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ROH on HDNET 11/15/2010

ROH on HDNet – Episode 082 – 15th November 2010

With Survival Of The Fittest weekend in the books, Ring Of Honor are now well and truly on the road to Final Battle. There are five weeks of HDNet programming left to give the big year-ending iPPV the hard sell. We already know the main events – those being Steen vs Generico and Strong vs Richards. Regular followers of the DVD’s will also know there will be a Kings/Briscoes 6-man and, on the eve of Final Battle, the Kings Of Wrestling will defend against the American Wolves in Plymouth. That is a great line-up of strong matches to end the year on. HDNet has the task of promoting them, so lets see how they do. Tonight we’re promised more Steen/Generico interaction and Austin Aries’ penultimate ROH match. Taped once again in Philadelphia, PA, Mike Hogewood and Dave Prazak will commentate.

Kevin Steen vs Grizzly Redwood
The third and final showdown between Steen and Generico is set to headline Final Battle, and as we saw over the weekend in Detroit and Toronto, Mr Wrestling has almost lost his mind such is the hatred that now consumes him. That puts Redwood in a very dangerous position in this match.

Redwood looks to hit and run, laying in a few shots before being thrown over the top rope and all the way into the guardrails by Steen. Taking it back inside, Steen misses his somersault leg drop but gets right back up and plants Grizz with the F-5 instead. Air Raid Crash next, drawing a close nearfall. But Mr Wrestling misses the Steen-ton Bomb and is taken down by a springboard tornado DDT from the Littlest Lumberjack. Redwood thinks about a dive to the floor…AND IS POWERBOMBED INTO THE APRON BY STEEN! As deranged as ever, Steen puts the Generico mask on Redwood, then drops him with the Package Piledriver. It’s over at 04:17

Rating – * – Suitably one-sided, with Steen at his brutal best. I just think this would have been better served by going even shorter. The finish, utilising the stolen mask, was a nice touch though.

Steen takes the mic and challenges Generico to the final match at Final Battle – and to put his mask on the line. He offers something too, saying he’ll leave ROH if Generico can beat him. Steve Corino doesn’t like those terms, but Dark Generico appears on the ramp and ominously nods his head. It’s Mask vs Career in a Fight Without Honor in New York.

COMING SOON TO ROH – Another hype video for Mike Bennett. This time with interviews from Jim Cornette and Cary Silkin.

Back from commercials and Jim Cornette is in the ring to interview Roderick Strong and Truth Martini. He formally announces that it will be Strong/Richards at Final Battle. Roddy thinks Jim and the ROH fans are being suckered in by Davey’s sob stories about retirement, his family and his divorce – and overlooking that he is clearly the best in ROH. Truth Martini denies all the allegations that Strong is only enjoying success now because he interferes in his matches. That was totally pointless…

Homicide vs Tony Kozina
It’s been a while since we’ve seen Kozina, but the reality is since he is tight with both Davey Richards and Kyle O’Reilly he was always going to be back at these HDNet tapings at some point. He’s an experienced pro and will do a good job in the unenviable task of putting Homicide over in his first ROH on HDNet match I’m sure.

Tony starts taking cheap shots and refusing to give Homicide a clean break which doesn’t seem sensible. Homicide responds with a shot of his own and is admonished by the referee, much to his annoyance. He gets into a real argument with the ref, before grabbing Kozina in the Three Amigos. Credit to Kozina, he blocks the third suplex and tries to land a few strikes before Cide drops him on the turnbuckles to put him on the defensive again. The crowd is absolutely DEAD for this thanks to how much offence Tony has been allowed to mount. Ace Crusher countered to a northern lights from the Team Richards member and he actually gets a nearfall. Cop Killa blocked too, but Tony starts springboarding off the ropes only to succeed in hopping into the Ace Crusher. Homicide wins at 04:02

Rating – DUD – Really poor way to introduce Homicide to the HDNet audience in my opinion. I know Davey is a big star and has a lot of pull these days, but there’s no way Kozina should have been on offence for as much of this match as he was. The fans wanted to see him murdered quickly, allowing Homicide to debut all his offence on ROH TV for the first time then leave. Four minutes was far too long

Davey Richards talks about how a tough couple of years have stood him in good stead to win the World Title at Final Battle. Heartfelt, but not particularly entertaining in truth

Austin Aries/Rhett Titus vs Jay Briscoe/Mark Briscoe
By the time this had broadcast it was well documented that Aries was out of ROH – I think he’d even made his DGUSA debut as well. But he was at this last set of tapings, and has two more matches still to air. Tonight he teams with his protégé, the rapidly improving Rhett Titus to face two men he’s had a long history with. Aries (with Strong) contested one of the finest ROH Tag Title Matches ever against the Briscoes at Unified in 2006. And more recently Titus and his partner Kenny King have been looking to boost their reputation as a team by scoring wins over Jay and Mark – so there’s plenty of motivation on the part of Team Aries to score a win here, particularly as the Briscoes are coming off a big Tag Title defeat.

In a rematch from Allied Forces, Jay starts with Titus and totally dominates him. Aries/Mark is a lot more even however, with Austin taking Briscoe down for a crossface, then Mark getting out and firing back with a spinning heel kick. In the end some Team Aries double teaming gives them the advantage, and Titus gets 2 with a tribute to Kenny King bottom rope springboard splash. Then they lift the WGTT leapfrog hilo across an elevated opponent’s back. Mark has had enough, and tags in a fresh Jay who puts a boot through Rhett’s face for 2. Briscoe Biel rockets Titus across the ring with him getting up to turn straight into the double football tackle. Realising the threat of Briscoe double teams, Aries instructs his man to take them out of the ring…but sadly the Briscoes are great brawlers too and get the better of their opponents on the floor. In the end Aries uses his cunning, holding Jay on the turnbuckles for Titus to hit a VERTICAL LEAP dropkick to an opponent perched on the top rope. At 10 minutes Team Aries have Jay trapped in the ring, getting a nearfall with a nice Sexy Superplex/frog splash combo. Tags all round so Mark is in cleaning house on both opponents with Redneck Kung Fu. Iconoclasm to Aries on top of Titus gets 2. Jay cactus clotheslines Titus out of the ring, then gets thrown through the air himself by Aries’ shinbreak back suplex. IED blocked…but so is the Doomsday Device when Titus shoves Mark off the top. PESCADO BY JAY! HEAT SEEKING MISSILE BY ARIES! SOMERSAULT PLANCHA BY MARK! Back in the ring with A-Double countering the Splash Mountain Neckbreaker with a hurricanrana and snapping Mark’s head back with the IED. Titus tries the Super Sex Factor – COUNTERED WITH THE DOOMSDAY DEVICE! Briscoes win at 16:26

Rating – *** – Super-entertaining free TV main event. Had there been a little more substance to the early exchanges my rating could even have gone into 4* territory as everything after 10 minutes was absolutely outstanding. I’ve not heard anything about this match, and didn’t have the highest of expectations but it really surprised me. Strong, show-saving effort from all four

NEXT WEEK – The Kings Of Wrestling find out who they face at Final Battle and Davey Richards faces The Embassy’s Shawn Daivari.

Tape Rating – ** – Very poor show (as the first after a weekend of DVD tapings normally is), but a decent main event did it’s best to salvage things, and the Steen/Generico segment was effective. On the negative side – Homicide’s first match back was a bit of a mess, I don’t think the Strong/Richards interviews came off particularly well, and the Steen/Grizzly match wasn’t exactly faultless either. Hard to recommend this one…

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