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Views from the Hawke’s Nest: Tyler Black – Rise from the Fall

December 18, 2018 | Posted by TJ Hawke
Seth Rollins Raw 71618 Tyler Black


Read over a 125 Seth Rollins match reviews from me!


Violent Tendencies
Detroit, Michigan
June 26, 2009

Tyler Black vs. Jimmy Jacobs [Cage]

The Tyler vs. Jacobs split was in the works for so long that to stretch it out for six months after the eventual split was foolhardy to say the least. They tried hard here, but there was not much they could do to make this dramatic and exciting blowoff that it should have been. It did have a cool finish at least: Tyler beat Jacobs with a Superfly Splash through a table. (**1/2)


End of an Age
Chicago Ridge, Illinois
June 27, 2009

Tyler Black vs. KENTA

KENTA got control first. Tyler fought back. KENTA cut him off again though and got control again. Tyler managed to fight back again to an apparent draw, but KENTA got the STF. He then hit a pop-up Ace Crusher. Tyler came back and scoop slammed KENTA to the floor. Tope con HELLO. Tyler then made a comeback in the ring; the crowd largely responded with apathy. KENTA avoided the buckle bomb and came back. They botched a GTS reversal. It looked bad. KENTA then reversed God’s Last Gift into the GTS: 1…2…NO!? What? Wow. Tyler came back, but KENTA then reversed a kneeling superkick into a GTS: 1…2…3
Much like the last match, this feeling so insignificant brought it down a ton. The closing sequence was almost able to save it, but they had an ugly botch to bring it right back down to average territory. KENTA’s use in 2009 was bizarre to say the least. (**¾)


Survival of the Fittest
Indianapolis, Indiana
October 10, 2009

Tyler Black vs. Roderick Strong

We are JIP with the last two standing in the 2009 SotF final.

Sans context, it was hard to glean much enjoyment or satisfaction from this. They clearly worked very hard, but it just seemed like mindless (and understandably sluggish) back-and-forth action to me.

It ended on a terrible note with Tyler hitting a kneeling superkick but with the referee giving him a three count that did not seem like a three count. I have no idea if that was on purpose or not. Regardless, it made Tyler look undeserving, and that was the last thing Tyler Black needed. (Well, the sixty-minute draw at Final Battle ended up being the last thing he needed.)


ROH on HDNet

Tyler Black vs. Bryan Danielson

One of the early storylines during the HDNet era of ROH was Tyler and Bryan having an unofficial Best of Three series. The first two matches went to a draw, and this was the blowoff.

You know the HDNet show environment was sterile when even Bryan could barely overcome it. As a result, very few matches came off as anything special, and this was not the exception. It was pretty easy to watch at least though and featured a handful of cool spots (the highlight easily being Bryan shoving Tyler into the crowd from the top rope).

The big issue with this match and the series in general was that it was not really effective in terms of making Tyler seeming like he was anywhere near Bryan’s level. The idea that Tyler won and thus was better was hindered as a result. Tyler won with God’s Last Gift. (***1/4)


Anniversary Show
New York, New York

Before the match, they did a super cringe-y promo segment between Aries and Jim Cornette about how the fans did not like the 2009 Final Battle match between these match. Not stuff wrestling promos should be about.

Austin Aries(c) vs. Tyler Black [ROH World Championship]

After the disaster that way the 2009 Final Battle, it seemed impossible that ROH could come back to the city and redo the main event to make it right. They somehow pulled it off though.

Tyler ran through him for a while. Aries cut him off and worked him over. Tyler fought back. Etc. In other words, the structure itself did not have much in the way of nuance and was instead very generic.

The action was fine though and worked at a pace that kept everyone invested (or at least prevented boredom). The key to the overall success of the match was the finishing sequence.

They teased a shmoz finish would have been a disaster. It was a mere red herring though. Kenny King threatened to get involved. Roderick Strong took action to prevent it, but that accidentally caused Tyler to fall off the top rope. Tyler then superkicked Roddy and Jim Cornette before finishing Aries off cleanly with a series of all of his big movez. Well done. (***)

Trivia: Eddie Kingston and RASCHE BROWN were in the ring to celebrate the title win for Tyler. Delightful.


The Big Bang
Charlotte, North Carolina
April 3, 2010

Tyler Black(c) vs. Roderick Strong vs. Austin Aries [ROH World Championship]

This was very much the style of ROH main events after Nigel and Bryan left: long and boring. (That’s not to say every main event was like that of course.) There was just nothing here to sink your teeth into, and the action all ran together. There were a laughable amount of kickouts late in the match, too. This was just a giant cliche of a ROH match. The fact that they worked so hard just to produce this made it even worse. Roddy was eliminated by Aries first. Tyler then pinned Aries with God’s Last Gift to win the match. *


Bitter Friends, Stiffer Enemies
Chicago Ridge, Illinois
April 24, 2010

Tyler Black(c) vs. Chris Hero [ROH World Championship]

Originally reviewed here.

Tyler Black’s Ring of Honor World Championship reign suffered from a number of factors outside of his control. He won the belt 18 months too late which killed his potential as a babyface champion (a very common problem throughout Ring of Honor’s history). They also used Tyler’s reign to limit the number of challengers that each ROH champion would have to face. After years of the company putting over champions by how many challenges they faced (instead of *just* how long the reign went), Tyler got the raw deal of having to be the guinea pig for their new philosophy. (On a side note, I thought this change in philosophy completely failed in its goal to make each challenge seem more important. Instead, it telegraphed when potential title changes would happen and made all other challenges into obviously successful defenses for the champ.)

I say all that as a way of explaining that Hero and Tyler deserve a ton of credit for overcoming that to put on a satisfying title match on here. There is no great story going on here or anything like that. It’s just two talented guys working a brisk pace and keeping the match action-heavy enough for it to never be boring. Hero in particular deserves tons of kudos for his work on top. His heat segment did not drag in the slightest despite having no real point to it. It was just to establish the dynamic between the two until they went to the extended back-and-forth sequence to finish the match. Tyler eventually won with a God’s Last Gift after some failed interference from Shane Hagadorn. (***1/2)


Supercard of Honor
New York City, New York
May 8, 2010

Tyler Black(c) vs. Roderick Strong [ROH World Championship]

ROH main events were really long and featured a ton of finisher kickouts at this time. It was annoying and dumb. The product was not hot enough to justify the length, and finisher kickouts are pretty much always annoying. This match also had the added “benefit” of three ref bumps and three refs! The rise of Jimpact was in full force here. Tyler finally ended this one with a super God’s Last Gift. (*)


Death Before Dishonor
Toronto, Ontario
June 19, 2010

Tyler Black(c) vs. Davey Richards [ROH World Championship]

This is a weird match. Unlike the Aries vs. Richards match, I actually didn’t think Davey did a bad job here as the de facto babyface. He didn’t have to sell a limb, and he sold the exhaustion of the battle just well enough at times. The structure of the match was weird though, and they lost me in the final ten to fifteen minutes of the match. I think the idea was that Tyler, being the better athlete, just outlasted Davey based on being better all around. They didn’t use the action of the match tell the story. It was a part of the match around the margins, but so much of the action just felt random and done for the sake of it.

I do not think I’ve done an adequate job of explaining why I this match didn’t click with me much. I apologize for that. To put it simply: it went for a very long time, and I was bored throughout the second half of the match. (**1/2)


Chicago Ridge, Illinois
July 24, 2010

Tyler Black(c) vs. Kevin Steen [ROH World Championship]

2010 saw a real shift in how Ring of Honor approached booking their world champions. Instead of multiple defenses in a weekend, the company generally only did one (if that). I understood the reasons for changing philosophies (the idea was to make each defense more special), but the consequence of doing that (when they were starting to build their years around the four main iPPVs) was that it made it painfully obvious that the house show title matches were not going to result in title changes. This is all a long way of saying that these two were starting behind the eight ball. They made it work though.

They took their time and slowly got more fans invested they had every single one in the palm of their pocket by the end. While that does make for the most exciting match wire to wire, it is a more impressive accomplishment in some ways. Tyler actually ended up making Steen tap out to the sharpshooter to win (which made sense given that they were stealing each other’s moves in the match). (****)


Tag Wars
Charlotte, North Carolina
August 28, 2010

Tyler Black vs. Davey Richards

These guys specialized in dumb matches that went a very long times. This was exactly that.

When I say “dumb,” I don’t mean like deathmatch wrestling dumb in that they did a lot of stupid things. In fact, these two tended not to get too crazy when they were in the ring together. They worked incredibly hard and at an incredible pace. Nothing they did meant anything though. It was working 100x harder than the average match for a much smaller percentage of the reward. In other words, it was dumb! Davey won cleanly via submission. (**)


ROH on HDNet

Tyler Black vs. Davey Richards

This was Tyler’s televised goodbye from ROH, but his actual goodbye was on iPPV a few weeks earlier. The HDNet days were not fun.

I think if you were invested in the story at the time of Tyler kind of getting mild redemption from going through one final Davey match with honor, I can kind of see why you would like this one. In the end though, it was just yet another very long match between these two where they put billions of dollars worth of effort into it and got very little back on their investment. It was mostly watchable though. (**1/2)


Fade to Black
Plymouth, Massachusetts
September 10, 2010

Tyler Black vs. Christopher Daniels

This was a thirty-minute draw, and they took a fairly pedestrian path to get there. Tyler was slightly more interesting after the heel turn as a character. However, Tyler has always been a shitty worker on top in singles matches. Nothing changed here, and Daniels was never the guy who can drag an exciting match out of someone. This was just a perfect storm of factors preventing two good wrestlers from being able to have a good match. It was not unwatchable though and featured a hilariously awful STF from Tyler. (**1/4)


Read over a 125 Seth Rollins match reviews from me!

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Tyler Black, TJ Hawke