ROH on HDNET 5/10/2010

ROH on HDNet – Episode 057 – 10th May 2010

Coming fresh off one of the best DVD shows ROH has done in a very long time (Supercard Of Honor 5) we return to the ECW Arena for more HDNet action. The last episode was pretty much a horror show, salvaged by Austin Aries who has consistently been the Ring Of Honor talent who’s looked most at home on the televised version of the product. Over the first five months of 2010 ROH have started producing some really good DVD/iPPV shows. However, the HDNet episodes have taken a real step backwards in both quality and consistency. I’m really looking for Jim Cornette and Delirious (who takes over the booking duties from Adam Pearce in a couple of months) address that worrying trend through the second half of the year. We join Mike Hogewood and Dave Prazak in Philadlephia, PA.

Hog’s angry face is so cartoonish it’s impossible to take him seriously. He opens the show by ranting about Austin Aries’ despicable attack on Delirious and Daizee Haze last week.

In the back Jim Cornette announces a #1 contendership match for the ROH Tag Title Match, with the winners getting to face the Kings Of Wrestling on iPPV at Death Before Dishonor 8. It will happen tonight, and it will be the Dark City Fight Club taking on the Briscoes.

Jay Briscoe/Mark Briscoe vs Dark City Fight Club
In a way this match demonstrates the problem with taping weeks and weeks worth of TV in one go for HDNet. When they taped this the Briscoes were the champions, and as a result their entrance is cut. Now, at the time of airing, they lost the belts a month ago and this is presented as a #1 contenders match. It’s an intriguing contest, given that these two have already had some heated and physical battles on HDNet in the past. But the DCFC have exploded back onto the scene in 2010 with an even meaner attitude, and after their great match with the American Wolves in Dayton, interest in them from the ROH faithful has been restored. Can they continue their momentum and march into internet pay-per-view as #1 contenders to Chris Hero and Claudio Castagnoli?

No feeling out process, Jay and Chavis sprint across the ring to start dropping bombs on each other. Mark and Davis have their own brawl and quickly spill out of the ring – with their partners soon following. Mark absorbs a suplex on the floor, before quickly coming back to land a tumbleweed senton off the guardrails. In the ring Jay gets the first nearfall after a big superkick on Rainman. The 6-time Tag Champions try to isolate Kory, but Jon Davis is soon helping out by dragging Mark out of the ring for a brutal throw into the guardrails. That leaves Jay going solo, and DCFC soon scoop him up for a double team cutter which gets a nearfall. Davis then mounts him in the corner for a series of short-range headbutts which look really violent. Not just a striker, he then easily scoops Jay up into a big powerslam and gets another 2-count. At last Mark gets a tag, bringing the Redneck Kung Fu to both DCFC members. Davis is dropped on his neck with an urinage then sent to the floor with his partner. TOP ROPE MOONSAULT ONTO BOTH OF THEM BY MARK! Fans loved that, but are brought back to earth with a bump as Davis DROPS Mark with a lariat. DVD on Davis by Jay, before he turns into a Rydien bomb from Chavis. POOOOUUUNCE from Davis to Mark gets 2. DCFC look to set Mark up for Project Mayhem, only for Jay to save…and Mark schoolboys Davis for a pin at 09:33

Rating – *** – I was disappointed that the finish was so swift as I was really enjoying the match – but for its spot on the show this was perfect. These two teams haven’t had the best chemistry together thus far and this one was by far their best match together.

Kyle Durden tries to get some comments from A-Double regarding the Delirious situation. He ignores it to talk about the Pick 6 Battle Royal tonight…

Prince Nana heads to the ring to introduce the newest and ‘best Embassy member ever’ – Shawn Daivari. Daivari then cuts another absolutely gash promo full of contradiction and blurred racial slurs. Like I said, I actually like Daivari, but this character he’s portraying here is sh*t. If he’s supposed to be a proud Muslim American, why does he continually call the crowd ‘stupid Americans’, and berate them for ‘bombing his home’. I thought he was from Minnesota or something??

Eddie Kingston, so effective on HDNet in 2009, hasn’t spent as much time in the spotlight thus far in 2010. He tells Kyle Durden that he’ll win the Battle Royal tonight, get into the Pick 6 then challenge for the ROH World Championship.

THE ART OF WRESTLING – Colt Cabana catches up with Bobby Cruise. Bobby is here to talk about ‘talking’…but really Colt just makes fun of him until he leaves.

Austin Aries vs Rhett Titus vs Rasche Brown vs Joey Ryan vs Jerry Lynn vs Eddie Kingston – Pick 6 Series Battle Royal
This is a Battle Royal, so entrants are eliminated in standard over the top rope format. Look out for Eddie Kingston’s heat with The Embassy – it was Nana’s group who attacked Eddie on the first episode of ROH on HDNet in 2010. Also look out for Lynn’s heat with Titus, half of the ANX duo that put him out of action for the second half of 2009 and A-Double, the man who ended his ROH Title reign. There’s also the possibility that Aries and Titus could team up to eliminate the rest of the field…and a very strong chance that nobody can get Skullkrusher over the top rope at all.

Jerry Lynn goes right after Rhett, but as predicted he soon succumbs to a double team assault by both Titus and Aries. Then they start sliding under the bottom ropes, and through the middle ropes as they look to avoid punishment from any other opponents in the match. Elsewhere Ryan pokes Kingston in the eyes to evade elimination. Rasche nearly caves in Titus’ chest with a barrage of big open hand chops…and behind them King and Joey eliminate each other. Such is Eddie’s dislike for The Embassy he just keeps brawling with Joey all the way to the locker room. Lynn and Brown join forces to combat Team Aries, leading to a hilarious Skullkrusher/A-Double showdown. Aries finally skips through the ropes, clearing the way for Rasche to drop Lynn with a powerslam. But getting into it with Jerry turns out to be a bad move…as Lynn cradles him in the ropes, allowing Aries and Titus to sneak up from behind and eliminate him. Rasche isn’t happy and beats them both up before leaving. Jerry is alone with Team Aries now, but drops them both with a neckbreaker/DDT combo. Titus looks for a powerbomb and is sent to the floor with a hurricanrana. He’s gone…but he grabs Lynn’s boot, distracting him as an IED FROM ARIES eliminates Jerry too. A-Double wins at 08:17

Rating – ** – Although there were some entertaining moments, this wasn’t really my bag. Anything involving Rasche Brown was good, and I enjoyed the finish with Aries opportunistically snatching a win he didn’t earn…but I just don’t see why Aries had to win here. He doesn’t want to be champion again, it’s not like people want to see Aries/Tyler AGAIN, meaning he’s just occupying a pointless spot in the Pick 6. However, if ROH wants to attract more mainstream fans, they need to throw out more accessible, sports-entertainment inspired stuff like this, so I totally understand why it’s here.

Tape Rating – *** – Not much of this episode was to my taste. The Battle Royal main event wasn’t particularly good, and I hate Shawn Daivari’s character so wasting 5 minutes of airtime on his needless alignment with The Embassy wasn’t overly entertaining to me either. However, I cannot deny this was a markedly improved episode. Even if I didn’t necessarily like what I was watching, at least it all served a purpose. No pointless squash matches, every segment had a real drive and advanced a storyline. Briscoes/DCFC to start the show was a solid match and the main event will have been far more entertaining to some WWE fans than the great Tyler Black vs Roderick Strong Supercard Of Honor 5 main event I just gave ****1/2 to. If every episode of ROH on HDNet was this focused and well-rounded following the show would be a far more enjoyable experience for everyone.

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