Ring of Honor television from this past week featured the second installment of Field of Honor from MCU Park in Brooklyn. The theme of ROH vs. NJPW continued on this episode from the venue that is home to Brooklyn Cyclones baseball.
An advantage to the ballpark shows, the setting has more character than many other interchangeable venues. However, a disadvantage is the crowd is scattered along the bleachers in the stadium, showing gaps of empty seats. The atmosphere was still unique nonetheless.
Joining announcers Kevin Kelly and Steve Corino, Bobby Fish provided guest commentary for a match involving his reDRagon teammate. He explained the intricacies of the matwork in the opening bout on this episode.
Kyle O’Reilly defeated Katsuyori Shibata via ref stoppage
Taped in late August, the result of this set up Shibata defending the NEVER championship against O’Reilly last week at Sumo Hall in Tokyo as part of the King of Pro Wrestling card. Their match in Brooklyn was a precursor to the incredible match they would have in Sumo Hall.
The finish to an otherwise great match in the ballpark ended somewhat flat due to an unorthodox referee stoppage. Still, the story was O'Reilly being better on that night by having Shibata literally at a breaking point, setting up their later title match. Likewise, the outcome in Brooklyn allowed for a wrestler from ROH to get a win over a champion from NJPW.
In the ballpark, Shibata and O’Reilly put on a clinic of realism at the outset of their match. They grappled on the mat, doing intricate exchanges and reversals. For the heat, Shibata began working over O’Reilly, focusing on his arm. O’Reilly fired up. He began stinging Shibata with kicks. Shibata begged for more. That same struggle continued down the stretch.
They traded suplexes and both went down in a heap. They rose to trade strikes, then O’Reilly got a few near falls. He first executed a brainbuster, but Shibata kicked out. So he used one of Shibata's own finishers, delivering a penalty kick followed by a second brainbuster. O’Reilly transitioned into an omoplata. Shibata refused to tap despite O’Reilly wrenching on the arm. Referee Tiger Hattori called for the bell and stopped the match just as O’Reilly had Shibata’s arm seemingly at the breaking point.
ROH World Champion Adam Cole defeated Jay Lethal, Tetsuya Naito and Hiroshi Tanahashi to retain the title
Unlike a fatal four-way, a four corner survival match has two opponents legally in the ring at once and the other two in opposite corners able to tag in throughout. Cole and Naito had an early exchange that turned into a stalemate. At the time fresh off dropping the world title, Lethal was fiery and defiant as he squared off with Tanahashi. Lethal then again let his emotions factor in, allowing Cole to bait him into a brawl.
Cole himself bumped around for everyone, then got a near fall on Naito after hitting the Last Shot. Naito displayed tranquilo as he subtly, then more overtly played to the crowd. Cole began working over Lethal. That led to a hot tag where Tanahashi ran wild, which an uncharacteristic spot for a singles match. Naito crotched Tanahashi when he tried climbing the turnbuckles, and Naito went on to pick the bones of a downed Cole.
Lethal re-entered the melee and got a near fall on Cole off a springboard cutter. Everyone traded big moves, leading to everybody down. When the dust settled, Lethal jumped off the top with Hail to the King and Tanahashi went to the top for High Fly Flow. Lethal dispatched Tanahashi with a Lethal Injection. Lethal had Cole set up for another Injection when Naito hit him with the title belt. Cole superkicked Naito and hoisted Lethal to deliver the Last Shot. Cole pinned Lethal to retain his world title, winning the four corner survival match.
On the next episode of ROH TV airing this weekend in syndication, Keith Lee & Shane Taylor vs. War Machine, Jay Lethal vs. Silas Young and an appearance from Bullet Club.
This week from ROH on YouTube: