035 ROH on HDNET 11/23/2009

ROH on HDNet – Episode 035 – 23rd November 2009

I’m not sure what’s on tap for this episode. We’ll probably get some aftermath/reaction after Bryan Danielson finished up his ROH run last week, in a hell of a match with Roderick Strong. Kenny King is scheduled to face Brent Albright too. Lets join Hog and DP in Philadelphia, PA’s The Arena.

The show opens with Hogewood praising Bryan Danielson. Prazak turns his attention to the present and future of ROH – the American Wolves. Apparently they’re scheduled to defend the ROH Tag Titles tonight against the Young Bucks which is a huge main event.

Kenny King vs Brent Albright
King is receiving a real push on HDNet at the moment. He’s getting lots of promo time, he’s got the rub from being the Jerry Lynn-killer and has chalked up a few wins too. Brent is apparently coming to look for revenge on Lynn’s behalf.

Kenny is full of confidence, dropping Albright with a shoulder block and strutting around the ring in celebration. He busts out a sweet counter to an Albright headlock by pulling him into a Japanese armdrag. Top rope crossbody block scores for Brent and gets an early nearfall. He then goes straight for the Crowbar but Kenny is too close to the ropes. Rhett Titus is at ringside and he distracts Brent, leading him into an ambush clothesline from King on the floor. He then FLOORS him with a rolling enzi kick and gets another 2-count. Backflip into SHOTGUN KNEES to the back nailed too. Royal Flush is countered though, into the Albrock Bottom. EXPLODER OVER THE ROPES TO THE FLOOR! TOPE SUICIDA NAILED! And Albright is on such a roll he even grabs Titus and hurls him into the guardrails for good measure! But, going to the outside turns out to be a mistake. He tries to suplex King back into the ring and, as we’ve seen the ANX do before, Rhett grabs his leg, holding him down to allow Kenny to pick up a cheap victory at 07:43

Rating – ** – I liked the match, but I thought the finish was really disappointing, and probably ended up knocking a star off the rating. I don’t mind the ANX having trademark ‘cheat to win’ spots, it’s just that the suplex/hold the leg down thing just isn’t that believable – especially against a power guy like Albright who was just suplexing guys over the ropes and doing crazy dives to the floor. To give Pearce some credit though, he’s really been building King up over the course of recent HDNet shows, so I was a little concerned he was going to undo all that good work by putting Albright over here. Giving Kenny another victory keeps his momentum going, no matter how nefarious the circumstances

Brent starts brawling with Titus and King, and their mentor Austin Aries runs out to further stack the odds against him. They try to line-up the Jerry Lynn Driver on a chair but Colt Cabana, Austin’s opponent in the main event next week (and in Chicago on December 5th), runs out to save his friend.

The Young Bucks call the ROH Tag Titles the most prestigious Tag Championships in the world, and call their opportunity at them tonight a huge deal

D-Lo Brown vs Sal Rinauro
Things don’t get any easier for Sal Rinauro do they? He’s taken a lot of beatings in recent weeks and, judging from the way D-Lo marches to the ring, he has designs on dishing out another one tonight.

D-Lo floors Sal with a right hand, and just like that Rinauro is on the back foot. He gets thrown out of the ring, then hung in the ropes for an ELEVATED Ace Crusher. Brown is so confident of victory he grabs a cellphone and starts Tweeting about it. SKY HIGH wins it at 02:18

Rating – * – Total squash, but as ever with Rinauro in there, he added an element of entertainment to it. In Wrestling Road Diaries Sal points out that he knows he’s only a jobber, but he knows he’s good in the role which is why ROH bring him out to Philly for these tapings. You can’t deny he’s very good in matches like this – to compare it, he brought so much more to it than Cameron Matthews did with Rasche Brown last week.

Kyle Durden catches up with Nigel McGuinness, trying to get the scoop on the rumours on whether he’s leaving too. Nigel declines to comment, simply smirking and walking out.

Back from commercials and it turns out Nigel walked straight from Kyle Durden’s hole and into the arena itself – microphone in hand. He acts like he’s going to be all humble, but then heels it up to brag about all his accomplishments. The fans know he’s leaving though, so they lap it up and applaud him anyway. He then walks out through the crowd and out of the building vowing never to return. That promo may have been my favourite thing Nigel has done since he lost the belt. Such an a-typical farewell/wrestler leaves segment. I loved it

Kyle Durden gets more out of the American Wolves than he did with Nigel. Eddie Edwards calls it the era of the Wolves in Ring Of Honor now Danielson and Nigel have left. The Bucks have done nothing to impress him, and they become two more victims in the main event tonight

Super Smash Bros. vs Brandon Day/John Kermon
We’ve seen all four of these guys before. The Smash Bros. debuted in an impressive, commendable but ultimately unsuccessful effort against Kevin Steen and El Generico, whilst Day and Kermon have never been anything more than jobbers. A win for either team would be huge here.

Day and Kermon jump the Smash Bros. from the bell, only for John to get dropped with a running neckbreaker from Player Uno. He takes a couple of double team spots so wisely tags out to Day who uses his power to overwhelm Player Dos. Finally Dos hits the double backflip kick on his opponents and gets the tag to Uno who runs through both of them with ease. Dos wipes out Day with a somersault plancha to the floor whilst Uno pins Kermon for victory at 03:52

Rating – DUD – Pretty lousy match – and given that this seemed designed to get the Smash Bros. over, I can’t believe how much offence John Kermon (who looks rubbish by the way) and Brandon Day got in. One of the worst HDNet matches we’ve seen in weeks, which is a shame because I really like Uno and Dos.

Jim Cornette gets some more interview time. He says he’ll be making his live debut in two weeks time. He says he wants the locker room to work together and give 100% to the Ring Of Honor product. If wrestlers (like Austin Aries) don’t want to do that, they’re gone…

American Wolves vs Young Bucks – ROH Tag Title Match
Having scored huge wins recently over the likes of the Dark City Fight Club and even the Briscoes, the Bucks were always going to get an opportunity to challenge for these belts sooner or later. Meanwhile, Davey Richards and Eddie Edwards are staking their claims to be the TOP guys in Ring Of Honor, having emerged victorious in their epic Feud Of The Year candidate with Kevin Steen and El Generico, having defeated Bryan Danielson during his Final Countdown Tour, having defended against all comers (including the Briscoes)…are the Jacksons the men to stop their path of destruction?

Richards and Nick Jackson get us going, with Nick using his speed to outmatch Davey, dragging him to the Bucks corner for the machine gun tag spots. Backflip stereo dropkicks nailed, followed by the leapfrog dropkick on Edwards to put both Wolves on the outside. STEREO PESCADOS and the Bucks are cooking in the opening minutes of this one. Angered, Davey drags Matt to the canvas and delivers a horrific punt to the spine, putting the Wolves on top for the first time. Edwards takes him to the floor, body slams him on the concrete then hits another big kick to the back out there. Matt tries a sunset flip on Eddie, but in a call spot, he basically flips over, looks up and gets kicked IN THE FACE by Richards. He then runs into an enzi kick to knock Nick off the apron before continuing the assault on his beleaguered brother Matt. But Matt shows real courage, drawing the Wolves into a misfire…but before he can get a tag Nick is floored by another enzi kick from Richards. NICK GETS THE TAG ANYWAY! ROLLING MOONSAULT TO THE FLOOR! Tornado DDT on Edwards gets 2! He misses a Swanton…but BLOCKS the Double Alarm Clock and forces Richards to kick Eddie instead. Springboard Splash/Standing Moonsault combo gets 2. More Bang For Your Buck blocked by Eddie, then Richards storms in to drop Matt with a Tombstone Piledriver for 2. Doomsday Device blocked by a reverse rana by Matt…ROPE RUN SUPER RANA FROM NICK TO DAVEY! Matt then springboards into a tumbling cutter on Edwards for a close nearfall. MORE BANG FOR YOUR BUCK NAILED! RICHARDS WITH A LAST GASP SAVE! Davey mows down Nick with the handspring enzi…KICK DUEL WITH MATT! DOUBLE ALARM CLOCK! POWERBOMB LUNGBLOWER FOR 2! ACHILLES TENDON LOCK! Nick tries to save but springboards into the DR DRIVER! Matt has no choice but to tap at 12:23

Rating – **** – On occasions I’ve been really critical of the Young Bucks and I’m definitely not as enamoured with them as some people. Personally I find them frustrating in that, they could be SO good, but too often fall into the trap of doing the same old spots in every match just because they’re comfortable with them and know that a live crowd will react to it. But you can’t deny that when they’re on, they are SO good. The recent Steen-erico/Bucks match from Aries vs Richards was the best I’ve seen from them in ROH, and for a free TV main event, this was absolutely exceptional. It helps that the Wolves are on another level completely right now of course, but the Jacksons comfortably carried their end in this bout. They were great at the explosive babyface start to the match, flying at the Wolves and actually using that annoying rapid fire tag spot with a purpose rather than because it looks cool. And then Matt made an EXCELLENT whipping boy for the intense heat segment. But this is it, when the Bucks work with a team who MAKE them work hard, and work a match which MAKES all the Young Bucks trademark spots string together into a coherent match, then they are fantastic talents. If you’re a fan of the Young Bucks you’ll love this match. If, like me, you’re a bit of a sceptic, or someone who likes them but finds their inconsistency pretty irritating, give this match a shot. I guarantee it was matches like this which convinced TNA to sign them up…

Tape Rating – *** – The middle of this show was pretty patchy, but I still think that it justifies a 3* rating overall. It’s still a good hour of wrestling TV, with so much packed in. The Wolves/Bucks main event was absolutely exceptional and, when an ROH on HDNet main event delivers like that, you normally call the entire show a success. But this wasn’t a one match show. King/Albright to lead us off was decent, with the aftermath sensibly building to the two big Aries/Cabana matches coming up – both on HDNet next week and in Chicago the week after. We also got Nigel McGuinness’ farewell to HDNet which I found super-entertaining, and another Jim Cornette promo to wet the appetite for when the Executive Producer finally arrives (which is in two weeks time).

ROH on HDNet Episodes 31-35 – Top 5 Matches
5) Colt Cabana vs Nigel McGuinness (*** – Episode 032)
4) Kevin Steen/El Generico vs Super Smash Bros. (*** – Episode 033)
3) American Wolves vs Bryan Danielson/Roderick Strong (**** – Episode 033)
2) American Wolves vs Young Bucks (**** – Episode 035)
1) Bryan Danielson vs Roderick Strong (**** – Episode 034)