6/11 NJPW Strong results: McGuire’s review of Tomohiro Ishii, Rocky Romero, Chuck Taylor, Mascara Dorada, and Ren Narita vs. Jay White, Juice Robinson, Karl Anderson, Doc Gallows, and Hikuleo in a ten-man tag match, Karl Fredericks vs. QT Marshall, and Yuya Uemura vs. Killer Kross

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

NJPW Strong
Taped May 15, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at 2300 Arena
Streamed June 11, 2022 on New Japan World

A new opening video, this time featuring wrestlers’ names, aired and we got a check in from the broadcast team of Ian Riccaboni and Matthew Rehwoldt. We are on the Collision in Philadelphia tour (or the Collision tour, for short). The commentary vocals sounded like they were in an echo chamber as Uemura made his entrance for the first match.

1. Killer Kross vs. Yuya Uemura. Uemura began with a wrist-lock, but Kross rolled out of it. Uemura came back with a takeover and sank in a head-lock. Kross took Uemura down and went for a choke, but Uemura got to the ropes for a break. Uemura took Kross down, but Kross came right back with a body-scissors into a mount position before getting to his feet. The two tied up and got to the ropes, but Uemura slapped Kross, so Kross came back with a back suplex.

Kross hit a series of elbows, but Uemura came back with a high dropkick. Uemura landed a cross-body and went to lift Kross, but Kross cut him off. Uemura responded with a chop and a Saito Suplex for a two-count. Uemura went for an arm-bar, but Kross blocked it. Kross rolled through and elbowed his way out of everything. Back on their feet, Uemura hit a German Suplex for a two-count. Uemura went again for an arm-breaker and this time got it in. The arm-breaker turned into a triangle choke, but Kross lifted Uemura with one arm and slammed him.

On their feet, Kross landed a lariat, but Uemura kicked out at two-and-a-half. Kross hit a power-bomb and immediately followed that up with a Saito Suplex. Kross hit The Quickening and jumped on Uemura’s back to continue pummeling him with elbows to the back of the head. Kross did it so much that the ref stepped in and called off the match.

Killer Kross defeated Yuya Uemura vía ref stoppage in 7:47.

McGuire’s Musings: I don’t know what the hell is going on with the commentary sound, but that’s distracting as all get out. Let’s hope that’s only a one-match issue. A lot of the live reviews for the next few weeks will most likely incorporate a few thoughts from me being at these tapings, so if that gets annoying, you might want to click somewhere else. I actually remember Kross being more dominant in this match when I saw it in person, so I was surprised to see how much offense Uemura got in here. Good on him, too. And good on Kross, who looks better than he’s ever looked physically and the decision to grow his hair out really does change things in terms of a reinvention, coming out of that WWE main roster nonsense. Color me naive, but I hope Kross finds a home in New Japan. His style just works so well within this context, and because there’s no Scarlett  (nothing against Scarlett, of course), the guy just comes off as a bad-ass loner who will beat the daylights out of anyone who steps in his way. The decision to work a ref stoppage finish here was perfect, too, as it proved to be a great way to reintroduce him to the New Japan faithful. Here’s hoping he gets more run in this organization, moving forward, be it on Strong or overseas.

2. Karl Fredericks vs. QT Marshall. Fredericks jump-started the match with a running dropkick. Marshall rolled to the outside and Fredericks followed him, keeping the attack going. After both guys rolled inside, Fredericks landed a knee before clotheslining Marshall to the outside. Fredericks then landed splashes on Nick Comoroto and Aaron Solow on opposite sides of the ring. With the ref distracted, though, Comoroto stopped Fredericks’s momentum. The ref, Jeremy Marcus, noticed something was amiss and kicked Comoroto and Solow out of ringside.

Back in the ring, Marshall landed a back elbow for a one-count. Marshall hit a back hand-spring into a twist kick that got him a two-count. Marshall knelt over Fredericks and punched him. Fredericks fired up and landed a stiff chop before hitting a back-breaker to even things out. Fredericks hit some palm strikes before landed a tall back body-drop. Fredericks worked Marshall over in a corner, complete with a face-wash. Fredericks then landed a hydraulic dropkick. Fredericks hit an elbow drop for a two-count.

Fredericks locked in an STF, but Marshall made it to the ropes for a break. Marshall then rolled to the apron. Fredericks went for a cross-body inside the ring, but Marshall caught him and hit a back-breaker into a Flatliner for a close near-fall. Marshall went for a Diamond Cutter, but Fredericks blocked it. Still, Marshall lifted Fredericks only to punch him before landing a high power-bomb for another good near-fall.

On their feet, the two traded shots. The two then traded kicks and Marshall clumsily fell on top of Fredericks for an accidental two-count. Marshall went for the Diamond Cutter again, but Fredericks blocked it and the two traded roll-up attempts. Fredericks ultimately hit a penalty kick for a close near-fall. Fredericks then hit the Manifest Destiny for the win.

Karl Fredericks defeated QT Marshall via pinfall in 10:23.

After the match, Marshall extended his hand for a handshake and right after the two fist-bumped, wouldn’t you know it, Solow and Comoroto showed up and attacked Fredericks. A masked man then entered the ring for the save and that masked man was … Christopher Daniels (the moonsault gave it away). Once he revealed himself, the crowd responded loudly with a “Holy s—” chant.

McGuire’s Musings: If memory serves, this was the first match of the night (while the Kross match was the first match back from intermission), and the crowd was up for it. By the time Daniels made the save, they were beyond ready to get frisky. The match was just as good here as I remember it being in person. It’s a good win for Fredericks, even though the post-match shenanigans suggest that perhaps this isn’t the end of the story between him and The Factory. Even so, the near-falls had me in person and they even forced me to jump the tiniest bit while watching them back here. It was one of the matches of the night and I can confidently say that it’s the best match featured on this particular episode. Marshall is underrated as a wrestler, mostly because everyone seems to hate him, but you have to remember that he’s long been a respected trainer to a lot of big-deal names. Fredericks, meanwhile, continues to see his star brighten and I can’t wait to see it eventually light up the entire sky.

3. “The Bullet Club” Jay White, Juice Robinson, Karl Anderson, Doc Gallows and Hikuleo vs. Tomohiro Ishii, Rocky Romero, Chuck Taylor, Mascara Dorada and Ren Narita
. Anderson and Dorada started the match, with Anderson getting the best of Dorada at first. Dorada came back with a Slingblade and a dropkick. Anderson called out Ishii and Ishii tagged in. Anderson teased going at him, but instead tagged in Gallows. The tallest man and the shortest man in the ring went at it.

Ishii tried to lift Gallows, but Gallows countered with a suplex of his own before tagging in Robinson, who worked over Ishii with chops. Ishii came back and landed a series of elbows on Robinson. Narita tagged in and fired up against Robinson. Narita went after the rest of the Bullet Club, but was then taken down when he got back to Robinson, who eventually worked a ground-and-pound. White then tagged in and hit a chop. White kept chopping Narita and then landed a back-breaker for a two-count.

Hikuleo tagged in and chopped Narita. Gallows tagged in and kept working over Narita in the heels’ corner. Robinson taunted Narita and then tried a brain-buster, but Narita wiggled out of it and countered into a choke. Narita cleared the Bullet Club off the apron and got the hot tag to Chuck Taylor. Taylor fired up and took out everyone in the Bullet Club. Romero tagged in and the babyface all hit the Forever Clotheslines on White.

White chopped Romero and tagged in Hikuleo. Romero proceeded to run through nearly the entire Bullet Club squad. Romero then landed his Forever Clotheslines on four of the five members, who were all in different corners. Hikuleo ultimately landed a boot to end the sequence and the Bullet Club teamed up on Romero. Eventually, Hikuleo went for a pin, but Narita broke up and worked a Cobra Twist on Hikuleo. White broke it up, but then Taylor broke it up but then Robinson broke it up but then Ishii broke it up. Ishii then hit his brain buster on Gallows, which was impressive.

Dorada hit a splash onto everyone on the outside. Inside the ring, Romero went for his finisher, but Hikuleo caught him and tried to slam him. Romero countered with a roll-up and a good near-fall. Hikuleo then landed a snap power-slam before hitting his choke-slam for the win.

“The Bullet Club” Jay White, Juice Robinson, Karl Anderson, Doc Gallows and Hikuleo defeated Tomohiro Ishii, Rocky Romero, Chuck Taylor, Mascara Dorada and Ren Narita via pinfall in 12:43.

After the match, the Bullet Club beat up Ishii some more. White hit the Bladerunner on Ishii. Riccaboni laid it on thick that Dominion begins in only a handful of hours (to those watching this episode when it first airs). White grabbed a microphone and teased cutting a promo, but instead left the ring to end the show.

McGuire’s Musings: The 10-man cluster you’ve grown to expect and (maybe) love on New Japan shows. Because of how much Riccaboni talked about Dominion being later tonight (or early tomorrow, depending on where you are), it struck me that it was probably a wise move to air this as the main event on tonight’s show, because it featured the Bullet Club going over strong. The highlight of the match for me was seeing Narita get as much time as he got in the middle of the match. Granted, it was mostly him selling, but the more reps he can get in a live ring, the better. Chuckie T was more over than anyone else with the live crowd and the post-match attack had the boo birds flying en masse. If nothing else, the match is worth your time just to see Ishii lift Gallows like he did. Wow.

In all, this was a good episode of Strong. These weren’t some of the best matches that happened that night, so I’m optimistic that we have a couple very strong (pun intended) episodes coming up in the next few weeks. Riccaboni noted that Tanahashi vs. Dickinson is the main event next week, and (spoiler) you probably won’t want to miss that. As for this week, Marshall vs. Fredericks is definitely worth a watch and if you’re curious as to what Killer Kross is up to these days, pull that match up, too (just be sure to put it on mute because I don’t know what the flip went wrong with the audio). I’ll have more to say during my weekly audio review, which will be available for Dot Net Members (including our Patreon patrons).



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