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Ring of Honor on HDNet- April 25, 2009
by SamoaRowe

-Yep, I’m back for more. Last week’s episode really put me in a good mood.

-Mike Hogewood and Dave Prazak are our hosts for the evening. They pimp tonight’s Bryan Danielson/Tyler Black main event.

-Smack talk with “The Littlest Lumberjack” Grizzly Redwood and Andy Ridge. They are going to chop their competition down to size. Their opponents, The Dark City Fight Club, state they will be the baddest tag team in ROH. They dare anyone to stop them.

Grizzly Redwood and Andy “Right Leg” Ridge vs. The Dark City Fight Club
The Dark City Fight Club consist of Kory Chavis and Jon Davis. They tower over Redwood and Ridge. Davis starts against Ridge, aggressively cutting him down to size. Chavis tags and they double team poor Ridge in the corner. Vicious overhead suplex by Chavis. Davis tags and they nail a double team ace crusher. Redwood tags and ducks some clotheslines. Redwood’s armdrag attempt is violently countered. The DCFC keep the tags coming, isolating Redwood from his partner. Chavis knocks Ridge off the apron but misses a head of steam on Redwood. The lumberjack tries to build momentum, but Davis catches him off guard with a POUNCE! Period! Ridge tags and eats a sit out powerbomb/neckbreaker combination for the loss at 4:30. This was an extended squash, but was an effective showcase for the DCFC, *¼.
Winners: The Dark City Fight Club

-Kyle Durden is backstage with “American Dragon” Bryan Danielson. They talk about Tyler Black. Tonight, Danielson is going to find out if Black is for real or not.

-Nigel McGuinness is in the ring for his match, but cuts a promo against the fans first. Despite all of his injures and sacrifices, Nigel still doesn’t have the respect of the wankers (fans). He invites the fans to kiss his beautiful, British ass (his words, not mine).

Nigel McGuinness vs. “Sugarfoot” Alex Payne
Immediate drop-kicks by Payne. Head butt by Nigel, but Payne scores a second rope bulldog. Nigel blocks a whip and plants Payne on the mat. Nigel hoists Payne up by the arm for a suplex. Hard arm drag by Nigel, who continues to target the arm. Payne gets a 2 on a pinning predicament. Hard lariat by Nigel and the London Dungeon finishes Payne at 3:19. Squashtastic, ¾*.
Winner: Nigel McGuinness

-Kyle Durden is backstage with Tyler Black. Durden puts Black over as one of the fastest rising stars in the company. Black says he grew up watching and idolizing Danielson and he believes he is the best wrestler in the world. He’s going to prove that he has what it takes to hang with the best.

-Smack talk with Chris Hero, Eddie Edwards, and Larry Sweeney. Hero is a lion, Edwards is a wolf. And you shouldn’t poke either. I miss funny Chris Hero. The Briscoes and Kevin Steen don’t like each other, but they have a common enemy in Sweet n’ Sour Inc.

Eddie Edwards and Chris Hero (with Larry Sweeney and Sara Del Rey) vs. Kevin Steen and Jay Briscoe
Hero and Edwards sneak attack before the bell rings. Steen fights off both men and Briscoe clotheslines Hero to the floor. Steen and Edwards become the legal men. Steen pummels Edwards into the corner. Hero tries to interrupt but gets chopped off the apron. Jay tags and keeps up the assault on Edwards. Cover by Jay is broken by Hero. Steen tags but Edwards knocks him off and tags Hero. Jay tags and knocks Hero around the ring. Cover by Jay gets 2. Sweeney grabs the leg, allowing Hero to nail a boot to the face, picking up the advantage. Mark Briscoe runs in to save Jay from cheap shots from Sweeney and Del Rey. Back to the ring, Hero is in control. Sweet n’ Sour keep making tags, isolating Jay. Roaring elbow by Hero only gets 2. The tags keep coming. Jay legsweeps Edwards right into the groin of Hero. Steen gets the hot tag and cleans house. Cannonball on Hero by Steen sets up the moonsault for only 2.5. Hero blocks the package piledriver and nails the rolling elbow for 2.5. Blind tag by Edwards allows him to hit a Codebreaker off the ropes. Hero nails the back of the head, but Edwards only gets 2.9 on the cover. Combination of chops and elbows on Steen. Jay pulls out Hero, leaving Edwards to get stuck in Steen’s sharpshooter. Sweeney distracts, allowing Edwards to attack the back of the head. Jay dives onto Hero at ringside. Steen nails the package piledriver on Edwards for the win at 9:58. Very enjoyable formula tag that did a lot of little things right, ***.
Winners: Kevin Steen and Jay Briscoe

Tyler Black vs. “American Dragon” Bryan Danielson
Audible “You’re going to get your fucking head kicked in” chants can’t be a good thing, eh? Black scores the first arm drag. Test of strength, with Black getting the advantage. Black looks for a pin but Danielson gets a bridge. Monkey flip counter by Danielson and we have a stalemate. Danielson targets the legs in creative fashion. Black counters, but Dragon gets the ropes. Headlock by Black and a shoulder tackle. Scoop slam but Black misses a stomp. Drop toe hold by Danielson, who stretches Black in half. Black gets to the ropes, but Danielson utilizes the five count. Dragon outmaneuvers leading to a straight shove from Black. Headscissors takedown by Black gets 2. Black works the arm. Danielson rolls into a counter but Black snapmares for a stomp to the jaw. Cover by Black gets 2. Dragon responds with a couple of uppercuts. Danielson kicks the back and locks on a Mexican Surfboard, raking the face first to weaken Black. This transitions into a punishing dragon sleeper. Series of kicks to the chest by Danielson gets 2. Dragon works on the leg. Black rolls up Dragon for 2. Danielson plants Black and knees the midsection. Hard slaps to the face by Danielson, but Black nails a back drop and clothesline. They take each other down, with Black rolling to ringside for a breather. Suicide dive by Danielson, whose back hits the barricade! Back to the ring, Dragon goes high risk and Black drop-kicks him in mid-air! Enziguri by Black, followed by a top rope hurricarana. Danielson heads to ringside, and Black dives over the ropes, wiping them both out. Back to the ring, Black hits a springboard clothesline. Danielson blocks God’s Last Gift, spins over Black, and applies an ankle lock. Black gets the ropes! Suplex by Dragon, but Black lands on his feet. Danielson rolls him up for 2 and drop-kicks the injured leg. Danielson runs into a slam. Dragon blocks the super kick, reapplying the ankle lock. German suplex by Dragon gets 2.5. Danielson is pissed and slaps the face. Belly to back superplex by Dragon is reversed in mid-air! A slug fest erupts. Stiff kick to the head by Black and a slam gets 2.5. We get a one minute warning. Black misses the Phoenix Splash and eats a knee to the head. Triangle choke by Dragon! Black lifts up Danielson and slams him into the turnbuckles! The bell rings and it looks like we have a time limit draw at 20:00. This was simply outstanding as both men pulled out all the stops to put on an exciting contest, ****¼.
No Contest

-Danielson offers a handshake and Black accepts.

-Next week: Ric Flair makes his ROH television debut! Also, Austin Aries vs. Roderick Strong.

Final Thoughts: I was getting worried after a couple of squashes opened the show, but it turned out I had nothing to fear. That main event blew away anything I’ve seen on a wrestling television show in ages. This show still isn’t likely to appeal to everyone due to the work-rate focused format, with very little angle development, but it’s hard to complain when the wrestling is as good as it is. I highly recommend checking out the Black/Danielson match, as I’m adding it to my MOTYC list.

Big thumbs up.

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