10 Thoughts on ROH on HDNet – 02.15.2010

1. I liked that ROH allowed Erick Stevens to explain his reasons for joining the Embassy. Heel turns fall flat when unexplained, or when an average person wouldn’t at least understand the heel’s reasons for his actions, even if he didn’t agree with them. Stevens’ explanation was simple, but it did the trick.

2. I was disappointed that ROH decided to mention Tyler Black’s World Title win, but didn’t so much as show footage of the celebration, or even a pre-taped promo or interview. I know sometimes they’re hamstrung by the fact that their show isn’t live, but given the lengthy build to Black’s journey to the title, it deserved to be treated like a big deal, and it should have been so treated this week – not next.

3. The countout finish to the Necro & Kingston vs. Stevens & Ryan match was a disappointing finish to a dull brawl (incidentally, Necro sure throws some limp-wristed punches for a world-famous brawler), but it made sense, given that they had to hold something back for the No Rules match between the two teams from this past Sunday’s show.

4. Kevin Steen’s promo wasn’t great (wasn’t terrible, either), but it’s good that they’re giving him an opportunity to establish himself as a heel. With Tyler Black probably in line for a lengthy title reign and Hero and Castagnoli in the tag division for the time being, it’s in ROH’s best interest to establish some heel challengers for Black that would make for fresh match-ups.

5. Watching the recap of the Young Bucks/American Wolves match from last week reminded me of one of my pet peeves with ROH: too much kicking out of long-established, supposedly lethal finishers. Come on, there is no way Matt Jackson should be kicking out of a Codebreaker followed by a Tombstone, without any lag between the moves and the cover, and without his brother breaking up the count.

6. I like ROH’s decision to run the start of the Television Title tournament on March 8th. Thanks to the beginning of the new Monday Night “Wars”, there will be a lot of buzz surrounding the world of pro wrestling. Thanks to TNA’s (in my opinion, foolish) decision to not start an hour before WWE, ROH still has the 8-9 EST hour to itself. May as well capitalize with something new and interesting.

7. Sonjay Dutt just hasn’t been able to establish a character since coming to ROH. His “swagga” promo was awful. Yes, it got the crowd chanting for Cheech & Cloudy, but not in a “what a hated heel!” way. More like in a “wow, that was bad, I’m not cheering for that guy” way.

8. I know Sonjay Dutt and Andy Ridge aren’t a real tag team, and the match wasn’t anything special, but it was important for Cheech & Cloudy to pick up their first win on HDNet, and look strong in doing so. Hogewood really came through in putting over their past couple of efforts and making them seem like up-and-comers.

9. Steen and Delirious took a while to get going, but they picked it up at the end, and the result was a decent match. It’s obvious Steen is wearing the heel persona like a pair of new shoes that haven’t quite been broken in yet. He should have better matches as he becomes more comfortable with his character.

10. Not ROH’s best effort. The opener was just bad, and while nothing after it was terrible, nothing stood out, either. I’ll give them a pass, though. It’s obvious they’re trying to establish some new characters (not new wrestlers, but new personas for existing talent), so a couple of hiccups along the way are to be expected. I anticipate their next couple of shows will be stronger.

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