ROH on HDNET 4/19/2010

ROH on HDNet – Episode 054 – 19th April 2010

Episode 053 was a good show. Strong and purposeful promo segments, and an enjoyable main event to close out – I’ll take more of the same this week please. The scheduled headliner is the second semi-final in the TV Title Tournament with Davey Richards and Kenny King clashing in a Big Bang rematch. A spot in the final awaits the winner – as does Eddie Edwards who progressed last week by defeating Kevin Steen. We return to The Arena with Mike Hogewood and Dave Prazak.

Ricky Reyes vs Colt Cabana
Hey good for Reyes, making his first appearance for ROH on HDNet tonight. He’s a veteran of the Ring Of Honor scene, and a former Tag Champion. Unfortunately the Havana Pitbulls have gone their separate ways and since then Reyes has really struggled to get regular bookings despite resurfacing every now and then. How will he fare with this latest opportunity? Interestingly, he faces Colt Cabana – one half of the Second City Saints who would be the team Reyes and his partner Rocky Romero defeated to win the ROH Tag Titles way back when…

Ricky looks to start with some real intensity but is knocked all over the shop by Cabana and his confusing antics. Reyes hits back with kicks, much to the dismay of the Philadelphia crowd. As he uses a somewhat questionable choke, I’m pleased to see ROH use their TV show to hype a live event with Prazak and an on-screen graphic hyping the big Chicago Street Fight at Bitter Friends Stiffer Enemies 2 this weekend. Cabana floors Ricky with a quebrada, only for the former Pitbull and Rottweiler to retaliate with a Saito suplex. Colt 45 wins it at 04:08

Rating – * – Good intensity by Reyes, who is decent enough to put in a good performance as a jobber. He’s no Sal Rinauro in that role though…

More hype for the Chicago Street Fight with a highlights package from The Big Bang when the warring teams of Steen/Corino and Cabana/Generico met last. Both teams get some promo time too.

In the studio Prazak and Hogewood discuss the fortunes of new World Champion Tyler Black, who has multiple challengers gunning for him – and will defend the belt twice this weekend in Dayton and Chicago. The man himself tells Kyle Durden that he’ll face all comers…

After the break Kyle has Kenny King for some face time. He starts talking trash about Davey Richards, who himself comes in to tell Kenny he’s going to ‘break him’ tonight.

In some HDNet exclusive footage taken backstage after The Big Bang, Mark Briscoe calls the Kings Of Wrestling cheaters and demands a rematch…

Jay Briscoe/Mark Briscoe vs Josh Raymond/Christin Able
It’s about time House Of Truth made it to HDNet. They’ve been solid hands on the Midwest events for some time, and have had a couple of decent matches with the Briscoes on that side of the ROH circuit. Both teams have an agenda here with HoT wanting to make an impact and the Briscoes looking for an emphatic victory to get them back into Tag Title contention.

Truth Martini doesn’t seem to have made the trip to Philly. Probably just as well since both his men take a real beating in the early going. Finally Raymond lands a cheap shot to Mark, then locks in his spider armbar. Double flatliner then a powerbomb senton combo gets Able a nearfall on the younger Briscoe brother. Mark fights back with the urinage and gets a hot tag to Jay who cleans house. NECK DROP cradle suplex from Christin halts his momentum. Raymond goes for the Spiral Tap but twists into Jay’s knees before Mark takes down his partner with the second rope Ace Crusher. DOOMSDAY DEVICE seals the win for the Briscoes at 05:44…slap that porpoise.

Rating – *** – I’m probably over-rating this, but I thought this was such an effective match on every level. The Briscoes got to look good, enjoy a resounding victory and convincingly rebound from their loss at The Big Bang without comprehensively squashing the House Of Truth, who got to look like a talented and fun act for their HDNet debut. The result was never in doubt, but the journey we went on in getting there was much better than I’d expected.

In a pre-taped promo segment Austin Aries places the blame for his losing the World Title firmly at the feet of Executive Producer Jim Cornette and his ‘politics’.

Kenny King vs Davey Richards
Winner advances to the finals of the ROH TV Title Tournament to face Eddie Edwards with the new championship on the line. These two met in Charlotte at The Big Bang, with Richards defeating King to secure his #5 spot in the Pick 6 Rankings. Kenny will be looking to even the score for that one, and progress to the final where he’ll face Edwards, with whom he had a heated confrontation last week.

After Eddie received a warm ovation from the crowd last week, Richards is given a hero’s welcome on his entrance as well. I wonder how long it is before ROH acknowledges the Wolves as fully-fledged babyfaces. Kenny tries to use his size and strength in a knucklelock so Richard tries to use his wrestling skill to counter to a surfboard. Kudos to King though, he finds a way to counter that and slaps a chinlock on Davey. Unmoved by that, Richards starts picking at King’s leg with kicks and submission holds. He knocks King out of the ring with a spinning heel kick, but the athletic ‘Pretty Boy Pitbull’ is quick to recover and blast Richards with a jumping enzi kick as he looks for the tope con hilo. He starts working on Davey’s midsection, even modifying that suplex/mounted punches combo he hits to a suplex/grounded bodyscissors combo instead. Kicks from Davey, but he’s wounded now and they’re not delivered with such venom – allowing King to fire back with a corkscrew enzi kick of his own. More kicks from Davey, then the diving headbutt for 2. Cross Armbreaker locked in (the hold that beat Delirious in the first round) but he’s not done enough damage to the arm so Kenny is able to escape. Davey goes for a tornado DDT, clearly forgetting that Kenny has had his problems with Jerry Lynn recently so has been watching his Lynn/RVD tapes…so doesn’t see the northern lights to the turnbuckles coming. ARMBAR DDT FROM THE SECOND! FUJIWARA ARMBAR! King escapes – BRIDGING ARMBAR INSTEAD! Once again Kenny escapes that…SHOTGUN KNEES! That’s followed by a springboard blockbuster for a close 2-count. King thinks about the avalanche Royal Flush only for Richards to counter with a MID-AIR SUPER RANA! CAPO KICK…NO SOLD! LARIATOOOO gets 2! Davey goes to the cross armbreaker again…and King taps. The match is done at 13:32, and it’s Richards vs Edwards, Wolf vs Wolf next week for the ROH TV Title.

Rating – *** – These guys have great chemistry together as we saw at The Big Bang, and they recreated that magic here. Granted this was shorter and a little more sanitised for the TV environment, but there were still flashes of absolute brilliance. King is sloppy on occasion, but is a hugely talented and exciting worker that ROH is lucky to have – and they’ve rightly been giving him a much more prominent role in the last six months. He’s still young and inexperienced enough to provide a few stinkers along the way (his match vs Scorpio Sky at Phoenix Rising for instance) but this match, and a number of other quality encounters recently more than justify his push. At the Dayton DVD taping this weekend he gets a well deserved opportunity to main event – challenging Tyler Black for the ROH Championship. Meanwhile Richards and Edwards, who have cruised into the finals in truth, get ready for what should be a classic match next week on HDNet.

Tape Rating – *** – Not quite as good as last week, still a high volume of recycled video package content, and lacking the edgy, purposeful storyline advancement we saw last week. However, there were some strong positives coming out of this. The effort promoting the live events in Dayton and Chicago this weekend were commendable. The Briscoes/HOT match was one of the more entertaining enhancement matches we’ve seen on HDNet, and the TV Title Tournament produced another quality main event as Richards and King engaged in another ultra-physical battle. Certainly there was enough good stuff on this episode to make people want to tune in for more next time – and since Episode 055 features Richards/Edwards in one of the most talked about TV matches of the year, you rather feel they’ll be glad they did.