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CALDWELL'S ROH TV REPORT 6/20: KENTA vs. Roderick Strong greatness, Everything else quite frustrating

Jul 21, 2009 - 4:00:49 PM
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By James Caldwell, Torch assistant editor

Ring of Honor TV Report
June 20, 2009
Week 14 on HDNet (second episode of Set Three)
Taped in Philadelphia, Pa.


Opening: The show opened with a graphic commemorating the life and death of Mitsuharu Misawa.

In-studio: Mike Hogewood and Dave Prazak welcomed us to the show announcing Austin Aries as the new ROH champion (from June 13 in NYC). Prazak said history was made when Aries became the first two-time World champion.

In-ring: Claudio Castagnoli came to the ring for the opening bout. He's Very European with a new ring jacket and scarf. Cue up the old ECW TV remix for Necro Butcher to come to the ring. Hog said folks can "really relate" to Necro. Yes, I can relate to using a staple gun as a weapon, not a means to affix an entertainment center to the wall.

1 -- NECRO BUTCHER vs. CLAUDIO CASTAGNOLI

Match moved to the floor early on where Necro grabbed Claudio's scarf and choked him with it. Back in the ring, Claudio regained control and began working over Necro. Necro made a comeback to little fanfare. His offense just isn't credible-looking at all. Claudio then reversed a whip to the corner and Necro appeared to be pretty worn out running. Don't think he's exactly focused on cardio and conditioning. At 6:00, Jimmy Rave hit the ring and ran distraction. Claudio hit a low blow on Necro behind the ref's back and scored a pin for the win. Post-match: Claudio and Rave beat up Necro until Brent Albright made the save to clear the Embassy from the ring.

WINNER: Claudio in 6:00. Necro's game isn't working a straight wrestling match. Crowd didn't buy into it and he looked quite worn out.

Last week recap: They showed Austin Aries beating down Jerry Lynn at the end of last week's show. Prazak promised photos of Aries's ROH Title victory later in the show.

Promo: SHIMMER wrestler Nevaeh did a brief promo talking about her non-title match opportunity tonight. SHIMMER women's champ MsChif then came to the ring with Jimmy Jacobs.

2 -- SHIMMER champion MSCHIF (w/Jimmy Jacobs) vs. NEVAEH -- non-title match

MsChif worked over Nev early on, including making Nev nearly touch the back of her head with her foot in the Beth Phoenix stretch spot. Nev made a fired-up comeback and hit a neckbreaker for a two count. Nev followed with a German Suplex for a two count. Jacobs then tried to run interference before spitting on Nev. Behind the ref's back, MsChif spewed green mist in Nev's eyes and face. She followed with a poor-looking "The Desecrator" single arm DDT for the pin and the win.

WINNER: MsChif in 4:00. How many matches have to include outside interference and referee incompetence? Am I watching ROH TV or TNA Impact? Decent women's match, but hindered but another round of shenanigans. (*)

Main event: They plugged KENTA vs. Bryan Danielson in the show main event. Also, Ric Flair video.

The Art of Pro Wrestling: Colt Cabana was with Brent Albright for a merchandise plug. Brent had a mic taped to his chest and he wasn't wearing a t-shirt, so he looked like a goofball. Cabana asked Albright what they do to people who ask dumb questions and Albright said they punch people in the face who ask dumb questions. Albright said no, they answer them. Cabana plugged some ROH DVDs to end the segment.

[Commercial Break]

ROH Title change recap: Prazak narrated still photos of Austin Aries's ROH Title victory on June 13.

Ric Flair's final HDNet appearance: They replayed Flair's last TV appearance on HDNet where he talked up his relationship with ROH and the ROH fans.

In-ring: Kenny King and Rhett Titus came to the ring with some nasty-looking women. Goodness, just trashy. Their appearance prompted some double entendres and innuendo from Prazak and Hog, of course. Kenny Omega came out as the opposition for King.

3 -- KENNY KING (w/Rhett Titus) vs. KENNY OMEGA

Good opening leading to Omega nailing a flip dive on the floor on King after Titus tried to help out his tag partner. Back in the ring, King took control with an eye-rake, then Titus tripped Omega from the outside. Yay, another round of outside interference on the show. Omega made a comeback with Polish Hammer blasts to the chest before taking out King at the knees with a dropkick. Omega followed with a neckbreaker for a two count. Crowd isn't buying into nearfalls at this junction of the show. Omega tried to stop King bouncing off the ropes, but King kicked him in the head and nailed a clothesline. King trash-talked that Omega can't beat him, but Omega nailed an enziguiri kick. Titus then hopped on the apron to interfere, but King accidentally blasted Titus. Omega then hit a reverse huracanrana on King and followed with an awesome Electric Chair German suplex for the pin and the win.

Post-match: Titus jumped Omega and beat him down. Where I have seen this before - aman ran into the ring to make the save. This time, it was Erick Stevens making the save for Omega. King and Titus then retreated to the outside.

WINNER: Omega in 8:00. Good use of TV time on Omega, but the constant use of outside interference in an attempt to get heat on the heels is becoming annoying. Crowd isn't buying into it and it's detracting from the matches. Omega vs. King could have been very good enough without the interference. (**)

Next week: American Wolves vs. Danielson & Black for the ROH tag titles. Four weeks ago: Eddie Kingston was DQ'ed in a match against Chris Hero. Kingston smashed the ref Sinclair and they drew attention to that, but apparently there were no consequences against Kingston. Oh well, just a ref. Who cares about rules? This episode of TV has been quite annoying.

In-ring: Kingston came to the ring for a singles match. Already in the ring was Andy "Right Leg" Ridge.

4 -- EDDIE KINGSTON vs. ANDY RIDGE

Started with a lock-up and the announcers drew attention to ref Todd Sinclair not being the ref for this match. Ref Bryce admonished Kingston for not giving a rope break, then Kingston blasted Ridge. He wanted a piece of Chris Hero, though, and took out his frustrations on Ridge with a suplex. Ridge decided he wanted to fire up on Kingston with a right leg kick, but Kingston no-sold and smashed him with a spinning back fist for the easy pin and the win.

WINNER: Kingston in 2:00. Good squash for Kingston to set up a future match against Hero. Kingston has a stand-out character and personality that would be very marketable if ROH really got behind him.

Jacobs vs. Delirious video: They recapped the feud between Delirious and Jimmy Jacobs. ... Backstage: Kyle Durden was with Jimmy Jacobs, who slowly talked about feeling free for the first time in a long time. Jacobs said the Age of the Fall begins again next week. Next week: Delirious vs. Jacobs in a Fight Without Honor.

In-ring: Roderick Strong came out first for the TV main event (with minimal hype). No videos on KENTA from past ROH shows or any type of context for the awesomeness of KENTA being featured in the TV main event and being the first Japanese star featured on ROH TV. Really dropped the ball on building up KENTA for his first nationally televised match in the U.S.

5 -- RODERICK STRONG vs. KENTA

Hog suggested KENTA is a future ROH Title contender. They had a feeling out process and Strong went for a trademark chop, but KENTA ducked and pointed his finger toward Strong. KENTA then shoved Strong down and Strong smiled. Great opening exchange. KENTA then landed a kick strike and Strong landed a blasting chop. They exchanged holds like this several times before Strong landed a nice leg whip that downed KENTA. Oh, so great. KENTA then blasted Strong in the face with a running knee strike and started punching and slapping Strong down to the corner. Strong fired back with a chop, but KENTA blasted him with corner stomps.

KENTA nailed a springboard dropkick, then a basement dropkick in the corner. KENTA followed with a sit-down powerbomb, but Strong kicked out in time. KENTA kicked Strong to the floor, then followed on the outside, but Strong slammed KENTA onto the ring apron. Back in the ring, KENTA cut off Strong's comeback and nailed the Go 2 Sleep in center ring. KENTA with the cover for the win. Afterward, both men collected themselves and shook hands.

WINNER: KENTA in 12:00. Greatness. Even KENTA's music is awesome. Certainly wish they could have removed one of the extra matches on the show and given them another five minutes. Just when they were getting warmed up on having a great match, they went to the finish. Great first showing for KENTA, though, on national TV. Strong was equally great, but he wasn't given as much focus. (***1/2)


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