The following is an exclusive presentation of Ring of Honor Wrestling…on HDNet!
Kidd Russell’s music starts us off. No time to waste as the first match is underway.
Tag Team Match
Match #1: The Set (J-Sin and Lance Lude) vs. Up in Smoke (Cheech and Cloudy)
Believe it or not, one fan threw a streamer for The Set. Before the match, the Code of Honor was enforced.
Notes on The Set: Lance Lude did a pretty good job getting an equalizer when in trouble. Lude did most of his offense with pokes to the eye. J-Sin was pretty good in this match as well, probably the best work I saw him do since their time in ROH. J-Sinn was able to hit the back suplex well, and used Lude as a Battering Ram to drill Cloudy at the corner. To close, one move that really impressed me this time with The Set was that J-Sin launched Lude over the top rope and Lude landed perfectly on both Cheech and Cloudy.
Notes on Up in Smoke: Cloudy actually showed power, but it was to a much skinnier Lude. Cloudy started off with a slam, suplex, and a slingshot back splash. Cheech even showed some good power on his end as well, as he had a nice slam and he chucked Lude pretty well. They also hit one of their signature moves pretty well, which is known as “Partly Cloudy with a Chance of Cheech”.
Finish: Cloudy does a flip dive on top of Cheech’s shoulder and landed on J-Sin. Cloudy pinned J-Sin after that and Mike Hogewood indeed slapped his porpoise after that finish.
Winner via pinfall: Up in Smoke
Grade: C- (leaned toward a C)
The viewers then saw clips of “Skullkrusher” Rasche Brown. They showed clips of Brown’s work so far in ROH, where were mainly squashed at the start of his time in ROH. Prince Nana and Shane Hagadorn showed interest and both offered contracts for Brown’s services. Brown walked away from the deals. Weeks later, The Embassy would do quick sneak attacks on Brown because he rejected Nana. In the end of the package, Prince Nana welcomed the newest Crown Jewel of his Embassy. That Jewel was former rival The Necro Butcher.
Later in this episode, it would be Erick Stevens vs. “Skullkrusher” Rasche Brown
Then there was another highlight package that featured the ending to last week’s ROH show on HDNet. In the end, Kevin Steen attacked Tyler Black from behind and hit the Package Piledriver. The Piledriver was shown in at least four different angle, all looked brutal.
This weekend in Chicago, Kevin Steen will face Tyler Black (if that was done after their match, my apologies).
Women of Honor Match
Sara Del Ray vs. Jamilla Craft
Sara Del Ray was welcomed with streamers. There was no code of honor, as Del Ray attacked Craft from the start.
Notes on Del Ray: She went big on Craft with impressive kicks. She followed it up with a beautiful German Suplex and then choked Craft on the ropes. After a few more kicks and boots, she finished off Craft in a squash match.
Notes on Craft: She escaped on a couple occasions. She was also able to hit an Inverted DDT, but that was mainly it as she fell victim to one of the best among women wrestlers.
Finish: Sara Del Ray ended the match with a brutal Jumping Piledriver. Del Ray pinned Craft for the victory.
Winner via pinfall: Sara Del Ray
Grade: D+ (I don’t grade squashed that well in case new readers did not know)
Then there was yet another video/highlight package. Two weeks ago, Dave Prazak said on the air that the Briscoe Brothers were attacking everyone. This led to a interview in which Kyle Durden was ready to go.
Kyle Durden was backstage with the ROH World Tag Team Champions The Kings of Wrestling (Chris Hero and Claudio Castagnoli) as well as Sara Del Ray. Before Kyle can finish his introduction, Chris Hero interrupted him and said that what transpired was that the Briscoes were sore losers. The Briscoes put their hands on Del Ray. Hero said what they did to the Briscoes’ father was not planned, but their father did retaliate. Hero went as far as saying that ROH is a hazardous environment to work for. Claudio Castagnoli then talked about making all the decisions since they are the World Tag Team Champions. Castagnoli told all the ROH superstars to get used to seeing more of them and less of the Briscoes because (along with Hero said this as well) Kings…reign…Supreme!
Erick Stevens (w/Prince Nana and Mr. Ernesto Osiris) vs. “Skullkrusher” Rasche Brown
No code of honor was applied, as the wrestlers began to brawl before the bell rang (Brown made a b-line toward Stevens).
Notes on Stevens: I liked his chemistry in this match. He would do some basic clubs to the back and punches to the corner. When he got the referee’s attention, The Embassy would take some cheap shots at Brown. That is how I think one can generate some good heel heat. After some exchanges, Stevens did another heel move with a thumb to the eye. Another good thing about the Embassy is they have each other’s back, win or lose. One example of that was Brown planned a spear. But instead of the Spear, Prince Nana held onto the leg to prevent the attack. That led to Stevens’ choo-choo clothesline at the corner.
Notes on Brown: He started of swinging at Stevens, then dumped him out of the ring and punched him some more. Though his basic offense was pretty good, He was excellent with his Discuss Clothesline. When he finally got to hit the Spear, I thought it was a little bit off. I liked how he handled himself, as now he is being pushed into a pretty strong mid-card for ROH right now. This feud with the Embassy can take him far.
Finish: Rasche Brown won by disqualification when The Necro Butcher ran in and attacked Brown. The referee called for the bell shortly after.
Winner via Disqualification: “Skullkrusher” Rasche Brown
Grade: C (leaned towards C-)
After the match was officially over, all members of the Embassy (Osiris, Necro, Stevens, and Nana) stomped away on Brown until The Dark City Fight Club (Kory Chavis and Jon Davis) ran in for the save. As soon as Chavis and Davis ran in, The Embassy ran out of the ring and managed to escape.
The final highlight package of the night featured the rivalry between Kevin Steen and El Generico. Most know that December of 2009 Steen turned on Generico and now Steve Corino (with Steen) and Colt Cabana (who is helping Generico) was getting in on the action. The video package did a nice job showing the blood, sweat, and tears of this nearly eight month feud between all involved.
And now…It is time for the MAIN EVENT!! Why? Because the voice of ROH Bobby Cruise said so!
No Rules and Anything Goes!
Kevin Steen and Steve Corino vs. El Generico and Colt Cabana
Both teams received streamers. No Code of Honor in this main event as well, as Steen and Corino had chairs in their hands to prevent Generico and Cabana from entering the ring. By the way because of an agreement by Smackdown/NXT recapper Mike Tedesco, as long as I say that Colt Cabana is Tedesco’s favorite ROH wrestler Tedesco will mention every match Goose Mahoney calls in WWE.
Notes on Steen and Corino: As mentioned before, I give Corino credit for starting the match by throwing chairs into the ring. Steen showed much hatred early with a hard whip to the ROH barricade on Cabana. Steen then quickly chopped Generico to wear him down. When Steen was in trouble, he used the easiest heel tactic, the low-blow. One of the best moves I saw in the first half of the match was when Steen and Cabana were fighting and Steen hit a Fisherman’s facebuster on I believe Generico (could be Cabana) on a chair in the crowd! I know it is “indy”, but it was fantastic. Corino was mainly taking a beating the first half and sold it all very well, but now in the middle of the match they were setting up tables and chairs all around the ring. I really enjoyed a combination corner attack on Generico. It was the running clothesline (Steen), running chop (Corino), and then Steen delivered the Cannonball to the corner. Afterwards, Steen got a huge heel reaction and he taunted with the crowd. Corino tried to pick up a table, but it actually broke. So Corino improved a bit and threw a table piece at Generico to punish him some more. Steen then blew a snot rocket on Generico in what I thought was gross. When Colt Cabana got a bit of momentum, Steen hit Cabana with the Double Knee Facebuster (or simply, The Codebreaker). Steen moments later knocked out Cabana with a Superkick. Steen then addressed an attack on Generico. Steen then hit a Brainbuster on a Chair and almost won there, but Cabana managed to break the pin. Corino then took out Cabana, went out of the ring and grabbed an ROH Barricade. Corino then brought it to the ring area (which might be one of the best spots I have seen in a very long time). Both guys worked an wore down Generico near the end. Corino near the end of the match executed a Superplex on Generico and both landed flat on the barricade being held up by four chairs. Generico landed flush on the barricade, while Corino looked to be in pain for a bit. When Cabana got a little bit of an advantage, he had Corino up on a table positioned at the top turnbuckle. Corino and Cabana then fought for a few seconds up on top until the finish. I will go over that later, but I have to say that Corino and Steen told a great story in this match with their opponents.
Notes on Cabana and Generico: They showed good scenes to make sure they are not rushed to the ring since Steen and Corino had chairs in their hands. They talked a strategy, then took care of business with Cabana punching away on Steen while Generico got a hold of Corino. Generico told a great story early, as he took all his anger on Corino with chops, whips to the ROH barricades, and he even slammed a bottle of water on Corino’s head. Generico then leaped on Steen with a suicide flip dive. Generico continued the punishment on Corino after that, as he whipped Corino so hard that Corino went OVER the barricade and into the crowd. Cabana got in on the fun and drilled Steen’s head with a chair. When Cabana was in the ring later on in the match, he tried to punch his way out of trouble but when he missed the moonsault, he got into a world of trouble. After getting stunned with a chair, Generico (minutes later) helped Cabana out by pulling the ropes and sent Steen on the floor. Generico then hit a Half-Nelson Suplex on Corino in which Corino went right through a table! That was an impressive spot. Cabana then got a hold of Steen with an elbow while standing on chairs. Generico came back and hit a Three-Quarter Nelson Suplex and Steen landed flush on the chairs in the ring! Generico then went for the Ole Kick and knocked out Corino, and Cabana followed it up with a Butt-Butt on Corino while Generico held a chair. Cabana continued to use the chairs to his advantage all the way to the end of the match, as he really took a toll to Corino with chair shots. Generico and Steen kept fighting all around the ring and outside the ring when the finish was executed perfectly. Overall, these two hit their spots, sold the offense for the most part, and make this grudge match a heck of a spectacle.
Finish: The match ended when Corino and Cabana were standing on a table on top of the highest turnbuckle. Both lobbied for the advantage until Steve Corino hit a Superplex from the table high up on the corner to another table (from my viewpoint only the leg gave in and the table did not break clean, Corino did take a lot of damage on the finisher). Corino pinned Cabana in which was a top five match ever produced on this show.
Winners via Pinfall: Steve Corino and Kevin Steen
Grade: A (the first “A” match I gave ROH in a long time)
After the match, the ROH referees checked on Corino and Cabana. The replay truck showed the finish in many different angles multiple times. The crowd in attendance applauded the efforts of Corino and Cabana as they were slowly getting up, but where were Kevin Steen and El Generico? Well, a cameraman found them, and they are both in a parking lot still beating the tar out of each other. The brawl ended when Steen hit a beautiful Powerbomb on an SUV. Steen looked at the damage and out of nowhere ran ROH World Champion Tyler Black and ran Steen’s head to the SUV when the show ended.
Up In Smoke (Cheech and Cloudy) defeated The Set (J-Sin and Lance Lude) by pinfall.
Sara Del Ray defeated Jamilia Craft by pinfall.
“Skullkrusher” Rasche Brown defeated Erick Stevens by disqualification.
Steve Corino and Kevin Steen defeated Colt Cabana and El Generico
First off, I am very sorry that this was not done as early as hoped. I will be honest, my air conditioner broke and I have been trying to fix it but no luck. Next week it should be done earlier.
Now, let me provide a take on the non-wrestling material:
Feud of Rasche Brown vs. The Embassy – I really enjoyed it. It showed a very quick timeline on how they began to feud. It also showed frustration on The Embassy’s part when Brown rejected the contract offer.
The Kings of Wrestling Interview – This was well done. They said that the Briscoes can’t beat them and they explained why they did what they did to their father. Hero was nearly perfect on the microphone and Castagnoli did a good job summarizing how they were and that they will be the ones we will see on television. They did a nice job describing their feud with the Briscoes and how sometimes the feud has gone far enough.
Steen and Generico feud (along with Corino and Cabana) – Again, this was the same, but effective summary of their feud that started back in December. Just when one thinks that the feud has run its course it keeping getting better and more intense. Their main event contest after this segment added to the rivalry.
The Wrestling Matches
The Set vs. Cheech and Cloudy – I don’t know why HDNet kicked off the show with these two team to be honest. What they advertised sold me, but the opener was a bit of a downer. This was a very spotty performance and it seemed like no one wanted to sell in this match. If there was one bright spot I really like the in-ring chemistry of Cheech and Cloudy. Other than that, it was a forgettable opener.
Del Ray vs. Craft – Too bad Craft did not do much work, because he was pretty good in her match with Daizee Haze a couple weeks ago. Del Ray his her strides very well and showed to some in the wrestling community that she is one of the best women wrestlers today with this performance. Del Ray was crisp with her strikes and was overall dangerous. She had a good showing in this match, but I just wished for a bit more.
Stevens vs. Brown – They transitioned pretty good and if this is the start of a rivalry between Brown and The Embassy, then it passed with flying colors. Both wrestlers showed great intensity, but the execution was weak at times. I think this match was booked as a starting point in this story. Also, I am so happy that the Dark City Fight Club are aligned with Brown because now the DCFC are in a feud as well and this honestly has the potential of being a brutal, but amazing storyline in the mid-card range.
Steen/Corino vs. Generico/Cabana – I gave this match a well-earned “A” for many reasons. Yes, some out there would say it was spotty, but I have to counter that because when they did the moves outside the ring area and into the crowd it told an amazing story of how much these two teams hated each other. All of them did an amazing job acting the part, especially Corino and Steen. All four showed fight, intensity, brawling, and went completely all-out. For the most part, all the wrestlers sold well. When one team set up chairs, tables, and barricade; that allowed the other team to get time to heal. This match was not one of those usual “good for the first half and then no one sells anything” type of match that ROH gets a reputation on, but this one told a story of their hatred and the finish was a PPV-worthy ending. The best part of this was that they are STILL going to feud for the next set of weeks and the endings will even be more brutal and entertaining to watch. I just hope that all four will get stronger after this feud, because they all put themselves at a whole new level after this match.
Overall Thoughts and Grade
The main event literally was the best I have seen since The Young Bucks vs. American Wolves tag match and was almost as good as matches back in the early part of ROH on HDNet. The Embassy and Rasche Brown’s feud was good and they booked that well tonight. Del Ray got her time to show how good she is in the ring, and that was a plus. However, the opening bout did nothing and at times was actually pretty boring. The non-wrestling was not bad, but this week ROH rewarded their fans with a very nice, long main event on a wrestling-dominated program. I would have changed the first half of this show a bit to show off tag teams that were contenders for the ROH Tag belts, but all in all it was a pretty good show for the final 45 minutes of it.
Overall Grade: B
-Mister V’s Pick Three of the Night-
Wrestler of the Night: Steve Corino
Out of everything that went on in the main event, Corino did the most out of all of them. He showed a lot of the fans that he still has it with charisma and talent. The spots that he did in the ring were effective and perfectly executed. I just hope he came out of that match 100%, because I honestly felt that he had one of his best performances even (and by far the best since he debuted on HDNet).
Disappointment of the Night: The opening match
HDNet was loaded after the opening bout, and even though Up In Smoke and The Set are moderately good tag team, they should not have opened the show tonight.
Surprise of the Night: Dark City Fight Club
I knew that Rasche Brown was going to need to reinforcements to help him take down The Embassy, but adding this tag team will only do great things for the long haul. It seemed like the Dark City Fight Club were just below the line of the best tag team in ROH. I think after a feud with The Embassy, it will only help the DCFC and hopefully they will be allowed to continue the momentum.
Facebook: Anthony J. Valvo (Pittsburgh, PA)
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