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TV REPORTS
DEROSENROLL'S ROH TV REPORT 12/7: Austin Aries defends ROH Title in four-way match, Briscoes vs. Steen & Generico, Jim Cornette's ROH TV debut

Dec 7, 2009 - 11:38:53 PM
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Ring of Honor TV Report
December 7, 2009
Taped November 5 in Philadelphia, Pa.
Episode #37 - First episode of Series Seven
Report by Mike DeRosenroll, Torch ROH specialist


Positives

- After possibly their worst show ever last week, ROH bounced back this week with arguably their best TV show ever. Both matches were DVD main event quality and had major character and storyline implications, making the show newsworthy on top of the great in-ring action. The fans were red hot throughout both matches, and the show moved so briskly along that the hour flew by.

- ROH also did an excellent job hyping the upcoming Final Battle online pay-per-view. The Briscoes vs. Steen & Generico match had direct implications on the pay-per-view that were talked about in the pre-match promos, the match itself and afterwards, and the show-closing return of Tyler Black to confront Austin Aries ended the show with a focus on the pay-per-view main event. ROH also plugged Final Battle at other times throughout the show. This is the first time ROH has done such a good focused job of using the TV show to build up an upcoming show.

- The announcing was noticeably improved this week as well. I suspect Jim Cornette may have been involved in post-producing Hogewood and Prazak, who both did very well getting across storylines and calling the action.

Negatives

- The abrupt ending of the show detracted from Tyler Black’s return. Raw almost never goes off the air without some resolution to whatever confrontation is going on and there’s a good reason; it’s bad television. I understand ROH wanting to make viewers pay to see Black get his hands on Aries, but cutting the show off without showing what Black did after making his entrance only leaves viewers frustrated and confused wondering what happened. There were other ways to end the confrontation without giving away Black getting his hands on Aries, such as having Aries run away through the crowd.

- Although the four way World Title match was excellent, the ROH World Title should never be defended in a four-way match where the champion does not have to be pinned to lose the title. Even worse, the current champion is a heel, so the stipulation put sympathy on a heel. Past situations where the ROH World Title has been defended in multi-man matches have always required the champion to be pinned for the belt to change hands, and that should be a strict policy with no exceptions.
- The cameramen missed a spot in the main event where Roderick Strong dropkicked Austin Aries through the ring ropes. This is the second show in a row that has had a missed spot. This needs to improve.

Detailed Show Recap

- The show opened with a new opening theme song accompanied by new clips. The new music is more upbeat that the old music, although still painfully generic, and the clips are more action-oriented than before. Colt Cabana is heavily featured in the clips.

- The show opened in the arena with the fans chanting "ROH" and most of the talent assembled in the ring with Jim Cornette. Cornette cut a promo introducing himself as the new Executive Producer of ROH on HDNet. He said the talent were assembled in the ring to hear his first major announcement: the matchups in the Pick 6 Tournament. He said the twelve top singles wrestlers in ROH will be placed in six matches over the next six weeks on HDNet. The six winners will be eligible for future title matches and earn a $2500 bonus from HDNet, while the six losers will be out of title contention. The matchups will be:

Match 1 – Delirious vs. Kenny King
Match 2 – Colt Cabana vs. Claudio Castagnoli
Match 3 – Roderick Strong vs. Davey Richards
Match 4 – Sonjay Dutt vs. Tyler Black
Match 5 – Mark Briscoe vs. Jay Briscoe

Cornette sold not realizing that this was only five matches, not six. The camera showed the reactions of the wrestlers as they were chosen, except for Black who was not in the ring.

Austin Aries interrupted and got into a debate with Cornette. Cornette said that the Pick 6 Tournament was created because Aries’s Lucky Lottery was just a “bumb of the month club” for Aries to hand pick weak opponents. Cornette said that from now on people will have to earn title shots and Aries will have to earn the title around his waist by beating top competition. Aries said he would take on anyone for the ROH World Title. Cornette then announced that Aries would face Kenny Omega, Davey Richards and Roderick Strong in a four way match, with the title on the line, later in the show. Aries protested that Cornette was stacking the deck against him.

- Mike Hogewood announced that Tyler Black would return tonight and that The Briscoes would face Kevin Steen & El Generico coming up next.

- A video package aired hyping the upcoming Briscoe vs Steen & Generico tag match. It was a UFC-style mash-up of clips from sit-down interviews with both teams, interspersed with some action clips. Steen stated that the winner of the match would advance to face The American Wolves for the ROH World Tag Team Titles at Final Battle. Both teams talked about how much they want a shot at the tag titles. Good segment to make the match meaningful.

1 – THE BRISCOES (JAY BRISCOE & MARK BRISCOE) vs. KEVIN STEEN & EL GENERICO

Mark started off against Steen and they had a good opening exchange of chain wrestling and mat wrestling. Steen was in control until Mark got free, started running the ropes, took down Steen with a running leg lariat, and tagged out to Jay at 1:30. Generico tagged in to face Jay and the two had a fast-paced lucha style exchange. Jay got the advantage thanks to a running elbow and the Briscoes isolated Generico in their corner at 3:00. The Briscoes worked over Generico with some of their trademarks moves until Generico backflipped out of a back suplex attempt by Mark, hit a back suplex of his own, then tagged out to Steen at 5:00. Steen went for a flip dive off the top rope, but Mark got his knees up then tagged out to Jay and the Briscoes maintained the advantage.

Steen made a comeback at 6:00 when Mark’s surgically-repaired knee buckled while he was attempting to lift Steen for a bodyslam. Steen went after the knee with a dragon screw, then tagged Generico back in. Generico and Steen isolated Mark in their corner and worked over his knee. Mark finally made a comeback at 8:30, hit Steen with a couple of punches to the chin and a suplex, then reached Jay for the hot tag. Jay unleashed a flurry running strikes on both Steen and Generico, then landed a Death Valley driver on Steen for a near fall at 10:00. Mark tagged back in, but his knee buckled again when he attempted to lift Steen, allowing Steen to regain the advantage. Steen went to the top rope, but Jay intervened to keep Steen from landing a move on Mark. This prompted Generico to come after Jay, and Generico landed a spectacular running flip dive to take out Jay on the floor at 11:30.
Steen and Generico continued to tag in and out, taking turns working over Mark’s knee. At 12:30, Steen went for the Sharpshooter, but Jay broke it up with a superkick. Generico and Jay began fighting in the ring. Jay got the upper hand and the Briscoes hit the Doomsday Device on Generico at 13:00, but Generico was not the legal man for his team. Steen had recovered from Jay’s superkick by now and caught Jay with a superkick, then powerbombed Mark and locked in the Sharpshooter again. Mark teased tapping out, but managed to grab the ropes at 14:00. Steen then tried for his package piledriver finisher on Mark, but Mark countered it into an ace crusher. Jay then hit a running clothesline-Jay driller combination on Steen, and Mark made the pin.

WINNERS: The Briscoes in 14:30. Excellent match, helped by a hot crowd and excellent commentary from Hogewood and Prazak. The match built up logically and the finishing sequence was very well done.

- After the match, Hogewood and Prazak reinforced that the Briscoes will now face the American Wolves at Final Battle in two weeks. Hogewood also raised the question of what the loss will mean for the careers of Steen and Generico. Excellent job of making the match seem important.

- A pre-taped Steve Corino promo aired. Corino said he was returning to ROH because he wants to be on TV. He said he would become the World Champion and be featured on TV. Decent promo.

- Hogewood hyped the upcoming four way main event for the World Title and threw backstage to Kyle Durden with Davey Richards.

- Richards cut a backstage promo about the main event. Richards said a lot of people out there portray wrestlers, but he is a wrestler. He pointed to his cauliflower ear and said you don’t get a face like his and ears like his sitting around being your own biggest fan and designing a MySpace page. He said all of his opponents in the main event have great credentials, but this is the Year of the Wolf. Yet another strong promo by Richards, who has consistently delivered on the mic in 2009.

- Hogewood again hyped that the Briscoes will face The American Wolves at Final Battle for the ROH World Tag Team Titles.

- In the studio, Hogewood and Prazak explained away Jim Cornette forgetting to announce the sixth Pick 6 match by saying he was so passionate to begin the show that he forgot to announce it. They announced that the sixth Pick 6 matchup will be Chris Hero vs Kenny Omega. Hogewood said tonight’s show is too jam-packed to have the first Pick 6 match, so the first two Pick 6 matches will be next week. He announced that next week’s matches will be Delirious vs. Kenny King and Tyler Black vs. Sonjay Dutt.

[Commercial Break]

2 – ROH World champion AUSTIN ARIES vs. KENNY OMEGA vs. RODERICK STRONG vs. DAVEY RICHARDS (with Shane Hagadorn, Eddie Edwards, and Sara Del Rey) -- Four-way ROH World Title match

Aries started the match by cheap-shotting Richards and scurrying out of the ring. As Richards chased after Aries, Omega caught Richards with a rollup for a near fall. Aries pulled Omega out of the ring and they began fighting on the outside while and Richards and Strong began fighting in the ring. Prazak complained that it was unfair to Aries that he could lose the World Title without being pinned in this match. Hogewood said Aries brought it on himself with his misbehavior in recent weeks. At 1:00, Aries grabbed Richards by the ankle and pulled him outside. Richards followed the action outside and all four men began fighting on the outside.

At 2:00, Strong tried to haul Aries back into the ring, but Aries gouged Strong’s eyes as Strong tried to lift him into the ring, then sent Strong back to the outside with a hangman neckbreaker on the ropes. Omega climbed to the top on the opposite side of the ring and landed a missile drop kick on Aries. Omega followed this up with a high-energy flurry of his trademark offensive moves on Aries, while Strong and Richards fought on the floor. Omega clotheslined Aries over the top rope to the floor at 3:30, then went to the top rope to set up a dive onto Aries on the floor, but Richards came back into the ring and stopped Omega with a running boot. Richards then began working over Omega with his trademark hard strikes and power moves, while Strong and Aries fought on the floor. Omega sold very well for Richards’ offence. Richards went for a pin at 5:30 but Strong rushed into the ring to break it up. Strong and Richards then got into a painful-looking chop exchange. Richards grounded Strong with a chin breaker-bodyslam combination, then went to the top, but Aries came from the outside to knock Richards to the floor and opportunistically landed a frog splash on Strong in the ring for a near fall at 6:00.

Aries continued working over Strong in the ring until Strong managed to dodge Aries’s running dropkick in the corner. Before Strong could follow up, Omega intervened and attacked Strong. This started a fast-paced sequence where each wrestler would hit a move or two on another, only to be cut off by a move or two from another wrestler, and so on. The sequence ended with Omega and Strong down selling the moves they’d taken and Aries and Richards having an exchange in the middle of the ring. Aries threw Richards to the outside and attempted his trademark heat seeking missile dive, but Richards stopped him with a hard boot to the head as Aries flew head first between the first and second ropes. Aries and Richards began fighting on the outside until Strong dove over the top rope onto both of them at 8:30. Just as the three got back to their feet, Omega came over the top rope with a spectacular flip dive to take them all out.

At 9:00, Omega rolled Aries back into the ring to press his advantage. Omega tried to set up Aries for a electric chair superplex in the corner, but Aries managed to free himself and kick Omega back to the mat. Before Aries could climb down from the top rope, Richards came in and caught Aries with an incredible German superplex at 9:30. Richards followed this up with a running leg lariat and a German suplex into a bridge pin on Aries, but Omega broke up the pin. Omega attempted an electric chair suplex on Richards, but Aries broke it up and Richards rolled out of the ring. Omega then landed an electric chair suplex on Aries, but Strong broke up the subsequent pin attempt at 11:00. Strong and Omega exchanged forearms in the ring until Aries came back in as the third man and threw Omega to the outside. Strong landed a hard running boot on Aries and tried for a pin, but Richards broke it up at 12:00. Aries rolled out of the ring as Omega came back in with a flurry of hard strikes and power moves on both Strong and Richards.

Just a Hogewood said “Omega is the one who has shown the most in this match,” Richards and Strong turned the tables on Omega and sent him to the outside with an alarm clock-running boot double team at 13:30. This left Strong and Richards alone in the ring. The two former No Remorse Corps stable mates had a long stare down, spit at each other, then had an intense exchange of hard strikes. Richards got the upper hand and tried for a DR driver, but Strong countered it into a gut-buster attempt that Richards countered that into a cloverleaf submission hold. Strong countered the cloverleaf into a small package for a very close near fall. Strong followed up with a powerbomb on Richards, but Aries opportunistically came in from the outside, punt kicked Strong as Strong went for the cover, then stole the pin on Richards.

WINNER: Aries in 15:00 to retain the ROH World Title. Outstanding four-way match with great action throughout. Omega, the least established of the four wrestlers, got plenty of time to shine to elevate him, and the finishing sequence between Strong and Richards was breathtaking. The finish was the right one, since the title should not change hands on a four way on television with almost no build up. Overall, this was one of the best four-way matches I have seen in years. The last four-way match I enjoyed this much was the Samoa Joe-Low Ki-Dan Maff-B.J. Whitmer four-way at the ROH Second Anniversary Show way back in 2004.

- After the match, Hogewood said “Austin Aries’ day is coming, I know it.” Just then, the lights in the arena went out and Tyler Black’s music hit. When the lights came back on, Black was on the entrance stage pointing at Aries. Hogewood said, “The Day of Reckoning has come for Aries!” Black pulled his shirt off and looked like he was going to charge the ring when the show abruptly ended.

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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