When New Japan Pro Wrestling presented its new American version of their promotion (NJPW of America), I’m sure there was some questions. Was this an offshoot of the main brand (ie. WWE + NXT) or is a completely new brand on its own. In my humble opinion, it may be a little of both. I summize that it’s something NJPW can do get their LA Dojo Young Lions television (more like streaming) time and be able to get a foot into the US. Then again, I could be way off. Such is life with an opinion. That leads us to the creation of NJPW Strong on the New Japan World site. THE BEST HOUR OF WRESTLING. PERIOD.
Last week we saw an hour show focused on just 4 matches for the newly created New Japan Cup USA 2020. Seven of arguably the best gaijin fighters in New Japan and new Bullet Club member KENTA. As one could imagine it was some of the best “TV” wrestling one could find. It was after this first successful night that the card for week 2 of Strong was a little different yet, if at all possible, was stacked just as well as the first week. Two tag matches and the two Cup semifinals matches. At the end of the night the finals set for next week was surprising to some.
The match card was as follows:
- Logan Reigel/Barrett Brown vs. Clark Connors/Jordan Clearwater
- It was announced as an Aussie Rules Tag Match, but it was pretty much a conventional tag match. Young Lion Clark Connors got over in this match. He’s got a huge and bright future in NJPW. He’s got an impressive mix of catch wrestling, mat wrestling, and striking. Unfortunately, the team of Reigel and Brown went over on Connors and Clearwater with a roll up on Clearwater much to the visible disappointment of Connors.
- Black/Christian/Misterioso vs. TJP/ACH/Alex Zayne
- Interesting fact about this particular match. Three of the 6 participants in this match are former WWE wrestlers. PJ Black was the “elder statesman” in this 6-man tag match at the age of 39. He’s still doing stuff that popped crowds in WWE and doing it just as flawless, too. I would say everyone shined in this match except Misterioso. I feel bad about saying this but Misterioso got lost in this match. Compared to the rest he came off as just another luchador. After some time away from WWE, ACH looked bigger, stronger, and, yes, faster. He and TJP have chemistry.
- David Finlay vs. Tama Tonga (New Japan Cup USA 2020 semifinals)
- Again, this was a great and entertaining match. It did though set up that something is coming down the line for the two members of the tag team Guerillas of Destiny. Is there anything Finlay can’t do inside a wrestling ring? Tama had to fight from behind nearly this whole match because Finlay’s offense was cutting him off nearly at all turns. Both of these wrestlers are great at what they do, but it was a bit of shock in my eyes that Finlay went over to advance. To me an all Bullet Club final would have been interesting.
- KENTA vs. Jeff Cobb
- As some of my readers know I’m a bit of a Jeff Cobb fan. He’s a big man that can fight like a Jr. Heavyweight as a Super Heavyweight. KENTA on the other hand is beyond description. His ring psychology is second to none. He’s a fierce striker and technician that can dominate Jr.’s as well as the big boys. Some could say he’s got future IWGP champion written all over him. Then again let’s not get ahead of ourselves here. He’s got a singular focus and that’s the IWGP US Heavyweight title. This was a hard-hitting main event. Both men laying in the lumber on each other. Surprisingly, Cobb had to fight from behind for a good portion of the match. Every power move Cobb tried was countered. What ruined Cobb was an attempt of his “Tour of the Islands” finisher that KENTA caused a “ref bump” and took control to finish of a great match over Cobb to advance.
This was exciting to watch from bell to bell. Every competitor involved in this show was absolute aces. I actually wanted to watch this program again this morning to just bask in the sunshine glory of what this show has become in just 2 weeks’ time.
The finals of this New Japan Cup USA 2020 of KENTA vs. David Finlay are going to be putting on a scorcher. It seems that Bullet Club is gaining steam as we head to G1 Climax and beyond. I’m sure that he is destined to become the breakout star of the faction and a key figure for New Japan during this Pandemic Era.
If you don’t presently have New Japan World you need to subscribe. IT COSTS LESS THAN THE WWE NETWORK and it’s better wrestling. The promotion with the absolute best wrestling on the planet is on display for you to see 24/7. You can also catch NJPW Strong every Friday at 10 PM Eastern. The best hour of wrestling anywhere. Go to http://www.njpwworld.com/
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