10 Thoughts on ROH on HDNet 05.17.2010, Featuring Roderick Strong, Austin Aries, and Davey Richards

1. This is the first footage I’ve seen of Tyler Black vs. Roderick Strong in New York City. Three refs got knocked out during the match? Didn’t ROH at one time pride itself in avoiding overbooked messes of that nature, especially in its main events?

2. The House of Truth looked slightly better tonight than in their first HDNet match, but I still don’t see why ROH is so high on those guys. And if they want to keep getting booked, they should stop blowing spots putting their opponents at risk. When Able had to move Kenny King into position for the Bearhug/Assai Moonsault, but still didn’t get him in the right spot, King almost got his head taken off by Raymond’s knees.

3. The opening tag match was nothing special (basically two teams taking turns hitting double-team moves), but I was pleasantly surprised with King and Titus’ tandem offense. They’d make a fine tag team if they tagged regularly, but I think ROH is really high on King’s long-term singles potential and doesn’t want to tie him up a tag team.

4. I could complain about ROH using up air time to show the last eight minutes of Richards-Edwards, but it’s more entertaining than one of their trademark mid-show squashes, or another installment to the Necro Butcher-Embassy feud, so I’ll quietly enjoy my eight minutes of quality wrestling.

5. I know the iPPV is on June 19th, but ROH opened the door to this thought by showing footage of the TV Title finals: at one point I thought Tyler Black was destined for a very lengthy title reign, but I’m really starting to think ROH is going to pull the trigger on the title switch in Toronto, especially if the rumors of Davey not wrestling for that much longer are true. After the initial excitement of Black winning the title, the crowd’s reactions to him are once again becoming rather lukewarm (I heard the NYC crowd was mostly pro-Strong), and I don’t think ROH will make the same mistake it’s made in the past, so it’ll strike while the iron is hot with Davey.

6. Cabana says Jim Cornette granted him a TV Title match next week because of Corino’s “interference” on Cabana’s first-round match. If I remember correctly, Corino didn’t attack Cabana or distract the ref or commit any similar act. He simply came to ringside, and Cabana decided to get out of the ring and confront him. Good to hear Cabana’s idiocy gets him a title shot.

7. Roderick Strong’s “I’m sick of being screwed and lied to” shtick is getting really annoying, and not in a good, heat-generating way. Austin Aries saved that interview segment with his usual great mic work.

8. Kevin Steen’s heel beard is fantastic. It reminds me of when Jericho grew his beard after turning heel in 2001-02. I doubt Steen’s will ever get long enough for him to braid it like Jericho used to, but it’s still great. Subtle changes to a guy’s look can really help a new character direction get over.

9. The main event was more storyline advancement than anything (an alarming trend in ROH these days), but Steen’s heel act made it entertaining. Between getting on the mic multiple times during the match to give Strong a chance to quit, hooking on a post-match crossface, and the dejected look on his face as he made his way back up the ramp, this is someone who is obviously owning his character right now, and having a lot of fun doing it.

10. Another very underwhelming episode of ROH on HDNet. The “in between” stuff was better than usual, but replaying the end of the TV Title match doesn’t accomplish much. The opener and main event weren’t of the caliber I’ve grown accustomed to. Actually have to give this one a thumbs down.

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