10 Thoughts on ROH TV 10.08.11 – Davey Richards, Rick Martel, Roderick Strong

1. Opening with the Briscoe Brothers was a really good move. I’m not the biggest fan of the Briscoes schtick. But fuck, comparing them to the rest of the roster is kind of night and day. This wasn’t bad, but, can we get one of these segments to end in mayhem or something?

2. In the boring intro video for The Embassy and Tomasso Ciampa, they made a point of noting that Prince Nana and The Embassy only use Gold and not dirty American greens. So, that being said, I’m completely on board running an angle where Ciampa falls on hard time, finds himself in a ditch after a night/morning of smoking meth and he starts siphoning off that Embassy Gold with one of those Cash 4 Gold Websites. I certainly believe that would be a more entertaining gimmick than this nickname “Dominant Male.”

3. It needed a couple more minutes, but, I liked what they were doing with the Ciampa/Andy Ridge match. Ciampa catches me off guard. Looking at the guy, I feel like he’s about to waste my time. But, generally, I think Ciampa has some potential match-wise. This was short and didn’t have enough time to really develop an underdog story for Ridge, but, Ciampa found an opening to work over the upper back, stayed on that fairly consistently albeit in a short timeframe and his finisher hit that mark. Nothing wrong with that in the context of a 5-6 minute match.

4. Here’s the problem…is there really any excuse for ROH not to toss this match an extra 4-5 minutes? In WWE you understand they need to make room for nonsensical talking. ROH doesn’t have that as a need. Sure, they need to include interviews and angles and such, but, they just need to be smarter about how they do it.

5. Corino alludes to Kevin Steen. After this match, they interview a fan, as they’ve been doing each week, for a prediction on the Main Event. He chants to bring back Kevin Steen. I think this worked for folks who know the backdrop. But, I would have had Corino namedrop Steen, just so a new fan can at least be sure to make the connection between the two moments. They need a Steen presence, though.

6. Excellent use of foreshadowing early in the Main Event World Title match between Roderick Strong and Davey Richards. Early on, Richards does some work to the left arm of Strong, Strong even sells this work for a moment! And, then, of course, Davey immediately ignores the fuck out of that arm.

6a. To be clear, I mean this only foreshadowed that if you wanted an intelligently worked Main Event you were out of luck.

7. Davey randomly slaps an ankle-lock on late, and I groaned. Knowing this would lead only to some kind of unique and/or cool variation of the move shortly, rather than helping the match in the grand scheme of things. This was correct, as Davey then slid in an anklelock out of Strong Backbreaker. They wound up having the anklelock as the finish, which, while silly, I guess maybe is a bit better than just having this sequence choppily thrown in because they thought it would look cool.

7a. To be clear, I’m 99% sure all this anklelock stuff in this match was because they thought it looked cool and not because it made sense.

8. Let me reign in my negativity somewhat. My last two thoughts are likely going to be negative. In the overall picture of available wrestling TV, how good do I think these matches are? I had this come up at a messageboard I go to, puroresu.tv, Don’t let the enjoyment of John Cena’s work over there fool ya, they get some good discussion going. But, I have enjoyed the ROH matches I’ve seen quite a bit better than anything I see on WWE TV, and while I’m negative towards them, it’s because I think there is huge room for improvement. It’s not that I think the matches are devoid of entertainment value, I just think that there’s a ceiling for how good current ROH formula matches can be, which is a lot lower than what I expect from ROH based on what got me into the company years ago.

9. There was a backbreaker on the ring apron from Strong. Is there any particular reason why that couldn’t have turned into a spell of offense from Strong? Does Davey become any less resilient if he becomes imperiled for a few moments here? Why does Davey need to instantly strike back with a move? Because he was…Born on a mountain top in Tennessee. Greenest state in the land of the free. Raised in the woods so’s he knew every tree. Kilt him a b’ar when he was only three. Davey Davey Richards! King of the wild frontier!

10. I thought it fairly comical that they go to commercial and come back by saying Strong took advantage in a strike exchange. They show this exchange…then, they proceed to do two more like right away.

10a. To be clear, I’m saying it was overkill to do two more forced strike exchanges. That said, Roddy’s cocky slapping was good in this. Which goes back to point 9. Davey gets his almost immediately after they return from that commercial break. BUT, in the fleeting moments of Strong in cocky-control, he did better than I have seen from him before in a moment like that. He’s been heel for over a year now, and this is the first time I’ve really believed it with his character work within a match.

Next week, DOUBLE Main Event with Eddie Edwards is in action, so, I’ll leave the Die Hard jokes on the shelf this week and plan and overusing them next week.

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