ROH on HDNet – Episode 017 – 18th July 2009
I checked out a few reviews of Episode 016, and it looks like I’m way off base with some of my contemporaries on how Ring Of Honor’s TV product was doing at this point in time. I had last week down as a pretty solid effort. Sure the storyline progression was a little patchy but packing three decent matches into less than an hour is a great effort, and far more quality pro-wrestling action that either of the major two companies will have produced that week. A couple of weeks prior I’d written that for a workrate company having no matches getting to 3* on their TV show is a fat no no…getting three separate and very different matches to that level is, in my mind, a real achievement which I’m not sure some other people who reviewed that episode necessarily agreed with or picked up on. Tonight we have a huge 6-man on tap to main event, with Chris Hero and the American Wolves taking on KENTA, Kevin Steen and El Generico. I’m eager to see that one, so lets join Hog and DP in Philadelphia, PA.
Silas Young/Bobby Fish vs Young Bucks
I seem to remember the team of Fish and Young teaming together in the enhancement role a few weeks ago. Since they’re both strong wrestlers in their own right I’m sure they’ll do a great job in making their opponents look good. The opponents in question are the Jackson brothers, who had an impressive debut showing on HDNet and will want to build some momentum and solidify their spot on the regular Ring Of Honor roster.
The Bucks entrance music is totally horrific. It sounds like the kind of crap that they dub over the background of cheap porno movies. Cough…not that I’d know. Nick uses his quickness to get the better of Silas form the opening bell. Matt holds the arm in position for his brother to hit a top rope double stomp directly onto it. Leapfrog dropkick double team wipes out Fish too, but Bobby has enough speed of his own to return fire with a dropkick and a snap suplex to Matt. Young back in with a swinging backbreaker to the same Jackson brother for 2. The crowd is totally dead for this which isn’t helping. A crisp exploder suplex from Fish gets zero reaction. Such is the extent of the beating Young and Fish dish out to the brunette Jackson that his nose is dripping with blood. Flying knee strike directly into his face from Fish certainly won’t help that. Finally he drops Bobby over his knee with a neckbreaker and gets the tag to Nick. Springboard frog splash gets 2. Fish saves his partner from More Bang For Your Buck…but Silas still misses the Arabian Press and gets rolled up for 3 at 06:33.
Rating – ** – Sure the crowd was dead, and sure for most of that match it felt like the Young Bucks were the jobbers rather than Young and Fish, but this was actually pretty good. Throw in a better crowd, a better finish or a realistic sense that YoungFish were going to win and I may have gone higher in my rating. I said back at Eliminating The Competition that I felt like Bobby Fish had something to offer ROH if they chose to book him. I think he tours Japan regularly though so he’s probably not desperate for work…but he’s easily good enough to work regularly for ROH if they could work a deal out. Not the best night for the Bucks, but a win’s a win and they’re still undefeated on HDNet.
Video package for the excellent Black/Danielson rivalry on HDNet. They have a third singles bout booked for next week’s main event.
The heel team for TONIGHT’S main event get some promo time. Both Hero and Richards have some strong words for KENTA, whilst Edwards is focusing on sending a message to the former Tag Champs
Jimmy Jacobs takes responsibility for the destruction of the Age Of The Fall. He says it’ll be a long time before we see him in ROH again…
Brodie Lee vs Delirious
So with Jimmy seemingly done with ROH for the time being, it leaves Brodie by himself. Delirious is looking to tie off the last remnants of his issues with AOTF – by scoring a victory against it’s biggest member. Will Lee be looking for revenge on Delirious for driving his leader out of Ring Of Honor?
Delirious loses his mind at the bell, and very nearly gets shoved clean out of the ring by Lee. He tries some clotheslines but gets absolutely flattened. Discus Lariat from Brodie gets 2. After failing miserably when attempting a body slam, Delirious finds himself being taken down again with a double underhook suplex. Black Hole Slam gets 2…as does the Big Boot. Desperation rana into the Panic Attack brings the lizard man back into things. He hits Shadows Over Hell to win at 06:07
Rating – * – There was some decent big man/little man stuff hidden in it, but the sullen crowd seemed to be sucking the drama out of proceedings. Brodie Lee’s HDNet run has been really disappointing and this comprehensive defeat (complete with the verbal burial Dave Prazak gives him on commentary) would suggest that, like Jimmy Jacobs, we’re not going to see him in ROH for a while.
Austin Aries writes off Nigel’s promise to shake things up as nothing more than insignificant ramblings of an irrelevant ex-champion desperate to stir the pot. He’s not interested in hanging out with Kyle Durden any time soon either.
The Embassy have paid for some promo time and use it to run down their enemies Colt Cabana, Brent Albright, Necro Butcher and Grizzly Redwood. That’s good build up to the forthcoming 8-man tag at Death Before Dishonor 7 weekend.
COMMERCIALS – It’s redneck week for Concerts on HDNet. Country music…cringe
Back in Kyle Durden’s cupboard, he tries to interview Bryan Danielson and Tyler Black who clearly aren’t the best of friends right now. They’re interrupted by Nigel McGuinness who has another cryptic message about who he thinks the next ROH World Champion will be.
Chris Hero/Davey Richards/Eddie Edwards vs KENTA/Kevin Steen/El Generico
This bout received lots of praise back when it aired so I’ve been looking forward to checking it out. Lots of pride on the line too considering the history between Steen-erico and the Wolves…and the heat between KENTA and Davey thrown in too.
The babyfaces make their way to the ring and all of them HATE Davey Richards. They almost have to fight through each other to get at him. Steen gets to start with him, and they do nothing more than lay waste to each other with a barrage of strikes. KENTA and Hero next, and they’re apparently renewing a rivalry forged in their time with NOAH. Their initial exchanges are totally even, until KENTA boots him squarely in the chest for a 2-count. Richards in, and after Edwards distracts the Japanese star, Davey pounces and beats him down into the corner. Eddie tries to kick him…AND GETS SLAPPED IN THE FACE! Generico tagged and he goes bat sh*t crazy on Richards in the corner, nearly knocking him out with an endless flurry of right hands. Kevin Steen goes on a snot rocket rampage and ends up coating Hero, Edwards, Richards and even Shane Hagadorn on the outside. BLINDSIDE ROLLING ELBOW from Hero puts an end to the mucous onslaught and leaves Mr Wrestling flat out on the mat. Steen is the face in peril for the next few minutes, with all of the artists formerly known as Sweet’n’Sour Inc getting a turn at treating him like a punching bag. In an amazing shunning of wrestling convention, Steen dives to the floor, runs around the ring there before rolling in and getting the hot tag to KENTA who immediately starts beating up both Tag Champions by himself. Ligerbomb gets 2 on Edwards. Generico goes upstairs for a SOMERSAULT PLANCHA TO THE FLOOR! BUSAIKU KNEE for another close nearfall on Eddie. Go 2 Sleep COUNTERED TO A RANA! Hero tags and nearly breaks KENTA’s jaw with the Flash Kick. Hero’s Ligerbomb variant gets the same result as KENTA’s did moments earlier. Generico comes in with a flying crossbody, but goes down afterwards clutching his troublesome knee. ROLLING ELBOW NAILED! Steen makes the save with a Codebreaker for 2 then floors Davey with a superkick. FLYING HEADSCISSORS from Generico to Hero. TOPE CON HILO BY RICHARDS! HE’S IN ABOUT ROW FIVE!! KENTA drops Edwards with a lariat and suddenly all six men are down. El Generico’s knee is so bad that he can’t even get on the apron. RICHARDS AND KENTA TRADE STRIKES! KENTA wins and lands a tiger suplex for 2. Finishers blocked…YAKUZA KICK out of nowhere by Generico for 2. Davey tries to kick the leg only to be swept into a Michinoku Driver. STEEN-TON BOMB! DOUBLE STOMP BY KENTA! Hero and Edwards dive in to make a last gasp save. YAKUZA KICK ON BOTH WOLVES! Generico thinks about a brainbuster only for Richards to MISSILE DROPKICK THE KNEE! CLOVERLEAF APPLIED! Generico has no choice but to tap at 20:30
Rating – **** – It couldn’t touch the quality of the Fourway World Title match, but this has to be considered one of the best bouts on HDNet so far. I’ll admit the first few minutes were pretty slow, but from the heat segment on Kevin Steen forwards this was solid gold. Generico’s selling of the knee was genius. KENTA and Richards brought some amazing intensity too (I wonder if Pearce was planning a HDNet rematch of their epic Supercard Of Honor slugout). I think this is on the Best Of HDNet Volume 2 DVD and it’s well worth picking up.
Tape Rating – *** – In terms of match quality this was a one match show, but the main event was a storming match that should definitely be seen. Even if the other two matches weren’t anything special, I actually felt the rest of the show was a fun watch as well. There was a lot of storyline progression going on which I was really digging. Jimmy Jacobs left ROH once and for all, Delirious sent Brodie packing too, Nigel McGuinness continues to do his thing as HDNet’s resident trouble maker, Austin Aries got his face on TV with the title belt (which was a nice addition considering he wasn’t even champ when this episode was taped) and we got lots of hype for Black/Dragon III next week. Good show…