July 10, 2011
Matt Peddycord
The Powerdriver Review

ROH on HDNet
Philadelphia, PA
April 4, 2009

Your hosts are Dave Prazak and Mike Hogewood.

Tonight in the main event, Bryan Danielson battles Austin Aries! OH yeah.

Breaking News: Jerry Lynn has captured the ROH World Title. He definitely deserves it with the amazing comeback he has undergone over the last 8-10 months in ROH, but itís a shame to know it happened over Nigelís torn biceps. Almost like a tainted victory.

Erick Stevens vs. Sterling James Keenan
Even though heís been a squash guy sporadically for WWE in the past few years, this is my first time ever seeing Keenan. Hereís Hogewoodís analysis of Keenan: Whatís there to know about Keenan? Nobody likes him. Why? Thereís nothing likeable about him. Alright. That tells me nothing. Stevens thinks heís going to make short work of this newcomer. He chops Keenan up pretty good until Keenan cheapshots him with a Michael Hayes jab. Keenan hoists Stevens up in a firemanís carry and drops him with a backbreaker across the knee. Nice! Cover, 1-2-NO! He puts Stevens down with an STO and locks in a neck tie sleeper. Stevens fights out and starts his comeback with a release belly to belly suplex. CHOO CHOO corner splash connects. Flying shoulderblock gets two. However, Keenan refuses to die and gives Stevens an Implant DDT. That gets him a pair of two-counts. Stevens avoids an OíConnor Roll and nails Keenan with a press into a powerslam ala Goldberg for 1-2-NO! Keenan knows heís in trouble, so he goes to the eyes to slow down Stevens. Itís not enough to stop him though, as Stevens drills Keenan with a Lariat. Stevens delivers the DOCTORBOMB and gets 1-2-3. (6:53) Hogewood ~ ďSLAP THE PORPOISE! ITíS OVER!Ē Well, thatís certainly a new one. I like how they keep these squashes competitive. Itís closer to the í80s squashes in the NWA. **ľ

In the back, Kyle Durden asks Bryan Danielson if heís nervous about wrestling in the main event. No way, Kyle. Austin Aries is the one who should be nervous, because Danielson has explosive elbows, killer kicks and sickest submissions in the WORLD-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-D! Alliteration has never ever sounded cooler in a promo than this.

The Dark City Fight Club (Jon Davis & Kory Chavis) vs. Up In Smoke (Cheech & Cloudy)
Hogewood thinks Cheech and Cloudy are a couple of surfer dudes when theyíre just a couple of pot heads who happen to wrestle in Philly-based promotions. The DCFC look like the baddest all-black duo since the last one we saw that had flames on their tights. Cloudy gets thrown around until he catches Chavis with a hurracanrana out of the corner and makes the tag to Cheech. Heís all hot and heavy on the DCFC. Up In Smoke deliver Partly Cloudy with a Chance of Cheech to Chavis! Cloudy gets thrown away, leaving DCFC to finish off Cheech with the Dark City Street Cutter! Itís an awesome powerbomb/neckbreaker double-team. (2:30) The DCFC show lots of potential, but they need to man up their tights. By the way, Hogewood slaps another porpoise. ĺ*

In the back, Kyle Durden talks with Austin Aries. Aries tells Kyle he has no fashion sense. He also informs us that he put on his lucky sweatband tonight, because he knows heís going to have to break a sweat with Danielson. After this match, Danielson just might find out that Austin Aries is perhaps the greatest man to ever live. Wow, those are HIGH expectations. In closing, Austin Aries calls Kyle a fool. AND KYLE ISNíT GOING TO DO A THING ABOUT IT! Donít worry Kyle, Hogewood has your back.

Necro Butcher vs. Chris Hero (w/Larry Sweeney & Sara Del Ray)
Whoa, when did Chris Hero grow a huge Mike Knox beard? Not only that, but heís traded in his long tights for Chris Jericho tights. There needs to be a ďput some pants onĒ chant in ROH. Any phrase with four syllables can be a chant, ya know. Hero and Butcher stand back and let the crowd do their thing. Itís one of the few instances on these first three shows where you can HEAR the crowd really reacting to something. Necro absorbs Heroís blows as he comes off the ropes. Necro fires back on Hero with straight shots to the face and goes for the TIGER DRIVER, but Del Ray and Sweeney hopping up on the apron stops it happening. Necro turns around into a ROARING ELBOW for 1-2-NOPE! Hero throws out Necro for a stomp job for his Sweet n Sour entourage. Hero lifts up the floor mats and lays them on top of Necro so he canít escape a running senton! Back in, Hero unloads with more elbows. He grabs a cravat, but Necro fights out and hits a backdrop. Necro delivers the West Virginia Violence Parade, ending with a running bulldog. Hero hits another elbow smash and catches Necro with a blockbuster for 1-2-NO! He boots Necro to the floor, which is where you donít want Necro to be. He gets a chair from ringside and gives Hero the chair-assisted slam where the mats had been peeled back. Sweeney distracts Necro while Del Ray hands Hero the loaded elbow pad. Necro looks to finish with the TIGER DRIVER, but Hero slips away and decks Necro with the LOADED ROLLING ELBOW SMASH! Thatíll do it for Necro. (8:20) No slapping of the porpoise here from Hogewood. Not sure if this means Hero gets pushed more in ROH or not. The dirty finish was the only way to introduce Hero though, so time will tell. **Ĺ

Bryan Danielson vs. Austin Aries
No ĎFinal Countdowní, and thatís just odd. Before they shake hands, the crowd is chanting ďYouíre going to get your fóing head kicked in!Ē obviously directed at Aries with a series of claps to match the syllables. I wish Hogewood had repeated that chant. This show would be even MORE pro if he had. Aries snaps off some armdrags to start and locks in an armbar. Danielson escapes with a dropkick as we come to a stalemate. Aries goes back to the arm. Danielson counters him with a headscissors and pulls Aries on top of him when he tries to handstand out for the dropkick. Nice. Itís the little common sense things, folks. Danielson trips up Aries and goes for the Surfboard, but Aries makes the ropes. Heís got until the count of five, ref. Aries dumps Danielson, but he shoots back in with a sunset flip. Aries rolls through that into the dropkick. Dragon makes a nice changeover from an armbar into a cross armbreaker to show off some new submission skills heís learned at the Xtreme Couture school. Yeah, thatís just what Danielson needs: more submissions. Aries pops Danielson in the back of the head with an elbow smash when Danielson tells the ref AGAIN that he has until the count of five to break the hold. Aries buries some knees into Danielsonís back and then grabs a nerve hold. Danielson fights up, but gets caught in a shin breaker/back suplex that takes him to the floor. Aries follows that up with a Heat Seeking Missile! Well, that ruled. Back in, that gets two. Fish Hook of Doom by Aries! Thatís totally illegal, bro. Aries misses a running dropkick in the corner, which allows Danielson some regrouping time. Danielson dishes out some elbows and running kicks Aries in the back for two. Aries reaches the ropes to avoid a full extension on a cross armbreaker. Once again, Danielson informs the ref of the rules. Aries fights off a back superplex, but eats a forearm to knock him off the apron to the guardrail. Aries moves away to prevent a suicide dive from Danielson, but then turns around into a diving knee off the apron! Back inside, Danielson delivers the front missile dropkick and kips-up! Running knee sets up CATTLE MUTILATION, but Aries rolls through into a pin for 1-2-NO! They trade rolling elbows. Aries flips out of a German suplex and kicks Danielson on the top of his head. Ouch. Both men are ďexhaustedĒ. Danielson avoids a couple BRAINBUSTER attempts, but canít avoid the LAST CHANCERY! Aries flips back over to drill Danielson with knees, but then Danielson counters into a Triangle Choke! Aries tries to roll out of it, but Danielson clamps it on FOR REALZ and gets the tap-out. (14:29) As expected, hereís another great competitive main event. Certainly not the best they can do, but itís fantastic for TV. ***Ĺ

Next week, Jerry Lynn battles the big guy Brodie Lee from Age of the Fall. Is that the main event?

Final Thoughts: All I can tell you is to check out Aries/Danielson if you donít watch anything else from this show. Itís not completely amazing, but itís probably the best way to book an ROH match with this type of talent if youíre going to have to watch them weekly on TV.

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