12/4 NJPW Strong results: McGuire’s review of Brody King, David Finlay, Juice Robinson, ACH, and Karl Fredericks vs. Kenta, Jay White, Tanga Loa, Tama Tonga, and Hikuleo in an elimination match, Alex Zayne vs. Blake Christian, The DKC vs. Sterling Riegel

By Colin McGuire, ProWrestling.net Staffer (@McGMondays)

NJPW Strong
Taped in Long Beach, California at Thunder Studios
Streamed December 4, 2020 on New Japan World

The show began with the broadcast team of Kevin Kelly and Alex Koslov reminding everyone we are on The Road To Detonation and hyping the 10-man elimination tag-team main event.

1. The DKC vs. Sterling Riegel. Sterling came to the ring with his twin brother, Logan. The DKC, as a result, came out with Clark Connors. Kelly talked about The DKC’s conspiracy theories (and now I know which parts of the Internet I’ll be looking at after this show is over).

The two felt each other out to begin the match. Riegel went for The DKC’s leg and eventually got a side headlock, which was backed into a rope break. The DKC went for Riegel’s leg and took him to the ground. The two worked their way back to their feet, but Riegel sank in a front chancery.

Riegel grabbed a front face-lock, but The DKC grabbed Riegel’s arm. Riegel countered with a head-scissors, but they both worked each other back to their feet. Riegel won the transition with a side-headlock and took The DKC back to the canvas. Before long, The DKC jumped onto Riegel’s knee to grab an arm submission, but the twin made it to the rope for a break.

As The DKC ran at Riegel, Riegel threw him over the top rope and hit the ropes for a tope suicida, which he landed on the floor. Back in the ring, Riegel hit a high missile dropkick from the top for a two-count. Riegel worked some elbows and fist strikes before backing his opponent into the corner for a series of shoulder-blocks. He then got The DKC to the ground, got a two count and went back into a side headlock.

The DKC punched his way out, but Riegel got back on the offensive with an elbow. Riegel went to the top rope and tried a moonsault, but he missed and landed on his feet. He then sold leg pain and The DKC hit a kick and a chop to the head. The DKC fired up, hit some punches and got a two-count. After what appeared to be some miscommunication, Riegel hit a standing double stomp and a standing moonsault for a two-count.

Riegel hit a body-slam and went to the second rope, but The DKC caught him and sank in a submission. Riegel tried to work his way to the ropes, but The DKC wouldn’t let go, so Riegel rolled back onto him for the fluke pin.

Sterling Riegel defeated The DKC via pinfall in 8:21.

After the match, the four wrestlers exchanged pushes in the middle of the ring. Kelly pointed out it’s 1-1 in singles matches and 1-1 in tag matches for the two teams. The twins cut a promo backstage, reminding everyone that you can’t spell “twin” without w-i-n.

McGuire’s Musings: This was about par for the course when it comes to opening matches on Strong. You had to think Riegel would get the win after his brother lost last week to Connors. Last week’s match was admittedly a little better than this one, but the two wrestlers worked hard, and there were a couple innovative submission attempts from The DKC. I’m not really sure what happened in the middle of the match, when somebody missed something, but you have to wonder if Sterling’s win being somewhat of a fluke means that The DKC and Clark Connors will come out on top by the time this program runs its course.

2. Alex Zayne vs. Blake Christian. Christian was out first and there was a minute that I wondered if they were going to cut to Zayne at the WWE Performance Center. I kid. Zayne began with a side headlock, but Christian hit a shoulder-block that took Zayne to the ground. The two traded roll-ups for two-counts. While Christian was hung over the second rope, Zayne ran on top of him for a neat-looking strike. Zayne then hit a corkscrew senton for a two-count.

Zayne worked over Christian, but the latter took control and quickly hit a standing moonsault for a two-count. Christian hit Zayne with an elbow. After Zayne rolled outside, Christian went for a 450-splash into a huracanrana on the floor for an impressive visual. Back in the ring, Christian came off the top rope, but Zayne caught him with a kick. The two then settled down a bit and traded chops.

After a back-hand-spring, Christian hit a back elbow for a two-count. Christian landed a series of kicks, but Zayne tried to chop his way out. Instead, Christian hit a dropkick to the face for a two-count. Back on their feet, Christian hit a series of elbows in the corner, but Zayne rolled Christian up for a one-count. Zayne flipped and kicked Christian in the back of the head.

Back on their feet, Zayne slapped Christian across the face, but Christian eventually hit a nasty-looking reverse huracanrana. The two then traded strikes in the center of the ring and Zayne took off his elbow pad. Christian tripped Zayne, but Christian eventually hit a one-man Spanish Fly. He then went to the apron and landed a springboard 450 for a two-count.

Christian went for a suplex, but Zayne countered and pushed him into the corner. Zayne then jumped and hit a huracanrana before landing the Crunch Wrap Supreme for a very, very near-fall. Zayne got Christian back to his feet, but Christian rolled him up for two two-counts. Zayne then hit Christian with a knee after lifting him up and pinned him for the 1-2-3.

Alex Zayne defeated Blake Christian via pinfall in 8:43.

McGuire’s Musings: Well, if there’s one match you really ought to go out of your way to see, this one meets that requirement for the week. Wowzers. These two work really, really well together and while I know they are friends, that late near-fall had me jump out of my chair. The Crunch Wrap Supreme is an awfully impressive move, for those who haven’t seen it. Anyway, it would have been nice to get five more minutes of this, but in my short time covering Strong for Dot Net, I’ve yet to see a match with this much action. You can gripe about the no-selling if you want, but really, you won’t be able to take your eyes off this, if you buy into it. A very entertaining match.

3. Brody King, David Finlay, Juice Robinson, ACH, and Karl Fredericks vs. “The Bullet Club” Kenta, Jay White, Tanga Loa, Tama Tonga, and Hikuleo in an elimination match.
 The Bullet Club crew made their entrance first. Juice’s team came out next with Juice going for his third straight week in that rejected Blues Brothers outfit. Brody King and Hikuleo began the match.

The Bullet Club ran into the ring and attacked King, trying to throw him over the top rope for an elimination. Juice’s team turned it around to throw Hikuleo over the top for the first elimination.

Hikuleo was eliminated by Juice Robinson’s entire team.

King paced in the ring as The Bullet Club talked among each other outside. Finlay tagged in and worked White’s arm. Robinson then tagged in before tagging in ACH, who continued to work on White’s arm. Fredericks then tagged in for a double axe-handle onto White’s arm. King then tagged back in and continued to twist White’s arm.

Finlay tagged back in and came off the top rope onto White’s arm. Finlay hit the ropes, but was hit by a Bullet Club member and White immediately went on the offensive. Tanga Loa tagged in and taunted Finlay before hitting some punches to the back of Finlay’s head. Loa tagged in KENTA, who hit Finlay in the stomach. KENTA threw Finlay into his corner, and White tagged in before throwing Finlay onto the apron.

Finlay rolled back in and White tried to push Finlay over the top rope. Tanga Loa tagged in and the Guerrillas of Destiny (Tonga and Loa) worked over Finlay. Finlay rolled out of an attempted suplex and tagged in ACH. Loa tagged in White, but ACH hit a series of moves on White and fired up. ACH landed a Fisherman’s Suplex for a very good near-fall on White.

Back on their feet, White hit a DDT on ACH and tagged in KENTA. ACH hit a huracanrana, and tagged in Fredericks, who hit a high dropkick. Fredericks hit a series of elbows on KENTA and a running dropkick in the corner. KENTA eventually went for the Go To Sleep. Fredericks countered and hit a spine-buster. He tried to throw KENTA over the top, but White came in and threw Fredericks over the top for the elimination.

Karl Fredericks was eliminated by Jay White.

Juice Robinson came in and landed a flurry of punches to Tonga before dropping him with a DDT. He then hit a cannonball in the corner for a two-count. Back on their feet, Tonga eliminated Juice after throwing him over the top rope.

Juice Robinson was eliminated by Tama Tonga.

Almost immediately, ACH ran in and threw Tonga over the top rope.

Tama Tonga was eliminated by ACH.

ACH was then eliminated by Tonga, who pulled ACH’s legs after ACH was standing on the apron.

ACH was eliminated by Tama Tonga.

ACH and Tonga brawled to the back. Meanwhile, Finlay hit White with a cutter and clotheslined him over the top rope.

Jay White was eliminated by David Finlay.

Ever the opportunist, Loa ran in and threw Finlay over the top for his elimination.

David Finlay was eliminated by Tanga Loa.

The last three left were King, KENTA and Loa. The two traded strikes, but King hit a lariat for a two-count. The Bullet Club members worked over King, but King eventually eliminated Loa by clotheslining him over the top.

Tanga Loa was eliminated by Brody King.

KENTA slapped King, but King hit KENTA with a strong lariat. King landed an impressive-looking Gonzo Bomb and got the pin.

Brody King, David Finlay, Juice Robinson, ACH, and Karl Fredericks defeated Kenta, Jay White, Tanga Loa, Tama Tonga, and Hikuleo with Brody King being the last man standing in 13:50.

Backstage, King cut a promo saying he’s coming for KENTA’s briefcase. Kelly and Koslov then checked back in to close out the show.

McGuire’s Musings: OK, then. Keeping an eye on the clock throughout the match, I was wondering how they would go about eliminating eight people in less than five minutes, but I should have known that it would come rapid-fire like it did. The end result was surprising, though I must say you can count me among those who are excited to see a KENTA vs Brody King showdown, and considering King’s post-match promo, that’s probably what we’re going to get. In all, it was a fun, if not unreasonably rushed, elimination tag match.

This was a major step up from last week’s episode and, as I wrote earlier, if you’re going to watch one thing, go out of your way to see Zayne vs. Christian. I’m not sure what 205 Live did tonight, but I watched Smackdown, and it’s hard to think anything upstaged those two on this Friday night. The Detonation Tour kicks off next week, as Kevin Kelly said (approximately 10,000 times), so I’m curious to see what we’ll get. I’ll be by early Saturday with my audio review for all you fabulous Dot Net Members.


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