**Mr. V Note: My apologies for not getting a recap on 12/21. I could not get a good upload on my part (though some of you did give me rar. files that my computer does not like). I will try to get them as soon as I can from this moment forward and if I can?t get one in by the weekend, then I will get you a quick result list**
After some new intro ROH music (which I listened to and it is great), we go to Mike Hogewood and Dave Prazak for the Best of 2009 Episode of Ring of Honor.
Hogewood welcomed us and asked Prazak what was a great moment of Ring of Honor. Prazak stated that it was the ascension to the main event level of Tyler Black. Hogewood then talks about the great tag team wrestling we see on HDNet (no disputes from Mr. V here).
We start off with a few backstage taped promos. The first one was that of Jay and Mark Briscoe and they state that they are ?the bar? of Ring of Honor since they have been part of the company since its inception. We then get a clip of the team of El Generico and Kevin Steen. They stated that they were the best team in ROH (however if you do not know, Steen turned heel and beat the tar out of Generico at Final Battle 2009). The Young Bucks said they wanted to make a name for themselves and that was why they went to ROH (now they are about to entertain in TNA). Dark City Fight Club had their moment and said they like to punch people in the face. Finally, we got the American Wolves with a promo clip and Davey Richards did most of the talking. Richards said they make things happen.
We get our first clips of one of the best tag team matches of the year?
Highlight Package #1
From the May 30, 2009 episode of ROH on HDNet
The American Wolves vs. El Generico/Kevin Steen for the ROH Tag Titles
Mr. V’s Take on that match: I watched every ROH show and this match was THE TAG TEAM MATCH OF THE YEAR. This was one of the matches that got an ?A+? in my grade book and was a ?Distinguished Honors? match in a weekly column of mine.
It was a great performance in which the pacing was perfect. The bump in which Kevin Steen was shoved into two tables from the outside of the ring was clearly one of the best bumps I have seen in 2009. The matched ended when Davey Richards did a super cutter on El Generico onto a table, making the Wolves (at the time) the NEW Ring of Honor Tag Team Championship.
Highlight Package #2
From the October 5, 2009 episode of ROH on HDNet
Tag Team Honor Rumble
Mr. V’s Take on this match: I believe I gave this match a B+ in my grade book. It was a great battle that featured how deep the tag team division is on ROH. However, the clips started when we were down to our final three teams: Steen/Generico, Briscoes, and American Wolves. The match ended with Mark Briscoe used the superkick to take Eddie Edwards out. I thought that this was a start of a great feud between two of the best tag teams in the world after this rumble ended. If you liked the high-flying spot fests, this match was clearly for you.
Highlight Package #3
From the November 23, 2009 episode of ROH on HDNet
The American Wolves vs. The Young Bucks for the ROH Tag Titles
Mr. V’s Take: This was another match that got an ?A? in my grade book. This match also was one of my ?Distinguished Honors? matches of the week. These two teams had great chemistry throughout the match. It was pretty fast paced with the Bucks got the upper hand, but the Wolves slowed it down for bits of the match. The big highlight of this match was ?More Bang for your Buck?, the finisher of the Young Bucks. However in the end of this match, Eddie Edwards was able to make Matt Jackson submit to the Boston Crab (Nick Jackson tried to break it, but was put in a submission hold by Davey Richards). In my opinion, this could be a ?match of the year? candidate. Sadly, I don?t think many people realize how good both of these teams are due to the lack of exposure.
Hogewood and Prazak then talk about Final Battle, in which The Briscoes defeated The American Wolves in mid-December to win the ROH World Tag Team Championship.
Highlight Package #4 – Flair and Cornette
We are reminded that Ric Flair (for a brief time) appeared for a few ROH shows as the ?Ambassador?. It was short lived due to Ric Flair appearing on WWE programming.
The big news was when Jim Cornette was introduced as the ?Executive Producer? of the show. Cornette had some real passion and told us that ROH stands for ?professional wrestling? and told us to buckle up because we are in for a ride.
Mr. V’s Take on this: Many people know that I am not a huge fan of Ric Flair. When he appeared, it just looked like he was there to read off a card and get a check. I was not into Flair going to ROH. Now Cornette? He is still in my eyes a big name and getting him on board with ROH can do nothing but help the product even more. I think Cornette is going to take ROH to a better level both as an on-screen and off-screen individual.
Back to Hogewood and Prazak! Hogewood stated that ROH does have a few ?characters? in the locker room. For that, more highlight packages!
Highlight Package #5 – Some of ROH’s ?Characters?
#1 – The Necro Butcher (Crazy Man or Family Man). He mentioned one time that he watched ?Yo Gabba Gabba? with his kids, yet sets food on the table by stapling guys like Sami Callahan and Ernie Osiris. Overall, my opinion is that he is crazy.
#2 – Claudio Castagnoli (Very European). Throughout the year we saw him do a ?no-hands? airplane spin on Grizzly Redwood and wipe his armpits with the United States flag (in which Mike Hogewood was very offended by it). Overall, I love this gimmick. It is one of the best in professional wrestling.
#3 – Kenny Omega (High-Flying Wild Card). They showed clips of the crazy moves that Omega accomplished this year. Overall, I think the gimmick is great! He is a guy that fans can totally cheer for and he has great face charisma for someone that does not talk that much.
#4 – Chris Hero (That Young Knockout Kid). They showed clips of him hitting all his opponents with a slew of elbows. Overall, I like the gimmick here. However, I am curious to see if he ever got his ?lucky? elbow pad back from rival Eddie Kingston.
#5 – Eddie Kingston (The Last of a Dying Breed). They showed clips of his feud with Hero (which at one time was backstage). He also took Hero’s elbow pad in Hero’s match with KENTA. Overall, I still don?t get the gimmick. However, he is a good brawler and am eager to see his progress in a ROH ring.
#6 – Rhett Titus (Addicted to Love). They showed clips of him giving out hotel keys to the ladies in the front row and thrusting his opponents. Overall, this is the best gimmick ROH has today. Sure, it may be recycled but it NEVER gets old! In my opinion, a very underrated talent on their roster.
#7 – Delirious (Edge of Sanity). They showed clips of him going crazy using the Shadows over Hell finisher on many opponents. **Fact: He wrestled the first match on HDNet against Jerry Lynn**. Overall, the man is out of his mind. I hope they never ?repackage? the gimmick. His in-ring work does match the personality, and that is something you don?t see a whole lot of.
Hogewood then talked about Jerry Lynn (which I am still sick of it). Since Lynn got hit with the spike piledriver, he has not been on TV again in 2009.
Highlight Package #6 – Jerry Lynn is out of commission.
From the October 9, 2009 episode of ROH on HDNet
Kenny King and Rhett Titus ganged up on Lynn. The end result was Lynn was destroyed with the Spike Piledriver by both King and Titus. Hogewood called King’s actions ?disgusting?. Two months later, Hogewood still finds it devastating.
Mr. V’s Take: It is an injury angle and though the piledriver did look a bit sloppy it made the point clear. Lynn needed time off, and this was a perfect way to doing that.
They also showed King a week after the attack on Lynn. King said that old wrestlers never want to retire, so he decided to help out Lynn.
**Commercial about Final Battle**
Hogewood and Prazak are back talking about the nostalgia of the Ring of Honor World Title. On a side note, ROH’s World Title had only three holders this year. Nigel McGuinness (now Desmond Wolfe in TNA), Jerry Lynn (who is inactive), and Austin Aries (apparently The Greatest Man that Ever Lived).
Take us to a clip of a ROH World Title?NOW!!
Highlight Package #7
**Four Corner Survival Match for the ROH World Title**
From the June 6, 2009 episode of ROH on HDNet
Jerry Lynn (c) vs. Tyler Black vs. Bryan Danielson vs. Austin Aries
Mr. V’s Take: THIS was the best ROH match I saw in 2009! Another one of those ?Weekly Distinguished Honors? matches that I had the pleasure of watching. This is one of those rare matches that I gave an ?A+? in my grade book for 2009. The best move in the match was when Bryan Danielson did a super belly-to-back suplex on Tyler Black?and they landed on a prone Lynn and Aries!
Sadly, I was a bit upset with the fans response to when Jerry Lynn broke up a Tyler Black pinfall. I am sorry, but fans should never drop the ?F? bomb on someone for doing their job in my opinion. The match ended when Jerry Lynn finished off Bryan Danielson with the Cradle Piledriver to retain his title. Still, some classless buffoons (yes, I called those ?fans? that) gave Lynn the ?one-finger salute?. This was one of those matches that you would remember forever if you got to see it. Too bad Lynn’s moment was ruined by some morons in the crowd.
Highlight Package #8 – ROH Title Match at Manhattan Mayhem III on June 13, 2009
In this big show held at the Hammerstein Ballroom, Jerry Lynn lost his ROH World Title. It was a three way battle for the Title between Lynn, Tyler Black, and Austin Aries. Black got the first pinfall when he beat Lynn via god’s last gift. However in the end it was Aries who nailed Black with the Brainbuster to become the first two-time Ring of Honor World Champion.
Back to Hogewood and Prazak. Hogewood then talked about how much he loved Tyler Black (in a manly kind of way). Here is a clip of one of Tyler Black’s best matches of 2009.
Highlight Package #9
From the July 25, 2009 Episode of ROH on HDNet
Bryan Danielson vs. Tyler Black III
To my recollections, the first two matches were draws. One because of a time limit draw and the other was a double countout. I must say their first match was simply fantastic. Their second match had good moments, but it did not top the first contest.
Mr. V’s Take on this match: I was able to write notes on this match as well. I gave this match a ?B+? grade in my grade book (which did land ?High Honors? in my column). I thought the chemistry was there, but Black at a time or two did not sell anything. Bryan Danielson worked very well that night. Danielson hit the move of the night when he countered Black’s Phoenix Splash with a shove, which catapulted Black into the crowd. Danielson then went off the ropes and did a Springboard Suicide Flip Dive into the crowd on Black! I did not give this match an ?A? because the lack of selling one’s offense towards the end of the match (which is a disturbing trend in ROH). In the end, Black was about to counter Danielson’s attacks and delivered god’s last gift for the pinfall victory.
Back to the commentators. Hogewood starts talking about Tyler Black’s quest for the ROH Title. Prazak finally gets some words in when he said that in 2009, ROH lost a couple of champions. The first being Nigel McGuinness, and the other Bryan Danielson. Let’s go to a couple more highlight clips!
Highlight Package #10 – The Departure of Nigel McGuinness
From the November 23, 2009 episode of ROH on HDNet
Nigel said he only had to thank one person and it was??NIGEL MCGUINNESS!!! McGuinness then credited himself for everything, then left while singing ?Leaving on a Jet Plane?. He also said to all those that hated on him they could kiss his @$$. Simply put, one the best farewell speeches I heard in a long time.
Highlight Package #11 – The Conclusion of The Final Countdown
From the November 16, 2009 episode of ROH on HDNet
Bryan Danielson vs. Roderick Strong
Mr. V’s Take on this match: Another ?A? match by The American Dragon on his final appearance on HDNet. Danielson is truly a one-of-a-kind athlete that hopefully someday will be a champion in World Wrestling Entertainment. Well to summarize what happened in this match, Strong won via the middle bucker gut buster and a stiff kick to Danielson’s head. During the match, Strong was working heavy on the middle area of Danielson as he hit Danielson with gut busters and back breakers. Danielson did work some difficult moves as well. Danielson applied Cattle Mutilation after he did a Belly-to-Back Superplex! Though Danielson had a tremendous contest, I gave credit to Roderick Strong as well. Strong was tough as nails and gave the viewers his best match of 2009.
We finally found out what Bryan Danielson said after the match (in the 11/16 show he was edited out). After the roster circled the ring and started a ?Thank You Dragon? chant, Danielson had the mic and spoke about the great things of Ring of Honor.
Danielson said the following: ?If you want to say Best in the World, say it to the best in their matches?. Danielson said that he was not one of them. Instead, he built up the men who he thought were the ?Best?. He mentioned guys like The Briscoes, Roderick Strong, Tyler Black, and The American Wolves. He asked the fans to continue to support Ring of Honor because their matches blow away anything on TV.
We get our farewells from Mike Hogewood and Dave Prazak. Hogewood promised to make it a great 2010 and Prazak plugged next week’s main event. It will be a ?Pick 6 Qualifier? between Roderick Strong and Davey Richards.
There are no Quick Results and Mike Hogewood did not slap his porpoise.
Well, for this being a ?Best of 2009? show I thought ROH did a great job of building up to 2010. They showed the absolute best of the year and the highlights of the year were from some of HDNet’s best showings.
I think that they may be pushing Tyler Black way too much here. Sure, he had some great matches this year but it is still too early to consider him as the ?Next World Champ?. I think he is going to be a great wrestler, but it will take time.
When Mike Hogewood said ROH will be better in 2010, I thought that he would be fired and they brought in someone who has a mind for wrestling. All kidding aside Mike Hogewood needs to tone it down in 2010 or be considered the next ?Mike Adamle?. That is a bad thing.
What a great way to show off their biggest strength, and it is tag team wrestling. We don?t see good tag teams anymore in WWE and we see some of the best teams in TNA get buried. It is just a nice breath of fresh air to see a solid tag team division from top to bottom in ROH, even if they lose some of them to other promotions. Best of Luck to the Young Bucks (TNA bound), I think they are in a perfect situation.
Finally, a nice way to say goodbye to two of their top men for years. I liked how Danielson built up the guys in the ROH locker room, for they are now carrying the torch of the company. I hope we see Danielson (which my prediction will be the 2010 Royal Rumble) in the near future in WWE. Nigel McGuinness? farewell was perfect for his gimmick. He is really a fighter and one of the most technical wrestlers in the world today. He is fitting in quite nicely in TNA, though he has yet to get the upper hand with Kurt Angle. I expect McGuinness (aka Desmond Wolfe) to have a nice 2010 in TNA. He may not win the World Title, but a secondary title is not out of the picture.
Overall Grade: B. It was a solid ?best of? show. Nothing more, nothing less. They kept it simple and did not make it confusing. So overall, I loved the show.
Well, I hope that you enjoyed my recap this week. If you want me to continue the recaps or want to talk wrestling, please send me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks for reading this recap. See you next week.