By Colin McGuire, ProWrestling.net Staffer (@McGMondays)
Taped August 21, 2022 in Los Angeles, California at The Vermont Hollywood
Streamed September 24, 2022 on New Japan World
Ian Riccaboni checked in with Alex Koslov to run down the card. We are on the Fighting Spirit Unleashed Tour and this is the third week of it.
1. Keita vs. QT Marshall. Marshall went outside the ring after the bell rang to jaw at the fans. Marshall landed an arm-drag back in the ring and then posed. Marshall slammed Keita and flipped him off. Marshall offered his head up for a head-lock, but Keita kneed him in the head. Keita followed that up with a bunch of strikes. Keita went to the top and rolled over, but came up right into a clothesline from Marshall.
Marshall teased throwing Keita into the guardrail, but didn’t and flipped off the fans. Marshall had control, but Keita came back and landed a knee to the side or Marshall’s head. Marshall came back briefly, but Keita rolled him up for a two-count. Marshall responded by lifting Keita and landing a European Uppercut. Marshall followed that up with a Diamond Cutter for the win.
QT Marshall defeated Keita via pinfall in 5:11.
After the match, Marshall asked for a microphone. The crowd chanted “asshole.” Marshall said the last time he was in Los Angeles, he had never been more disrespected. Marshall said he had a five-star performance. He called out Shota Umino, who appeared on the screen and said he’s ready while holding up the Death Rider jacket. Umino said he was going to kick Marshall’s ass. Marshall was indignant and left the ring.
McGuire’s Musings: I’ve said it before; I’ll say it again: QT Marshall hits different in New Japan. He feels more serious, he’s responded to as though he’s serious, and he does a really good job of putting younger talent over. And make no mistake, even though Keita lost here, Marshall gave him a good five minutes and I think Keita looks better coming away from it. The match between Marshall and Umino should be good because, if nothing else, I think it’ll showcase exactly how much Marshall can work. Never did I think I’d lead the charge for a QT Marshall appreciation society, but here we are.
2. Christopher Daniels and Yuya Uemura vs. Bad Dude Tito and Shane Haste. Daniels and Haste began the match. Haste grabbed a headlock on Daniels and took him down before landing an uppercut and a chop. Daniels came back with a dropkick. Tito tagged in Tito threw Daniels across the ring and Daniels tagged in Uemura. The two traded shoulder-blocks and the exchange ended with a body-slam from Uemura.
Haste tagged in and Haste was slammed by both Daniels and Uemura. Daniels and Uemura double-teamed Haste until Daniels pinned Haste for a two-count. Daniels chopped Haste. Uemura tagged in and landed a Russian Leg Sweep for a two-count. Haste tagged in Tito, who cleaned house. Tito landed a series of elbows on Uemura. Tito clotheslined Uemura for a two-count. Tito lifted Uemura and slammed into the heel corner, where Haste kicked Uemura and posed.
Tito tagged in and hit a splash on Uemura for a two-count. Haste tagged in, but Uemura tried to fight his way out. It didn’t work because Haste hit a power-bomb for a two-count. Haste went to the top, but Uemura countered with a flip from the top to take Haste down. Uemura got the hot tag to Daniels and Daniels cleaned house.
Daniels went to the second rope and landed a clothesline, but stared Tito down and during that, Haste came at Daniels. Even so, Daniels responded by slamming Haste. Haste eventually came back with a roll-up and an Exploder on Daniels. Haste went to land a splash on Daniels but Uemura moved Daniels. From there, Daniels held Haste on his shoulders, but Tito interfered and grabbed Uemura’s legs while Haste slammed Daniels and pinned him for the win.
Shane Haste and Bad Dude Tito defeated Christopher Daniels and Yuya Uemura via pinfall in 9:07.
After the match, Daniels and Uemura appeared to sell miscommunication between them. They hugged and Daniels raised Uemura’s arm before kicking Uemura in the nuts. Daniels then choke-slammed Uemura and hit the Best Moonsault Ever. Daniels did it again and then jawed at Uemura/the fans to end the segment.
McGuire’s Musings: Love it. Absolutely love it. Daniels needs a jumpstart anyway, be it on Strong or in AEW. And Uemura is beloved by the fans, so this is the perfect way to make Daniels feel relevant again. It’s the perfect tandem, Daniels and Uemura, and I’d love to see this stretched out for months and not just a couple Strong episodes. As for the match, it was pretty good. Tito and Haste were very generous and the chemistry between those two was palpable. I’d love to see TMDK as a force in NJPW, and they have the tools to do it. Where they go from there, we’ll see.
We got a promo from TJP, who was standing in front of a green screen. TJP called out Fred Rosser, saying he has an Openweight Strong Title match next week. TJP said he was a champion in WWE and he was the champion of a generation. TJP said he’s; glad Rosser is the NJPW Strong champion and he’s glad he’s there. TJP said they won’t share a ring; Rosser will be renting. TJP talked about his time at the LA Dojo and said he built the LA Dojo. We then went back to the ring.
3. Ren Narita vs. Jakob Austin Young. Narita had control early, but the two kept exchanging some mat work. At the end of it, Austin wrenched Narita’s arm and went back to working it until Narita fired up and hit a series of strikes. The two exchanged forearms in the middle of the ring. Austin ran at Narita and twisted his ankle before landing some chops.
Austin landed a Tornado DDT for a two-count. Austin continued to work Narita’s arm, but Narita worked out and hit a furry of strikes. Narita landed a back elbow and a suplex for a two-count. Austin ultimately rolled up Narita, but Narita sank in a read-naked choke. Austin got out of that with a pair of pin attempts. Narita suplexed Austin for a two-count. Narita landed some kicks and hit a bridge suplex for the win.
Ren Narita defeated Jakob Austin Young via pinfall in 4:47.
McGuire’s Musings: And speaking of love … this was fantastic. Probably my favorite match of the week, no matter the promotion. It was a little less than five minutes of nothing but action and I don’t know who the hell Jakob Austin Young is, but he made a believer out of me. That guy hung with perhaps the best worker in New Japan Strong, period, these days. I’m happy to see Narita go over. I’m happy to see these two not waste a single second showcasing themselves. And I’m so happy to see a match like this on Strong. A full standing ovation from me. If you got five minutes – yes, all I’m asking is five minutes – go check this one out. It’s thrilling. And I’m not using that word lightly.
4. Alan Angels vs. Taiji Ishimori. Angels had control early and worked a head-lock. Angels went for Ishimori’s arm, but Ishimori came back and landed a bunch of punches. Angles responded with some chops and a back elbow for a two-count. After a little bit, Ishimori landed a springboard kick to gain the upper hand. Ishimori landed a chop. Ishimori worked Angels’s arm/hand. The two traded chops and Ishimori hit a chop to take Angels down.
Ishimori worked a head-lock and then twisted Angels’s head with his feet. Angels fought back with a drop-kick and an enziguri. Angels went to the second rope and pounded Ishimori. Angels hit a chop and a Northern Lights Suplex for a two-count. Angles ran into a boot and Ishimori drove Angels into the corner pad for a two-count. Ishimori lifted Angels, but Angels got out of it and landed a back forearm before landing a Spanish Fly from the second rope for a two-count.
On their feet, the two traded forearms. Ishimori ended up getting the best of it, but Angles came back with an open-hand slap. Ishimori came back with a knee to Angels’s head. Ishimori went for his finisher, but Angels worked his way out and landed a lariat for a good near-fall. With Ishimori on the outside, Angels landed a moonsault onto Ishimori. The chanted “You f— up,” for reasons I can’t understand. Back in the ring, Angels went to the top, but Ishimori countered with a double knees. From there, Ishimori landed a Bloody Sunday for the win
Taiji Ishimori defeated Alan Angles via pinfall in 9:06.
Ishimori walked to the back to conclude the show.
McGuire’s Musings: Alan Angels did the best thing he could ever do for this career by leaving AEW. Not only did he hold his own with Ishimori here, but he also looked like his own man, which wasn’t something someone could say about him throughout his time in the Dark Order. Ishimori, meanwhile, was Ishimori and this was a very good match on a card filled with better-than-good matches. I loved the Narita bout, but this one felt like the main event of a show. There wasn’t much story here, but the action was enough to draw me in. Perhaps it’ll have the same effect on you. I will return later today with my weekly audio review for Dot Net Members (including our Patreon patrons).