ROH on HDNET 7/26/2010

ROH on HDNet – Episode 067 – 26th July 2010

Last week on HDNet we saw Kevin Steen, Steve Corino, Colt Cabana and El Generico tear the house down with one of the best TV main events all year. This week we have another huge main event scheduled with Christopher Daniels and Roderick Strong meeting in a huge match which a lot of people would happily pay $20 to see headline a DVD taping. The Arena in Philadelphia, PA is host to another night of Ring Of Honor wrestling. Mike Hogewood and Dave Prazak on commentary.

The Kings Of Wrestling come to the ring, with Shane Hagadorn announcing plans for a KOW Invitational Gauntlet Match for them to showcase their skills.

Kings Of Wrestling Invitational Gauntlet Match
Expect multiple squashes here – and don’t expect to see the Briscoes invited into the field of opponents either. Last week the Kings officially announced that they will not appear on HDNet shows with the Briscoes as they feel Jay and Mark create a ‘hazardous working environment’.

Josh Emmanuel and Ice Jackson are first up for the Kings. Castagnoli easily tosses Jackson around, and when Hero comes in he has equally few problems in dominating Ice. He tries some chops and elbows on Hero…who looks at him dismissively then floors him again. Claudio flings Ice into the sky with the Pop Up European. Josh tries a crossbody only to be caught in a Hart Attack Elbow. Big Swing Flash Kick then a catapult Roaring Elbow combo sees the Kings pin their first opponents at 02:38. Up next is Nick Westgate (who failed in an Eddie Edwards Ten Minute Hunt a few weeks ago) and Adam Cole (who will go on to become one of ROH’s top prospects in 2011). Cole actually rocks Hero with a few shots before getting spectacularly wiped out with the Flash Kick. Westgate in, and he legitimately barely makes it any higher than Claudio’s waist in height terms. Suplex Elbow combo totally knocks him out, and the Kings hit the KRS-1 for a second victory at 01:53 (04:31 total time). The final team to enter the Gauntlet are masked guys simply known as ‘The Ninjas’. Except when the Kings turn their backs they pull of the masks…and it’s the Briscoes. Biel on Castagnoli, then they grab Hero and Biel him on top of his partner. Doomsday Device on Claudio gives the ‘Ninjas’ a win at 01:04 (05:35 total).

Rating – ** – Unique and pretty fun way to start the show. The crowd went nuts when the Briscoes came out so it’s a sure sign that this thing was effective. It was also interesting to get a look at Adam Cole ‘before he was famous’ so to speak (although I think he was already taking off in CZW by this point). The Briscoes now have two wins over the Kings in the same weekend having beaten them in the 6-person tag team main event at Hate Chapter 2 as well.

‘You’re supposed to be able to TRUST ninjas in this day and age’ – Dave Prazak.

Christopher Daniels is the latest person to voice doubts about Roderick’s choice to join forces with Truth Martini. He doesn’t particularly care though – and eagerly awaits their match this evening.

Dark City Fight Club vs American Wolves
This is the third match in the series between these teams in 2010. The Fight Club upset Richards and Edwards by beating them a couple of months ago on HDNet – but the Wolves got their win back in a great match at Pick Your Poison. Who wins the rubber match?

Edwards and Rainman to start, and everything is pretty even. Richards tags and drops Chavis in a Fujiwara armbar. Kory, to his credit, powers out and runs through Davey with a shoulder tackle. The Wolves manage to lure DCFC onto the apron for stereo kicks to the spine…then STEREO TOPE SUICIDAS NAILED! They start to attack Chavis’ knee, utilising an awesome Cloverleaf/double stomp combo in so doing. But still Kory gets up to slug it out with the hard-hitting former Tag Champions, hitting a spinning back suplex then making the crucial tag to Jon Davis. He oversees a change in fortune for the Fight Club, cutting Richards off from his partner even after Davey manages to land the Handspring Enzi. Davey gets the tag to Edwards, who gets 2 on Davis with the flying Codebreaker. Missile dropkick by Richards, into stereo knock-out kicks from the Wolves for 2. Jon shows real resilience by absorbing that then getting up to floor both of them with a double clothesline. Elevated cutter combo scores 2 for DCFC. The Embassy run in to ruin things and cause a DQ finish by attacking the Fight Club at 08:37.

Rating – ** – This was their worst match together by some distance, although it was still good enough to get into 3* territory had there been a finish and not another ‘Adam Pearce booking special’ run-in. I said at the time it made NO SENSE that the DCFC would start fighting The Embassy, and it still doesn’t. Which makes ruining the conclusion of this match to promote a DCFC/Embassy feud that I guarantee you nobody wants to see even more baffling and frustrating.

Of course, Rasche Brown isn’t too far behind. He comes down to help DCFC fight off Necro and Stevens and things get a bit chaotic. Prince Nana is randomly beating up Bobby Dempsey too?

Roderick Strong vs Christopher Daniels – Pick 6 Series Match
Of course, Daniels is in this looking to beat Roddy and seize his #1 spot in the Pick 6, but this is about so much more than that. These two men teamed together on Episode 064 in a great but ultimately losing effort to the American Wolves. Strong blamed Daniels for another high profile loss in his ROH career, and subsequently turned to Truth Martini to be his new ‘life intervention expert’. Under Truth’s guidance, Strong now claims to be as good and as focused as ever – and genuinely believes he has everything in place to become the next ROH World Champion. And that, in turn, puts him directly at odds with what the Fallen Angel wants to achieve. Going all the way back to 2002 he’s said it was his destiny to be ROH Champion, and since having that belt solidifies his claim to be the ‘best in the world’, he needs to beat Strong every bit as badly as Strong WANTS to beat him.

Daniels tries in vein to convince Strong that he doesn’t need Martini’s help but to no avail. The opening minutes are fought at a snails pace, and is a real chess game as neither man wants to make a costly early mistake. Things gradually start to pick up with Daniels scoring with a swinging neckbreaker then a back suplex – clearly looking to soften up the neck for his vaunted finishing moves. He even hits an Arabian press into a crossface but obviously Roddy is right against the ropes so gets out quickly. He retaliates with his first backbreaker of the match, then starts stomping on Daniels’ ribs. By targeting his offence on the ribs it means that all his offence, from his backbreakers right the way through to his lethal chops are having a massively detrimental effect on Fallen Angel’s chances to win as he grows more and more injured. Daniels tries another suplex, but is too injured to lift Strong…who in turn scoops him up for another backbreaker. Stronghold blocked at 10 minutes, with Chris grabbing the neck for an Edge-O-Matic to buy himself some time. Through the ropes they go, where Daniels manages to kick Roddy off the apron and hit an ARABIAN PRESS TO THE FLOOR! That hurts Daniels too though…and soon afterwards he gets distracted by Truth Martini reading from the Book Of Truth! APRON BACKBREAKER gets Roddy a nearfall. Urinage backbreaker scores in this period too but Daniels won’t allow himself to be pinned. Stronghold COUNTERED TO THE KOJI CLUTCH! Roderick makes the ropes with his neck in real pain and the Fallen Angel soon inflicts more damage with a DVD. Urinage slam blocked, but so is Death By Roderick in return. Martini CLOBBERS Daniels with the Book Of Truth…and he walks into the SICK KICK! Strong wins at 15:02

Rating – **** – I’m giving a VERY generous 4* to this. I’m quite sure lots of people wouldn’t have enjoyed it as much as me, but I’m a sucker for really good back and forth ‘work a body part’ style matches and this definitely fell into that category. Daniels has made this kind of encounter his forte for years so I’m delighted he’s brought it back to ROH for the time being. The slow start and shady finish which cut short what was becoming a really competitive match may stop a lot of people from rating this as highly as me. Right decision to put Roddy over though, bearing in mind he’s gearing up for his next ROH Title shot at Glory By Honor.

NEXT WEEK – Apparently the Kings refusing to appear on the same show as the Briscoes only lasted one episode. Next week Jay faces Claudio and Mark faces Hero in singles matches.

Tape Rating – *** – Really decent episode this week. The Kings Gauntlet Match was an entertaining way to kick-off, and the Briscoes/Ninjas skit at the end was great pay-off to that. Wolves/DCFC was a highly watchable match, albeit spoilt by The Embassy…and if you like lengthy back and forth mat-based matches then Daniels/Strong was an excellent main event too.