Big Andy Mac’s RoH Live Review: TV Tapings Philly, 6-20-09

Ring of Honor tapes three more episodes of their show RoH on HDNet, and I was there. This is my first time attending TV tapings in person. How would the format work as a live fan? How would the show be? Why do I always have these question? Read on to find out…

Dark Matches:
John Moxley beat someone whose name escapes me. Moxley could go somewhere. He knows how to work the crowd and his offense looks good. The other guy…obviously didn’t make an impression.

Bobby Dempsey and Atsushi Sawada beat The Set. This was what it was. The Set has hilarious ring gear.

Eddie Kingston squashes Orange Cassidy, I am guessing this match will appear on TV at some point. Kingston won with the Backfist to the Future. After the match he was interviewed by Kyle Durden and said he wants to put Chris Hero out of wrestling. A good promo as usual from The Last of a Dying Breed.

TV Taping Number 1

The show starts with Kyle Durden in the ring to interview Tyler Black. Tyler gets interrupted by the Greatest Man who ever Lived and the first two time RoH champion Austin Aries. Aries is just great making Black look like a fool. He says Tyler needs to get himself a belt before he can demand interview time. Nigel makes an appearance and talks down all of the other contenders for the belt and tells Tyler to keep his eye on the ball. Tyler heeds not this advice and takes a belt shot to the face from Aries. This was a fun interview segment.

Kevin Steen and El Generico vs. Sami Callahan and Tony Kozina

Tony Kozina played to fool in this match tripping over the top rope on his entrance and all around acting foolish. Callahan looked great getting beaten up by Steenerico. The makeshift tag team even got their fair share of offense. Steen and Generico got the win though after the package piledrive/brainbuster combo. The match was fun and short, just like a…hey what do you know…TV match should be.

Winners: Kevin Steen and El Generico via pinfall, **

Dlo Brown vs. John Kermon

This was a squash for Mr. Brown. He won with a top rope Low Down. After the match Kyle Durden asks him about his thoughts on Jerry Lynn’s retirement. Dlo gets angry that this is first mic time on HDNet and that is the question he gets asked. He says he hopes Lynn curls up and dies. He also said he was gunning for the RoH title…ugh.

Winner: Dlo Brown via pinfall, SQUASH

Jerry Lynn comes out and talks about how he is in the prime of his career at 46, and not ready to curl up and die as Dlo put it. Jerry Lynn was never the most exciting talker. He cuts a very long and boring promo about his family and how they want him to stop but he keeps going. He also says his upcoming match with Tyler will be a highlight of his career.

TV Taping Main Event Non Title Match: RoH Champion Austin Aries vs. Roderick Strong

This match was just flat out awesome. I have not watched a ton of RoH DVDs. I have seen every episode of the TV show, though, and I have to say that this was the best match the company has put on all year. Strong was great as the feisty babyface. Aries was even greater as the underhanded heel champion. This is also the best match that either of these two guys have had against each other which is somewhat ironic considering this is probably the smallest issue between the two. The finishing sequence was all near falls and big moves and the Philadelphia crowd absolutely ate it up. Aries ends up getting the win shunting Roddy back down the ladder by reversing the Strong Hold into a rollup with his feet on the ropes. It seems already that Aries reign will be patterned after classic heel NWA title reigns which is a great way to do things. Aries has the charisma and the skill to do just this. He is, without a doubt, the best thing going in RoH today.

Winner: Austin Aries via pinfall, ****1/2

TV Taping Number 2

Sonjay Dutt vs. Delirious with Daizee Haze

This match was long and slow. Dutt has some cool moves, and Delirious is entertaining, but they did not click here. Delirious ended up getting the win after a really sloppy series of rollups. I was not a fan of this match.

Winner: Delirious via pinfall, *

RoH Tag Team Champions: The American Wolves vs. Cheech and Cloudy

This was an extended squash for the champs. Cheech and Cloudy looked great for their part but the succumbed to the Alarm Clock (might be a worse name than Buckle Bomb) and the Achilles Lock by Eddie Edwards. After the match the Dark City Fight Club hit the Dark City Street Cutter on Cloudy and stared down the champs. I am not a fan of DCFC, but they are over.

Winners: The American Wolves via submission, SQUASH

Nigel McGuinness vs. Evan Scott

Nigel of course is back on his first weekend in the ring after his bicep injury. He looks great, but is still finding his way and adapting his style. Evan Scott is just horrible. Nigel got the win after a DDT when Scott “dodged” the Jawbreaker Lariat, if you can call it that. After the match Nigel locked in the London Dungeon for good measure.

Winner: Nigel McGuinness via pinfall, SQUASH

TV Main Event Eight Man Elimination Match: Colt Cabana, Brent Albright, Necro Butcher, and Grizzle Redwood vs. The Embassy of Jimmy Rave, Claudio Castagnoli, Ernie Osiris, and Prince Nana

I should start off by saying that Colt Cabana got the biggest reaction of anyone the entire night except maybe for the champ. Nana was great at picking his spots and being one of the most hatable guys on the roster. The match itself was a lot of fun. The comedy spot of the match was Claudio getting caught doing the assisted abdominal stretch only to have the move performed on him by Brent Albright who locked hands with Grizzle Redwood who locked hands with Necro who locked hands with Colt who locked hands with a fan who locked hands with another fan who locked hands with another fan etc… When they got caught everyone broke the lock like nothing happened…hilarious.

I liked that the eliminations did not come to abruptly, or in rapid fire either. Grizzly was the first to succumb after a surprise rollup by Ernie Osiris. Claudio and Albright were next to go as they both got counted out brawling outside of the venue! Not long after Necro was forced to tap out to the Heel Hook. This left Colt Cabana against three men. He dispatched Ernie Osiris with a Colt 45, rolled up Jimmy Rave, and then made Nana tap out to the Billy Goat’s Curse. Colt looked great here and the crowd loved everything he did. Eventhough he made three of the eliminations himself it didn’t seem cheap. After the match, Albright and Redwood returned to celebrate. This match was a ton of fun.

Sole Survivor: Colt Cabana last eliminating Prince Nana, ***1/2 (super entertaining, though)

Between the tapings Austin Aries came out and ran down a few of the more red neck fans in the crowd. He also got a fan to jump the guardrail to try and fight him. The fan was taken out by security. Aries proved once again that he is the best thing going.

TV Taping Number 3

Jay and Mark Briscoe vs. Kenny King and Rhett Titus

This, I believe, is the Briscoes first match as a team since Mark’s injury. The match itself was fun. Titus and King are a great heel team and seem legit despite a less than stellar winning record. Give these guys a squash! Mark is a step slower, but still put on a good show. The Briscoes ended up winning after a regular Doomsday Device (no springboard). A fun match to reintroduce the Briscoes. They could have made a bigger deal of it, though.

Winners: Jay and Mark Briscoe via pinfall

After the match the American Wolves come out to inform the Briscoes that they have a long way to go before they will get another shot at the titles. Steen and Generico come out and shove the Wolves to the Briscoes. They brawl for a bit and Steenerico and the Briscoes are left in the ring with the belts. They fight over them a bit before handing the belts back to the champs and going to the back. This was a nice segment to add importance to the tag division.

Eddie Kingston comes out and wants a piece of Chris Hero. Shane Hagadorn comes out to Hero’s music and informs Kingston that he hasn’t earned another shot at That Young Knockout Kid. Hagadorn will give him a match against Sal Rinauro, though.

Sal Rinauro vs. Eddie Kingston

Kingston hits a punch to the head and the Backfist to the Future for the win.

Winner: Eddie Kingston via pinfall, SQUASH

Silas Young vs. Erick Stevens

I thought for sure that Young was going to be cannon fodder for Stevens, but they actually ended up having a pretty even match. Silas is a pretty good wrestler and Stevens is probably the most underappreciated wrestler on the RoH roster. Stevens ends up scoring the win after a Doctor Bomb, but Silas was legitimized in the loss.

Winner: Erick Stevens via pinfall, **1/2

TV Main Event: Jerry Lynn vs. Tyler Black

I saw this match two weeks ago in Virginia. It was really great there. It really wasn’t here. The crowd was a little burnt out, but they just didn’t do anything to bring them back into it. Nigel came down to scout his fellow challengers for the RoH title. Tyler Black almost had the win after Fulmination (my new name for the turnbuckle power bomb, superkick combo), but Nigel put Lynn’s foot on the rope. Lynn was then able to capitalize with a cradle for the win. The match advanced some angle’s, but it wasn’t very good.

Winner: Jerry Lynn via pinfall, **

Big Andy Mac’s Big Andy Final Thoughts: Attending a set of TV tapings was fun. The crowd was into the show for all but the last main event. The best match by far was Aries vs. Strong. When this match debuts on TV you need to go out of your way to watch it. Everything else was fun, and when paired with backstage segments should make for some compelling TV. It was too bad that “American Dragon” wasn’t wrestling, but a staph infection needs to be kept as far away from something like a wrestling ring as possible. That stuff is scary and gross. Ultimately, I enjoyed myself, and that is the main purpose of wrestling, is it not?

I’ll see you next time…

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