ROH on HDNET 8/16/2010

ROH on HDNet – Episode 070 – 16th August 2010

By the end of the episode we (and by we, I mean the HDNet fans who don’t watch the DVD shows or read the ROH Newswire’s) will know who Tyler Black will be defending the ROH Title against at Glory By Honor 9 on iPPV in September. Roderick Strong won the guaranteed title shot at Death Before Dishonor 8, but defends that tonight against Davey Richards. Apparently the Kings Of Wrestling are scheduled to make a statement on their looming match against Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin too. As ever, this was taped in Philadelphia, PA’s The Arena with Mike Hogewood and DP on commentary.

Rhett Titus vs Jerry Lynn
The Lynn vs Team Aries feud has gone on forever, climaxed at From The Ashes when Jerry beat Kenny King in a memorable No DQ Match and has sort of rumbled on in the background since then. Tonight sees a continuation of that with the veteran looking to beat some respect into Rhettski.

Lynn flings Titus over the ropes with a back body drop and immediately dives out after him with a pescado. Titus blocks the TKO and hits his big dropkick. Lynn actually breaks out some fun offence, with a somersault eye gouge, then a bulldog to the turnbuckles for 2. Rhett is sent to the floor again but as Lynn lines up his cannonball off the apron Austin Aries distracts him by grabbing his boot. Titus blocks the tornado DDT to land the leapfrog Rocker Dropper. He heads upstairs to land a big knee drop. Jerry blocks the Super Sex Factor and delivers his tornado DDT second time of asking. Aries gets involved again as he thinks about the Cradle Piledriver…but Lynn still manages to counter the Muff Driver into a pinfall for 3 at 07:29

Rating – ** – Nothing wrong with this necessarily…but it was SO boring. Personally I feel that Jerry’s ROH run should have ended at WrestleMania weekend in Phoenix. Those matches with Kenny King and Steve Corino would have been a perfect way to end his time in this promotion – and everything he’s done since has been totally forgettable.

Before he can celebrate Kenny King arrives to do a beatdown. Delirious runs in for the predictable save and Team Aries soon scatter…

Kyle Durden is backstage with Kevin Steen and Steve Corino (who looks like a middle-aged businessman tonight). They aggressively wield the chain they used to assault Colt Cabana last week and vow to use it on both he and El Generico again very soon.

El Generico vs Erick Stevens
Preoccupied by Kevin Steen as he may be, Generico remains one of ROH’s most popular and accessible talents at this point. That means if Erick Stevens can beat him tonight it would be quite the coup for The Embassy.

‘Princess Nana’ – Philadelphia. For some reason such a simple chant got an audible chuckle from me. Mounted Hispanic Punches from Generico, but Stevens counters his armdrag flurry into a Samoan drop. Embassy Elbow nailed, then Erick locks in a basic bear hug to press home his strength advantage. Generico escapes and lands a flying crossbody which gets 2. Erick clobbers on him in the corner, which is an obvious set up for the Choo Choo. COUNTERED WITH THE YAKUZA KICK! That came out of absolutely nowhere and was twice as exciting as anything else on the entire show thus far. Generico thinks about the somersault Van Terminator but is jumped by Steen and Corino. DQ at 06:22

Rating – * – Another really dull match, one great spot then another non-finish. I’ve said it a few times now, but I really think Adam Pearce is out of ideas as booker. None of his storylines have the same levels of complexity and intrigue that Gabe’s had…and every time he wants to advance something he uses basically the same run-in finish, or “surprise” schoolboy pin spot. I feel bad because the guy obviously loves ROH and his job, but it’s not hard to see why he was relieved of his duties. In fact, I think that happens this very week, with Delirious put in charge for the TV tapings on the 20th/21st.

Steen chokes Generico with the chain…here comes Cabana, and the second segment of the night ends the exact same way: predictable babyface run-in to save his friend as heels scatter.

Davey Richards reiterates that he doesn’t consider his Tyler Black match an MOTYC because he didn’t win. Truth Martini interrupts to talk complete sh*t…and is verbally slapped down by Shane Hagadorn. Surprisingly, Davey tells Shane he has to stay in the locker room like he did in Toronto…and Hagadorn doesn’t look best pleased.

After the commercials it’s announced that, after two weeks of chain attacks by Steen and Corino, they’re being booked in a Double Chain Match with Cabana and Generico at Glory By Honor.

The Kings Of Wrestling discuss their careers (including some footage of them winning the ROH Tag Titles for the first time back in 2006) and are supremely confident in their own abilities. Hero admits Haas and Benjamin have great amateur credentials, but doesn’t think they have what it takes to beat the 2010 Kings Of Wrestling in Ring Of Honor.

Josh Raymond/Christin Able vs Mike Sydal/Aiden Chambers
Double dose of Truth Martini tonight it seems. He leads his tag team charges into battle in what should be a fairly routine win for them. The only notable thing about their opponents is that Mike Sydal is Matt Sydal/Evan Bourne’s younger brother.

Able batters Chambers to the canvas right from the bell, then drops him a neckbreaker as Raymond propels himself over the ropes into a slingshot senton. Sydal comes in with a few athletic moves to take it to both opponents…until Able throws him into the turnbuckles with the Lawn Dart. HOT win with that elevated facecrusher double team move at 01:47

Rating – DUD – Nice to see Raymond and Able get another win, but I’d much rather have used the 5 minutes of TV time this took up and given that to the main event instead.

NEXT WEEK – 8-man tag team action as The Embassy of Prince Nana, Necro Butcher, Shawn Daivari and Erick Stevens face the Dark City Fight Club, Rasche Brown and Grizzly Redwood.

Roderick Strong vs Davey Richards
As has been discussed, the winner of this match gets to face Tyler Black at Glory By Honor 9. These two are former stable-mates turned competitive rivals. Roddy actually beat Davey on the first HDNet show of the year…then memorably refused to give him another 5 minutes after a hotly contested time limit draw at Bitter Friends Stiffer Enemies 2. Who heads to New York??

Davey asks Roderick to send Truth Martini to the back so they can fight ‘NRC style’. Strong agrees so this is indeed one-on-one with no managers to get involved. They work the mat with intensity, but it doesn’t take long for the slaps to come out. Davey tags Roddy with one right across the face and the Floridian immediately leaves the ring. There’s a great moment where Richards teases going into a pinfall exchange sequence with Strong but instead turns it to a surfboard. The point is that these guys know how to reverse everything the other guy does, and Strong is soon out of that hold. Davey forces him out of the ring again with a kick to the shoulder though. This time Richards chases him, running across the apron into another big kick right on the point of the shoulder. Moments later it’s Roderick forcing Richards to leave the ring after hitting him with an elbow right to the mouth. And just as Davey did, Strong gives chase – pursuing him around ringside to deliver repeated chops. Some douche fan legit shouts ‘this match f*cking sucks’ so loudly. Go get aids you f*cking ass. Davey makes a similar point to him as he HAMMERS Strong with kicks in the corner then runs screaming in his direction. Diving headbutt meets Strong’s shoulder again and Richards goes seamlessly into the cross armbreaker to do yet more damage to that body part. Roderick blocks the American Wolf trademark dragon crew in the ropes though. BACKBREAKER ON THE GUARDRAIL! Somehow this sh*tty crowd barely react to that at all. Davey’s back is hurt now, but he rounds on Strong for a big exchange of kicks and chops – which he wins by delivering the Handspring Enzi. Still feeling his back, Richards climbs to the top and flies into a missile dropkick for 2. Roddy isn’t done though, delivering the Side Effect right into Death By Roderick…but he doesn’t win it and Richard takes control again with an ARM WRENCH ON THE APRON! Fujiwara Armbar applied but Strong counters his move again! SATELLITE ARMBAR! Something new from Davey, but even that doesn’t get the job done. Roderick catches Richards in the corner and hits the TURNBUCKLE BACKBREAKER FOR 2! WIDOWS PEAK! 2 again! Richards blocks the Stronghold so Roddy catapults him into the corner instead. SUNSET FLIP BOMB knocks Strong away and Richards runs through him with a huge kick to the arm. ROLLING GERMANS! BUZZSAW KICK! Strong goes limp and barely kicks out this time. Cross armbreaker…COUNTERED TO THE STRONGHOLD! They fight back to the feet…and Davey accidentally FLOORS Todd Sinclair. Shane Hagadorn tries to help Richards…and Davey is PISSED with him! SICK KICK BY RODDY! Thanks to Shane, Roderick wins the match at 19:02

Rating – **** – Great match spoilt by an absolutely lousy crowd that honestly didn’t deserve to see a match of this kind of quality. I’ve been to multiple wrestling shows myself, some excellent, and some absolutely terrible. But I’ve NEVER felt the urge to scream at the top of my lungs, at two WORLD CLASS performers like these two, busting their asses as they were, that their match ‘f*cking sucks’. I can’t get over how disrespectful that is to these guys who are killing themselves for that same f*cking asshole’s entertainment. I also really liked the finish here. The fact is, we all knew it was going to be Black/Strong at Glory By Honor. It’s a World Title showdown we’ve been building towards since Survival Of The Fittest 2009 and absolutely HAS to happen. So the matter at hand here was – how was Davey going to lose? And by pulling the trigger on the American Wolves separating from Shane Hagadorn it gives Davey an ‘out’ and fans a reason to care about Richards even in defeat. I’ve been very critical of Adam Pearce in recent weeks, but I’ll say right now that this was very clever booking so props to him for that.

Tape Rating – *** – Much like last week, this was a one-match show…but I think Strong/Davey was good enough to get this episode a 3* almost by itself. A few weeks ago I criticised ROH on HDNet for not having any ‘great’ main event calibre matches…and I’m guessing the ROH staff themselves felt that, because since then we’ve had three or four really awesome ones. There were three significant happenings on this show – the main event, the Kings Of Wrestling interview and the announcement of the Steen/Corino vs Cabana/Generico Chain Match. Everything else was filler.

ROH on HDNet Episodes 66-70 – Top 5 Matches
5) Mark Briscoe vs Chris Hero (*** – Episode 068)
4) Roderick Strong vs Christopher Daniels (**** – Episode 067)
3) Tyler Black vs Christopher Daniels (**** – Episode 069)
2) Roderick Strong vs Davey Richards (**** – Episode 070)
1) Kevin Steen/Steve Corino vs Colt Cabana/El Generico (**** – Episode 066)

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