ROH on HDNet – Episode 076 – 4th October 2010
At the moment we’re in an awkward period for ROH. There is a long time until their next iPPV (Final Battle 2010) meaning there is a LOT of potential filler episodes of ROH on HDNet. However, by counting they also have five house shows between now and the big December supercard so they need to get their skates on terms of promoting those. The wheels started in that last week as Daniels and Strong continued their slow build towards an eventual title showdown. There’s also the dark shadow of the Steen/Generico feud still hanging over ROH – and that continues for the next 2 weeks as they have a ‘Pick Your Poison’ challenge series. Tonight Kevin Steen has selected Davey Richards to face El Generico, whilst next week Mr Wrestling will face an opponent of the Generic Luchador’s choosing. Once again, Mike Hogewood and Dave Prazak are in The Arena.
Eddie Edwards comes to the ring (interestingly he is still accompanied by Shane Hagadorn) for another Ten Minute Hunt but is interrupted by Jim Cornette. He accuses him of damaging the image of the TV Title with this gimmick and demands he defend the belt tonight. Eddie agrees, sends Hagadorn to the back and tells Cornette to bring a challenger out
Eddie Edwards vs Kenny King – ROH TV Title Match
You have to consider the title to be in serious jeopardy here. Kenny King made it to the semi-finals of the TV Title Tournament in his own right, and has improved further since then. Indeed, it was King, with his partner Rhett Titus, who made it to the finals of Tag Wars 2010 – an achievement not matched by Eddie Edwards and the American Wolves who crashed out in the first round. Kenny King represents the toughest challenge to the TV Title to date.
Kenny proves his skills by easily floating into a Japanese armdrag takedown. Edwards fights back and both men go for simultaneous dropkicks then come up to receive the obligatory applause from the appreciative live crowd. King tries a backflip but Edwards chops him down with a running enziguri kick for 2. He then goes for the Achilles Lock but it’s too early in the match and King is able to roll away. Edwards pursues him…GOURDBUSTER ON THE APRON! Huge move by the challenger there, and King stays on that midsection with an abdominal stretch. Side effect comes next and gets a 2-count. But King gets too confident, narrating his climb to the top rope far too excessively and getting caught with a kick in the face by the champion. Edwards lands a superplex, but is so injured that he can’t capitalise. King tries a springboard but gets BLOCKED with a jumping enzi kick to the face. TOPE SUICIDA NAILED by Edwards to follow that! He comes back into the ring with a huge missile dropkick then sprints out of the corner with the Backpack Stunner for 2. Double stomp misses though – and King counters with SHOTGUN KNEES! Coronation blocked…corkscrew enzi instead! Edwards tries the flying Codebreaker but he COUNTERS TO THE ROYAL FLUSH BACKBREAKER! SPRINGBOARD BLOCKBUSTER…FOR 2! Both men fight on the top…AVALANCE ROYAL FLUSH COUNTERED WITH A FRANKENSTEINER! INTO THE ACHILLES LOCK TOO! KING TAPS! Edwards retains the TV Title at 11:53
Rating – *** – Definitely the best TV Title match since the tournament final, but still a little short of that definitive match Edwards has been searching for since he won the belt. In truth the TV Title has been little more than a prop to keep Eddie over whilst Davey Richards is pushed into the World Title picture, but he has been defending it more in recent months. His defence against Erick Stevens in Plymouth and this one here were really entertaining contests. Hopefully this marks the start of a legitimate TV Title division in ROH since, thus far it’s been one of the bigger disappointments of 2010.
Tyler Black vs Mike Sydal
Black’s last night with ROH was at Glory By Honor 9, but we’ve got a few more weeks of pre-taped Tyler material on the HDNet broadcast. Here he faces Mike Sydal, and this would be the first time we’ve seen him since he lost the belt to Roderick Strong nearly a month ago.
Lots of ‘you sold out’ chants greet the now-dethroned champion. Sydal goes after his leg but is easily over-powered. Tyler easily tosses Matt’s little brother around the ring, all with the demeanour of a big, unpleasant bully. Springboard Lariat nailed…but somehow Mike keeps kicking out. He puts together a couple of kicks then heads to the top rope. Unfortunately he’s caught in the F-5, followed by God’s Last Gift for the win at 04:19
Rating – * – Far too long and Sydal was really sloppy during his brief moments on offence, but I’m awarding a star because I really liked Tyler Black’s sour facial expressions and conduct throughout the match. He’s supposed to be a pissed off jerk, fulfilling his contractual obligations whilst thinking he’s too good for ROH and wrestlers like Mike Sydal – and he effectively conveyed that.
Kevin Steen tells Kyle Durden why he’s chosen Davey Richards as Generico’s opponent tonight – all the while wearing the mask he stole from Generico at Glory By Honor.
SIDENOTE – This episode has had three commercial breaks for some reason. Normally there’s only one so I’m not sure of the reason for this change in format. Hopefully it’s not permanent as, after 76 episodes, I’m very tired of the ‘HDNet – Your Home For MMA’ advertisements.
El Generico vs Davey Richards
As previously discussed, this is the first leg of the 2 week ‘Pick Your Poison’ series between Kevin Steen and El Generico. Steen has selected Davey Richards to face his nemesis tonight, and with good reason. Davey is one of the most feared competitors in ROH, and is one half of the tag team that put Generico on the injury list during 2009 with a serious knee problem. Of course, Steen and Davey themselves shared a heated battle in Richmond recently, so Mr Wrestling will know all about the punishment Generico will be experiencing tonight.
Generico is back to being a sulky, withdrawn version of himself as a result of the mental scarring caused by being de-masked in New York. His focus on this is questionable and Richards easily takes him down and out-wrestles him in the opening minutes. Finally he lands some armdrags and shows some real resiliency by trading chops with the American Wolf. Backbreaker nailed as the masked man continues his surprisingly robust dominance. Davey tries to fight back so Generico actually HEADBUTTS him down. JERK KICK out of the corner by Richards and he starts targeting the luchador’s legs – the exact reason Kevin Steen picked him to be Generico’s opponent tonight. Generico defiantly trades strikes with Richards again, then BLOCKS the Handspring Enzi with a dropkick to the neck. Davey retreats…SOMERSAULT PLANCHA BY GENERICO! I love that Generico is still selling the knee after that. Had Edwards and King showed similar commitment to psychology earlier I might have gone even higher on their rating. Blue Thunder Driver gets 2. Davey is tough though, absorbing some of Generico’s biggest shots before firing back with an enziguri then a German suplex for 2. They trade shots on the top rope, with Davey getting the upper hand and nailing a superplex. But Generico SHAKES IT OFF! He hammers Davey with forearms. ALARM CLOCK ACROSS THE FACE! NO SOLD! YAKUZA KICK! BRAINBUSTER COUNTERED WITH A BRAINBUSTER FROM RICHARDS FOR 2! Generico is wounded but still fights Richards on the turnbuckles. Are you kidding me…HALF NELSON SUPERPLEX! That is psychotic! Luckily for Davey he lands in the ropes so can’t be pinned! Generico tries to drag him to the corner for the Turnbuckle Brainbuster only for Richards to attack the leg again. Ligerbomb blocked…ANKLELOCK INSTEAD! Generico escapes! HALF NELSON SUPLEX COUNTERED BACK TO THE ANKLELOCK! INTO THE TEXAS CLOVERLEAF! GENERICO TAPS! Richards wins at 17:07
Rating – **** – I had their match at the 8th Anniversary Show down as an MOTYC and this was a worthy successor. The psychology in this, on Generico’s part at least, was absolutely wonderful. He started as a forlorn, distracted figure, but his recent struggles have clearly toughened him up and as the match wore on he got to show himself to be a vicious, violent fighter and one able to stand up to one of the most brutal wrestlers in ROH right now. From the moment he actually headbutted Richards he was relentless in his determination to hurt his opponent. Davey was able to open up injuries and work sustained periods of offence – but it took him nearly 20 minutes to put down the plucky and spirited luchador here. Tremendous performance from Generico – and a must-see match as a result.
Inexplicably, the retarded minority of assholes in the crowd decide to pelt Davey with garbage after the match. How f*cking disrespectful.
NEXT WEEK – Shane Hagadorn wants to call out Davey Richards after his recent dismissal from management of the American Wolves, and Kevin Steen will face an opponent chosen by El Generico.
Tape Rating – *** – The two Wolves singles matches were really good – both better than anything on the last couple of week’s episodes. But the rest of the show was a little high on video packages, commercial breaks and filler for me to go any higher on my tape rating. I hope Davey/Generico makes it onto a ‘Best Of HDNet’ volume though as it deserves to be seen by more people.