimating his skinny little chest. Capture suplex, then the BACK DROP DRIVER! SPINNING BACK FIST! King wins at 01:43
Rating – * – Emphatic squash for Eddie Kingston, who has really used HDNet as a great platform to launch himself into ROH competition. He needs to start getting booked on some DVD shows as he’s been a great talent on the TV side of things.
Kingston gets on the microphone and promises to break Hero’s face. Short and to the point…
Main events for the next two weeks are announced. Episode 020 will see Richards vs Generico, whilst Tyler Black vs Nigel McGuinness (which we should have just had at Death Before Dishonor 7) is scheduled for 021. Both look pretty promising…
The third participant in the main event gets some promo time. Jay Briscoe comes off a bit special needs here. He has history with both opponents though…
D-Lo Brown vs Jay Briscoe vs Roderick Strong
On paper this isn’t the strongest main event, but all three of these are experienced wrestlers so they should be able to produce something watchable. Strong and Jay have the whole competitive rivalry going, with Roderick having just taken their trilogy of singles matches in ’09 2-1. Jay also has beef with D-Lo on HDNet after taking a nutshot and seeing Brown walk out on recent matches with him.
Friends Jay and Roderick try to double team the ex-WWE guy from the bell, ironically managing to employ his planned strategy by beating him out of the ring so they can fight each other. Briscoe lines up a dive to the floor but gets booted in the face by D-Lo before he can do so. More Strong/Jay tandem offence puts Brown on the mat again though. But of course, the competitive rivalry between them flares up every time one of them tries to pin him. Brown shows great power to lift both opponents into a double suplex to bring himself right back into things at the 5 minute mark. Strong hits a RUNNING CORKSCREW PESCADO TO THE FLOOR! He can’t power D-Lo up for the Death By Roderick though, and falls victim to a lungblower for 2. D-Lo then buries Briscoe under a sea of flesh as he nails a pescado on the multiple time former Tag Champion. Sliding Lariat on Roddy gets another 2. Brown then wisely stays in the ring to watch as Briscoe and Strong start tearing strips out of each other on the outside. All three come back into the ring showing signs of wear, unsteady on their feet and trading wild punches and chops. DVD ON D-LO! Jay succeeds where Strong failed and lifts Brown off his feet to hit a big move there. POWERBOMB SUPERPLEX CAR CRASH! Brown comes off best in that and capitalises by slapping Roderick into an STF. Jay breaks in brutal fashion then plants Brown with the turnbuckle flatliner. Strong lines up Death By Roderick on him again, but this time Briscoe stops him with a superkick. Brown then clobbers Roddy with the Shining Wizard for 2. Sky High countered to a flash roll-up by Roderick to snatch victory at 13:00 dead.
Rating – *** – I wasn’t expecting much from this as a main event, so I have to say this was a pleasant surprise. Not the best HDNet main event, hell, it wasn’t even the best match on this episode, but this is free TV. You can’t give away classics like Danielson/Tyler every week or there’s no point in selling DVD’s and the company goes broke. This was a solid, competitive match, showcasing the type of action you see in Ring Of Honor but don’t see elsewhere anywhere near as often. Probably the best match D-Lo mustered in his entire ROH run too.
Tape Rating – ** – Bit of a mixed bag this week. On the plus side, it was a short, snappy episode (barely 50 minutes long) but still packed in two very solid matches. The negatives would be that, without a showstopping main event to salvage the episode, it instantly becomes skippable. And burying Tyler in the opening segment, one week removed from his landmark win over Danielson totally stunted the momentum he’d just regained after getting stuck in the Jimmy Jacobs feud for most of 2009. Definitely not the worst episode of the 19 we’ve seen thus far…but far from the best either.