August 14, 2021
Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, CA
Alex Coughlin Challenge Match Series Match
Karl Fredericks vs. Alex Coughlin - 6.5/10
Ok match, as they have developed into their own, I really don't care for Fredericks, but I LOVE Coughlin. The match was mostly back and forth until Fredericks won with Manifest Destiny.
Fred Rosser, Rocky Romero & Wheeler Yuta vs. Clark Connors, Ren Narita & TJP - 6.5/10
This was fun, I really enjoyed Romero, Yuta, and Narita. There was a lot of emphasis on Narita versus Rosser, they were the heat to this match, they had a really good pair up towards the end before passing it on to Romero and Connors for the ending sequence, that saw Connors counter a Slice Bread and set up a Mamba Splash from TJP for the win.
New Japan Strong Package - It was a long package about NJPW not being able to come to the US because of the pandemic and how New Japan Strong kinda save it.
Adrian Quest, Chris Dickinson, Fred Yehi, Lio Rush & Yuya Uemura vs. Team Filthy (Danny Limelight, Jorel Nelson, JR Kratos, Royce Isaacs & Tom Lawlor) - 7/10
Another fun match. It was weird because my understanding was that Rush had retired, but this match was all about getting him over and setting him up to chase Lawlor down the line. Yuya Uemura was the other part of the story, as he also got put over big, even getting the win for his team.
Highlights were anything that Rush and Limelight did, Kratos being a powerhouse, and Lawlor versus Dickinson.
Post-match - Yuya Uemura introduced himself and asked to be admitted into the LA Dojo. Shibata came out and accepted Uemura in.
Juice Robinson vs. Hikuleo - 6.5/10
Match was ok, but nothing special. Hikuleo looked impressive in size and certain spots looked cool because of that, but that was it. It was mostly Hikuleo working Robinson until the end. The finish was botched, I think Robinson was supposed to reverse a carry into some type of driver, but it looked more like a roll up that Leo sold like a driver.
Post-match - Hikuleo attacked Robinson and chokeslammed him.
Calendar Announcements - The announced a couple of dates for Dallas, Philly, and San Jose. Biggest note is that Ishii is going to be working some of those dates.
Tomohiro Ishii vs. Moose - 8.5/10
Easily the match of the night. Ishii is awesome, Moose is awesome, and they had a match that made Moose like a top guy, and Ishii look like he was Moose's size. This was a good combination between Ishii's strong style applied into a Moose match, just a bit more back and forth than many Moose matches. Ishii won with a Brainbuster.
Will Ospreay Promo - William came out, huge surprise. He said that he has been cleared to return to the ring and while the G1 is about to start, he won't be going because he is pretty much on strike for how NJPW treated him. He said that knowing he was going to be out only for some months, the company stripped him from the title, yet Moxley kept the US title for almost a year without defending it. He said that he will make New Japan Strong his house and implied that if they wanted him back in Japan, they'd send Shingo Takagi.
He also revealed that he still has the real IWGP World Championship and is calling himself the REAL champion and that Takagi is no more than an interim champion. He said he will happily defend it on Strong against anyone. Fredericks, Connors, and TJP came out to antagonize him. Ospreay made fun of them and left through the crowd.
Really good promo by Ospreay, he's so hateable.
Jon Moxley & Yuji Nagata vs. The Good Brothers (Doc Gallows & Karl Anderson) - 6.5/10
Nagata was both a nice surprise and a really underwhelming one. The match was a bore though, Moxley was barely in the match, it was more Nagata both getting worked on, and in offense towards the end until he got taken out with a Magic Killer. I really don't know why they wanted Mox in this match if the whole point was to get the Brothers over and Mox wasn't gonna do much. Nagata was great though, bless his heart.
Post-match - The Brothers were cutting a promo when the microphones died. I really don't know if it was on purpose or not, but since they couldn't get to their point, The Guerrillas of Destiny just came out and made fun of them. They got face to face before the Brothers back out. Seems like this Elite vs Bullet Club is not just an Impact thing anymore.
NEVER Openweight Title Match
Jay White (c) vs. David Finlay - 7/10
Good match, but it was far from the quality of the New Japan Cup. Crowd was completely on White's side and it made it harder to feel any drama, they should have called an audible and have them wrestle more in the middle since they wouldn't just let White be a babyface anyway.
The match was mostly a formulaic match with White doing his heel schtick early on, cut off Finlay and worked over him for a while, then came the comeback and into the final minutes going back and forth. Finish saw Finlay counter a Bladerunner into Prima Nocta, but then the Acid Drop was countered into a Bladerunner for the win.
Post-match - As White celebrated, Ishii came out to challenge him. White then cut a promo talking trash to Ishii.
IWGP United States Heavyweight Title Match
Lance Archer (c) vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi - 7.5/10
This was a good ending to the show. It wasn't the best workrate match, but it hit all the notes that it needed to send the crowd happy. Archer looked like a big deal, and Tanahashi was his usual greatness. It was actually something nice that Tanahashi heard his name chanted for the first time in many many months. Tana won with three High Fly Flows and captured the only heavyweight title in New Japan that he had never won.
Post-match - Archer cut a short promo saying he hopes that Tanahashi returns and goes to AEW and if he does, he wants to be his opponent there. Tana said some words in English to close the show. We saw Moxley annoyed that Tanahashi had won.
I didn't think this was an amazing show or anything, but it was consistently good, peaking for the Moose versus Ishii match. I'm not the biggest fan of New Japan US shows, they look so cheap compared to Japan, and there were enough production issues in this one to remind me of it. I also don't like US fans in Japanese shows.
NJPW, RevPro, CMLL, DDT, etc
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