NJPW STRONG #4 – Road To Fighting Spirit Unleashed 2020

Port Hueneme, CA – 8.28.2020

Commentary is provided by Kevin Kelly & Alex Koslov.

The show starts with Kevin Kelly and Jay White at the commentary booth. Kelly asks White if he is worried about his match against Flip Gordon next week. White laughs at the question, saying he views Gordon as a warm-up before hopefully borders reopen and he can get back to his top position in Japan.

Danny Limelight vs. Jordan Clearwater

Clearwater looked to use his power and height advantage, but Limelight attacked his left leg to neutralize that advantage. Clearwater halts Limelight’s progress with a lariat, but Limelight comes back with a spinning enzuigiri. Clearwater blocks the Symbiote DDT with a running powerslam for two, and also gets two with a spinebuster. Limelight avoids a yakuza kick and delivers a gamengiri from the apron. The Symbiote DDT connects for the pin at 5:58. A very good back-and-forth match with two rising stars, and at this time, Limelight was the right call to get the win. Backstage, Limelight insults Rocky Romero. **½

ACH, Clark Connors, Karl Fredericks & TJP vs. Adrian Quest, Barrett Brown, Blake Christian & Misterioso

After a few different pairings, Team ACH decides to smother Brown in the corner and wipe all of his teammates off the apron. Brown is able to tag out to Quest when he brings down TJP with a high speed prawn hold that sends TJP face first into the apron. Quest lands a standing shooting star press on TJP for two, and TJP takes him down with a leg-capture suplex after blocking a kick. Christian and ACH end up in the ring after ACH lands a dive onto everyone but they tag in TJP and Quest. TJP gives Quest a tombstone and the Mamba Splash, with Misterioso breaking up TJP’s pin. TJP catches Misterioso with a roundhouse kick to stop Misterioso’s rolling offense. Connors puts Misterioso in the Boston Crab. Misterioso manges to get the bottom rope to force the break. Misterioso superkicks Connors and gives him a back cracker for the pin at 12:04. This was a totally solid and fun match, but inferior to the six man tag from Episode 2, mostly due to the general lack of throughline. TJP and Quest were for sure the strongest pairing of the bout. Misterioso and Fredericks fight after the match as they’re wrestling next week, which is unquestionably a step down for Fredericks. ***

PJ Black vs. Chase Owens

Black has Owens’ number in the early going, so Owens cheap shots Black in the face in an attempt to turn things around. Black however manages to headscissor Owens outside and follow with a pescado. Owens stalls for a while on the floor once he notices Black poised on the top turnbuckle, and Black attacks his back when he finally gets into the ring. Owens shoves Black into the referee so that Owens can throw Black to the floor. Black stops his dive attempt with a shoulder block. Owens stops Black in the ropes, throwing Black back of the head first into the mat. Black stops a corner attack by double stomping Owens from a standing position. Owens rolls away when Black goes to the top turnbuckle. Black comes down to meet him and ends up being sent into the buckles with a side Russian leg sweep. Black makes a comeback and gets two with a lionsault. Owens hits the Jewel Heist for two. After a knee to the face, Owens spikes Black with a Package Piledriver for the pin at 11:10. They had built up the fact that Owens avoided the 450 Splash so often it seemed like the natural progression was Black defeating Owens with that very move. I am not sure what Owens winning does for either of them. This was a solid match in general but weak for a main event. **½

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