Uemura was back on Impact this week, hoping to keep the momentum from his victory over Kenny King last week going:
Yuya Uemura vs. Raj Singh
Impact Wrestling Before The Impact #83 – Dallas, TX – 9.15.2022
I’ve never seen Singh before. His look is that of every heel Indian wrestling stereotype and his wrestling is nondescript. But as someone for Uemura to look good against he did the job just fine. Truthfully, I think since Raj’s role on TV is inconsequential right now, it would’ve been fine for Uemura to have had a quicker, more dominant victory. I’m admittedly biased. Uemura did indeed end up getting the win at 8:59, pinning Singh with a high crossbody. They also announced Uemura would be in a match at Victory Road so I’m looking forward to that. This match was super whatever. *½
Los Angeles, CA – 9.17.2022
Commentary is provided by Ian Riccaboni & Alex Koslov.
Adrian Quest vs. Peter Avalon
This is Avalon’s NJPW debut. He is a member of the Wingmen in AEW and had a multi-year tenure with PWG. This is Quest’s first singles match on STRONG in over a year. Quest’s quickness gave him the advantage early, attacking Avalon’s neck and upper back. Avalon caught a boot to the stomach and swung Quest’s boot through the ropes so he could kick the middle rope into his groin. Avalon gained some momentum on the floor and dropkicked Quest in the left knee. Despite Avalon doing damage to Quest’s leg, Quest is able to pull off a springboard Frankensteiner, although not without suffering for the sacrifice. Avalon rolls to the floor after taking a running shooting star press, but Quest follows with a somersault senton off the corner. In the ring, Avalon maneuvers Quest into his half crab he calls the Golden Arch and Quest manages to get the bottom rope. Avalon tosses Quest off of him to counter a tornado DDT and drops Marti-Knees onto Quest’s neck to get the pin at 8:52. Simply based on his presentation I forgot Avalon was actually a very good wrestler. He and Quest had very good chemistry, and I liked the neck work that Avalon accumulated early in the match is what earned him a victory. I’d be fine seeing him on STRONG again. **½
Team Filthy (Tom Lawlor & JR Kratos) vs. Jordan Cruz & Cody Chhun
This is Lawlor’s first match on STRONG since his G1 Climax run. Chhun and Cruz both debuted on STRONG this year in unsuccessful singles attempts, with Cruz losing to Kratos, so perhaps being a tag team will bring them more success. Spoiler: it didn’t. Cruz and Chhun’s flow was a little off the few moments they were in the ring together, so that may have been for the best. Kratos eventually tossed Chhun across the ring, Pounced him into the corner, and dropped him with a spin-out side slam for the pin at 9:54. The crowd loved Team Filthy which gave this match some solid energy, but this moved very slowly for what was a glorified squash. **
Roppongi Vice (Trent Beretta & Rocky Romero), KUSHIDA & Taylor Rust vs. BULLET CLUB (Jay White, Juice Robinson, Chase Owens & Hikuleo)
Not including “Forbidden Door”, this is the first Roppongi Vice appearance since early 2019. Coincidentally, they faced Juice Robinson in their last NJPW tag team match. Hikuleo blindsides Beretta with a chop as he’s pummeling White in the corner. BULLET CLUB beat down everyone else on the floor, and then wear down Beretta back in the ring as his partners recover. Beretta finally escapes by taking down Robinson with a Busaiku Knee. KUSHIDA fallaway kicks Robinson in the side of the head, kicks Owens upside the head, and dropkicks Hikuleo and White from inside of the ring as they stand on the floor. Roppongi Vice got a nearfall on Robinson after a double stomp across the top rope and a basement Busaiku Knee. BULLET CLUB assaulted Romero with clotheslines and offense, ending with a frog splash from Robinson for a two count. KUSHIDA used back handspring heel kicks to wipe out the BULLET CLUB. He fastball punched Robinson into Crunchy from Beretta and a Swanton from Rust, with White jumping in to save Robinson from being pinned at the last minute. Hikuleo wipes out Roppongi Vice with a double clothesline. KUSHIDA saves Rust from a chokeslam from Hikuleo, starting a series of offenses with everyone wiping each other out. Hikuleo almost chops when Rust gets out of the way, but White falls back on his own to avoid contact. White shoves Hikuleo aside and gets kicked in the face by Rust. White Hikuleo snap slams Rust, but White interrupts Hikuleo’s chokeslam so he can give him a sleepwalker suplex. A perplexed, but perhaps annoyed Hikuleo, obeys White’s command to tag him in, so White can take out Rust with the Blade Runner and get the pin at 14:46. As this match was going on, I was thinking about how it’s been a really long time since this BULLET CLUB Civil War story had any movement, but I think that ending may have been an inclination of another chapter coming. Even if you don’t take that into account, this was a super fun match, with the fans really behind the good guys. A good match to end a fairly inconsequential episode. ***½
Taiji Ishimori, the current IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion, comes out and helps the other BULLET CLUB members beat down KUSHIDA. Ishimori and KUSHIDA have been feuding in Japan, and Ishimori ends the beatdown with a Bloody Sunday inside the ring. Jay White then says the G1 Climax didn’t go as planned, and the last thing he needs is having to come back and clean up other people’s messes because they couldn’t get the job done while he was away in Japan. He says people need to remember their place and who the leader of the BULLET CLUB is. If they need to be reminded again, then so be it. He especially has no problem reminding Tama Tonga, who defeated White in the G1 Climax, of who he is when they meet for the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship on October 10th. White calls himself the “real belt collector” amongst his other usual collection of nicknames and monikers, and reminds us that this is his era.