ROH on HDNet Report 01.03.2011 – Featuring: Homicide, Claudio Castagnoli, WGTT!

Another week, another welcome to InsidePulse.  This week, ROH opens up the year 2011 on HDNet, and I am Kyle Sparks, here to welcome you.  Tonight, ROH has promised four matches, and a main event featuring Claudio Castagnoli taking on The Notorious 187, Homicide!  So let’s just get to the plugs!

Reading is FUNdamental
*Ricardo Rochetti will offer up his 10 Thoughts.  You will read them.  Or at least you should.

*Pulse Glazer hands out his year end awards.  I’ll expect mine in the mail soon.

*Will Pruett checks in with a double dish of quality, first with his Best WWE Matches of 2010, and this past weekend with his Sunday Random Thoughts.  Both are great reads.

*Finally, Raffi Shamir looks at what was happening in wrestling one year ago today, when TNA tried desperately to start a second Monday Night War.  So, how’d that work out for ’em?

*This week’s ROH on HDNet Report is brought to you once again by Saugatuck Brewing Company’s Singapore IPA.  Good luck finding it, because until about a week ago, I didn’t know it existed.  But it’s tasty.  In the words of Leela, “Alcohol is very, very bad.  Until you turn 21.  Then it becomes very, very good.”

*We open up to a nice shot of the skyline of Louisville, KY, where Mike Hogewood welcomes us to another ROH on HDNet.  Hogewood lets us know that Louisville will be the home of ROH on HDNet for the next few weeks, and with that, we’re off and running!

HERE COMES THE RUSH!

**Your hosts are, as always, Dave Prazak and Mike Hogewood.

**We go right to the ring for a TV Title match!

Eddie Edwards(c) vs. Mark Briscoe – World TV Title Match
Lockup, and Briscoe grabs a waistlock, but Edwards reverses into a wristlock.  Briscoe reverses into a northern lights style backdrop, but Edwards counters with a headscissors, and a wrestling sequence ends with Edwards holding a front facelock.  Another series of reversals leads to a standoff, as Prazak discusses Eddie Edwards’s Survival of the Fittest 2010 win.  Edwards grabs a hammerlock and runs Briscoe down to the mat, holding it with his leg and rolling the shoulders down for a 1 count.  Edwards keeps up with the arm work taking down Briscoe with the top wristlock for 1.  Faceoff leads into dueling chants.  Edwards grabs a headlock and gets shot off, but bowls over Briscoe with a shoulder block.  Briscoe runs the ropes and hurdles Edwards before scoring with a spinwheel kick.  Edwards gets a boot up to block a charge and low bridges Briscoe to the apron and follows with a running kick to the back.  Out on the floor, they trade offense, and eventually, Briscoe is able to score with his running no-hands tope to the outside.  Back in, Briscoe gets a 2 count.  They trade elbows, then chops.  Edwards gets a kick and a headbutt, and whips Briscoe to the corner, who blocks a charge with a boot of his own and then adds a running neckbreaker for 2.  Briscoe adds a Camel Clutch variant and a crossface for good measure.  Briscoe rips off a nice vertical suplex for 2, as Prazak starts the narrative that “all these defenses” are starting to get to Edwards.  A ROH classic.  Briscoes sets Edwards up top and looks for a hurricanrana (one assumes), but Edwards knocks off Briscoe astride of the top rope and hits a jumping 2nd rope hurricanrana of his own for 2.  Off an irish whip, Edwards adds another hurricanrana and hits the charging corner forearm, and follows up with a low dropkick and a shining wizard for 2.

Edwards lays in a chop in the corner and elevates Briscoe for the backpack stunner, but Briscoe escapes and adds the Redneck Fu thrust.  Edwards reverses a charge and goes to backdrop Briscoe who lands on his feet and scores with a gorgeous superkick, but pauses and only gets 2.  Briscoe goes for an iconoclasm, but Edwards kicks him off and leaps, but lands in a T-Bone suplex for 2.  Edwards blocks a backdrop suplex, but Briscoe clubbers away and sends Edwards to the corner.  Briscoe runs into a boot, allowing Edwards to hit his leaping Codebreaker and a backdrop suplex into a facebuster for 2.  Edwards locks in the Achilles Lock, but Briscoe counters with a small package for 2.  Edwards charges and gets backdropped to the apron, but responds with a leaping enzugiri, and a Paul London style mushroom stomp for 2.  Edwards locks in an Achilles Lock variation, but Briscoe makes the ropes.  Edwards sets Briscoe up top and goes for the superplex, but Briscoe counters and hits a frog elbow drop for 2.  Leaping enzugiri again gets 2 for Briscoe.  In a corner, Briscoe hits a flying knee, and goes for the Cutthroat Driver, but Edwards rolls through and catches Briscoe in the Achilles Lock for the tap out!

Eddie Edwards def. Mark Briscoe in 12:18 via Achilles Lock to retain the ROH World TV Title.
ROH puts on another tremendous free TV match to open up 2011.  Eddie held the match together pretty well, and Mark was his typical self, keeping the crowd in it and keeping them hot. (***1/4)

**In the back, Kyle Durden is with Claudio Castagnoli (sans coffee cup), Chris Hero and Sara Del Rey.  He no more than gets the introduction out when Claudio tells him he hasn’t had his coffee yet and is cranky.  He then sends Durden out to get him coffee.  Tremendous.  Claudio opines about how Switzerland is so much better than the US because they don’t have people like Homicide, and compares their names before promising to take out Homicide tonight.  Solid, effective interview from Claudio.

**From here, we cut to a video package detailing Davey Richards’s path to the World Title, leading into (and from) Final Battle 2010.  But from here…

**We get an awkwardly quick cut to none other than “The Giant Killer” Mike Mondo, who cuts an overly intense promo putting over his nickname and how he’s going to take Ring of Honor by storm.  That leads us to…

Grizzly Redwood vs. “The Giant Killer” Mike Mondo
I question how effectively Mondo can be called “The Giant Killer,” when he weighs 220, and as such, is as big or bigger than half the roster or more.  Nevertheless, here we are.  Lockup and they fight over a waistlock, before Mondo grabs a wristlock.  They fight over that before Mondo adds a forearm.  He whips Redwood  in who dodges and throws an armdrag.  Redwood keeps his distance and whips off a hurricanrana, but gets caught going for a 2nd rope rana and gets buckle bombed for two 2 counts for his trouble.  Redwood pounds away on the midsection but runs into a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker for 2.  Mondo grabs a chinlock, but Redwood escapes only to be drilled with a couple of running knees and a low dropkick for another series of 2 counts.  Mondo goes back to the chinlock, and Redwood escapes briefly to catch Mondo in a small package, but Mondo answers with a lariat for another 2.  Mondo throws a few chops and whips in Redwood who now counters the tilt-a-whirl into an arm drag.  Redwood scores with a kick to the gut and an enzugiri before hitting the low bulldog for 2.  Mondo low bridges Redwood into the second buckle and pounds away in the corner again.  Mondo whips Redwood in, but Redwood springboards off the second rope into a swinging DDT for 2.  Redwood goes up top, but Mondo stumbles blindly into the ropes to knock him down, as Prazak observes that “Mondo’s got spirit.”  Love it.  Mondo goes up and adds the superplex for the win?  Wow.

Mike Mondo def. Grizzly Redwood in 5:48 via superplex.
It was what it was.  It was a competitive squash–if such a thing can be said–that did its job of putting over Mondo and introducing him to the ROH audience. I don’t remember the last time I saw a superplex end a match. (**)

**Post match, we cut to a very nice video/interview package with Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin, introducing their histories and biographies, and instantly making a bigger deal out of them than WWE ever did.  Good for them.  And oh…they’re next!

The World’s Greatest Tag Team (Shelton Benjamin & Charlie Haas) vs. The Bravado Brothers (Lance & Harlem Bravado)
This, uh…this probably won’t end well for the Bravados.  Harlem opens with Shelton.  Lockup, and Shelton immediately tosses Harlem, who looks shocked.  I can’t imagine why.  Shelton grabs a low single leg and tags in Haas.  Hass whips Harlem into the corner and hits a running, leaping elbow, followed with a kick and an overhead belly-to-belly for 2.  Lance blind tags off of a backdrop suplex attempt and they try to double team him.  It doesn’t end well.  Lance gets a kick off an irish whip but runs into a pop-up powerslam for 2.  Shelton tagged back in, and hits a backdrop suplex.  Lance counters a powerbomb and hits a drop toe hold to send Shelton into the ropes.  However, he catches BOTH Bravados in a double samoan drop.  The WGTT hits an inverted atomic drop/superkick combo, and their leapfrog hotshot axehandle, before Haas mercifully locks in the Haas of Pain for the tap out.

The World’s Greatest Tag Team (Shelton Benjamin & Charlie Haas (W) def. The Bravado Brothers (Lance & Harlem (L) Bravado) in 2:54 via Haas of Pain.
Wow.  Now THAT was a squash.  Just an epic ass kicking.  Nothing more, but Louisville was thrilled to see it. (*1/4)

**Backstage, Mike Bennett (with “Brutal” Bob Evans) promises Kyle Durden that when he debuts next week, he won’t live up to the hype that surrounds him.  He’ll surpass it.  I see what you did there, Bennett.  I see it.

**Back from MMA commercials, it’s main event time!

Claudio Castagnoli (w/ Chris Hero & Sara Del Rey) vs. Homicide
Lockup, and they’re immediately in the corner, but Claudio powers out and appears to intimidate Homicide a bit.  Another lockup, and Claudio grabs a wristlock and eventually gets Claudio down with a drop toe hold and grabs a headlock.  Claudio powers up and backdrops out, Northern Lights style, and grabs a wristlock of his own.  Homicide takes out the leg and locks it up, but Claudio resourcefully uses the bandana to distract/choke Homicide to escape.  Naturally, a pissed off Homicide uses it against Claudio.  They face off, and trade slaps, but Claudio gets the upper hand with a series of european uppercuts.  They exchange them for awhile, but Claudio of course eventually gains control, which he presses with a fallaway slam, before grabbing a chinlock.  Homicide escapes, but Claudio gets a powerslam for 2, and a european uppercut for 1.  Claudio just goes for a straight choke before referee Paul Turner breaks it up.  On the apron, Claudio applies a boot choke, and when Turner breaks it, Hero adds a boot for good measure.  Meanwhile, Claudio exposes one of the top turnbuckles.  Back on the man now, Claudio slingshots Homicide off the bottom rope, and drags him to the other side where he hangs up Homicide over the second rope, and heads out to the floor where he measures him for 2 european uppercuts.

Back up on the apron, Claudio tries to suplex Homicide to the outside, but Homicide snaps Claudio off the top rope and tries to run him into the turnbuckle, but Claudio reverses.  Claudio kicks down Homicide twice, before adding a third with authority.  The two exchange double clotheslines, but Homicide ducks a second and adds a lariat of his own to put both men down.  Claudio adds a european uppercut series, but Homicide fires back, before Claudio cuts him off with a knee to the midsection and whips him into the corner.  Homicide dodges a charging european uppercut, and hits two rolling vertical suplexes before going up top, where Claudio crotches him.  Claudio follows up, but Homicide punches him down to the floor.  Claudio moves away from the tope con hilo, but Homicide steps out onto the apron and hits it off the apron onto the floor anyway.  Back in, Homicide goes up top, and hits a splash for 2.

Homicide goes for the Cop Killer, but Claudio breaks and adds a couple of european uppercuts, but Homicide counters into a backslide for 2.  Claudio scores with the pop-up european for 2, and singnals for…a chokeslam…?  Nevertheless, Claudio goozles Homicide, who counters and slugs away, before ducking a charging Claudio to counter into a spinning neckbreaker.  Homicide goes up and hits a leaping swinging DDT for 2.  Homicide removes the elbow pad and goes for the lariat, but Claudio scores with one of his own for 2.  Claudio grabs the choke again, and pulls up Homicide, this time scoring with the chokeslam for 2.  Claudio picks up Homicide to go for Snake Eyes on the exposed buckle.  Homicide escapes, and charges but Claudio dodges.  Homicide stops him short and dodges a charge of his own with Claudio crashing into the buckle.  Homicide adds the Ace Crusher and that’s all she wrote!

Homicide def. Claudio Castagnoli in 11:58 via Ace Crusher.
Solid, if unspectacular main event.  Something still doesn’t quite seem right about Homicide since he’s come back.  Maybe I need to go back and check some of his past work with a more critical eye to see if I was just glossing over something.  It was a good enough match, but just nothing overly spectacular (**3/4)

**Next week, we’ll get “The Prodigy” Mike Bennett in action, and ROH World Champion Roderick Strong takes on “Boom Boom” Colt Cabana!  Be there!

**As usual, let’s add up the numbers.  This week’s show ran about 54 minutes or so, and we had a whopping 32:58 of wrestling (not counting entrances).  That’s a great ratio, and it was quality wrestling, mostly either hovering around 3 stars, or introducing a new talent, necessitating a shorter, more squash-like match.  Strong show, despite not being one of their best top to bottom.  As Glazer said in the Backlash this morning, ROH is really learning to use their TV to their advantage.

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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