ROH on HDNet – Episode 024 – 7th September 2009
ROH moves into a massive September with some huge shows and significant developments to unfold over the course of the coming month. To that end, we start with a pretty big episode of ROH on HDNet. The Briscoes appear as a tag team for the first time on the show, taking on the All Night Express of Kenny King and Rhett Titus. And our main event should be good too, as Jerry Lynn goes for revenge against the man who cost him his World Championship at Manhattan Mayhem 3 – Tyler Black. Those two have already had a couple of great matches together this year. We join Mike Hogewood and Dave Prazak in Philadelphia, PA.
Kenny King/Rhett Titus vs Jay Briscoe/Mark Briscoe
We’re nearly quarter of the way through ROH on HDNet’s entire run…and finally we’ll get to see the Briscoes in tag team action for the first time. Mark has had to watch from the sidelines whilst his brother has competed in singles action, but made his comeback a couple of weeks ago. They have a tough match against the impressive young ANX duo.
Hot start from the Briscoes, forcing Titus and King to head to the floor and call for an early time out. Rhett sneaks back in to jump Jay, but quickly eats a boot to the face and lands flat on his back again. The Briscoes pull out a sweet double team curb stomp to further assault Titus. King doesn’t fare much better when he gets tagged either, taking a Legsweep/senton bomb combo from them for 2. Briscoe Biel sends Rhettski flying once again. But he comes in behind Mark, finally giving his team the advantage. Blindside Lariat puts the younger Briscoe down for a 2-count. Nice work from Titus too, knocking Jay off the apron then spinning round to knock Mark down again with a dropkick. Strong recovery from Mark too, hitting a northern lights suplex on Kenny…only for find his partner taken off the apron again by the resourceful Rhett Titus. Ace Crusher on King, and this time Mark does make the tag to his brother. Titus rakes his eyes though, hitting the ROPE RUN FACEBUSTER FOR 2! Doomsday Blockbuster blocked, but Kenny hits a swinging front slam on Jay instead. Mark in with a fisherman buster for 2. But Kenny lands on his feet as they try the Biel on him. Double superkick instead…DOOMSDAY DEVICE NAILED! Briscoes win at 12:02
Rating – *** – I think this match had a number of objectives, and they successfully pulled off every one of them. The ANX put in another solid outing against one of the ‘main event’ tag teams in ROH right now, once again proving they have a bright future in that division. The Briscoes put in a nice little performance on their return, looking impressive without blowing through all their major offence, so they still have plenty in the tank to surprise the HDNet audience in bigger matches to come. And, above all else, this was a fun little match. It wasn’t meant to steal the show, but they worked the standard tag formula well, hit everything clean and kept a difficult crowd into what they were doing too. Well done to all four guys…
The American Wolves stand in the aisle to sarcastically applaud the Briscoes…before they get attacked by Kevin Steen and El Generico. The four babyfaces send the champs packing, and each team is left holding one of the Wolves’ title belts. Very effective way of lighting up the tag division…
Kyle Durden wants Nigel McGuinness’ predictions in the main event…since he has history with both Jerry Lynn and Tyler Black. He totally buries Lynn’s title run which was pretty funny. Once again he ‘stirs the pot’ without really saying anything.
Eddie Kingston comes to the ring thinking he has a scheduled match with Chris Hero. The one he’s been waiting weeks for. Unfortunately, he finds Shane Hagadorn coming out to tell him that he isn’t up to Hero’s level yet, therefore won’t be getting his match tonight. Instead, he can get some more practice time with a guy who ‘wants revenge’ for a few weeks ago during the big Kingston/Hero brawl – Sal Rinauro…who does NOT look like he wants revenge in the slightest. Kingston beats Rinauro inside 10 seconds with the Spinning Back Fist.
Nigel McGuinness vs Aaron Scott
I’m guessing Nigel is looking to rebuild his ROH career. He lost the belt, sat out injured for a few months, and hasn’t really got back into the groove yet. He’s lost a number of a high profile matches since his return (including his last HDNet outing against Tyler Black) and has seemingly struggled to change his style after a succession of serious biceps injuries.
McGuinness casually throws Scott around the ring whilst Prazak discusses the health and current status of his injured arms. Almost proving Dave’s point, Nigel works the mat, trying to wear the jobber down rather than start throwing his usual assortment of lariats. Aaron strings together some chops and a dropkick, and even manages to counter the Jawbreaker Lariat. Nigel wins with a DDT instead at 03:59
Rating – * – Went a little long for my taste, and I still think Nigel is struggling stylistically now he can’t lariat as much. His problem at the moment is that he can’t stay healthy for long enough to string a series of matches together to start getting his form and timing back.
Jerry Lynn vs Tyler Black
Main event time, and it should be a good one. These two have already contested two great matches this year. They shared a 20-minute draw back at Motor City Madness 2009, whilst Black picked up a big non-title win over Jerry at Contention in Manassas, VA. And Tyler is on a real hot streak right now. He finally got the dragon off his back when he scored a huge victory over Bryan Danielson, and followed it up in his next HDNet match by defeating another former World Champion in Nigel McGuinness. Lynn is aware that many were calling for him to retire after he lost the title to Aries. Looking to get back into the hunt and prove he’s still relevant in ROH, he is billing this match as one of the biggest he’s had in his entire career.
Respectful exchanges to kick off, with neither man able to establish dominance over the other in the first few minutes. Lynn counters some speed stuff from Black, and impressively throws it right back at him with a satellite headscissors and a crisp armdrag. Tyler absorbs the impact of those, recovering to stomp Jerry in the face. Black is in control for the first time, starting to work the back and midsection with constant knee strikes. He misses a second face stomp attempt though, then misses the Springboard Lariat. Mid-air crossbody collision leaves both men down – Jerry once again clutching his midsection in pain. Nigel McGuinness comes to ringside and encourages Black to keep his eye on the ball…which of course causes him to do the exact opposite. He attempts a Lionsault and flies into Lynn’s knees. Black Star Press does score and gets 2. God’s Last Gift blocked, so is Peroxism and Jerry drops him with an inverted DDT. Pele Kick drops Jerry again…only for the former World Champion to throw Black all the way over the ropes to the outside. SPRINGBOARD PLANCHA BY JERRY! All this is happening right in front of Nigel, who applauds both men. Hitting that move took more out of Lynn than Tyler it seems, and it’s Black that capitalises by slinging him into the guardrails. Springboard Lariat attempted again, but Lynn counters with his guillotine leg drop. Sunset flip bomb to the floor blocked…GUILLOTINE LEG DROP ON THE APRON from Black. Springboard Lariat connects third time of asking and gets 2. But he can’t connect with the Buckle Bomb as Jerry counters it with a hurricanrana. Sunset flip powerbomb out of the corner scores a close 2 for Lynn, and he follows up with the TKO for another nearfall. Cradle Piledriver COUNTERED with the F-5 though. Hog urges Tyler to keep his eye on the ball, and he looks to be doing so as he hits Peroxism and the Buckle Bomb. SUPERKICK SCORES! But Nigel puts Lynn’s foot on the ropes. Tyler gets distracted by yelling at McGuinness…and allows Lynn to small package him for 3 at 16:27
Rating – *** – These guys have good chemistry together, and a natural physical contrast given the age difference between them. However, this match fell well short of their previous efforts so I am a little disappointed. What’s odd is that both their house show matches this year have been full of effort, pace and excitement. This one was slow – it felt like it was moving at such a conservative pace, and never really clicked into a higher gear. I didn’t like McGuinness’ interference either, although it does continue his HDNet trouble-maker gimmick, which has been the best thing about him since he lost the belt. Putting Lynn over Tyler doesn’t make much sense. I get it that they’re playing up the ‘Black can’t win the big one’ angle…but the thing is, he’s already been losing the big one since Spring 2008. After dispelling that reputation with big wins over Dragon and Nigel, it makes no sense to now go back to it by putting Lynn over him. No disrespect to Jerry, who I’ve supported in ROH far harder than many, but it’s plain crazy putting him over Black. At the start of 2008 Tyler was red hot and primed to be World Champion. Pearce stalled on that, and ended up with an injured champion and having to hotshot the belt onto Jerry Lynn. He’s had to spend the rest of the year to date building Tyler up…and I can’t believe that, having finally started to do that, he’s pushed him back down the ladder again here…
Tape Rating – *** – Better episode with strong matches to open and close, with the Hero/Kingston stuff in the middle playing out well too. From a character point of view, Nigel McGuinness really shone in this episode as well – and intriguing characters are something ROH on HDNet badly needs, so I’ll call this one a minor success. Shame about the booking of Black/Lynn though…