Hi folks, after a week off, I am fully moved into my new house, with DirecTV and Internet! I’m certain my absence was barely missed last week, as the incomparable Kyle Sparks pulled off double duty last week, providing you with both a full recap of the show AND his 10 thoughts! Be sure to keep checking out his stuff, not only to show that you appreciate his hard work, but because it’s damn good!
Well, it’s the go-home show before Final Battle. What did I think about it? See for yourself:
1. I know that there is a need to play up the importance of the ROH World Title match, and perhaps there is some added emotion with Davey Richards’ near-retirement backstory, but this doesn’t feel like the biggest match of Davey’s career to me, as they continue to play up. I thought the Death Before Dishonor match against Tyler Black had much more of a big-fight feel to it.
2. I’m actually looking forward to the Holiday Gauntlet next week. Part of me would like to see the winner get more than just a Christmas Bonus (a future title shot, perhaps?). On the other hand, not attaching a title shot to the Gauntlet means that anyone could actually win. In other words, it’s not a Royal Rumble-like situation where all but a couple of guys have a realistic chance of winning.
3. I didn’t enjoy the women’s match tonight. Daizee Haze was her usual technically sound self, but Taeler Hendrix didn’t give her much to work with, other than put herself in position for Daizee’s moves. The goal was obviously to give Daizee television time before her Final Battle tag match, but getting a good match, or at least an entertaining squash, would have been nice.
4. ROH on parenting! It’s nice of the Briscoes to clarify that Papa Briscoe whooped their asses when they were growing up to make them better men. I’m not expressing my views on wearing out your kids’ behinds, mind you, but simply pointing out that it was strangely funny to hear that be a centerpiece for a wrestling promo.
5. Kevin Steen’s match with Kory Chavis wasn’t a masterpiece or anything, but it was far better than I expected. Chavis did his best to hold up his end, and helped Steen look really strong by hitting his (Steen’s) power offense on a “big” wrestler. Steen also sold his psychosis really well, not taunting the crowd as much as he has in the recent past and really making me believe that he has, in fact, gone over the edge.
6. I can’t say enough good things about the Steen-Generico video package. An awesome way to recap what has been, in my opinion, ROH’s best feud in 2010. Whoever picked the music is a genius, as it complemented the video perfectly.
7. Man, Austin Aries, two-time former ROH World Champion, can’t even get some mic time to hype his main event match against Roderick Strong tonight? I know he hasn’t been featured lately, but even a short promo would have been nice. At least they had him come out to Generation Next’s theme song (I think), which is a nice bit of gamesmanship.
8. Really good main event tonight, if a bit strange. The action itself was great, as you’d expect from Aries and Strong. However, there seemed to be no real story here. Aries was clearly wrestling a more babyface style, which is fine, except we’re accustomed to him as a heel. Again, don’t get me wrong, it was a really fun match. It just didn’t seem to have much meaning.
9. As far as go-home shows go, ROH has done better. They did a nice job of recapping all of the main storylines heading into the iPPV, and the wrestling was solid as usual (do find the main event if you didn’t catch the show), but in terms of swaying people that are on the fence about purchasing the iPPV, I don’t think it accomplished that.
10. The two main video packages (the Steen-Generico one above, and the final hype video below) were REALLY well done. I’ve been more excited for ROH iPPV’s before, but this should still be good. the Briscoes vs. KoW six-man should at least be entertaining, especially if they keep Papa and Hagadorn’s involvement to a minimum (just enough for Hagadorn to get his comeuppance). I actually expect Steen vs. Generico to be excellent. And the main event, even though I feel it is missing the big-fight atmosphere, will likely be a damn good match. My picks? Briscoes. Steen (if only to avoid another quit/retire/fire storyline). And . . . Davey.
Tags: 10 Thoughts, Austin Aries, Daizee Haze, Davey Richards, Jim Cornette, Kevin Steen, Ring of Honor, Roderick Strong, ROH, Truth Martini