Cult of ROH: Virginia & NY Preview

Friday is ROH’s final G-Funk Pay Per View, Take No Prisoners 2009, featuring the highly praised tag of Tyler Black & KENTA Vs. Austin Aries & Katsuhiko Nakajima. In true ROH tradition, they’re running a live show against that PPV. So here is your ROH Weekend Preview.

Friday in Virginia

Non-Title: Jerry Lynn Vs. Tyler Black

Kevin Steen & El Generico Vs. The Young Bucks

Austin Aries Vs. Roderick Strong Vs. D-Lo Brown Vs. Eddie Edwards

Davey Richards Vs. Jay Briscoe

Bryan Danielson Vs. Kenny King

Jimmy Jacobs Vs. Sonjay Dutt

Jimmy Rave, Claudio Castagnoli & Ernie Osiris Vs. The Necro Butcher, Colt Cabana & Grizzly Redwood

Seven matches and a lot of great match-ups. If they let a couple of guys go, you’ll have a truly solid show, and maybe the best all-around that Manassas has seen. The last Danielson Vs. King match truly showed King’s potential for the first time. Richards and Briscoe have a fine history against each other, and with the intentional injury issue between them it should get passionate quick, the best scenario for a Jay Briscoe singles match. The Four Corner match has good talent all around, with Strong and Brown’s issue likely to begin there, and Aries thrown in for added charisma. The Young Bucks taking on Steen & Generico would be a fine main event in any other indy promotion and could easily steal the show. Throw in a special appearance by Dutt and the old-fashioned Good’Uns/Bad’Uns trios tag, and the show promises to be paced and to deliver.

Lynn Vs. Black being non-title will turn off some people. Black had a titleshot for Boston that he missed out on due to injury, so it seems odd that it would be the champion’s choice to make this non-title. Both mention he deserves one later, but that’s off-putting, especially if this is the main event. Remember that Manassas got a questionable non-title Black match last time, too, and though he won in a good match, it was obvious that the company was holding back for the main event the next night. Black has a titleshot in his pocket that he’s not electing to use, though he teases cashing it in if the match goes well for him- something far too similar to what’s happened on Smackdown lately.

That situation shouldn’t turn people away, though. This is a strong B-show card that only takes a couple of breakout performances to become well worth the travel. Even Lynn and Black should be able to do something special after their praised time limit draw a few months ago, and after Lynn’s performances against Strong and Hero on Friday shows, he has a track record of not holding back. It would be a great move, though, for ROH to elevate another match above this one as a sign to the champion when he doesn’t defend. Besides, Steen & Generico have a better track record in main events.

Saturday in New York City

ROH World Title Match: Jerry Lynn ( c ) Vs. Austin Aries

ROH World Tag Team Title Submissions Match: The American Wolves w/ Shane Hagadorn ( c ) Vs. Kevin Steen & El Generico

First Blood Match: Jimmy Jacobs Vs. Tyler Black

Bryan Danielson Vs. Colt Cabana Vs. Claudio Castagnoli Vs. D-Lo Brown

Jimmy Rave w/ Prince Nana Vs. The Necro Butcher

Jay Briscoe Vs. Guido Maritato

Roderick Strong Vs. Sonjay Dutt

Rhett Titus & Kenny King Vs. The Young Bucks

It’s a big show, but what’s striking is how little feels final. Tyler Black and Jimmy Jacobs are already scheduled to have another gimmick match in their feud-ending series later. The tag title match has a Submissions Only stipulation that can’t possibly be the end of the Generico & Steen Vs. American Wolves feud with all the chairs and ladders they’ve brought out, and recently even teasing Ladder War 2. Lynn Vs. Aries is bound for rematches and the presence of both Flair and McGuinness at ringside suggests some sort of shmoz, especially with the latter cutting a Videowire promo about being there to maintain his interests. The absence of Flair and McGuinness would actually leave Lynn Vs. Aries more interesting, feeling like its own event.

It is certainly worth seeing. ROH doesn’t run bad Hammerstein Ballroom shows, and the undercard is promising. Dutt is a great flyer and Strong is great at complimenting and destroying that kind of wrestler. Maritato is going to have to try against Briscoe to earn a roster spot, and Briscoe will be more motivated after his dud against D-Lo Brown last time in New York. Rave Vs. Butcher is something I have no desire to ever see, but with perhaps ROH’s most hatable heel and one of its most over faces, it will be a polarizing break from action. The Young Bucks have an athletic home team they have a chance of beating, and even better chance of sprinting well against.

With that base, only one of the big three matches has to deliver. And at least one really should. Given how Steen & Generico Vs. the American Wolves has a strong record, that should be good even if it’s just the midway point in the feud. Steen and Richards have had no problems in destroying each other several times already in the long road of this feud.

And whatever ROH books around the World Title match, Aries is the best possible challenger for Lynn with his disreputable tactics, charisma, and ability in technical and sprint wrestling. Aries can do anything Lynn wants to. In the main event slot, if ROH management is smart, they’ll push Aries to give Lynn the kind of match he gave McGuinness near the start of his reign.

That’s it for Cult of ROH this week. Check in next week for a radical proposal on how ROH could change the business – and it’s not inside the ring. For now, check out:

-Vinny Truncellito has a lengthy and detailed idea of how Nigel McGuinness’s reign could have gone.

-Phil Clark attacks Time Warner Cable’s lame decision to strike down HDNet. That’s half the homes ROH was hoping would watch their show that suddenly will be unable to find it even if they want to. My tip: check youtube.

-And David Ditch has a puro media grab bag. Go on. Stick your hand in.

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