10 Thoughts on ROH on HDNet – 08.24.2009

1.  I always thought it was interesting that Jerry Lynn got such a negative reaction as the ROH World Champion.  You’d think with his success in ECW and TNA (yes, I’m openly ignoring his WWE Lightweight Title reign) and long-standing reputation as a strong worker, he would have been over with the ROH faithful.  I suppose they’re very protective of their homegrown stars – but then, explain James Gibson (AKA Jamie Noble).

2.  This week’s opener certainly wasn’t as good as last week’s, but the point was to make Kevin Steen & El Generico look dominant, and in that respect, it succeeded.  Steen impressed me with some really nice offense for the second week in a row (two-man Samoan Drop, Package Piledriver, Somersault Leg Drop), and actually has me wondering if he could eventually do well as a singles competitor.

3.  One of my pet peeves has always been inaccuracies by play-by-play announcers.  These guys should know the happenings of their company inside and out.  So imagine my disappointment when the ROH play-by-play announcer said Steen & Generico had to beat Callihan & Kozima if they hoped to get their hands on the American Wolves again.  Um, guys, the Ladder War match between Steen & Generico and the American Wolves was announced last week . . .

4.  Shame on Roderick Strong’s erroneous use of “air quotes” when calling Austin Aries the ROH World Champion.  Roderick, Aries actually IS the ROH World Champion, thus making your “air quotes” rather pointless.

5.  At one time, I enjoyed D’Lo Brown’s work, most recently his work with and against AJ Styles in TNA.  He was very agile for a big man, with some good offense and a decent amount of charisma.  I found his squash of John Kerman very dull, however, save for the top rope Sky High. 

6.  Short, but effective promo by The Embassy to build up next week’s 8-man elimination main event.  I also like the fact that they’re doing an effective job of re-building Jimmy Rave after his burial in the Rock n’ Rave Infection.

7.  Jerry Lynn, before announcing he is NOT retiring, points out that “no one ever truly retires” in professional wrestling.  Amen, Jerry.  I was worried when they had Lynn and Tyler Black – neither a strong promo guy - together in the ring, but they kept it short and to the point.

8.  Sonjay Dutt returns to Ring of Honor next week!  I like his work (had a GREAT match with Milano Collection AT at an Indy show here in Dallas about 3 years ago) and think he’ll fit in very well with the ROH style, since he just seemed to get lost in the shuffle once the X Division began to fade into the background.

9.  I am a huge believer that a promotion’s champion HAS to be a strong in-ring performer.  If your champion can have strong, competitive matches with a variety of opponents, it elevates those opponents as threats to the World Title, and actually makes people want to see world title matches – which should be the most important matches on the card.  Aries certainly fits that bill.  He is so smooth and crisp in the ring, and plays off the crowd so well.  And the fuzzy pink jacket is GOLD.

10.  I don’t know if I agree with the play-by-play announcer when he called Aries-Strong “one of the best matches I’ve ever seen in Ring of Honor” (another pet peeve of mine:  unnecessary announcer hyperbole), with all the fantastic matches of the pre-HDNet era.  It was, however, excellent, even better than last week’s main event, and the early frontrunner for Free TV Match of the Week.

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