ROH on HDNet – Episode 081 – 8th November 2010
Although there’s no marquee main event as there has been in the last three or four weeks of HDNet TV, hopefully Ring Of Honor can continue their momentum with a strong top to bottom show this week. There’s certainly lots on tap for the last week of TV before the promotion heads to Detroit and Toronto for Survival Of The Fittest weekend – with Eddie Edwards due to defend the TV Title, the Kings Of Wrestling in action and the debut of Homicide on TV. Mike Hogewood and Dave Prazak to call the action, taped in Philadelphia, PA.
SIDENOTE – If I was writing these reviews in 2010 when the shows aired, I’d swear HDNet are listening to me! One week after I questioned having such an outdated title sequence, tonight debuts a new title sequence with people like Truth Martini and Christopher Daniels added, and much more of a focus on guys like Steen, Strong, Richards, Edwards, Generico, King and Titus.
Eddie Edwards vs Necro Butcher – ROH TV Title Match
Is this the toughest challenge to Eddie’s reign thus far? Having already seen Erick Stevens and Shawn Daivari of The Embassy defeated on back to back evenings over Glory By Honor weekend, tonight Nana sends his Crown Jewel to try to win gold for his stable.
Much more focus on the 15-minute time limit of TV Title matches this week as the bout starts with a countdown clock in the top right corner of the screen. Necro strikes first with an overhand chop that echoes through The Arena, but soon he reverts to type and tries to bring a chair into the ring. He obviously knows it’s in his interests to make this a brawl and he takes Eddie out of the ring to instigate a brawl, smashing his crotch against the ringpost then hitting the CHAIR SLAM on the floor. Back in the ring a beaten Edwards tries to trade shots with him…and actually OUTPUNCHES Necro! TOPE SUICIDA NAILED! Now it’s the champion taking it to Necro on the floor, giving him a big mafia kick against guardrails for good measure. He thinks about a German suplex only for Butcher to save himself by grabbing the referee then FLOORING him with a big lariat for 2. Edwards to the second rope to hit the flying Codebreaker, into the Achilles Lock. Of course, that brings Prince Nana and Ernesto Osiris onto the apron, causing Eddie to break the hold. Chokeslam from Butcher, but Eddie counters the Tiger Driver into a small package for the win at 07:46
Rating – *** – I’d go so far as to say this was Necro’s best singles non-Butcher’s Rules match in over a year. I’m not sure if he knew it at the time but these would be his last TV tapings with ROH. I’ve never been his biggest fan, but he was undoubtedly an asset to ROH in the 2007-2009 Age Of The Fall era, and in 2008 was one of the most popular guys on the entire roster. Honestly I think the booking of his character by Adam Pearce through the HDNet era killed all that momentum and, although pairing him with The Embassy has been amusing, it’s a case of too little, too late. I’m glad he has a couple more matches to go out on a high though. This was good, and I think his last HDNet match is against Homicide in a rematch from 2006’s Ring Of Homicide event.
THIS WEEKEND – Survival Of The Fittest gets a brief hype video, with the point made to new fans that the winner will receive a future ROH Title shot.
Shane Hagadorn is in a good mood and gleefully informs Kyle Durden that Papa Briscoe has been banned from all future ROH events after hopping the guardrails again two weeks ago. Claudio sportingly announces that he and Hero will defend the ROH Tag Titles against Dark City Fight Club in the future IF they can beat them tonight.
Bravado Brothers vs Adam Cole/Kyle O’Reilly
Although in chronological terms we saw the first tag team appearances of ‘Future Shock’ at the last Dayton/Chicago weekend, it was actually at this set of tapings that ROH started pairing them up for the first time. Fresh from signing long term contracts with the promotion, they are now set to become part of the core roster and are considered, by many, to be top young prospects for 2011 and beyond. After impressive, but losing efforts at Allied Forces and Richards vs Daniels, can Cole and O’Reilly score their first win as a team here tonight?
O’Reilly and Harlem Bravado get us started, with Kyle immediately showcasing his mat skills by trapping Harlem in an armbar. The Bravados join forces to drop him with a double flapjack, which brings Cole in to dropkick Lance in the face. Kyle/Harlem again, with O’Reilly drawing a 2-count with a back suplex. FLYING Total Elimination variant from Cole and Kyle for another nearfall. Lancelot saves his brother with a swinging belly to belly on suplex on Cole, then the Bravados hit a nice round the houses enziguri kick. BRIDGING GERMAN gets 2 for Lance Bravado. Adam scores with a DVD over the knee then brings O’Reilly back again to hammer him with kicks. DOUBLE DRAGON SCREW on both Bravados, who fire back with a LIGERBOMB/FROG SPLASH COMBO! Cole saves his partner and dives through the ropes into a tope suicida on Lance. He tags Harlem with a jumping enzi too, allowing O’Reilly to put him in a front choke. Harlem taps at 05:04
Rating – *** – In the context of where both these teams are in their ROH careers, that was an outstanding match. Full of energy and purpose, almost entirely clean, this was a huge statement from both teams that they’re ready to test themselves beyond squashes and enhancement bouts for the ‘big fish’ of the tag division. Cole and O’Reilly are really good as a team, and their vastly differing in-ring styles really compliment each other. Since they’ve just got new contracts they’re the team being pushed right now – but don’t overlook the Bravados contribution. This was an even, back and forth match, NOT a squash win. I really enjoyed this – a total breath of fresh air and a performance from both teams which probably helped ROH officials make the decision to drop stale acts like Necro, Stevens and DCFC.
COMING SOON TO ROH – A first video vignette airs for Mike Bennett.
Kyle Durden is in the ring, bringing out Christopher Daniels for some promo time. He’s here to promote his World Title match with Roderick Strong this weekend in Canada. This comes off as very awkward because the crowd sits in complete silence through most of what he’s saying, but the point is he will be the next ROH Champion. That brings another ROH founding father and TNA alum out, as Homicide steps onto ROH on HDNet for the first time. Homicide starts blaming Jim Cornette for not getting a title shot already (he’s been back for 2 shows!) and brings up all the history between them going back to 2006 with the Road Of Homicide storyline. What a whiner!
THIS WEEKEND – Now the Toronto show gets spotlighted, with Roderick Strong defending the World Title against Chris Daniels, the Kings defending the Tag Titles against Steen and Corino, with Eddie Edwards also scheduled to defend the TV Title too.
A video package announces that Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team (Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin) will return to ROH when HDNet tapes in Louisville, KY in December.
Kings Of Wrestling vs Dark City Fight Club
These two teams have fought before, but for DCFC, the stakes have never been higher after Claudio openly promised them a title shot if they could win tonight. The Kings are a big, physical, hard-hitting and greatly skilled tag team – but the Fight Club certainly have the skills to cause them problems here.
Chavis starts with Hero, showcasing his strength from the bell by easily shoulder tackling him to the floor. Davis tags and does the same thing by CATCHING Castagnoli into a powerslam for 2. Leg drop/backbreaker combo on the European gets another early nearfall. Finally Hero tries to get an advantage by going for Kory’s beard…only for Rainman to grab his beard in return. Finally the Kings knock the determined Chavis down with a big boot/uppercut combo. Kory does block the tandem big boots from the champions…but as he edges towards a tag Hero boots Davis off the apron then returns to the ring for the Big Swing/Flash Kick combo. HART ATTACK SPRINGBOARD UPPERCUT gets 2! Chavis looks for the Rydien Bomb, but nearly sees it countered to the Death Blow. He blocks that and NAILS the Rydien Bomb second time of asking before making the key tag. Davis take the fight to Claudio, scoring several nearfalls on him in the process. Again Jon shows his brute strength, muscling Double C into another massive powerslam. Hero saves his partner then MISSES a springboard quebrada to eat TOTAL ELIMINATION! POP-UP EUROPEAN by Claudio and all four men are on the canvas. Hero goes for an elbow on Chavis, but it’s blocked with the POOUUUUUUNCE from Davis. ELBOW SMASH/UPPERCUT COMBO! The Kings beat a game DCFC at 10:24
Rating – *** – Much like Necro, these tapings are the last for DCFC. I know they struggled to get over with the ROH fanbase, but I always quite enjoyed their stuff, and this match was a great way for them to go out. They are big, physical guys, so getting to work that style against guys who are their match in size-terms is a lot of fun. This was probably the best Kings/DCFC match too, with a great story of Chavis and Davis being psyched for this, with a potential title shot on the line. They dominated long periods of offence before finally falling short to the resilient, resourceful and continually impressive reigning Tag Team Champions.
NEXT WEEK – The Briscoes face Austin Aries and Rhett Titus, and Kevin Steen has an offer for El Generico which will apparently bring about the end of their year-long feud.
Tape Rating – *** – Another great little episode of the TV show. Although it lacked an obvious stand-out main event, all three matches tonight delivered a decent rating and were all great to watch in their own way. Add to that Homicide coming to HDNet for the first time and lots of work to emphasise how important the DVD shows are with hype for Detroit and Toronto this weekend…a well as video packages for Mike Bennett and WGTT, there was no dead-time at all.