ROH on HDNET 7/5/2010

ROH on HDNet – Episode 064 – 5th July 2010

After last week’s substantially improved episode, I’m really looking forward to this one. Mostly because there are TWO great tag matches on tap, both of which could be really good if given enough time. The Kings Of Wrestling meet the Dark City Fight Club in what should be a physical battle, whilst the American Wolves face Christopher Daniels and Roderick Strong in another enticing match. We go to Philadelphia, PA to join Mike Hogewood and Dave Prazak.

Kings Of Wrestling vs Dark City Fight Club
Even without the ROH Tag Titles on the line, this is still a huge match for Kory Chavis and Jon Davis. They’ve been saying for a long time that they want to muscle their way back into championship contention in ROH. A non-title win over the Kings would definitely put them right at the top of the pecking order for the next opportunity.

Chavis starts impressively and manhandles Chris Hero as Hog makes odd puns about July 4th. Speaking of impressive power, Claudio and Davis tag in next and stand face to face as two of the biggest guys on the roster. Castagnoli catches him for a STALLING backbreaker…only for Davis to CATCH HIM IN RETURN! Incredible power, and he drops the Swiss with a powerslam. Hero tries to chop Rainman, but he’s such a tough guy that he stands up and fires right back with a chop of his own. The DCFC actually start to gain the upper hand by manhandling both opponents and ensuring they are isolated from their partner as much as possible. Hagadorn tries to interfere but still Davis and Chavis keep coming. In the end Double C hides behind Sara Del Rey, causing enough of a distraction for Hero to blast Davis with a sliding boot to the face. Now the Kings are able to get their tandem offence moves going, keeping Jon in their corner and really beating him down. Finally Davis ducks one double-team too many, forcing Castagnoli to inadvertently floor Hero with the Bicycle Kick. Chavis in and once again he stands toe-to-toe in a strike exchange with Hero. Rydien bomb on him, then a side effect on Claudio for 2. Hart Attack leg drop gets DCFC another nearfall. Flash Kick from Hero after a blind tag and it’s even again. Big strikes…POOOUUUNCE FROM DAVIS TO CLAUDIO! DEATH BLOW ON DAVIS! HE KICKS OUT! WTF? Hero reaches for the loaded elbow pad as Todd Sinclair remonstrates with Del Rey…and just like at Supercard Of Honor 5 the Briscoes sprint out to stop him using it. Again the Kings get a DQ win thanks to the Briscoes at 08:03

Rating – *** – Dark City Fight Club are becoming a real guilty pleasure of mine. I know a lot of people like to knock them, but they are so different from every other Ring Of Honor team that they always provide such a welcome change of pace. They have this somewhat ugly, but really physical style. Sometimes it means their matches are really awful, but when they find opponents they click with it’s always such a fun watch. And credit to the Kings, who in their last 3 ROH matches have really proved their extreme talent and versatility with three totally different but very good matches against Up In Smoke at Buffalo Stampede 2, the Briscoes at Death Before Dishonor and now this one. They are rightly being pushed as one of ROH’s major draws right now…

The locker room empties to separate the Briscoes and the Kings…allowing Hero and Claudio to make a swift escape. Jay and Mark beat up some jobbers instead…

Kyle Durden wants to get some reaction from Tyler Black after his main event with El Generico was ruined…but Prince Nana interrupts to talk about making Necro Butcher his new Crown Jewel.

Daizee Haze vs Jamilla Craft
This is a huge opportunity for Jamilla, who I believe is actually a product of the ROH school (where Daizee is a trainer of course). I could really do without these Women Of Honor squashes on HDNet, but at least in this instance ROH are using it to promote one of their own students.

Craft’s outfit is almost as ridiculous as Chad Collyer as Metal Master. Not that Daizee Haze’s hippy/stoner/lost at a music festival get up is much better. They run through some basics and, to Jamilla’s credit, she doesn’t make any obvious botches which must boost her confidence. Prazak is shilling SHIMMER hard, which maybe isn’t the best idea as the fans start a small but audible ‘boring’ chant. Craft traps Haze in a headlock for sometime until Daizee is finally able to break free and sprint into a dropkick. Fujiwara armbar applied as Daizee starts working that body part. Armbar DDT into a hammerlock variant of an abdominal stretch. Jamilla counters to an inverted DDT, which injures her own arm (and she sells it). Diving lariat using the good arm, into a spinning sidewalk slam for 2. Haze grabs the arm again for the Heart Punch, then a tiger suplex to win at 04:38

Rating – ** – This was, by some distance, the best Women Of Honor match on HDNet. The live crowd sh*t on it and I’m sure a lot of reviewers crapped on it too for being fairly dull. But, although basic, they held their sh*t together. There were no botches, very few instances of sloppy execution, a well-told story which played to a logical finish. Wrestling doesn’t have to be rocket science and tell a Bryan Danielson-esque story, it doesn’t have to have a million head drops, 100mph Dragon Gate spots or super-stiff strikes. This one stuck to the elementary stuff, and was all the better for it.

NEXT WEEK – Tyler Black will team with Delirious and former mentor Jerry Lynn to face Team Aries of A-Double and the All Night Express in the main event.

Christopher Daniels bemoans Davey Richards’ apparent refusals to get in the ring with him in a singles match. He beat Eddie Edwards in New York, and tonight has picked Davey’s former NRC ally Roderick Strong to team with him – and Richards can only duck him for so long…

COMMERCIALS – Included in the commercials is an advert for ROH’s forthcoming triple shot weekend at the end of July. They announce Briscoes/Wolves for Louisville, Collinsville has the Briscoes and Amazing Kong against the Kings and Sara Del Rey whilst Chicago has the big Black/Steen World Title match. Those are three HUGE main events which will sell some tickets in those markets, so I’m glad to see ROH using their TV time to promote them.

American Wolves vs Christopher Daniels/Roderick Strong
HDNet hasn’t had a ‘stand-up and take notice’ GREAT main event since Episode 55 and the TV Title Tournament final. You could argue this one has the biggest chance of delivering something special of any main event since that one. Chris Daniels returned to ROH at The Big Bang, entering straight into a showdown with Davey Richards and a differing opinion over which of them is the best in the world. He’s already managed to earn a Pick 6 spot, then defeated Davey’s partner Eddie Edwards at Supercard Of Honor 5 (a defeat I’m sure Edwards will be looking to avenge tonight). Before the commercials we saw him voice his displeasure at being forced to pick a partner and fight the Wolves rather than face Davey in singles action, but his choice is a sensible one. Roderick Strong was the man who recruited Davey to the No Remorse Corps back in early 2007, and has never forgiven Richards for turning on him and ending the faction to join Sweet’n’Sour Inc. in the summer of 2008. Most recently they went to an exhilarating time limit draw at Bitter Friends Stiffer Enemies 2 – with Davey coming into this match looking to beat his former friend (something he didn’t manage in their last encounter).

Daniels and Edwards quickly pick up where they left off at Supercard Of Honor with some really neat back and forth wrestling. Eddie initially enjoys some success but Daniels is so crafty, and quickly neutralises him before bring Roddy in to start doing some more damage with his heavy-hitting style. AWESOME counter sequence between Eddie and Strong rightly draws applause from the crowd. Davey in with Daniels for the first time and naturally both of them are extremely tentative. They’re also hugely even, going all over the ring in nearfalls before Richards HAMMERS Daniels with a kick which sounded brutal even on the lousy HDNet ring mics. Edwards distracts Daniels, allowing Richards to pounce on him and give the Wolves a significant advantage at the 5 minute mark. They focus on Daniels’ leg and within a couple of minutes have him noticeably wounded. He makes a tag and rolls to the floor for some time to recover rather than stand on the apron to assist Roderick – not that as he needs it as he viciously boots Eddie in the face. They start zoning in on Edwards’ midsection – sensible as that region plays into most of their major finishes. Just as with Daniels, Eddie makes a tag and slumps to the floor injured. Richards tosses Strong to him, and it seems he is recovered enough to body slam him onto the concrete floor. He also spears Roddy into the turnbuckles as he edges desperately close to the Fallen Angel in the corner. Finally Strong hits a gourdbuster and makes the hot tag to his partner. Running DVD gets 2 on Edwards, then Richards mows Daniels down with a missile dropkick. Achilles Lock blocked, but the leg is still damaged with a dragon screw in the ropes. Leg kick/dragon screw combo by the Wolves, into the Achilles Lock! WITH DIVING HEADBUTT FROM DAVEY! Roderick breaks it with the urinage backbreaker…then the NRC boys start stiffing each other. Half nelson backbreaker drops Davey but he’s nowhere near worn down enough for a loss at this juncture. Death By Roderick…2 again. MACHINE GUN KICKS from Davey, then he floors his former partner with the Handspring Enzi. Stereo kicks to the head by the Wolves gets a close 2 which needs to be broken by Fallen Angel. DR Driver blocked and in comes Daniels for the blue thunder on Davey. Now he and Richards start countering each others finishers. Urinage is COUNTERED to the anklelock only for the veteran to find the ropes. Alarm Clock from Davey…no sold for Daniels to hit the urinage slam. RUNNING SUICIDE DIVE FROM STRONG TO EDWARDS! BME BLOCKED WITH A ROPE RUN GERMAN SUPERPLEX! RICHARDS PINS DANIELS! It’s over at 18:57

Rating – **** – I think I may have had my expectations a little too high as this possibly wasn’t as good as I was expecting – but I still think there was enough physicality and top notch wrestling no show to make this a worthy 4* match. All four of these guys are former ROH tag champions with lots of domestic and international experience behind them – and the quality and pedigree of their work was there for all to see. Certainly there aren’t many wrestling companies who will give you this high a standard of in-ring action on free TV. The crucial thing here was for Davey and Daniels to get in the ring together and develop some chemistry ahead of their (eventual) singles match – and they definitely looked like they clicked as opponents.

Roderick Strong is furious with Chris Daniels for losing the match for their team. His paranoia and discontent with everyone else in Ring Of Honor continues…

Rating – *** – The middle of the show was average – but with great tag matches to open and close this has to go down as another good week for ROH on HDNet. Certainly the main event will be worth checking out when it pops up on a Best Of volume, as four top quality workers slugged it out for nearly 20 minutes. And it wasn’t just a thrown together match, it served a real purpose as it built to the inevitable Richards/Daniels match, gave us some follow-up to the terrific Daniels/Edwards Supercard Of Honor bout and the conclusion developed the ‘Strong vs the world’ attitude Roddy has carried on his shoulder since the Anniversary Show. After some of the horrible instalments of ROH on HDNet we’ve seen in 2010, this was certainly one of the better ones.

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