Welcome to the second edition of the ROH Rewind! With everything seemingly happening in the world of ROH, would this have an impact on this week's show? Would Bryan Danielson's signing into the big leagues now open up the Heavyweight Title picture? Would Jerry Lynn be forced to retire? Would this week's main event top the spectacle of McGuinness vs Black? All will be revealed!
We start this week with a video package of the history between Jerry Lynn and Austin Aries, showing Lynn's descent into a hated man when he turned his back on the fans after allowing Aries to beat Tyler Black for the Heavyweight Title.
The announcers hype up Jerry Lynn's appearance and his future in the business, as well as the main event of Austin Aries vs Roderick Strong.
Kevin Steen and El Generico vs Sami Callihan and Tony Kozina
This match was a must-win for Steen and Generico, because if they lost, then they'd lose their chance at another shot for the Tag Team Titles, currently held by the American Wolves. This led to the announcers hyping up the strength of the tag team division compared to other promotions (veiled shot at WWE, maybe?).
This match started off in the favour of Steen and Generico, as they were able to gain an early advantage over the opposition. A set of quick tags enabled them to isolate Kozina from his partner.
Callihan evened up the odds by interfering behind the referee's back, allowing Kozina to get the tag and let the fresh man in.
This then led to the typical tag team strategy of separating off the ring to wear down the opponent (in this case, Kevin Steen). However, Steen was able to counter a double team move into a sweet stacked Samoan Drop, dropping both men.
This then set up Callihan and Kozina for the finishing shot in the form of a package piledriver/brain buster combination, leading to the pin and the win for Steen and Generico.
Winners: Kevin Steen and El Generico by Pinfall (5:30)
Backstage, Kyle Durden was standing by with Roderick Strong.
He asked Strong for his thoughts on his upcoming match against Austin Aries, in which Strong rebutted by recalling a list of all the top ROH talent that he has beaten in recent weeks to earn this opportunity against the champion. He finished up by saying he'd prove himself worthy of a shot tonight.
Back in the ring, they were getting ready for the next match.
D-Lo Brown vs John Kerman
Maybe it was because Kerman didn't even receive a ring entrance, but from the second the bell rang, you knew this wouldn't last long.
Brown got in the offense from the start, playing up the heel role by verbally attacking Kerman whilst striking him with punches and kicks. This was followed up with several power moves, which could have led to the win right then.
Brown, however, prolonged the beating, finishing Kerman off with a Sky High and the pin.
Winner: D-Lo Brown by Pinfall (3:00)
Straight after the victory, Durden came to the ring to interview Brown. He asked him his opinion on the locker room rumour of Jerry Lynn's potential retirement tonight. Brown automatically got annoyed, saying that his first segment should be about him, not Lynn.
After intimidating Durden to the back, Brown cut a promo on Lynn, saying that due to Jerry's age, he should "shrivel up and die, giving him one less obstacle in his path for the title."
Leading into the break, we were treated to a "paid announcement" on behalf of the Embassy.
Prince Nana, Claudio Castagnoli, and Jimmy Rave all talked about the elimination tag next week, highlighting each of their problems with members of the opposite team, comprising of Colt Cabana, Brent Albright, Necro Butcher and Grizzly Redwood. The fourth member of the Embassy, Ernie Osiris, just stood there.
All of this led to them hyping their win next week.
Back from commercial, Durden interviewed Nigel McGuinness about his loss last week at the hands of Tyler Black. McGuinness spent the first half of the promo admitting that he took his eye of the ball, but saying that Black was a worthy opponent who deserved to win.
He then turned his attention to Jerry Lynn, but was interrupted by Black's music as he made his way to the ring.
Black addressed Jerry Lynn and his supposed retirement, saying that he wants to follow in his footsteps by winning the ROH Heavyweight Championship. Lynn then entered the arena, to a very lackluster ovation, as he talked about what Brown said earlier.
He then remarked that he considered slowing down a bit, but was looking forward to facing Black further down the line. This was in direct response to Black eliminating Lynn in the Heavyweight tournament which resulted in Aries winning gold.
The segment ended with them both shaking hands and going to the back.
The announcers hyped up next week's main event of the elimination tag match between the Cabana and the Embassy. They also talked about Sonjay Dutt vs Delirious. This led to this week's main event.
Austin Aries vs Roderick Strong
This started off in Austin's favour, as he agressively attacked Strong from the bell. Not even five minutes into the match, Aries locked in the Last Chancery submission, but Strong got his foot on the ropes before rolling to the outside.
After going back into the ring, Strong hit Aries with a solid backbreaker before following up with Ric Flair-style chops across the chest.
It all spilled over to the outside, where Aries regained his advantage with a shove into the ringpost, followed by a double axe handle off the top rope. Aries then rolled Strong back in the ring.
Aries capitalised on his advantage by hitting Strong with a series of strong strikes, but Strong came back with a rally of shots. Aries shut this down quickly by countering an attempted half nelson backbreaker into a crucifix pin, earning a two count.
This led to a back and forth sequence, with both men trying to get one up on each other. After being beaten down for a few minutes, Strong attempted to come back yet again.
Aries gained the upperhand with his patented Heat Seeking Missile to the outside, before rolling Strong in and going for a second double axe.
This time, Strong was able to counter in mid-air, hitting Aries with an outstanding backbreaker, leading to the near fall. However, Aries recovered fast enough to lock on the Last Chancery for a second time, but again, Strong reached the ropes.
Strong got back to his feet and hit a beautiful slingshot suplex before following up with a gutbuster and a set of knees to the back of Aries' head. This led to another two count for Strong.
He hit another backbreaker before going for a Boston Crab. However, Aries was able to slither into a pinfall, gaining the pin after holding his foot on the bottom rope for leverage.
Winner: Austin Aries by Pinfall (17:30)
This led to Austin celebrating over the body of Strong. The announcers hyped up the win, as well as next week's show.
This was almost a very TNA style episode, with the focus mainly being on sub-par promos and very little wrestling. Despite this, the main event was an outstanding competition which helped to both develop Austin as an unstoppable performer, as well as elevate Strong in defeat.
The Lynn/Black segment was a nice bit of continuity, but begs the question of whether or not Lynn will be able to perform to a high standard after his severe arm injury. The squash match did what it was supposed to do, nothing more, nothing less, whereas the opening bout showed a small taste of the excellent tag team division that ROH has.
Next week's episode looks to be back on track, with Sonjay Dutt vs Delirious, as well as the eight man elimination match between the Cabana and the Embassy being highlighted as featured events. All in all, an OK show that helped to develop all the feuds in the right direction.
Show Grade: I'll award this a B-, due to the lack of wrestling, but a good show from the matches featured anyway.
1. Austin Aries vs Roderick Strong
2. Kevin Steen and El Generico vs Sami Callihan and Tony Kozina
3. D-Lo Brown vs John Kerman
Weekly Top Five
1. Austin Aries
2. Roderick Strong
3. Jerry Lynn
4. Tyler Black
5. D-Lo Brown
Until next time, this has been Hayley Graham, and that was the ROH Rewind!