NJPW STRONG #44 – Road to Ignition 2021 Part 2

Port Hueneme, CA – 6.11.2021

Commentary is provided by Kevin Kelly & Alex Koslov.

Alex Coughlin vs. Hikuleo

Hikuleo beat up Couglin for a while. Coughlin managed to deliver his signature shoulder tackle, but his single leg crab was unsuccessful. Coughlin was able to kick out of a powerslam from Hikuleo, but the Tongan Driller kept him down for the pin at 7:07. Why they had Coughlin basically get squashed by Hikuleo is beyond me. Stinky! ½*

Rocky Romero & Lio Rush vs. Clark Connors & The DKC

Romero and Rush’s quick kicks and quick movements enable them to get the better of the newest DOJO graduate and newest DOJO student. The trajectory changes when Connors catches Rush with a vicious spear to his back. Connors and DKC attack Rush’s back while keeping him in their corner. As Connors attempts a side suplex, Rush maneuvers himself and turns the move into a DDT. Romero takes both of his opponents out with Forever Clotheslines, scoring a two count on Connors with a running Shiranui. As Rush looks for the Come Up, DKC pulls him out of the ring. Connors Pounces Romero and tags in the DKC, who nails a single leg dropkick on Romero. DKC fireman’s carry’s Rush, then picks him up for a flurry of chops to the chest. He hooks him in a modified Anaconda Vise. Although Romero frees him, Connors tosses Romero outside, and with DKC lands a Doomsday karate kick. Romero once again is able to save the pin. Connors and Romero fight to the floor. Rush roundhouse kicks DKC and hits the Come Up for the pin at 10:50. This seemed like we were primed to see the DOJO crew score a big win, which given Connors and DKC’s teaming history would’ve been believable, but it was not to be. Instead this was a backdrop to build up Romero and Connors for the end of the “tour”, as they continued to fight after the bell and had to be separated. Even if it was all for the expense of building a different match, this was a fun little bop. ***

Fred Yehi & Wheeler YUTA vs. Jordan Clearwater & Misterioso

This is Yehi’s NJPW debut. Like YUTA, he recently has been featured in Ring of Honor, recently scoring a victory over Rocky Romero in a Pure Rules contest. After YUTA and Misterioso wrestle to a stalemate, YUTA and Yehi decide their strategy will be to attack Clearwater’s legs while making frequent tags to keep one another fresh. Clearwater finds a moment to suplex Yehi, though YUTA slides in and puts him in a front facelock. Clearwater suplexes him as well, and finally tags Misterioso back in. He crushes YUTA with double knees in the corner and lands a kneeling springboard senton splash for two. YUTA kicks out of a double flapjack. He enzuigiri’s Clearwater before German suplexing him for two. Clearwater takes him out with a clothesline. Misterioso powerslams YUTA and lands a double jump lionsault onto him. Yehi breaks the pin which triggers Clearwater to enter and pummel Yehi back to the apron. YUTA pulls Clearwater to his corner. Yehi stomps on Clearwater’s left leg and trips him into a back senton and superkick from YUTA. YUTA surprises Misterioso with a sucide dive. Yehi avoids Clearwater’s bulldog and pulls him down into a Koji Clutch. Yehi hammers on Clearwater’s head while the hold is applied and Clearwater submits at 11:57. I am really happy to see both YUTA and Yehi in NJPW, and in this match we got to see just how well they are able to work together. Misterioso and Coughlin may not be the best style of opponent for them to have truly showcased what they’re most capable of, but the story was totally solid and they made an impression beating a slightly more established team there first night as a tandem. Hopefully, they will get plenty of chances to encounter the rest of the NJPW roster, if you know what I mean. ***

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