NJPW STRONG #43 – Road to Ignition 2021 Part 1

Port Hueneme, CA – 6.4.2021

Commentary is provided by Kevin Kelly & Alex Koslov.

TJP vs. Kevin Knight

Knight comes to the table with a solid ground game and very good dropkick, but it was the follow up and the array of escapes TJP utilized that showcased the difference in their levels of experience. TJP used his legs to spin Knight to the corner and follow up with a facewash kick. Knight is able to come back with a splash and land a diving shoulder tackle for two. TJP gets his knees up to block Knight’s standing Mad Splash and submits Knight in the Cobra Twist at 6:27. They played up their dynamic in a very engaging way and made the absolute most of their minutes. **¾

Adrian Quest vs. Barrett Brown

Brown attacked Quest after their tag team match last month, feeling Quest “stole” the pin from him. Bateman is in Brown’s corner, giving him some advice, including a “twisting the knife” motion with his hand. Brown rolls outside after Quest’s dropkick to get some more advice. He’s taken down with a torneo press and pummeled by Quest when he re-enters the ring. Brown catches Quest in the ropes and slams him back first onto the ring apron. Brown beats down Quest back inside the ring, then suplexes Quest on the floor. Bateman encourages Brown to accept a count out victory. Quest gets back in the ring right before the twenty count. Quest fights out of a superplex and takes down Brown with a springboard Frankensteiner. He backslides Brown into a roundhouse kick, then follows Brown to the floor with a running standing shooting star press off the apron. Brown catches a springboard back in the ring and nails Quest with the .50 Caliber Kick for two. Quest swivels Brown into a high kick to the head and hits a Code Red for two. A distraction from bateman gives Brown time to roll away from Quest’s Phoenix Splash. Quest rolls through, but Brown rolls him up and holds his tights to get the pin at 10:36. A solid match to establish Brown and Bateman’s new relationship, and I am curious to see where that goes. That said, Quest is just awesome, and his amazing offense kind of stole the spotlight. I also think they could’ve shaved off some time and accomplished the same goal. **½

Backstage, Fred Rosser tells Quest anytime he needs back up, he will be there for him. Quest likes the sound of that.

Satoshi Kojima & Karl Fredericks vs. Team Filthy (JR Kratos & Danny Limelight)

This is Kojima’s STRONG debut. He has a ton of accolades, including winning the 2010 G1 Climax, and being a former MLW, NWA World, Triple Crown, and IWGP Heavyweight Champion. Kratos is pleased with himself as he takes down Kojima with a shoulder block. He also cracks Fredericks with a pair of jabs to the chin. Kratos knocks Kojima off the apron before tagging in Limelight, who assists Kratos in beating down Fredericks in their corner. Fredericks ends up suplexing Limelight and tagging in Kojima who is back on the apron by this point. He nails Kratos with a forearm smash in the corner and lands a top rope elbow drop, but only for a one count! Kratos powerslams a charging Kojima and deadlifts him into a vertical suplex for two. Kojima swats Kratos’ clothesline attempt away and drops him with the Koji Cutter. Limelight breaks up his pin, so Kojima turns him inside out with a lariat. Fredericks drops Limelight with a spinebuster. Kratos breaks the pin and takes Kojima to the floor. Limelight springboard double stomps Fredericks’ in between his shoulder blades for two. Fredericks catches a high kick from Limelight, smacks him in the face and goes for the Boston Crab. He has to kick Limelight repeatedly and stomps on his head before getting on a deep one-legged Boston Crab. Kojima has a hold of Kratos, and Limelight taps out at 10:43. This did a nice job showing the intensity Fredericks is capable of bringing to Lawlor before their title match at the end of the tour. It also built up a singles match between Kratos and Kojima quite nicely, as they hada to be kept apart by staff after the bell. I hate to see Limelight lost in the shuffle as the rest of Team Filthy get the spotlight, and I hope that changes soon. ***

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