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TV REPORTS
DEROSENROLL'S ROH TV REPORT 11/30: Austin Aries vs. Colt Cabana, Set up for Jim Cornette's ROH TV debut next week

Dec 1, 2009 - 9:45:44 AM
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Ring of Honor TV Report
November 30, 2009
Taped November 5 in Philadelphia, Pa.
Episode #36 - First episode of Series Seven
Report by Mike DeRosenroll, Torch ROH specialist


Positives

- Austin Aries and Kenny King both had good promos this week. ROH is continuing to develop King's character nicely. Aries cut a very good promo before his main event match with Cabana that recalled their feud from 2005. Talking about ROH's history like this is a nice way to give a nod to long-time fans, and perhaps drive some DVD sales as well.

- The hype for next week's show was good. ROH did a nice job of reminding viewers about Aries' fireball attack on Tyler Black three weeks ago, and hyping Black's return next week. They also hyped Jim Cornette's television debut next week.

Negatives

- The wrestling in all three undercard matches was clunky. The clunkiness varied from big things like a badly blown spot in the Briscoes-Dark City Fight Club match, to little things like Eddie Kingston taking forever to pull a foreign object out of his tights, making the referee look like a complete idiot for keeping his back turned that long. This is very unlike ROH, which usually features top-notch in-ring action. The uncharacteristically average in-ring action made the promotion look very minor league this week.

- In some other weeks, a strong main event has made up for a weak undercard. This week's main event was shaping up to be very good until and overbooked schmoz of a finish ended the show on a sour note.

- The television editing, also normally a strong point, was also a bit off this week. A replay cut into a near fall during the opening match, which is the sort of thing that should never happen.

- Out of four matches on the show, only the squash match had a clean finish. Eddie Kingston used a foreign object to defeat Claudio Castagnoli (strange booking since Kingston is the babyface), the Briscoes-Dark City Fight Club match went to a no contest, and the main event was marred by run-ins. The preponderance of clean finishes used to be something that set ROH apart from WWE and TNA. (However, it may be that all the tainted finishes were a deliberate set-up for Jim Cornette to come in as a babyface authority figure and clean things up next week. I hope this is the case.)
- There was no hype for the Final Battle show coming up in less than a month. ROH announced this week that Final Battle, traditionally one of ROH's biggest shows of the year, will be streamed live over the Internet on a pay-per-view basis. Perhaps the deal just came together and they did not have time to edit any hype into this week's show, so it will be something to watch for next week.

Detailed Show Recap

- The show opened with clips of Kenny King and Rhett Titus' spike piledriver on Jerry Lynn that put Lynn out of action six weeks ago, and Austin Aries' fireball attack on Tyler Black three weeks ago.

- In the studio, Mike Hogwood and Dave Prazak hyped the main event, a non-title match between ROH World Champion Austin Aries and Colt Cabana. Hogwood said Cabana was going to put Aries in his place and shut him up.

1 – CLAUDIO CASTAGNOLI vs. EDDIE KINGSTON

Kingston made his ring entrance first. Before Castagnoli came out, Chris Hero came out to the entrance set and cut a promo on Kingston. He responded to Kingston's promo a few weeks ago saying that he was going to start being more like Hero. Hero said Kingston would never be able to be like him. Hero remained in the aisle to watch the match when Castagnoli made his ring entrance.

Castagnoli slapped Kingston before the bell, prompting Kingston to come after Castagnoli very aggressively from the outset. Kingston dominated for a short while, but then stupidly left the ring at 1:00 to go after Hero in the aisle. This allowed Castagnoli to hit Kingston with a boot from behind outside the ring and turn the tide of the match. Kingston mounted a comeback at 3:00 by countering a running boot attempt by Castagnoli into a leg cradle suplex. Hero began trash-talking Kingston at 4:00, again distracting Kingston and allowing Castagnoli back into the match. Castagnoli showed great strength in getting Kingston up for a pop-up European upper cut, and followed-up with an airplane spin, but the near fall after the airplane was ruined when the replay graphic cut in during the referee's count, making it obvious that Kingston would kick out. Poor editing.

Castagnoli attempted his Ricola Bomb finisher at 5:30, but Kingston countered it into a leverage headscissor takedown for a near fall. Kingston then grabbed a chair from the outside and brought it into the ring. The referee took it from him and, while the referee had his back turned removing the chair from the ring, Kingston pulled out Hero's loaded elbow pad (which Kingston stole from Hero during Hero's main event match against KENTA a few weeks ago) and knocked out Castagnoli with it for the pin. It took Kingston a long time to get the elbow pad out of his tights, forcing the referee to keep his back turned for an unrealistically long time.

WINNER: Kingston in 6:30. A clunky overbooked match that felt more like a protracted angle. Kingston made Castagnoli look weak by not selling much for Castagnoli's big power moves and only letting Castagnoli transition to offence when Kingston turned his back to pay attention to Hero. Although Kingston is clearly popular with the Philadelphia fans, and Hero has emerged as one of the top talents in ROH in 2009, their feud has gone on for months and both would be better off wrapping this feud up and moving on to new opponents.

- A pre-taped Kenny King promo aired. King said he is soaking in what it takes to be a champion through his alliance with ROH World Champion Austin Aries, and vowed that one day he would be on top of ROH. Good promo to continue King's recent push. King's soft-spoken delivery was good. After the promo, Hogwood reiterated that King is one of Austin Aries' protégés, and that Aries would be facing Colt Cabana later in the show.

2 – THE BRISCOES (JAY BRISCOE & MARK BRISCOE) vs. THE DARK CITY FIGHT CLUB (JON DAVIS & KORY CHAVIS)

After an even-steven opening exchange between Jon Davis and Jay Briscoe, Davis tagged in Chavis at 1:30. Chavis gained a short-lived advantage on Jay until Mark made a blind tag and entered the match with flying cross body off the top rope onto Chavis at 2:00. This gave the Briscoes the advantage and they got to display some of their trademark double-team moves during their spell of offence. Chavis made it to his corner to tag Davis back in at 3:30. Chavis and Davis attempted a Hart Attack leg drop on Mark but botched the move when Chavis, in the Jim Neidhart position, slammed Mark down to the mat way before Davis' leg made contact with Mark. This got them a "You f'd up" chant from the crowd. Prazak tried to cover it on commentary by saying they did not quite hit the move, but Mark unfortunately sold it like they did.

Chavis and Davis now got a good spell of offence. Mark sold their offence well, and they got the crowd into the match chanting for a Briscoes comeback. Mark caught Chavis with a forearm as Chavis charged him in the corner and made it to his corner for a hot tag at 6:00. Jay got a spell of offence on both heels, then the action spilled to the outside. At 7:30, Mark came off the top with his trademark flip dive to the floor, taking out all three combatants. All four men continued fighting on the outside, using chairs and the ringside barrier as weapons until the referee called for the bell.

WINNER: No contest in 8:30. Just an okay match. Poor Kory Chavis had an off-night. Normally, the Dark City Fight Club is much better.

- Backstage, Kyle Durden interviewed Austin Aries. Durden asked Aries if he was worried about Tyler Black's return next week. Aries dismissed Black and said he was focused on facing Colt Cabana tonight. He brought up his 2005 feud with Cabana, during his first World title run, and worked in a plug for the DVD with his cage match with Cabana from that feud. He said that that cage match proved he was just a little bit quicker and smarter than Colt Cabana. Aries concluded that Cabana may like to be a jokester, but he said that he was going to slap the s-t-e-r off of him. Very good promo from the champ.

- Hogwood said that Cabana will prove in the main event that he is no joke, then announced that Kevin Steen and El Generico would be in action after the break.

[Commercial Break]

- Hogwood hyped that next week's show will have Jim Cornette's television debut, as well as the return of Tyler Black.

3 – KEVIN STEEN & EL GENERICO vs. THE SET (LANCE LEWD & JAY SIN)

Ring announcer Bobby Cruise announced the jobber team as Lance Lewd and Jay Sin (my spellings are a guess because there was no graphic with their individual names). Hogwood made some jokes about one guy being very skinny and one being very fat, but neither announcer ever said which guy was which so I am going to call them the fat guy and the skinny guy.

The skinny guy started against Kevin Steen, but used his quickness to avoid any contact with Steen and tagged in the fat guy. Steen quickly took control of the match and tagged in Generico. Generico stayed on the offence until the fat guy caught him in the corner with a King Kong Bundy avalanche at 2:00 and tagged the skinny guy back in. The Set got a chance to display some double-team moves involving the fat guy using the skinny guy like a weapon and got a near fall at 2:30.

Generico made a comeback at 3:00 by catching the skinny guy charging off the ropes and hitting a backbreaker, then tagged in Steen. The skinny guy ran away from Steen and the fat guy came to the rescue, but Steen caught the fat guy with a super kick to send him out to the floor. The skinny guy attempted a crossbody off the top rope, but Steen caught him and powerbombed him. Generico came off the top rope with a Senton, then Steen came off top from the opposite corner with frog splash for the win. Unfortunately, the skinny guy quite obviously moved into position to take Generico's move, then moved into position to take Steen's move.

WINNERS: Steen & Generico in 3:30. Entertaining squash match. The comedy elements made up for the clunky finish.

- Another clip of Austin Aries' fireball attack on Tyler Black aired. A graphic on the screen reiterated that Black will return next week.

- During the ring entrances for the main event, a crawler on the screen announced "breaking news" that Jim Cornette has called a locker room meeting for next week.

4 –ROH champion AUSTIN ARIES vs. COLT "BOOM BOOM" CABANA -- non-title match

Cabana controlled the match early on with some nice chain wrestling. At 3:00, the wrestlers got tied up the ropes in the corner, and Cabana hit an innovative spot where laid Aries prone across the top turnbuckle and projected him up in the air from below with his legs. Cabana continued to dominate with a mix of strikes and power moves. At 5:00, Cabana tried to toss Aries from the ring, Aries grabbed the ropes on his way through and tried to skin the cat back in, but Cabana kicked him off the ropes midway through the move to send Aries crashing hard to the outside. Aries finally managed to turn the tide when Cabana followed him outside and Aries landed a side Russian leg sweep that sent Cabana back and neck first into the ring post.

Back in the ring, Aries focused in on Cabana's injured neck. Cabana sold it well, and got some good crowd reactions whenever he teased a comeback. Cabana finally made his comeback at 8:00 by rolling out of the way of an Aries running elbow drop and hitting a flurry of Dusty Rhodes elbows. At 9:30, Cabana tried for his Colt 45 finisher, but Aries stomped on his foot then countered with a shinbreaker-back suplex combination. Aries tried to follow up with a charging crossbody, but Cabana impressively caught him in a fireman's carry position, then dropped him on the top turnbuckle. Cabana then successfully landed the Colt 45, but Aries was able to grab the bottom rope to prevent a three count at 10:30. Cabana pulled Aries to the middle of the ring and tried to apply the Billy Goat's Curse submission hold, but Aries kicked Cabana through the ropes and followed up with his trademark heat seeking missile dive through the ropes to the floor.

The heat-seeking missile sent Cabana back and neck first into the ringside barrier, re-aggravating his injured neck. Back in the ring, Aries landed the brain buster but Cabana kicked out at 11:30. Some of the fans seemed to turn on the match when Cabana kicked out of Aries' finisher. Aries tried for a running boot, but Cabana caught his leg and countered into the Billy Goat's Curse. With Aries in serious jeopardy, Kenny King came running from the back to interfere, but Brent Albright came out after him and the two began fighting on the outside. This distracted the referee. While the ref's back was turned, Aries started tapping out to the Billy Goat's Curse. Rhett Titus hit the ring, forcing Cabana to release the hold to defend himself from Titus with the ref still distracted by King and Albright. While Cabana was distracted with Titus, Aries hit him from behind with the IED running drop kick, then locked in the Last Chancery and forced Cabana to tap out.

WINNER: Aries in 12:30. This would have been a very good main event if Aries had pinned Cabana after hitting his finisher. Everything up to that point was great. Cabana kicking out of the brainbuster made no sense in the story of the match up to that point, since Cabana's neck was supposed to be injured, the brainbuster focuses impact on the neck, and the move is Aries's finisher to boot. The live fans were right to turn on it. This, and all the subsequent interference, brought down an otherwise very good match.

- Hogwood closed the show by saying that Tyler Black will return and Jim Cornette will arrive next week, so "things will be even."

We welcome your 0-10 score and comments on this show for an "ROH TV Reax" feature in the Torch Feedback section of PWTorch.com. To contribute your thoughts on ROH, email to pwtorch@gmail.com using our feedback form.


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