ROH on HDNet Report 03.07.2011 – Featuring: Roderick Strong, El Generico, Homicide, More

We’re running out of ROH on HDNet episodes, so despite the fact that I’m already working on another production, I’m going to bust my ass to try and make sure that I can watch and review these shows.  Tonight’s show promises a Four Corner Survival Match for the main event, featuring World Champion Roderick Strong and his 3 most recent challengers, in Homicide, El Generico and Jay Briscoe.  Also, we’ll have the Semi-Finals of the Top Prospect Tournament!  Plugs have been done away with for the foreseeable future, but I still implore you to read on!

**This week’s ROH on HDNet Report is brought to you by Bell’s Beer, in general.  You really can’t go wrong with any of them, and I’ve recommended several of their brews in the past.  They’ve recently expanded their brewing operations significantly and are hoping to work towards a more national profile.  If you can find em, drink em.

**Well, I’ll be honest.  I turned over at about 11:01, and both Kyle O’Reilly and Michael Elgin were already in the ring.  I’ll assume that the first minute or so was just going over last week’s Top Prospect Tournament reuslts and pimping the semi-finals tonight.  I hope I’m right, otherwise, I’m doing a terrible job as a recapper.  I hope you all can forgive me.

HERE COMES THE RUSH!

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

Kyle O’Reilly vs. Michael Elgin (w/ Truth Martini) – ROH Top Prospect Tournament Semi-Final Match
I started my stopwatch a few seconds late switching over from Raw, so here’s hoping I didn’t miss anything.  O’Reilly and Elgin circle to start, and Elgin just throws him to the mat.  O’Reilly grabs a waistlock and thrwos off some kicks, but Elgin backs him into a corner and lays in shoulder blocks.  Cross-corner whip and Elgin charges, but O’Reilly moves and dodges Truth on the apron as well.  O’Reilly springboards into a big shoulder block and stomps away.  O’Reilly counters the powerbomb into the jumping cross armbreaker, but Elgin just hoists him up into the air and tosses him, fallaway slam style.  Elgin hammers him down again, and O’Reilly fires back, but Elgin stuns him with a forearm.  Elgin however runs into a kick, and O’Reilly uses his agility to stay away from Elgin until he’s able to fire in some more kicks to drop Elgin.  Charge, but O’Reilly is backdropped to the apron and Elgin snaps his throat off the apron.  Philly informs him that he still sucks.  I disagree.  Both men duke it out on the apron, and O’Reilly hits a leaping hurricanrana off the second rope on the outside taking Elgin off the apron to the floor.  Big pop and an “ROH” chant for that as Referee Todd Sinclair lays in the count.  Back on the apron, O’Reilly hits a running missile dropkick off the apron to Elgin seated on a chair against the barricade.  Damn.

Back in, O’Reilly hits a missile dropkick for 2.  Elgin swings away, but O’Reilly easily ducks and lands low kicks.  Elgin fights off a suplex, but O’Reilly scores with a wrist clutch exploder.  But Elgin has FIGHTING SPIRIT and pops up and hits a spinebuster bomb.  O’Reilly blocks two lariats, but can’t block a third, which gets 2.  Elgin whips O’Reilly to the corner and charges into a boot.  O’Reilly comes out of the corner into a tilt-a-whirl style DDT for 2.  Out of the kickout, O’Reilly grabs the cross armbreaker, but Elgin gets to the ropes.  Elgin reverses a n irish whip into a sort of arm-capture regalplex for a LONG 2.  Elgin charges again in a corner and blocks the boot that O’Reilly manages to get up, but O’Reilly is still able to lock in the triangle choke.  Elgin attempts to counter into his powerbomb finisher, but O’Reilly rolls through into a roll-up for the 3 count!

Kyle O’Reilly def. Michael Elgin in 8:01 via roll-up.
I really liked this more than some might, but that’s partially because I dig Elgin.  O’Reilly’s offense works well either in an underdog role or in domination, and Elgin got to show off his power stuff and even threw out a few things I haven’t seen before, looking quite good despite the loss. (**3/4)

**Post-match, Steve Corino declares he doesn’t care who wins between Andy Ridge and Mike Bennett, that O’Reilly is the top prospect.  Corino wishes O’Reilly luck, and for the first time, someone doesn’t blow him off.

**Back from MMA commercials on HDNet, we take a look at one of the Top 5 Greatest Moments again, the 3 way match from Era of Honor Begins.  Now, Danielson is the WWE US Champion, Daniels is the ROH TV Champion and Low Ki is…well…probably working either in Japan or for Jersey All-Pro, honestly I’m not sure.

Andy “Right Leg” Ridge vs. “The Prodigy” Mike Bennett (w/ Bob Evans) – ROH Top Prospect Tournament Semi-Final Match
The winner faces Kyle O’Reilly in the finals.  Circle and lockup.  Bennett backs Ridge into the corner and breaks clean.  Another, and Bennett grabs a side headlock before bowling over Ridge with a shoulder block as we look at Corino at ringside.  Bennett grabs a headlock takeover, and we get some chain wrestling as Prazak and Hogewood drop out momentarily, ostensibly to listen to Steve Corino, who doesn’t say really anything of note.  Ridge throws a few kicks to take command, and decks Bennett coming off the ropes with a roundhouse kick for 2 and Bennett takes a powder.  Hogewood hates the strategy, but Prazak rightly defends it.  Back in, Bennett buries a knee to the midsection and clubbers away, adding a chop in the corner.  Ridge ducks a roundhouse however and throws a few kicks and whips Bennett cross-corner.  Bennett attempts to get a boot up, but Ridge blocks and tosses the boot out over the second rope and lands a series of kicks and a running high kick for two.  Ridge goes for a running punt, but Bennett catches it and faceplants Ridge.  Bennett stomps away, showing what a true Prodigy he is.  Then he manages to fall down off an irish whip.  Good grief.  His entire push is dangerously close to going clown shoes.  Bennett adds a vertical suplex for 2.  Ridge lands a desperation kick and both men are down.  They trade punches, chops, forearms, etc. before Ridge lands a few kicks and his running knee trembler for 2.  Bennett goes for a powerbomb or something, but Ridge reverses into a jackknife pin for 2.  Ridge blocks a corner whip and hits a back elbow, but Bennett blocks a superkick and scores with his sit out uranage for the win.

Mike Bennett def. Andy Ridge in 6:51 via Sit-Out Uranage Slam.
The ROH message board said that this was better than Bennett’s match last week with Adam Cole, but I’m a little inclined to disagree.  Bennett’s screw-ups just annoyed me and took me out of the match.  They did however, have good things to say about the Tournament Finals, so here’s hoping they’re right.  This one struggled a bit. (**)

**Post-match, Steve Corino offers up his thoughts.  Corino re-iterates that he thinks O’Reilly will win next week, and Bennett cracks a few old man jokes and says he’ll be the winner of “the Top Prodigy Tournament.”  I’m honestly not sure if that was supposed to be a joke or if he just effed up.  Given that this is a taped show, one would certainly think the former, but honestly, I don’t know.

**Back again from commercials, we get another Top 5 Moment: Bryan Danielson vs. Nigel McGuinness have their World/Pure Title Unification Match at “Unified” in the UK.  It’s a tremendous match on a tremendous card that also features an absolutely amazing Tag Title match with Austin Aries and Roderick Strong defending against the Briscoes.  Check it out if you can find it.

**Backstage now, Jim Cornette is talking with Davey Richards and Tony Kozina, who apparently is training with Davey and Kyle O’Reilly.  Apparently, Davey and Tony are going to have a sort of exhibition at some point that we haven’t mentioned yet.  Cornette mentions that Davey is essentially turning down World Title shots until he feels as though he’s ready and that he is, in fact, the best on the ground, in the air, etc.  Kozina actually gets to speak, and I’ll be honest.  I’ve seen him in ROH before as nothing but a pre-show stumblebum.  He did some stuff down in FIP apparently, but I never really saw much of it.  He puts over how hard Davey works, and little else.  Apparently Davey is changing up his style or some such thing.  Apparently it’s happening…um…soon?  Ah.  Thank you.  Finally at the very end of the segment, they put up a graphic that it will be next week.  Really should have mentioned that during the segment.  Otherwise, fine by  me.

**Back from our scantily clad women show commercials and drinking show commercials, we get another Top 5 moment.  Kevin Steen turns on El Generico at Final Battle 2009 inciting 2010’s runaway feud of the year.  In retrospect, that beard was a terrible decision for Steen.

**From that we’re back to the ring, where all four men are already present for our main event!

Roderick Strong (w/ Truth Martini) vs. El Generico vs. Homicide vs. Jay Briscoe – Four Corner Survival
Jay and Homicide start.  These who have a bit of history, which Prazak mentions.  Roderick actually tags in immediately, and mocks Homicide before tagging Jay and bailing to stretch and do jumping jacks to get ready.  Love it.  Jay, back in, now circles Homicide and they lock up.  Jay pushes Homicide into the corner and breaks clean.  Another lockup and Jay grabs a waistlock, but Homicide reverses into a hammerlock and side headlock takeover.  Jay escapes and they lock up again.  Homicide rolls Jay up for 1 and Jay grabs a front facelock.  Homicide reverses out and bites the triceps, but Generico blind tags in and now locks up with Jay.  Jay grabs a waistlock and then chain wrestles into a hammerlock.  Generico reverses into an arm wringer and Strong tags Jay out.  Strong locks up with Generico and backs him into a corner.  Generico ducks a chop out of the break and lands one of his own, prompting Strong to bail.  Strong gets back in, but Generico tags out to Jay.  Strong grabs a wristlock off a lockup and resists a potential counter to keep Jay down on the mat.  Strong wrings away, but Jay counters and adds a single leg takedown.  Jay scores with a hurricanrana off an irish whip and lands a big boot in Generico’s corner.  Jay lays a couple chops in and tags Generico who comes in with a double axe handle.  Strong throws a couple of chops and escapes to tag in Homicide.  Homicide grabs a headlock and Generico sends him off, leading to an armdrag exchange, but Homicide gets the better of it with a running elbow.  Generico throws in a few more armdrags and a leg lariat sending Homicide to the floor.  Strong blind tags Generico and attacks Homicide on the floor.  This would be what top scientists call “a mistake,” as Homicide takes control and bites Strong.

Back in the ring, Strong is able to regain control with a few chops and a vertical suplex for 2.  Strong bails and tags in Jay.  Jay buries a knee and lays in some forearms, before whipping Homicide to the post.  Jay charges into a drop toe hold however, and Homicide tags in Generico, adding an “OLE!” for good measure.  Generico scores with a leg lariat for 2 on Jay, and Strong blind tags Generico to come into the ring and stomp away on Jay.  Strong spits in the direction of Homicide to lure him in for some reason and continues to pound away on Jay.  Jay buries a few fists to the midsection, and Strong taunts Homicide with Jay’s hand before using the elder Briscoe as a weapon against Homicide, tossing him off the apron into the guardrail.  Strong goes to hit his chop/forearm corner combo on Jay, who counters into a Downward Spiral into the 2nd turnbuckle.  Jay tags in Homicide who is a house of fire against the champion, going up for the  mounted 10 punch, and just beating down Strong in the corner.  Homicide busts out the Three Amigos, but Strong counters the third into a gourdbuster.  Strong charges off the ropes but into a belly-to-belly suplex.  Strong tags out to Generico and Homicide tags out to Jay who lays in his trademark offense on Generico, culminating in the running seated dropkick for 2.  Jay stomps down Generico in the corner, but in the time referee Todd Sinclair took to break it up, Generico recovers enough to throw Jay with a T-Bone suplex into the buckles.  Jay tags out to Homicide who tries unsuccessfully to hit the Ace Crusher, and Generico hits his lucha DDT.  Homicide tags Strong who runs into a Michinoku Driver for 2.

Generico continues to fire away, and sends Strong over the top rope to the floor.  Generico goes to dive, but Homicide cuts him off with a diving back elbow.  Generico breaks a full nelson, and sends Homicide outside into Strong as well.  Generico goes to dive again but Jay cuts him off.  In short order, Jay goes to the floor as well, and Generico hits his no-hands top rope tope con hilo to the floor on all three men.  Jay attempts something on Homicide but gets backdropped on the floor as back in the ring, Generico hits a top rope bodypress on Strong for 2.  Homicide trips up Generico going for the corner Yakuza kick, and crotches him in the corner for good measure.  Back in, Homicide sets Strong up top and appears to go for a superplex, but Strong fights back and Homicide hits a top rope hurricanrana for 2.  Roderick avoids the Cop Killa and hits a low superkick on Homicide for 2.  Strong blocks the lariat and hits the fireman’s carry gutbuster.  Jay Briscoe blocks the sick kick attempt on Homicide with one of his own, but Generico drills Jay with the corner Yakuza.  Homicide drops Generico with the lariat and all four men are down.  Generico and Jay are tagged in “legally” now, and they exchange forearms.

They exchange boots and forearms, and Jay catches Generico in a Falcon Arrow for 2, broken up by Homicide, who sets Jay up on the top rope.  Jay fights off the Top rope Ace Crusher twice and hits the Jay Driller, but Generico hits the Yakuza Kick on Jay again, and scores with the brainbuster, but Roderick Strong blind tags in the process.  Generico goes for the cover, but isn’t the legal man.  Strong is, however, and he hits a running knee strike on Generico and simply covers Jay for the pin.

Roderick Strong def. Jay Briscoe(L), Homicide & El Generico in 17:58 via Generico Brainbuster on Jay
Started off a little slow, but really got going for the patented super hot ending sequence(tm).  The right guy went over the right opponent the right way, which you’ve got to love.  Homicide was kept strong not being involved in the decision, Generico was kept strong by delivering the blow that got the pinfall, and Jay is one of those guys in the company who is pretty much perpetually over and is still more dedicated to the tag ranks anyway.  Strong gets the W in the sleaziest way possible and showed off some decent heel mannerisms in the process.  Good stuff all around and a solid match to boot. (***1/4)

**As usual, let’s add up the numbers.  This week’s show ran about 55 minutes or so, and we had merely 32:50 of wrestling.  Great ratio of solid wrestling, not much in the way of angle development, as they aren’t taped far enough in advance to get anywhere near putting the card together for WrestleMania weekend, and the last few shows are largely focused on the Top Prospect Tournament and it’s fallout to set up the next generation.  Interesting thought, obviously working under the assumption that ROH will be able to land elsewhere, so I hope they’re right.  Either way, as a stand alone wrestling show, it worked pretty well tonight, especially as opposed to WWE who offered up talk at the beginning and talk at the end.

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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