ROH on HDNET 11/1/2010

ROH on HDNet – Episode 080 – 1st November 2010

Time to give Delirious some credit. Albeit with some odd booking decisions along the way (although what more would you expect if a masked ‘lizard man’ books your company), he’s slowly started to turn the HDNet show around. ROH’s DVD/iPPV shows have largely been good all year, but the alarming nosedive in quality of TV needed to be addressed, and in recent weeks its clear that Delirious is looking to do that. This is the third week in a row that we have a huge main event, with Kevin Steen and Steve Corino facing Colt Cabana and El Generico in a Steel Cage Match. This is the last time these two teams will face each other, and we’re well on the road to Final Battle where Steen and Generico meet one-on-one for the final time. Who will gain the upper hand tonight? Once again taped in The Arena, Mike Hogewood and Dave Prazak are on commentary.

SIDENOTE – I think the HDNet opening credits could use an update. The following are all in the video, despite no longer appearing on TV, or about to be released from their contracts: Kenny Omega, Necro Butcher, Eddie Kingston, KENTA, Dark City Fight Club, Jimmy Rave, Delirious, Rasche Brown, Young Bucks & Tyler Black. Crazy how much the roster has evolved as we come to the end of 2010…

Eddie Edwards vs Rhett Titus – ROH TV Title Match
I’m not entirely sure what ‘Addicted To Love’ has actually done to earn a title shot but let’s roll with it. Remember Eddie has recently sacked Shane Hagadorn and promised Jim Cornette to abolish the Ten Minute Hunts in favour of defending the belt as much as possible. That approach has seen him successfully defend against the likes of Colt Cabana and Kenny King on TV, and even went on the road to defeat Embassy members in both Plymouth and New York. Can Titus succeed where his tag team partner failed a few weeks ago?

The opening minute is super-even, which is to the credit of the challenger. Titus draws deserved applause for hanging with the defending champion every step of the way. He even steps up to the plate and trades LOUD strikes with him. Edwards does eventually take the advantage by leaping into a double stomp across Rhettski’s back. He looks for a spear on the apron, only for Titus to jump backwards and force him to HURL himself into the ringpost. Rhett is clearly focused here, quickly capitalising to start assaulting the now-injured arm and shoulder, using the ringpost and guardrail as weapons to that end. Edwards is fighting with one arm now, and that weakness means Rhett is able to counter the Backpack Stunner and hit his dropkick for 2. Super Sex Factor is blocked though, and the champion uses his legs to hit a SPRINGBOARD RANA out of the ropes. Belly to belly suplex sends Titus to the floor…and he takes flight with a TOPE SUICIDA! Rhett was SMASHED into the rails there, and that’s enough to win it at 7-8 minutes (I messed up my timer)

Rating – *** – Even with that hurried ending (I’m guessing someone picked up an injury there), this was a really good little match. Titus was doing an excellent job and continued his evolution from undercard comedy act to a genuinely good worker with a commendably solid performance. He looked like a genuine threat to Eddie, and I could easily see him being TV Champion himself someday. Up until the finish I was enjoying this more than Edwards/King btw

Looks like it was Eddie who injured himself as he walks straight to the back clutching his wrist. Maybe he should stop doing that tope dive – that’s twice he’s hurt himself doing it in the last year.

Colt Cabana gets some promo time with El Generico standing ominously in the background. He is fired up for the Cage Match tonight, but whatever the outcome it won’t be the end of the matter since Generico will go onto Final Battle to settle the score once and for all with Kevin Steen.

Sara Del Rey vs Rachel Summerlyn
This is our second look at Rachel. She faced Daizee Haze last time, so of course, she only has one more Woman Of Honor to face – that being the Queen Of Wrestling. Will she be able to make an impression on Sara, who is now one of the most dominant women in American Joshi.

Summerlyn shows no fear and tries to trade strikes with Death Rey…who starts assaulting her with a flurry of HUGE shots in response. She is relentless in the attack, trapping Summerlyn in the ropes to deliver another violent series of kicks. Capo Kick misses though and Rachel tries to take advantage with a Golden Gate Swing for 2. Sara slaps on a kneebar and gets the win at 02:38

Rating – ** – Generous rating, but I thought that was a hugely effective squash which made Sara Del Rey look great. Summerlyn isn’t a tiny lady like Daizee Haze, so Del Rey putting a beating on her like that made far more impact, and credit to Rachel, she was tough enough to throw some stiff shots of her own during her brief time on offence. Compared to some of the forgettable female talents that have made their way to HDNet, she’s certainly one of the better ones. I hope Prazak finds something for her to do in SHIMMER because she looks to have a lot of potential.

Kevin Steen/Steve Corino vs Colt Cabana/El Generico – Steel Cage Match
As I said before, this is the last time these two teams will do battle. After the epic marathon of violence we saw in Chicago, the Chain Match in New York and the wild No DQ Match on HDNet too, this is the climactic battle. Corino and Cabana confirmed their involvement in this was done after contesting a gruelling I Quit Match at Richards vs Daniels, with Generico and Steen scheduled to settle their differences at Final Battle. But for now, they all fight in a cage, in a match Steen and Corino have been contractually forced into after they tried to quit ROH a few weeks ago.

The match starts with Steen slamming the cage door into Cabana’s face, then saving his partner as Generico tries to rattle his jaw with a Yakuza Kick against the guardrails. Having beaten their opponents down on the floor, Steen and Corino now take it into the ring and demand the referee lock the door behind them. Cue some babyface offence as soon as Steen does get that door locked, but once again El Generico misses the Yakuza Kick. He hits a flying double crossbody instead though, and for the first time they are able to throw Mr Wrestling into the cage, with Corino receiving the same treatment moments later. Steen recovers whilst they focus on Corino, and he picks Generico up for REPEATED POWERBOMBS into the cage! Corino is bleeding, but gathers himself for a slingshot superkick combo on Cabana. Steen’s deranged side rears it’s head again with him jamming his fingers into Colt’s mouth and forcibly making him ‘smile for the camera’ which is pretty twisted. He then drops Generico on his neck with the pumphandle cradlebreaker. The heels climbs the cage with Cabana but after ramming his head into the metal, he falls with such force that it crotches both of them too. DOUBLE YAKUZA KICK AGAINST THE CAGE BY GENERICO! Cabana hits the Flying Asshole, sending Steen into the path of Generico’s Michinoku Driver for 2. YAKUZA KICK/BILLY GOAT’S CURSE COMBO! Steen saves Corino by throwing the masked man at Colt…so Generico EXPLODERS HIM INTO THE TURNBCKLES! Quebrada off the cage by Cabana…discus lariat by Corino. HALF NELSON SUPLEX BY GENERICO! YAKUZA KICKS FOR BOTH OPPONENTS! Cabana orders him to climb the cage, only for see his partner crotched as Steen shoves him into the cage. Generico is knocked all the way out of the ring as Corino pulls out a fork and starts stabbing Cabana with it. Even when Colt gets the fork from Steve, Steen is on hand to blast him with the turnbuckle wrench. Crippler Crossface applied…WITH FORK STABBING FROM CORINO! The ref stops the match at 13:10 with Generico struggling in vain to get back in.

Rating – **** – Of the four big ‘grudge’ matches between these two teams this year (so I’m excluding The Big Bang) this was probably the worst – yet I still felt there was enough violence and innovation to get it into the 4* territory. I really liked how much this one put Generico over, even in defeat. Before he was unfortunately knocked out of the cage, he was DOMINATING his opponents, to the extent that the only way Steen and Corino could win the match was to get rid of him. That adds to his credibility enormously going into the final battle at Final Battle.

After the match Generico goes on a rampage, tearing up the ringside area and angrily tossing things in all directions. The purpose being to emphasise that he’s now been pushed to his breaking point…

NEXT WEEK – Eddie Edwards defends the TV Title against Necro Butcher, the Kings Of Wrestling face Dark City Fight Club and Homicide makes his HDNet debut.

Tape Rating – *** – Another strong episode here. Had the end of Edwards/Titus not been curtailed by injury this episode rating could potentially be even higher. Certainly the main event is was another top notch bout, and also stands out as probably the bloodiest match on HDNet thus far.

ROH on HDNet Episodes 76-80 – Top 5 Matches
5) Eddie Edwards vs Kenny King (*** – Episode 076)
4) Kings Of Wrestling vs Jay Briscoe/Mark Briscoe (*** – Episode 079)
3) Davey Richards vs El Generico (**** – Episode 076)
2) Kevin Steen/Steve Corino vs Colt Cabana/El Generico (**** – Episode 080)

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