ROH On HDNet Review – 2/21/11

In the final episode of ROH On HDNet before the 9th Anniversary Show iPPV, the Kings of Wrestling took on the All-Night Express in a pair of singles matches before their big tag team championship bout, as Claudio Castagnoli battled Rhett Titus, and Chris Hero took on Kenny King. We also heard from Davey Richards for the first time since Final Battle and he drops a bombshell regarding his future. Meanwhile Christopher Daniels makes his first TV Title defense against Devon Storm, and we hear from the Briscoes about their iPPV opponents, Charlie Haas & Shelton Benjamin.

Opening Segment

R&R: A recap of last week’s confrontation between Homicide and Roderick Strong.


Davey Richards In-Ring Promo

R&R: After showing us the hype package for the world title match at Final Battle again, Jim Cornette brought Davey to the ring to discuss the match and his future. He apologised to the fans for failing them and stated he would train harder than ever for a rematch down the road. Furthermore, he declared that if he failed to win the world title on his next attempt he would never challenge for the belt again. Cornette was really just there to nudge Davey from one bullet point to the next, so this might have been possible without him, but that’s not a knock on the segment, I enjoyed it. I think it makes sense to start this story now as it will give Roderick the time he needs to flesh out his own significant title reign. Had Davey won the title as everyone wanted at Final Battle, Roddy would have been the biggest joke since Homicide. Oh wait, ironic.


The Briscoes Backstage Interview

R&R: The Briscoes cut a promo on Haas & Benjamin, declaring they were the world’s greatest tag team. A typical Briscoes promo, once they get too pumped up they get incoherent. But it was only thirty seconds so it’s difficult to complain.


ROH World Television Title Match

Christopher Daniels vs Devon Storm

Recap: Daniels was successful in his first defence of the ROH Television Title, defeating fellow veteran and former running buddy from the 90s indy scene Devon ‘Don’t Call Me Crowbar’ Storm. It wasn’t as easy as one might think, as Storm controlled the match in spots thanks to veteran experience, but in the end Daniels hit a snapmare driver into the turnbuckle, a uranage and the Best Moonsault Ever for the win.


Review: To be brutally honest, this was kind of boring. Storm is by no means bad, but he’s also not very good, and sometimes it’s better to be bad than bland. They got around ten minutes and while Daniels gets to look good, Storm drew no crowd reaction at all. That being said, it’s only Daniels’ first defence of the belt, and there was no impetus for it to be exhilarating. Some may consider Storm a failure, but he’s spent 20 years being paid to wrestle, and several of those were on television, so he hasn’t done that badly.


Homicide vs Roderick Strong Hype Video

R&R: Nice little video that did a better job than any of the regular content and made this match seem better than it was ever going to be.


Claudio Castagnoli vs Rhett Titus

Recap: In part one of the Kings/ANX challenge, Claudio Castagnoli defeated Rhett Titus with a lariat after a little help in the form of Shane Hagadorn tripping Titus as he ran off the ropes. Rhett took the fight to the Swiss Stalwart, narrowly beating a 20-count earlier in the match and hitting a nice combination of moves punctuated by a leapfrog fameasser and top rope knee drop, but in the end it would be Hagadorn’s distraction that proved the difference maker. After the match Hero and King brawled into the ring and Titus hit a Thesz press off the apron onto Claudio to lead into the next match.


Review: I’m sick of Claudio being treated like a bumbling idiot by ROH. He is an absolute monster on the indy scene, towering over all but a select few and with virtually unmatched strength. Couple that with his European technical wrestling expertise and you have yourself a wrestler that shouldn’t need interference and loaded elbows to put people away, regardless of whether or not he is a heel. Rhett isn’t high enough in the standings for a loss against Claudio to matter, so why couldn’t he have still had his nice little run to create some doubt in the Kings’ minds but then lost clean? The aim of this match was to make Rhett look as good as possible to make people think twice about the result of the tag team title match, and he did have some pretty nice moments, but the crowd didn’t really take to him as the heroic babyface enough to make it count. When he beat the count at 19 earlier in the match it didn’t get much of a cheer, and they didn’t seem to mind when Claudio won.


Chris Hero vs Kenny King

Recap: In the second part of the challenge Kenny King managed to upset the veteran Chris Hero, ducking a rolling elbow and turning a crucifix pin into a sunset flip for the victory. King came out of the gate strong with a nice cannonball off the guard rail, but Hero took command of the match from there. He became a little too complacent however, missing a springboard moonsault and eating a series of impressive kicks, and barely managed to kick out of a springboard blockbuster. Eager to avoid embarrassment, Hero fired back with a huge Cyclone Kill and a Liger Bomb but couldn’t put King away so resorted to his usual underhanded tactics. Unfortunately for Hero, he inadvertantly struck Shane Hagadorn and then fell victim to the nice pinning combo by King to lose the match. The Kings had the last laugh however, beating the ANX down after the match with the help of Hagadorn and Sara Del Rey.


Review: Similar complaint to the last match, but to a lesser extent. Hero is one of the best wreslters in the world and his strikes are sick enough that people would buy them knocking a wrestler out without the aid of a loaded elbow pad, so it’d be nice to see him win some matches without it or any interference. That being said, King was more likely to beat Hero than Titus was to beat Castagnoli, so I’m not complaining about the result. I could actually see this as a future main event, either with King as a cocky but athletic champion who uses underhanded tactics against a babyface veteran Hero, or with Hero finally wining the ROH title and defending against the promising upstart King. The latter is more likely, but King has a little way to go to reach either status; he can pull off the exciting late-match moves, and we know he has the agility for those special occasion spots, but he needs to develop his mid-match game a little. If he does that I can definitely see this match headlining a show.


Overall Thoughts

– Interesting enough, when you give us a fun singles match in the main event it’s better received than a shaky confrontation segment or an 8-Man tag that goes to a no-contest. The TV title match went a little long and was a bit dull, but the pair of singles matches that closed the show were very nice and built up the tag team title match for the iPPV. That being said, the last thing the audience sees before the 9th Anniversary Show should involve the main event, and at the time Roddy vs Homicide was assumed to be the main event, so they might have been better suited letting Hero and King have their advertised spot from the week before and putting on a better version of the Homicide/Roddy showdown to conclude this go-home episode.


– Surprising that there wasn’t any Top Prospect content, and I’d rather they took some time off the TV Title match to give it to us, but there’s more of that to look forward to in the coming weeks at least.


– Fun fact: Davey seems to have extended the tattoo on his left arm.


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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