1. I don’t know why they didn’t have Daniels showcase himself more in the opening match – his first on HDNet since his return. I’m not calling for a 20-minute classic, but even as a squash, it was a bland one. No Last Rites? No Angel’s Wings? The return promo was pretty bland, too.
2. I enjoyed the backstage segment with Steen and Corino, just as I’ve enjoyed everything they’ve done in this feud. I hope ROH doesn’t drag it too long and actually gives us a nice, brutal blow-off this coming weekend. All four men have been elevated as a result of this and are ready to move on to different things – in Steen’s case, bigger and better things.
3. Fun, well-done squash between the Briscoes and Sid Reeves & Bob Evans. I may be biased because I really like the Briscoes’ offense, but I was entertained and thought Reeves and Evans did a great job of bumping for Jay and Mark.
4. I have to side with the heels’ logic on this one. Why was Papa Briscoe allowed to jump over the barricade? Where was security? Plus, he struck Chris Hero first. Haven’t we seen wrestlers take it to fans that jump over the barricade many times before?
5. Unlike the awful segment asking the fans for their opinions on the Black vs. Richards match (not surprising, as segments where fans are asked to make predictions always suck), the one where the wrestlers were asked to predict was pretty well-done, with all of the wrestlers staying true to their characters.
6. I wish there was some consistency regarding what Austin Aries’ plans are. When he is interviewed, he gives the impression that he has transcended the title and has no interest in challenging for it. On the other hand, he enters a Pick 6 battle royal a few weeks back, and then tonight, Rhett Titus says it’s only a matter of time before Aries is champion again. So is he still “in the hunt” or not?
7. The Cabana-Corino match and ensuing brawl conveyed the perfect amount of hatred and was a great final hard sell for that match. The crowd REALLY wanted to see Generico put Steen through the table. Nice little touches from Cabana (for coming to the ramp to brawl with Corino instead of waiting for him to get into the ring) and Steen (for wearing an El Generico t-shirt) as well.
8. Daniels made up for a ho-hum HDNet debut at the beginning of the show with a strong promo at the end. I liked his reasons for challenging both Black and Richards, regardless of the outcome of this weekend’s title match – they both have something he covets. Regardless of who is the champ after Toronto, Daniels will make a nice future program. Also, it was nice to see a contract signing where no one went through the table, for a change.
9. After McGuiness and Danielson left ROH, and Hero and Castagnoli joined the tag ranks, I was concerned about ROH’s singles scene, particularly in the babyface ranks. The latter is still somewhat the case, but between having Richards and Edwards join the singles ranks, elevating Steen and (to a lesser extent) Cabana, bringing in Daniels, and giving Roderick Strong a new direction, I credit ROH for doing a pretty good job of freshening things up.
10. The point of tonight’s show was obviously to sell the PPV, and it did a tremendous job of that. The matches and interview segments were all entertaining, nothing really dragged, and the main PPV matches (Black vs. Richards, Kings vs. Briscoes, Steen vs. Generico) were all highlighted. As a bonus, we got a new member of the main event scene in Daniels. Thumbs up!