NJPW Strong 9/24/2022

Tonight saw the next set of tapings from NJPW Strong’s Fighting Spirit Unleashed 2022 tapings in Hollywood, California, with IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion Taiji Ishimori defending his title against Alan Angels in the main event.

QT Marshall (w/ Aaron Solo) defeated Keita


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Marshall got booed a lot, both before and during the match. It was around the time of the five-minute call that Marshall flashed the Diamond Dallas Page diamond gesture, crotch-chopped the audience, then put Keita away with a Diamond Cutter for the win.

Marshall got on the mic and talked about how Shota Umino ruined his moment at NJPW Strong in Charlotte, North Carolina recently. Knowing that Umino wasn’t in the building for this show, Marshall would challenge Umino to a one-on-one match. Suddenly, a backstage vignette of Umino aired where he answered Marshall’s challenge. He showed off his Death Rider jacket Jon Moxley gave him, then addressed Marshall before saying “See you in Las Vegas.” Marshall then started screaming to unbook the match as he exited with Aaron Solo.

TMDK (Shane Haste & Bad Dude Tito) defeated Christopher Daniels & Yuya Uemura


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This match was great.

There were sporadic “TITO!” calls came from the audience before things got underway. On commentary, Ian Riccaboni explained that Haste’s usual tag partner in TMDK, Mikey Nicholls, was absent due to the birth of his child, which is why Tito was in his spot. Congratulations to Mikey Nicholls.

Uemura took a beating from TMDK until he was able to stop Haste from coming off the top rope, taking him over with a big double-overhook suplex into the ring. He then tagged out to Daniels, who cleaned house. He took Tito out with a big diving lariat from the second rope before spiking Haste with a Death Valley Bomb for two.

There came a point where Daniels hoisted Haste onto his shoulders in an electric chair so that Uemura could come off the top with a flying bulldog, Steiner Bros. style, just like they’ve used over the summer. However, Bad Dude Tito was able to shove Uemura off the top, which sent him crashing into Daniels and breaking up the spot. Daniels started yelling at Uemura, but Haste capitalized and attacked Daniels while Daniels had his back turned. Tito dragged Uemura out of the ring, and Haste put Daniels away after a fireman’s carry-to-uranage slam for the win.

Afterwards, Daniels apologized to Uemura. The two hugged, and Daniels raised Uemura’s arm . . . just before giving Uemura a low blow. Daniels kicked him in the groin, dropping Uemura immediately. The crowd booed a lot. A scowling Daniels then gave Uemura two double-jump moonsaults before telling off the crowd and heading backstage.

Next up was a short promo interview from TJP. He addressed NJPW Strong Openweight Champion Fred Rosser and the upcoming match between the two. He talked about how they’d both been champions in New Japan and at “a different company” (WWE). He told a story about the WWE Cruiserweight Championship; since he was the inaugural champion, TJP claimed wrestlers would ask him why his name wasn’t featured on the side plates of the belt with the other champions. TJP said that it was because the big part in the middle was made for him. He then said Rosser wouldn’t be “sharing” the ring with TJP but “renting” it from him, because he said without a NJPW Strong there’d be no LA Dojo, and without an LA Dojo, NJPW wouldn’t have existed, saying the he “built this dojo”. He told Rosser to remember the big centerpiece on the Strong Openweight championship before their match, because TJP is the one who “built” that championship.

Ren Narita defeated Jakob Austin Young


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This was solid. Young was discovered by NJPW at one of their dojo tryouts. He’s previously worked for OWE in China. He’s very talented.

Narita would pick up the win with a bridging front suplex.

IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship Match: Taiji Ishimori (c) defeated Alan Angels


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This was good, but it seemed as though it finished early because of a possible injury towards the end of the match.

Angels has good charisma and is just 24. Towards the finish, Angels did a triangle moonsault from the top rope to the floor, but on his way down, he crashed shin-first into the guardrail. It doesn’t come across that loudly on screen, but inside the venue, it was absolutely jarring; it sounded like a car crash. The crowd reaction was loud, and a number of fans unfortunately began chanting “You f****d up!” The mood changed at the venue from here. Even Ian Riccaboni hoped Angels was all right after the match.

Angels and Ishimori crawled back in the ring and went right to the finish. Angels came off the second rope, but Ishimori caught him on the way down with double-knees to the face. He’d then put Angels away with the Bloody Cross, which looked kind of bad because Angels couldn’t kick his legs up in the air for it.

Final thoughts:

Christopher Daniels & Yuya Uemura vs. TMDK was the best match of this week’s episode, with Narita vs. Austin as a short but solid runner-up.

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