Ring of Honor Wrestling on HDNet
Philadelphia, PA (ECW Arena)
March 28, 2009
Report by: Adam Martin of WrestleView.com

– The Ring of Honor Wrestling intro hits.

– We see a recap of last week’s show featuring Tyler Black defeating Jimmy Jacobs on the main event. Tonight we get ROH World Champion Nigel McGuinness facing off against Jay Briscoe in the main event.

– Mike Hogewood and Dave Prazak preview tonight’s non-title main event between ROH World Champion Nigel McGuinness and Jay Briscoe.

Eddie Edwards vs. ROH World Tag Team Champion Kevin Steen

Larry Sweeney spoke for Edwards in the promo before the match. Steen said everyone watching him tonight on HDNet would find out why they call him Mr. Wrestling. These promos need to go as they do nothing for these guys.

The bell rings and here we go. Loud “Mr. Wrestling” chant for Steen in the beginning. Lock up and Steen pushes Edwards to the corner. Edwards with a big kick into a headlock on Steen. Both meet with a double shoulder charge. They do this two more times with neither budging. Steen with a big slap to Edwards. Steen with a big front flip leg on Edwards (which is impressive for his size). Steen with a snapmare and elbow to the back of the neck on Edwards for a two count. Steen with big chops to Edwards. Steen with a kick, drops Edwards back, Edwards counters into a big back suplex. Cover and Steen quickly kicks out. Edwards with a big boot to Steen’s face. Edwards with big chops to Steen. Edwards chokes Steen with his boot in the corner. Edwards with a big elbow and kick to the back. Another cover by Edwards and Steen again kicks out. Hogewood yelled, “He grabbed his nose! He grabbed his nose!” when Edwards wrenched back on Steen’s face. This guy is horrible for stuff like that. Sweeney with a cheap shot on Steen when Edwards distracted the referee. Edwards with many kicks to Steen in the corner.

Edwards with a takedown on Steen into an arm submission. Steen fights back with some elbows to Edwards. Edwards fires back with a huge dropkick on Steen, hook of the leg and Steen again kicks out after two. Edwards with small kicks to Steen’s face. Steen somehow hulks up right away and hits some elbows to Edwards in the corner. Edwards returns with more chops. Edwards with a boot to Steen. Edwards wraps his leg around the second rope and Steen kicks the rope with a low blow. Steen with an atomic into an overhead belly to belly suplex. Edwards is down in the corner and Steen charges hitting his running cannonball into Edwards. Cover and Edwards gets a shoulder up after two. Steen with a big scoop slam on Edwards. Steen attempts a Swanton from the top, but Edwards gets his knees up. Steen sits up on the top turnbuckle and Edwards catches him with a big kick to the head. Edwards with a chin breaker from the top, cover and Steen again kicks out. Edwards with a body splash in the corner, but Steen comes back with a superkick. Edwards with a kick to the head. Steen with a powerbomb on Edwards.

Steen with a package piledriver on Edwards and gets the pinfall.

Winner: Kevin Steen

After the match, we see a replay of the finish with Larry Sweeney looking on from ringside. Back live, Steen is celebrating his win on the ramp.

– Backstage, Kyle Durden is with ROH World Champion Nigel McGuinness. Durden mentions how McGuinness has defended his belt around the world and now he will get the chance to do it tonight on HDNet. Nigel thanks him for the introduction, but no introduction is needed when it comes to him. He said being the ROH World Champion means he is the guy to beat in Ring of Honor. Nigel said Jay Briscoe will have to work hard to get out of the ring alive and seems intent on “killing him” at every cost.

Daizee Haze vs. Sara Del Rey

They did the usual “smack talk” pre-match promos. Daizee came off well, but Sara Del Rey’s promo with Larry Sweeney continues the massive amount of cheesiness these things bring.

We have a shake of the hands for the Code of Honor and here we go. Haze rolls away when Del Rey moves forward. Haze takes her back and Del Rey bumps her repeatedly back into the corner. Del Rey with a big snapmare off the top turnbuckle on Haze. Del Rey with a body splash on Haze, cover and Haze kicks out. Haze with a big arm drag on Del Rey followed up with a head scissors. Haze with elbows to Del Rey. Haze attempts a cross-body from the top, but Del Rey catches her and throws her back in a big fallaway slam into a pinfall that results in a two count. Del Rey with a big headbutt to Haze. Del Rey with a backbreaker, cover and Haze again kicks out after two. Del Rey with elbows to the lower back of Haze. Del Rey applies pressure to the lower back of Haze using her boot and pushing off the ropes until the referee breaks it up. Del Rey brings Haze down and stretches her back over his shoulders. Haze flips off her shoulders, hits a few punches and follows with a big flying kick to the head. Haze with a cover on Del Rey that results in a two count. Haze with a backslide for another two count on Del Rey. Both of their arms are locked up. Del Rey has Haze up in the Gory Special, flips her over her back and Del Rey kicks Haze with force right into the corner. Del Rey misses a splash in the corner and Haze drives Del Rey face first into the mat. Cover and Del Rey kicks out after two. Del Rey with a rolling kick to Haze taking her out. Del Rey hits the Royal Butterfly on Haze and gets the pinfall.

Winner: Sara Del Rey

After the match, Larry Sweeney gets in the ring and celebrates with Sara Del Rey. We also see a replay of the finish.

– Backstage, Kyle Durden is with 5-time ROH World Tag Team Champions, Mark and Jay, The Briscoe Brothers. Durden brings up Mark’s knee injury and how his brother Jay will be facing off with ROH World Champion Nigel McGuinness in singles action. Jay brags about how they are at the top of the list when it comes to tag team wrestling in the business today. He tells Nigel that it is time to man up and doesn’t care if it is a non-title match. Wow, I didn’t realize how gangsta these guys were. They are what the Diaz brothers are to the MMA world!

===COMMERCIAL BREAK===

– We are back and Kyle Durden is with Prince Nana. Nana said he is back here in this “stinking federation” named Ring of Honor.

Alex Payne vs. Claudio Castagnoli

These were better pre-match promos. Payne wants to prove he is the best wrestler to come out of the ROH Wrestling Academy, while Claudio is “very European” he says in his promo. Good stuff.

We have a shake of the hands for the Code of Honor and here we go. Hogewood said Payne looks 12. Claudio with a big takedown on Payne. Payne counters into a rollup for a one count. Claudio with a knee, but Payne hits a sunset flip. He tries to bring Claudio down, but Claudio hits a european uppercut from the “very European” Claudio. Claudio with a shoulder block on Payne. Payne with a head scissors takedown on Claudio. Payne with a rollup for a two count on Claudio. Claudio swats away a dropkick attempt by Payne. Claudio with a huge backbreaker on Payne, cover and Payne kicks out after two. Claudio with more european uppercuts and stomps over Payne on the mat. Claudio with a gutwrench suplex on Payne, cover and Payne gets a shoulder up after two. Claudio with a charge to the back, hook of the leg and Payne still kicks out after two. Payne with another pinning attempt, Claudio breaks out and hits a huge running bicycle kick that makes Hogewood mark out like a little kid. Cover and Payne still finds a way to kick out after two. Payne slaps the mat to fire himself up. Payne with a few punches to Claudio’s gut.

Claudio with a european cut into a full nelson suplex. Cover and Payne again kicks out after two. Claudio with a snapmare on Payne into a neck crank submission. More european uppercuts from Payne, cover and Payne continues to kick out. Claudio with a headlock on Payne bringing the action to the mat. Payne powers up to his feet, hits a few elbows, dropkick, Claudio is up, second dropkick, Claudio stays up, fire Payne into the ropes and this time Payne takes down Claudio with a third dropkick. Payne with a knee to the body on Claudio in the corner. Payne is up top, jumps and hits a flying bulldog on Claudio. Payne hooks the leg and Claudio kicks out after two. Claudio then lifts Payne high in the air and catches him with a huge european uppercut as he comes down. Claudio hits his big sitdown powerbomb on Payne and gets the pinfall.

Winner: Claudio Castagnoli

After the match, we see a replay of the finish. Back live, Claudio is celebrating his win on the ramp.

– We get a “Tale of the Tape” for Nigel McGuinness and Jay Briscoe. It is time for our main event with television time remaining.

Non-Title Match
ROH World Champion Nigel McGuinness vs. Jay Briscoe

No pre-match promos for the main event. Prazak mentions that Nigel McGuinness is closing in on the longest reign as ROH World Champion beating out the reign previously held by current TNA star Samoa Joe.

Shake of the hands for the Code of Honor and the bell rings. Lock up and Nigel quickly takes Jay down. More takedowns by Nigel and arm drags. Jay with a scoop slam and Nigel goes back to the wristlock. Nigel drops a knee over Jay’s shoulder. Jay bends Nigel’s arm back with force. Jay spins out and applies a half leg boston crab. Nigel gets the ropes to break it up. Jay with a side headlock takedown on Nigel. Nigel with a back suplex on Jay, but Jay keeps the side headlock applied. Another arm drag into a side headlock by Jay on Nigel. Nigel flips over Jay’s back, but Jay goes right back to the side headlock. Jay with a shoulder block on Nigel. Jay with a second shoulder block on Nigel. Nigel counters an irish whip and throws Jay down by his arm shoulder first into the mat. Nigel with a heel trip on Jay driving Jay with force into the mat. Jay with an impressive looking dropkick on Nigel, cover and Nigel kicks out after two. Nigel again counters Jay and drives him down by his arm shoulder first into the mat. Nigel with more shots to Jay’s shoulder in the corner.

Jay with elbows to Nigel and Nigel returns with elbows of his own. Nigel with a big forearm to Jay’s back and a few kicks to the head. Nigel with a hammerlock takedown over Jay’s shoulder. Nigel with a big arm drag on Jay across the ring. Both exchange elbows to the face. Nigel lifts Jay up and over using his bad shoulder and driving it into the mat. Nigel with a modified armbar on Jay. Jay reaches the ropes with his boot to break it up. Nigel drops Jay down and continues to go to work on his shoulder. Jay breaks it up, gets to his feet and hits a big boot to Nigel. Jay with chops to Nigel in the corner, irish whips him to the opposite, hits a body splash and then a huge lifting spinebuster on Nigel. Jay hooks the leg and Nigel kicks out after two. Nigel with a kick to the back of Jay from the corner into an elbow driver. Nigel puts Jay up on the top turnbuckle, Jay counters and catches Nigel with a boot. Jay drops Nigel face first down into the second turnbuckle. Jay lifts Nigel up on his shoulders and hits a huge Death Valley Driver. Jay covers and Nigel just gets the shoulder up after two.

Jay is back up top. Nigel stands up and crotches Jay up top. Nigel jumps up with Jay and Jay hits some big shots to the face. Nigel falls back, Jay jumps and hits a huge flying leg! Jay covers and Nigel somehow kicks out after two. That was some serious air time for Jay. Jay attempts a Tiger Driver, but Nigel counters and hits a huge jawbreaker lariat from the ropes! Nigel covers Jay and gets the pinfall.

Winner: Nigel McGuinness

After the match, Nigel McGuinness celebrates his win in the ring and holds up the ROH World Championship. Mark Briscoe then jumps into the ring and checks on Jay Briscoe. We see a replay of the finish. Back live, the show goes off the air with Nigel celebrating on the ramp.

NEXT WEEK: Austin Aries vs. Bryan Danielson in the main event.


Quick Thoughts

While Ring of Honor is nothing brand new to me, I fully admit to being one of the people who really watched the product more closely once they landed Pay Per View. So my thoughts are more from a perspective of seeing some guys work for the first time.

I thought this was an improvement in-ring wise from last week’s debut show. Not to say the guys on the card last week lack anything. But the overall in-ring presentation was just much more solid and better match ups.

The pre-match promos need to go for people who clearly can’t do it or need help. A highlight package would do the company much more justice for specific individuals who just do not have the mic skills ready for TV.

I was very impressed with Kevin Steen. He moves and works well considering his size. He did things at a pace I haven’t seen most guys do at his weight. I’m looking forward to seeing more from him.

Daizee Haze and Sara Del Rey were very good in the ring together. I’ve never seen much of the women’s wrestling in ROH before and was glad to get a glimpse of what I will be seeing more of. Very solid wrestling here from these two ladies. Haze plays that perfect role of an underdog.

I’m officially a Claudio Castagnoli fan. From his pre-match promo to the way he carried himself in the ring. Just a great act for Ring of Honor here and someone they should feature as much as possible on the TV show.

I continue to be impressed with ROH World Champion Nigel McGuinness. He is the perfect person to build this company around. His promos are top notch. His in-ring work is top notch. Everything about the guy screams he is a star. The top brass at TNA really made a huge mistake letting him go after only a tryout or two. Then again, TNA’s loss is ROH’s gain and especially with a new weekly television show. It’s a shame he is going through a tough injury.

Jay Briscoe looked solid in the main event with Nigel and showed why The Briscoe’s are a team that continues to impress. Will be interesting to see them in tag team action on HDNet when Mark recovers from his injury. The promo they did backstage made me immediately think of the Diaz brothers in MMA.

Overall, this is just a fun show for people who are strictly into wrestling. There is no fluff here folks. The only negative I can see from casual viewers into WWE and TNA is the pacing of the show. It is match after match after match here. It isn’t horrible to slow things down and try different things. But that isn’t what the ROH product is about and with only one hour to work with this show is definitely a work in progress. The fact we are seeing new talent every week is big plus and while that will wear off after a while, it is something you can work with over the next year and have tons of different match ups.