ROH on HDNet – Episode 092 – 24th January 2011
Last week the show finally closed the book on Final Battle and began to seriously hype their 9th Anniversary Show in Chicago. Two main events are signed already, and Homicide, who will confront arch enemy Jim Cornette tonight, thinks he should be the one to challenge for the World Title that night. Daniels/Hero was the best HDNet match in over a month too – lets see how the scheduled main event this evening (WGTT vs ANX) can follow that. Hog and DP are in Louisville, KY.
Adam Cole and Kyle O’Reilly (with some AWFUL background music) give their opinions on all the major tag teams in Ring Of Honor. The Bravado Brothers do the same thing, with their lovably goofy ‘Bravado Bandwagon’ gimmick being spotlighted on HDNet for the first time.
Bravado Brothers vs Adam Cole/Kyle O’Reilly
These two teams know each other extremely well by now. Future Shock beat the Bravados twice last year, including a spectacular and comprehensive victory in their HDNet debut as a team. But two weeks ago in Charlotte the Bravados got a measure of revenge with a cheap victory over Cole and O’Reilly in their home state. Can they win 2 in a row, or will Adam and Kyle get some revenge?
Prazak points out that Future Shock are undefeated on HDNet. Cole and Lance start at a quick pace – which suits Adam more than it does Bravado and it’s his team that seize the initiative. O’Reilly puts Lancelot in the hiptoss armbreaker and forces him to scuttle into the ropes. Harlem suffers a similar fate as he ambles into a big kick from Davey Richards’ protégé. But Harlem does bring his team into the match for the first time as he nails a giant legsweep on Cole as he perches on the second rope. He looks to slow the pace right down with a grounded bear hug, then works with his brother to ensure Adam doesn’t get near his partner for a tag. Finally Cole hits a flying heel kick from the second rope and does get that hot tag to Kyle. He destroys Harlem with quick strikes, then turns into a kick to Lancelot’s face. DOUBLE MISSILE DROPKICK NAILED! Rolling butterflies into the double arm DDT gets 2 on Harlem. TANDEM KNOCKOUT KICKS! Lance has to dive into the ring to save his brother there. The Bravados join forces with an enzi kick/German suplex combo on Cole. O’Reilly comes to Cole’s aid again with a discus lariat for 2. Lancelot shoves him out of the ring…and just like at Only The Strong Survive, he rolls Cole up grabbing the tights and pins him at 08:23
Rating – *** – These two teams have great chemistry together. It helps that Cole and O’Reilly are extremely gifted, but you can’t help but deny that the repackaged Bravados – now given the dorky idiot gimmick – are pretty effective in their role. They always seem to have fun matches together and this one was as good as any they’ve had thus far. I’m still not sure the Bravados should be going over Future Shock…but if Delirious isn’t ready to push Cole and O’Reilly up the card as yet, at least this mini-series with the Bravados is giving them something to do, and getting Lance and Harlem over in the process
MsChif got pissed off sitting at home listening to Sara Del Rey and Daizee Haze moan about having no competition in the Women Of Honor ranks. She’s now back in ROH and, having taken the Haze out last week, wants her chance to fight the Queen Of Wrestling…
Homicide enters the Davis Arena for his confrontation with Jim Cornette. The Executive Producer assures Homicide that their issues are in the past as far as he is concerned. The Notorious 187 still doesn’t like Jim…and wants a title shot. Cornette confirms that, since he’s now 3 months undefeated, he will get to challenge the World Champion at the 9th Anniversary Show. This would be more effective if you could understand what Homicide says…
Homicide vs Oryan Bishop
The Notorious 187 stays in the ring after his confrontation with the Exec. Producer and demands he sends someone out to fight him. Homicide wants to use this match to send a message to Cornette.
Bishop is HUGE by ROH standards and he comes out of the corner to totally mow Homicide down with a clothesline. Homicide resorts to choking him in the ropes and raking his eyes, such is the size difference here. Prazak spends most of his time on commentary translating what Homicide just said in his promo segment as Homicide is just beating on Oryan. Finally Bishop catches him in an overhead belly to belly suplex. Vader Bomb misses and Homicide hits the Ace Crusher to win at 03:16
Rating – DUD – Too long and boring for my taste. I appreciate the point they were trying to make, but this should have been wrapped up a lot more quickly. If anything I came away from this thinking I’d like to see more of Bishop because his size would make him a unique act on the roster.
The competitors in tonight’s main event get some interview time. The most interesting part is Kenny King complaining about spending his whole career being compared to Shelton Benjamin.
NEXT WEEK – Eddie Edwards defends the TV Title against Christopher Daniels.
Eddie Edwards tells Kyle Durden he’s looking forward to facing the Fallen Angel. Mike Bennett interrupts to laugh at Eddie’s catchphrase and tell him he’ll be TV Champion soon enough.
All Night Express vs Charlie Haas/Shelton Benjamin
With their big shot at the Kings Of Wrestling on pay-per-view now almost a month away, this tune-up match has to be one of the biggest tag team encounters of ANX’s careers. Certainly in ROH, other than their Tag Title shot at Steen and Generico back in 2009, it’s hard to think of any bigger tag matches they’ve had. Can they pull off a shock win over ‘Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team’? Or will Haas and Benjamin back up their promise to be ROH Tag Champions by defeating the current #1 contenders?
King starts with Benjamin, clearly determined to shake off the comparisons that have dogged his career right from the outset. Kenny scores the first knockdown with a shoulder block, then a second with a Japanese armdrag and celebrates it like he just won the match. But he celebrates just a second too long and turns into a slap from Benjamin. Haas tags for the first time and smashes Kenny’s arm into the top turnbuckle. He realises he’s hurt and quickly tags out to Titus for the first time. Charlie isn’t phased an starts to pick apart Rhett’s leg instead. He holds that limp over the ropes, waiting for Shelton to slingshot over the ropes and drop all his weight across it. King takes a cheapshot at Benjamin to help Rhett out and give ANX the edge. ROPE HURDLE ARM GUILLOTINE from King to Shelton! Kenny really starts working that arm and within minutes his team have ‘the Gold Standard’ totally cut off from his corner. ANX get 2 as Titus hurls Benjamin across the ring, straight into a spinning heel kick from King. DRAGON WHIP out of nowhere and just like that both men are down. Hot tag to Haas, who cleans house on the ANX by himself. Some of his power moves, on King in particular, are hugely impressive. ANX try their blindside lariat…COUNTERED WITH STEREO GERMAN SUPLEXES! King and Shelton fall out of the ring whilst Charlie goes for the Haas Of Pain. King saves Titus with a springboard lariat. The Kings Of Wrestling are out and they assault King, unseen by the referee. In the ring WGTT hit the LEAPFROG HILO on Rhett. Haas pins him at 11:38
Rating – *** – I know some people don’t like it, but Haas and Benjamin’s stature and reputation in the business immediately makes them a huge deal in Ring Of Honor. In some ways, getting WGTT to ROH together is one of the biggest coups the promotion has ever pulled out. This was a terrific free TV tag match which was entertaining, and kept plenty in reserve should these two ever lock up in a more meaningful match somewhere down the line. Admittedly the KOW interference was crude and slightly unprovoked, but it adds heat to the Kings/ANX title match at least.
Tape Rating – *** – This was a solid show that did enough to scrape into 3* territory even with that Homicide segment in the middle of the show which fell really flat. The fun tag team matches to start and end the show certainly helped, and again I liked that the hype for the 9YA show continued. I’ve seen lots of criticism flying around that ROH didn’t do enough after Final Battle to promote their next iPPV but…to be fair, I think they’re working hard and doing ok with it. The problem is that, after Final Battle, they’re having to build most storylines up from scratch. WWE’s post-Wrestlemania and post Summerslam periods are always among the lowest points in their year…ROH are just having a tough time creating compelling angles that fans will buy into quickly enough.