The show started with a video package on the Erick Stevens and Necro Butcher feud. Stevens' line about not caring if Necro's kids go hungry was particularly well-crafted, enunciated with bitter avarice. I think the production staff has improved since the show's inception, this was done in a more intimate style, similar to the interviews in UFC countdown specials, and as a result engaged me more than the majority of recent in-ring angle development on bigger programs like WWE Raw.
1. Erick Stevens and Joey Ryan vs. Necro Butcher and Eddie Kingston - 3
They utilized Adam's favorite visual technique, the split-screen, to follow the action of dual brawls. Ryan, in his usual hubris, looked good selling whips into the barricades. Later, Joey got a plastic bag over his head via Necro and I had a flashback to Funk/Flair. Erick had a wild look in his eyes while holding Kingston in a chinlock -- I'm liking his new, mean-spirited heel persona. Lots of work on Eddie's ribs which he sold with gravitas. I loved Stevens' eating of Necro's big shots in the corner, but the countout finish was bullocks.
2. Rasche Brown vs. Christian Moreno - 1
Complete and utter squash with Brown gaining the win using the "Burning Hammer" to put away the slob. My last piss lasted longer and was more meaningful.
3. Cheech and Cloudy vs. Andy Ridge and Sonjay Dutt - 2
Cheech was getting worked over for a lengthy section, his selling was moderately good, but in comparison, was mediocre compared to Cheech Marin's in Cannonball Run II. Sonjay isn't bad as an obnoxious heel, seems to fit him well, but Ridge needs mentored by a guy like R-Truth to make it to the "NXT" level. Andy gets pinned and Dutt attacks him post-match. No real bumps or sequences of note in this one.
4. Delirious vs. Kevin Steen - 4
Steen went for a "Sharpshooter" early but Delirious countered by kicking up at Kevin from the ground, Steen's subequent stumble I believed about as much as I did neighborhood kid Timmy's portrayal as one of the Three Wise Men at the church pagent. I know Steen's somewhat familiar with gold, but those that chubby Canadian know anything about myrrh or frankincense? The story early was Steen dodging the lizard to infuriate him. Steen's sell of a hard whip into the ringside barricade, clutching at his meaty shoulder and shaking his hand for feeling, was better than any moments from last year's Orton/Triple H WrestleMania main event. Kevin swatting at the nasty, wispy bangs of a ringside girl (guy?) was highly amusing to me. Delirious sells an enzuigiri-like kick by adjusting his elbow pad? I wonder if he teaches that one to the ROH trainees:
"Hey! Good job, Alex. But, next time, instead of clutching at your head, why don't you try tugging on your elbow pad? Maybe just a little bit."
"But he just gave me a DDT?"
Steen tumbled taking a Delirious somersault from the top turnbuckle to the floor with all the grace of the Swabbies on Power Rangers: Lost Galaxy. I think Kevin is more believable in this new role of fat asshole. A good nearfall off of a Steve Corino distraction, but it's Steen countering a "Shadows Over Hell" by catching him in a "Crippler Crossface" to get the victory. Best offering on this episode, but, still nothing worth seeking out here. Delirious' act is incredibly stale.