5/21 NJPW Strong results: McGuire’s review of Mascara Dorada, Taylor Rust, and Brody King vs. Great-O-Khan, TJP, and Aaron Henare, Karl Fredericks and Clark Connors vs. Nick Comoroto and Aaron Solo, and Ren Narita vs. Chris Dickinson

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

NJPW Strong
Taped April 10, 2022 in Hollywood, California at the Vermont Hollywood
Streamed May 21, 2022 on New Japan World

The opening video aired and we got a check in from Ian Riccaboni and Alex Koslov, who’s back after some time away from the Strong Universe. We are on the Mutiny tour and this is the second week of the tour.

1. Ren Narita vs. Chris Dickinson. Dickinson started by teasing the crowd. Dickinson took Narita down, but the two got back up and squared up. Narita sank in a double wrist-lock before Dickinson made it to the ropes for a break. Dickinson took Narita down, but Narita went for a leg-lock. It didn’t work and ultimately another rope break broke things up. Narita chopped Dickinson, but Dickinson came back with an arm-bar. Narita eventually made it to the ropes after the two exchanged submissions.

Dickinson worked Narita some more, but Narita rolled through into a leg submission. Back on their feet, Dickinson kept control with a back elbow. Dickinson sunk in a high wrist-lock before landing a chop. Dickinson sunny in a double wrist-lock, but Narita made it to the ropes for a break. Dickinson stomped on Narita in the corner. Dickinson hit a chop and then worked an arm-bar. Narita made it to he ropes for a break.

Dickinson chopped Narita and Narita fired up. Narita hit a bunch of chops. Narita landed a half-and-half for a two-count. Narita worked a figure-four and Dickinson sold the hell out of it. Dickinson reversed it, but Narita re-reversed it. Dickinson tried to fight out with slaps, but what ended the sequence was Dickinson getting to the ropes for a break. Narita hit a kick that took Dickinson right down.

Back on their feet, the two traded blows. Dickinson landed a deadlift German Suplex. Narita landed a series of clotheslines and then a brain-buster. Dickinson then sank in an STF, but Narita made it to the ropes for a break. Dickinson then hit some chops, but Narita came back with a sleeper hold and a Cobra Twist, but Dickinson tossed his way out of it. Dickinson then hit a kick to the back of Narita and worked Narita over, but Narita came back with another Cobra Twist before time ran out.

Ren Narita and Chris Dickinson fought to a 15-minute time-limit draw.

After the match, the two went forehead-to-forehead before Narita left the ring and Dickinson kissed the ring’s mat…

McGuire’s Musings: Wow. This was great. I thought for sure that Dickinson would ultimately go over, because Narita has become the poster-child for putting up a great fight, but losing. Kudos to Dickinson for making Narita look like a million bucks, but kudos to Narita for giving Dickinson so much of the match. I had no inkling that this might go the distance, so the result was a very pleasant surprise. They worked a slow, deliberate pace, too, which made things work that much more intriguing. This was really good stuff by both guys. I just hope Narita can get some steam behind him with some wins, because I feel like wins would vault him to the next level.

2. Clark Connors and Karl Fredericks (w/Yuya Uemura) vs. Aaron Solo and Nick Comoroto (w/QT Marshall). Fredericks and Solo began the match with Solo landed a chop. The two traded blows before Fredericks hit an echoing chop. Slow teased a chop and raked the eyes. Fredericks came back with a cross-body before tagging in Connors. Comoroto tagged in and he traded slaps with Connors. Connors eventually came back with a shoulder-block for a two-count.

Comoroto came back with a body-slam. Comoroto hit a series of forearms and elbows before stomping on Connors. Solo tagged in and immediately threw Connors into the heels’ corner and Comoroto choked Connors. Solo landed a suplex and got a two-count out of it. Comoroto hit a springboard splash on Connors after he tagged in. Comoroto lifted Connors and bench-pressed him before going for an elbow, but Connors moved.

Solo tagged in, but Connors fought his way out of Solo’s clutches and got the hot tag to Fredericks, who came in and hit a spine-buster. Marshall distracted Fredericks and then hit Fredericks with a punch, which led to a bunch of attacks from the heels, but Fredericks kicked out at 2.9999 when Solo tried to pin him. Before long, Connors hit a spear and his finish on Solo and ended up getting the pinfall victory.

Clark Connors and Karl Fredericks defeated Aaron Solo and Nick Comoroto via pinfall in 8:18.

After the match, QT Marshall grabbed a microphone. Marshall tried to tell the crowd to shut up, but the crowd wouldn’t, so it was hard to make out everything he was saying. Marshall challenged Karl Fredericks to a match at the 2300 Arena, which, as it goes, happened at the tapings I attended last weekend. If you’re into spoilers, check out my live report from last weekend.

McGuire’s Musings: This was fairly predictable, but I am beginning to wonder why Marshall and Solo and Comoroto decided to come over from AEW, just to take every L they could get. I understand the experience factor, and maybe Comotoro and Solo need that type of experience as they grow into who they want to be as wrestlers, but man. It might not be a bad idea to get those dudes some wins here and there. Anyway, the match was good, but nothing special. I continue to like to see people like Connors and Fredericks get wins. Both of those guys feel like they’re constantly on the verge of getting to that next level.

3. Brody King, Tyler Rust, and Mascara Dorada vs. Great-O-Khan, TJP, and Aaron Henare. Rust and Henare began the match with Rust getting the best of the situation. Rust worked a side head-lock and then rolled Henare up, but Henare came back with a series of body shots. Henare hit a boot to the face, but Rust came back with a dropkick before posing. Dorada then tagged in while TJP tagged in and the two squared off.

Dorada and TJP worked a series of fast-paced moves, but TJP ended it all with an eye-rake. Dorada tried for a springboard move, but TJP cut him off with a dropkick. The remaining four members of the match fought outside. Inside the ring, TJP landed a Senton for a two-count. Khan tagged in and sat on Dorada’s head, which is something Khan is wont to do. Khan continued to work over Dorada before tagging in Henare, who suplexed Dorada for a two-count.

TJP tagged in and hit a knee to the jaw of Dorada for a two-count. TJP tried to rip off Dorada’s mask. Dorada came back with a sling blade bull-dog, but the rest of the United Empire ran in to hit their opponents off the apron. Dorada responded by hitting a dropkick on TJP from the second rope. King and Khan got the hot tags and off to the races we went.

King hit a splash and a cannonball, as well as a spinning side-slam for a two-count on Khan. Khan and King traded elbows and forearms. Khan got the best of it until King came back with a chop. Khan hit a lariat and got a two-count before tagging in Henare. King chopped the hell out of everyone before landed a double-clothesline and tagging in Rust, who worked over Henare. Khan worked the claw on King and then Khan and Henare double-teamed King.

Dorado inserted himself into the equation with a springboard dropkick, but things broke down. Before long, Rust worked an ankle lock on TJP and then Rust sank in the Rings of Rust, but TJP broke things up. Rust hit a series of kicks on Henare and TJP until Henare caught him and the United Empire triple-teamed Rust. All of that led to a very close near-fall, but things stayed in chaos. Henare then pinned Rust for the win.

TJP, Aaron Henare, and Great-O-Khan defeated Brody King, Tyler Rust, and Mascara Dorada via pinfall in 14:02.

After the match, TJP ripped the mask off Dorada’s face. Great-O-Khan then cut a promo saying everyone needs to respect the United Empire, in so many words. The three left the ring and pointed at a United Empire sign in the stands. That was the last thing we saw before the show ended.

McGuire’s Musings
: This was fine for what it was, and what it was, was an angle to make the United Empire look strong, especially going into the United Empire-themed show that was taped in Philadelphia last weekend. I’ll admit it was odd to see Great-O-Khan booed and generally not liked after seeing how popular he was with the D.C. and Philly crowds no less than a week ago. But … hey, us wrestling fans are great, and that’s because us wrestling fans are fickle. King actually stuck out the most here, even though he didn’t get much time. He tends to do that, though.

In all, this was a pedestrian episode of Strong. Beyond that opening time-limit draw, there wasn’t much to see here. It wasn’t necessarily memorable, either. It was just one of those things that was kind of there. God bless it for that because the wrestling is always going to be strong, even if it feels like an episode that a viewer could take or leave. I’ll have more to say during my weekly audio review on Sunday morning for Dot Net Members (including our Patreon patrons).


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