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ROH on HDNET 10/11/2010

ROH on HDNet – Episode 077 – 11th October 2010

To be blunt, I’ve found the uninterrupted month of HDNet shows separating Glory By Honor weekend in September with the Dayton/Chicago live weekend in October a real slog to sit through. The DVD product has recovered really well in 2010, but the HDNet product (which towards the end of 2009 was absolutely superb) has gone downhill fast. There just aren’t enough ‘top quality’ main event matches to make it worthwhile sitting through multiple poor squash matches and pre-taped video package content right now. Which is why Episode 76 last week really came as a breath of fresh air. Sure there was still some substandard stuff in the middle, but the TV Title Match to start the show and the excellent Davey vs Generico main event were as good a combo of matches in one episode as we’ve seen in months. This is the last episode before we head to Dayton and Chicago for Richards vs Daniels weekend, so hopefully it can continue the momentum the TV product started to build last week. Dave Prazak and Mike Hogewood will call all the action from Philadelphia, PA.

Shane Hagadorn comes straight to the ring to have it out with Davey Richards. He’s furious that Davey would be so ungrateful as to fire him, and now even more pissed off that Davey has turned Eddie against him too. He also calls Edwards a follower and Richards a loser…which just doesn’t seem sensible at all. Of course, Davey duly attacks him…and in turn is jumped by the Kings Of Wrestling who are still loyal clients of Hagadorn’s. Enter Eddie Edwards to help his partner, clearly siding with him and laying the groundwork for a potential huge Kings/Wolves match in the future.

Christopher Daniels faces Roderick Strong again tonight. After losing to him twice thanks to Truth Martini’s interference, he vows to beat him tonight and has been promised by Jim Cornette that he’ll get a title match if he does.

Elsewhere (well, in the same place only after commercials) Austin Aries congratulates the All Night Express on taking Delirious out of ROH and hypes them as the next ROH Tag Champions

All Night Express vs Dark City Fight Club
This is a big test for Rhett Titus and Kenny King. They’ve been promoting themselves as better than they’ve ever been. Their manager says they’re as ruthless and dangerous as any team in Ring Of Honor’s tag division right now. They now need to back up the tough talk with a big win over the intimidating Dark City Fight Club.

King and Titus prove they are taking this seriously by actually following the Code Of Honor in a relatively normal manner. DCFC start the match better though, getting 2 with a backbreaker/leg drop combo on Kenny. Rhett jumps Chavis from the apron to hand ANX the advantage though. Using assorted questionable tactics they cut the ring in half and isolate Rainman at this juncture; Titus getting 2 using the Sexy Suplex at 4 minutes. They also hit a nice stereo enzi kick against the ring apron too. At last Chavis catches King going for a flying kick and turns it into a side effect slam rolls into the hot tag to Jon Davis. He drops King with a powerslam then turns on Rhettski with a big spinebuster. Double cutter gets DCFC a nearfall on Titus before he tags King back in for the springboard blockbuster over the knees. Capo Kick on Chavis then Shotgun Knees on Davis! Kory then floors him with a Rydien Bomb. POOOOOUUUUUUUNCE NEARLY KILLS TITUS! But in the melee King manages to grab a roll-up on Davis to score the big win at 08:43

Rating – *** – Generous rating, but I’m awarding a decent score because this match really stuck with the story it was going for and never deviated. We were here to put ANX over as a serious team and a legitimate threat to the ‘big fish’ of the ROH tag division – and to that end this match was resoundingly successful. They followed the Code Of Honor, they kept the sexual theatrics to a minimum and manipulated the rules however they could to ensure they kept the advantage. They also used a number of impressive and effective double teams – and showed a real desire to win as King snatched the victory amidst a sea of bodies and big spots at the end there. ROH threatened to do this last year when they let ANX put Jerry Lynn out of ROH, then backed out on the team and had them be the support cast for the Austin Aries show in the second half of ’09. They’re basically doing the same thing again in 2010 with ANX taking out Delirious and now supposedly getting a decent tag team push. With A-Double soon to be gone from proceedings too, hopefully this time we get a consistent and focused attempt to elevate these two.

Truth Martini calls it a conspiracy that Daniels gets another match against Roderick Strong tonight, whilst Roddy himself is pissed off that people are blaming Truth for his multiple wins over the Fallen Angel rather than congratulating him. Lots of charisma-devoid moaning there

Kevin Steen vs Steve Corino
Of course, last week we saw Kevin Steen select Davey Richards to face El Generico in the first half of the Pick Your Poison challenge. As stipulated by Jim Cornette, neither Steen nor Generico were allowed to pick their respective partners (so Generico with Colt or Steen with Steve) to face their rival. But no rule was made that they couldn’t pick their OWN partner to face them – so Colt Cabana has come out and duly announced that they want Steen to face Corino tonight.

Cabana and Generico sit ringside, with Colt mocking Steen and doing his own live commentary. Steen grabs a microphone and goes on a tirade about feeling persecuted by HDNet and ROH officials. Steve then proclaims that nobody cares about them and only want to promote Tyler Black leaving – so officially announces that Kevin Steen and Steve Corino quit ROH. The ‘match’ is over at 02:46…

Rating – N/A – Of course this gets the N/A rating because there was no match, but it was a great angle with more outstanding promo work from Kevin Steen and Steve Corino.

SIDENOTE – Three commercial breaks again this week, and HDNet’s ‘Guys Night In’ line-up of programming looks positively awful. I can’t believe ROH got dropped from a network which includes such illustrious shows  as ‘Bikini Destinations’ or  some show about drinking across America.

Roderick Strong vs Christopher Daniels
This is non-title, but as announced earlier, if the Fallen Angel can beat Roderick Strong tonight then Jim Cornette will award him a World Title shot in the future (which I guess is an acknowledgement that the Pick 6 is now dead). Daniels has been in impressive form since he returned to ROH, but thus far Strong has had his number – beating him on two occasions on HDNet, both thanks to the interferences of his Lifestyle Intervention Expert Truth Martini. Can Daniels finally put Roderick Strong and earn himself the first shot at Strong’s ROH World Title?

As expected this match starts with a purposeful and bitter exchange of strikes as both men enter with an obvious point to prove and axe to grind. Daniels manages to slap Strong out of the ring and is quickly on him again with a tope suicida. Can’t say I agree with Prazak’s point that Daniels has been in ROH for longer than Roddy Strong by the way. He may have started earlier but I’m almost positive Roderick has more total ROH appearances than Daniels by this point. They continue their exchange of strikes on the floor for the next couple of minutes before returning to the ring with Daniels maintaining his early advantage. Strong connects with the veteran’s jaw using an enzi kick, then smashes his back against the ringpost, causing him to the fall out of the ring. He’s on that back and midsection in a flash, driving knees to the stomach then shunting the back against the ring apron to leave his opponent writhing in pain on the arena floor. Bear hug applied next, then turned into a backbreaker for 2 as he looks to escape. He then locks Daniels in a chinlock (with bodyscissors), holding him in position for Martini to deliver a brief reading from the Book Of Truth, adding insult to injury it would seem. Stronghold locked in at 8 minutes but with a title shot on the line the Fallen Angel guts it out and makes it to the ropes. He mounts a wild comeback, running into the STO before mounting Strong for vicious and repeated right hands to the face. Angel’s Wings blocked though, and Strong turns him into the urinage backbreaker, followed by Death By Roderick for 2. SECOND ROPE sidewalk slam, but still Daniels refuses to give up on his chance to earn a title shot. He blocks the Gibson Driver and defies the pain in his back to hit a quebrada inverted DDT – shades of his great rival AJ Styles. Josh Raymond and Christin Able run in and distract the referee…but as Truth Martini tries to attack Daniels he gets crotched on the top rope. SICK KICK! But this time the referee sees the Book Of Truth and the evidence of Martini’s interference and stops counting. Daniels takes advantage with the BEST MOONSAULT EVER! He wins the match and earns his title shot at 14:12

Rating – *** – I preferred the first HDNet match and hated the finish here, but that’s not to say the rest of this one wasn’t good because it really was. Bearing in mind this is free TV, and the rest of the show was good today, I can live with this being the main event. As Dave Prazak said on commentary, since he didn’t see Strong or his seconds using the Book Of Truth it made NO sense that he’d stop counting from a kayfabe or literal point of view. I also hated that Daniels, having had his back worked on for most of the match, used the BME to win the match rather than the Angel’s Wings or Last Rites. There was still enough to make me look forward to the Strong/Daniels World Title Match when it comes around though

NEXT WEEK – Tyler Black’s last ROH appearance. He faces Davey Richards one more time…

Tape Rating – *** – Another decent episode of ROH on HDNet. Although the match content wasn’t as good this week, this was arguably the most COMPLETE top to bottom episode of the show in some time. The opening segment with Hagadorn, the Wolves and the Kings Of Wrestling was well done and sets up a huge match in the future, whilst elsewhere in the tag division the emergence of the All Night Express as a legitimate threat was also promoted. The Steen/Generico feud took another twist in the middle of the show as Steen and Corino quit ROH and the main event was entertaining too. For a free hour of TV this was a great effort – I wish more shows were like this.

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