ROH on HDNET 1/11/2010

ROH on HDNet – Episode 042 – 11th January 2010

The new year in ROH began last week with a solid episode, and a couple of really decent matches in Generico/Titus and the Strong/Richards main event. The Pick 6 Series continues tonight, as should the fallout from Final Battle 2009, and the build towards the LA debut at the end of January then the 8th Anniversary Show the following month. We join Mike Hogewood and Dave Prazak in Philalphia.

Joey Ryan vs Necro Butcher – No DQ Match
On and on goes the Embassy vs Necro feud. This is a rematch…but that’s not surprising considering Necro has been at war with The Embassy since the spring of last year. No end in sight yet sadly.

One punch sends Ryan falling through the ropes to the outside where Necro is most at home. He starts choking him with a plastic bag then body slams him into the front row. Section A sign across the head and a bulldog to the hard floor soon follow as Joey continues to take a beating. Ernesto Osiris swings a chair at Necro, who totally no sells it…but the distraction allows Ryan to attack Butcher’s knee. Osiris holds the leg in an open folding chair whilst Joey goes to the top for a SOMERSAULT SENTON through the chair. That totally mangled the chair so who knows how much damage it had to do to that injured leg. Minutes later they try the same spot again, but this time Osiris doesn’t hold Necro down, allowing him to get his other foot up into Ryan’s face. Powder to the eyes again, just like the last time these two fought…and in comes Prince Nana as well to make it 3-on-1. Erick Stevens comes in with a chair to chase The Embassy off. Except he turns round and waffles Necro with the chair for himself. Grizzly Redwood tries to help Necro but is cut down by a Stevens lariat before Erick grabs the chair again and squashes Necro with a Choo Choo chair shot. Ryan wins off that in 09:37

Rating – *** – Totally overbooked, but in fairness to these guys, this was easily their best TV match. Everything had a purpose from the opening bell to closing bell, the Stevens heel turn creates added interest…and at this stage any match that makes this never-ending feud watchable has to be considered a major positive.

Just to round off proceedings, Stevens drops Grizzly on his head with a German suplex before the Embassy walk out with bodies laying in their wake.

In the back Colt Cabana can’t tell Kyle Durden why Kevin Steen snapped and turned on El Generico at Final Battle. He’s friends with them which is why he got involved in the aftermath, but doesn’t have any answers…

Colt Cabana vs Tony Kozina
This will be nothing more than an enhancement match for Cabana, who earned his place in the inaugural Pick 6 with a victory over Claudio Castagnoli at the end of 2009. As we just saw, the real issue here is whether he can focus on this match rather than Kevin Steen and El Generico.

Kozina seems fired up, but Colt is here to have a good time and does so at the expensive of his bald-headed opponent here. Tony just can’t live with the European stuff, so gives up and opts to punt Cabana in the stomach instead. Sadly for him, he misses Colt in the ropes and winds up throwing himself through the ropes to the floor in violent fashion. Flying Asshole, then the Big Daddy Splash for 2. Credit to Tony, he fires back with a springboard bulldog, but goes for one high-flying move too many and gets caught in the Billy Goat’s Curse. Colt wins at 04:28

Rating – * – Elongated squash match, but between Cabana’s usual stuff and Kozina’s comedy goof gimmick it was at least pretty fun.

Eddie Kingston tells the HDNet cameras that he thought he could start a new chapter in his ROH career after he beat Chris Hero at Final Battle. He tells his mystery attacker from last week to fight him like a man. He think it’s Hero, and calls him out…AWESOME promo

More great work from Ring Of Honor in the commercial break, as we get an advert for the January 29th show in Los Angeles. It’s not just the usual ‘come see ROH live’ deal, they hype the card and even make it relevant to the HDNet shows by promoting the return of Jerry Lynn to face Kenny King.

NEXT WEEK – Sonjay Dutt and Delirious settle their feud in a Submission Match, whilst Tyler Black and Austin Aries are in the same ring together again as part of a tag team match.

Kevin Steen vs Alex Payne
So last week we saw El Generico in his first singles match since the split of their tag team. Tonight it’s the turn of Mr Wrestling, as he takes on Sugarfoot. Can he deliver an emphatic message about his prospects as a singles competitor moving forward in ROH?

Payne tries to dropkick Steen’s knee but the size difference is such that it takes the Canadian no time at all to absolutely maul him. He does manage to hit an ugly version of his Diamond Dust but Steen totally no sells it to give him the Cradlebreaker and the Package Piledriver. It’s over, but the new evil Steen opts to dish out more punishment and lock in the Sharpshooter as well. He wins at 02:36

Rating – * – I believe this was still taped BEFORE the Final Battle split, in which case they did a good job wrestling a basic squash match for the live crowd as well as pushing in a new aggressive streak from Kevin Steen on the sly. 2010 is a big year for Mr Wrestling…

The main event next week is Briscoe vs Briscoe in the Pick 6 Series. The new Tag Champions are clearly still on the same page, but are both pretty forthcoming about their desire to beat the hell out of each other when they wrestle.

Chris Hero vs Kenny Omega – Pick 6 Series Match
I can remember a couple of previous encounters between these two men over the last year – with That Young Knock Out Kid coming out on top in both. He blasted through Omega in a fun little match on one of the early HDNet shows, then put him down again in the qualifying rounds of the Survival Of The Fittest tournament in Indianapolis. After coming so close to taking the belt at The Omega Effect, will the incentive of another chance to get his hands on Austin Aries be enough to inspire Kenny to a big win over Hero here.

Points for trying, but I can’t help but laugh at a HDNet graphic hyping Austin Aries vs ‘Justin’ Liger for LA. Omega is impressive from the outset, using his speed and athleticism to hang with his larger opponent as they trade holds. Of course, Chris isn’t just a solid technician, and he soon has Omega backed into the ropes with a big elbow smash. Omega cranks the pace up further by running the ropes into a lucha armdrag, then busts out an amazing Japanese armdrag variant too. Hero retreats only to tagged with a flying dropkick through the ropes. Frog Crossbody COUNTERED with an elbow smash for 2. Just like that the momentum changes and it’s the hard-hitting style of Hero that dominates proceedings. Kenny tries to hit one of his signature tumbling athletic moves, only for Hero to explode off the ropes into the FLASH KICK! More strikes from Hero, but this time Kenny manages to absorb them and floor Hero with the HADOUKEN! Frog Crossbody scores this time and gets him a nearfall. BACK DROP DRIVER BY HERO! Omega took that flush on top of his head, but Hero doesn’t even cover…instead dragging Omega up for a big elbow smash combo. Death Blow countered to a small package for 2, so Hero gets up and uses the ROARING ELBOW to send Omega spinning through the air. SNAP DRAGON SUPLEX gets Kenny a 2-count. Leapfrog Bulldog attempted, but once again it’s countered to allow Chris to land a big elbow smash – with such ferocity that Omega goes all the way to the floor. Hero goes for a rebound elbow off the guardrail…COUNTERED WITH THE STOP SIGN ENZIGURI! LEAPFROG BULLDOG ON A CHAIR! Omega then goes all the way up the aisle, getting the longest run up possible for A FLYING DOUBLE KNEE STRIKE! Back inside with Blue Destiny, but it’s still not enough to get Omega into the Pick 6. Croyt’s Wrath escaped into a Ripcord Elbow for 2. Hero has taken a beating here, and has no choice but to reach for the Golden Elbow. But he MISSES the Loaded Elbow smash, allowing Kenny to roll him up for the win at 15:11

Rating – **** – Slightly generous rating, but I thought this match was better and more entertaining than Richards/Strong from last week so went for a rating that showed that. These guys make for great opponents (which is why I remain surprised at how underwhelming their SOTF 2009 match was) with Hero’s brutal, no frills, grounded style making a great base for the athletics of Kenny Omega. The sequence on the floor around the steel chair was some of the best action we’ve seen in the entire HDNet run…I imagine the Stop Sign Enzi and mega-run up knee smash spots will be replayed in many a video package in the coming months.

Tape Rating – *** – The middle portion of this episode wasn’t so good (although ROH scores points for giving you reasons to buy tickets to see them live in a new market AND to tune in to the next week’s episode by announcing 3 matches for each of them), but the opening and closing matches were both decent – and in a free hour of televised wrestling that’s a pretty good return. Truthfully I’ve not heard much about the Omega/Hero match but I really enjoyed it. It’s well worth checking out if you can.

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