ROH on HDNet Report 12.20.2010 – Featuring: The Holiday Gauntlet!
by Kyle Sparks on December 21, 2010

Welcome back to the Pulse for your holiday fix of ROH action!  I’m Kyle Sparks, and yes, I said Holiday, and I’m clearly a dirty liberal footsoldier in the War on Christmas.  Tonight will be the first show coming out of Final Battle, and one thinks that there will be some results discussed, but I have no idea.  Personally, I haven’t gotten to see the show yet, because of a work party on Saturday night that I had to be at.  However, I did read results and the show looks good on paper.  I’ll make a concerted effort to not put any spoiler information for any of my readers who haven’t yet see it, but I can’t make guarantees.  Let’s just get to the plugs!

Reading is FUNdamental

*Ricardo Rochetti has 10 Thoughts.  I’m sure he has some awesome thoughts about stuff that’s not ROH, but to be completely truthful, I can’t verify that.

*David Roberts checks in with some random thoughts and open questions on TNA.  Mine generally just break down to “why do you hate money?”  His are more in depth.

*Raffi Shamir looks back at Kane’s painful history in WWE.  Painful, mostly from the perspective of the fans, but what the hell.  It’s a great column anyway.

*Pulse Glazer‘s Monday Morning Backlash looks back at TLC.  Sure, they were a solid R&B act, but honestly, the whole thing with Andre Rison’s house and…wait, what?  The Pay-Per-View?  Yeah, I guess that was good too.

*Speaking of TLC, take a look at the Rasslin’ Roundtable and see how I did!  It was actually respectable!  Shocking.

*Finally, this month marks the 10 year anniversary of the last version of WCW’s marquee event, Starrcade.  Inside Pulse has documented this month tremendously with columns, reviews and more!  Check it out!

*This week’s ROH on HDNet Report is brought to you once again by Sierra Nevada’s Celebration Ale.  The 2010 variety is tremendous, and again, if you’re over 21, I highly recommend it.  The reason for the repeat is that I haven’t bought any new beer since then, and damn it, if WWE can have the same sponsors for weeks, I can certainly have one for two in a row.

**We open with Jim Cornette backstage laying out the Holiday Gauntlet.  They took 16 of the top wrestlers in ROH and put their names in a hat, then drew 8.  Those 8 men will compete in order of draw in the $10,000 Holiday Gauntlet.  With that, we’re right up to the opening video.

HERE COMES THE RUSH!

**We then cut to the pink studio of DOOM where Dave Prazak and Mike Hogewood reminisce about the weekend that was.  They say for more pictures, results, etc. we can go to ROHwrestling.com.  So, clearly there won’t be spoilers, I guess?  Davey apparently debuted new silver trunks last night.  Not to go all Chantal, but I am not a fan.  Apparently, there are spoilers, so I won’t reveal them.  However, the website does mention that Davey Richards suffered a Grade 2 concussion and the ROH on HDNet Facebook page says that Davey was legit KO’d at one point during the match.  So…wow.  There’s that.

**Back in the ring, Bobby Cruise and a helpful graphic explains the rules.  It’s a Gauntlet Match.  It’s pretty clear.  A model walks out with a smaller oversized novelty check which, in the words of the Sklar Brothers is somehow more insulting than a regular oversized novelty check.  Nevertheless, to the ring we go!  This should be interesting for me to try to keep track of.  Please bear with me.  Thanks.

2010 Holiday Gauntlet Match
Jay Briscoe vs. Steve Corino vs. Christoper Daniels vs. Rhett Titus vs. Davey Richards vs. Claudio Castagnoli vs. Chris Hero vs. Roderick Strong

Jay Briscoe draws number 1, Steve Corino draws number 2.
Lockup, and Jay backs Corino into the corner.  Clean break, and we lock up again.  Corino backs Jay into the corner now, and breaks semi-clean.  Jay shoves back and we lock up again.  Corino grabs a headlock and Jay shoots off Corino, and a shoulder block goes nowhere.  They trade piefaces, and Jay hits the ropes and a second shoulder block goes nowhere.  A third shoulder block gets nothing.  And a series of them now goes nowhere, until Jay ducks a clothesline and drops Corino.  Into the corner, Jay lays in some forearms and whips Corino off into a running clothesline for 2.  Jay backs Corino into a corner and lays in some shoulder blocks.  A corner whip is reversed and Corino charges in with a chop to no effect.  A second gets no effect, and Jay chops Corino into the ropes but Corino reverses an irish whip into an STO for 2.  Corino rakes Jay’s eyes over the ropes, because HE’S A HEEL.  In another corner, Jay buries a boot to the misection to get a braek, but Corino begs off only to bury a boot himself and lay in some forearms.  The two exchange forearms,  and Corino catches Jay in an abdominal stretch.  And Corino gives him the stinky thumb.  Of course he does.  Well, once guys reach a certain age, prostate exams are important, but Jay’s a little young for that yet.  Jay however reverses the hold, and Todd Sinclair breaks it up only for Corino to schoolboy Jay for 2.  Jay lands a forearm shot and a leg lariat for 2.  Corino reverses a corner whip but Jay gets an elbow up off a charge and scores with a blockbuster for a long 2.  Jay goes for the Death Valley Driver, but Corino counters for 2.  Jay blocks a clothesline and rolls up Corino for the 3 count at 5:41.  Post elimination, Sinclair asks for the Code of Honor to be followed, and Corino makes me happy by catching Jay with a cheap shot.  Good job, Steve.

Christopher Daniels draws number 3!
They shake hands, and Daniels makes sure Jay can go.  Lockup and Daniels grabs a wrist lock and wrings away.  Jay reverses and wrings the arm into a hammerlock.  Jay switches into a side headlock and Daniels shoots him off into a shoulder block sending Daniels down.  After a leapfrog, Daniels runs into a flying headscissors from Jay, who adds a snapmare and low dropkick for 1.  Jay whips Daniels off and lands a leg lariat for 1.  Daniels gets boot up off of a corner charge and hits a running inverted lungblower to buy himself some time to think.  Back up now, Daniels lays in a few knees and whips Jay face first into the corner for 2.  Daniels lands a vertical suplex into a gutbuster for 2.  Daniels drops an elbow for 2.  Jay dodges out of a corner charge and scores with the O’Connor Roll for 2.  Jay then adds a schoolboy for 2, and Daniels backs him into a corner and buries several shoulders into the midsection.  Back in the center of the ring, Daniels goes for another gutbuster for three 2 counts.  Daniels buries three knees and snap mares Jay over before locking in a seated abdominal stretch.  Jay fights back to his feet and escapes with a whip but drops his head allowing Daniels to land a kick, but Jay finds the energy to hit a superkick of his own and put both men down.  Daniels up first, and misses a charge, allowing Jay to score with a clothesline and a dropkick.  Daniels ducks a 2nd clothesline but runs into the Death Valley Driver.  Jay hits the downward spiral into the second buckle for 2.  Daniels hits a couple elbows to the midsection but charges into a boot.  Daniels counters the Jay Driller with a  roll through and buries the knee to the midsection and lands Angels Wings!  Daniels gets the 3 at 12:45 total.

Rhett Titus draws number 4!
Rhett attacks immediately, and Daniels scores with a dropkick.  Daniels hits a scoop slam and a slingshot legdrop for 2.  Daniels runs Titus on a tour of the turnbuckles–an underrated tour, I’m sure–and snap mares him for 1.  Titus meets another turnbuckle and gets whipped pillar to post but backdrops Daniels to the apron who counters with a hotshot but walks into a GORGEOUS dropkick for 1.  Titus in control now as he lays in a blatant choke and whips Daniels off the ropes into a back elbow and poses.  Titus drops the elbow for 2, and grabs a rear chinlock as Prazak speculates what Titus could do with $10,000.  Suffice it to say it involves potentially ladies of ill-repute.  Daniels escapes but Titus reverses a corner whip and scores with a powerslam for 2.  Titus poses and CLUBBERS at the back, as well as throwing in some kicks in the corner.  Titus goes to the face again, and rakes Daniels along the top rope.  Hogewood says we haven’t seen “some of the bigger names in ROH,” despite the fact that Daniels is in there right now.  Daniels responds by landing a series of charging elbows and hitting Titus with a running 3/4 nelson into the 2nd turnbuckle.  Titus rolls to the floor, and dodges a Daniels plancha, scoring with a running kick that gets 2 back in the ring.  Titus locks in the Rings of Saturn, but Daniels gets to the ropes.  Titus scores with a right hand and goes to whip Daniels into the buckle, but gets reversed.  Titus gets a boot up off a charge, but dives off the ropes into a uranage slam and Daniels scores with the Best Moonsault Ever for the pin at 19:04 total.

Davey Richards draws number 5!
As Davey makes his way to the ring, we have to go to some HDNet themed commercials.  As much of a bummer as this is–it screws up my timing, for one–I appreciate the breather too.  I’ve been typing for 20 solid minutes.

Well, it appears it was just one commercial and it appears as though we didn’t miss anything.  Perk of being a taped show, so I just started the clock again from where it was.  In any event, the two men jaw and lock up.  Richards grabs a headlock and bowls over Daniels off a shoulder block.  Richards counters a leapfrog off a dropkick, but Daniels trips him off of a rope run and grabs a side headlock.  Brilliant strategy.  Slow down the fresher man.  Richards reverses and scores with a series of arm drags and a spin kick before Daniels catches him with a drop toe hold and goes back to the headlock.  Richards reverses into a hammerlock.  Daniels gets up to sitting and then back up, but just before he can reverse the hold, Richards releases it and lands a kick to the back.  Daniels fires a forearm, and Richards responds in kind.  Richards scores with a kick but Daniels reverses a charge BRILLIANTLY into the Koji Clutch.  Richards, however makes it to the ropes.  Daniels pulls up Richards but gets met with a series of forearms that Daniels cuts off with a knee to the midsection.  Richards scores with the handspring enzugiri–sort of–and is able to reverse a wrestling sequence into the ankle lock.  Daniels reverses, sending Richards to the outside.  Daniels tries to recover, but Richards bounces right back in with a charging forearm in the corner.  Daniels counters the lariat with a clothesline of his own.  Daniels scores with the uranage slam, but misses the BME.  He landed on his feet however and charges into a Richards boot.  Daniels gets a palm strike and counters the alarm clock into an O’Connor Roll.  Richards grabs a waistlock but Daniels escapes and charges into the alarm clock and a German suplex for 2.  Richards releases the overhead German in locomotion after the kickout.  Richards adds a buzzsaw kick for the pin at 26:06 overall.

Claudio Castagnoli draws number 6!
Davey charges immediately before letting Claudio get into the ring.  Back in the ring now, Richards scores with the missile dropkick for 2.  Richards charges but runs into a clothesline for three 2 counts.  Claudio pounds away and kicks away in the corner before picking up Richards for a military press.  Claudio just dumps him for two more 2 counts.  Claudio grabs a seated butterfly style surfboard.  Davey gets to his feet and stomps on the feet of Claudio but runs into a powerslam for 2.  Claudio uses the deadlift gutwrench suplex for two more 2 counts.  Claudio lands a big time scoop slam and goes up top.  This might not end well.  Sure enough, Davey chops him and follows him up.  Claudio knocks him down, but Davey will not be denied.  A second time he gets knocked down, but Davey pops up again, but two headbutts send him down.  Claudio tries again, but Richards gets up a THIRD time and lays in a series of chops and a superplex.  The superplex gets two, but Claudio kicks out into the ankle lock.  Claudio escapes but the damage has been done.  Claudio goes to get Richards in the corner, and whips him off the ropes.  Davey goes for the handspring enzugiri but gets caught in the UFO for a long 2 and Claudio is livid.  Ricola Bomb is countered into a sunset flip for the pin at 32:04 overall!

Chris Hero draws number 7!
Claudio grabs the leg as he leaves, and Hero gets the jump on him for a long 2 count and Hero is already beside himself.  Hero pounds away with stiff kicks but Richards won’t stay down.  Hero scores with a series of elbows, but Richards reverses a sunset flip attempt into the cloverleaf but Hero quickly reaches the ropes.  Hero scores with one of his lethal elbows for 2.  Hero gets a cravat on the apron and adds in a series of knees before distracting Sinclair to allow Hagadorn to get a shot in.  Hero only gets 2.  Hero grabs a Cloverleaf of his own, but Richards counters into the ankle lock!  Hero is in the ropes however and kicks Richards off.  Richards throws some desperation kicks to the midsection, but Hero pulls him up and chops away.  Back to the center, Hero lands another huge elbow for 2.  Hero adds another and is looking for the win by KO.  He doesn’t get it.  Richards scores with another forearm shot, but Hero elbows him down again.  Richards keeps firing, but every time he does, Hero decks him again.  Hero whips Richards corner to corner and goes to charge in with the elbow.  He scores, but Richards adds a desperation kick only for Hero to just drill him with a roaring elbow for 2 as Richards was in the ropes.  Hero hits a scoop slam and goes for a moonsault but misses.  Hero counters a kick, but Richards rolls through it into the ankle lock.  Hero reaches the ropes, but Hagadorn was on the apron prompting an attack from Richards.  Hero lays in a chop in the corner and charges but hits elbow.  Hero hits another roaring elbow however, and the Liger Bomb for 2.  Hero gets the loaded elbow pad as Hagadorn distracts Sinclair, but Richards counters into a small package for the pin at 39:12 overall!  Post-match, Richards drags in Hagadorn from the apron, but it allows Hero to score with the loaded elbow pad!  The officials brigade hit the ring to get the Kings of Wrestling out of there.

Roderick Strong draws number 8!
And Roddy looks stoked.  Unfortunately, he only gets 2 on the immediate cover!  Strong lays in the punches and just pounds away on Richards.  Strong stomps the mudhole in the corner, and lays in chops.  Dave Prazak rightly points out to counter Hogewood’s righteous indignation that it wasn’t Strong’s fault what happened to Richards, so why shouldn’t he have any compulsion on capitalizing.  Strong continues to chop and choke away but Richards walks out of the corner and they trade forearms in the center of the ring, with Strong eventually getting the better.  Strong charges into the alarm clock, but counters, only to be met with an enzugiri.  Richards misses his corner charge and Strong scores with his kick to the face and the gutbuster for 2.  Strong goes for the Strong Hold but Richards counters into the ankle lock.  Strong counters throwing Richards into the corner, and scores with the running forearm and the Sick Kick for the win at 43:45!

Roderick Strong def. Jay Briscoe, Steve Corino, Christopher Daniels, Rhett Titus, Davey Richards, Claudio Castagnoli & Chris Hero in 43:45 via Sick Kick (to Richards).

Jay Briscoe def. Steve Corino via rollup in 5:41
Christopher Daniels def. Jay Briscoe via Angels Wings in 5:48 (12:45 total)
Christopher Daniels def. Rhett Titus via Best Moonsault Ever in 5:49 (19:04 total)
Davey Richards def. Christopher Daniels via Buzzsaw Kick in 6:25 (26:06 total)
Davey Richards def. Claudio Castagnoli via sunset flip in 5:16 (32:04 total)
Davey Richards def. Chris Hero via Small Package in 6:24 (39:12 total)
Roderick Strong def. Davey Richards via Sick Kick in 2:55 (43:45 total)

You may notice that the times don’t quite add up.  For the purposes of this particular match review, I left the match entrances out, but kept them as part of the overall match calculation.  Frankly, it’s easier that way.  I don’t think I could fairly star rate the thing, but it was very entertaining and was nearly an hour of virtually solid wrestling, mostly better than anything else you’d see, with strong psychology and good pacing.  The only thing that bothers me a bit is that it didn’t really advance anything coming out of Final Battle with the 9th Anniversary Show coming up in Chicago in February.

**We come back after the short commercial to the fans chanting “Best in the World,” among possibly other things at Davey Richards as he recovers alone in the ring after the match and the officials have departed.

**After this, we go to the pink studio of DOOM, where Dave Prazak stands up for the heart and will of Roderick Strong in winning the grueling gauntlet match and mention that next week will be a Best of ROH on HDNet 2010 show!  Huzzah!  Copy/Paste for the win!

**Let’s add up the numbers. On a 50+ minute show, there was one 43 minute match.  I’d call that a win.  This was a tremendous show, and with next week’s show being a 2010 Best Of, we’re clearly waiting until the Louisville tapings to start building new angles towards the next iPPV.

As always, thanks for reading, never hesitate to hit me up with any comments questions or anything else and I hope to see everyone next week!



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