NJPW STRONG #7 – Road To Lion’s Break: Crown 2020

Port Hueneme, CA – 9.18.2020

Commentary is provided by Kevin Kelly & Alex Koslov.

The Lion’s Break Crown tournament begins on next week’s episode of STRONG. The opening match of today’s episode is an eight man tag featuring all eight competitors in that tournament.

Barrett Brown, Blake Christian, Jordan Clearwater & The DKC vs. Adrian Quest, Clark Connors, Danny Limelight & Logan Riegel

The brackets were revealed before the match, and all pairings got a chance to face one another. Things broke down into an all out brawl, with Brown getting attacked by the opposition for a few moments. Brown then suplexed Quest into the buckles, and his team isolated Quest in their corner. Quest takes down Brown with double knees off the top, tagging in Connors after who cleans house. After Christian landed an amazing dive to the outside, Connors looked poised to spear Clearwater. Clearwater stopped Connors with a boot, but what he didn’t notice was a blind tag from Riegel. Riegel surprises Clearwater with a spike DDT for the pin at 10:17. Riegel was a great pick to win as he is such an underdog going into the tournament, and I was surprised someone other than the DKC was pinned. The action was fun to watch and served its purpose in providing a preview of what to expect in the tournament. Based on the interactions in this match, Christian vs. Quest is the opening round match I am most looking forward to. ***

Fred Rosser & Misterioso vs. PJ Black & Rocky Romero

Rosser caught Black on the apron with a backbreaker. Black was beaten down in their corner until getting his feet up to block a moonsault from Misterioso. Black recovers as Romero runs roughshod. Black is fresh when Romero has to tag out, but he is caught with a Hot Shot from Rosser. Misterioso lands a rope assisted senton for two, and also gets two after a superkick. Black takes Misterioso down with a Spanish Fly. Black is taken down with a double superplex, but Romero saves him from being pinned. He baits Rosser to the floor and takes him out with a pescado, giving Black room to land the Placebo Effect on Misterioso for the pin at 12:02. This was a fun watch, albeit a bit on the longer side. The NXT fan in me wanted to see more between the former Nexus boiz but what we got was good. **½

ACH & Alex Zayne vs. The Guerrillas of Destiny (Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa)

The flippy guys get the G.O.D.’s goat with their flippy stuff, so they beat them up on the floor and decide to pick apart ACH while Zayne is left laying. By the time ACH outmaneuvers their offense, Zayne is on the apron and ready to go. He wipes out G.O.D. with enzuigiri’s and gets two on Tonga with a front flip leg drop to the back of his head. Zayne misses the Crunchwrap Supreme but is able to nail Tonga with the Baja Blast. Loa takes out Zayne, then spears an oncoming ACH. Zayne surprises Tonga by kicking out of Guerrilla Warfare. G.O.D. look for an assisted super powerbomb. Zayne blocks with a suplex to Tonga. ACH assists Zayne with a super Frankensteiner to Loa which gets Zayne a two count. Loa is able to catch a crossbody from Zayne and turn it into a slam. Tonga pulls ACH to the floor as Loa drops Zayne with a Rikishi Driver for the pin at 13:08. There was little doubt that the established team was going to lose, but I admit that Zayne and ACH gave them enough of a run for their money in the third act to make me think an upset was possible. This was another fun tag match, but I think the opening match would’ve been a better main event to set up the next few weeks of shows. ***

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