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ROH on HDNET 10/25/2010

ROH on HDNet – Episode 079 – 25th October 2010

One week removed from delivering what many called the ‘free TV MOTY’ for 2010, ROH will look to capitalise on the renewed interest in their HDNet product with a solid follow-up show to the epic Black/Richards episode from last week. The main event for this hour of wrestling is strong too, with the Kings Of Wrestling defending the ROH Tag Titles against the Briscoes in Jay and Mark’s final chance to challenge the Kings. Mike Hogewood and Dave Prazak call it from Philadelphia, PA.

Necro Butcher/Erick Stevens vs Grizzly Redwood/Andy Ridge
By this point The Embassy in this incarnation were already on their way out of ROH. The complete non-reaction to their entrance to The Arena is all the evidence you need as to reasons why. Not that you’d expect two graduates of the ROH school to pose much threat to them tonight.

Grizzly goes straight for Necro but is easily dealt with and beaten down. Ridge in next, looking to fell Stevens with some of his trademark kicks. BIG PUNCH/WHEELBARROW SUPLEX COMBO from The Embassy gets 2. ‘You should join The Embassy Hog’ – Prazak to Hogewood. That line is more entertaining than most of the ensuing heat segment on Right Leg unfortunately. Ridge tries to kick Butcher only for Necro to totally ignore it and hit him with rolling chokeslams. Eventually Andy kicks his way past Stevens into the hot tag to Redwood and all four men start fighting in the ring. I say ‘fighting’ in the loosest possible term because much of it is really sloppy. Grizz gets thrown over the top INTO a big uppercut from Butcher, then thrown back in for Stevens to drop him with Ghana-rea. With Necro dismantling Ridge on the floor, The Embassy take the win in 06:20

Rating – * – Not all of this was bad, with some of The Embassy double teams in particular being fun to watch. This was just far too long for a comprehensive squash match, and the last few minutes became really sloppy and hard to follow.

Kyle Durden has quite the crowd in his little room today. First he asks Shane Hagadorn about being ditched by the American Wolves, with Shane calling them chumps. Then the Kings Of Wrestling have some words for the Briscoes.

Super Smash Bros. vs Josh Raymond/Christin Able
This is, on paper, a hugely even contest between two teams at roughly the same stage in their ROH careers and will both be looking for a big win to further cement their spot on the roster. Of course, Raymond and Able have the benefit of being associated with Truth Martini and World Champion Roderick Strong, but the Smash Bros. last two matches against the Wolves and the Kings have been of a high quality and will undoubtedly have impressed people. Who gets the rub in this one?

Raymond, who looks increasingly like a tattoo’d Sal Rinauro, starts with Player Uno and is quickly overpowered into a rapid double team from both he and Dos. And it’s Dos who uses his speed to overwhelm Able, giving the SSB’s a clear advantage until Josh returns and boots P2 in the chest. With a little bending of the rules HOT take command and cut Dos off from his partner. Dos manages to duck under both opponents then hits a double back flip kick before making the tag to Uno who gets 2 with an electric chair cradlebreaker on Josh. Dos joins him seconds later and they get another nearfall with an inverted DDT/sidewalk slam combo. Player Dos misses a dive though, and House Of Truth capitalise to hit that elevated facecrusher combo move to defeat Uno at 05:28

Rating – ** – Not the best match from either team, but the increase in quality from this match to the opener was certainly noticeable. Which makes the decision to give The Embassy’s match nearly a minute more ringtime than this all the more baffling. House Of Truth going over was the right decision though, as they need credibility to play sidekicks to the World Champion…but I can’t help be a little disappointed because I like the Smash Bros so much more than them!

The HDNet cameras get some exclusive comments from Homicide following his return to ROH at Glory By Honor. He brings his memorable, but entirely unintelligible promo skills to TV, with the message basically being that he’s back to reclaim the ROH Title.

Elsewhere Jim Cornette addresses the situation regarding Steen and Corino quitting the company. He orders them to fulfil their contracts by returning to face Cabana and Generico in a cage next week

Kings Of Wrestling vs Jay Briscoe/Mark Briscoe – ROH Tag Title Match
This is the third Tag Title match between the Kings and the Briscoes this year. The first one saw Hero use the ‘lucky’ elbow pad to ensure he and Claudio won the belts from the 6-time former champions (leaving Jay a vomiting, concussed mess in the process). They fought again at Death Before Dishonor 8, in a bloody war which again saw the Kings emerge victorious. But as the hatred between the teams has escalated, both teams are ready to go into battle again. This time, however, if Jay and Mark fail to win, they will not receive any more title shots whilst the Kings hold the belts.

Mark starts with Hero and violently slaps him in the face. Castagnoli steps in only for Mark to beat the snot out of him too, and the champions quickly leave the ring to discuss tactics. That discussion was clearly fruitful as Hero emerges to distract Jay, allowing Claudio to attack him and soon after the Kings take charge for the first time. The Briscoes are fired up for this though, with Mark responding by attacking Hero from the apron then hitting the ropes for a guillotine leg drop/sidewalk slam combo on Castagnoli…and the Kings are left to console each other on the floor again. That break doesn’t stall the challengers’ momentum though, as they seize Double C and hoist him into the Briscoe Biel. Jay is so fired up he flat out CLOBBERS Castagnoli out of the ring, and goes straight into a SOMERSAULT pescado which floors him again. Mark is soon following suit with a somersault dive of his own and as quickly as that the contest degenerates into a four-man brawl around ringside. Almost out of desperation Claudio nails a springboard European uppercut, but STILL the Briscoes have answers for every question posed of them by the champions with Jay grabbing Hero for the turnbuckle flatliner as soon as he gets the tag.

At last Hero score with something, dropping Mark on his neck with a cradling back suplex at 8 minutes, then feeding him to Sara Del Rey who takes a cheap shot from the floor. Referee Paul Turner ejects her from ringside for that but it doesn’t stop the Kings hitting a slingshot elbow smash to leave the younger Briscoe out of it on the canvas. Hero and Claudio dominate for the next few minutes, keeping Mark well away from his brother and really starting to wear him down. Mark dives for a tag only to be nailed with the HART ATTACK ELBOW for 2, and things get worse for him minutes later when Hero tosses him out of the ring where Claudio is waiting to hit a suplex on the hard floor. The Swiss comes back in and scores a nearfal with the UFO before being joined by Hero for a big double pancake which tosses Mark high into the lights before crashing hard to the mat. Out of nowhere he hits a Saito suplex on Hero though, then takes his chance to make the hot tag to Jay. He cleans house on both opponents, then drops Castagnoli with the Jay Driller which needs a last ditch save by Hero to break the ensuing pin. Hero saves his partner from the Doomsday Device too, choking Mark in the ropes…and allowing Hagadorn to try to interfere on his behalf. He kicks Jay in the balls, and that’s enough for the Kings to retain at 18:22

Rating – *** – Solid match, but the lousy finish and general lack of excitement despite going nearly 20 minutes means this wasn’t quite as good as The Big Bang or Death Before Dishonor 8. To be fair, I liked most of what they did, but my problem was it felt like they worked the first 17 minutes of a great 25+ minute match, then chopped the last 5 minutes off for some Shane Hagadorn interference instead. Hugely disappointing in it’s own right, but since HDNet supposedly serves as an extended commercial for the DVD and iPPV business, I do feel this was good enough to promote DVD sales to see their first two, significantly better matches.

Papa Briscoe jumps the rail again, and after botching getting into the ring, he attacks Shane Hagadorn. The Kings flee, dragging the beaten up body of Hagadorn out after them…but having won the battle, it’s crystal clear that there is STILL a score to be settled between these teams.

Tape Rating – *** – I debated how high to go on the rating for this episode. On the one hand, the main event was a bit of a let-down considering the Briscoes and the Kings have set such high standards against each other previously. However, although they don’t compare favourably to their prior iPPV encounters, in it’s own right it was still a high quality 20 minutes of tag team wrestling to be given away on free TV. Much of the episode was filler, I still think the main event was good enough to justify dragging the whole episode into 3* territory.

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