Los Angeles, CA – 1.22.2022
Commentary is provided by Kevin Kelly & Alex Koslov.
Lucas Riley vs. Royce Isaacs
Jorel Nelson is in Isaacs’ corner. Riley was more or less gobbled up by JONAH last month. In the early going, he took down Isaacs with a headscissors and springboard senton block, earning a two count with a running shooting star press. Isaacs shut him down with a pop-up into a knee strike. He showed off his power with a stalling vertical suplex and struck a pose with Nelson. When he tries another pop-up knee, Riley counters with a huracanrana. He also takes down Isaacs with the Orb of Confusion (similar to a La Mistica without the armbar). Isaacs catches a leapfrog attempt from Riley, taking him down with a powerslam. Isaacs then German suplexes Riley into a bridge for the pin at 7:24. Riley definitely got more offense here than he did last month and looked totally solid. Not sure if Isaacs getting a singles win under his belt was all that necessary, but I guess he was the odd man out for Team Filthy this month. **¼
Juice Robinson vs. Bad Dude Tito
This is Tito’s NJPW debut. He takes down Robinson with an amateur style lift and pummels him on the mat. Tito pursues Robinson as Robinson tries to take a break on the floor. They trade chops, ending with Robinson reversing Tito’s suplex attempt onto the mats. Back in the ring, Robinson drops Tito with a spinebuster and gets two after a senton. Robinson has himself a violence party on Tito’s face and chest in the corner, only for Tito to respond in kind. They knock each other down out of exhaustion when they land stereo clotheslines. Back on their feet, Robinson lands a series of jabs. Tito ducks a superkick and takes down Robinson with an enzuigiri combo. He muscles Robinson up into a Blue Thunder Bomb for two. Robinson fights out of a Death Valley Driver and tries for Pulp Friction. Tito wheelbarrows Robinson into a pin, and then a Death Valley Driver for a very close nearfall. Robinson chops Tito’s legs out from under him as he ascends the ropes, crotching Tito on the top turnbuckle. Robinson hits the Left Hand of God and then brings Tito down with the Pulp Friction. The HHB gets Robinson the pin at 9:37. I fully admit due to his goofy name I was ready to write off Tito, but I really enjoyed what he brought to the table. He brought the intensity many people on the roster do, but the presentation felt unique due to his amateur wrestling prowess. I definitely am looking forward to seeing more of him. Robinson brought the goods, as always. ***
Robinson calls out JONAH, who ends up making his way into the ring. As he and JONAH are approaching one another, Tito grabs Robinson’s leg, allowing JONAH to beat Robinson down! JONAH instructs Tito to go to the top turnbuckle. Before he and JONAH can continue, David Finlay runs out and chases them off. A tag team match between FinJuice and Tito & JONAH will take place next month.
Taylor Rust, Fred Rosser & Rocky Romero vs. Team Filthy (Tom Lawlor, Jorel Nelson & Black Tiger)
This is Rust’s first NJPW match since he attacked Lawlor last month. Royce Isaacs is in Team Filthy’s corner. It isn’t long before this turns into a free for all. When the dust settles, a distraction from Nelson enables Tiger to take down Romero with a clothesline. They wipe out his partners so they can gang up on Romero, but not without striking a pose first. Lawlor managed to escape their grasp by taking down Lawlor with a tornado DDT. Rust tgs in and takes out Lawlor with a sole butt and axe kick. He then takes down Tiger and Nelson with an axe kick to the both of them at the same time. Lawlor maneuvers Rust into a modified Angle Slam. He passes him into Nelson for a pop-up powerbomb. Lawlor tries a rear-naked choke on Rosser, who Judo throws him face to face with Rust. Rust and Rosser ping pong Lawlor between them with kicks and forearms. Nelson and Lawlor shove them into each other and take down Rosser with a Heart Attack. Romero Frankensteiner’s Nelson and Lawlor at the same time. He and Tiger then exchange strikes and kicks. Romero sends Tiger out with a Frankensteiner and follows with a suicide dive. In the ring, Rosser clotheslines Lawlor to the floor. This leaves Rust open to hit A Perfect Circle on Nelson for the pin at 11:35. Romero puts Tiger on an armbar on the floor after the bell until it’s broken up by staff. This was fun, with Rust looking very impressive as he heads towards a battle with Lawlor and the continuation of the issue between Romero and Black Tiger. ***¼
This week’s XTRA match that fans voted for during the Best Of 2021 poll was Tom Lawlor vs. Ren Narita from STRONG 61.