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12/11 NJPW Strong results: McGuire’s review of Jay White vs. Karl Fredericks, ACH vs. Tama Tonga, Juice Robinson, David Finlay, and Misterioso vs. Tanga Loa, Chase Owens, and Hikuleo, and Clark Connors and The DKC vs. Logan Riegel and Sterling Riegel

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

NJPW Strong
Taped in Long Beach, California at Thunder Studios
Streamed December 11, 2020 on New Japan World

The show began with the broadcast team of Kevin Kelly and Alex Koslov reminding everyone that we are at Detonation and hyped the card for both this week and next week…

1. Clark Connors and The DKC vs. Logan Riegel and Sterling Riegel. Connors and Sterling began by trading chops in the middle of the ring. Before long, Logan tagged in and the twins worked over Connors in their corner. After some quick tags and a series of suplexes, the twins went for a double suplex, but The DKC came in to break it up.

Hitting the ropes, Connors hit one of the twins into the other, which forced one of them out of the ring. The DKC tagged in, fired up and hit a karate chop and bulldog. The DKC then sunk in a submission on Logan and as Sterling tried to make the save, Connors got him in a Boston Crab. Eventually, Logan got to the ropes for a break.

The DKC hit a leg drop from the ropes for a two count. Connors lifted a twin up and went for a Doomsday Device, but Sterling got out of it and tagged in Logan, who worked over The DKC. The twins then hit a double slam for a two-count broken up by Connors. Before long, Connors went for a double spear on both twins, but they blocked it and hit a double suplex.

As the twins tried to work over The DKC, The DKC fought his way out, but the twins landed a double dropkick. The Riegels went for a double DDT, but Connors broke it up and The DKC got the roll up for a win.

Clark Connors and The DKC defeated Logan Riegel and Sterling Riegel via pinfall in 5:11.

After the match, the two teams continued to jaw at each other…

McGuire’s Musings: In the weeks-long story being told between these four wrestlers, this was the best outing thus far. A nice, crisp tag match that didn’t go overboard with action, yet still somewhat suffered from the lack of a story beyond the fact that these four have been working together for what feels like months. There were no real rest spots, and the usual double-team tactics went down without much interruption from the referee, which is a pet peeve of mine. Still, I’m excited to see what 2021 has in store for these four wrestlers. Kevin Kelly noted something about 2021 being Connors’ year, and I hope he’s right. Between these guys, Connors feels like he could be the quickest to break out.

2. Juice Robinson, David Finlay, and Misterioso vs. Tanga Loa, Chase Owens, and Hikuleo
. The Bullet Club faction was out first while Robinson’s squad came out next, complete with Robinson’s rejected Blues Brother gear (honestly, this is getting old). Loa and Misterioso started the match with a lock-up. After running the ropes, Misterioso hit a head-scissors takedown before tagging in Robinson, who hit an axe-handle from the top. Finlay tagged and did the same. Finlay and Robinson eventually hit a double faceplant on Loa.

Finlay threw Loa into the corner, but eventually Hikuleo tagged in blindly and hit a big boot. Hikuleo threw Finlay outside near the Bullet Club corner, and the three worked Finlay over. Back in the ring, Hikuleo landed a nice looking, long-held suplex for a two count. Owens tagged in and hit Finlay with a series of elbows and punches. Finlay tried to fight his way out, but Owens grabbed his leg — but Finlay got away and tagged in Robinson, who fired up with punches, kicks and a DDT.

Robinson hit a lariat and cannonball on Owens in the corner for a two-count. After Robinson got some moves in, Owens hit a hot shot in the corner. Eventually, Misterioso and Loa tagged in simultaneously and Misterioso landed a spring-board back-elbow. Misterioso hit a reverse DDT for a two count and then tried a moonsault, but Loa got his knees up. Loa then hit something that Kevin Kelly called “Ape Shit,” but later apologized for swearing. Either way, it got Loa’s team the pin.

Tanga Loa, Chase Owens, and Hikuleo defeated Juice Robinson, David Finlay, and Misterioso via pinfall in 6:25.

McGuire’s Musings
: Whoa there, Kevin Kelly. This showcased Misterioso and Hikuleo well, even though the former took the pin. It’s odd that the first two matches combined for less than 12 minutes. I was kind of expecting more from both, considering how they are the tag matches on the card. Either way, this was good for what it was. The Bullet Club faction continues to impress, even if it does seem like they are going through somewhat of a transition. Hikuleo is going to be a star someday. Mark those words.

3. ACH vs. Tama Tonga. Tonga was out first, but ACH slapped the hands of the crowd that wasn’t there as he came out, which was kind of funny. The two sized each other up to begin. About 45 seconds into the match, the two finally locked up. Tonga worked over ACH’s arm, but ACH used a springboard off the top to get out. After ACH hit a head-scissors takedown, Tonga rolled outside.

Tonga worked over ACH on the outside. Back in the ring, Tonga took control with some chops and a back-rake. Tonga hit a snap suplex for a two-count. The two traded punches before Tonga hit a splash and a Boot Wash in the corner. Tonga dragged ACH into the middle of the ring for a pin, but only got a two.

Tonga sank in a rear chinlock after ACH tried to power out of a submission attempt. Each time ACH tried to work his way out of it, Tonga kept control. Eventually, ACH escaped and ran the ropes before hitting a dropkick that nearly missed. ACH then hit two suplexes, but Tonga countered a third. After trading a handful of moves, ACH landed a nice-looking snap power-slam for a two-count.

Back on their feet, Tonga hit a few back elbows, but ACH landed a Fisherman’s Suplex for a two-count. Both wrestlers recovered, but ACH went for a brain-buster, which was countered into a Tonga Twist for a two-count. Tonga went for the Gun Stun, but ACH countered and got in a German Suplex for a two-count. ACH climbed to the top for a Midnight Star, but Tonga got to his feet. Tonga went for a Gun Stun, but ACH reversed it for a roll-up and a two-count. The second time around, however, Tonga hit the Gun Stun for the pin.

Tama Tonga defeated ACH via pinfall in 11:12.

McGuire’s Musings: A good, nicely worked match. Tonga, being an original Bullet Club member, and ACH having his travels well documented, brought a level of experience to Strong that was more than welcome. Not only were there a good amount of near-falls, but you weren’t quite sure which wrestler would come out on top as the two traded finisher attempts. Plus, these two got enough time to tell a good story and they both made the most of it. This was a very good change of pace from what we’re used to seeing on Friday nights.

4. Karl Fredericks vs. Jay White. The match began as Fredericks chased White out of the ring. White continued to stall on the outside. Eventually, White hit the ring and immediately grabbed a side headlock. Fredericks made his way to the ropes for a break and the two locked up in the middle of the ring. Backed into the corner, White hit a kick and eventually pulled Fredericks down by his hair.

Back on their feet, Fredericks hit a boot and shoulder tackle, forcing White to roll to the outside. When White tried to crawl back inside the ring, Fredericks grabbed him and tossed him onto the apron, throat-first. Back in the ring, Fredericks hit a European Uppercut, but White quickly countered and landed a series of neck-breakers for a two count. White sunk in a chin-lock as Fredericks worked to his feet, only to be dragged back down for a two-count.

White got in a single-leg crab, but Fredericks got to the bottom rope for a break. After a chop and an elbow, White went back to the headlock as the wrestlers continued to be grounded. Though Fredericks tried to punch his way out, White eventually took Fredericks back down to the mat by his hair. He then chopped and stomped Fredericks to the ground in the corner.

Before long, Fredericks fired up and worked his way out of the corner to hit a Pele kick. Fredericks then hit a splash in the corner and went for a back-drop, but White countered. Fredericks then hit a back-breaker for a two-count. Standing up, White pushed the referee into Fredericks to get the advantage and landed a snap DDT after Fredericks went for his Manifest Destiny.

Fredericks pounded on White in the corner and hit a dropkick before getting in a single-leg crab, but White made it to the bottom ropes for a break. Fredericks went for a German Suplex, but White countered into a standing snap-suplex. White went for a suplex, but Fredericks rolled him up for a good near-fall. Fredericks landed a spine-buster for a close two-count, but White hit a sleeper suplex before hitting the Blade Runner for the 1-2-3.

Jay White defeated Karl Fredericks via pinfall in 11:06.

After the match, White cut a promo backstage, saying that it’s challenging to face wrestlers like Fredericks and Rocky Romero. “When you think you have the answers, I change the questions, baby,” he said. Kelly and Koslov checked back in to close the show and remind everybody that the culmination of Detonation is next week…

McGuire’s Musings: This was a good main event. Jay White deserves better than main-eventing Strong, but that’s neither here nor there. Fredericks showed good heart and he proved to be a worthy opponent, considering the experience discrepancy between the two. Fredericks has a good look, and you have to think if he can keep his head on straight, he’ll have a long and fruitful career. White, meanwhile, continues to hone his craft as one of the best heels in all of New Japan. It was hard to doubt that he would win here, but the wrestlers did a good job creating enough suspense to keep me engaged.
In all, this was a solid episode of Strong. With it being the penultimate edition of 2020, it’s fun to see the Detonation tour essentially wind down and while the broadcast team hyped KENTA vs Brody King multiple times this week, I think it’s a main event that’s worthy of the hype, and hopefully a good way to put a cap on such a weird year for, well, everyone who has two feet and a heartbeat. I’ll be by soon with my audio review for Dot Net members. Have a good weekend, friends, and don’t forget that Christmas is only two weeks away!


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