By Colin McGuire, ProWrestling.net Staffer (@McGMondays)
Taped September 25-26 in Garland, Texas at Curtis Culwell Center
Streamed October 16, 2021 on New Japan World
The broadcast team of Alex Koslov and Matt Rehwoldt checked in to begin the show and ran down the card. This is Night 2 of Autumn Attack. The second introductory video package aired.
1. Alex Coughlin vs. Chris Dickinson. The two felt each other out to begin the match. Dickinson worked through every inch of Caughlin’s body and eventually went to work on Coughlin’s arm. When Coughlin countered and got on top, Dickinson made it to the ropes for a break. Dickinson then got back on top and worked Coughlin’s arm some more.
Dickinson took down Coughlin and kept his focus on the arm, but Coughlin made it to the ropes for a break. Dickinson fired up the crowd. On their feet, the two traded chops, but then Dickinson chopped Coughlin’s arm to take him down. In a corner, Dickinson landed a chop and rolled Coughlin up into a two-count. Dickinson went back to Coughlin’s arm by leg-scissoring it.
Coughlin hit some forearms, but Dickinson hit back and that took Coughlin down. Coughlin fired up, though, and asked Dickinson to chop him. Dickinson did just that, and Coughlin responded with a forearm to stun Dickinson. The two traded blows. Dickinson hit a chop that moved mountains. Coughlin came back with a shoulder-tackle.
Coughlin landed a chop and then hit a suplex for a two-count. Coughlin went for a German Suplex, but Dickinson powered out. As a result, Coughlin hit a back suplex for a two-count. Eventually, Dickinson sunk in his arm-bar, but Coughlin rolled him up for a two-count. Naturally, Dickinson went back to the arm. Coughlin tried to slam Dickinson, but Dickinson held on to the arm. Coughlin hit a German Suplex and a tough lariat for a two-count. Coughlin lifted Dickinson for a slam, but Dickinson grabbed the arm and rolled into an arm bar. Dickinson stomped on Coughlin’s head while sinking it in and Coughlin tapped.
Chris Dickinson defeated Alex Coughlin via submission in 13:02.
After the match, the two talked to each other and Coughlin left the ring without incident.
McGuire’s Musings: Dickinson looked really good here and Coughlin looked just as well, if we’re being honest. This could have shaved a minute or two from it, but that’s OK. I’m very close to saying Coughlin is going to be a star somewhere, someday, because he’s won me over so much over the months, working his ass off. It’s still odd for a wrestler to issue an open challenge and never win any of those matches, but here we are. The production value from these Texas tapings leave a lot to be desired and I’d be super interested in knowing why and how it changed so drastically. Anyway, Dickinson is tremendous. This was another example of that.
2. “Mega Coaches” Ryusuke Taguchi and Rocky Romero vs. “West Coast Wrecking Crew” Royce Isaacs and Jorel Nelson. Taguchi and Isaacs began the match by trading dance moves. They then traded head-locks. Isaacs hit a vertical suplex and posed. Taguchi landed a hip attack and somewhere, Asuka is smiling. Nelson tagged in and danced, too. Romero tagged in and the two went at it.
Nelson hit a chop to slow things down, but Romero fired back with a forearm. Romero poked Nelson’s eye. Romero went to the second rope and hit a dropkick onto a draping Nelson for a two-count. Taguchi tagged in and Taguchi and Romero compared dance moves. There was a comedy spot that ended in Forever Clotheslines from Romero onto Nelson. Taguchi chimed in with a hip attack.
Isaacs pulled Romero outside and worked him over before throwing him back into the ring. Nelson hit a clothesline on Romero inside the ring for a two-count. Isaacs tagged in and the two worked over Romero with a dragon-screw leg-whip and a double stomp. At one point, Isaacs and Nelson pulled out a Luka jersey, put it on Romero and stomped on him to get Dallas Mavericks heat. Isaacs tried for a pump-handle, but that was countered into a DDT. That resulted in Taguchi getting the hot tag.
Taguchi worked hip attacks on everyone in every way. Isaacs fought being picked up, but Taguchi went for the hip attack one too many times. The WCWC hit a knee into a German Suplex for a two-count. Romero saved the day, however, with a tag, hitting strikes. Romero and Taguchi landed double huracanranas. The WCWC hit a drive-by, but Taguchi made the save. The four traded blows in the middle of the ring. After a series of hip-attack attempts and double-team moves, Romero landed a back-slide on Nelson for the pin.
“Mega Coaches” Ryusuke Taguchi and Rocky Romero defeated “West Coast Wrecking Crew” Royce Isaacs and Jorel Nelson via pinfall in 13:37.
After the match, Romero and Taguchi celebrated with a hip-attack on each other. Romero then grabbed the Luka jersey and posed.
McGuire’s Musings: This was a nice bit of fun. Taguchi’s calling card is the hip-attack, and it’s great the first and fifth time you see it these days. The 12th, however? That becomes a bit stale. But a legend is a legend. This wasn’t bad, but it’s not something you have to see. Kudos to the WCWC for giving Romero and Taguchi all they could ask for. I’ll get into this in some other forum, but I do think it’s worthwhile to call out the production here again. It looks like the hard cam comes from an iPhone.
3. TJP, Clark Connors, Lio Rush, and Juice Robinson vs. Taiji Ishimori, El Phantasmo, Chris Bey, and Hikuleo. Ishimori and Rush started the match. But then Ishimori tagged in Bey. Bey kicked Rush and taunted TJP before walking into a kick from Rush after a series of quick exchanges. TJP tagged in, then Connors tagged in, then TJP tagged back in, and then Rush tagged back in. Ishimori tagged in, but ELP came in to break it all up.
Ishimori tagged in ELP and ELP tagged in Bey, who did a fancy back-rake. Hikuleo tagged in, went to the top rope, climbed down and hit a back-rake of his own before landing a chop. Another chop took Rush to the mat. ELP worked the boob-pincher on Rush. Bey tagged in and stood on Rush’s throat. Before long, all four heels worked over Rush’s “inner thigh” in a corner. ELP tagged in and lifted up Rush for a back-breaker.
Rush ultimately landed a tornado DDT and Rush got the hot tag to Robinson. Robinson and Hikuleo worked with a DDT and a Senton. Before long, Hikuleo landed a snap powerslam and tagged in Bey. Bey went for a drive on the outside of the ring onto Connors. TJP followed suit. Everyone was on the outside of the ring when Ishimori and Rush were the only two in the ring trading blows. Juice came in, lifted Ishimori and threw him to the outside onto everybody.
Juice went to the top and landed on all the other seven people in the match. Back in the ring, Juice hit a cannonball onto Bey, but Hikuleo came into the ring with the bull-rope that Juice brought to the ring and that was enough for a DQ.
TJP, Clark Connors, Lio Rush, and Juice Robinson defeated Taiji Ishimori, El Phantasmo, Chris Bey, and Hikuleo via disqualification in 11:06.
McGuire’s Musings: Next week, from what they say, we’re going to get Hikuleo vs. Juice in a bull-rope match. So, there’s that. This match was pretty much everything it should have been, especially when it comes to setting up something else. What I wonder about, though, is the need to have an eight-man tag to get here. So it goes. The action was good, and Rush took a lot of the match, which is always entertaining. I could have used more of Ishimori, but that’s just me.
4. Karl Fredericks vs. Will Ospreay. Ospreay gave his title to the ref and demanded he acknowledge him as the real world heavyweight champion. Fredericks took down Ospreay once the bell rang. Ospreay hit a boot to Fredericks’s face. Fredericks landed a knee to turn Ospreay over. Frederick hit a series of chops. Ospreay gained control by draping Fredericks over the top rope and chopping him to the outside.
On the outside, Ospreay dropped Fredericks onto the guardrail. Ospreay dropped a knee onto Frederick’s head, which was draped over the apron. Back in the ring, Ospreay lit up Fredericks with chops. Ospreay landed a dropkick to Fredericks, who was sitting in a corner. Ospreay kicked and slapped Fredericks. Fredericks fired up with punches and running boots to Ospreay’s face. Ospreay then hit a dropkick on Ospreay, who was sitting in a corner.
Back on the outside of the ring, Fredericks hit a similar dropkick, this time, with Ospreay against the barricade. Inside the ring, Fredericks worked a submission before Ospreay made it to the ropes for a break. Fredericks went for the Manifest Destiny, but Ospreay countered, eventually hitting an elbow from the top for a two-count. Ospreay perched Fredericks in the corner and hit a super-kick. Ospreay went for a neck-breaker, but Fredericks fought back with a kick that took both guys to the mat.
Fredericks went for a German Suplex, but Ospreay countered into one of his own, which led to Fredericks landing one. Ospreay hit a spinning heel kick, which again took both wrestlers to the ground. The two traded elbows and the spot ended with Ospreay kicking Fredericks in the face a handful of times. Fredericks began to fire up and hit a bunch of European Uppercuts to gain control. Fredericks put Ospreay on the top and went for a super-plex, but Ospreay countered and dropped Fredericks.
Off the top rope, Ospreay hit a flying forearm and then a power-bomb for a two-count. The two traded finish attempts and Ospreay went for the Os-Cutter again, but Fredericks caught him with a dropkick. Frederick hit a spine-buster for a good two-count. Fredericks went for the Manifest Destiny, but Ospreay countered. Before long, however, Fredericks came back and actually hit the Manifest Destiny, but Ospreay rolled outside.
With the wrestlers back in the ring, Ospreay held onto the foot of the referee. Fredericks slapped Ospreay around. Fredericks went for a rear-naked choke, but Ospreay worked his way out. Out of nowhere, Ospreay landed a Spanish Fly. Ospreay hit an Os-Cutter, but Fredericks kicked out. Ospreay eventually hit the Hidden Blade for the win.
Will Ospreay defeated Karl Fredericks via pinfall in 18:04.
After the match, Ospreay attacked Fredericks and the referee. Clark Connors and TJP ran in for the save. Ospreay cut a promo saying he evened up the odds by announcing TJP was part of the United Empire. TJP then turned on the La Dojo and attacked Connors. Ospreay and TJP laid Fredericks and Connors out to close the show.
McGuire’s Musings: Well, this explains why TJP and Ospreay teamed up together, complete with matching gear, at Saturday’s Strong tapings in Philadelphia. Fredericks looked really good here and one of the benefits of having Ospreay come into the Strong fold is the ability to see just how far some of these guys have come. Sure, Fredericks could hold his own against someone like Barrett Brown (all due respect), but could he hang with a top-level talent like Ospreay? The answer is yes, even if Ospreay carried a lot of this. Fredericks has good fire and there was a near-fall toward the end that actually had me believing Fredericks was winning. The announcement of TJP being the newest member of the United Empire could be very good for everyone involved because TJP has kind of been lost in the shuffle with his latest NJPW run. This now positions him squarely near the top of the Strong universe.
All told, outside of that development, this was one of the more could-miss episodes of Strong in recent memory. And call me a snob if you must, but the low production value from these Texas tapings really taints a lot of what I’m seeing. The fact that we are up to hour-and-a-half episodes and four matches a week now is curious, too. When we had a three-match, 50-minute block of wrestling, it felt like the perfect amount of time for a wrestling show. This episode overstayed its welcome a little bit. Now, it’s onward and upward, back to Philadelphia for night two of the next set of Strong tapings. My report of night one is available via the main page, and my night two report will be available late tonight or on Monday morning.