ROH on HDNET 6/7/2010

ROH on HDNet – Episode 060 – 7th June 2010

Just two episodes of ROH on HDNet left between now and the next iPPV – Death Before Dishonor 8. I’m looking for two episodes of strong build going onto that big show. We have our main events set with Tyler defending the World Title against Davey Richards, and a Kings/Briscoes rematch for the Tag Titles. Those should be great matches, and I’m hoping they’ll get a real hard sell in the next two weeks. Tonight Tyler Black is in action – facing former ROH Champion Austin Aries in what should be another great match. We’re in Philadelphia, PA. Commentary from Hogewood and Prazak…

El Generico vs Ricky Reyes
Nice continuity from house show to TV tapings here as Generico, having beaten Steen and Corino in Chicago at Bitter Friends Stiffer Enemies 2, is in much more bouncy, jovial spirits. He’s booked in a huge grudge match with Kevin Steen at Death Before Dishonor 8 and will want to go into that one with as much momentum as possible.

Reyes boots Generico in the stomach to get us started and uses his intense, hart-hitting style to dominate the opening minutes. Generico tries to fight back only to have his eyes raked by Ricky. NECK DROP Michinoku Driver anyway but it doesn’t do enough damage to soften Reyes up for the Yakuza Kick. He subsequently gets 2 with a bridging back suplex. Yakuza Kick nailed second time around, into the Brainbuster for the porpoise slap at 03:45

Rating – * – Reyes looked good, although he probably got in too much offence for this sort of match. Nice to see Generico get a nice, quick win as he builds towards the Toronto showdown in Steen.

Coming out of that match we get a retrospective piece showing Generico and Steen’s history during the HDNet era, building to the Final Battle split and escalation from there. Unlike last week where video packages were used to kill time, this was a focused hype video used to promote a major IPPV match.

In the back Steve Corino credits Jerry Lynn with being an ECW ‘survivor’, but that won’t stop him beating him tonight. Steen adds little more than a hunk of chewing gum in Kyle Durden’s face.

Steve Corino vs Jerry Lynn
This is a rematch from Phoenix Rising when these two veterans met in a hotly contested ‘Hardcore Match’. It was Lynn getting the best of his fellow ECW-alum on that night, and Steve will be coming to even the score here in the ECW Arena.

Very intense handshake as Prazak rightly shills the Phoenix Rising DVD which had their first match. Corino pops Lynn in the jaw only for Jerry to launch himself out of the corner with a bulldog for 2. Inverted DDT drops him for another nearfall as the former ROH Champion starts to establish control. He sends Corino to the floor with a springboard dropkick and rolls back the years to take him down again – this time with a cannonball senton off the apron. Steve retaliates with a hotshot into the same apron and goes after the eyes to buy himself some recovery time. With Corino in charge the pace immediately slows – applying an abdominal stretch with added thumb in the bum. Jerry escapes and shoves the same thumb in Corino’s mouth though. SOMERSAULT eye poke from Lynn, then a frankensteiner. Cradle Piledriver blocked though. OLD SCHOOL EXPULSION GETS 2! That move is one of my favourite finishers in wrestling. More reversals until Steve hits the Sliding Lariat to leave both men down. Colt Cabana comes out to try and get some revenge for Corino’s role in his TV Title loss of last week. Kevin Steen is here…and so is Kenny King, who starts attacking Jerry Lynn. That’s enough for a DQ at 07:47.

Rating – ** – Good intensity, and it had a few moments of genuine excitement – but this wasn’t a patch on the Phoenix Rising Hardcore match. Admittedly it wasn’t supposed to be though, and for a midcard TV match this wasn’t bad.

Lynn and King brawl to the back which leaves Cabana alone with Steen and Corino. Of course, El Generico wastes little time in getting back out here too…leading to a MAJOR staredown with Mr Wrestling. Corino interjects before it gets physical, allowing Steen to Package Piledrive Cabana.

Tyler Black and Davey Richards get some in depth promo time to discuss their childhoods and entrance into the wrestling business. There are some interesting revelations, they go into way more detail than I expected, and it really raised a personal interest in their title match at Death Before Dishonor.

Tyler Black vs Austin Aries
Even without the ROH World Championship at stake, there’s still lots on the line here. These guys have a lot of history, have traded multiple wins in recent years in ROH and as such, whenever they meet there’s always a lot of pride and bragging rights to fight for. On top of that Aries has already said he wants to win this to prove he’s the best in ROH. Having been World Champion before, he doesn’t really care about winning it again, he just wants the satisfaction of watching guys like Tyler, Roderick Strong or Davey Richards fighting for the title whilst he knows he can and has beaten them all before.

Tyler, full of confidence being the World Champion, quickly takes Aries to the mat and rides him – an act which makes him so pissed off that he leaves the ring to throw a temper tantrum. He stomps back in to trade strikes with Black, coming out on the losing end again and allowing Tyler to hit the Stomp. Aries leaves again, except this time Black gives chase and hits a moonsault off the guardrails. Springboard Lariat evaded so Tyler bounces back up into a spinning heel kick for 2. Quebrada misses, as does the Black Star Press…and Aries attacks Tyler’s suspect neck with a neckbreaker in the ropes. RANDY SAVAGE AXEHANDLE to the back of the neck seconds later and at 5 minutes A-Double has taken total control. With the neck injured Austin decides to negate Tyler’s speed advantage too, targeting the leg with equal ferocity. Black tries to back flip and immediately grabs his leg in pain…to which Aries looks to counter with the shinbreak back suplex. That’s blocked since Aries always tries that. HEADSCISSORS ESCAPE DROPKICK INSTEAD! Tyler was so preoccupied with countering a trademark Aries spot he forgot the golden rule of wrestling Aries – he always escapes things from the mat to dropkick. Figure 4 applied, doing more damage to the leg. Tyler starts smashing Aries’ head against the turnbuckles and somehow hits the Springboard Lariat despite the leg injury. Superplex blocked but he still MUSCLES Aries into a LEG SELLING F-5! God’s Last Gift COUNTERED INTO THE BRAINBUSTER FOR 2! Aries mocks Black’s silly corner posing, and takes too long meaning the IED IS BLOCKED WITH THE SUPERKICK! TWO AGAIN! He tries the Phoenix Splash but gets tree of woe’d. IED TO THE KNEE! Figure 4…countered to a roll-up. Tyler wins at 12:42

Rating – *** – Great match…f*cking lousy finish. HDNet episodes are really starting to annoy me. It feels like every match, unless it’s a squash, has to end with either interference, a non-finish or a roll-up. I know the point of TV is to sell DVD’s and iPPV’s rather than just give the entire ROH experience away for free, but it’s happening every week now. This was an awesome match, they’ve never done a Black/Aries match on HDNet before, and the lousy little finish to end it really disappointed me.

Aries quickly attacks Tyler after the match, summoning Kenny King to help him in the assault. Jerry Lynn comes to fight King off as Roderick Strong sprints down to help Tyler. Strong, Black and Aries end up fighting with each other. Delirious is back and staring down Aries too as the show ends.

Tape Rating – *** – Much better effort this week. ROH did a great job of giving Death Before Dishonor 8 the hard sell, and ultimately that’s what the TV show is for. The video packages for Steen/Generico and Black/Richards were exceptionally well done and will hopefully have done their part to convince the casual viewers to part with $15 to watch the iPPV. Match content was decent too, although the conclusion to Black/Aries left a real sour taste in my mouth.

ROH on HDNet Episodes 56-60 – Top 5 Matches
5) Kenny King/Rhett Titus vs Josh Raymond/Christin Able (*** – Episode 058)
4) Jay Briscoe/Mark Briscoe vs Dark City Fight Club (*** – Episode 057)
3) Eddie Edwards vs Colt Cabana (*** – Episode 059)
2) Tyler Black vs Austin Aries (*** – Episode 060)
1) Roderick Strong vs Kevin Steen (*** – Episode 058)

SIDENOTE – This Top 5 from the last 5 episodes is an example of how underwhelming ROH on HDNet has been recently. Whilst the house shows have, by and large, been excellent this year, the TV product has been woefully inconsistent. This is easily the worst HDNet Top 5 I’ve done thus far.