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ROH on HDNET 1/17/2011

ROH on HDNet – Episode 091 – 17th January 2011

Two decent live events in Richmond and Charlotte livened up what had been a pretty low key start to Ring Of Honor in 2011 – thanks to a couple of largely forgettable debut TV episodes in the Davis Arena. Hopefully things will kick up a few gears tonight as our scheduled main event bout should be really good. After having the best match of the whole weekend against Davey Richards at Only The Strong Survive, Chris Hero meets Christopher Daniels with the right to challenge Eddie Edwards for the ROH Television Championship at stake. Mike Hogewood and Dave Prazak to call all the action from the aforementioned Davis Arena – in Louisville, KY.

Jay Briscoe/Mark Briscoe vs The Elite
Whilst it’s their first televised appearance for ROH, we saw Adam Revolver and Ted McNaylor (aka The Elite) make their debuts for the promotion last time we came to Louisville for Bluegrass Brawl. They looked pretty decent as well

So much for this being The Elite’s home market – as the bell rings they’re greeted by loud ‘kill the jobbers’ chants. Jay puts Revolver down with a big boot, then summons his brother for the trademark Briscoe double football tackle. The Elite aren’t idiots though, and they start using their own double teams to get the advantage over Jay. He takes some damage but drops Ted into the turnbuckles with the flatliner…and tags Mark to bring the Redneck Kung Fu. DVD/Frog Elbow combo gets 2 but the Doomsday Device slaps Revolver’s porpoise real nice at 03:54

Rating – * – Eh, this was short enough that it was effective as a squash win for the Briscoes without making The Elite look completely horrible. But by Episode 091 of the HDNet series I’ve lost interest in seeing the Briscoes crush enhancement talent.

We come back with an OUTSTANDING montage of (slightly dated looking) footage from 2006 when Jim Cornette did everything in his power as ROH Commissioner to stop Homicide getting to the ROH World Championship. I can’t believe it’s taken the best part of 2 years on this show to really acknowledge that things happened before 2009 in Ring Of Honor.

NEXT WEEK – Homicide confronts Jim Cornette…

Daizee Haze vs MsChif
MsChif hasn’t been on HDNet (or in ROH generally) for a long time. She’s definitely a lot better than the usual ‘Women Of Honor’ Haze and Del Rey step into the ring with. Although she’s not important enough for HDNet’s graphics to spell her name right…

Hog and Prazak go out of their way to emphasise that MsChif is a lot better than a lot of the women Daizee has faced on the show. The crowd is almost silent until Chif bridges under a clothesline, showcasing her incredible flexibility. Then she tries to make Haze more flexible with a leg cradle chinlock. Daizee counters to a cloverleaf and has her opponent clawing her way to the ropes in a hurry. To the top rope…where MsChif blocks a super rana and pretty brutally drops down onto the fallen Daizee with a double stomp. Panic Attack scores, then she starts choking Haze against the bottom turnbuckle. Daizee is struggling to breathe now, but still finds a way to jump off the top into a missile dropkick for 2. Desecrator blocked…into the most contrived series of reversals I’ve ever seen. Daizee nearly snatches the win with a German suplex…then sees the Heart Punch COUNTERED TO THE DESECRATOR! Haze sold that like death and MsChif picks up the win at 07:12

Rating – ** – By and large this was one of the better Women Of Honor HDNet matches. There was some pretty poor stuff, but lots of quality as well. I also like the decision to put MsChif over. If ROH are serious about the Women Of Honor division, then they need more talent, and they need BETTER talent than Daizee if it’s to get over. MsChif is definitely in that category. Bringing Serena Deeb to TV would work, and there are tons of women on the SHIMMER roster who could do a job. If she’s available, Cheerleader Melissa would be at the top of my list.

MsChif disrespects Daizee after the match by walking out rather than shaking hands…then gives her the GREEN MIST when Haze tries to go after her. AWESOME selljob from Haze on that…

Jim Cornette is in the ring for an interview segment with Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin. WGTT make it clear that they’ve come to ROH because they want the Tag Titles. Which brings the Briscoes back out. They’re not happy at the moniker ‘World’s Greatest Tag Team’ describing Haas and Benjamin and they’re definitely not happy that WGTT think they’ll be Tag Champions. Jim Cornette decides to book WGTT vs Briscoes at the 9th Anniversary Show…with the winners going on to face the winners of Kings/ANX for the belts.

JANUARY 28TH IN LA – The main events for SoCal Showdown 2 are formally announced to the HDNet audience. It’ll be Roderick Strong defending the ROH Title against El Generico, alongside the much-anticipated Kings/WGTT rematch…

An effective photo-montage displays Davey’s love of competition in ROH, and enormous disappointment at failing to win the World Title at Final Battle 2010.

NEXT WEEK – As well as the Homicide/Cornette confrontation, we have a scheduled main event of the All Night Express facing Haas and Benjamin.

Chris Hero vs Christopher Daniels
Not sure what needs to be said about this one. They’ve been two of the best-known names on the independent scene for much of the last decade, are both acknowledged as two of the best wrestlers in the world…and one of the only things missing from their ROH tenures is a singles championship. They are both 2-time ROH Tag Champions – Daniels as part of the first ever team to hold the crown and Hero now as one half of the longest Tag Title reign in ROH history. Tonight they match their wits, with the winner receiving a TV Title shot here on HDNet in a couple of weeks.

The initial pace is slow as two veteran competitors try to test each other for weaknesses. It seems that Hero has the edge in terms of power and mat technique but Daniels manages to knock him down twice in quick succession with rapid-fire armdrags. Hero didn’t like that, so he promptly wrestles Daniels back to the canvas to deliver a big stomp to the head. Daniels gets up and goes back to working the arm – forcing Hero to put together another series of big shots to the head and neck to keep him at bay. Slingshot legdrop to the arm from the Fallen Angel though, really giving Hero some problems. Shane Hagadorn and Sara Del Rey have to intervene, distracting Daniels and allowing Hero to baseball slide him INTO the rails. The head and neck is clearly a target for the Tag Champion as he’s repeatedly gone for cravat holds throughout this contest. Daniels resorts to a pretty desperate German suplex to defend himself and, despite landing that, still can’t stop himself stumbling into a big elbow smash. REBOUND ELBOW OFF THE GUARDRAIL! Daniels is out cold and Hero retreats to the ring looking for a count-out victory. Daniels lunges into the ring at 19…and Hero FLIES at him with a sliding kick once again to the top of the head. Hero goes for one elbow strike too many though, allowing Daniels to grab that bad arm and use it to propel himself off the ropes into a stomp to the chest for 2. Hero cuts off the comeback with a ROLLING Flash Kick and Daniels crumples to the mat like wet paper. Running Ligerbomb drops him on his head and neck again and gets Hero a nearfall. Hero tries to hoist Daniels onto his shoulders…so the Fallen Angel puts him in a STANDING KOJI CLUTCH! He uses his leg to capture the bad arm too! Angel’s Wings countered with a running elbow to the back of the head for 2. Shane Hagadorn gets involved again, only to be levelled by Daniels, but again the distraction gives Hero an opportunity – which he takes to deliver a Roaring Elbow. Rolling Elbow countered…STOMP TO ELBOW COMBO INSTEAD! The Loaded Elbow is thrown in but Daniels counters the elbow to the urinage slam! BEST MOONSAULT EVER! Daniels wins at 15:51

Rating – **** – Had this been on DVD I might have only gone 3*, but for a free TV match this was really good. Admittedly the pace was pretty slow, and for the people that don’t like Hero for ‘being all elbows’ – you will hate this. But the psychology was sound with Hero trying to KO the Fallen Angel, whilst Daniels looked to use his ring savvy and experience to work a body part. Ultimately he had too much know-how, got past the whole Kings Of Wrestling circus interference act and snuck out with the win…and we now have an Edwards/Daniels rematch to look forward to.

Tape Rating – *** – Until the main event the match content on this episode wasn’t great…BUT this episode marked the first week where ROH on HDNet really moved on from the overwhelming success of Final Battle and started thinking about the future and the NEXT internet pay-per-view in February. The video package of 2006 Homicide action gave newer viewers some nice background on his history here, whilst the Davey Richards clips reminded us that the fallen FORMER challenger is still very much a force to be reckoned with. Two main events for the Chicago iPPV are now signed with Kings/ANX and Briscoes/WGTT…and the Women Of Honor continue to get their chance to shine with the surprisingly effective return of MsChif. Best Louisville episode so far by some distance.

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