Moments before they went on air, Hogewood was handed a video package. The video package featured Eddie Kingston kneeled down with a knee injury. Someone appeared to attack Kingston behind the scenes. The referees tried to help, but Kingston wanted no help at all. Before we went on the air, Kingston had in his hand a card with the King of Diamonds on it.
Enter Kidd Russell’s NEW ROH theme music and the show was underway! The song got me hooked actually after I listened to the lyrics.
Hogewood mentioned that Eddie Kingston was to face Claudio Castagnoli. It appeared that Castagnoli was ready to wrestle. Castagnoli flexed his muscles and in the background Hogewood blamed him for attacking Eddie Kingston. Prazak mentioned at one point Castagnoli was known as the ?King of Diamonds?. Hogewood continued to say that he was no Matlock, but he believed that Claudio was the man that attacked Kingston. Still, Kingston’s music played yet there was no sign of him for a few seconds. However Kingston, and is never say die attitude, limped his way into the ring and we got a match!
Match #1: Claudio Castagnoli (w/Prince Nana and Ernesto Osiris) versus Eddie Kingston
No Code of Honor here as the match began instantly. Both men circled around the ring until Nana caught Eddie’s attention. Immediately Castagnoli took out the knee of Eddie Kingston. Hogewood called it a cheap shot. Castagnoli worked on the knee and stomped on it. Castagnoli then ran the knee to the ring post. Castagnoli then stomped gently on the head followed by an elbow to the knee. As Castagnoli had his elbow to the knee and grounded the knee, Eddie Kingston countered with a clutch hold. When Castagnoli broke the hold, he applied a one-way Boston Crab on Kingston. Both men then got up and exchanged punches and slaps, and Kingston got in a clothesline. Castagnoli then responded with some knee strikes, and then lifted Kingston up over shoulders for an Airplane Spin. Castagnoli then did a horse collar stretch, but Kingston was able to grab the ropes and break the hold. After a European Uppercut, Castagnoli then attempted a pump kick, but Eddie Kingston was able to throw Claudio overboard and covered him for a two count. Kingston then tried to do a back suplex, but Castagnoli swung Kingston by his bad leg and applied another horse collar stretch. When that happened we got our first finish of the evening?
Finish: The pressure of Castagnoli’s submission hold forced Eddie Kingston to tap out of this contest!
Winner by submission: Claudio Castagnoli
After the match, Castagnoli wore a Swiss scarf to show that he is ?Very European?.
Later on: Davey Richards vs. Roderick Strong.
Hogewood then said there were a lot of things that happened in 2009. Prazak said that it ended with a bang with ROH’s Final Battle show. We then saw some clips of the Young Bucks when they defeated the team of El Generico and Kevin Steen. Kevin Steen originally gave a speech to announce his retirement; however it was a plan to swerve El Generico, as he gave him a low-blow followed by a horrid chair shot. Also, The Briscoe Brothers won the ROH tag team titles for the sixth time, when they defeated the American Wolves. However the celebration did not last, as the Kings of Wrestling (Claudio Castagnoli and Chris Hero) reunited and attacked the Briscoes.
After a series of clips from final battle, a second match one under way
Match #2: Steve Corino vs. Andy ?Right Leg? Ridge
After a quick Code of Honor, Corino kicked Ridge in the gut. Ridge quickly responded by attempting to roll up and administered some leg strikes on Corino. However, Corino regained his composure, gave Ridge a shot to the gut, and then hit the STO. Corino then set up ridge to the corner and scraped his face with his arm. Corino then whipped Ridge to another turnbuckle and then chopped him. Corino then administered a back suplex and attempted a cover. After a count of two, Corino started to rake the face of Ridge and told the crowd to shut up. Corino then grabbed Ridge by his face and gave him a couple more chops. Ridge then countered any additional offense from Corino with a rollup, backslide, and another rollup and only was able to get a two count on each attempt. Corino then did an overhand chop onto Ridge, but Ridge responded quickly with various kicks in knees to Corino’s head. Ridge tried to another maneuver the Corino countered and hit Ridge with the Inverted Piledriver. Then we got her second finish of the evening?
Finish: Steve Corino then destroyed Andy Ridge with a Sliding C Special (Sliding Lariat) and pinned him for the three count.
Winner by pinfall: Steve Corino
We then go to the back where Kyle Durden is with Davey Richards. Durden talked to Davey Richards about the pick six qualifier between him and Roderick Strong. Richards went on and said that his fists did the talking. Richards liked to fight and does not like to hype. He then gave us a history lesson with him and his opponent. Both Richards and Strong were part of a faction a couple years ago called the ?No Remorse Core?, and they raised a lot of hell. Strong trained him and gave him a platform. Richards then went on and said that Strong created a monster, as Richards called himself in the best wrestler. Davey finalized the conversation by saying that the hunt is ?no remorse?.
Still to come: TV Richards versus Roderick Strong.
We then got a figure package of the ROH World Title match at final battle. Austin Aries, the ROH champion, and Tyler Black fought to a 60 minute time limit draw. After the match, Black unleashed some anger, and clobbered Aries with the world title.
What’s this? I think I?m hearing the best theme of ring of honor! And you know what that means? Time for ?addicted to love?!
Match #3: Rhett Titus vs. El Generico
Before the match one underway, Titus gave a very attractive lady a ?key? to his hotel room after the match. Surprisingly, those wrestlers got streamers before the match.
Generico wanted to shake the hand of Titus before the match, but Titus dug his hand in his trunks and then wanted to shake his hand. Generico slapped Titus? infested hand and the match began.
We start the match off with an elbow to collar tie-up, then Titus worked the arm of Generico disgracefully strokes it. Titus with a wrist slam takedown, then he crawled on Generico. After some taunting by Titus, Generico slapped his face covered, then Titus with a knee and a side headlock. Generico broke the hold by pushing Titus to the ropes in which Titus shoulder tackled him. After some posing by Titus, Generico got up with a few armdrags then worked on Titus? arm. Generico then rammed Titus? head to the turnbuckle and executed a few punches from the top turnbuckle. After the eight punch from the turnbuckle, Titus picked up Generico and did an inverted atomic drop. However, Generico regained his composure quickly and executed a dropkick and got a two count from the referee. Both men got up and Generico to deliver a chop. Generico then delivered a knee to the gut and a punch to the face. Generico also delivered a nice little dropkick, brought Titus back up and attempted to walk on the ropes to do a arm drag. However, Titus pushed a leg and Generico’s midsection went between the ropes. Titus then delivered a knee to the chest and did a nonchalant pen for a two count. Titus then delivered a crisp bodyslam and delivered a perfectly placed leg drop. Titus then elbowed the back of the neck and clotheslined Generico. Titus then delivered an elbow drop. Titus then attempted to cover but only got a two count.
After exchanging shots, Titus was able to gain control by hitting a couple more. He then put Generico’s face in his junk (very gross) and thrusted some more. After Titus punched Generico, Generico chopped Titus. Titus then attacked the corner and attempted to set up the Sexy Suplex. However, Generico a rolled up Titus and got a two count from the referee. Titus got back up and hit Generico with a knee, kick, and leg lariat. He then went for cover to only get it two count. Both men got up and both men exchange punches, with Generico taking advantage by dishing out a few more punches than Titus. Titus then poked the eyes of Generico. Titus tried to go up top for a punch but was countered by fist the gut by Generico. Generico then gave a clothesline and finally hit his springboard walking DDT. Generico tried to cover Titus but got a two count. Generico then put Titus on the corner to set up the Ole Kick, however Titus countered with a dropkick. Titus then hit some kind of the neck breaker and covered for two count. Titus then whipped Generico to corner, but Generico kicked Titus. However Titus, caught Generico on the ropes and Titus destroyed Generico with a top rope facebuster known to his fans as the Super Sex Factor. Titus covered Generico, but only got two count. Titus then decided to mock his opponents and then he climbed up to the top turnbuckle. Generico noticed an attempted high-risk move, and pushed the ropes from under Titus. Titus then fell off the ropes and went to a corner, and Generico hit his Ole Kick! After the Ole Kick, Mike Hogewood slapped his porpoise?
Finish: El Generico finished off Titus with a Brainbuster and covered him for the three count.
Winner: El Generico via pinfall
We go to the back where Kyle Durden is with Jim Cornette. Durden hold Cornett that the pick six qualifying was pretty exciting so far. Cornette then said they are leaving it in the ring. He built up tonight’s main event, and Cornette said this may be the best one yet. Chris Hero entered the segment and Cornette asks what he wanted. Hero believed that he has been overlooked. He then built up next week’s match when he will be taking on Kenny Omega in the pick six qualifying match. Cornette told Hero he will be in the pick six with a victory over Omega, and then Cornette showed Hero the King of Diamond card. Cornette said that he is fed up with shenanigans outside the ring and that we settle things in the ring. Hero told Cornette that he was done with Eddie Kingston and if Cornette had a problem, then he had to talk to Shane Hagadorn (which is Hero’s manager).
It was then announced, from the commentators, that next week Necro Butcher will face Joey Ryan in a No Disqualification match. In my opinion, it should be a pretty good mid-card show.
We then go over the pick six rules. The first rule is that only the top 6 compete for the Ring of Honor Championship. Second the higher the seed the higher the leverage. Finally the winners of the qualifiers get a bonus of $2500. Not a bad day at the office.
And now? Your Main event!
Pick 6 Qualifier
Match #4: Davey Richards (w/Shane Hagadorn and Sara Del Ray) vs. Roderick Strong
No Code of Honor here, as Davey Richards refused. The match got underway with both men countering a takedown maneuver. Richards then did a fireman carry in a headlock, but Strong countered with a head scissors to the neck area and Richards broke the whole by grabbing the bottom rope. Richards then once again took down Strong, but Strong was able to break the hold. Both men got up and Strong rolled up Richards for a two count. But as quickly as the pin was administered Richards quickly applied an arm stretch on Strong. Strong responded by following the same set of moves as Richards. Both men got up and Strong applied a knucklelock. Richards responded with a wristlock. Strong then executed a wristlock, and then Richards took them down with a fireman carry. However, Strong was able to escape any further punishment. Richards controlled the action with a headlock and shoulder tackle. However, Strong responded with the back heel kick to the face of Richards. Richards then escaped the ring, but did not get too much rest as Roderick Strong followed him.
Strong and Richards both exchange chops and forearms. Richards then with the strong to the wall and hit us in hit him with the boot in which strong fell into the arena crowd! Richards brought Strong back in the ring and got in a boot to the head. Richards then went out of the ring and swept Strong’s legs, followed by a horrifying DDT from the apron to the outside of the ring! Richards went back into the ring as the referee administered a 20 count (to new students reading this recap ROH gives a wrestler 20 to enter the ring or be counted out). When the referee reached 19, Strong came back inside the ring to avoid being counted out. Richards continued his assault, as he hit a leg strike and picked up Strong to Scoop Slam him down. Richards then went up to the top rope for high-risk maneuver. However Richards was distracted by a camera crew member, which led Strong to hit the Enzugiri while Richards sat atop of the turnbuckle. Strong then delivered an excellent Superplex from the top and both men are down.
Both men got up, and both continued to exchanged, kicks, chops and knees. Strong ended the exchange with yet another knee and then the Knockin? Arrow (at least that is what I heard from Prazak) for a two count. Strong continued to ground Richards and then decided to drop kick him and covered him for another two count. After a couple more shots by Strong, Richards responded very quickly with a few leg strikes and then hit eight solid leg strikes while Strong was on the ropes. Strong moved Richards out of the way, when suddenly Richards hit the Damage Reflex (handspring enzugiri), attempted to cover but only got to count from the referee! Both men then try to suplex each other, but both men found counters. Richards then ran into a kick by Strong. Strong missed on his enzugiri and Richards was able to get a kick in. Davey went off the ropes and then did a running kick to the corner. Richards then went high-risk once again and delivered a missile dropkick, but failed to secure the pinfall victory. Richards then attempted a German suplex. But Strong was able to roll Richards into a two count. Strong then did the crucifix pin and again got it two count from the referee. Strong and Richards then both exchanged inside cradle roll-ups but did not secure a victory. Strong and Richards then both clotheslined each other, but to no avail. Richards then kicked Strong, however Strong got back up quickly and both clotheslined each other and are both down inside the ring.
Once both men got up, they exchanged shots. Roderick Strong hit some chops, while Richards administered the leg strikes. Richards then hit a Colada kick, but Strong responded with some very hard chops. Richard screamed a bit, it seemed he was getting a little bit motivated after Strong was hitting him with chops and punches. Richards then stiff-kicked Strong, then hit him with a clothesline. Richards then hit the German Suplex, bridge-pinned him, and only got a two count from the referee. Richards continued to attack when he applied the Cloverleaf hold on Strong. After a few moments, Strong was able to get a hold of the ropes and Richards broke the hold. Richards then moved Strong onto the ring apron and tried to hit the DR driver. Strong blocked the DR driver, and they both continue to exchange an array of shots. Strong then gained the advantage with the backbreaker on the side of the ring, followed Ura-Nage backbreaker! Strong then covered Richards, but only got?well?.you know. Strong then hit the gut buster on Richards, but Richards no-sold and he countered another move by Strong with an overhead belly-to-belly suplex! Richard then kicked and chopped strong, but Strong quickly came back with the heel kick. After a failed Gibson Driver attempt by Strong, Richards attempted the bridge pin but only got two count from the referee. Richards then lifted Strong up and hit them with the Alarm Clock Kick. Richards then tried to follow up on the signature move, but Strong continued to counter the offense of Richards. After a few moments of various counters we got our final finish of the evening?
Finish: Roderick Strong nailed Davey Richards with a Gutbuster then followed it up with a Gibson Driver to secure the pinfall victory!
Winner by pinfall: Roderick Strong
Claudio Castagnoli defeated Eddie Kingston via submission
Steve Corino defeated Andy Ridge via pinfall
El Generico defeated Rhett Titus via pinfall
Roderick Strong defeated Davey Richards via pinfall to be part of the pick six bracket.
El Generico’s Brainbuster slapped Mike Hogewood’s Porpoise!
First off, allow me to apologize for the tardiness. I was not able to acquire ROH since the guy that uploads it on YouTube took a long deserved vacation. However, I was able to get a hold of this one thanks to Rocky Jr. (a noble student of mine) and some luck on my end.
Now, let’s get to business. The opening match and story was absolutely brilliant! Eddie Kingston has impressed me in the last few weeks with his ability to sell offense and sell an attack backstage while keeping into character. Castagnoli was pretty good in this contest as well, as he was pretty basic and kept attacking the leg (which heels should do in a story such as this one).
The second match with Corino and Ridge was an average squash in my opinion. I am a huge fan of Corino, but I did not see enough to really grade his match higher than a C- this week. Corino was pretty good, but Ridge may need a little work with some other offensive attacks. Kicks can only get you far, ?Right Leg?.
Most of you know my take on Rhett Titus. I think the man is comedy gold and he continues to improve in the ring! It will only be a matter of time before the big organizations give Titus a call. I think he is really underrated in the ring. He was the highlight of this show. As for Generico, I am not really sold on him as a single’s wrestler. If he acted the part of being really confused since his break-up with Kevin Steen, then Generico played the part perfectly. However, something was not right with Generico from my view.
The main event would have been better if it was slowed down a bit. I am all for seeing a match involving Richards and Strong (probably outside of Austin Aries the two best wrestlers on the ROH roster), but the lack of selling ruined this match to me. The Alarm Clock kick should be a move that should come before the German Suplex and Cloverleaf in my view. But Strong’s Gutbusters and Backbreakers were great. The one real big sell here was when Richards hit the DDT on Strong from the ring apron.
The backstage segments were not bad. It teased the inevitable return of the Kings of Wrestling (Hero and Castagnoli), as they are the ones who attacked Kingston. Also, I liked the scripted backstage stuff with Jim Cornette and Chris Hero. Not a bad showing from them behind the scenes. Finally, I have to say that Davey Richards can cut a tremendous promo. The way he acts, the way he wrestles is what a professional wrestler should be like. I think Richards knows what it takes to be at the top of his game. Though he lost his match with Strong, I thought Richards at one point stole the show tonight.
Ok, maybe I am too hard or strict or what not but I got to be real here. I watched all the shows this week and listened to all the commentary. Mike Hogewood is the steamy manure on the bottom of someone’s shoe! He was horrible and I officially feel bad for Prazak. I don?t know what Hogewood is like when he calls ACC games, but he is a terrible wrestling announcer.
Overall Grade: B-
-Mr. V’s Pick Three of the Week-
Wrestler of the Week: Roderick Strong
Though I worried about the lack of selling in their main event, I really liked the way he worked around the ring and showed tremendous awareness with his surroundings.
Disappointment of the Week: HDNet’s decision to keep Mike Hogewood
I gave him a chance and now it is time to go ?Mr. V? on someone. Seriously, even WWE had enough sense to get rid of Mike Adamle before the seven month time-frame. In 2009, it is a toss-up between him and Michael Cole as worst commentators of the year. Find out later this week who won this dubious award.
Surprise of the Night: Rhett Titus
This might be the most entertaining superstar on the ROH roster, and it is a shame that he is not picking up the wins. I do expect 2010 to be a breakout year, somewhat, for Titus (whether it be in ROH or not). He was able to draw the attention to everyone in attendance and controlled a lot of the match with El Generico. I was pretty surprised of how quickly he has improved on ROH TV.
Well, that finally sums up this week’s ROH recap. I hope you all enjoyed it. Until next week, I bid you all farewell.
If you would like to e-mail me your thoughts and questions about ROH, please do so at firstname.lastname@example.org or Facebook me a meassage (I am Anthony J. Valvo). I know have a bit of time to answer more questions thanks to some speech recognition software.
Thank you all for reading my ROH recap and I look forward to seeing you all in class every Thursday on WrestleView.com. Take Care everyone!