With Ring of Honor returning to TV this month I felt it an appropriate time to go back and re-watch some old episodes of their original show on HDNet. Now, the other three guys that make up the NHO squad, combined have maybe seen a half-dozen or so of these, but back then, this was a beloved part of my weekly wrestling diet and I was a huge backer of the show. I'll be periodically reviewing episodes so grab some chips and get your read on:
ROH on HDNet 8/17/09
1. Eddie Edwards vs. Kevin Steen - 5
2. Sal Rinauro and Tony Kozina vs. Cheech and Cloudy - 1
3. Sami Callihan vs. Necro Butcher - 5
4. Tyler Black vs. Nigel McGuinness - 6
Steen charges out at a speed leading you to believe a Qdoba burrito was waiting at the finishing line. Don't know what's weirder for me, seeing Steen working face again (his macabre turn as a heel is simply hard to forget) or that there's actually people in the crowd wearing D'Lo Brown t-shirts. Steen takes some hard bumps into the security railing. This is so physical for free TV its crazy, all sorts of high-impact bumps, a gnarly chairshot on Edwards' skull, etc.
Why is Cheech aping Jacaré Souza's taunt? Kozina leans too far over the ropes reaching to be tagged and falls into the ring like an idiot. The Dark City Fight Club run out and kill everybody. Necro throws meaty shots early, just ugly punches, then it spills to the floor and the fun quotient rises further with Callihan gamely taking huge bumps including one on the concrete floor. Necro abuses Sami some more before finishing him with a Tiger Driver. If this would have been just a little longer it'd have gotten recommended status.
Not sure what's happened to Nigel, he's not working right now, unsure if he ever will be again, but seeing him be dastardly and cruel here makes me miss him. Black's long limbs make him fun to stretch and Nigel puts all kinds of torque and punishment on him. Tyler busting out a moonsault off of the ringside barricade onto McGuinness on the floor was gutsy. They really booked Tyler as the most resilient guy in ROH history there for the last year or more of his run. Here, he survives the London Dungeon and Tower of London only to counter the Rebound Lariat into God's Last Gift for the win. For a one-hour episode of free wrestling on TV this was astoundingly good.