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ROH on HDNET 5/3/2010

ROH on HDNet – Episode 056 – 3rd May 2010

This is another one of those HDNet episodes where I know absolutely nothing about what we’ve got planned. Eddie Edwards sealed a memorable victory over Davey Richards last week to become the first ever ROH Television Champion, so I presume we’ll see some fallout from that. We’re also less than a week away from Supercard Of Honor 5 (plus action from Manassas, VA the night before) so Roderick Strong and Tyler Black will be getting ready for their big main event showdown in New York. Mike Hogewood and Dave Prazak are in Philadelphia PA tonight…

Roderick Strong vs Joey Ryan – Pick 6 Series Match
Big match to start the show, and a huge match for Strong to negotiate on his way in to Supercard Of Honor this weekend. He’s been at the top of the Pick 6 Standings for some time, and it would seriously halt his momentum ahead of his big title shot if he were to slip down those rankings now.

It has to be said Ryan doesn’t look in good shape for this one. Although the flabby gut sort of works as part of his ‘sleazy’ 70’s gimmick. On the floor Prince Nana and Ernesto Osiris take cheap shots at Roddy in the opening 2 minutes. That sets the tone for much of the opening portion of this match – with Joey beating on Strong and his lackies getting their licks in here and there too. There’s lots of choking in the ropes too – and with the clock approaching 5 minutes, it’s been a painfully slow and one-sided affair thus far. Finally Roderick delivers a back suplex and begins a big comeback…but can’t get a pinfall as Nana starts distracting the referee again. Osiris gets involved too, and Ryan nearly capitalises with a cheap pin using the ropes to snatch a win. Moustache Ride is blocked and Roddy drags Ryan into the middle of the ring for the Stronghold. That’s enough to win at 07:23

Rating – ** – I was really disappointed in this one. I’ve been championing Joey Ryan as the guy who SHOULD be the top guy in The Embassy on live shows (rather than Erick Stevens or Shawn Daivari), but this wasn’t a great exhibition of what he has to offer. He was slow, lifeless and out of shape, whilst Roderick (carrying a noticeable leg injury) limped through things at less than 50%. Some of the heel beatdown stuff was good, hence my rating isn’t that bad, but this felt like a LONG seven and a half minutes I can assure you.

We get some ‘HDNet exclusive’ footage of the aftermath of the TV Title Match last week. It shows Kyle Durden interviewing Eddie Edwards in the ring – with Eddie emphatically telling him that the American Wolves are still very much united even after that superb match.

Dark City Fight Club vs Caleb Konley/Pee Wee
More DCFC killing jobber action here. Pee Wee’s name is still too ridiculous to take seriously, even if I absolutely love his ring attire.

Davis quickly mows down Konley before being joined by Chavis for a backbreaker/leg drop combo. Pee Wee in, straight into a Rydien bomb from Rainman. ‘I’d like to see Dark City Fight Club against the Briscoes’ – Hog, clearly forgetting that match has taken place several times already. Pee tries a flying headscissors and gets caught for PROJECT MAYHEM! DCFC win in 02:50

Rating – DUD – Far too long for this sort of match. DCFC have a new attitude which is fine, but there needs to be more to them than ‘that team that beats up jobbers’. They need more character and promo time to flesh out their Natural Born Sinners 2010 gimmick to make people care. Or more great matches against the likes of the American Wolves where their wrestling can make up for a lack of character.

On that note, Kory Chavis tells Kyle Durden that Dark City Fight Club will be the next ROH Tag Champions. Jon Davis then POOOUUUUUNCE’S Konley out of the ring before hitting his ‘we dare you’ catchphrase…

In the locker room the Kings Of Wrestling instruct the Briscoes to go to the back of the queue and earn a rematch if they want another Tag Title shot. Elsewhere Jim Cornette has the unfortunate job of dealing with the Briscoes in the aftermath of that announcement.

THE ART OF WRESTLING – Colt Cabana hasn’t presented this show on HDNet for a while. His guest tonight is Sonjay Dutt who wants to teach him about ‘swagger’. He gives Cabana a ‘pimp daddy’ makeover. Sadly he doesn’t come out with cornrows, a cane and a ho train. Slightly pointless but fun nonetheless – and there’s not enough out and out entertainment/comedy on these HDNet shows.

Jim Cornette has a face to face meeting with Necro Butcher, marking the first time Necro has appeared on HDNet since punching out the timekeeper in a brawl. He offers to end his suspension in exchange for Necro’s assurances that he’ll keep his matches within the confines of the guardrails. If he does that, ALL his matches from now on are ‘Butcher’s Rules’. Dave Prazak is furious about that decision…

Austin Aries credits himself with making ROH on HDNet the success hat it is. Apparently HDNet have a specially trained cameraman just to ensure his antics are captured in their best light. He declares his interest in the ROH Title over for the time being…but he has plans to reinvent himself again, and will remain the focal point of the TV show. He’s in the main event tonight by the way…

Necro Butcher vs Most Non-Descript Jobber Ever
As we just saw, Necro has been brought back from his suspension on the understanding that he keeps all his matches within the confines of the ringside area. In return for that assurance, he also gets all his matches under no DQ stipulations. This no-name with sh*tty ring gear is in trouble…

Necro shows how f*cking stupid he is by throwing his jobber opponent INTO THE CROWD in the first 30 seconds. Seriously, that is the one rule. He couldn’t even stick to it for ten seconds. He then pulls the kid back inside for a chair slam on the exposed concrete. He then wraps the jobber’s head in a chair and flings him viciously against the ringpost. Bulldog on a chair busts the guy wide open, then Butcher puts open chairs back to back for a sick chair backbreaker. He wins at 03:20

Rating – DUD – I actually quite like the amusing idea of making all Necro’s matches no holds barred. It’s an acknowledgement that he’s basically a liability to book in regular matches since they mostly suck. I also think it’s got amusing potential for guys like Dave Prazak and The Embassy to complain about preferential treatment. Considering he’s been TERRIBLE for months, I think it’s a genuine attempt to revitalise his ROH career (since he’s not talented enough to change his act for himself) so I salute that. Again, miles too long for a squash match of this nature though

Tyler Black tells Durden that he thinks the obsession with the World Title has changed Roderick Strong. He will do whatever it takes to stop Strong getting his hands on it this weekend.

Austin Aries vs Delirious – Pick 6 Series Match
Even though he has now openly stated that he’s not interested in pursuing another World Title shot for the time being, Aries remains in the Pick 6 at this time and defends his spot against Delirious. As we saw, despite not being champion, he still wants to be one of the headline acts in Ring Of Honor, meaning a win in this televised main event is essential.

True to his word, Aries does have a dedicated camera just to cover his entrance to the ring. Somewhat mean-spiritedly, he goes right after Delirious’ mask. Naturally unhappy with that, Delirious bites his hand to free himself. Before he can mount further offence Kenny King sweeps his legs from under him to ensure the advantage remains with A-Double. That is until Daizee Haze does the same thing to the former World Champion! Delirious dives through both Aries and King with a tope suicida, taking Austin’s buddy out of the equation for a few minutes. A few minutes is all it is, as next time Delirious spills out of the ring once again Kenny is waiting for him to lay in some cheap shots. Back inside Delirious blocks the Brainbuster but dives right into Aries’ knees as he goes for a senton bomb. Cobra Clutch attempted instead, then turned into the Cobra Clutch suplex for 2. Bizarro Driver nicely countered into the shinbreak suplex though. IED blocked with a boot and quickly followed by the Panic Attack from the masked man. Shadows Over Hell misses…KICK OF DEATH! Except rather than the head he catches Delirious in the throat…and immediately referees, Jim Cornette, doctors and Daizee are in the ring checking on the condition of the lizard man. As people check on him Aries LEVELS Daizee (and appears to get disqualified at 10:31). He then RANDY SAVAGE AXEHANDLES DELIRIOUS ON THE GUARDRAIL! Jerry Lynn comes out to chase Aries and King away…

Rating – *** – The match itself was a passable back and forth main event. Nothing special, and not a patch on their ROH Title Match at Clash Of The Contenders. My rating is only so high because I loved the finish. I’m a real sucker for a ‘lethal finish’ move – and I’d love to see the Aries ‘Kick Of Death’ hyped as something similar to Randy Orton’s punt.

Tape Rating – ** – Most of this episode was woeful – but, much as he alluded to in his promo, Austin Aries basically carried it. His interview was amusing, and the segment to end the show with him brutally injuring Delirious was very well done. ROH is getting into a worrying pattern of building to a ‘big episode’ on HDNet, with the episode immediately following that being really bad as storylines have to be reset again. Everything recently built to the TV Title Tournament last week, or Black/Strong this weekend. As such, everyone else was on reset AGAIN this evening and it showed in an inconsistent, low quality filler episode.

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