By Anish Vishwakoti, ProWrestling.net Staffer, (@AVX_9001)
Taped in Long Beach, California at Thunder Studios
Streamed September 18, 2020 on New Japan World
The show was kicked off by Kevin Kelly and Alex Koslov hyping up the show for tonight. They also introduced the Lion’s Break Crown tournament that will be kicking off next week.
1. Danny Limelight, Clark Connors, Logan Riegel and Adrian Quest vs.Barrett Brown, Jordan Clearwater, Blake Christian and The DKC. To start off the match was Adrian Quest and Blake Christian in the ring. Quest started with a headlock but shot off the ropes and entered a shoulder block exchange with Christian. The two exchanged trips until eventually they ducked each other’s kicks and tagged in Clearwater and Connors.
The two each tried for small packages until eventually Connors took Clearwater’s back and tried to pin him to the ground. Clearwater slithered out and forced another running exchange which ended in another stalemate, allowing The DKC and Barrett Brown to start wrestling in the ring. Eventually Brown and Limelight ended up in the ring exchanging kick attempts which ended in another stalemate for a second until Brown clotheslined Limelight to the ground.
Brown tried to hit a catch suplex, but Limelight reversed into a scoop slam and hit Brown with a neckbreaker into the corner, allowing Quest to tag in and whip Brown from corner to corner. Brown countered a strike attempt with a kick to the abdomen and hit Quest with a corner suplex. Brown and his team tagged in and out once again, laying into Quest with strikes and corner attacks.
They continued to attack Quest until eventually Brown tried to hit Quest with a superplex. Quest pushed him off and hit a knee drop to the head before tagging in Connors who rushed all his opponents and rattled Clearwater with stomps and chops in the corner. Connors hit Clearwater with a flurry of strikes and then locked in a Boston Crab, but The DKC broke it up prompting a brawl between everyone. Eventually, Clearwater and Logan Riegel ended up in the ring and hitting Clearwater with a jumping DDT to get the pinfall victory.
Logan Riegel, Clark Connors, Danny Limelight and Adrian Quest defeated Barrett Brown, Jordan Clearwater, Blake Christian and The DKC.
Anish’s Thoughts: This was a very paint by the numbers eight-man that quickly dissolved into chaos. Nothing in this match was really able to stand out unfortunately, as we really kept going from wrestler to wrestler without enough time to stop and get an idea of what each person was able to do. I wish this match either had a little more time or at least stuck with any one wrestler for longer in order to at least get one person clearly over as opposed to barely giving all eight men any time.
2. Rocky Romero and PJ Black vs. Fred Rosser and Misterioso. The match started with Rocky Romero and Rosser locking up, with Rosser pushing Romero to the ropes before Romero rolled out and taunted him. Rosser used his strength again to push Romero to the ropes and block his shoulder strike attempts. Rosser then knocked Romero to the ground and tagged in Misterioso while Romero got to Black.
Misterioso and Black each tried for running attacks, with Misterioso managing to toss Black onto the apron where Rosser hit a Back Suplex and getting a blind tag, while Misterioso knocked Romero off the ropes. Rosser went to work on block with strikes and tagged in Misterioso who did the same. Rosser once again entered and continued the onslaught until eventually pushing Black into the corner and tagging in Misterioso again.
Misterioso whipped Black back and forth and rocked him with a running knee for a two count. Misterioso then went to the top rope and tried for a moonsault, but Black got his feet up and tagged in Romero. Rosser tried to rush Romero but Rocky was able to counter and hit both his opponents with a double standing Shiranui.
Romero then hit Misterioso with a corner clothesline but Misterioso rebounded with a dropkick and made his way to Rosser for a tag. Romero caught Rosser coming in and tried for a Suplex, however Rosser reversed into one of his own. Rosser then attempted a Fireman’s carry slam, but Romero reversed and tagged in Black who hit a cross body.
Black then rocked Rosser with a spinning heel kick but got dumped on the ropes when he tried to follow up. Misterioso then tagged in and hit a rolling senton for a two count. Misterioso and Black then each tried for kicks and trips, with Misterioso eventually getting hit with a C4 Exploder by Black. Rosser broke up the subsequent pinfall and propped Black on the top rope.
Misterioso and Rosser tried to hit a double superplex, but Romero jumped in to try and create a Tower of Doom spot but got kicked off and Black was hit with the superplex. Romero broke up the pin and distracted Rosser, hitting him with a Slingshot cross body to the outside. Back in the ring, Black caught Misterioso with a kick and a Springboard 450 Splash to get the pinfall victory.
Rocky Romero and PJ Black defeated Fred Rosser and Misterioso.
Anish’s Thoughts: This was a solid and well worked match between all four guys. Black did a phenomenal job of selling Rosser’s offense and making him look strong for the entire match. Romero got to showcase his personality while Black took the bulk of the offense, and all the while Misterioso supplemented Rosser’s technical ability with his athleticism. Overall, while this tag match wasn’t fast paced, it managed to lull me in and tell a smooth story that built up to the final move so well done to everyone involved.
3. ACH and Alex Zayne vs. “The Guerrillas of Destiny” Tama Tonga and Tanga Loa. ACH and Tanga Loa started the match immediately trading shoulder blocks until ACH cartwheel dodged a clothesline attempt from Loa and grounded him with a dropkick. ACH tagged in Zayne who slowed the pace down and slugged at Loa. This benefitted Loa however, who caught Zayne running at him with a boot. Zayne did manage to stop the tag attempt and tagged in ACH before the two hit Loa and Tonga with double team maneuvers. Eventually a brawl spilled to the outside with Loa and Tonga ramming their opponents into the apron and ring post.
Loa ended up back in the ring with ACH and whipped him to the corner before slamming him and tagging in Tonga for a double Slingshot Senton combo. Tama Tonga being legal now stomped and pressed on ACH as well as hitting Zayne with an elbow to knock him to the floor. Tonga and Loa used the numbers advantage to hit ACH with multiple tag maneuvers and isolated him from Zayne until eventually Loa paraded ACH around the ring in Oklahoma position and hit a running powerslam for a two count.
ACH was at one point able to fight out of a chin lock that almost put him out and force Loa and Tonga to try and double team him. ACH goaded them into each other and flipped out of a suplex attempt to tag in Zayne who rushed Tonga with strikes and hit him with a rolling Thunder kick and went to the top to try for a 450 splash.
Tonga dodged the splash, but Zayne caught him with a sidewalk slam and went for the cover. Loa stopped him mid cover and hit a German suplex, allowing his team to take control. ACH tried to put up some resistance, but Loa caught him with a Spear. Tonga and Loa tried to finish off Zayne, and while he resisted, they managed to hit their dual neckbreaker for a two count.
They then hit Zayne with consecutive corner splashes and tried for a tag team maneuver, but Zayne reversed and allowed himself and ACH to hit a Rana Whip from the top rope for a two count of their own. ACH and Zayne then tried for a tag move of their own, but Loa was able to catch Zayne off the top with a slam and then a sit-out piledriver to get the pinfall victory.
Tama Tonga and Tonga Loa defeated ACH and Alex Zayne.
After the match, the Guerrillas of Destiny cut a promo after the match saying that Strong was their show and warned other tag teams not to forget them… Alex Koslov and Kevin Kelly closed the show looking forward to Lion’s Break Crown next week…
Anish’s Thoughts: Very strong win for the Guerrillas of Destiny here. They looked in control for most of the match and their dominance throughout the match and chemistry as a tag team made it look very difficult for ACH and Zayne to get a firm grip of the match. Eventually, their tag team prowess was too much for ACH and Zayne and the match made sense the whole way without taking anything away from their opponents, who did have some bright spots in the match, especially their tag team Rana Whip, which was impressive.
Overall, this was a sound episode of Strong that if anything could have used more time or at least more structure in the opening 8-man tag, but otherwise everyone else on the card came out of the show looking better than they came in. I hope the Lion’s Break Crown tournament lives up to its billing. My weekly audio reviews of New Japan Strong are available exclusively for Dot Net Members.
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