By Colin McGuire, ProWrestling.net Staffer (@McGMondays)
Taped September 25-26 in Garland, Texas at Curtis Culwell Center
Streamed October 9, 2021 on New Japan World
A new opening video aired. From there, a sit-down with Fred Rosser aired and he said he’s living his dream. Kevin Kelly and Alex Koslov checked in to explain that this is Autumn Attack Night 1. The two ran down the card. He said that people would throw away their dreams just to do another man’s dreams. Rosser talked about losing to Ren Narita recently and Rosser called Narita his boy. Rosser said he wants to give Narita tough love. Rosser said he has to earn his stripes. Rosser then hyped up Minoru Suzuki…
The broadcast team of Alex Koslov and Matt Rehwoldt checked in and ran down the card. This is Night 1 of Autumn Attack. Another introduction video then aired…
1. Fred Rosser vs Minoru Suzuki. Rosser threw a forearm at Suzuki and pushed the referee. The bell rang. The two then traded forearms. Suzuki went for a kick, but missed and Rosser hit a leg drop. Rosser landed a bodyslam and leg drop for a two count. He hit another leg drop. Rosser kicked Suzuki’s back and jawed at him. Suzuki responded by half-slapping him.
Rosser fought Suzuki to the apron and Suzuki sunk in an arm submission on Rosser while hanging over the top rope. Suzuki then worked over Rosser’s arm, grabbed a chair and started hitting Rosser with it. Suzuki wrapped Rosser’s arm around the ring post and pulled on Rosser’s hair. Suzuki then rolled back into the ring and posed.
Rosser threw the chair into the ring, but the referee took it away. That allowed Suzuki to take control and go back to Rosser’s arm and hand. Rosser made it to the ropes to break Suzuki’s submission attempt. Suzuki kicked Rosser to the outside again. Rosser rolled back in and gave Suzuki a series of chops and forearms but Suzuki took back control with a kick. Suzuki hit a forearm that knocked Rosser to the ground.
After going back and forth a bit, Rosser hit a slam. Rosser tried it again, but Suzuki caught him and sunk in an ankle lock. Rosser hit a kick and a one-count. Rosser unwrapped his wrist tape and choked Suzuki with it. Suzuki made it to the ropes for a break. Back on their feet, Rosser threw Suzuki outside. Rosser dropped Suzuki on the apron and went for the cover in the ring, but got only a two-count.
Rosser hit Suzuki, but Suzuki began to Hulk up and no-sold everything Rosser threw at him. Suzuki went for a rear-naked-choke, but Rosser got out. Suzuki tried again and this time it worked. Suzuki went for his pile-driver, but Rosser blocked it and back-body-dropped Suzuki. Rosser posed. Rosser went back to forearms and headbutts, but nothing worked again. Suzuki hit a series of tough forearms. Suzuki then hit his Gotch pile-driver and that was enough for the win.
Minoru Suzuki defeated Fred Rosser via pinfall in 11:29.
After the match Suzuki walked around the ring, eliciting cheers. A video on the Ren Narita vs. Tom Lawlor program then aired and that was narrated by Kevin Kelly…
McGuire’s Musings: Wow, there’s a lot to unpack here, as some would say. First, I apologize to all the Matt Rehwoldt apologists, but I’ve never quite gotten the appeal of his voice and commentating style — or at least the little he did with WWE. So not having Kevin Kelly here just seems … odd. Second, I love the decision to open the episode with a very strong sit-down, longer-than-usual interview with Rosser, who went to great pains to establish his edge and it worked. And third, the match was good. Fairly what you’d expect. Hard-hitting at times. It confused me that Suzuki used a chair and Rosser wasn’t allowed to do the same. It then confused me that Rosser gained momentum by illegally choking Suzuki with wrist tape, which was then broken up via Suzuki getting to the ropes. In other words, the legal/illegal dynamic here was off. But so it goes. I like Rosser’s growing edge a lot and he’s light-years beyond where he was in WWE.
2. Tom Lawlor vs. Ren Narita for the NJPW Strong Openweight Championship. Lawlor went for Narita’s legs, but Narita countered and the two grappled a bit. Lawlor went to work on Narita’s leg, but Narita kicked him off and the two squared up again. Narita worked a chin-lock. Narita hit a shoulder-block and that resulted in a one-count. Lawlor grabbed Narita’s head, but Narita kicked Lawlor. The two traded leg strikes and Lawlor went low again.
This time, Lawlor was successful with a side headlock. Narita worked his way out and grabbed Lawlor’s leg before sinking in a leg-lock. Lawlor eventually got out of it with a couple tough kicks. Lawlor then pulled Narita to the outside and kicked him again before strutting. Lawlor chopped Narita and ultimately threw Narita into the barricade on the outside. Lawlor returned to the ring.
Back in the ring, Narita took some kicks from Lawlor. Narita fired up and flipped Lawlor for a two-count. Lawlor then landed a vertical suplex for two count. Lawlor hit some forearms and ran the ropes, but Narita caught him for a belly-to-belly suplex. Narita hit a bridge suplex for a two-count. Narita then got in a vertical suplex for a two-count, and immediately went to work Lawlor’s leg. Lawlor made it to the ropes for a break.
Narita hit a bunch of kicks and forearms on Lawlor in the corner. Narita then hit a running knee. Narita stomped all over Lawlor, but Lawlor lifted Narita for a slam. The two were out on the mat. Lawlor eventually spunk Narita around to hit a slam. Lawlor tried to pick up Narita, but Narita couldn’t stand. Out of nowhere, Narita rolled Lawlor into a leg lock. Lawlor reversed it into a single-leg crab. Narita made it the ropes for a break.
Back on their feet, Lawlor hit some chops and punches. Narita fired up, though, and the two traded blows. Lawlor hit a clothesline and ultimately got a good near-fall. Lawlor went for a choke, but Narita rolled through to counter. Lawlor went for another choke, which knocked Narita’s mouth-guard out of his mouth. Narita elbowed his way out of it and then stretched Lawlor with a Twist, but eventually, Lawlor sunk in a Guillotine. Narita suplexed Lawlor, and the two then grappled again. Narita sunk in a figure-four on Lawlor, but Lawlor rolled to the ropes for a break.
Narita went to pick Lawlor up, but that turned into a crossface from Narita onto Lawlor. Lawlor made it to the ropes for a break. Narita went for another leg-lock, but Lawlor rolled him up. That turned into Lawlor inventing some type of something, Narita couldn’t get out of it and that was it.
Tom Lawlor defeated Ren Narita via submission to retain the NJPW Strong Openweight Championship in 20:14.
McGuire’s Musings: Holy hell, that’s as close to perfection as I’ve seen in some time. Ren Narita is a made man after that and Filthy Tom looks like it’ll be impossible to beat him. That’s without question the best match I’ve ever seen Narita compete in, and even though it felt so unlikely that he would win and we all knew what the outcome would be, I bit on a bunch of those false-finishes. Better yet, they got the time they needed to tell that story and let’s run this back and take it to a half-hour someday, fellas. Goodness, gracious. This was such a good pure wrestling match that I don’t even know what else to say. The selling, the working, the weird-ass submissions. Inject this into my soul.
3. IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion Robbie Eagles vs. Never Openweight Champion Jay White in a champion vs. champion match. The two started with a fast pace, but White slowed it down with a chop. Eventually, White rolled to the outside of the ring. Back in the ring, Eagles hit a dropkick to White’s head, but White took back control with choking and Irish Whips into the corner. White worked a head-lock.
White kept control with a chin-lock, but Eagles fought back with some kicks. Eagles hit a series of Yes Kicks. Eagles landed a kick, but sold pain on his own leg. White hit a DDT to get on the offensive. White hit some chops, but Eagles hit an elbow to the back of White’s head to knock him outside. Eagles then flipped onto White and landed over the guardrail and in the crowd.
Back in the ring, Eagles went for a springboard move, but White caught him. That eventually led to Eagles elbowing the living daylights out of White. Still, White hit a strong clothesline. White hit a corkscrew suplex for a two-count. White went to pick up Eagles, but Eagles kicked his way out. White took back control with a nasty Flatliner. White hit a German Suplex and chokeslam for a two-count. White then landed a suplex for a two-count.
Eagles fired up with some elbows and a kick to White’s knee. White fought back with a forearm of his own. White kept hitting Eagles. White landed a side-suplex. Eagles began to fight back with a kick to White’s knee. Eagles hit a dropkick off the top to White’s knee and then sunk in a submission. White made it to the ropes for a break. Eagles kept working White’s knee and then climbed to the top rope and eventually hit some round-kicks. After a series of slams, Eagles got a near-fall.
Eagles hit a super-kick to White and then went back to the top to hit a 450 onto White’s leg. Eagles went for a submission, but White rolled through and hit a snap-dragon suplex. White then hit the Blade-Runner and that got him the win.
Never Openweight Champion Jay White defeated IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion Robbie Eagles via pinfall in 18:15.
After the match, White cut a promo saying “Welcome To The US Of Jay.” It was hard to make out a lot of what he said because the microphone feed came from building mics and didn’t have a direct line into the production. Or at least so it sounded. At one point, White said it’s almost like someone forgot who is in charge, presumably referring to the Bullet Club. White said he single-handedly sold out Madison Square Garden. The crowd applauded. He said he’s the leader of the Bullet Club and he makes the decisions. The episode closed looking at White’s entrance video.
McGuire’s Musings: This was good, not great. I didn’t have the highest expectations and this was about what my expectations were going into it. There’s something about White that isn’t clicking as a Bullet Club leader when compared to some of the past Bullet Club leaders. But that’s neither here nor there. Eagles looked good and the spot into the crowd was a lot of fun. It made sense that White won, but I am interested to see what’s next for him in Strong World. It was going to be hard to follow the Lawlor/Narita match, and I’m not sure any combination of any wrestlers could have succeeded at it, so none of this is a slight on White or Eagles.
I love having the live crowds on Strong, but it looks like these Texas tapings suffered a little from a lesser production value. This is the first one of the batch, so maybe it’ll be better next week, but we’ll see. For now, this was a good episode of Strong with an absolute can’t-miss match. If you have 20 minutes, find it and watch it. No matter your preference in style, I can’t imagine you not finding things in it you love.