ROH on HDNet – Episode 034 – 16th November 2009
Even though he technically left ROH in November, Ring Of Honor fans have still been able to enjoy the work of Bryan Danielson through the pre-taped television episodes. But this episode really does represent his last ROH match, as he signs off from ROH on HDNet with a main event bout against 2005/6 rival and partner last week, Roderick Strong. Lets join Mike Hogewood and Dave Prazak in Philadelphia, PA
Chris Hero vs Delirious
Hogewood believes that Delirious is at the top of his game right now, and given the quality of his matches on recent ROH live events (I’m looking at the Clash Of The Contenders match with Aries and the Boiling Point match with Strong in particular) it’s hard to disagree with him. But Hero has been having a strong second half of 2009 too so both of these come in full of momentum.
Sonjay Dutt jumps Delirious during his ring entrance, battering his head into the ringpost and leaving him out cold. That mean old Shane Hagadorn promptly tosses Delirious into the ring to ensure the match starts…before Hero boots him back to the outside to deliver the floormat senton. ‘Whatever happens in this match…I’m not going to count it’ – Hog. Delirious will be relieved that Dutt’s attack and any subsequent defeat won’t cost him any Porpoise Points I guess. As you’d expect, Hero happily tries to cave in poor Delirious’ skull with repeated elbow smashes. Flash Kick from the floor to the apron scores for a nearfall. A dazed Delirious tries a desperate Panic Attack only to run into another elbow strike. Finally he does land a flying headscissors, and latches onto the Cobra Stretch. Panic Attack nailed second time around and he climbs the ropes…to MISS Shadows Over Hell. Ripcord Elbow finally puts Delirious down at 07:32
Rating – ** – Hardly a classic, but they worked hard to get the story of Delirious bravely fighting against the odds following Sonjay’s attack, and did a good job with that.
Dutt slides into the ring after the match to further the mockery of Delirious
BRYAN DANIELSON’S TOP 5 ROH MOMENTS – #2 is another match Dragon is proud of finishing whilst injured. This time it’s his Gut Check 2006 match with Colt Cabana when he worked 40-ish minutes with a serious shoulder injury and still went to a 60-minute draw. Not my favourite match from Danielson’s run with the belt (I didn’t care for any of his matches with Cabana for some reason) but it is an unbelievable feat of determination and courage on Bryan’s part.
Joey Ryan/Prince Nana vs Necro Butcher/Grizzly Redwood – Beard vs Beard Match
This isn’t quite the challenge that Nana laid down (I thought it was going to be Ryan vs Grizz) but seeing the Prince try to evade a beating at the hands of Necro should be fun. If The Embassy win then Grizzly shaves his beard, but if the Butcher/Lumberjack duo score the victory then it’s Ernie Osiris’ facial hair that gets the chop.
Redwood breaks out the lumberjack lucha to get the best of Ryan in the opening minutes…and when Necro gets the tag Nana is quick to drop off the apron and refuse the tag from his hired Magnum. Redwood tries to go after Nana, but gets distracted by Dirty Ernie and walks into a powerslam by Joey. Now they have Grizzly down Nana (wrestling in a jacket) demands a tag. He misses a butt ugly splash from the second rope though, allowing Grizz to dive straight into a tag. Ryan superkicks Necro in the throat then dives to the floor at him with a tope suicida. But he picks the worst possible moment to re-enter, as Redwood hits him with a tornado DDT for victory at 04:57
Rating – DUD – The match was poor, and I knocked any goodwill rating I may have given it off when they put Grizzly over Joey Ryan. I think this was the moment Joey had to realised this ROH run was a giant waste of his time.
BRYAN DANIELSON’S TOP 5 ROH MOMENTS – Danielson calls his top match/moment the Glory By Honor 5 match with KENTA. That remains one of the best matches ever to take place in ROH. We also see a brief clip of his farewell at Glory By Honor 8.
Back from commercials with the news that Tyler Black will be off TV for a while thanks to the burns he suffered at the hands of Austin Aries last week. But Colt Cabana will be looking to get some revenge for him and beat the World Champion on HDNet in a couple of weeks time.
Speaking of injuries, Brent Albright is the latest guy in the queue of people wanting to get at Kenny King for what he and Rhett Titus did to Jerry Lynn. Kenny gets some promo time and accuses everyone in the ROH locker room of jealousy.
Rasche Brown vs Cameron Matthews
Yes, this is essentially Skullkrusher taking on some jobber. Brown debuted with a destructive, emphatic victory over Sal Rinauro. He’ll be looking to make Matthews just another victim here.
Brown gets 2 almost right away with a big spinning suplex then mows Matthews down with a football tackle seconds later. SPINNING Burning Hammer slaps that porpoise at 01:04
Rating – N/A – Much like the Rinauro encounter last week, this wasn’t really any kind of match. As a squash segment I thought Brown/Sal had slightly more personality and character, but this made the same point as last time – Skullkrusher is intimidating.
Bryan Danielson vs Roderick Strong
Last week these guys were on the same team in a losing effort to the American Wolves. This week they renew their classic rivalry for one last match before Danielson departs for WWE, FCW and eventually the inaugural season of NXT. In 2005 the two Danielson/Strong matches (at This Means War and Vendetta) were defining moments in Roderick Strong’s career. They were clear highlights of the early part of Dragon’s ROH Title run, but for Roddy, they were the matches that established himself as a top level guy in Ring Of Honor. He wouldn’t have the spot he has in ROH today without the MOTYC calibre stuff he and Danielson pulled off in those matches, as well as their 2006 epic at Supercard Of Honor. With both Danielson and Nigel leaving, the path to the very top of ROH has never been clearer for Roderick – so getting one more match with Danielson on his way out is a great way to start him out.
Fans are going ballistic for Danielson which, given how badly mic’d the audiences are for these shows, means they must have been absolutely deafening live. First knockdown goes to Strong though, countering out of a wristlock to spring into a dropkick. Dragon retorts by rolling through a sunset flip attempt to deliver a big standing kick to the sternum. Roderick survives that and hoists him into a couple of early backbreakers then shunts him into the corner for a flurry of brutal chops. He tries to work that back, but in a terrific counter, Danielson counters a leg full nelson into a grounded surfboard. HUGE chop from Strong…with Dragon’s chest starting to flare up as it did with every match in their initial series a few years ago. Bryan fires back with kicks, but when he goes for the Sayama flip into running elbow, Roddy cuts him off with a forearm smash. RUNNING ELBOW NAILED ANYWAY! I love familiarity sequences like that. Strong gets 2 with the urinage backbreaker, and it’s followed by a pumphandle backbreaker for yet another nearfall. Despite that Danielson STILL tries his missile dropkick spot…only to find it COUNTERED to the Stronghold. Dragon counters from that to a roll-up for 2. DEATH BY RODERICK COUNTERED WITH A RANA INTO A TRIANGLE CHOKE! Strong leaves the ring, only to get dropkicked off the apron and into the crowd. SPRINGBOARD CROWD DIVE SCORES! Second time of asking Bryan does land the missile dropkick, followed by the running enzi kick. Neat counter from Strong for the Cattle Mutilation…LEBELL LOCK INSTEAD! COUNTERED TO THE STRONGHOLD! COUNTERED TO KICK YOUR HEAD IN FACE STOMPS AND A TRIANGLE CHOKE! Roderick tries unsuccessfully to powerbomb his way free. In the end a POWERBOMB BACKBREAKER is required to escape the Triangle Choke. Urinage backbreaker…DEATH BY BACKBREAKER FOR 2! He goes for a superplex but it’s blocked, and of course Bryan is quick enough to turn it into a REGAL SUPERPLEX! CATTLE MUTILATION! NO! COUNTERED TO DEATH BY RODERICK! GIBSON DRIVER GETS 2! AVALANCHE DEATH BY RODERICK! SICK KICK! Roddy finally gets a singles win over Danielson at 18:01
Rating – **** – If you’ve seen Wrestling Road Diaries, you’ll know that Bryan was a little disappointed by this match – and definitely didn’t think it was anything special at all. That he was so under whelmed by this should serve as an example of the crazily high standards he sets himself. This was a fantastic match, one of the best matches we’ve seen on ROH on HDNet thus far. The levels of familiarity countering these guys were busting out were just amazing. Honestly, had Dragon sold the back at all, or had the finish not felt so sudden (again, referring to Wrestling Road Diaries, there’s a locker room scene with Danielson explaining to Adam Pearce that the HDNet time constraints meant he just couldn’t do enough stuff in the closing stages, with the limited TV time restriction, to draw the crowd into it as he wanted) this would have snuck into MOTY territory. Definitely one of my favourite Final Countdown Tour matches.
Roderick grabs the stick and thanks Danielson for making him the man he is in ROH today. He calls him the ‘best in the world’ as the locker room empties and surrounds the ring to applaud him. The show fades out before he gives a farewell speech though, which seems odd…
Tape Rating – *** – Another strong episode this week. The opening segment, although a little clichéd, was well executed and served as a purposeful start to the show. Skullkrusher demolished someone else, even if the Beard vs Beard Match sucked (which it did), you can’t call it a waste of TV time necessarily as the beard-shaving angle noticeably progressed that particular feud. But for all the decent stuff on the undercard, the success of the episode lived and died on the success of the main event…and fortunately Danielson/Strong was magnificent. I’m sure it’ll be on a Best Of ROH on HDNet compilation and is well worth-checking out on that particular DVD.