ROH on HDNet Report 12.13.2010 – Featuring: Roderick Strong, Austin Aries, Kevin Steen, More

Welcome back to the Pulse for another great Monday night of ROH action.  Tonight will be the last show before ROH presents Final Battle 2010 this Saturday, December 18th on LIVE iPPV.  As a result, Davey Richards will have his final words for Roderick Strong before their ROH World Title showdown, and the champ himself will be in action as Roderick Strong takes on The Greatest Man that Ever Lived, A-Double, Austin Aries.  In addition, we’ll have Kevin Steen in the ring as well as some action from the Women of Honor.  Unfortunately, I’m still on my wife’s laptop because mine is still apparently screwed up six ways from Sunday, and I can’t imagine she’s thrilled about it…so, let’s just get to the plugs!

Reading is FUNdamental
*Ricardo Rochetti appears to be back on the Internets, and so he’ll be back in time to offer his 10 Thoughts on tonight’s festivities.

*Chris Biscuiti has done a phenomenal job giving away his WWE and TNA awards.  I’m going to have to try to put a column like this together myself, but good grief, I’d have a lot to live up to following his exceptional work.  Check it out!

*Will Pruett checks in with his thoughts on the Superstar of the Year debate.

*Finally, Pulse Glazer rocks his Monday Morning Backlash column discussing the nominees and who should win the Slammy Awards tonight.  While it’s a neat concept for a promotion to embrace unto itself, the commercials for it made me sad in my soul.

*This week’s ROH on HDNet Report is brought to you by Sierra Nevada’s Celebration Ale.

The 2010 variety is tremendous, and again, if you’re over 21, I highly recommend it.

And that ought to do it…so, HERE COMES THE RUSH!

**We open with Jim Cornette in the ring, welcoming Davey Richards to The Arena!  Davey appears to have a monogrammed towel.  Damn it, now I have no idea what to get him for Christmas.  Does anyone know where he’s registered?

We start out with Cornette discussing Davey’s big weekend coming up.  Friday, the American Wolves fight the Kings of Wrestling in Plymouth, MA for the Tag Titles, then Davey gets his one-on-one title shot with Roderick Strong on Saturday night in New York City.  Right away, Davey pisses me off by saying that in all likelihood the Wolves won’t team anymore after Friday.  I hate that.  So, what happens if they win the Tag Titles?  Are they just vacated?  I mean, clearly they won’t be, but it’s crap like that telegraphs finishes.  Regardless, the Wolves stand for every ROH fan who’s been knocked down in life and gets back up saying that they will not be beaten.  Davey goes on and says that the Truth is that Roderick Strong will get dominated at Final Battle.  He drops a few more “insider” terms like how he’ll get heat in the back for saying this, etc., and says that Truth Martini is full of shit.  Sometimes it feels like Davey is the Russo dream wrestler.  Everything is fake except this right now.  THIS IS REAL.  Meanwhile, Roderick jogs halfheartedly to the ring to tell off Davey.  Strong rightly points out that everyone wants to blame Truth Martini rather than give him credit for what he’s done.  Truth adds that The Book of Truth states: “The less a man makes declarative statements, the less likely he is to look foolish in retrospect.”  True.  Strong says he will beat Davey and he will break him, and asks him how it will feel to fail at his destiny, to let down the ROH fans, and how it will feel to let down his dead grandfather.  Davey charges and Strong bails.

**In the pink studio, Mike Hogewood and Dave Prazak welcome us to ROH on HDNet.  Tonight’s main event is plugged, before we pimp next week’s 8 man Holiday Gauntlet match.  $10,000 to the winner.  If the video is any indication, participants will be: Roderick Strong, Davey Richards, Christopher Daniels, Chris Hero, Claudio Castagnoli, Jay Briscoe, Steve Corino and Rhett Titus.  Good stuff there.

**Back from plugs and MMA commercials, we have some comments in the can from Daizee Haze backstage about her Dream Partner Tag Match at Final Battle.  This leads into:

Taeler Hendrix vs. Daizee Haze
Surprised they’re opening with this.  No ring introductions.  Daizee grabs a waistlock and takes down Hendrix, who reverses into an armlock.  Daizee chops herself free but walks into a side headlock.  Daizee shoots off Hendrix but gets shoulder blocked down, and trips Hendrix going off the ropes and grabs a headlock.  Hendrix counters into a headscissors, but Daizee escapes and lays in a boot to the head.  Daizee pulls her up and backs her into the corner and lays in a couple of shoulder blocks and a series of stomps but charges into an elbow.  A second charge, but Hendrix dodges into a schoolboy for 2.  Hendrix sets up a suplex, but Daizee reverses into a suplex of her own and floats over into a 2 count.  Hendrix crawls to the ropes and Daizee ties her up with a leg across the throat a la Sara Del Rey, and adds a Northern Lights Suplex for 2.  Meanwhile, Hogewood notes how excited Prazak gets when the women are out there.  Longtime fans will know the SHIMMER connection, but to regular fans, that one will just go over their heads.  The women fire away with strikes and Hendrix is able to take advantage until Daizee counters a kick into a Muta Lock!  Nicely done.  Hendrix makes the ropes to force a break.  She also counters the Heart Punch with an elbow, but a series of waistlocks culminates in a German Suplex by Daizee for the 3!

Daizee Haze def. Taeler Hendrix in 3:25 via German Suplex.
Pretty solid, if short.  Daizee is generally pretty solid, and Taeler seemed game.  Nothing was really blown or anything, and it got across Daizee’s skill and stature as one of the two dominant women of honor.  (**)

**Backstage, the Briscoes and Papa Mike are ready for the Kings of Wrestling and Shane Hagadorn.  Not much more need be said.  Surprisingly solid interview from them as they brought the intensity and were still clear and intelligible.  I’ll have to post my predictions later this week so I can go into more detail.

Kevin Steen vs. Kory Chavis
Steen is already in the ring, with Steve Corino, who is still holding the mask, which Steen berates and spits on before pacing around the ring.  Generally, Chavis is the more solid singles competitor of the DCFC.  Let’s see how he does against Steen.

Steen attacks immediately, but he’s not going to overpower Chavis.  Shoulderblock goes nowhere.  Second time goes nowhere.  Third time, Steen ducks a clothesline but runs into a dropkick.  Steen counters an irish whip into a hotshot, and quickly adds the Steenalizer, and pauses to taunt the crowd.  Steen snap mares Chavis and adds a diving european uppercut to the back of the head and his front-flip legdrop, before talking some trash to one of the handheld cameras.  When he does cover, he gets 2.  Steen chokes Chavis with a knee as he demands to the camera that Generico be watching him.  Chavis fires off a couple shots to the midsection but eats a knee when he hits the ropes.  Steen grabs the mask away from Corino and works up a big time loogie for it.  He goes to put the mask on Chavis, who fires up to hit a back elbow and a sit out blue thunder bomb for 2.  Steen counters a corner charge with a back elbow and a superkick but runs into a spinebuster bomb for 2.  Chavis picks up Steen in a fireman’s carry, but Steen escapes and hits a powerbomb.  Steen picks up Chavis again and hits an F5.  Finally, Steen just drills him with the Package Piledriver for the 3.

Kevin Steen def. Kory Chavis in 4:09 via Package Piledriver.
Well, that was frankly disappointing.  Chavis isn’t my favorite singles wrestler, but he’s at least solid.  Unfortunately, he looks to have become a victim of the dreaded “we’ve got nothing for you,” as he was just thrown to the wolves here.  He got a bare minimum of offense, and Steen just obliterated him.  Better review because nothing was blown or anything, it was some solid power-stuff, and Steen worked his role to perfection. (**)

**Post-match, we get to see the truly EPIC video package for the Steen/Generico match at Final Battle.  I forgot Steen’s interview where he called himself the Anti-Christ of Ring of Honor.  Just a tremendous line that encapsulates his work throughout this feud.  I can’t wait to see that one.

Austin Aries vs. ROH World Champion Roderick Strong (w/ Truth Martini) – Non-Title Match
New music for Austin Aries.  Apparently it was music that Aries used when they were in Generation Next.  I’ll have to look that up.  According to the only list I’ve ever found, it could only be “Fire It Up” by Black Label Society or “Born of a Broken Man” by Rage Against the Machine.  I didn’t recognize the vocals as either.  Any astute viewers able to pick this up?  Interesting because, as I recall, he didn’t use either music for very long, before switching to Personal Jesus and “Interstellar Overdrive” by The Melvins.  Thoughts?  Anyway……….

Lockup to start, and Strong grabs a wristlock, but Aries counters in classic wrestling machine fashion.  Aries looks as good as he’s looked in quite some time too.  Waistlock by Aries, but Strong takes him down and Aries grabs a headscissors.  Strong bridges out and grabs a leglock.  Aries counters with a kickoff and they standoff again.  Strong seeks some advice from Truth, and another lockup is grabbed.  Strong grabs the headlock and Aries shoots him off into a shoulderblock, but gets up quickly to throw a couple of armdrags, and a wrestling sequence culminates in Aries hitting his trademark low dropkick off of a headscissors.  Aries gets 2 off of his frog elbow drop.  Strong scores with his first chop of the match, dropping Aries and taking over control.  He backs Aries into a corner, drawing a warning from referee Todd Sinclair, and brings Aries out into a scoop slam for 1.  Back into another corner, Strong whips Aries in, but it gets reversed, and Aries charges into a backdrop to the apron.  He immediately counters with his slingshot spinning elbow, and Strong bails.  Aries misses his top rope double axe handle, but whips Strong into the barricade and goes up again to hit said axe-handle.  He then rakes the eyes and adds a few more blows before sending Strong back in.

Back inside, Aries adds a slingshot senton for 2, before Strong bails again.  This time, Strong is able to gain the upper hand and rolls back in first.  However, he walks into a shoulder block and almost gets suplexed to the floor.  They fight over the move, and Strong is able to power Aries over, who lands on his feet.  The two fight over a waistlock into an O’Connor Roll, but Aries sends Strong outside and goes for the heat seeking missile.  Truth grabs the leg, but Aries grabs The Book of Truth, and hands it back to Truth before slugging him to a hilarious oversell by Martini.  Strong is meanwhile able to take control with a kick and sustains it with a rear chinlock.  Aries makes his way to his feet and gets driven into the corner and chopped.  Aries counters the charging shoulder block into a sunset flip for 2, and adds a couple of knee strikes off the kickoff, but Strong is able to counter with a lifting slam.

Strong locks in a reverse bearhug, but Aries gets to his feet and turns it around into a conventional bearhug, which Aries counters with a series of bell ringers that get the crowd involved, however Aries is immediately met with a knee to the midsection to cut off his momentum.  Strong adds the back suplex for 2.  Aries fires off a series of forearms, but runs into the gutbuster, which he counters into a DDT, and both men are down.  Both men up at 4, and they trade forearm strikes.  The crowd seems hesitant to buy Aries as the face, and justifiably so.  Aries scores with a clothesline, but gets backdropped to the apron, where he sends Roderick’s head to the corner and adds a hotshot variant into a slingshot twisting bodypress for 2.  Aries adds a quebrada for 2.  He grabs a front facelock, but Strong backs him into a corner, and sets him up top.  Strong follows him up, and both men trade forearms.  Aries knocks him down and adds a missile dropkick, and quickly follows up with the IED for 2.  Aries locks in the Last Chancery, but Strong counters into a small package for 2.  Aries walks into a series of boots in the corner and a leaping knee for 2.

Strong jaws with the crowd as he lifts up Aries again, possibly looking for the turnbuckle backbreaker.  Aries frees himself temporarily, but Strong scores with the turnbuckle backbreaker for a long 2.  Aries counters a Strong Hold attempt into a victory roll for 2, but Strong answers with the gutbuster for 2.  Crowd is getting hot for this one now.  Forearm exchange, and the “boo,” “yay,” doesn’t really work still as the fans aren’t quite ready yet.  Aries scores with the Crucifix Bomb off a whip and adds the Brainbuster but only gets 2!  Aries scores with the 450, but Strong is too close to the ropes!  Crowd didn’t really buy the nearfall though.  Strong reverses into an O’Connor Roll for 2 and adds a leaping enzugiri.  Strong adds the Gibson Driver for 2 and counters into a Strong Hold off the kickout, but Aries is able to roll him up again for 2.  Strong adds the suplex backbreaker and scores with the Sick Kick for the 3 count!

Roderick Strong def. Austin Aries in 15:21 via Sick Kick.
Aries really brought a lot of stuff out of the mothballs for this one and I was loving it.  This felt a lot more like 2006-2007 Aries and that’s a good thing, boys and girls.  Strong was his usual self, and these two know each other inside and out, so the results were great.  The crowd was much more slow to get into it, which was disappointing, but it was still a very good match. (***1/2)

**Strong celebrates as we go off the air fairly early with a commercial for Final Battle 2010, featuring some of the Davey Richards interview footage, Briscoes interview footage, and Kevin Steen’s challenge.  The bulk of it appears to be devoted to Steen and Generico.  Having seen some of the brutal things Steen has done in his career, this will be…wow…disturbing may not be the right word.  Then we get the Briscoes/KoW footage, and we culminate with Strong/Richards footage.  These three matches should be just lights out fantastic, and will make this show easily worth the $15 price of admission alone.  Okay, I’ll add a caveat.  If the Briscoes and the Kings of Wrestlign do most of the work in the 6-man, that match will be just fine and will likely be the 3rd best match on the card.  Though it’d be no shame to be third place to those two matches.  It’s unfortunate that I have a work function to be at that night, and I’ll have to wait a day or two to purchase On-Demand, but it is what it is.

**Let’s add up the numbers. On a 50+ minute show, there was 22:55 of wrestling.  This being the lead-in to arguably ROH’s biggest yearly show, the amount of actual wrestling here isn’t as important as how much it makes one want to buy the show.  This did the job in every way, and made me anticipate the show that much more than I already did.  In that sense, the show delivered, and the main event was just fantastic, with Aries really feeling it.  Easy to recommend, and one of the better hard-sell shows I’ve seen in awhile.

As always, thanks for reading, never hesitate to hit me up with any comments questions or anything else and I hope to see everyone next week!

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