SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
NJPW STRONG REPORT
MARCH 19, 2021
AIRED ON NEW JAPAN WORLD VIA OCEAN VIEW PAVILION
REPORT BY REV. KEITH BENNETT, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Announcers: Kevin Kelly and Alex Kozlov
Overall Notes: Tonight’s NJPW Strong features two more qualifying matches for the New Japan Cup USA tournament. In the show’s main event, Brody King will face Bateman. The second qualifier will pit Ren Narita against Misterioso. The opener is a special singles match without tournament implications, as Jeff Cobb faces the recently returned Alex Coughlin. Coughlin had been out of action with a neck injury.
-The New Japan Cup USA tournament will be held in April on NJPW Strong. On last week’s episode, Fred Rosser defeated J.R. Kratos, while Hikuleo defeated Jordan Clearwater to secure their spots in the tournament. Two weeks ago, Tom Lawlor and Lio Rush won qualifying matches to gain entry into the eight-man field.
(1) JEFF COBB vs. ALEX COUGHLIN
Coughlin went for a leg sweep takedown to start, but Cobb backed away. Cobb gained the early offense with two shoulder tackles and punishing blows into the corner. Cobb overpowered Coughlin with his patented bearhug. Coughlin hit a shoulder tackle and a dropkick to gain the offense in this match. From there, Coughlin was impressive with a power slam, which culminated into a near fall. In the end, Cobb’s experience led him to a victory with the Tour of the Islands.
WINNER: Cobb via pinfall at 5:58
(Rev’s Take: Cobb was very impressive here tonight. I like the fact that commentary pointed out that Cobb was more vicious now that he is aligned with the “Empire” in Japan.)
(2) REN NARITA vs. MISTERIOSO – New Japan Cup USA Qualifier Match
Misterioso was able to use his high-flying aerial attack, but only for a limited time. The finish came when Narita executed a bridging German suplex, but could only get a two count. Narita won with the Narita Special, which is a one legged Boston Crab submission hold.
WINNER: Narita via submission at 10:12
(Rev’s Take: Narita showed a technical arsenal along with submission holds within his vast array of offense. He will be tough to beat in this tournament. The commentary pointed out Narita’s improvement since training under Shibata.)
(3) BRODY KING vs. BATEMAN – New Japan Cup USA Qualifier
These two traded blows, elbow strikes, chops, and kicks throughout the early stages of the match. Brody delivered an impressive cannonball onto Bateman while he was in the corner. Brody only got a two count after it. Bateman mustered enough energy to deliver a German suplex into the corner and followed that with a running knee. Brody King valiantly fought back with kicks and blows and won with the Bronco buster.
WINNER: King via pinfall in 13:00
FINAL THOUGHTS: These two qualifiers were both hard-hitting and skill personified. Next week we will have our final two qualifiers as Blake Christian takes on Chris Dickinson and Clark Conners faces TJP.
You can follow Rev.Keith on Twitter @keithbe77.
NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S NJPW STRONG REPORT: 3/12 NJPW STRONG REPORT: Clearwater vs. Hikuleo, Rosser vs. Kratos in New Japan Cup USA qualifier matches