ROH on HDNet Report 04.04.2011 – Featuring: Roderick Strong, Kings of Wrestling, Davey Richards, The Briscoes

Welcome back to the Pulse, after what has been a very interesting weekend in the world of wrestling.  Unfortunately, it’s somewhat a sad night, as tonight is the very last ROH on HDNet.  No real news has surfaced, regarding any possibilities for a new TV deal, which is a shame coming off of two absolutely FANTASTIC shows during WrestleMania weekend.  If you haven’t seen them, go to Go Fight Live NOW to pick them up On Demand.  You absolutely won’t regret it.  Since I don’t have much else to add, let’s go into my traditional rigamaroll.

**The only link that isn’t WrestleMania related right now is pretty much my write-up on the ROH Honor Takes Center Stage shows.  I loved these shows, but since these do contain spoilers, be aware of that, if you are planning on ordering the shows.

**Finally, tonight’s final episode of ROH on HDNet is brought to you by none other than Bell’s Oberon.  Absolutely one of the most popular brews in their stable, and a frequent award winner, this tremendous beer has just seen it’s 2011 batch released for public consumption, and it’s as good as it ever was.

**Getting into the show itself, we open right up to footage of Eddie Edwards defeating Roderick Strong for the ROH World Title at Manhattan Mayhem IV in March.  Amazing moment, and Eddie’s facials were tremendous, with the dawning realization of what he had just done.

**From here, we go to the intro.  HERE COMES THE RUSH!

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

**After the intro, we head straight to the Pink Studio of Doom, where Mike Hogewood reveals that tonight will indeed be the last episode of ROH on HDNet.  We have a brief discussion of the good times before we hand it off to a great long video package of ROH in the HDNet era, which produced some truly amazing matches (witness ROH’s “Best of HDNet” releases), and some great moments.  We went through (technically) 5 World Champions (Jerry Lynn, Austin Aries, Tyler Black, Roderick Strong and Eddie Edwards), and had a lot of fun along the way.  We reveal that tonight’s one and only match will be a six-man tag match, featuring Roderick Strong and the Kings of Wrestling facing off with Davey Richards and the Briscoe Brothers.

**Sure enough, in short order, we’re away to the ring.  In an interesting touch, as each participant (or tag team) comes out, we get a solid video package for each detailing their accomplishments in the HDNet era.  In order, we have: The Kings of Wrestling, Roderick Strong, The Briscoe Brothers and finally Davey Richards.  All great packages, but one wonders the thought there.  If you’ve been watching since the beginning, you’re VERY familiar with all six of these men.  If you haven’t, then you’re devoting all this time to video packages of guys who aren’t going to be on TV anymore, as tonight’s show is your last.  Regardless, they’re all tremendous packages that showcase some tremendous athletes and major cornerstones of Ring of Honor and call up some great memories of matches gone by.  Nevertheless…TO THE RING!

The Kings of Wrestling (Chris Hero & Claudio Castagnoli; w/ Shane Hagadorn & Sara Del Rey) & Roderick Strong (w/ Truth Martini) vs. The Briscoe Brothers (Mark & Jay) & Davey Richards
Mark and Claudio start.  Lockup to start goes into an arm lock by Claudio, and a wrestling sequence ends with Claudio in an arm lock getting to the ropes.  Both men tag out, with Hero and Davey coming in.  The crowd is instantly behind Davey 110%.  Lockup and Hero grabs an arm bar and wrings away.  Davey tries to counter, but Hero pulls him back down to the mat.  Hero wrings away again, and Davey is able to successfully counter this time into an arm drag and an arm bar of his own.  Hero counters and gets a near fall off a cradle for 2, but Davey is able to grab a cross-arm breaker which Hero quickly escapes.  Hero bulls Davey into the corner with a series of knees and tags in Strong.  Strong tries to continue the arm work, but Davey counters with a kick to the shoulder and tags in Jay Briscoe, but not before asking for crowd approval.  I think they’re on board, Davey, just go ahead.

Strong buries a knee to the midsection and clubbers away on Jay adding a chop before tagging in Claudio who throws a boot and a European uppercut before running into a hurricanrana.  Back up, Jay pounds away in the corner and takes Claudio back to the face side of the ring to tag in Mark.  Mark takes down Claudio into a headscissors, but Claudio is able to counter into a Horse Collar.  Mark gets to the ropes to break in short order.  Back into the heel corner, Hero is tagged in, and the Kings throw a double big boot for 2.  Back up, Hero fires away with chops, but sets his head too early and eats a spinwheel kick for 2.  Davey tagged in now, and whips Hero off, into a dropkick.  Both Briscoes get the boots up in the corner for Davey to run Hero into, and Jay gets tagged in, adding a nice dropkick for 2.  Hero rakes the eyes to escape and tags in Strong.  Strong and Jay exchange chops before Strong rakes the eyes to take control, and gets a 2 count.  Strong scores with a dropkick as well, and adds a boot choke in the corner for good measure.

Back up, Strong buries a knee to the gut and hits a vertical suplex for 2.  Jay starts fighting back with a series of chops back into the face corner and tags in Mark who continues the onslaught with a headbutt.  Mark appears to fish hook Strong int he ropes, but in addition to the official’s count, Claudio breaks it up with a boot.  Mark is able to pull out the Redneck Kung Fu, and we see another patented Briscoes double team ending with Jay scoring with a big clothesline for 2.  Jay hits a cross-corner whip, avalanche, snap mare and low dropkick combo for 2.  Strong quickly tags out to Claudio who throws a SWANK~! dropkick as well.  Cross corner whip by Claudio but runs into a downward spiral into the buckle and the faces clear the ring.  The Briscoes hit a double suplex on Claudio and Davey adds the diving headbutt for the exclamation point, which gets 2.  Davey locks in what appears to be a hammerlock cloverleaf, but the heels break it up.  Mark and Claudio in now, and Jay is tagged in.  The Briscoes beal Claudio out of the corner and Jay adds a running boot in the corner for 2.  Davey tagged in and throws his typical nasty kicks and goes for the handspring enzugiri but gets caught in the UFO!  Meanwhile, Hero and Strong have pulled the Briscoes off the apron, but Claudio only gets 2.  He immediately tags in Hero, who chokes away in a neutral corner.

Cross corner whip and Hero follows in with a clothesline and a running suplex for 2.  Hero locks in a surfboard, but Davey is able to reverse into a schoolboy rollup for 2, but Hero is able to catch him with a chinbreaker and tag in Strong.  Strong buries several shoulders to the gut and lays in a chop.  Strong adds the gutbuster but Mark breaks it up at 2.  Claudio in now, and the chokeslam is countered into a prawn hold into an ankle lock.  Strong breaks up the hold and Claudio scores with the chokeslam for 2.  Hero tagged in and just boots Davey in the face, following up with the senton for 2.  Hero pulls out the Stretch Plum, but Jay breaks it up with a thrust kick.  Hero sends Davey out to the floor, where Claudio, Strong and Sara Del Rey triple team Davey.  Even Truth Martini gets in on it!  The Briscoes make their way around to try to break it up, but the damage is done and back in the ring we go as Claudio covers Davey for 2.  Davey fights back with some shots to the gut, but Claudio cuts him off with a clothesline for 2.  Hero in and gets a sitout powerbomb for 2, broken up by Mark.  Strong in now, who stomps away.  Strong keeps throwing forearms, but Davey is hulking up.  Davey hits the handspring enzugiri, and is able to make the tag to both Briscoes.  IT’S BREAKING DOWN IN TULSA!  The Briscoes clean  house on the Kings, with a double backdrop, their double football tackle, and sending Hero to the outside.  They duck a Claudio clothesline and hit a double superkick.  Jay DVD and Mark frog elbow follow, which gets 2.

Mark forearms away in the corner on Claudio.  Claudio fights off the Iconoclasm, and reverses a springboard maneuver into a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker and tags Hero.  Hero charges and hits the charging elbow in the corner, and a top rope quebrada press for 2.  Mark and Hero exchange chops, and Mark is able to hit a springboard shoulder block off a corner whip, but Hero is able to hit a rolling pump kick shortly after to bring in Claudio.  The Kings hit their double hip toss/press lift combo for 2.  Jay and Strong fight to the outside, as Hero goes up.  He misses the moonsault but lands on his feet.  Mark hits a thrust and the Iconoclasm on Hero for 2.  Davey is tagged in now, and hits his missile dropkick on Hero, then his corner forearm/step up knee combination.  Davey hits a superplex on Hero for 2.  Davey clears the apron, and exchanges kicks with Hero, who gets the better of it and sends him to the floor.  Hero lands on his feet off a dive to the floor and Davey goes for his tope con hilo but Hero cuts it off with an elbow.  It’s breaking down and I frankly can’t follow it.  Hero hits his rolling elbow on Mark, but Davey scores with a saito suplex for 2.  Strong in to break it up, and we hit a triple team suplex/roaring elbow/knee strike combo for 2.  The Briscoes break it up and send the Kings to the outside, followed up with a Jay Briscoe somersault plancha.  Mark goes to fly, but Sara Del Rey stops him and shoves him off into the ring.  She tries to set up Mark but gets hit with a pump kick accidentally for his trouble and Mark sends Claudio outside as well.  Mark flies off the top rope into the front row onto Jay and the Kings, leaving Strong and Davey.  Strong runs into the alarm clock, and Davey hits a lariat for 2.  Strong hits a low superkick off a reversal sequence and the Gibson Driver for 2, but segues immediately into the Strong Hold!  Davey reverses into the ankle lock, but Hagadorn in to break it up.  He immediately realizes that this is a terrible idea (and you can even see him mouth something to this effect), but just as Davey’s about to get him, Truth runs in with the Book of Truth, but hits Hagadorn!  Davey sends Truth out over the top but gets rolled up for 2.  Davey however gets into the ankle lock again.  Strong goes to kick out, but Davey catches the leg and goes into a figure four version of the ankle lock for the tap out!

Davey Richards(W) & The Briscoes (Mark & Jay) def. Roderick Strong (L, w/ Truth Martini) & The Kings of Wrestling (Chris Hero & Claudio Castagnoli, w/ Shane Hagadorn & Sara Del Rey) via Figure Four Ankle Lock in 26:14.
Wow.  Great stuff.  I really don’t have enough superlatives.  This was an absolutely tremendous match, and really was the kind of thing that is very indicative of what ROH stands for.  Straightforward great wrestling with just the right amount of overbooking when it was appropriate. (****1/4)

**Post-match, Davey kicks the Book of Truth out of the hold of Mark Briscoe, as Truth Martini gives the most awesomely bad fake crying EVER, complete with fist wiping the eyes.  The faces continue to celebrate as the heels slink off to the back.  Davey, in a very real sense, sums up the show, saying to the camera “You find a wrestling show that’s gonna top that!”  Indeed sir, it will be tough.

**We close with another look at the same video package that opened the show.    Why not, as it was an absolutely tremendous package.

**For one final time, let’s add up the numbers.  On a wrestling show that ran around 55 minutes, there was 26:14 of wrestling.  It was 26:14 of absolutely lights out wrestling, and video packages that highlighted the product as it went off of TV in about the best manner one could possibly hope.  Even if ROH isn’t able to get another TV deal, this show has ensured that they went off TV in the absolute best possible way.

As always, thanks for reading, never hesitate to hit me up with any comments questions or anything else and bear with me as I transition into a new role here at the Pulse, essentially as the go-to guy for all things ROH.  However, I definitely look forward to not having to pull out all of those move names from the back of my head during these live write-ups.

Thanks to Matthew Michaels, Pulse Glazer and the rest for the opportunity to let me cover this show, and I look forward to seeing where ROH goes from here!  Good night, everybody!

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