March 25, 2012
Matt Peddycord
The Powerdriver Review

ROH on HDNet
Philadelphia, PA
May 2, 2009

Your hosts are Dave Prazak and Mike Hogewood.

Tonight in the main event, Austin Aries battles Roderick Strong!

They kick off the show by introducing RIC FLAIR as the new ambassador for ROH. Ever the politician, I wonder what Flair will say about ROH. He reassures us all that Ric Flair will not leave wrestling forever. Well, we all knew that. If Stephen Colbert was to ask Ric Flair this question: Is ROH a great company or the greatest company? He would have to go with great. Flair takes a complete nosedive with the crowd by saying that there might be the next Nature Boy in the ROH locker room, the next Shawn Michaels, or the next TRIPLE H. I can’t believe he said that. They quickly forget he mentioned those names by putting the locker room as extremely hard working guys. He brings out the new ROH world champ Jerry Lynn. Flair says he’s wrestled Lynn at least five times back in WCW. Flair puts over Lynn as “THE man”. Now Lynn puts Flair over for still showing up to a match he had with him after a major car wreck back in 1995 which taught Lynn a lot about showing passion for the biz. And look at him now, he’s the ROH world champion. Austin Aries interrupts the love fest and rudely demands a title shot. Hmm, Flair likes his attitude, but can he back up his words with his actions? WE’LL FIND OUT IN THE MAIN EVENT!

Chris Hero (w/Shane Hagadorn & Sara Del Ray) vs. Kenny Omega
YES! More Kenny Omega, please. Hero kicks away the Code of Honor handshake. They trade some stuff on the mat for a while. Omega comes back and sends Hero to the floor for a nifty somersault plancha and kicks some folks in the front row. Back in, Omega hits a flying bodypress for 1-2-NO! Omega flips all around Hero, but that proves unwise as Hero grabs Omega by the hair and slams his head down on the mat. Hero throws Omega on the outside and decks him with a sliding dropkick through the ropes. Back inside, Omega battles back with a back elbow corner splash. Enziguri sets up a Dragon Suplex for 1-2-NO! Hero escapes CROYT’S WRATH by raking the face. Sara Del Ray distracts Omega (he shakes his groove thing?) while Hero slips on the LOADED ELBOW PAD! You know what’s coming next. Cover, 1-2-3. (4:48) As Hogewood, that’s just wrong. Another competitive match for Omega. **¼

In the back, Kyle Durden talks with the returning Roderick Strong. He’s looking to beat Aries and gain a little respect from him too.

Necro Butcher vs. Brodie Lee (w/Jimmy Jacobs)
This is the fallout from two weeks ago when Brodie Lee attacked Necro Butcher when he was about to put away Jimmy Jacobs. Necro brings a chair with him to the ring and makes good use of it on Brodie Lee. But first, Necro delivers a CANNONBALLLLLLLLLLL SPLASH off the apron. The bell has yet to sound as they fight up the aisleway. Jimmy Jacobs helps out with an assist to allow a Black Hole Slam on the ramp to Necro. That wipes him out, so Brodie Lee carries him to the ring for 1-2-NO! Inside the ring, Brodie Lee hits one running big boot in the corner, but misses a second one. Necro unloads with a Violence Party. Brodie shoves off a running bulldog and connects with the running boot in the corner. That gets two, which brings Jimmy Jacobs up to the apron to argue. Meanwhile, Necro slips out of a fireman’s carry, O’Connor rolls Brodie into Jacobs, and gets the 1-2-3. (2:00 bell to bell) 1981 called: they want their finish back. *½

Erick Stevens vs. Sal Rinauro
Guerilla Press Powerslam. Choo Choo Splash. Lariat. DOCTORBOMB. (0:44) SLAP THE PORPOISE!

Austin Aries vs. Roderick Strong
Prazak tells us right off the bat that these two are former ROH world tag team champions during the awesome days of Generation Next. Basic stuff to start, as Aries works the arm. Strong tries to counter an armbar with a headscissors, but YOU CAN’T HEADSCISSOR ARIES! He pops out with the dropkick. Aries chops Strong one good time, but FEARS a chop from Roderick and heads to the floor. Back in, Aries wants a handshake…so he can bait in Strong for another chop to the chest. What a douche. Aries uses his quickness to duck under a couple more chop attempts and then slides out to act like an even bigger douche. Strong finally has enough and knocks Aries into next week with a running shoulderblock off the apron. Even after several whips into the guardrail, Aries manages to duck another series of chops. Aries takes over with a flying double sledge and knees Strong while he’s draped over the apron. Back in, cover gets two. Strong finally hits a chop, but Aries dumps him out for a toss into the guardrail. In the ring, Aries lands the Pendulum Elbow for two. Aries continues to be a total pube until Strong lights him up with a whole bunch of chops. Back suplex into a backbreaker gets two. Aries dumps Strong out again and this time connects with the Heat Seeking Missile! Back in, Aries delivers a slingshot corkscrew splash for a near fall. With both men exhausted, Strong comes up behind Aries and drills him with a Half Nelson Backbreaker for 1-2-NO! Aries avoids a Sick Kick and rolls Strong up into the LAST CHANCERY! Strong makes the ropes. Aries bites Strong in the corner and charges, but gets caught up in DEATH BY RODERICK! Sick Kick turns Aries inside out! Strong settles for a regular Boston crab instead of the Strong Hold. It’s not enough though as Aries makes the ropes. Strong looks to reapply the crab in the middle of the ring, but Aries flips him off to send Strong to the floor. Back in, Aries catches Strong with a running dropkick and tries the BRAINBUSTER. Strong counters into the Boston crab! Aries reaches the ropes again and counters a GIBSON DRIVER with a rana. Now Aries wants to apply the Boston crab on Strong, but he counters *that* into a victory roll for two. Aries stuns Strong with a toe kick to the face and then finishes him off with the BRAINBUSTER. (15:13) More of a great introduction for these two than a great match. Not that it was a bad match, but the headscissors counter into the dropkick (why would Strong fall for that so easily in 2009?) and showing off Strong’s several different backbreakers with Aries not really fighting them off made it seem like they had never wrestled each other before. Still a good way to spend 15 minutes though. ***

Next week, Bryan Danielson and Tyler Black get a rematch after the 20-minute draw they had last week to determine a #1 contender to the ROH world title. Also, Nigel McGuinness will be here!

Final Thoughts: Wrestling-wise, it’s a step down from last. However, you have Ric Flair’s TV debut in ROH and a solid main event to boot. It’s worth checking out if either one of those look appealing to you.

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