NJPW STRONG #17 – Road to Detonation 2020 Part 1

Port Hueneme, CA – 11.27.2020

Commentary is provided by Kevin Kelly & Alex Koslov.

Clark Connors vs. Logan Riegel

This singles match stems off a tag team match from last week. Their partners from that match, The DKC and Sterling Riegel, are in the respective competitors’ corners. Riegel surprisingly keeps control on Connors with a side headlock. Connors fakes out Riegel and takes him down with a running shoulder block. Connors attacks Riegel’s neck and head, but Riegel manages to reverse a vertical suplex to turn things back in his favor. He also does damage to Connors’ neck, giving him a Sling Blade on the ring apron and a jumping neckbreaker inside the ring. Riegel calls for his signature spike DDT. Connors pushes him away and holds onto the ropes to avoid a German suplex. He spears Riegel and locks on the Boston Crab to get the submission win at 7:47. This was a very solid match that felt like it was either man’s for the taking. In matches like this, Connors can come across as a gatekeeper for those who weren’t part of the LA Dojo, especially when he wins with the Dojo’s signature Crab, and I like that. Next week, DKC and Sterling will face one another in a singles bout. **

ACH & Juice Robinson vs. Adrian Quest & Jordan Clearwater

Speaking of gatekeepers, this match was New Japan staple Robinson mixing it up with a pair of guys looking to make a name for themselves on STRONG who he otherwise would not get the chance to interact with. Quest took down ACH with a one-legged dropkick and springboard back elbow, but ACH shut him down with a backbreaker. Robinson assisted ACH in wearing down Quest’s back until Quest slips out of a suplex from Robinson and takes him down with a dropkick. Clearwater takes out Robinson with back elbows and clotheslines. He drops Robinson with a bulldog, then knocks ACH off the apron. He gives Robinson a spinebuster for two. Clearwater looks for the Midas Touch boot, but Robinson ducks and drops Clearwater with a flapjack. Quest and ACH tag in. Quest blocks a brainbuster with a huracanrana for two, then blasts ACH with a high kick. ACH tosses Quest when Quest goes for a tornado DDT. He then hits his brainbuster successfully for the pin at 8:01. Everything here was competent, but a match between two makeshift teams with no stakes or backstory is really tough to get into. *½

Fred Rosser, Jeff Cobb, PJ Black & Rocky Romero vs. Team Filthy (Tom Lawlor, JR Kratos, Rust Taylor & Danny Limelight)

Last week after Jeff Cobb defeated JR Kratos, Lawlor’s team attacked Cobb and Black, Rosser, and Romero came out to try and make the save. Danny Limelight also joined Team Filthy, attacking Romero when it looked like he was going to assist him. Cobb’s team wins the opening brawl, leaving Limelight trapped in their corner. Romero gets some revenge shots, but mostly lets his partners toy with Limelight during their beatdown. Rosser actually tosses Limelight to his team’s corner because he wants Lawlor to tag in so they can continue their fight from a couple weeks ago. Rosser is able to clobber Lawlor with a clothesline while Lawlor is still on the apron. Lawlor however slips in the ring and chokes Rosser before pulling him in through the ropes with a German suplex. Kratos overpowers Rosser, with Taylor and Limelight getting in some illegal blows on the floor when the referee was preoccupied. Rosser is able to fight his way out of a waistlock from Kratos and tag in Black, whose speed enables him to land a spin kick and single axe handle to the top of his head. Some interference by Limelight and Taylor allows Kratos to pop Black in the air. Lawlor tags in after Black comes crashing down. Lawlor succumbs to attacks from Cobb, Rosser, and Black in the corner, with Romero’s forever clotheslines in between. His partners help clear the ring. A series of offenses leads to Lawlor getting Romero in a rear-naked choke. Romero small packages his way free. Lawlor however gives Romero an exploder suplex and re-applies the rear-naked choke. Romero taps out at 11:42. This win was a great way to establish Team Filthy as the hot new group in NJPW of America, defeating four of the top roster members on STRONG, and tapping out the most veteran NJPW performer on the opposing quartet. ***¼

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