NJPW STRONG #5 – Fighting Spirit Unleashed 2020 Part 1

Port Hueneme, CA – 9.4.2020

Commentary is provided by Kevin Kelly & Alex Koslov.

Alex Zayne & Fred Rosser vs. Clark Connors & The DKC

Rosser was previously known as Darren Young in WWE, and this is his NJPW debut. Zayne and DKC had a solid exchange to start, but intensity picked up with Connors and Rosser. Commentary did a great job pointing out that Rosser had something to prove in his debut, and Connors also has something to prove with his recent promotion amongst the Young Lions. Rosser takes control for his team after a Hot Shot and seated splash. Connors avoids the Crunchwrap Supreme from Zayne and takes him down with a powerslam. DKC gets a two count on Zayne with a flying neckbreaker. Rosser tags himself in when Zayne brings DKC to the corner as DKC has a waistlock applied. Connors jumps in after Zayne and Rosser give DKC a double suplex. Zayne sends Connors outside and wipes him out with an Arabian Press. Rosser picks up a charging DKC and drops him with the Gut Check for the pin at 7:37. This was a rock solid debut for Rosser, and another loss for DKC to continue that subtle story. **¼

Karl Fredericks vs. Misterioso

These two got in a heated fight during an eight man tag match the previous week, which led to this bout being signed. Fredericks carries a cocky attitude from the get go. He goes for the signature Young Lion Boston Crab, but ends up sent to the floor where he succumbs to a tope con hilo from Misterioso. Fredericks kicks out from a high crossbody, a slingshot senton, and running knees in the corner. Fredericks catches Misterioso with a Pele Kick. He pummels Misterioso down in the corner before hitting a delayed dropkick for two. Fredericks holds onto the ropes to avoids Misterioso’s back cracker finisher, and then drops Misterioso with the Manifest Destiny brainbuster for the pin at 6:47. This was a nice win for Fredericks to back up his cocky attitude, with some homages to his trainer and Dojo thrown in for seasoning. **

Brody King vs. Hikuleo

Hikuleo debuted two weeks prior, attacking Brody King after his tag team match against Hikuleo’s BULLET CLUB partners Jay White and Chase Owens. The slugfest turns in Hikuleo’s favor when King errantly chops a ring post. Hikuleo exposes the ring posts in one of the corners. King avoids being thrown into the exposed buckles and takes down Hikuleo with a Black Hole Slam for two. King also gets two after a piledriver. Hikuleo escapes a Ganso Bomb. He gives King a neckbreaker across his back, then drops him with a swinging neckbreaker for two. King avoids the exposed corner again, but ends up being sent face first into it with a drop toe hold. That allows for Hikuleo to drop King with an elevated Complete Shot for the pin at 7:35. Not a bad way to debut Hikuleo, but not the bomb throwing bout I was hoping for. **

Flip Gordon vs. Jay White

Gordon is able to hold his own with White, so White baits Gordon into a neck snap across the top rope, and then uses his ponytail to throw him down back of the head first into the canvas. White does some damage to Gordon’s back against the edge of the ring. Gordon sunset flips White into a roundhouse kick and then lands a second rope spear for two. White takes down Gordon with a spinebuster and the Bladebuster for two. Gordon kicks White from the apron, but when he springboards in, White catches him with a uranage. Gordon side steps a corner attack. After kneeing White in the face he hits the Kinder Surprise. White tries using the referee as a distraction to get momentum back, but Gordon subverts it, superkicking White and dropping him with a Falcon Arrow for two. Gordon’s Flip-5 gets another two count. White hooks Gordon for the Blade Runner when Gordon brings him to his feet. Gordon escapes and looks for a curb stomp after a Pele Kick. White catches him with a sleeper suplex and then hits the Blade Runner for the pin at 10:22. I am glad Gordon looked formidable against White, even when it was a forgone conclusion that White was going to be victorious. ***

Jay White on the microphone says he feels “warmed up” after facing Gordon. He reminds us all he sold out Madison Square Garden single handedly and that we are living in his new era.

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