Las Vegas, NV – 10.22.2022
Commentary is provided by Ian Riccaboni & Alex Koslov.
West Coast Wrecking Crew (Royce Isaacs & Jorel Nelson) vs. Greg Sharpe & Jakob Austin Young
Young is back after an impressive debut a few weeks ago, teaming with another NJPW debutant. Austin and Young have teamed once before in OWE. Sharpe counters a press slam from Isaacs with a wristlock takeover. Young and Sharpe then kick Isaacs down to his knees before giving him stereo dropkicks to the sides of his head. Isaacs drives Young to the corner. Nelson takes out Sharpe with a Pounce and bodyslam, allowing the WCWC to isolate and wear down Young. Young stops a clothesline from Nelson with a Flatliner to get the space to tag in Sharpe. Sharpe kicks Isaacs upside the head before giving him a German suplex for two. Isaacs catches Sharpe coming into the corner with a uranage slam. A slingshot from Nelson leads to a Death Valley Driver from Isaacs on Nelson’s knees. They call that sequence “Who Do You Love?”, apparently, and it’s enough to get the pin on Sharpe at 6:01. I suppose this was a good way to get the WCWC their momentum back after their loss to Aussie Open last month, but I am a bit let down that Young didn’t get something a little more significant to do. He and Sharpe make for a solid duo, though. **
Alex Zayne is looking forward to being back in the ring with his arch enemy Blake Christian and a recent opponent of his, Mascara Dorada, next week. He has back up in the form of the debuting Mistico. Mistico closes out the proceedings with some non-subtitled thoughts in Spanish.
Yuya Uemura vs. Christopher Daniels
This match is a result of Daniels turning on Uemura last month. Before the match, Daniels says he is the most successful wrestler from California. All the rest are failures, but nobody is a bigger failure than Yuya Uemura. He will destroy him tonight and burn the LA DOJO to the ground. A fired up Uemura gives Daniels no breathing room, tackling him right from the start and pummeling him on the mat. After a flapjack, Uemura clotheslines Daniels to the floor. Uemura dives onto Daniels and then slams him onto the floor! When Uemura tries to clothesline him back into the ring from the apron, Daniels takes Uemura’s eyes and gives him a neckbreaker across the top rope. A clothesline to the neck follow, and Dnaiels focuses his attack on Uemura’s neck from there. Uemura headbutts Daniels to avoid a superplex, paying the price with more neck pain to get himself the room to deliver a dropkick off the top turnbuckle. Uemura picks up momentum with a flying forearm, corner splash, and a flying bulldog. Daniels catches a leapfrog attempt and drops Uemura with a Death Valley Driver. He transitions into a Koji Clutch. Uemura uses the ropes to escape, but when he tries a huracanrana, Daniels shuts him down with a powerbomb. Daniels goes for the Angels Wings, but Uemura counters into a jackknife pin and gets the win at 9:48! I really enjoyed the action of this match, but tonally it felt off. Uemura blowing out Daniels from the get go, Daniels cheating to make a comeback, and then Uemura coming back from that made it seem like it would be Daniels who would either cheat to win or have Uemura slip on a banana peel of sorts. Uemura winning the way he did is a disconnect from the story that preceded. The feud isn’t over either, which makes that ending even less logical, but perhaps it was making the best of wrestling politics. Good match aside from that. ***¼
Daniels gives Uemura a tombstone piledriver after the bell, and then gives him the Angels Wings on a steel chair. Daniels heads to the back with a smile as Uemura is helped to the back by NJPW staff.
Shingo Takagi vs. Rocky Romero
This is a first-time singles match and Takagi’s STRONG debut. Takagi is a former IWGP World Heavyweight Champion and the current King of Pro Wrestling trophy holder. Romero takes down Takagi with a headscissors to the floor and a suicide dive. Takagi fires up from the chest and back kicks Romero unloads on him inside of the ring. He takes down Romero with a haymaker and clothesline before clotheslining him to the floor. Takagi brings him back into the ring and lands a slingshot knee drop to Romero’s sternum. He takes some air out of Romero’s lungs with a bodyscissors and drops all of his body weight onto him with a senton splash. Takagi tells Romero he’s “too weak” as he scrapes his boot across his face. Romero angrily begins an open hand strike battle with Takagi, ending with an enzuigiri to Takagi’s temple. After the Forever clotheslines, he double stomps Takagi’s back as Takagi lay across the middle rope. Romero scores with a tornado DDT and Falcon Arrow, immediately switching to the Diablo armbar after. Takagi rolls right to the ropes to escape. Takagi also drives Romero into the mat to escape a sleeper hold with bodyscissors. Takagi surprises Romero with a RyuKon DDT and then drops him with a Noshigami for two. Romero evades Last of the Dragon and nails Takagi with a rewind kick before taking him down with a Shiranui for two. When Romero goes for another Shiranui, Shingo counters into a Death Valley Driver. Takagi isn’t satisfied with using multiple clotheslines to take down Romero. He goes for Last of the Dragon again, which Romero counters into a huracanrana for two! Romero then Frankensteiner’s Takagi into the Diablo Armbar! Takagi seems close to passing out when a second wind gives him the strength to muscle up Romero into Last of the Dragon for the pin at 15:51. Despite the obvious outcome, Romero brought his best to this match and made the crowd believe. Romero had a solid game plan and fought as hard as he could against Takagi, but Takagi’s neck work and his incredible strength ultimately prevailed. The fans really got into Romero as well, which made the ending even more engaging. Shingo was also his usual terrific self, and overall it was a great debut for the Rampage Dragon. ***¾