A2Z Analysiz: ROH Pick Your Poison (Tyler Black, Kenny King)

Dayton, Ohio – April 23, 2010

Executive Producer of ROH on HDNet Jim Cornette comes out to run down the card and explain a couple of the key matches. That’s a great idea and if he did nothing but that all the time I would be thrilled.

MATCH #1: Sami Callihan vs. Metal Master

Joe Dombrowski and Dave Prazak are on commentary. No entrances for this one, not even for the debuting Metal Master. They quickly start exchanging forearms and chops. Master takes control and dumps Callihan to the floor, and then follows him out with a suicide dive. Back in the ring Callihan hits a kick to the head and clotheslines Master back to the floor. Callihan continues using strikes to wear the Master down. Master comes back with a snap powerslam for two. Now he uses strikes, but Callihan comes back with a modified backbreaker for two. Callihan focuses on the neck but can’t put Master away yet. Master comes back with a modified DDT and a leg lariat. Callihan comes back with a chinbreaker and a kick to the head. He goes up top but misses a splash. Master follows up with a cross body block off the top rope for two. They trade pins in the fish out of water spot, ending with Callihan hitting a modified neckbreaker for two. Then they exchange some awkward looking counters and Master gets the pin with the Courtesy Flush at 7:20. That was a decent back and forth opener but I don’t see either guy doing anything in ROH.
Rating: **

MATCH #2: Necro Butcher & Rasche Brown vs. Erick Stevens & Shawn Daivari w/ Prince Nana

The brawl starts on the floor, with Necro going after Daivari and Brown pairing off with Stevens. The Embassy takes control and brings Necro into the ring to double-team him. They go after his knee, smashing it on a chair. Brown comes in to make the save but the Embassy thwarts him and goes to work on his injured ribs. I think this is a no disqualification match, because the referee I not at all trying to gain control of the match. After several minutes of recovery, Necro makes it back in the ring and he and Brown dump the Embassy to the floor. Back at ringside Necro tries to suffocate Daivari with a plastic bag. The commentators remind me that Cornette announced on TV that as long as Necro didn’t hurt any fans or crew members, all of his matches would be under Butcher’s Rules, so I’m satisfied. After some more brawling we’re left with Brown and Daivari in the ring. Brown hits a vicious spear and that’s enough to get the pin at 6:39. The brawl continues after the bell and the Embassy hits Necro with a backbreaker on some chairs. The match was more angle advancement, and it did its job.
Rating: *½

MATCH #3: Pick 6 Series Match – (3) Chris Hero vs. Petey Williams

They start with some mat wrestling, exchanging holds and such. Neither man seems in a big hurry in this one; with a spot in the Pick 6 on the line it makes sense to be cautious. Williams gets the first high spot with that dropkick to the back he does, and a moments later a satellite headscissors for two. He hits a hurricanrana off the second rope and then a regular one to get another two-count. Hero comes back with a powerslam. Now Hero goes to work with his elbows and other assorted strikes. He goes for the running power bomb but Williams counters with a DDT. Williams quickens the pace and avoids Hero’s attacks. He hits a neckbreaker for two. Hero catches a boot and suplexes Williams. He hits a vicious elbow strike for a two-count. Williams ducks another elbow and knocks Hero to the floor and then follows him out with a hurricanrana. Back in the ring Williams hits the slingshot Codebreaker for another two. Williams tries the Canadian Destroyer but Hero blocks it and turns it into a Liger Bomb for two. Williams comes back with the Canadian Leg Sweep for two, and then an abbreviated Flatliner. Hero avoids another Canadian Destroyer and hits a hard rolling elbow. He kicks Williams in the head and then blasts him with another elbow for two. Williams grabs a victory roll out of nowhere for a two-count. He tries another Destroyer but Hero counters with an Alabama Slam. Sadly Williams no-sells it and finally hits the Canadian Destroyer, but Hagadorn pulls the referee to the floor at two. The referee argues with Hagadorn, so Williams hits a slingshot dive to wipe Hagadorn out on the floor. Williams picks Hagadorn up, and Hero tries a slingshot dive but misses. Back in the ring Hagadorn grabs Williams’ leg, allowing Hero to hit an elbow. Hero hits one more elbow for fun, and then locks on the Stretch Plum for the win at 16:51. The match was decent but would have been better at 12-13 minutes. With Hero getting a title shot the next night, I would have given him a much stronger win. I’m not sure why they’re compelled to give Petey Williams as much protection as they do.
Rating: **½

MATCH #4: Dark City Fight Club (Jon Davis & Kory Chavis) vs. American Wolves (Davey Richards & Eddie Edwards) w/ Shane Hagadorn

The Dark City Fight Club beat the Wolves on TV back on March 1, so this is revenge time for the Wolves. Shane Hagadorn is accompanying the American Wolves to ringside. Edwards is the current ROH TV Champion. Richards and Davis start the match, and it gets heated pretty quickly as Richards unloads a series of strikes. Davis absorbs them and knocks Richards to the floor with a shoulderblock. Back in the ring both men make tags. Chavis uses his power to control Edwards, until the TV Champ comes back with a dropkick and makes the tag. Richards tags in and they double-team Chavis down to the mat. AMERICAN WOLVES! Chavis reverses a vertical suplex and makes the tag. No team has been able to sustain an advantage for a significant amount of time yet. They trade control back and forth, with the Wolves trying to outmaneuver their more powerful opponents, and the DCFC using that power to subdue the Wolves. Richards gets worn down for a while, leaving Edwards to battle both Davis and Chavis on his own. I’ll say this: they’re definitely doing everything they can to get Eddie Edwards over as a singles threat. When Richards has recovered, the Wolves viciously target Chavis’s leg. Edwards locks Chavis in the Achilles Lock. Richards tries a slingshot dive on Davis but misses and gets tossed into the crowd. Davis gets in the ring to break up the hold and then hit Edwards with a modified Rack Bomb. The match breaks down to a brawl as the referee has lost control. Richards hits Davis with the handspring spin kick, Chavis hits Richards with a Blue Thunder Bomb, Edwards kicks Chavis in the chest, and then Davis levels Edwards with a POUNCE! All four men are down now. Edwards and Davis get up and exchange strikes. Davis catches Edwards with a hard powerslam and a running knee. The DCFC hits Total Elimination for a two-count when Richards breaks it up. The Wolves counter Project Mayhem, and then hit Davis with the double-team Alarm Clock and a kick combo for a near-fall. Edwards locks Davis in the Achilles Lock and Richards accentuates it with a Diving Headbutt, and Davis taps out at 16:40. That match had a different vibe than a lot of recent tag matches, with the two teams just trying out out-hit each other. The crowd got into it and the finish was great. I really like the Dark City Fight Club.
Rating: ***¼

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MATCH #5: Austin Aries & Rhett Titus vs. The House of Truth (Josh Raymond & Christin Able) w/ Truth Martini

This is an interesting heel versus heel matchup. Aries and Able start the match for their teams. They trade headlocks and Aries takes the first advantage. Able escapes out of it and both men make tags. All four men are trying to out-cheat each other, using hair pulls and other such dastardly tactics. Martini even gets involved, tripping Titus from the floor to give his team the advantage. It doesn’t last long before Aries returns the favor and trips Raymond from the floor. The crowd seems unsure of how to react, which is understandable. The HOT isolate Titus in their half of the ring and keep him away from tagging the more experienced Aries. The crowd chants “we want Aries” and Titus is able to give them what they want. Now it’s Raymond getting double-teamed and worked over by Aries and Titus. After several minutes of abuse Raymond makes what would be a hot tag to Able but the crowd doesn’t seem to care. Able controls Aries, and hits an impressive slingshot DDT for a two-count. Titus illegally interferes so Raymond comes in the ring to dispatch of him, and then Aries throws Raymond out. Aries and Titus set up for the Spiked Piledriver but Raymond comes back in and tosses Aries to the floor. Able hits Titus with an Alabama Slam and Raymond follows with a corkscrew press off the top rope and Aries breaks up the cover with a kick to the head. The match turns into a brawl and the referee has lost control. Titus misses a Bronco Buster, and when Martini comes in and tries one himself he also misses. Raymond is down on the floor so Aries and Titus double-team Able. Aries hits him with the IED, but then Able is able to trick Aries into accidentally hitting Titus with a brainbuster. Able and Raymond dispatch of Aries and then hit Titus with an inverted La Bombe de Rougeau for the upset win at 18:17. The heel versus heel dynamic was a bit strange and the crowd was pretty quiet for a lot of the match, but the work was good, they did some creative spots, and my favorite team went over.
Rating: ***

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MATCH #6: Pick Your Poison Match – Roderick Strong vs. El Generico

Strong is the aggressor early on, channeling his frustration about everyone all the lies he thinks people have been telling him lately. Generico weathers the initial onslaught and comes back with an armdrag. They trade am bars as the crowd shows support for both men. Strong switches it up and locks on a headlock. Generico fights back and hits 10 mounted punches in the corner but Strong recovers quickly and unleashes his first chop of the match. Strong backs Generico into the corner and blasts him with another chop. He stays right on Generico, wearing him down with various strikes and submission holds. He hits his first backbreaker for a two-count. He continues working on the back and thwarts all of Generico’s comeback attempts. Generico tries a series of armdrags but Strong counters with a snap powerslam for two. Strong then throws Generico to the floor and whips him into the guardrail. He then drops Generico in a backbreaker position on top of the barricade, and then throws him back into the ring for a two-count. Strong continues brutalizing Generico, but the masked man will not give up. Generico avoids a charge and sends Strong flying to the floor and then follows him out with a Hilo! He hits a Blue Thunder Bomb for a two-count. He tries a tornado DDT but Strong catches him with a gutbuster. Generico comes right back with a Michinoku Driver for two. Strong comes back with a Chaos Theory Backbreaker for a near-fall. He hits another backbreaker and locks on the Stronghold but Generico reaches the bottom rope! Strong comes back with an elevated gutbuster, and then a vertical suplex into a backbreaker! That only gets two! Both men take time getting back to their feet and they trade big boots but Generico’s has more impact. Generico hits the corner to corner dropkick, and Dombrowski gets the Michael Cole Award for great storytelling by saying Generico’s aerial journey was symbolic of his mental journey. Now Generico goes for the Super Brainbuster but Strong blocks it and hits a super Sick Kick for two. Strong picks Generico up and hits another gutbuster and then the Gibson Driver. He then decapitates Generico with a Sick Kick to get the pin at 18:53. That was a ton of fun and gave both guys the proper momentum – Strong as an unwavering badass focused on the ROH World Title and Generico as a sympathetic babyface who will never give up.
Rating: ***¾

Generico goes for a handshake, but Kevin Steen and Steve Corino attack him from behind and Strong slips out of the ring and heads backstage. The Briscoe Brothers of all people come out to make the save, and that’s a perfect segue into our next match.

MATCH #7: Pick Your Poison Match – Jay & Mark Briscoe vs. Steve Corino & Kevin Steen

The match starts as a brawl on the floor, with the Briscoes in control. Mark throws Corino into the crowd and Jay does the same with Steen. This must be a no disqualification match because I don’t hear any counting and they’re hitting each other with chairs and stuff. Back in the ring the Briscoes take control of Corino and wear him down with power moves. Steen finally makes his way back to ringside and pulls Mark to the floor for a powerbomb onto the edge of the ring apron! That distracts Jay long enough for Corino to grab him and pitch him to the floor. Steen throws Mark into the barricade and then back into the ring for a two-count. Steen tags in officially and goes to work on Mark’s oft-injured knee. Corino even uses the figure-four leglock. Mark is in trouble here. Steen gives Corino illegal leverage from the apron until the referee kicks his hands away and the hold breaks. After several minutes Mark hits Corino with a spinning kick to the face and then makes the lukewarm tag. Steen was tagged in as well, and Jay is all over both opponents. Jay hits a couple of boots to Steen’s face for a two-count. Steen fights back and they trade forearms. Jay catches Steen with a spinebuster for two. He goes for a springboard move but Corino pulls him down to the floor and whips him into the barricade. Corino throws Jay back into Steen for a pumphandle neckbreaker, which gets two. Steen tags Corino back into the match and he hits an STO (with an Enziguiri Assist from Steen) for two. A little heel miscommunication leads to Corino knocking Steen off the apron. Mark wipes Steen out with a dive while Jay hits the sitout gourdbuster on Corino. The Briscoes go for the Doomsday Device but Steen grabs Mark from the floor and Corino slips out and rolls Jay up with a handful of tights for the win at 17:43. That was a good formula tag match that kept the Briscoes strong while putting over that Corino and Steen didn’t get dismantled before going into the Chicago Street Fight against Colt Cabana and El Generico tomorrow night. They probably could have trimmed a few minutes but I enjoyed it more than I thought I would.
Rating: ***

MATCH #8: ROH World Title Match – Tyler Black vs. Kenny King

Earlier tonight King cut a pretty good promo about how determined he is to win the title tonight. Black has been the champion since 2.13.08, and this is his third defense. The champ is receiving some pretty vocal boos tonight as he unveils the new ROH Championship belt.

They engage in an intense lockup and Black goes right to the headlock. King gets to the ropes to break the hold and then jaws with the crowd. They meet in the middle and trade armbars and hammerlocks. Black lands a fireman’s carry slam and goes back to the arm. King takes a powder to get his head straight. He gets back in the ring and hits a shoulderblock, but he celebrates too much and Black regains control. King sticks right with him though, and takes Black over with an armdrag and locks on an armbar. The challenger is keeping pace with the champion here in the early going, even taking the first advantage. Black comes back and dropkicks King to the floor. The Dayton crowd is certainly not in full support of the ROH World Champion. Black throws King into the barricade and throws King back into the ring for a two-count. He charges into the corner but runs into a boot. King goes up to the second rope but Black catches him with an inverted atomic drop. Black goes for God’s Last Gift but King counters with a small package for two. The champ is right back in control, hitting a clothesline and a series of punches for two. Black charges but King ducks and he tumbles to the floor. King hits a bodyslam and then a legdrop off the barricade. He slams Black’s head into the barricade a couple of times. Back in the ring King wisely targets Black’s previously injured neck. Black comes back with a stomp to the jaw, and then tries a quebrada but hits nothing but knees. It’s been pretty back and forth so far. It’s getting rather boring keeping up with the play-by-play. I’m back as Black knocks King to the floor and then wipes him out with a dive. Back in the ring Black hits the springboard clothesline but neglects to go for a cover. Black goes for the running boot in the corner but King catches him turning around with the shotgun knees. King hits a spinebuster for two. Both men get up and they trade forearms in the center of the ring, and Black wins the battle with a Pele Kick. Black hits God’s Last Gift but King kicks out at two. He goes up top but King knocks him down and hits a running kick to the head. Black hits an enziguiri and tries a springboard and King catches him, but Black counters with a DDT. Both men are down. They get up and Black hits the F-5 for two. Black follows up with a Warrior’s Way and then Paroxysm for two! He goes up for the Phoenix Splash but King moves out of the way. King tries the shotgun knees but Black catches him with a Buckle Bomb! That’s an awesome spot. Black goes for the superkick but King catches it and hits a spin kick of his own. King hits a big lariat and then a springboard blockbuster for a two-count! He hits the Coronation but Black kicks out! They go up top and Black hits a pop-up superplex and rolls it into God’s Last Gift but King kicks out again! Black hits a superkick for the pin at 25:35.

Now King looked good in kicking out of God’s Last Gift twice, but here’s how I think the match could have been better. I would have had it eight to 10 minutes shorter and just a traditional match: Black gets the opening shine, King cuts him off and work over the neck for a while, the champ makes the comeback and wins with his finisher. King could still kick out of Paroxysm, the F-5, and the Phoenix Splash and look good, but ultimately fall to Black’s finisher. Then a little bit later King can get a rematch, like a non-title match on TV or something, and this time he kicks out of the finisher and Black has to win with something else, maybe even a rollup or something like that. Then King can get a few wins over more upper level guys, get back into the Pick 6, and get another title shot. That would be an extended program to get King over, instead of just sending him out there for 25 minutes when he’s not quite ready to do so and kicking out of a bunch of finishers is a more transparent way of trying to get him over. As for the match, it got really good down the stretch but ultimately took too long to get there. Also, the crowd booing the babyface champion didn’t help either.
Rating: **½


ROH Video Wire 4-14-10

The Pulse: The main event is a little disappointing, but Strong versus Generico is well worth watching and the three good tag team matches make this show an easy one to sit through. They were definitely looking ahead to Chicago but for a B-show this was rather entertaining. You can purchase it Right Here.

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