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ROH on HDNET 6/21/2010

ROH on HDNet – Episode 062 – 21st June 2010

As this is the first HDNet event after the superb Death Before Dishonor 8 iPPV I’m sort of hoping for some sort of reaction and response to that event on the show tonight. Tyler Black and Davey Richards produced ROH’s best match in years, and possibly the defining moment of post-Sapolsky ROH thus far, the Kings and the Briscoes damn near tore each other apart in a sensational No DQ bloodbath, and the first, spectacular, opening shots were fired between Steen and Generico in a memorable start to the show. To be honest I’d expect most of the ‘what happened next’ stuff to be on Episode 062. But some mentions would be nice. I think Delirious and Jerry Lynn are scheduled to face the All Night Express tonight too. Hog and DP are ready to call tonight’s action from The Arena…

Dave and Mike start the show by telling people they’ll have footage and reaction to Death Before Dishonor 8 next week – which is a bummer. Imagine Jim Ross coming out on the first RAW after Summerslam and announcing they weren’t going to talk about it until next week.

Eddie Edwards heads to the ring to bring his ‘Ten Minute Hunt’ concept to HDNet. The only difference from the DVD shows is that it has a fancy graphic for television.

Eddie Edwards vs Nick Westgate – Ten Minute Hunt
This guy looks like an incredibly generic enhancement talent. He makes Bobby Dempsey and Tyson Dux look like MAIN EVENT QUALITY opponents for the Ten Minute Hunt. This is a fun concept though, albeit slightly demeaning to the quality of competition for the TV Title. It also allows Edwards to show some personality on HDNet, arguably for the first time.

‘Kill the jobber’ chants from the bell, and despite a few ‘plucky’ headscissors attempts from Nick, Edwards does his best to please the Philly fans. He batters his back on the floor with kicks and slams to the concrete, but isn’t ready to cover the kid yet. They botch something and the crowd is basically silent. Westgate does better hitting a satellite DDT, only to be powerbombed into the Achilles Lock. WITH ADDED STOMPS TO THE FACE! Edwards wins at 02:42

Rating – * – The Ten Minute Hunt concept is a vaguely fun concept, and certainly made this squash far more meaningful than a great many others we’ve seen on HDNet previously. Westgate was awful though, and nowhere near ready for this spot.

Austin Aries, the greatest manager that ever lived, hypes up his only clients – the All Night Express. He has some hotties on hand to help them celebrate after they beat Delirious and Jerry Lynn tonight.

Sara Del Rey vs Reggie
Seriously, even the Women Of Honor (by ‘women of honor’, it’s mostly just woman of honor at this stage since even Daizee Haze is becoming less and less visible) need squash matches apparently. I can’t believe, with all Dave Prazak’s contacts, he couldn’t find a better enhancement talent for Death Rey than this chick though. She’s kind of cute but really isn’t wearing the most flattering ring attire.

Not cutting Reggie’s entrance was a huge mistake too. The ROH fans giving an audible ‘who’??? response to a wrestler making their way to the ring should never be on television. Unless Reggie’s plan is to motorboat Sara to death with her massive boobs, I don’t fancy her chances here. She uses her size advantage to get the best of the opening exchanges though, much to the complete apathy of the audience. Del Rey shows impressive power to hoist her into a gutwrench suplex for 2. The ‘Queen of Wrestling’ is dominant now, effortlessly kicking and stretching her opponent, finally getting another nearfall with a brutal kick to her muffin top as she hangs in the ropes. They run through some REALLY ugly pinfall exchanges before Reggie tries to go upstairs. She gets a CLOSE 2 with a flying leg drop across the throat. Shane Hagadorn and the Kings Of Wrestling all interject at once, allowing Del Rey to finish it with a piledriver at 04:33

Rating – DUD – I found myself oddly attracted to Reggie. But then, I thought Alexa Thatcher was really hot when she made her random ROH appearances in 2007 – doesn’t mean I’d ever want to see either of them wrestling on ROH’s TV show anymore. 5 minutes for this? Seriously? You’ve got so many talented performers on the ROH roster, but somehow we’re nearly at 20 minutes of TV show and thus far people like Nick Westgate and Reggie are on??? WTF??

Rasche Brown vs Ricky Reyes
I’d bemoan having yet ANOTHER squash match in succession, but in fairness to Adam Pearce, Reyes actually represents a pretty serious step up in quality compared to the types of opponents Skullkrusher usually annihilates in about 50 seconds. Can the former ROH Tag Champion cause a shock tonight?

Reyes comes out like a kickboxer, looking to keep his distance, skipping and out to deliver quick kicks. No dice though, Brown easily picks him up into a massive gorilla press slam. Ricky goes for the legs which is way more sensible and quickly hobbles the bigger man. Rasche is limping, but he FLOORS Reyes anyway! Sickening shot there! Reyes kicks at the leg but just isn’t doing enough damage to keep Skullkrusher down. Brown goes for a jumping football tackle, but is shocked to see Reyes duck under it and chop out the leg again. Bizarre leg grapevine locked in, only for Rasche to escape and hit the rolling spear for 2. Burning Hammer finishes it at 04:47

Rating – * – A step up in quality from Rasche’s usual HDNet squash. He did a good job selling the leg and Reyes’ performance was good too. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the match the live fans wanted to see. Reyes has never enjoyed a particularly positive relationship with the Ring Of Honor fans, and when they didn’t get to see him killed dead like all the other jobbers we’ve seen on HDNet, they sat on their hands.

Erick Stevens tries to attack Rasche Brown and the two have to be pulled apart by the ROH students. Clearly Prince Nana hasn’t forgotten about Rasche’s emphatic refusal of a contract with The Embassy.

The footage of Austin Aries injuring Delirious’ throat is aired for the gajillionth time. Afterwards Daizee Haze says that she and Delirious are coming for revenge tonight.

NEXT WEEK – Erick Stevens takes on Necro Butcher and Tyler Black faces El Generico in non-title action. Already that sounds a million times better than this episode.

Austin Aries comes to the ring to announce that Delirious won’t be able to get his hands on him any time soon since he’s not wrestling in ROH anymore. As Cornette finally succeeded in getting the ROH Title off him, he’ll now beat James E. at his own game of management.

All Night Express vs Jerry Lynn/Delirious
Lots of heat here. Lynn hates the ANX for putting him on the shelf for several months following that ill-fated and unprovoked spike piledriver last year. Delirious will want to hurt Aries’ protégés since he can’t physically get revenge on A-Double himself right now. Delirious, Daizee Haze and Rhett Titus have issues going all the way back to 2008 as well.

Lynn starts with Titus, and of course has no problems out-wrestling the vastly less experienced competitor. There is an amusing moment where Rhettski does manage to drop Jerry with a firemans carry and celebrates in incredibly camp fashion. But Lynn’s skills are such that Rhett has to retreat to the floor to talk strategy with Aries. Delirious in, moving slowly and deliberately instead of the manic, insane approach we’re used to. He tries to chase A-Double, only to run into a clothesline on the outside by Titus. King goes for a pescado and accidentally takes out his own partner though. NEVER ENDING ELBOWS from Lynn and Delirious get 2. The lizard man continues working Rhett over, keeping him well away from Kenny King in the opposing corner. Eventually Titus has to poke Lynn in the eyes before making the tag to Kenny. Double dropkick on King gets 2, so Titus makes it serious by hanging Delirious’ damaged throat over the top rope. Straight away Delirious has problems catching his breath – made worse as King drops a springboard leg drop across his throat then Rhett drives the air out of his body with a Warrior Splash for 2. King gets another nearfall with the capo kick that caused Delirious to slump to the mat like a bag of potatoes. Shotgun Knees blocked, and Delirious is too weakened to work the Cobra Stretch on Titus. Sliding flatliner instead, allowing Delirious to make the hot tag to Lynn. TKO/Shadows Over Hell combo gets 2 as Aries and the Haze start scuffling on the outside. Delirious chases him of course, leaving Jerry alone for ANX to give him the One Night Stand. It’s over at 13:33

Rating – ** – A functional main event rather than a good one. Had they used this match to OPEN an episode of ROH on HDNet territory I might even have bumped it up to 3* territory. But this really wasn’t good enough to be the main event of a ‘workrate’ promotion like ROH. This was a longer version of the sort of bland tag team encounter WWE runs on RAW every week. Harsh but true…

Team Aries look for another assault on Delirious but this time Jerry Lynn makes the save. That doesn’t stop ANX and A-Double posing triumphantly as the show goes off the air.

Tape Rating – * – It used to be the case that ROH on HDNet would be a whole lot of nothing hidden by a great main event. Well Ring Of Honor is slowly starting to change that formula – except all they’ve done is get rid of the great main events. Seriously, I’m really not sure what ROH on HDNet actually DOES at this point in time. There certainly isn’t enough legitimate storyline development to make you want to follow the angles the promotion are running. There certainly aren’t enough top quality main event matches to make it a ‘can’t miss’ show either. As is, a succession of squashes and averagely produced video sequences (the effort is there but WWE and TNA absolutely blow ROH’s production out of the water on that front) just don’t make for a great television show. Can Cary Silkin genuinely sit back and say that this episode of ROH on HDNet encouraged people to buy a DVD. Or buy a t-shirt. Or order an iPPV. Or even check the damn website…or tune in again next week? Because I seriously don’t think I could say it would. And the fact that by the next set of HDNet tapings, Pearce was gone as booker, I even think Mr Silkin might agree with me. Sorry, but this episode, like many other HDNet episodes recently, was a comprehensive failure.

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