10/12 Powell’s Ring of Honor TV Review: Adam Cole vs. Jay Lethal vs. Tetsuya Naito vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi for the ROH Title, Katsuyori Shibata vs. Kyle O’Reilly


By Jason Powell

Ring of Honor TV
Taped August 27 in Brooklyn, New York at MCU Park
Aired in syndication over the weekend, available Wednesdays on Comet TV

Kevin Kelly, Steve Corino, and guest Bobby Fish checked in from ringside after the opening video aired…

1. Katsuyori Shibata vs. Kyle O’Reilly. Fish was on commentary because O’Reilly is his tag partner and he has also been working with Shibata. There was a good early exchange with Shibata daring O’Reilly to hit him, yet hitting him first instead several times. O’Reilly took him down and threw several punches. Shibata was in control heading into a break. [C] Shibata continued control the majority of the offense coming out of the break. He went for an armbar, and O’Reilly reached the ropes to break the hold heading into another break. [C]

O’Reilly fired back with a kick, then stood there as Shibata returned the favor. Later, O’Reilly knocked Shibata down with a couple of kicks. Shibata fired back with a couple of uppercuts and then applied a rear naked choke. O’Reilly broke it an they exchanged German suplexes. O’Reilly performed a brainbuster and Shibata kicked out at one. Yes, one. In the end, O’Reilly applied the Omoplata on Shibata, who never tapped out, but the referee made the decision to call for the bell. The announcers praised Shibata for being a warrior and refusing to give up…

Kyle O’Reilly defeated Katsuyori Shibata.

Powell’s POV: A good match for the style. Some of the no-selling of bigger moves to tell the “top this” story was a too much, but the live crowd enjoyed it. Shibata refusing to submit made for a silly finish. I know some will buy the “warrior” talk, but it’s actually pretty ridiculous in theory when a guy would rather risk

A Field of Honor highlight video aired… Kelly and Corino spoke at ringside and plugged Final Battle for December 2 in New York… Ring introductions for the four-way main event took place… Ring announcer Bobby Cruise delivered in-ring introductions… [C]

2. Adam Cole vs. Jay Lethal vs. Tetsuya Naito vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi in a four-way for the ROH Title. There was an “all these guys” chant that Corino acknowledged. Lethal wanted Naito to face him, but Naito declined. Later, Lethal performed a suicide dive onto Cole, then returned to the ring and performed a suicide dive onto Naito. Finally, Lethal hit a third suicide dive onto Tanahashi. [C]

Cole mocked Tanahashi’s air guitar routine while he was in the ring with him. Later, Naito tagged in and worked over a weary Lethal. A few minutes later, Naito held Lethal, who escaped just as Cole was going for a superkick. Naito caught Cole’s leg, then Lethal caught Naito with a superkick. Lethal hit the Lethal Combination on Naito heading into a break. [C]

Tanahashi had Cole down and went up top for his finisher, but Naito shook the ropes to knock him down and then tagged himself in. Naito got a two count on Cole. Naito ended up in Lethal’s corner, so Lethal tagged himself in and tossed Naito to ringside. Lethal hit a cutter off the middle rope and covered Cole, but Tanahashi broke up the pin.

Lethal and Tanahashi exchanged punches, and Lethal knocked him down with a kick. Naito performed a DDT on Lethal. Cole caught Naito with a shining wizard. Tanahashi knocked Cole down with a sling blade clothesline. The fans half-heartedly chanted “this is awesome” with all four men down.

Late in the match, Lethal hit a top rope elbow on Cole. Tanahashi went for his finisher, but Cole moved. Lethal hit the Lethal Injection on Tanahashi. He went for the same move on Naito, who hit Lethal with the title belt. Cole hit Naito with a superkick, then hit the Last Shot on Lethal and pinned him…

Adam Cole beat Jay Lethal, Tetsuya Naito, and Hiroshi Tanahashi in a four-way to retain the ROH Title.

Powell’s POV: The main event looked better on paper than it actually was. It was very slow paced early, and the atmosphere was pretty flat despite the ballpark show being a cool visual. The final sequence was entertaining and it was solid, just unspectacular. It seemed odd to me that Lethal’s character would be more focussed on getting his hands on Naito than Cole. Sure, Naito bailed on him during a match at the Las Vegas tapings, but Cole shaved his freaking head and beat him for the ROH Title.

The Field of Honor editions were fine for what they were. It’s just a shame that ROH and Sinclair Broadcast Group can’t figure out a way to get the television show out sooner. The first taping held after the All Star Extravaganza show will finally air next week, so the two week run of filler content taped in August will finally end. If you missed it earlier today, check out the Prowrestling.net All Access Daily Podcast with Darren Gutteridge and Haydn Gleed reviewing this show in audio form.


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