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CALDWELL'S ROH TV REPORT 5/30: Steen & Generico vs. Wolves tables match for ROH tag titles, ROH Title match build-up

Jun 4, 2009 - 9:30:26 AM
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By James Caldwell, Torch assistant editor

Ring of Honor TV Report
May 30, 2009 - Week 11 on HDNet
Taped 4/10 in Philadelphia, Pa.


After the opening video package, the show started with Mike Hogewood and Dave Prazak from The Studio. We have a tables match for the ROH Tag Titles tonight. Prazak a predicted a title change. Hog laughed at the absurdity of that notion.

Inset promo: Brother, brother, brother. Rhett Titus said he's ready to fight tonight. He has a match against Roderick Strong tonight. Titus then flashed his back and said Strong's never broken a back like this, brother. Titus came to the ring for the opening match. ... Cut to Roderick Strong in the inset promo. Strong said he thinks Titus is addicted to punishment, not love. Here's a new catchphrase for ya, Titus: "In the end, only the Strong survive." Classic cliche wordplay. Strong then came out to face Titus.

1 -- RODERICK STRONG vs. RHETT TITUS

Titus played to the crowd early on, so Strong came off the ropes with a springboard shoulder tackle. Strong followed with trademark chops, but Titus came back with a fist-smash in the corner. Titus began thrusting, prompting a discussion between Hog and Prazak on The Thrust being a Must. Awkward. Titus took Strong to the mat working on the neck, but Strong fought back with a resounding chop and back heel kick leading to a turnaround splash for a two count. Titus went back on the attack, but he was selling Strong's back work. Simple foreshadowing. Strong avoided a corner splash, then he landed a back drop before hitting a lift-up backbreaker across his knee. More work on the back. After Titus landed a bit more offense, Strong nailed an enziguiri kick and rolling gutbuster followed by a running big boot to the face for the pin and the win.

WINNER: Strong in 7:00. Match booked to focus on Strong's offense, specifically the back work, and Titus's attention on potential post-match female involvement rather than picking up a win in the ring. Simple, formula wrestling match. (**)

Tonight: Steen & Generico vs. American Wolves for the tag titles. That would be your "semi-main event" from this set of three TV tapings ... Next week: Jerry Lynn defends ROH Title against Aries, Black, and Danielson in the "main event" of the TV tapings.

Video package: They focused on Austin Aries to promote next week's title match. Aries said his preparation for the match means more training in the gym. During the match, turn three other egos against each other and take the match. Aries said next week will confirm he's one of the greatest men to ever live. He said there's a lot of substance in ROH, but he brings style and substance. Aries flashed his jacket and said it's going to be real big, man. Greatness.

2 -- SHIMMER Women's champion MSCHIF (w/Jimmy Jacobs) vs. SARA DEL REY vs. DAIZEE HAZE

MsChif sporting the SHIMMER Title, which prompted SHIMMER promoter Prazak to talk about the history of the title. Needed some more background on what exactly the SHIMMER wrestling promotion is all-about for newer ROH viewers. MsChif went to the floor early on and she distracted Sara before Haze kicked her through the ropes to the floor. Haze landed a top rope splash on Sara, then some "creative editing" took us to MsChif spraying Haze in the face with her green mist. Back in the ring, Haze was stunned and MsChif landed the Desecrator finisher on Haze for the pin and the win.

WINNER: MsChif in 3:00. Basic women's match to give the SHIMMER promotion TV exposure. Not enough time to be a true showcase match. (*)

Post-match: Jacobs spoke on behalf of MsChif that every girl's goal is to become SHIMMER champion. Jacobs said she will be the missile in his army to take out that harlet, Daizee Haze. MsChif then screamed into the mic ala Daffney. Meanwhile, ref Bryce checked on Haze, who sold eye damage from the green mist.

Video package: They aired an interview with Tyler Black to promote next week's four-way title match. Black said he's younger and hungrier than the other three, which means he'll outlast them next week. Black said he would be honored to hold the ROH Title.

The following message has been paid for by The Embassy: Prince Nana and Dirty Ernie Osiris were shown on camera. Nana talked up Bison Smith (who has disappeared) and Jimmy Rave. He then brought in his associate, Claudio Castagnoli, who talked Very European.

[Commercial Break]

Inset promo: The Erick Stevens express just keeps on rolling. He said Sami Callihan is going to find out that he can't stop the train on the tracks. How many cliches can one person fit into a promo? Sami cut a promo that he has a plan to ride the ...wait for it... gravy train all the way to the top of ROH.

3 -- SAMI CALLIHAN vs. ERICK STEVENS

Sami came out first and freaked out in the ring. Hog said he's nuts. Apparently that's all the character development we have for him. Stevens came out as Prazak said two very different trains are about to collide. Randomly, Hog gave us a word on Nigel McGuinness. They'll be joined by Nigel live via satellite after the match. Callihan was very aggressive early on and applied a Koji Clutch in between screams, but Stevens reached the ropes for a break. Stevens had enough and warmed up the choo-choo train for a corner splash. He followed with a Doctor Bomb for the pin.

WINNER: Stevens in 3:00. Enhancement match for Stevens. It happened, it ended, we move on. (*)

In-studio: Hogewood and Prazak said they'll have an interview with Ric Flair next week. As for right now, they're joined by Nigel McGuinness. Nigel said his rehab progress is between him and his doctor. He said he doesn't want to tip his hand and let the wrestlers know when he's coming back. Prazak asked him about the four-way ROH Title match next week. Nigel said he doesn't like Clamdigger Danielson even though he's a great wrestler. Then, there's Tylenol Black. He told him to stay healthy and not take so many risks. Nigel said Austin Aries is wrestling smarter and taking a few less risks, luring people into a false sense of security. That leaves ol' geritol Lynn. Bad taste in his mouth after Lynn took the ROH Title from him. But, no one can ever take it away from Lynn that he beat Nigel after 18 months of Nigel as champ. Nigel's message to the fans: "You doubted me before, but I'll come back and take my place in wrestling history." Hog then plugged the four-way title match next week.

Recap video: Two weeks ago, the American Wolves used a table to attack Steen & Generico. One week ago, Steen & Generico put the Wolves's manager, Shane Hagadorn, through a table. Now, it's time for the tables match.

In-ring: Davey Richards & Eddie Edwards came to the ring first for the TV main event. Texas Tornado rules tables match. No tags needed. Steen and Generico came out, then a fight broke out ringside before they could make it to the ring.

4 -- ROH tag team champions KEVIN STEEN & EL GENERICO vs. AMERICAN WOLVES (DAVEY RICHARDS & EDDIE EDWARDS) -- ROH tag title match -- Texas Tornado rules tables match

Tag champs took the match into the ring and beat up Edwards for a good while. Richards was taken out of the match on the floor, so the champs grabbed a table, then grabbed Richards and rammed Richards head-first into a standing table. Edwards took a similar fate. "Eddie Edwards has got wood," Hog said. Prazak snapped to attention after that line from Hog. Back in the ring, Generico gave Edwards a suplex into the corner turnbuckle, but Richards yanked Generico to the floor and sent him into the guardrail. Back in the ring, Richards took out Steen's injured knee. Generico re-entered the ring, but took a German suplex from Richards into a table propped up in the corner. Table didn't break, though. No problem for the Wolves, who sent Steen knee-first through the table.

Act Two picked up with the challengers working over Steen's damaged knee while playing to the crowd. Steen fought back in the corner as the Wolves took their sweet time working on Steen, then Generico re-entered the ring and gave Edwards a Michinoku Driver. He then knocked Ed to the floor and landed a somersault splash. In the ring, Steen sent Davey through the table in the ring, then the champs hit a double-team combo on Richards, but Edwards broke up the pin. Crowd pounded the ground after the nice sequence.

Act Three picked up at 10:00 with all four men moving to the floor to pick up the battle. Steen pulled out another table, then another to set up a double stack. He wanted a powerbomb on Edwards, but Davey dropkicked the bad knee through the ropes. In the ring, Richards fired off charging clotheslines on Steen before the Wolves hit a double enziguiri on Steen. Richards missed a Shooting Star Press, though, then Generico took out Edwards on the floor with a swinging DDT after running through the ringpost. Generico put Edwards on a table on the floor, then Generico went up top in the ring and smashed Edwards through the table with a big splash.

Act Four: Suddenly, Shane Hagadorn ran to ringside to run interference, but Steen gave him a Package Piledriver. Richards came to life, but Steen gave him a superkick. Steen then put Richards on a table in center-ring and went up top. He wanted a moonsault, but Davey popped up to his feet and shoved Steen off the top rope through the double-stack of tables on the floor.

Act Five - the conclusion: Generico picked right up where Steen left off and wanted a top rope brainbuster on Richards, but Edwards snuck in behind Generico and crotched him. He then put Generico on his shoulders for Davey to nail an Ace Crusher "RKO" through a table in the ring. Davey with the cover on Generico for the pin and the win to capture the tag titles. Afterward, the camera focused on the former champs being checked on by officials. Wolves celebrated the victory while gasping for breath as Prazak declared them the best tag team in pro wrestling. Wolves left the ring with the belts as Steen slowly made his way into the ring to check on Generico. Four-way title match is next week.

WINNERS: Wolves in 15:00 to capture the ROH Tag Titles. Excellent match using the table gimmick to enhance the drama. Seemed like a very fast 15 minutes where the personalities of the new champs didn't stand out as much as the moves and in-ring action, which was great. The key to Richards & Edwards is making their personalities stand out so they create a lasting impression with viewers. ROH would benefit from spotlighting them with a dedicated video package on the next set of HDNet shows. (***1/2)


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