10 Thoughts on ROH on HDNet 05.03.2010: Austin Aries, Roderick Strong, Tyler Black

1. I’ve never noticed Joey Ryan handing out candy on his way to the ring before. So he’s a wrestling pedophile, apparently? Not too sure how I feel about that one. I’d still like to see him win a television match with the Moustache Ride though.

2. ROH usually tries to start the show with a solid match, but it was obvious that this week’s match was just there so they could remind us that Roderick Strong does, indeed, have a title shot this weekend . . . which we already knew, since they opened the show with the same Black-Strong video package we’ve seen countless times.

3. After re-watching both matches, I give the finals of the Television Title tournament the nod as the tourney’s best match, over the Edwards vs. Steen semi-final. The most important part of that match (other than it being awesome) was the star-making performance Edwards delivered. I also enjoyed the post-match promo, which showed they’re not going the old, cliched “tag team partners break up and feud” route.

4. I was ready to complain about another Dark City Fight Club squash, but the match, in combination with the two ensuing segments, did a great job of highlighting the tag division and making it seem important. DCFC is tired of being on the outside looking in and wants a title match. The Kings of Wrestling are the champions and are going to brag about it. The Briscoes demand their rematch. Simple, yet effective.

5. Wow, was the “Art of Wrestling” segment with Colt Cabana and Sonjay Dutt a terrible waste of time. Obviously, it was just an excuse to get Peter Rosenberg (some New York radio personality) on the air, but a show that has enough time constraints as it is can’t afford to throw away a segment time like that.

6. So now all of the Necro Butcher’s matches are going to be contested under “anything goes” rules. I have mixed feelings about this. It obviously accentuates Necro’s strengths (hardcore brawling) and masks his weaknesses (everything else), and those matches can be entertaining. However, they will only be entertaining if they are wildly contested brawls with the right opponents. Under circumstances like tonight’s, we’ll get snoozers.

7. Between announcing next week’s Pick 6 Battle Royal and acknowledging that tonight’s main event is a Pick 6 match, this is the most they’ve paid attention to the concept on HDNet since the initial ranking matches. I still think it’s a good idea if executed correctly, but I think they’re struggling to fit it into storylines. At least they’re not jobbing the top guy in the standings to the champion in 3 minutes just to pay lip service to the concept.

8. I’m sure some will disagree, but I think Austin Aries is the best all-around entertainer on the ROH roster, and I don’t think it’s close. His promo about bowing out of the title picture and re-inventing himself made me chuckle and has me looking forward to seeing what’s next for his character. And I did more than chuckle when “shot in HD by Digi Super 75 XS” flashed on the screen during his entrance.

9. Obviously, the main event was there mostly for storyline advancement purposes (Aries injuring Delirious, Jerry Lynn coming after Kenny King), but it still disappointed. I like both Aries and Delirious in the ring, and I’m sure they’re capable of doing a lot better together. Hopefully Saturday’s match in NYC will prove me right.

10. Not a good show this week. The wrestling seemed to simply serve as filler for skits and storyline development, we didn’t get our usual solid opener and great main event, and everything outside of Austin Aries’ overall performance was very forgettable. I know I was spoiled by the TV Title Tournament, but here’s hoping for more next week.

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