ROH on HDNet – Episode 084 –29th November 2010
Three HDNet shows left to promote Final Battle 2010 and, judging from last week’s effort, everyone in Ring Of Honor is totally focussed on building the year-ending iPPV up as a night to remember. This week Steve Corino has promised to save El Generico’s life, ‘The Prodigy’ enters The Arena after weeks of hype videos and Homicide faces Necro Butcher in a Butcher’s Rules Match. Once again this was taped in Philadelphia PA (although next month’s tapings see the HDNet show go on the road for the first time – to Louisville, KY). Mike Hogewood and Dave Prazak on commentary.
Homicide doesn’t even know what ‘Butcher’s Rules’ are, but vows to go through him and anyone else on the way back to the ROH World Championship. Homicide’s best promo since returning…
Steve Corino is in the ring as the show begins, and he calls out El Generico as he has a special request. Corino blames Generico for Kevin Steen going crazy, and begs him not to go through with the ‘Final Battle at Final Battle’. He wants Generico to hand the mask over and leave ROH – to end the feud and save his life. Naturally he refuses, and is duly socked in the face with the microphone. They were scheduled to a match but all this is is Corino assaulting the masked man. Amusingly, when the bell does ring, Generico pins Corino in 3 seconds flat with a small package…but is then hammered back down with the Eternal Dream to the back of the head. He gets up again and knocks Steve back with a Yakuza Kick then drops him with the Brainbuster. That’s quite a statement to Kevin Steen!
Back from commercials, Jim Cornette introduces Mike Bennett for his ‘debut’ (we’re forgetting he’s been a jobber on HDNet a couple of times of course). Bennett says he signed with ROH because the roster is full of ‘tomato cans’ that he can knock over, and promises to be World Champion within 12 months. Bennett seems very natural, but ‘Brutal’ Bob Evans lived up to his nickname and is a HORRIBLE addition to Bennett’s act. The segment fell flat every time he got near the microphone.
Next we get some exclusive post-match footage after last minute’s time-limit draw between Sara Del Rey and Daizee Haze. The end result is a tag match at Final Battle, with each woman bringing a mystery partner to New York.
Jon Davis vs Rhett Titus
This is promoted as a unique one-off encounter since both guys are more focused on their tag team endeavours. As I write this (January 2012) Davis is being pushed hard by Gabe in his DGUSA and Evolve promotions, so I’m interested to see how he does in singles competition
Fairly basic early-on, but the general theme is that Rhett Titus uses his fundamentals and wrestling skill to get the better of the hot-headed, powerful DCFC member. Eventually Davis does manage to use that power though, catching Rhett into a powerslam for 2. He lines up the Pounce but Titus counters with the dropkick for his own nearfall. He tries to keep Davis on the canvas only for him to fight back to a vertical base and drop him with a leg lariat. But Davis keeps getting caught running at Titus in a rage, with Rhett continually able to counter and evade him in various ways. Spinebuster is countered but credit to Jon, he escapes Titus’ clutches and floors him with a Shining Wizard. Slingshot football tackle scores, before he catches Rhett and gets a close nearfall with the spinebuster. POOOUUUNCE! But Titus falls out of the ring which buys him some time to recover. He comes back in and hits that rolling neckbreaker move to win at 06:27
Rating – * – Boring and way too long. I don’t think ROH were ever serious on putting Davis over as a credible singles wrestler here – all they wanted was for him to show off his power a little before handing Titus an easy win to get him over.
Hog and DP hype Final Battle, and also stop to plug the Plymouth event the night before which features the Kings Of Wrestling vs American Wolves in what is being billed as their ‘last hunt’. Eddie Edwards, in the back with Kyle Durden also promotes it as the Wolves’ last match.
Adam Cole/Kyle O’Reilly vs Grizzly Redwood/Mike Sydal
The future ‘Future Shock’ team debuted impressively in Dayton and Chicago, and have followed that great weekend up with back to back tag team victories over the Bravado Brothers as well as a strong showing in Survival Of The Fittest 2010 which even saw Cole advance to finals. They need to continue to establish themselves by beating Redwood and Mike ‘Evan Bourne’s little brother’ Sydal.
CZW’s continued strength in the Philadelphia area is showcased by a strong ‘Adam Cole’ chant as he starts the match in a hold-for-hold exchange with Grizzly. Kyle and Sydal in next, with Mike getting the crowd going with a ‘We Will Rock You’ stomp then getting slapped into a cross armbreaker by the focused Davey Richards protégé. MOONSAULT TO THE FLOOR BY SYDAL! He really doesn’t have the smoothness or grace in the air that his brother has. Despite landing that he’s soon back in the ring and getting hammered with kicks and knee strikes from O’Reilly. Cole gets 2 on him with a northern lights suplex and with that Future Shock start cutting the ring in half and isolating him. Mike manages to land an enziguri on Kyle and makes the crucial tag to Redwood though. He gets 2 on Kyle with a springboard swinging DDT. O’Reilly retaliates with a WILD somersault plancha, then stumbles back in to hit a DOUBLE LUNGBLOWER COMBO on Sydal. They win at 05:14
Rating – ** – Nice, spotty and inconsequential little match which did the job in getting Cole and O’Reilly over without damaging Redwood’s reputation in the slightest. I know he’s only young and still very much learning the ropes, but Mike Sydal doesn’t look to be anything like as talented as his brother. I hope he gets better though as Matt was very rough around the edges for a long while before getting very good, very quickly then getting snapped up by WWE.
Necro Butcher vs Homicide – Butcher’s Rules Match
Long-time fans will remember that this is actually a rematch from the Ring Of Homicide event in 2006, which saw a wild impromptu brawl between these two guys in the midst of the ROH vs CZW feud and ended with a steel chair riot. Homicide wants a title shot so needs to be beating all comers, and certainly won’t be happy that Executive Producer Jim Cornette has seen him put in a Butcher’s Rules match so soon after returning.
Butcher is out first and immediately starts ordering Prince Nana and Ernesto Osiris to retrieve a selection of weaponry for him. Both men start with chairs in hand, swinging them like crazy men amidst a sea of streamers. Butcher lands the first shot, but Homicide laughs last by PRESS SLAMMING HIM OFF THE APRON THROUGH A CHAIR! That sick bump was less than a minute into the match by the way. CON-CHAIR-TO AGAINST THE RAILS! How is Necro not dead? And still not done, Homicide returns to the ring and throws a ladder over the ropes and into the face of his now-bleeding opponent. Necro tries to get up, this time walking into Homicide brandishing a ripped up segment of guardrail (nearly decapitating a few fans in the process). Impressively, Necro still has enough to block the Ace Crusher so the relentless Homicide suplexes him THROUGH A TABLE! Ernesto Osiris attacks Homicide to prevent the Cop Killa. COP KILLA ON OSIRIS INSTEAD! The distraction bought Necro some precious recover time, which he uses to deliver an OPEN CHAIR BACKBREAKER FOR 2! Chair Slam next – except he threw Homicide into a stack of chairs for good measure. Chairs prove to be his downfall though as Homicide grabs one and throws it in his face. Prince Nana gets involved now…AND NECRO GRABS HOMICIDE FOR A F*CKING NECK DROP POWERBOMB ON A CHAIR! That was downright scary and Homicide is clearly shaken up as he barely moves from the canvas for the next minute. Open Chair Backbreaker blocked second time around. ACE CRUSHER ON THE CHAIRS! Homicide wins at 08:28
Rating – **** – Call it 4* because of the ridiculous amount of violence they crammed into less than 9 minutes. There wasn’t a feud here, there was no ‘heat’ so to speak. This was just two guys proud of their reputations as crazy brawlers booked into a ‘no rules’ match and therefore pressuring themselves to do something crazy. Necro bumping off the apron onto an open chair in the first minute was pretty silly…and by the time we got to that horrific neck bump on the chairs it became almost moronically brutal. I can’t say it was enjoyable watching these two kill each other for kicks, but I also can’t deny that I loved watching it…which is an odd statement. Definitely Homicide’s best match since returning to the company.
NEXT WEEK – Wolves in singles action: it will be Richards/Stevens and Edwards/Cabana
Tape Rating – *** – Most of the episode was pretty rubbish, but the Generico/Corino segment was effective and that main event was as violent as anything we’ve seen in the entire HDNet run. Admittedly the middle of the show wasn’t great with the deflating Bennett debut and two average matches. BUT, Mike Bennett’s first show as ‘The Prodigy’ is a definite development, and the addition of another big match to the Final Battle card is a nice step to start rounding out the show weeks before it airs. I’m really impressed with how Ring Of Honor is building to the big night.