NJPW STRONG #3 – New Japan Cup USA 2020 Part 3

Port Hueneme, CA – 8.21.2020

Commentary is provided by Kevin Kelly & Alex Koslov.

Rocky Romero & Adrian Quest vs. Danny Limelight & The DKC

This is Quest’s NJPW debut. Limelight and Romero had very good chemistry in the Collision shows, so I am glad to see them paired off once again. Romero has a big smile as Limelight is able to keep with his pace in the opening exchange. Limelight also knees Quest in the back as he hits the ropes, allowing DKC to take him down with a dropkick. Limelight kicks Quest in the chest multiple times before assisting DKC with a double vertical suplex. DKC chop drops Quest for two. Quest takes down Limelight with La Mistica, but Limelight kicks out of La Magistral and kicks Quest in the chest. Quest comes back with a roundhouse kick and gives him a double Code Breaker. Romero turns Limelight inside out with a clothesline. He also blocks Limelight’s Symbiote DDT, although Limelight does respond with an enzuigiri. DKC clobbers Romero with a lariat and delivers with a Death Dalley Drop, but Quest breaks the pin. He wipes out Limelight on the floor with a corkscrew springboard moonsault. Romero takes down DKC with a Shiranui for the pin at 9:57. In the story department, Quest gets a win in his debut, DKC’s losing streak continues, and Romero and Limelight’s friendly rivalry rolls on. Not only was this a rock solid wrestling match, but it had a ton of meat to it, which is always welcomed. **¾

Brody King & Flip Gordon vs. BULLET CLUB (Jay White & Chase Owens)

This is the STRONG debut for both Gordon and White. Gordon and King of course were tag partners in Villain Enterprises, which has dissolved. White attacks Gordon from behind to start. Gordon is able to crack White in the chin with a knee strike, but when he tries a springboard, Owens pulls his legs down, and White gives Gordon a neckbreaker off the second rope. Owens bodyslams Gordon on the floor as White distracts the referee. Gordon finally escapes the BULLET CLUB’s grasp when he rocks White with the Kinder Surprise and tags in King. King goes hard with clotheslines and strikes, getting a nearfall on White with a Black Hole Slam. On the floor, King takes down Owens with a bicycle kick. Back inside, Gordon and King double team White in the corner. White takes out King with a DDT while Gordon is the legal man. White gives Gordon a brainbuster into the Doppler Effect from Owens for two. Gordon takes down Owens with a superkick and tags in King. Owens fails to get King up for a Package Piledriver, and King takes him down with a lariat. Gordon springboard spears White. King Ganso Bombs Owens for the pin at 8:44. Given how accomplished White is and that Owens is a tried and true New Japan roster member, I was surprised but very pleased that King and Gordon came out on top. This was just slightly above the opening tag, and I think it’s because the partners had more experience with one another. ***

After the match, White looks to hit Gordon with the Blade Runner, but King chases him off. As King and Gordon are eyeing White and Owens on the floor, BULLET CLUB member Hikuleo attacks them from behind! He drops King with an elevated Complete Shot and pummels him on the mat. Seems like a big man battle is on the horizon.

New Japan Cup USA 2020 Semi-Final Round Match
David Finlay vs. KENTA

Finlay defeated two other BULLET CLUB members en route to the finals, Chase Owens and Tanga Roa. KENTA on the other hand defeated Brody King and Jeff Cobb. KENTA is dropkicked to the floor by Finlay, but KENTA is able to get first strike when they get back inside the ring. KENTA catches Finlay on the middle ropes with a couple chest kicks and drops his knee across Finlay’s left shoulder. KENTA uses headlocks and headscissors to take Finlay’s oxygen away while also wearing down his neck and shoulders. Finlay takes down KENTA with a suplex and a diving uppercut. KENTA elbows out of a uranage backbreaker at first, but Finlay hits it on the second try for two. KENTA tornado DDT’s Finlay throat first on the top rope and takes him down with a diving clothesline. The Green Killer gets KENTA a two count, and after that KENTA lands a yakuza kick and corner dropkick. He also gets a two count after a super double stomp. Finlay fights out of a Go 2 Sleep. He cracks KENTA with the Brodie Knee and spears KENTA for two. Trash Panda also gets Finlay a two count. KENTA shoves Finlay into the referee to escape Prima Nocta. Like he did with Cobb, KENTA kicks Finlay low and schoolboys him, but this time it only registers a two count. Finlay side steps a Go 2 Sleep. He uppercuts KENTA three times before trying Prima Nocta again. KENTA counters with a sleeper hold. He penalty kicks Finlay before successfully hitting Go 2 Sleep for the pin at 13:35. I really like how just about all of the previous tournament bouts were called back to during the course of the match, and that KENTA won every single bout in the tournament with the Go 2 Sleep. It was the hard fought type of a match you want from a finals, all while making it seem like either man could be victorious. ***½

KENTA is presented both with a tournament trophy, and a red briefcase that reads “IWGP US Heavyweight Challenger.” We are told inside contains the contract for a title match, and just like the winner of the G1, KENTA will defend that briefcase. KENTA calls out the current IWGP US Champion Jon Moxley and says he is coming for him. As he continues on, Jeff Cobb, who KENTA low blowed in the semi-finals, sneaks in from behind. He attempts to German Suplex KENTA, but KENTA slips out and heads up the entrance. Cobb holds up the briefcase, implying he wants to challenge KENTA for it, which given KENTA’s tainted victory over him seems warranted.

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