ROH on HDNet – Episode 053 – 12th April 2010
After ROH lost a whole night of TV tapings to the weather, last week’s episode packed with squash matches and video packages was a bit of a washout. Thankfully tonight is the first episode from a fresh weekend of tapings so hopefully things should improve again quickly. The TV Title Tournament semi-finals begin this week, and hopefully we’ll now have fallout from The Big Bang acknowledged on ROH programming after they openly admitted to being a pre-taped product last week. We go back to Philadelphia, PA to join Mike Hogewood and Dave Prazak.
Show opens with highlights of the Black/Aries/Strong Big Bang match. We then go to the ring with Jim Cornette bringing out Tyler Black. The World Champion says the challenger he’s most concerned about is Roderick Strong…in a long, rambling, slightly annoying promo. Davey Richards interrupts to tell Black that he’s coming for his belt. Effective opening segment…
To the studio where Prazak announces that the Kings Of Wrestling are now ROH Tag Champions, having beaten the Briscoes at The Big Bang. We then get the same Jerry Lynn hype video we had last week. Another spectacular waste of vital TV time…
Jerry Lynn vs Bald Jobber
I didn’t catch the jobber’s name and it’s not important so I’m not rewinding. Lynn returns to HDNet after more than six months away from the show. We’ve seen him at a few live events this year, largely beating up the guy that put him on the shelf in Kenny King. Now he returns to the active roster there are question marks over his agenda. Will we get any answers tonight?
Bald Jobber goes evil by booting Jerry in the stomach rather than shaking his hand. Surprisingly, bald guy holds his own in the early going. He hotshots Lynn in the ropes and gets a rather mean spirited ‘you suck’ chant from the fans. Neckbreaker gets 2 as I finally catch this guy’s name. It’s Jake Manning apparently. I’ll remember that next time he shows up for jobbing duty. Jerry nails a super rana and hits the Cradle Piledriver for the win at 03:41
Rating – DUD – Way too long, with way too much offence for Manning considering this was a squash. I actually liked the way Jake worked Lynn’s neck, but this should be about making Lynn look good. All this did was make people think ‘if he’s having this much trouble against a jobber, there’s no way he’s going to be a credible ROH wrestler again’ about Lynn – therefore the purpose of the enhancement match is entirely negated.
Jerry b*tches about Kenny King to Kyle Durden. He’s coming for revenge apparently, which in chronological terms makes no sense since he already got revenge in Phoenix last month.
Video package for the Briscoes/Kings Big Bang match now. In case you missed it earlier, Chris Hero and Claudio Castagnoli are now Tag Champions
Steve Corino predicts an emphatic Kevin Steen victory in the TV Title semi-finals tonight. He’s also got something special in store for El Generico tonight.
On that note, it should be time for a match between Corino and Generico, but Steve comes to the ring dressed in a suit and clearly in no mood to wrestle. Both Corino and Hogewood point out Generico is back to acting like he used to – which makes perfect sense considering what happened at The Big Bang. Steve verbally destroys Generico, breaking down his newly restored sense of self-confidence. He then forfeits the ‘match’…before El Generico snaps and beats the sh*t out of him. Referees have to separate them as the crowd explode. Fantastic promo from Steve Corino there…
Next they replay the exact same TV Title Tournament recap video they showed last week. Episode 052 may well have been the most pointless episode of ROH on HDNet in the shows entire run.
BREAKING NEWS – Christopher Daniels returned to ROH at The Big Bang (interestingly, ROH and HDNet chose to leave the ‘F*ck TNA’ chants in the video just to piss the Orlando guys off even more). He makes his first live event appearances in early May at shows in Manassas and Manhattan.
Kyle Durden asks Eddie Edwards how he feels about a potential Wolf vs Wolf final against his partner Davey Richards. Eddie says it’s a formality that they WILL face each other, much to the annoyance of Kenny King who comes in and says that he’ll be eliminating Davey next week.
Kevin Steen vs Eddie Edwards
This is the first TV Title Tournament semi-final. Of course, to those of us who watch this in chronological order, we’ve already seen Eddie Edwards defend the TV Title so the result is already common knowledge by this point. Eddie Edwards and Davey Richards are having a tough time as a tag team in 2010, and as we saw with Richards and Tyler earlier, are both looking to get over that by concentrating on singles goals. Personal ambition could well see them oppose each other in the final. Don’t forget the history these guys have with each other too. The Wolves/Steen-erico feud was as good as any feud in the world in 2009, with these two meeting in several singles matches as part of that. Don’t forget it was a match with Steen in Boston which saw Eddie seriously injure his elbow.
A slightly deranged Kevin Steen asks Edwards if the Wolves feuded with his team in 2009 because they hated Generico as much as he does now. He then kicks Eddie right in the elbow he broke at the Final Countdown Tour Boston show. On the floor he drives it against the guardrails and already Eddie is carrying his arm limp by his side – in serious pain. ELBOW SUICIDA BY EDWARDS! That’s the same move that saw him fracture his elbow last year. The comeback is fleeting though as Steen wraps the bad arm around the apron and the ringpost in quick succession. Distracting the ref, he then blasts the limb against the ringpost with a chair which leaves Edwards screaming in pain. Even when he does manage to look for an offensive move, he ends up running his own shoulder against the post again. STEEN-TON ON THE ARM gets 2! HEAD DROP GERMAN from Edwards, but of course, that hurts himself as much as Kevin and he takes as long to recover as his opponent. Doi 555 scores for 2. He thinks about the Die Hard (2k1 Bomb) but Steen counters with an armbar DDT and poor Edwards is right back to square one. Even with one arm he sticks the flying Codebreaker then comes off the top with a flying double stomp for 2. He wants the Achilles Lock but Steen repeatedly kicks the arm to free himself and heads to the top. Eddie looks to counter him with the Backpack Stunner but Steen is on the arm again. CRIPPLER CROSSFACE LOCKED IN! But El Generico is out here distracting him and he relinquishes the hold. Small package…EDWARDS WINS! Against the odds he advances at 10:31
Rating – *** – These guys always seem to have fun matches together. Truthfully I could have done with this going another 10 minutes to really flesh out the Steen being a dick and working the bad arm story they were telling, but what with TV time constraints and the need to advance the Steen/Generico feud I can see why they went in this direction. I still think this was probably their best match together thus far though
Kevin Steen is paralysed with rage, but is out of the running for the ROH TV Title. Next week it’s Richards/King in a Big Bang rematch to determine who faced Eddie in the finals
Tape Rating – *** – It seems odd to award such a high rating to a show which had such minimal match content, but I thought this one was really good (excluding the short but still pretty irrelevant Jerry Lynn segment). There were two in-ring promo segments which I thought were very effective. Even with Black’s bumbling mic-skills, the show opening skit immediately establishes Davey as a new rival to Tyler in the aftermath of The Big Bang, whilst the Corino/Generico angle in the middle was absolutely superb. He’s never been the greatest worker but Steve Corino can be electrifying on the mic and the whole Steen/Corino/Generico aspect of this episode was handled superbly. Edwards/Steen was a solid main event, and I also liked the Edwards interaction with Kenny King since it allowed the future TV Champion to show some personality, and by building an issue between those guys it at least marks an ATTEMPT to disguise the fact that ROH are going for the fairly predictable Richards/Edwards finale to the tournament.