ROH On HDNet Review – 1/31/11

Eddie Edwards defends his World Television Title against Christopher Daniels in the main event, Truth Martini formally introduces the HDNet audience to newest House of Truth recruit Michael Elgin, Colt Cabana battles Mike Mondo and Sara Del Rey is in action against Taeler Hendrix. All this and more on this episode of ROH On HDNet.

Opening Segment

R&R: A vignette hyping the TV Title main event.


Mike Mondo vs Colt Cabana

Recap: In a brief affair Colt Cabana bested the self-proclaimed Giant-Killer, Mike Mondo, forcing him to tap out to the Billy Goat’s Curse after softening him up with a monstrous turnbuckle gutbuster. Mondo did manage a few flurries of offence, but Colt never looked too worried and put the brakes on Mondo’s run before it got too serious.


Review: I’m sure it wouldn’t please Cabana to hear that I think this is what he is perfectly suited to, namely short comedy matches against not too challenging opposition. I find his comedy a bit stale when it goes too long, and something doesn’t sit right with me when he goes over main event talent, but he’s a funny man and a gifted technical wrestler who can connect with the crowd. He warmed the fans up to start the show off and that was about it. Mondo, who was actually a guest on Cabana’s podcast around this time, is a strangle little man, and while I wouldn’t skip matches he featuring him in the future, he’d have to be against the right opponents and they couldn’t go too long.


Michael Elgin Introductory Segment

R&R: Truth Martini introduced the TV audience to Mike Elgin, doing his best Dark City Fight Club impression. Elgin’s final test before being officially inducted into the House of Truth (at this point consisting only of Roddy and Truth) would be to team with Roderick Strong. Funny thing though, these two teamed up a few months back in a six-man tag team match at Survival of the Fittest, so surely Roddy and Truth already have an idea of whether or not he is suitable? Ah well, details.


Roderick Strong & Michael Elgin vs Alex Silva & Chrisjen Hayme

Recap: Michael Elgin passed his final test by scoring the win for the House of Truth, executing a Spiral Powerbomb on Alex Silva for the pin. ROH World Champion Roderick Strong barely entered the match, encouraging Elgin to go it alone, and whilst Hayme and Silva managed a couple of big moves, Elgin was never really rocked and overcame both men.


Review: When Elgin was first announced as being the new mystery member of the House of Truth a few months ago a lot of folks out there groaned and moaned, declaring he wasn’t a very good wrestler. Well I’m here to tell you right now that this is not the case. Elgin is impressive. He looks good and he’s incredibly strong. We’ve seen him hit moves on two men at once on several occasions, catch wrestlers in mid-air with ease, and even sprint the length of the ringside area with El Generico across his shoulder. The original plan may have been to team him with Christian Abel, but after having seen him a few times, I can say with confidence that I think his role as Roddy’s enforcer is going to work out well. I like the idea of the hit-list that Strong handed to him and that he’s looked strong in all his appearances. This match wasn’t anything special, but I think the crowd should have reacted to it a little better. Elgin looked a beast, Truth Martini has a new disciple, win.


Taeler Hendrix vs Sara Del Rey

Recap: In a rematch from several months ago, Sara Del Rey again managed to best Taeler Hendrix, utterly dominating the ROH newcomer before finishing her with a Gory Special into a Flatliner.


Review: Taeler Hendrix has a silly name – or rather she spells it in a silly way. I’ve got nothing against these squash matches, as Del Rey is all kinds of awesome, but the time for them to actually lead somewhere is fast approaching. SDR is da best, we get it, so who is going to give her the challenge she has been demanding for so long? She’s beaten Haze, Kong and MsChif now; could we see Shimmer Champion Madison Eagles put her title on the line against ROH’s top woman of honor? Perhaps Cheerleader Melissa or Sareena Deeb will step up to the plate. Only time will tell.


ROH World Television Championship Match

Eddie Edwards vs Christopher Daniels

Recap: In a piece of ROH history, founding father Christopher Daniels became just the second TV champion in the title’s history by defeating Eddie Edwards with the Angel’s Wings. The match initially ended in a 15-minute time limit draw but the champion – who had been locked in the Koji Clutch in the middle of the ring when time expired – surprisingly demanded five more minutes to prove he could beat the Fallen Angel. This would prove to be Edwards’ downfall however as Daniels would hit his patented finisher out of nowhere to capture the title. Over the course of the bout Edwards hit a moonsault off the apron and seemed to injure his ankle, but despite this he executed a pair of double stomps, including a particularly devastating one on the apron. In fact it was Edwards who appeared certain to win the bout in overtime, executing several of his signature moves in a row before having a powerbomb attempt countered. Seconds later, Daniels was the new TV champion.


Review: Wow. What a match. These two gave us one of the best TV matches you’re likely to see with a lot of even technical wrestling early on and some exciting and high risk moves near the end. You know, it’s a funny thing – when a match is really good I struggle to say too much about it. This was great stuff from both guys and I enjoyed every moment of it. As for the booking decision, well… Louisville apparently needed a moment of significance to mark the TV tapings taking place outside of Philadelphia, and the title switch happened to be said moment. I worry about Eddie’s position in the company without the belt to anchor him. On the one hand he won Survival of the Fittest, will challenge Roderick Strong for the world title in New York, and will forever be linked to the ROH faithful’s favourite wrestler Davey Richards. On the other, no matter how good he’s been, he’s clearly not held in the same regard as Strong, Richards, Daniels, and El Generico. But the only way to find out if our boy will sink or swim is to let him get in the water, and with ROH’s time on television coming to an end soon, it’s probably the best time to let somebody else run with the belt during the little time that is left.


Overall Thoughts


– Solid episode of ROH, but in many ways a one-match show with two and a half squashes preceding the TV Title match. Still, they were good squashes, and it was a very good main event, so there are absolutely no complaints from me.


– The World Title was never going to change hands on TV, and the tag titles did just the once, so the World Television Title was created with the intent of giving the HDNet audience something special, not just being a glorified tease to iPPVs and the bigger house shows. It’s unfortunate that only one such special moment will take place, but that isn’t ROH’s fault. It’s still a special moment and it will probably be the kind of match people are talking about for a long time to come, and perhaps this episode too will be one of the select few that people remember when the series is terminated.


About Matt Waters
Brit dude who likes both things AND stuff and has delusions of being some kind of writer or something. Basketball, video games, comic books, films, music, other random stuff.

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