Port Hueneme, CA – 2.26.2021
Commentary is provided by Kevin Kelly & Alex Koslov.
Brody King, ACH & The Riegel Twins (Logan & Sterling Riegel) vs. TJP, Clark Connors, Kevin Knight & The DKC
The Riegel Twins and ACH are all wearing replicas of King’s ski mask. ACH strangely doesn’t take his off for the entire match. Poor DKC once again found himself as the punching bag of choice for the opposition. After flipping out of a back suplex attempt from one of the Riegel’s, TJP tagged himself in when DKC stumbled into his own corner. Although Riegel surprises TJP with a dropkick, TJP sunset flips him into a leg lock. Riegel tags in King when he leaves, and Knight asks to get in the ring with the big man. Knight impressively absorbs King’s strikes. King falters from Knight’s amazing dropkick, but King rebounds with a shoulder block and lands a senton splash. Knight’s back is thrashed as he bodyslams one of the Riegel’s. Connors gets the tag, power slamming ACH after winning a strike exchange. Connors spears ACH and TJP lands a frog splash. King breaks the pin and chops Connors to the outside. Knight dropkicks King to the floor and TJP follows with a slingshot dropkick. DKC gets a nearfall on ACH with a small package. ACH avoids a dropkick and superkicks DKC before dropping him with a brainbuster for the pin at 8:36. That was action packed and a heck of a lot of fun. TJP leading the Dojo students worked really well, as did Brody leading the Riegel’s. It’s interesting ACH ended up getting the pin, as this would be his final NJPW bout. ***
Ren Narita vs. Chris Dickinson
This match came as a result of a brawl that ensued after a tag team match during Episode 27. Narita and Dickinson get into a chop battle. Dickinson rolls Narita into an STF. Narita quickly gets the ropes, and Dickinson decides to attack Narita’s right leg. After Narita uses the ropes to escape a grapevine leg lock, he once again trades chops with Dickinson. Dickinson catches a kick and brings Narita down with a dragonscrew leg whip. Narita corners Dickinson and unleashes with forearm strikes and chops. He even shoves the referee away in the process. Dickinson reverses a whip, hoisting Narita up into a Death Valley Driver for two. Narita fights his way out of a powerbomb, striking Dickinson down to the mat into a mount. Narita looks for the Boston Crab. When that doesn’t go well he turns Dickinson into a Sharpshooter. Dickinson taps out at 7:51! They definitely subverted my expectations with how that match was going to go. With Dickinson on a bit of a roll, it felt like he would best Narita here, but I am surprised and glad they instead built upon Narita’s victory over Bateman last month, giving him another significant singles victory. He fought through the pain of Dickinson’s leg work and provided him no wiggle room when he got the chance to get in his strikes. This was unique and a definitive improvement over their tag match. ***¼
IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship
Jon Moxley vs. KENTA
Moxley has been champion since 1.4.2020 and this is his third defense. KENTA earned this title match by winning the New Japan Cup USA 2020 tournament, and defended his briefcase that contained the title contract successfully on five separate occasions before “cashing in” tonight. Rocky Romero joins commentary for this bout.
They go at each other with strikes right away. Moxley snapmares KENTA into a diving lariat and goes for a bulldog choke. KENTA scrambles to the ropes right away and snaps Moxley’s neck across the top rope. Moxley forearms KENTA to the outside when KENTA goes for a springboard maneuver. KENTA ends up suplexing Moxley onto the floor and then giving him a DDT on his briefcase. KENTA attacks Moxley’s head and neck back in the ring. Moxley fires up from KENTA’s chest kicks. Moxley shoves KENTA to the floor to avoid the Go 2 Sleep and suicide dives after him. Moxley pulls a table out from under the ring after giving KENTA a running knee strike to the side of the head. He sets it up ringside next to the timekeeper’s table. KENTA surprises Moxley with a ring bell shot. He lays Moxley across the table and comes off the top turnbuckle with an elbow drop through the table! Moxley crawls back into the ring just before the twenty count. KENTA wastes no time, blasting him with a yakuza kick and landing a corner dropkick. He lands a double stomp off the top turnbuckle for two. Moxley German suplexes KENTA and drills him with a clothesline for two. Moxley pummels KENTA on the mat. KENTA pulls him into Game Over, which Moxley switches into his own bulldog choke. KENTA switches back into Game Over on Moxley’s left side. Moxley begins to fade, but makes one last grasp and reaches the bottom rope. As KENTA comes off the ropes, Moxley surprises KENTA with a clothesline. KENTA and Moxley avoid each other’s finishers. KENTA throws some shots. Moxley swivels KENTA into a snap DDT for two. KENTA flips off Moxley on his knees. Moxley kicks him and hits the Death Rider for the pin at 14:25. The intensity of the bout matched the trash talking both men did in the lead up. Their Dynamite tag match ended up serving as a harbinger for this match, as the table once again aided KENTA in their battle, and Moxley wisely avoided the Go 2 Sleep which took him out of that very match as well. Unlike KENTA’s briefcase defenses, this was also wrestled completely clean which helps a lot. I think the ending felt slightly tacked on, but otherwise this was quite the fight and worth the wait. ***¾