NJPW Strong 6/18/2022


The second installment of Collision tapings from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, which were hosted by Ian Riccaboni and Matt Rehwoldt.



Team Filthy (JR Kratos & West Coast Wrecking Crew) defeated Alex Coughlin, Kevin Knight & The DKC

***1/4

Thumbs Up

Coughlin debuted his new post-Young Lion look before the match. He's now "The Android" Alex Coughlin, walking to the ring wearing a Terminator-meets-Big Van Vader exoskeleton body armor type of thing. With that mustache of his, if you were to put him in a helmet, he'd look just like Man-at-Arms from Masters of the Universe.

Coughlin and Kratos went back and forth before the match got started. Before he got into the ring, Kratos threw a cardboard sign at Coughlin. Jorel Nelson & Royce Isaacs of West Coast Wrecking Crew went at the Young Lions, Knight and DKC, shoving and jaw-jacking. The crowd started chanting "F*CK YOU, KRA-TOS!" All this action and the bell hadn't even rung yet.

Nelson and Knight were to start the match off, but once the bell sounded, Kratos went right after Coughlin, ambushing him and whipping him into the barricade at ringside.

Nelson and Knight traded moves. Knight did a high standing frog splash for two. Coughlin came in later and launched Knight onto Isaacs. Team Filthy reconvened on the floor while the babyfaces posed in the ring. While they weren't paying attention, Team Filthy came back into the ring and took out the three LA Dojo trainees. Moments later, Kratos held Knight up in a hanging vertical suplex while Nelson and Isaacs used hanging vertical suplexes of their own on Coughlin and DKC, while they were on the floor and on opposite sides of the ring. So, we got triple hanging vertical suplexes from different areas in and around the ring.

The finish saw WCWC first take out Knight with a cool-looking fireman's carry toss-to-German suplex, then the DKC with a Claymore Kick-brainbuster combo.

Well after the bell sounded, Coughlin and Kratos continued fighting on the floor, and in the ring. Security had to break them up. Kratos teased jumping back into the ring for more, but flipped Coughlin off and walked to the back.


Ariya Daivari defeated Delirious

***

Thumbs Up

Delirious bounced off all four ropes to avoid contact with Daivari, evading him, then used a lariat to lay Daivari out. He did nine leg drops before Daivari rolled to the floor.

Daivari used a big uranage slam on Delirious for two. He superkicked Delirious then pinned him after a hammerlock lariat.



Brody King defeated Jake Something

***

Thumbs Up

Once he stepped into the ring, King received a star's ovation from the Philadelphia crowd.

King finished Something off with a huge lariat and the Gonzo Bomb for the win. This was short but great, and these two had good chemistry together.


Hiroshi Tanahashi defeated Chris Dickinson

***

Thumbs Up

Tanahashi got the type of response you'd expect from the Philly crowd in attendance. It looked like everyone was on their feet.

They went hold for hold in the center of the ring for the first few minutes. While no titles were on the line, it had the pace and feel of a championship bout.

When Dickinson went for a brainbuster, Tanahashi countered with the Twist-and-Shout followed by an Anarchy Suplex. He put Dickinson down with another slingblade but could only keep Dickinson down for two. Tanahashi finally put Dickinson away in the end with the High Fly Flow.

Afterwards, Tanahashi offered his hand to Dickinson, who accepted, then bowed in respect before exiting the ring.

Tanahashi then grabbed the mic and cut an enthusiastic promo thanking the crowd. "You are amazing!!" He also apologized for his English, to which the crowd responded via chant: "IT'S O-K! IT'S O-K!"

Tanahashi then treated us to a final air guitar performance, which included the ceremonial Passing of the Air Guitar from crowd to ring. Tanahashi made a great catch before rocking the hell out as the show wrapped.



Final thoughts:

The opening six-man tag team match and the main event of this week's NJPW Strong were this week's highlights. The Alex Coughlin vs. JR Kratos rivalry isn't even close to stale and continues to impress. And this week's main event was arguably a perfect pro wrestling match; not the best, not the most exciting ever, but, functionally, it was perfect in a lot of ways, and a perfect main event for an hour-long wrestling show on a Saturday night.

I might be in the minority on this, but I actually preferred Dickinson's match with Tanahashi to his recent bouts with Minoru Suzuki. All were excellent, but I think Dickinson really shined with Tanahashi for some reason. He's the ideal opponent for Tanahashi in terms of size, style, skill, etc., and I hope they're able to do this one again in the future but for higher stakes—or at least for a longer time.


Thumbs Up


#GeraldRoberts