Arena Reports 9/11 ROH PPV in New York City live report: In-person perspective on crowd reactions, Homicide's return, Black's exit, booking
Sep 12, 2010 - 3:48:05 PM
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ROH "Glory by Honor IX" Internet PPV live report
September 11, 2010
New York City at the Manhattan Center
Report by Eric Gall, PWTorch specialist
(1) Kenny King beat Jay Briscoe. I'm up in General Admission for the first time, and see they're starting the show off with a bang. I haven't seen ROH live in over a year - Kenny is coming out with a hot number in a short skirt, who is showered with lots of nice, polite greetings from the crowd. King is one of the younger guys on the roster who has the potential to really break out on his own. Hopefully, they move him away from Titus and put more spotlight on him. You can't go wrong with a Briscoe match, and this match alone was better than anything I've seen from WWE all year.
(2) Mark Briscoe beat Rhett Titus. Sigh. At least this card didn't have Bobby Dempsey on it. Titus has improved, as he's not relying so much on his pelvic swivels and such, but this is Mark's match to set the pace. Titus keeps up with him and throws in a clever move here and there. I just see Titus and ROH students taking up a better wrestler's spot on the card and one of the things that keeps the company from truly breaking out.
3) Necro Butcher & Erick Stevens beat Balls Mahoney & Grizzly Redwood. The Embassy comes out. I don't recognize Ernie Osiris at first. Oh look, that's Joey Ryan...no wait...Erick Stevens? He's lost a ton of weight since the last time I saw him. It's funny how everyone else comes out to generic music but Balls still comes out to "Big Balls," and Benjamin and Haas would later come out to another AC/DC song, "TNT." Nothing crazy bloody in this match, as I guess they're saving that for the chain match. Everyone does okay here, but nobody stands out, either.
(4) El Generico & Colt Cabana beat Kevin Steen & Steve Corino. The lack of the old entrance music is really glaring when someone like Generico, whose Bouncing Souls' "Ole" was a crowd favorite, comes out. Lots of action outside the ring, and I can't see much from up here. I'm looking for a better seat. Early blood by everyone involved. Corino's son runs out, which leads to Colt getting spread and chained across the ring. In peril, Colt eventually escapes, but not without you thinking he's going to get an unprotected chair shot. That never actually happens, so it was a good job keeping everyone in suspense with that. Generico's mask being pulled off was genuinely shocking. Good match.
Jim Cornette promo - I believe few can talk as well as Jim Cornette. Here he's talking about Davey Richards's big decision: is he or isn't he going to retire. Cornette talks about all the things Richards is occupying himself with and what a great guy he is. I suppose this past year built up Davey as one of the biggest names in the company, as this got a big pop. For someone who might not know who Richards is, or like me, missed most of the past year, it might not have that big of an impact. I thought Cornette listing all the great things Davey does was trying too hard, and it left me thinking, "This is cheesy."
(5) ROH TV champion Eddie Edwards beat Shawn Daivari to retain the TV Title. I'm coming back from intermission and miss most of this match. It was decent from what I did see, though. It seemed kind of short.
(6) Christopher Daniels beat Austin Aries. Aries talks before the match, saying considering the date and location, he's had to lobby hard to get a live mic in his hand, referring to a show a few years ago downstairs in the Hammerstein. (He said something inappropriate about 9/11 and the NYC crowd booed him for it. He didn't get it and said, "Too early?" What a rebel.) This match exhibited two pros showing how it's done. Excellent.
(7) ROH tag champions Kings of Wrestling (Chris Hero & Claudio Castagnoli) beat Shelton Benjamin & Charlie Haas in a non-title match. Haas and Benjamin are over huge. Both are looking in shape and big. KOW come out to a catchy song, and the artist that sings it comes out with them on the live mic. Chris Hero does all the little things right and wouldn't be a bad choice at all to be the main man in the promotion somewhere down the road. Haas is in the ring, showing a lot of fire and intensity; right now, he physically resembles Chris Benoit. (Can I say that name?) As good as Daniels-Aries was, this match is even better. The crowd was split between the two teams, and very vocal throughout.
(8) Roderick Strong (w/Truth Martini) beat ROH World champion Tyler Black to win the ROH World Title. Strong comes out and seems to still be a heel. He now has a manager, who looks like he's dressed to play an opera conductor. He's also wearing a t-shirt say "In Roderick We Trust" with a book (looking like the Bible) opened. Black comes out. He's being booed. It's hard to tell if he's now a heel as well, or whether he's simply getting his balls busted by the New York crowd for leaving. He's wearing a black, Baphomet-looking t-shirt. Hmm...no ambiguity in this match, huh? Really funny spot when Black steals a page from John Cena's book and does the "You can't see me" to Strong, then puts him in the STFU. I wish Black showed more of this personality while he was in ROH.
I've never been the biggest Black fan, but I think a lot of the grief the crowd is showing him is unmerited. New York has been brutal on Nigel McGuinness and Jerry Lynn before as champs, so this is no surprise. It's moments like this, though, when parts of the crowd appear less as smart fans and more as spoiled boors trying to get themselves over.
The match, while good, was not up to the standards set by the two previous matches. Black's flipping off the fans after the match seemed pretty close to genuine, and for me, was the most powerful part of the match. It was as if he said, "I gave everything I had out there, you ingrates."
Homicide returns to ROH to a monster pop, wearing a classy, beautiful t-shirt of the World Trade Center with the sun shining between the twin towers on it. The hometown boy throws down the gauntlet, vowing to go through everyone on the roster to get his shot at the belt at Final Battle. This was a great way to end the show. The NYC crowd loves Mr. New York, Homicide, and this sets the stage for the rest of the year. The emotion was genuine from the crowd, and I suppose there's going to be some tension between Richards and Homicide as to who will actually get the title shot. I hope it's 'Cide.
Gall's Other Thoughts: This is the first big show with Delirious as booker. There's still the philosophy of "build to the main event, bro" with the match intensity. When ROH owner Cary Silkin said the company would be about "wrestling matches, not wrestling moves" right after he canned longtime booker Gabe Sapolsky, we've seen just that since, replacing the big-moments in every match from bell to bell approach previously seen. It's possible that Delirious will be booking under this mandate as well, so it's hard to to see where the Adam Pearce influence still resides, where Delirious's own style comes in, or whether Silkin has become more of a Jerry Jones hands-on style owner.
What's next for ROH? It needs to get more fans. They can either try to win back formerly rabid fans, of which I counted myself. They can try to go more mainstream, looking for a more family-friendly product. This has been the thrust the last two years; the failure of this approach to garner any significant jump in followers the likely reason Pearce was shown to the door. Whatever it does, the company needs to find an identity, a brand, and go full-tilt in that direction. I don't see that identity now. I see a company with an in-ring product that, while still excellent, is somewhat shackled, an intensity that's somewhat watered down, and few fresh faces ready to take up the mantle of greats like Punk, Joe, and Danielson before. Who knows? Let's see what Delirious can do. He'd need probably a year to make a new course, depending on how much control he actually has. If he doesn't work out, Steve Corino has a mind second-to-none in the business. It would be interesting to see what a Corino-Cornette collaboration would produce.
[Torch art credit Marco D'Alfonso (c) PWTorch.com]
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