ROH on HDNet – Episode 038 – 14th December 2009
This is the go home show for ROH before they make their first step into Internet PPV with Final Battle 2009. That means we should be seeing heavy shills for Aries/Black and Wolves/Briscoes, as well as the first two matches in the Pick 6 Series with Delirious and Kenny King, then Sonjay Dutt and the returning Tyler Black squaring off. Last week was spectacular, so hopefully ROH is able to keep that momentum going into their big year-ending show. Mike Hogewood and DP are in The Arena.
Kenny King vs Delirious – Pick 6 Series Match
These were the first two names for the inaugural Pick 6 matches. Kenny has been on an amazing run on HDNet recently, winning matches, injuring legends and getting lots of promo time to further his own agenda. Delirious, who lost his last match thanks to interference from Sonjay Dutt, will be looking to rebound, scoop himself some cash and get himself back into contendership for the ROH Title.
Before the match we get highlights from Final Countdown Tour Boston which saw Dutt put Daizee Haze (who’s back tonight) on the shelf with the Camel Clutch. As they exchange early pleasantries Prazak recaps Delirious’ tour of NOAH where he defeated KENTA and took Jushin Liger to the limit. Apparently Liger will be in ROH next month which is a pretty huge thing to randomly announce on commentary! Armdrags from the lizard man force Kenny to bail for a team talk with Rhett Titus on the floor. Delirious and the ANX have an amusing, cartoon-style near-miss chase sequence around the ring, ending when Daizee Haze FLOORS Titus with a clothesline. Hog suggests Daizee, like all women, wants Delirious to win the $2500 so she can ‘go shopping’. Between his POW jokes a couple of weeks ago to his constant underlying racism/sexism I have no idea how Hog has a job on TV. Another chase sequences ends with Titus drawing Delirious into a clothesline from Kenny on the floor. Back inside Kenny gets 2 with a big spinebuster. He tries to work Delirious’ back, but struggles to cope with the unorthodox approach of his opponent. It’s Delirious that gets the next nearfall, dropping King with a swinging neckbreaker. Never Ending Story in the corner, followed by the Leaping Lariat from the top for another nearfall. Cobra Stretch blocked though, with King getting to the apron to hit a SPRINGBOARD BLOCKBUSTER. Panic Attack misses and King hits the SHOTGUN KNEES for 2. ‘Daizee Haze can smell that money going in her purse’ – Mike ‘PC’ Hogewood. Delirious fires back with a German suplex as the match starts to go back and forth at a frantic pace. Panic Attack scores but King hits a CORKSCREW ENZI TO COUNTER SHADOWS OVER HELL! Royal Flush gets 2. Delirious then counters the Coronation with a roll-up to take the win at 10:23
Rating – *** – I don’t know where this crowd came from but they can stay. They were red hot for this match, and really contributed to making it an engaging back and forth opening match. I’m already sensing that Jim Cornette is out to cut the number of pointless, short and meaningless matches going on the show and make each match mean a little more. The intensity in this one was dialled up a lot from a great many of the ROH on HDNet matches we’ve seen in 2009. Surprised to see Delirious go over here given how much Pearce has invested in building Kenny King up in recent weeks – but I suppose you couldn’t really play up the integrity of the Pick 6 if Aries’ protégé was in the first line-up refusing to challenge for the title…
In the back Kyle Durden is with Jim Cornette. He is interrupted by Austin Aries, who claims he’s a better friend with Kyle than Jim is. A-Double wants to recruit Cornette as his manager. Jim declines, but says he’s going to allow Aries to back up his claim to be the ‘Greatest Man That Ever Lived’ by giving him all the top contenders he can find.
Steve Corino makes his return to Ring Of Honor, dressed in street clothes even though he’s set to wrestle that little guy from The Set (turns out he’s Lance Lude). Massive ovation for Steve on his return to The Arena. HE SHOUTS HIS PROMO REAL LOUD FOR NO REASON AT ALL! HE’S BEEN TRYING TO RETURN TO ROH FOR A LONG TIME BUT NOT GOT A RESPONSE FROM THE OFFICE. Jesus Steve, you have a microphone, you don’t need to shout. Apparently Cornette called him and offered him the chance to make an impact in ROH again…so he has accepted. And as such he declines to wrestle Lude since there’s no way he’ll make an impact with him. He offers to make it up to Lance by walking and giving the skinny kid a victory via forfeit…then returns to declare it a 5* match before laying the wee fella out with an inverted Tombstone.
Sonjay Dutt says he doesn’t care about what he’s done to Daizee Haze. He only cares about one thing – becoming ROH World Champion. He wants to win his Pick 6 Match and secure a title shot.
Davey Richards and Eddie Edwards call Final Battle ROH’s biggest show of the year and want to prove their dominance by chalking up a definitive win over the Briscoes.
Erick Stevens vs Jobber w/ Afro
I didn’t catch the jobber’s name I’m afraid. Something like Rami Marcel…and he LOOKS like someone you’d call Rami Marcel. Erick has shaved off the Mohawk in the time since he was last on HDNet. He’ll want to put in another dominating display here to make up for missing out on the initial Pick 6 invites….
Stevens takes Marcel down and massacres him with a series of crossfaces. German suplex follows next, then the Choo Choo/Lariat combo. Doctor Bomb wins at 01:29
Rating – N/A – Brief, basic squash match to reintroduce Erick Stevens after he missed a few shows. He has a new look and vaguely new attitude…but still didn’t look as impressive as guys like Bison Smith or Rasche Brown
Tyler Black tells Kyle Durden that everything he does (like beating Dutt tonight) from this point forward is all about getting his hands on Aries and the World Title.
Sonjay Dutt vs Tyler Black – Pick 6 Series Match
Black has been off ROH TV since Aries lit a piece of paper into a fireball in his face. He made his return at the end of last week’s show to staredown the World Champion and is now gearing up for Final Battle 2009 when he gets his World Title shot. Of course, if he wins here, he’ll go into the Pick 6 Series which will mean that, even in defeat, he’ll remain in title contention for an immediate rematch.
Big ‘welcome back’ chants for Black, which is pretty generous considering he only really missed four DVD shows with his neck injury, and had already appeared in Collinsville and Indianapolis before this episode was taped. Sonjay isn’t too keen on locking up with Black, so Tyler pursues him out of the ring to deliver a series of chops. He hits the big stomp in the middle of the ring, and as the clock ticks past three minutes it’s been all Tyler thus far. Much of his offence is focused on the neck, targeting a dropkick to that area then felling Dutt again with a big neckbreaker for 2. He thinks about the Phoenix Splash, but takes too long climbing the ropes and allows Sonjay to cut him off with a Venus Strike. Turnbuckle gutbuster scores, then the Indian drives Black’s chest against the ring apron. Somersault senton across the stomach next as Dutt starts to hone in on that region. He makes it harder for Tyler to breathe by choking him in the ropes, then shuts down a comeback attempt by poking him in the eyes. Sleeper/Bodyscissors combo applied until Black runs forward then drops backwards Taz vs Bigelow style to break the hold. SOMERSAULT PLANCHA from Tyler as he starts to get his momentum going again. He follows with the Springboard Lariat for 2. Press slam into a Lionsault gets another nearfall. Dutt retaliates with a springboard dropkick. Standing Shiranui countered…Peroxism countered. Shiranui countered again, but then Dutt blocks the F-5 with a tornado DDT and FINALLY lands the standing Shiranui for 2. Sonjay goes upstairs but MISSES the Hindu Press and walks straight into the F-5. PHOENIX SPLASH MISSES TOO! Buckle Bomb countered…SUPERKICK ANYWAY! SUPERKICK DUEL! PELE KICK! BUCKLE BOMB! BOTH MEN DOWN! Tyler is up first to hit a mafia kick, then counters a roll-up to GOD’S LAST GIFT to seal the win at 16:12
Rating – *** – I can’t believe that Sonjay was phased out of ROH after this performance. If anything this should have led to him picking up a few more bookings in my opinion. Admittedly this wasn’t a show-stealing, must-see main event…and I’ll admit I got incredibly frustrated that they worked 10 minutes of solid body-part stuff before no-selling everything in favour of rapid fire spots at the end. However, those last five minutes were SO much fun. Some of the counter-wrestling on display was really first class and the live crowd were absolutely eating it up. It’s a big step down from some recent HDNet main events (Danielson/Strong, Aries/Richards/Omega/Strong etc) however, it was undeniably entertaining and ROH can’t be giving away ridiculously good matches on free TV every week or else nobody would bother buying their iPPV’s or DVD’s. One concern I have – why not book Rhett Titus here? This is the last HDNet show before Final Battle 2009, why not send him into his World Title match with a win over one of Aries’ lackies? Not saying it had to main event like this did, but Black/Rhett would have made more sense and done more to hype the ppv.
Tape Rating – *** – Nothing like as good as last week, but another solid episode. Both Pick 6 Series Matches were decent, in front of a great crowd…and the Steve Corino segment came off relatively well too. It’s not a must-see episode and it’s not like you’ll NEED to see King/Delirious or Black/Dutt if they crop up on the Best Of HDNet DVD’s…but this was a solid week of TV. My biggest criticism was that there wasn’t enough hype for Final Battle – but this is ROH’s first attempt, and taping a show in October to hype your December ppv must be tough. I’m sure with Cornette on board continuity problems like that should start to improve…