A look at a really awesome show!
The last time we got together here I made mention of the New Japan Pro Wrestling Show Strong Style Evolved. And boy howdy that show blew me away! I got to see the show live on AXS TV and it was a great show and a vast improvement over the show (either day) from last year. The wrestling was good and many of the matches had more meaning and played into the storylines a lot better, and the whole presentation was better, including the announcing. My big worry going into this show was that Jim Ross and Josh Barnett would show their weaknesses in front of the live moke, but outside of a little slip that came across when they were supposed to be in a commercial, it was a great job.
There were Nine matches over the course of four hours so let’s break things down more.
Roppongi 3K defeated SoCal Uncensored: Good call for this match to be the opener. It was fast and full of action. There was that slip up with Kazarian coming off the ropes the wrong way, but it almost looked like he was covering up something with it. Since this was an NJPW show and not an ROH show, the right team did go ever here.
Juice Robinson and David Finlay defeated Hirooki Goto and Gedo: This was not the match I expected going into things. The real surprise here and I guess they had better plans for Finlay so makes total sense.
Killer Elite Squad defeated Chuck Taylor and Toru Yano: Well it wasn’t a smashmouth slobberknocker but that wasn’t the point. Toru Yano is a comedy man and Chuckie T makes a good sideman for him to interact with. I was entertained!
Cody Rhodes and Marty Scurll defeated Tama Tonga and Tanga Loa: Another upset as I thought the Tongan’s would have taken it, but Cody’s got to look good. They have an end game to all this and gotta think Cody plays a huge part in this payoff.
Naito, Bushi, Sanada, Hiromu defeated Tanahashi, Taguchi, Kushida, Dragon Lee: Not really a huge surprise seeing as LIJ are huge merch sellers. Maybe not the best use of Tanahashi, but if he’s really as beat up, probably the best they can use him right now. A lot of people but a lot of fun too!
Will Ospreay defeated Jushin Liger: Sure, Ospreay was a replacement for Rey Mysterio, but I think they did a better job with the champ that Rey. I’m a huge fan of Liger’s anyway so it didn’t matter. Yeah, he lost but holy crap he can still go and this was the match for me.
Minoru Suzuki and Zach Sabre Jr. defeated Okada and Ishii: This match seems really odd, but with Sabre winning the New Japan Cup and his future match with Okada, it makes sense and this match did exactly what it was supposed to do. Zach looks like a champ and gears people up for the next main event.
Jay White defeated Adam Page: If there was a fault to this show, this match is the issue. I don’t think anyone really thought White would lose his newly won belt, especially to Adam Page. I just don’t buy him as a major singles belt holder and the 6 man title he holds now means nothing. However it was still a great match even if the build failed it, they still went and had a big match that got my attention.
Kenny Omega and Kota Ibushi defeated Matt Jackson and Nick Jackson: This was a worthy man event. New Japan is on FIRE with the Kenny Omega storyline was Kota and the other members of the Bullet Club. This was a great chapter to the whole thing and again, they have massive plans here but hope the future matches can be this good!
Now there were some more shows announced in the near future, and hope I’m able to see those too. If NJPW puts on as good as a show as this on an international stage I would recommend checking this out and becoming a fan because it’s an amazing ride!
Now, before I go I want to point anyone reading this towards a special little pup who is part of the family of a friend of mine. I have not had the chance to meet her personally, but Bailey isn’t feeling too good and she needs some help. Poor Bailey could use the kindness of strangers so if you are reading this, I ask you to give her a little love and help her and Jen out. She has had a rough one so far so she could use the help. You can donate to her and her human Jen HERE.
Read Cityscape Tokyo to find out how the two teens and their guardian have to survive and watch out for each other when the company’s dark past comes back to haunt the kids and their guardian once again and make for an incredible adventure in Cityscape Tokyo! Now available on the Bull Moose website!
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