ROH on HDNet – Episode 036 – 30th November 2009
Tonight we have a scheduled main event of Colt Cabana against Austin Aries. It’s intriguing because not only is it a big match in it’s own right, but we’re just one week away from Colt’s big World Title showdown with A-Double in his hometown of Chicago. It’s also the last week of TV before Executive Producer Jim Cornette arrives so everyone will be out to impress. We join Mike Hogewood and DP.
Eddie Kingston vs Claudio Castagnoli
We all know Kingston is embroiled in a bitter feud with Chris Hero. Last time we saw him he even commented that perhaps he needed to be more like Hero if he was to succeed in ROH. Tonight he’ll face a stern test in Claudio Castagnoli – the man that teamed WITH Chris Hero during the CZW invasion and won the ROH Tag Team Championship with him in late 2006.
Hero comes out before the match to run Eddie down, telling him he’ll never be like Chris Hero. He then takes a seat in the aisle to watch the match. Kingston’s reaction to Claudio’s now trademark glove slap is just priceless. He B*TCH slaps Castagnoli then powers him into an overhead belly to belly. Sadly he then gets distracted by Hero, allowing Claudio to jump him from behind. He goes after Hero again, chasing him up the aisle and giving Claudio the opportunity to rock him with a big boot to the jaw. Impressive power from Castagnoli, dead-lifting Eddie over his shoulders and into a Samoan drop for 2. Bicycle Kick COUNTERED with a cradle suplex, followed by a big lariat to give the Last of a Dying Breed a nearfall of his own. Chris Hero-style running elbow smash in the corner, then an urinage suplex for another 2-count. CRAZY strength from Claudio, powering Kingston up for the Pop-Up European. UFO ON KINGSTON! But it’s not enough to win, and Eddie even has enough left to counter the Riccola Bomb with a hurricanrana. Remember Kingston wanting to be more like Hero? He pulls out Chris’ stolen Emerald Elbow pad…LOADED SPINNING BACK FIST! Eddie wins at 06:32
Rating – *** – Pretty generous rating, but I thought there was enough going on in this match to justify going this high. You had bundles of story development here, with a KOW reunion tease, Hero and Kingston’s issue progressing, and I LOVED the finish of Eddie cheating to be more like Hero. Of course, it feels a little redundant given that we saw Hero take his elbow pad back nearly two months ago at Glory By Honor 8, but the intent was there. This match also saw some AMAZING power moves by Claudio. Seriously, Kingston is a big guy but Castagnoli was tossing him round for fun out there. 2010 should be a big year for the European star.
Kenny King talks about his future in Ring Of Honor. He feels like hanging out with Austin Aries has groomed him for the World Title…
Dark City Fight Club vs Jay Briscoe/Mark Briscoe
DCFC have been destroying all comers in the tag division on HDNet. Other than a shock loss to the Young Bucks, they’ve been pretty much indestructible. However, it has to be said that many of their wins have come at the expense of ‘lesser’ teams. This is no doubt their sternest test thus far, with the Briscoes being just as tough, and potentially just as dominant as themselves. This could get ugly…
Jay starts with Davis, hitting an early heel kick and driving him back into the corner to regroup. Davis powers back with a shoulder tackle, and comes ‘this close’ to stomping Jay’s head off on the mat. Rainman in to trade stiff shots with Jay before falling victim to a springboard move on the blindside by Mark. Briscoe Football Tackle, followed by a nice Russian legsweep/back senton combo gets 2. The DCFC botch their Hart Attack Leg Drop combo and get a surprisingly easy time of it…then re-run the spot and get a 2 with it second time around. Backbreaker/leg drop combo gets a nearfall as well. Mark hits a rebound forearm smash on Chavis before making a vital tag to his brother. He kicks Kory’s head off only to be mauled by Davis instead. CACTUS CLOTHESLINE takes him to the floor for a big brawl. SOMERSAULT PLANCHA from Mark wipes out everyone! The fight continues and we end up going to a double count-out at 08:25.
Rating – ** – I said this could get ugly – sometimes intentionally, sometimes not. I dug where they were going with this – two physical, brawling teams desperate to beat the piss out of each other. Putting them in there and letting them manhandle the Briscoes does a lot to legitimise the DCFC who have floated around the tag team division all year but haven’t quite made the impact they would have liked. Hopefully we’ll get a rematch down the line, and see these teams given more time to tear each other apart…
Referees and jobbers pile out in a desperate attempt to separate the four men as they continue to brawl. In the end it’s the Briscoes left standing in the ring whilst the Fight Club are dragged to the back.
Kyle Durden asks Austin Aries what he thinks about Tyler Black making his return to HDNet next week. He’s not concerned apparently…and in the main event he’s going to prove, just as he did when he first held the title in 2005, that Colt Cabana is nothing more than a joke.
Kevin Steen/El Generico vs The Set
The Set are Lance Lude and J-Sinn…never seen them before, but they’re a new, young team trying to climb the ranks. I’d imagine they’re nothing more than job-fodder for Steen and Generico though.
Hog’s jokes about The Set are inappropriate, but absolutely hilarious. He calls the skinny, young Jimmy Jacobs-lookalike a ‘POW’. ‘You’ve got one guy who looks like he eats a dozen doughnuts a day, and another guy who’s emaciated’ – Hog on The Set. ‘Don’t talk that way about Steen and Generico’ – Prazak in response. The match could suck now and I won’t care, this is hilarious. The two big guys go at it…with Hog somehow calling Steen ‘in shape’. Fatty Set misses a butt splash on Generico (I don’t know which is Lude and which is Sinn). He powers his skinny little partner into a spear on Generico, then a back flip splash for 2. Once again Steen tries to go for the little guy, who bails. Eventually he goes for a crossbody on Mr Wrestling and gets KILLED with a powerbomb. SWANTON/FROG SPLASH COMBO from Steen and Generico kills him dead at 03:28
Rating – ** – Hilarious squash match. No idea who The Set are but they’re welcome on HDNet again, if only so Hog can rip them apart again.
Austin Aries vs Colt Cabana
Non-title action here (Colt gets his shot at the belt next week) with Colt looking to teach Aries a lesson after he burnt Tyler’s face and allowed his protégés to take Jerry Lynn out. Aries is out to prove that Cabana’s challenge to him is nothing but a joke.
Hog’s man-crush on Cabana is pretty disturbing. Nice Japanese armdrag from Aries gets us underway, with the champ looking to use his speed to outmatch the mat-wrestling skill of his opponent. Slingshot reverse elbow flattens Colt in the corner, but he takes too long celebrating and takes multiple boots to the stomach. That gives Cabana a window to start using his crazy European stuff and immediately the momentum of the match shifts into his favour. Aries tries to skin the cat, but winds up taking a nasty looking kick to the gut again and tumbles out of the ring. RUSSIAN LEGSWEEP TO THE RING POST! Just like that A-Double takes charge, viciously attacking Cabana’s neck. Power Drive Elbow misses because he takes too long stalling allowing Cabana back into the match. Quebrada press gets 2. Aries counters the Flying Asshole with a high octane clothesline…then goes upstairs for a frog splash – his own version of a ‘flying asshole’. Colt 45 countered with the shinbreak back suplex. IED blocked though, and he muscles Austin up for the TURNBUCKLE GUTBUSTER! COLT 45! But he lands too close to the ropes, allowing A-Double to grab them at 2. Billy Goat’s Curse blocked…and Aries sprints into the HEAT SEEKING MISSILE! BRAINBUSTER! Cabana kicks out at 2. Kick Of Death…no, it’s COUNTERED TO THE BILLY GOAT’S CURSE! Kenny King tries to interfere…pursued by Brent Albright! Aries starts tapping but the referee misses it amidst the melee caused by Albright and King. Rhett Titus runs in as well, forcing Colt to break the hold. KICK OF DEATH! LAST CHANCERY! The World Champion scores a tainted main event victory at 12:36
Rating – *** – Being honest I wasn’t really looking forward to this all that much, but I found myself enjoying it quite a lot. I loved how Cabana worked the ribs whenever he was on offence and liked how they actually made his goofy European stuff relevant by having Aries break out some retro, “old school” Austin Aries speedy spots to avoid it. Sure the finish was overbooked, but this was never supposed to be a marquee match for Ring Of Honor – this was a fun, FREE TV main event, it furthered the Cabana/Aries angle, put ANX over again…this has to be considered a success. I now look forward to the Reverse The Curse main event even more.
Tape Rating – *** – No must-see main event this week, but I thought the top-to-bottom wrestling quality on this show was pretty decent. Kingston/Claudio was a competitive opener. Briscoes/DCFC wasn’t perfect but served a purpose and made me anticipate a future rematch between those teams. I found Steen-erico/The Set hilarious, and the main event exceeded my expectations too. It was a slight comedown from the highs of recent weeks with The Final Countdown Tour Danielson matches, then last week’s exciting Wolves/Bucks match…but still a solid hour of TV.