By Anish Vishwakoti, ProWrestling.net Staffer, (@AVX_9001)
Taped in Long Beach, California at Thunder Studios
Streamed October 23, 2020 on New Japan World
The show kicked off with Kevin Kelly and Alex Koslov quickly previewing the show and then hopping directly into the first match.
1. Clark Connors vs. Fred RosserTo start the match Connors quickly pushed Rosser to the ropes and then out of the ring to the outside. Rosser then returned to the ring and used a headlock takeover to get Connors to the mat. He then shot Connors off the ropes and hit a shoulder block to ground him before transitioning to a hammerlock and a cravat to wear Connors down.
Connors made his way to the ropes to break the hold, so Rosser stomped on him but Connors built a little space and hit a spear to knock Rosser to the ground and wind him. Rosser was then met with stomps for a second, but shrugged Connors off and tried to chop him away but Connors hit the ropes and came back with a dropkick to knock Rosser into the ground.
Connors and Rosser both struggled to their feet, with Connors getting the better of Rosser, tackling him to the ground and trying for a kimura. Rosser shoved him off and the two entered a running exchange in which Rosser hit a big belly to belly suplex on Connors followed by a scoop slam and a leg drop for a two count.
Rosser then whipped Connors to the ropes and tried for a running strike, but Connors reversed and hit Rosser with a powerslam for a two count. Connors then turned Rosser over into the Boston Crab and cranked on Rosser’s legs as he crawled to the ropes. Connors then switched strategy and Uppercutted Rosser to the ground. Connors then tried for a middle rope Spear, but Rosser hit him with a knee and followed up with a Fireman’s Carry Gutbuster for the three-count victory.
Fred Rosser defeated Clark Connors.
Anish’s Thoughts: A very hard-hitting match between Connors and Rosser to kick off the show. I liked the gritty pace which felt markedly different from the usual Strong opening fare. Connors looked good even in defeat and I liked the idea that winning the Lion’s break crown cup put a target on Connors back. Rosser has been pushed heavily on Strong so far as well, so this is consistent with the show so far.
2. ACH vs. Karl Fredericks. The two wasted little time getting into it with ACH immediately trying for a headlock but Fredericks using his strength to push him off the ropes and hit a standing Cross Body for a two count. Fredericks then kicked ACH’s back and hit him with an uppercut and a Scoop Slam before going for a Leg drop for a one count.
Fredericks picked ACH up and struck him into the corner before running into him. ACH got his boots up and knocked Fredericks down to the ground. ACH now returned the favor to Fredericks with a Scoop Slam of his own before hitting a swinging neckbreaker for a one count. ACH continued the offense, stomping on Fredericks and using a headlock to wear him down.
Fredericks struck ACH to try and buck him off but was met with a jumping Dropkick and another two count. A smiling ACH now chopped Fredericks and stomped on his foot to pile the pressure on. ACH then continued to use a headlock but Fredericks was able to strike out of it and use a Backbreaker to build some space.
Fredericks then hit a splash in the corner followed by a back suplex followed by an elbow drop. Fredericks couldn’t get the three from this and instead kicked at ACH and tried for a DDT but had to transition into a Sunset Flip and kicked ACH in the gut. ACH retaliated with a gut kick of his own and hit a DDT to down Fredericks.
The two staggered to their feet and entered a running exchange which resulted in Fredericks now coming back and hitting ACH with a big DDT for the pinfall victory.
Karl Fredericks defeated ACH.
Anish’s Thoughts: A very different match dynamic to the first one which made it interesting. ACH looked game the entire match but at the end of the day it was Fredericks’ size that made the difference, especially considering how well he used his size and athleticism at the beginning of the match. Not a barn burner by any means but it was a solid match between two game competitors.
3. Tama Tonga and Tonga Loa vs. Brody King and Flip Gordon. The match started with King and Loa in the ring. Loa attempted to hit King with elbows and use a headlock, however King didn’t fret and instead just ate a shoulder tackle and a few elbows without much trouble. Loa responded to King’s calm with an eye poke and forced King to pounce with a running Cross Body and tagged in Flip.
Flip tried to Springboard in but got pulled off the apron by Tama Tonga. The Guerrillas of Destiny attacked Flip and King on the outside and slowly made their way back into the ring where Loa hit Flip with a back suplex. Loa elbowed Flip into the mat and hit a Scoop slam before tagging in Tonga.
Tonga then stomped on Flip and hit him with a standing suplex for a two count. Tonga dragged Flip to his corner and wailed on him with Loa, tagging in and out until eventually Flip jumped out of a suplex attempt and tagged in King who rushed the ring. King hit Loa with a Sidewalk slam, prompting Tonga to rush the ring only for him to get hit with a huge Backdrop.
King then slotted Loa with forearms before shooting him to the ropes, however Loa countered with a Spear. Flip and Tonga then engaged in the ring, with Flip kicking Tonga to the ground and then hitting a springboard sling blade. A four-man brawl ensued when Flip tried for a cover. Tonga and Flip continued to go at it, with Flip matrix dodging a clothesline and trying for an Electric Chair, however Tonga pushed him off and countered a springboard attempt into a Gun Stun for the three count.
Tama Tonga and Tonga Loa defeated Flip Gordon and Brody King.
Anish’s Thoughts: A very heel dominant match here and the point was clearly to show off the Bullet Club’s unity and their ability to bend the odds to their favor. Great job by The Guerrillas of Destiny to force King and Flip into disadvantageous positions and get the victory in an entertaining match. Flip and King might have benefitted from a little more offense but at the end of the day it was a good match.
4. Rocky Romero vs. Jay White. Both men smiled at each other to start the match with White taunting Romero right at his face before Romero slapped him and rolled him up for a two count. White hit the outside then got back into the ring only for Romero to barely try for a Crucifix pin for a two count.
Romero then hit White with a pair of clotheslines in the corner before White dodged the third and countered with an Atomic Drop and a DDT. White and Romero were both slow to get up, White got up first and slowly pegged away at Romero with forearms before trying for a modified sleeper and a neckbreaker for a two count.
White propped Romero in the corner and hit him with some more forearms to the back before hammer throwing him into the opposite corner. White then used a waist lock to try and squeeze Romero before hitting a Backbreaker for another two count. White took his time readjusting before chopping Romero back into the corner and taunting Romero as he wobbled to his feet.
Romero tried to muster a forearm, which White invited, however he simply kneed Romero right back down to the ground. Romero came back again with forearms but White simple rallied himself and slotted Romero with an uppercut straight the ground. White took a little too long toying with Romero however as he whipped him across the ring and Romero was able to counter a slam attempt with a head scissors DDT out of the ring.
Romero dropkicked White as he tried to get back into the ring and peppered him with a few more kicks before stomping on him near the corner. Romero used a jumping knee to the arm as well to keep White down. Romero continued to stomp on him before trying for a tornado DDT but White countered into a Backbreaker and followed up with a spinning suplex for a two count.
White now went on the offensive and propped Romero up on the turnbuckle for a superplex, but Romero grabbed his arm and wrenched on it to try and turn the tables. He succeeded and both men fell off the ropes. They stumbled into each other again, with Romero trying and finally hitting the Tornado DDT. He held on and tried for a suplex, but White blocked it, forcing Romero to dance around and roll him into an armbar. White struggled and looked in danger but got his feet to the bottom rope.
White clutched his arm and rolled back into Romero who tried for a Shiranui, but White blocked it and countered. He tried for the Blade Runner, but Romero then tried for a Backslide which resulted in a two count. Romero quickly followed up and hit the Shiranui for a very close two count. He tried again for a corner rebound Shiranui, but White countered into a shoulder breaker and then hit the Blade Runner for the pinfall victory.
Jay White defeated Rocky Romero.
After the match, White asked the commentators if they were surprised. He made fun of Romero while calling himself the greatest. White said that he is always in control and bigged up his accolades such as selling out MSG and called himself the last Rock and Roller.
Anish’s Thoughts: This was a very fun match that showed off the best of both men’s skills. Romero once again got to show off his personality and looked like he had a solid game plan in luring White into a false sense of security, even though at the end of it, White was able to catch him with a great counter and get the win.
Overall, this was a fun show on Strong. A variety of matches made this one easy to watch and a lot of wrestlers got to show off their personalities, more so through their wrestling styles today such as Fredericks, King and Romero and if you can catch one match, definitely make it that main event which was a great showcase for Romero.