Ring of Honor DEROSENROLL'S ROH TV REPORT 4/26: ROH TV Title tournament finals - Eddie Edwards first-ever ROH TV champion
Apr 27, 2010 - 9:03:30 AM
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Ring of Honor TV Report
April 26, 2010
Taped Mar. 5 in Philadelphia, Pa.
Episode #55 - Sixth episode of Series 9
Report by Mike DeRosenroll, Torch ROH specialist
- The main event between Eddie Edwards and Davey Richards was excellent and a fitting way to crown the first ROH TV champion.
- The undercard of the show was entertaining and moved along briskly through a pair of solid undercard matches and hype for Tyler Black’s upcoming ROH World Title defence against Roderick Strong next month at a live event in New York City.
- After a poor re-introduction to ROH a few weeks ago, Shawn Daivari came back with an excellent promo this week to get over his new heel persona.
- After all the hype on last week’s show for Saturday night's live event in Chicago - main-evented by a Chicago Street Fight between the team of Colt Cabana and El Generico and the team of Steve Corino and Kevin Steen - the lack of follow-up on this week’s show felt jarring. Even accounting for the fact that this show was taped before the Chicago live event took place, they could have at least directed viewers to the ROH website for results and promised follow-up on TV in the future, like they did the Monday after the last Internet pay-per-view.
- For the first time in a while, ROH did not hype anything for next week’s show.
- The show opened with Kyle Durden interviewing Tyler Black backstage. Black cut a promo on Roderick Strong hyping their ROH World Title match scheduled for May 8 in New York City. Black said he is giving Strong the one-on-one title shot he promised him and that Strong will have no more excuses if he cannot beat Black on May 8.
- Backstage, Jim Cornette cut a promo holding the ROH TV Title belt. He hyped the final of the tournament to crown the first ever ROH TV champion, Eddie Edwards vs. Davey Richards, coming up later in the show.
1 – ROH World champion TYLER BLACK vs. RHETT TITUS -- non-title match
After an even opening exchange of wristlocks and headlocks, Black took control at 1:00 by catching Titus with an inverted atomic drop as Titus came off the ropes. Black then went to work Titus’s back with moves like a backbreaker and back suplex. Titus turned the tables at 2:30 when Black tried for a springboard moonsault but Titus got his knees up. Titus quickly knocked Black over the top tope to floor and began working over Black’s back using the ringside barricade as a weapon. Titus eventually brought the action back in the ring and continued working over Black heel-style. Black did a nice job of getting the crowd behind him a teasing comebacks, earning good crowd reactions.
At 5:30, Titus applied an abdominal stretch on Black. Black escaped by struggling to feet, kneeing Titus in the gut, then hitting a headscissors. Black then went on offense with a series of clotheslines and backdrops. Black tried for another springboard moonsault at 7:00 and Titus got his knees up again, but this time Black avoided the knees by landing on feet. Black immediately flattened Titus with a leg strike then hit an impressive standing shooting star press. As Black tried to set up Titus for a buckle bomb, Austin Aries and Kenny King rushed to ringside. King distracted the referee while Aries jumped on the apron and attacked Black. Roderick Strong saved Black by running to ringside and pulling Aries off the apron. Strong held off both Aries and King as Black hit a superkick-God’s last gift (small package driver) combination for the win.
WINNER: Black in 8:30. Good match. The crowd was very much into Black, while Titus came across as credible enough to give the champ a decent fight. The finish was good to set up ROH’s next big live event in New York City.
- After the match, Strong grabbed the mic and cut a promo on Black. Strong said he is going to be Black’s guardian angel and keep him safer than President Obama because he does not want anyone to get his hands on Black before he does. Black grabbed the mic away and said asked Strong why he keeps “acting like a little b----.” Not very admirable language for a babyface champion. Strong slapped Black and they began fighting. The locker room cleared and a gaggle of referees and jobbers tried ineffectively to pull Strong and Black apart, but eventually succeeded. This was decent angle to reinforce the feud between Black and Strong, but the booking was backwards with Black seeming like more the heel than Strong.
- In the studio, Mike Hogewood and Dave Prazak reinforced that Strong will finally get the one-on-one title shot against Black that he has been after on May 8 in New York City. Hogweood threw to a video package recapping the Black-Strong feud. It focused on Strong’s anger at having to wrestle for the title in a Triple Threat match against Black and Aries at the "Big Bang."
2 – “SKULLKRUSHER” RASCHE BROWN vs. JAMES STONE
Stone, announced from Montreal, Quebec, Canada, looks like a thin Kevin Steen with a cigarette behind his ear. Brown no sold an early flurry of punches from Stone, then floored Stone with a flying body block. The moves sent Stone’s cigarette flying, so Brown picked it up and whipped it at Stone. Stone raked Brown’s eyes, then went to pick up his cigarette, which gave Brown an opening to recover from the eye rake. Brown charged Stone in the corner but Stone met him with an elbow. Stone then went to the top rope and attempted a backflip splash but missed, enabling Brown to hit his signature spear-torture rack-burning hammer combo for win
WINNER: Brown in 1:00. Nice squash match. Stone did a nice job in a minimal amount of time projecting a personality with his cigarette gimmick, which seems like a promising gimmick to make him stand out from other enhancement talents. Brown got to look dominant and continued to establish his big moves.
- Hogewood hyped the upcoming TV Title tournament final between Eddie Edwards and Davey Richards. A video package recapped Edwards and Richards’ history as a tag team, running through their rise to the tag titles and more recent troubles.
- Shawn Daivari came to the ring in a suit. Prazak referred obliquely to Daivari’s terrorist gimmick on TNA television and said that Daivari is not to be feared as a terrorist but rather as a fighter. The Philadelphia crowd chanted “USA!” at him. Memo to the Philly fans: Daivari is an American. Daivari began cutting a heel promo. He said he is sick to his stomach with modern-day America. He blamed the fans for America invading other countries to take their foreign oil. He accused them of being prejudiced against him for being different. He accused American troops of atrocities in Iraq. He accused the fans of being brainwashed by “USA! USA!” chants. Predictably, the fans resumed this chant. Hogewood made an effort to explain that the fans are not prejudiced against Daivari, but rather just love the USA.
This was a much better promo than Daivari’s first ROH television appearance a few weeks ago. It was much more coherent and Daivari came across as less sympathetic by blaming the fans for things they have no reasonable control over. Daivari came across as more of heel than in his last appearance by doing exactly what he accuses the fans of doing to him: stereotyping all Americans for the actions and decisions of a few.
- Prazak again hyped the upcoming TV Title tournament final.
3 –EDDIE EDWARDS vs. DAVEY RICHARDS (Shane Hagadorn in a neutral corner as manager of both wrestlers) -- ROH TV Title Tournament Final
Richards got a much bigger cheer from the crowd in this heel vs. heel matchup (although both wrestlers have been subtly hinting at a babyface turn for the past few weeks). Prazak said Edwards has been in Richards’s shadow as part of the American Wolves tag team and winning the TV Title would be a way to step out of Richards’ shadow.
The match opened with the most intense collar-and-elbow tie-up I have ever seen. They really looked like they were fighting for leverage in this normally humdrum opening hold. They shifted from this into a series of strike attempts, but each wrestler avoided or blocked the other’s strikes until they simultaneously tried for dropkicks and missed at 1:30. Next they tried chain wrestling, and Richards finally gained an advantage at 3:30 by pulling away from a wristlock attempt by Edwards and hitting a standing dropkick. Richards hit a few hard strikes but gave the advantage away at 4:30 by trying for his signature springboard elbow, which Edwards saw coming and countered with a dropkick of his own. Now Edwards got a short spell of offence, but it ended at 6:00 when Richards managed to escape a suplex attempt then hit a suplex of his own right at the ropes that sent both wrestlers tumbling to the outside. They both climbed back to the ring apron and began exchanging strikes. Richards came out ahead in the exchange by landing an alarm clock leg strike that sent Edwards to the floor, which he followed up with a spectacular running dive through the ropes onto Edwards.
Richards was firmly in command of the match after the floor dive, and brought the action back inside where he proceeded to wear down Edwards with his signature strike-based offence. At 9:30, Richards tried for an early kimura submission, but Edwards made the ropes quickly. Richards tried to follow this up with a charge, but Edwards caught him impressively with a belly-to-belly suplex. Richards rolled out of the ring to escape as Edwards pressed his advantage, but now it was Edwards’s turn to land a head first dive through the ropes to the floor. Edwards then brought the action back into the ring and stayed on the attack, earning a near fall at 12:00 from a combination of suplexes. Edwards tried to set Richards up for some kind of move from the top rope, but Richards slipped out of it and countered with a huge German superplex that drew a huge crowd pop at 13:30. Richards pressed his advantage a tried for a cross armbreaker submission, but Edwards escaped the hold impressively by lifting Richards up to the top rope, then forcing Richards to release the hold with some blows to the head. Edwards then landed a super huracanrana at 15:00 and followed up by locking in his single leg crab submission. Richards countered back into a cross armbreaker, which Edwards forced Richards to break by leveraging his shoulders into a pinning predicament. Both men struggled to their feet in the middle of the ring and began exchanging hard shots until they both collapsed exhausted at 16:30. The crowd chanted “this is awesome” as both men laid down selling each other’s beatings in the ring.
The two wrestlers rolled to the apron and resumed exchanging strikes. The exchange ended when Edwards ducked a Richards kick and Richards smashed his shin into the ringpost. Edwards immediately honed in on Richards’ injured leg with a shinbreaker to ring apron, a dragon screw leg whip into the ropes, then applied an Achilles lock submission at 18:30. Richards made then ropes, then got out of the way when Edwards tried to shoulder block him in corner, sending Edwards shoulder first into the ringpost. Richards went to the top and landed shooting star press for a near fall at 19:30. Richards re-applied the kimura submission after Edwards kicked out of the shooting star press, but Edwards forced him to release it by leveraging Richards’ shoulders into a pin attempt. Richards came back with another cross armbreaker attempt, but Edwards countered it into a single leg crab on Richards’ injured leg, forcing Richards to tap.
WINNER: Edwards in 20:00. Great match with a great story of two wrestlers who knew each other so well that they had an answer for everything the other threw at them until the break came when Richards hurt his leg. (****)
- After the match, Richards grabbed the TV Title belt, put it around Edwards’s waist and showed respect to Edwards for beating him.
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