Garland, TX – 10.30.2021
Commentary is provided by Alex Koslov and Matt Rehwoldt.
Fred Rosser & Rocky Romero vs. Team Filthy (Danny Limelight & JR Kratos)
This is a rematch from the Super J-Cup 2020, which Team Filthy won. Essentially you had two matches in one. Romero and Limelight’s issue was reignited, and Rosser once again proved he was able to match the strength and force of powerhouse Kratos. Rosser found himself at the mercy of a Team Filthy beatdown, when an apron suplex did not go as planned, but after a chop block and knee strike to the side of Kratos’ head, he tagged in Romero and things swung in their favor. Interestingly, the two pairs swapped in the finishing stretch. Rosser tackled Kratos to the floor and Romero wiped him out with a suicide dive. Limelight then went for his Symbiote DDT. Rosser caught him and delivered an Emerald Flowsion for the pin at 14:40. This was just as good as their first match. It was on track to being better, but it overstayed its welcome and felt a bit aimless. I also don’t know that we needed to revisit this particular issue, but at least it ended up being worth revisiting. ***
Lio Rush vs. Taiji Ishimori
There was a ton of ego shown in this match, with Ishimori flaunting his strength, and Rush using his agility to show he is capable of bettering a former IWGP Jr. Heavyweight champion. Ishimori violently sent Rush to the floor when Rush grabbed a waistlock, and then drove Rush’s left arm into the ring post. Ishimori continues to attack Rush’s arm back inside the ring. Rush leapfrogs over a corner attack by Ishimori and pulls off a handspring back elbow despite his injured shoulder. After kicking out of a Falcon Arrow, Ishimori comes back with a back handspring kick and a sliding German suplex. He pump-handles Rush into a shoulder breaker. Ishimori takes Rush back down with la Mistica and rolls him to the middle of the ring. Rush muscles up Ishimori into a powerbomb to escape. He then knocks Ishimori to the floor with a bakc handspring double kick and suicide dives Ishimori into the guardrails. Back in the ring, however, Ishimori pokes Rush in the eyes and nails the Tenchi Crash. Rush fights back, taking down Ishimori with a roundhouse kick after an enzuigiri does not phase him. The Final Hour then gets Rush the pin at 15:13. That was as action packed as you would expect, and it only disappoints in that Ishimori didn’t go as nutty as we are used to seeing him at times in New Japan proper. Still, those high expectations were never going to be met, and I am pleased Rush actually defeated him. Good stuff. ***½
Suzuki-gun (Minoru Suzuki & Lance Archer) vs. Team Filthy (Tom Lawlor & Royce Isaacs)
Suzuki-gun attacked before the bell and beat up Team Filthy around ringside. When the bell rings, Suzuki immediately goes to work on Isaac’s left arm. Lawlor kneed Suzuki from the apron to stop a PK, and Isaacs jacked Archer’s neck across the top rope. Lawlor ends up winning a strike battle with Suzuki on the floor and stomps on the back of his head. Team Filthy then beat down Suzuki in their corner, intentionally angering Archer by knocking him off the apron during the process. Suzuki gets an opening when he catches Lawlor coming off the ropes with a knee to the stomach and tags in the Murderhawk Monster. Lawlor halts his momentum with a guillotine, which Archer impressively suplexes his way out of. Lawlor fights his way out of the Blackout, and with Isaacs takes down Archer with a clothesline/side Russian leg sweep combo. Archer is able to take down Isaacs with a Black Hole Slam shortly after, and Suzuki lands the PK he wanted earlier. When Lawlor tries to break Suzuki’s sleeper hold on Isaacs, Archer intercepts and takes him out with the Blackout. Isaacs gets in some impressive offense on Suzuki, but Suzuki dazes him with a flurry of open handed shots. A forearm shot sends Isaacs’ mouthguard flying. Suzuki momentarily applies the sleeper hold before laying out Isaacs with the GSP for the pin at 11:07. It was my hope this win would bank Suzuki a STRONG Openweight Championship match against Lawlor the following month, but it was not to be – maybe one day. I’ll happily take it another day in the future. On its own it was a load of fun. Team Filthy got to be jerks, Suzuki-gun got to be ass kickers, and it all blended together very well. ***¼
As Lance Archer is sending the crowd home with a speech, Chris Dickinson makes his way ringside. He makes a clear, direct challenge to Minoru Suzuki for next month. He tells Suzuki that his vacation will end in Philadelphia. Suzuki points at Dickinson and says “f*ck you.” They’ll meet in two weeks.
On October 31st, NJPW introduced a new YouTube show called “XTRA.” Each week, Chris Charlton runs down the happenings in New Japan and New Japan USA, and shows an exclusive NJPW USA match. The first episode featured the dark match from “Resurgence:”
Jordan Clearwater, Kevin Knight & The DKC vs. Stray Dog Army (Bateman, Barrett Brown & Misterioso)
This is the Stray Dog Army’s very first match as a trio. The name Stray Dog Army is kind of like The Lone Rangers, but I like it anyway. DKC catches a surprise punch from Brown, throwing him down and delivering a falling chop. Misterioso and Knight grapple quickly and continue the pace on their feet. Misterioso armdrags Knight into a basement dropkick for a two count. Misterioso and Brown pass off Knight to Bateman for a bodyslam onto his face. Knight escapes a second and tags in Clearwater who lays out Bateman with a running neckbreaker. Bateman attacks Clearwater’s throat and the rest of his army assists in wearing him down. Clearwater tags DKC after taking down Bateman with a DDT. DKC wears down Bateman with karate chops. DKC and Knight double team Bateman, leading to Knight getting a two count with a jumping Mad Splash. Knight blasts Bateman with a dropkick to the chest. Misterioso manuevers Knight and Clearwater into a double suplex, and Brown wipes them out with a suicide dive. Bateman tosses DKC outside with them, and Misterioso wipes them all out with a high crossbody. Misterioso sends Clearwater back into the ring. Brown nails him with the .50 Caliber Kick, and Bateman drops him with This Is A Kill for the pin at 9:32. A very solid match to show the coherence of the Stray Dog Army, which was especially apparent given how little Clearwater worked with his teammates who are a regular tandem. **¾