ROH on HDNET 8/2/2010

ROH on HDNet – Episode 068 – 2nd August 2010

ROH on HDNet is starting to build some momentum at the moment. The last two main events have been a significant improvement, and the overall, top-to-bottom episode content is starting to pick up as well. Hopefully that continues tonight – with one of the hottest rivalries in ROH right now taking centre stage. We have a duo of rematches from the Civil Warfare show in Manassas last May as Jay Briscoe faces Claudio Castagnoli and Mark Briscoe faces Chris Hero. Dave Prazak and Mike Hogewood are in their studio ready to call the action from Philadelphia, PA.

Shawn Daivari/Ernesto Osiris vs Dark City Fight Club – Tag Wars 2010 1st Round
The Tag Wars 2010 tournament kicked off at the recent live event in Chicago, and we already know two of the three Block Finals. Indeed, we already know that one Embassy team (Necro and Stevens) has advanced to one of those finals. Can Daivari and Ernesto make it 2 for 2, or will the intimidating Dark City Fight Club back up their recent impressive performances with a good showing?

DCFC, who have had their own issues with The Embassy recently, don’t waste any time in tearing into both opponents. All four quickly brawl to the floor where the action becomes particularly hard to follow thanks to HDNet’s split-screen graphics. Daivari absolutely WRECKS Davis against the guardrails in the midst of that. The Embassy start attacking Davis’ arm, whilst Prazak has me in stitches talking about the virtues of Prince Nana buying a ‘solid gold boat’ with Hog. Their strategy finally comes unstuck when Davis muscles Osiris into a huge powerslam. Tags all round so we’ve got Chavis taking it to Daivari. Rydien Bomb gets 2, but Kory gets carried away thinking about a dive spot on Ernesto and allows Shawn to take him down. Then he gets distracted hitting Ernesto with a discus lariat and walks into a flying knee smash. Daivari gets 2 with a frog splash. POOUUUUNCE from Davis to Daivari. Project Mayhem on Osiris for the win at 07:47

Rating – * – Pretty sloppy and most quite poor. Mostly Daivari and Ernesto’s fault to be honest. Not that DCFC are Misawa and Kobashi but they looked far better than the thrown together Embassy duo

Eddie Edwards vs Jobber – Ten Minute Hunt
I think the jobber said his name was ‘Jay Freddie’ but that can’t be an actual name right? He looks completely non-descript and obviously has no chance. Eddie interviewing him like a gameshow host ‘what’s your name, and where are YOOOOUUU from??’ was pretty funny though.

Edwards lets Freddie hold the belt to ‘see what’s it’s like’…then smacks him in the head with the microphone to get us started. Credit to Jay, he lands a dropkick and a few chops before Eddie gives him a horrible landing with a drop suplex over the ropes. Horrible landing #2 comes seconds later as Edwards boots him into the guardrails. Flying headscissors from Freddie, then a tope suicida. He’s made it to 2 minutes…but makes a huge mistake going for a missile dropkick. He is caught and powerbombed into the FACE STOMP ACHILLES LOCK! Edwards wins at 02:20

Rating – * – The star is mostly for Eddie Edwards being absolutely hilarious in these 10 Minute Hunt segments. I know they’ve been roundly criticised by the ROH fans, but I think it’s little things like this which convinced Delirious and Cornette to pull the trigger on Eddie as World Champion in 2011 – he shows a surprisingly level of confidence and personality here.

NEXT WEEK – Already booked for next week is another Necro/Rasche match, and a planned main event of Tyler Black vs Christopher Daniels.

Kyle Durden interviews Rasche Brown. HE SHOUTS ALL HIS PROMO SO LOUDLY IT’S VERY ANNOYING. PAIN IS COMING. RAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

It’s supposed to be Aries vs Delirious next, but A-Double comes out with a doctor’s note and says he’s too ill to wrestle tonight. He brings out Kenny King as his replacement…

Delirious vs Kenny King
Of course it’s a piece of evil brilliance by Aries to take himself out of this match and using King as a replacement. But more than that, it puts Delirious at a major disadvantage as he’d been preparing for Aries as an opponent, and now has to face the very different, but no less demanding Pretty Boy Pitbull.

Delirious is totally preoccupied with Aries, so King has an easy time picking him apart almost from the bell. As Hog points out, even when Delirious does manage to get some offence in, every move he make is broken up with a long and pointed stare in Austin’s direction. Finally he gives in and starts chasing A-Double…sliding through King’s legs into an assault on his manager. Kenny jumps Delirious from behind with a flying knee strike. Springboard leg drop misses though, allowing the lizard man to drive a torpedo headbutt to the ribs. Bizarro Driver blocked, and King goes after the throat with that rope-jump guillotine. Delirious tries the Cobra Clutch…but gets distracted by Aries blowing pipe smoke in his face. Shotgun Knees get King the win at 07:46

Rating – ** – This match was pretty fun, albeit entirely predictable. The Delirious gimmick is so tired by this point in time, but the ridiculous antics of A-Double in manager mode were enough to carry things here. I do think there needs to come a point where Aries and Delirious actually deliver a GREAT match though – or the plug needs to be pulled on this feud.

Claudio Castagnoli vs Jay Briscoe
These two met in singles competition at Civil Warfare, and it was Jay Briscoe who actually pulled out the victory that night – countering the UFO into a schoolboy pin. Double C will want to avenge that loss, and further stake the KOW claim that the Briscoes do not deserve another title shot.

Shane Hagadorn announces that tonight will be the last time the Briscoes get to wrestle his clients. Jay wastes no time in taking Claudio all the way to the floor with a Cactus clothesline. But Hagadorn distracts Briscoe, allowing Castagnoli to Bicycle Kick him off the apron and into the guardrails. Claudio dominates for the next few minutes, getting a 2-count with an impressive combo of dead-lift suplexes. He tries a top rope Les Artess Lift but Jay blocks, diving off the turnbuckles into a flying crossbody. DVD almost drops the Tag Champion on his head but still Double C kicks out. Briscoe lays Hagadorn out with a boot, but the distraction means he walks into a lariat from Castagnoli. Pinfall flurry ends with Jay trapping Claudio on the mat for 3 at 07:20

Rating – ** – Again this was fine, but nothing special or memorable in the slightest. Both of these are guys who can have good singles matches, but generally need better opponents to draw it out of them, which sadly wasn’t the case here.

Chris Hero is quickly on hand and the Kings lay Briscoe out with the KRS-1. Mark arrives for his match, but it’s too late to save his brother.

Chris Hero vs Mark Briscoe
So now, not only will Mark be looking for a win for personal reasons, he’ll also come into the match absolutely fuming that the Kings were able to put a 2-on-1 beating on his brother before he got out here. Can he make it 2-0 for the Briscoes tonight?

Mark starts hot as you might expect, and the referee has to physically pull him off Hero as he pummels him in the mounted position. Hero tries to leave and is wiped out with a HUGE suicide dive, and the attack continues with a suplex on the floor second later. Again Briscoe has to be pulled off his opponent, and this time Hero capitalises with a neckbreaker. REBOUND elbow off the guardrails nailed, and Hero rolls back inside looking for a count-out win. Briscoe beats the count but returns to the ring into a barrage of boots and elbows from his hard-hitting opponent. And having knocked him loopy with elbows, Hero then throws Mark of the ring where Claudio is still hanging around and whacks him with a European uppercut for good measure. All that stops Hero from complete dominance is an ill-advised moonsault which he totally misses. Briscoe capitalises with a NECK DROP FISHERMAN BUSTER for 2! Cut-Throat Driver blocked, and Hero simply shakes off an enzi kick from Mark to blast him with another elbow. Iconoclasm gets Mark another nearfall as the momentum starts to swing back and forth. ROARING ELBOW! Del Rey is on the apron now, which of course, is cover for Hero to pull out the loaded pad. But in turn Hero is distracted by Jay coming from the back to attack Claudio…and Mark back slides him for another Briscoe victory at 09:53

Rating – *** – Better than everything else on the show, and certainly falling into the category of ‘fun main event’, but being brutally honest this is the kind of match you enjoy watching but have completely forgotten about after a couple of weeks. During the great Briscoes/Steen-erico feud in 2007 I remember the Briscoes having some really good singles matches with Steen and Generico (I think it was at Death Before Dishonor 5 Night 2). For whatever reason they don’t seem to have been able to recreate that same energy with the Kings.

COMMERCIALS – A package airs hyping the Ring Of Honor tag division, and announces that Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin are coming to ROH at Glory By Honor 9. I think this was the package that aired during the Death Before Dishonor 8 intermission on iPPV.

Tape Rating – ** – To be fair, this was a solid episode with a LOT of wrestling, which in itself is something ROH should be commended for. But in my opinion five matches in a one hour show is far too much. Nothing got enough time, everything felt rushed and the whole episode seems to have passed in a blur of passable but totally forgettable matches. The highlight of this whole show to me was the commercial they aired at the end hyping Haas and Benjamin’s debut at Glory By Honor.