ROH Field Of Honor 2016 Review.
Today ROH announced that their annual Field Of Honor event is now viewable on VOD, of course being the big ROH fan that I am I went and instantly brought the show, pretty much for two reasons, 1) Its Ring Of Honor 2) Kyle O’Reilly vs Katsuyori Shibata.
Field of Honor 2016 was live from MCU Park in Brooklyn, New York and hosted not only the stars of ROH but also those from NJPW, building on from Death Before Dishonor just a week earlier the newly crowned ROH World Champion Adam Cole was set to make his first title defence in a FOUR CORNER SURVIVAL match with Jay Lethal,Tetuya Naito and Hiroshi Tanahashi.
Now I’m not the most clued up person when it comes to Baseball unlike Steve Corino and Ian Riccaboni, of course I know the teams, the rules and some of the players but never as a 5 year old watching Hulk Hogan leg drop the world would I dream of seeing a annual event set in a baseball stadium, ROH consistently gives you something a little different, be that with the in ring work , some comedy aspects to the show, its love for pure wrestling over “entertainment” wrestling, this is just another little extra club to their set and I quite like it.
Sure it looks kind of odd at first but once the actions starts you easily get lost into the matches when watching talent such Adam Cole, Jay Lethal, Kyle O’Reilly, The Briscoes and The Young Bucks and those from New Japan in Hiroshi Tanahashi,Tetsuya Naito and Kushida, perhaps biggest disappointment was that Kazuchika Okada wasn’t on the show.
The show opened with a beautiful rendition of the American National Anthem by Keith Hardy .
All is good again, Steve Corino and Kevin Kelly are on commentary together, I’ve said this many times over the past two years that these two are the best in the business at what they do, both complement each other so well, Kelly’s excellent wrestling knowledge alongside Corino’s infectious personality.
Kushida (IWGP Jr Heavyweight Champion) vs Dalton Castle – Non Title match
Kushida supporting his newly won 2016 Super J Cup jacket was looking to continue his recent winning ways against Dalton Castle and his boys, Castle has such an incredible unique look with a personality that can only rival Shinsuke Namamura.
Nice start to the match from both men taking it to the ground to slowly build into it, both started to play to the crowd with Castles gimmick and even having a little battle to be cooled down by the boys, I like how Castle can always bring some comedy into his matches but within a instant turn it into a hard-hitting encounter.
The match started to hit a faster pace with both men making dives to the outside onto the other and the boys, Kushida looked for his signature “Hooverboard Lock” but Castle was able to escape, not before long as the match hit its peak Castle looked for the Bang-a-Rang finisher which was reversed by Kushida, Castle managed to hit a beautiful slow german suplex for a 2 but the match ended with the Super J Cup winner locking in the Hooverboard lock and then rolling for the win.
Solid match but nothing spectacular.
Bobby Fish (ROH TV Champion) Vs Evil.
Everyone in New Japan currently seem to be having issues with Evil who this year was representing Los Ingobernable deJapan at Field Of Honor a show just last year he earnt a ROH World Title match under the persona Watanabe.
I’m a big fan of Bobby Fish in reDRagon but more recently been enjoying his TV title run after defeating Mark Briscoe at Death Before Dishonor.
Both man are known for their hard-hitting moves and strikes, this match wasn’t any different, while it started a little slower Evil took full advantage of ROH’s traditional relaxed rules by hitting Fish several times with a chair on the baseball field floor before trapping Bobby’s neck into the chair and running him in the ring post, this built for much of the match with Evil dominating with some traditional stiff strikes to the TV Champion, not for want of trying Fish attempted several comebacks to be cut off by the Evil foreigner ( pun intended )
As the match continues Fish eventually managed to gain control before hitting the falcon arrow which Evil kick out of and then the TV Champ was able to turn that into a knee bar for the win.
A nice match where the heel tried to break all the rules and beat down the hero champion, before the fan favourite made a comeback for the win ,wrestling for me is so simple and this match took those simplicity’s and turned it into a nice hard-fought match.
Michael Elgin ( IWGP Intercontinental Champion ) vs Donovan Dijak w/Nana
Skys the limit for Dijak, he can go as far as he wants to be, hes 6’7 and has the athletic ability of a Jr Heavyweight, Elgin on the other hand has completely reinvented himself since his short-lived ROH World Title run, the current IWJP Intercontinental Champion is surely looking to regained that title at All Star Extravaganza.
Power and agility is a great way to describe this match, anything that has Elgin and Dijak in it will have alot of this, an instant success in Japan Elgin took control of the match like the Champion he is holding Dijak in a suplex position for over 40 seconds, the champ then started to show some agility by diving from the ring apron onto the challenger, before long it was Dijak’s turn to show off some of his power and agility with standing bodyslam knee strikes to the champions ribs and a lovely moonsalt from the top, Elgin has really found himself as a wrestler, his striking ability is on a different lovely since being in Japan and its really adding to his American matches.
Dijak went close with a stringboard elbow from the ring apron, both men then went close to a finish following some stiff strikes and more highflying manovers from Diajk.
Before long Elgin took over the match and put Dijak away following a belly to back suplex off the top rope then into a buckle bomb to set up the Elgin Bomb for the finish.
A hard-fought match that would be widely regarded in Japan I’m sure, Dijak comes out looking a star as he’s set to face ROH TV Champion Bobby Fish at September’s All Star Extravaganza, Elgins stock keeps rising as he faces ROH World Champion Adam Cole as the same event.
Golden Gauntlet Match.
( Immediate ROH World Tag Team Championship match )
Leon st Giovani & Shaheem Ali vs CHOAS ( GEDO & Toru Yano )
Yano started the match in his traditional “scared” comedic ways, but a very tough wrestler that easily took control over the rookie tag team with GEDO breaking the rules on the outside, it didn’t take long for Yano to take off the ROH turnbuckle pad and strike the Ali and Giovani with it, more relaxed rules from the officials.
The rookies didn’t really have much offence in this match because of the crafty Yano whom managed to pick up the win following a low blow to Giovani behind the officials back, enter CHEESEBURGER and Will Ferrra, the second part of this gauntlet which was taken to the outside pretty quickly with all four completers using the unique setting to their advantage.
Ferrea did most of the work in this match with CHEESEBURGER not managing much before he was superkicked by the tough GEDO for the win. Enter The Cabinet…….
Former World Tag Team Champions Kenny King and Rhett Titus blend so well together, I’m a fan of them both but not sure much as the Cabinet, they both quickly took the match to GEDO and Yano easily dispatching them before…. ENTER WARMACHINE !!
Jim Ross recently said if he owned a Wrestling Promotion then WarMachine would be a team he wants, I couldn’t agree more, one the best in the world right now for me, both displayed some hard-hitting strikes to The Cabinet duo early on.
A nice solid match between these two teams both displaying excellent tag work, Hanson took on both men with multiple splashes to the corner before missing and Kenny King attempted springboard from the outside failed as he slipped and landed heavily on his knee. WarMachine quickly put away Kenny King before enter…. The Briscoes.
This match was really able to show the depth of the ROH tag division even without several other teams competing.
WARMACHINE and The Briscoes took to each other on the outside with some hard-hitting strikes and maneuvers, these two tag team proved again that they are some the best in the world right now for me, I really enjoyed them staying on the outside for a good length of the match and then some nice inring work, both teams managed some big moves to go close for the win but it was ROH most successful Tag Team of all time The Briscoes picking up the win, they get an immediate Title Match versus The Addiction.
The Addiction ( ROH World Tag Team Champions ) vs The Briscoes
Kazarian and Daniels quickly entered the match without any announcement and wasted no time in taking it to the Briscoes, the Champs have such chemistry in the ring and have perfectly perfected the art of being sneaky heels.
Another bout of the evil champions beating down the fan favourites before Jay made the hot tag to his bother Mark for a comeback, it doesn’t matter how many times you see this in wrestling it just works everytime with world-class wrestlers like these.
The Briscoes took over the match with a Jay-Driller into a Frogy Bone before Kazarian managed to pull Paul Turner to the outside, a brilliant ending to the match that honestly caught me off guard, the ref and Kazarian argued outside before for me the greatest Tag Team alive The Young Bucks walked out and attempted to superkick Kazarian but missed and hit to Paul Turner to the delight of Steve Corino … SUUUUUUUUUPPERKICK !!!
The Bucks and The Briscoes then both hit Kazarian with a superkick on the outside, as both teams got into the ring, Daniels pushed Mark Briscoe into Matt Jackson from behind which resulted in those two sides facing off and coming to blows before the Champs managed to sneak in for the win.
A fantastic ending to a solid match, the depth of this division is outstanding, hope this builds to a 3 way Tag Team Title Match down the line.
Bullet Club ( The Young Bucks, Hangman Page & Takahashi ) vs M.C.M.G, Lio Rush and ACH.
How could anyone not want to see these 8 men wrestle ? The Bucks and The M.C.M.G are two outstanding tag teams, ACH hasn’t looked better and both Lio Rush and Hangman Page’s stock has never been higher, fans of all these involved, high hopes for this match.
A good solid match of what you come to expect from these, Superkicks, highflying and fast paced action, while I love all those in involved in this match another tag match wasn’t really what I wanted after sitting through the past 7 teams though, while I do think ACH and Lio Rush would be a dream team.
The action in this match started steady but accelerated up when Lio Rush went into 2nd gear which seem to prompt everyone into another gear to the chorus of “This Is Wrestling” from the ROH fans. I liked how everyone just went up 1/2 levels and put on a heck of a show for 5/6 minutes solid of nonstop action, superkicks and all, finally The Bullet Club picked up the win thanks to Hangman Page’s rite of passion finisher.
While the final 5/6 minutes of the match was great It didn’t really do anything for me that I wasn’t expecting from these, Lio Rush came out looking a star for me, I’d like to see him pushed more as he’s a very gifted Pro Wrestler.
The Young Bucks again proved they are this generations best tag team ever, I don’t care what anyone says, you can pick a better team than those two in the past 5 years.
Kyle O’Reilly vs Katsuyori Shibata
Honestly speaking I’ve been waiting to watch these two wrestle for a long time, I’m such a fan of O’Reilly and think he has to hold the ROH World Title sooner than later, Shibata to me is one those wrestlers than comes around once a generation, his look, he’s expressionless face, strikes and submission ability are second to none.
Both men complement each other so well from the strikes, ground submission work and they didn’t take much time jumping right into both, O’Reilly’s traditional knee and leg strikes were in full force while having the ability to quickly take the match to the ground for leg and arm locks.
Shibata showed more intimidation tactics during the match as he sat up an ate several strikes to the body, brushing them off as if they were nothing, the match continued at a nice pace with body strike after body strikes from both O’Reilly and Shibata just an outstanding back and forth match.
Kyle and Katsuyori hit each other with continuous belly to back suplexs before both hitting a stiff leg to the others face to the delight of the fans watching this special match with a “This Is Awesome” chant in the background.
This match was tremendous from the get go, as the match begun to slow down Kyle O’Reilly sinked in the omerplata submission, Shibata scrambling for the ring ropes but seem unable to continue by NJPW official Tiger Hattori, the fan in attendance didn’t seem to like the outcome of this, a little odd finish as Shibata just moved into the corner following the stoppage, I can see where they were going with this in having both men look unbeatable but maybe they could have used the Steve Austin vs Bret Hart finish from WrestleMania that saw Shibata pass out rather than the ref just stop it for his own good.
As fans sit in the crowd wearing t-shirts donning the ROH letters across their chests, the back of those shirts say “This Is Wrestling” never has a statement been so true about a match than that of O’Reilly and Shibata, While I wasn’t a fan of the finish it was everything that I wanted and more, an outstanding MMA style Pro Wrestling match from two of the absolute best around.
Four Corner ROH World Title Survival Match
Adam Cole (C) vs Jay Lethal vs Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Tetsuya Naito
As the lights shine bright on the ROH ring at home field plate at MCU Park, the greatest rivalry this year between Adam Cole and Jay Lethal now has just added Japanese star power of Naito and Tanahashi to sure make for a tremendous main event.
While I didn’t really want Jay Lethal’s title reign to ever come to an end I’m pretty please it did to Adam Cole than anyone else, Coles entrance was highlighted for me by Steve Corino shouting to Cole that “I’ve Missed You”
The crowd was so into this match from the get go with chants for Adam Cole BAY BAY, New Japan, Jay Lethal and ROH the match finally started with Cole and Naito squaring off with some nice quick paced action leading into both men posing in the centre of the ring.
Each of the four competitors had an opportunity to control the match early on but the Champ and his biggest rival continued where they finished just a week earlier with some back and forth action, Lethal taking control with several belly to back suplexs before the heels worked together over the former Champion.
While this in large parts felt like another tag team match it was a solid encounter when all four were involved in the match at the same time, Tanahashi looked to take to the sky but the former NJPW World Champion Naito hit the ropes causing Tanahashi to fall to the floor.
As the pace of the match heated up all four competitors hit some big moves on one another like the Lethal Injection, Sling blade to the delight of the fans who continued to chanted “This Is Awesome”
As Lethal went to the top with Tanahashi looking to hit a superplex from there but Naito and Cole managed to cut him off, the World Champ managed to superkick Naito to the floor before Lethal managed to regain his composure and hit Hail To The King on Cole, as he went for the cover Tanahashi came from nowhere to hit a frog splash but Cole managed to move causing the former G1 Climax winner to miss, this in turn aided Lethal to hit another Lethal Injection but this time on Tanahashi causing him to roll from the ring, Lethal then set his sights on Cole as he was hitting the ropes for another Lethal Injection, the ROH World Champion managed to pull Todd Sinclair away allowing Naito to strike Lethal with the title belt from behind, as Naito went to set up the finish, Adam Cole took control hitting a superkick to Naito and then the Last Shot finisher to Jay Lethal for the win.
A really good match from four top wrestlers, really enjoyed this once all four were in at the same time, Cole regains and rolls into All Star Extravaganza to face the IWGP Intercontinental Champion Michael Elgin.
Overall a really good event, I managed to pick this up for £10 with my ROH discount which is a steal for what they gave you when you look at the talent on show.
Recommended purchase online at ROHWrestling.com, I would recommend everyone signed up to become a ringside member as the nice discount you get for each show is well worth it.
Untill next time ….. #WatchROH