10 Thoughts on ROH on HDNet – 08.31.2009

1. As I stated last week, if there is one thing I expect out of play-by-play announcers, it is accuracy as the goings on and history of the company they work for.  These guys should be students of the game.  So I was immediately annoyed when the announce team declared that this week would be Prince Nana’s first time in the ring as a competitor.  I suppose this is true, assuming the 2002 “Road to the Title” show never happened and Scott Keith is a liar.  Maybe he meant that this was Nana’s debut in the HDNet era, but that’s not what he said.

2.  If the purpose of the Dutt-Delirious match was to re-introduce Dutt to the ROH faithful while at the same time allowing Delirious, an established ROH performer, to maintain some crediblity, than I suppose it accomplished its purpose.  However, it was more slow-paced than I would have expected out of a match between two wrestlers that the play-by-play team hyped as “two of the quickest guys in ROH”, and I was surprised to see Dutt lose in his ROH re-debut.  I think having Dutt go over in a fast-paced match would have done both guys a greater service.  I was also waiting for a post-match beatdown by Dutt, given that his two promos building up to his return sounded borderline heelish, but no dice.

3.  More effective showcasing of the tag team division by ROH.  The video packages for the Young Bucks and the Briscoe Brothers made their point – the Young Bucks are exciting, and the Briscoe Brothers are back.  The American Wolves looked dominant in their squash of Cheech & Cloud, as champions should.  And the Dark City Fight Club post-match beatdown of Cheech & Cloudy sent the message that these are two tough guys looking for a fight, and if you’re not going to medically clear them, they’ll find one on their own.  Not a great match or anything, but good job building up the division in a limited amount of time. 

4.  I’ve always enjoyed a good double-team finisher.  Seeing two of them in relatively quick succession (The American Wolves’ Powerbomb/Lungblower and the Dark City Fight Club’s Sitout Powerbomb/Neckbreaker) definitely warmed my heart.

5.  I enjoy Colt Cabana’s “comedy wrestler” routine as much as anybody, but I thought the promo hyping up his team (Colt, Necro Butcher, Brent Albright, Grizzly Redwood) for the eight-man elimination match against the Embassy (Prince Nana, Claudio Castagnoli, Ernie Osiris, Jimmy Rave) should have been more serious, given how the members of the two respective teams have been at each other’s throats.  And it’s not like Colt can’t do serious and intense – see his feud with Homicide from a few years ago.

6.  For the most part, ROH does a good job not over-exposing its weaker promo guys (Tyler Black being an exception, but a necessary one).  The Jerry Lynn promo hyping next week’s match against Black was a good example of this.  Lynn, never known for his prowess on the mic, was short, sweet, and to the point in communicating why beating Black is so important to his getting back on track.  Should be a nice match.

7.  Erick Stevens and Silas Young had what I thought was a nice power match.  Sure, technical clinics are nice, but sometimes, there is something very enjoyable about two strong guys hitting each other with their biggest, hardest-hitting moves until one of the two hits his biggest, baddest move for the 3-count.  The key is to not slow the match down too much, which these guys did not.

8.  Direct quote from Eddie Kingston’s promo on Chris Hero:  “The sky will rain blood, and it will weep for one of us.”  Who is writing his material, the Ultimate Warrior?  At least he is not threatening to take down Chris Hero’s plane . . .

9.  I applaud the continuity demonstrated by the eight guys in the main event elimination match.  From the opening brawl, where everyone paired up with the guy he has had issues with, to Rave tagging out when Necro tagged in, to Necro selling the ankle after hitting a cannonball senton off the apron, to Castagnoli and Albright brawling their way to a double count-out, these guys remained consistent with their storytelling.

10.  Was the main event a technical masterpiece like what we got the last two weeks (Black-McGuinness, Strong-Aries)?  No.  But it was TONS of fun.  The eight guys worked in some crowd-pleasing spots (the Abdominal Stretch with crowd assistance, the multiple cartwheels from Cabana), blended in comedy spots with serious ones seamlessly, and built nicely to Colt Cabana rallying back from down 3-to-1 to claim the duke for his team.  Everyone was feeling it here, and the result was an entertaining main event.

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