SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
NJPW STRONG REPORT
MARCH 26, 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 will feature qualifying matches to determine the final two spots in the New Japan Cup USA tournament, as the Road to Strong Style Evolved editions of the show continue.
The New Japan Cup USA tournament will be held in April on NJPW Strong. On last week’s episode, Brody King defeated Bateman to earn a spot in the tournament, while Ren Narita secured his place by defeating Misterioso. Both Hikuleo and Fred Rosser earned spots with wins on the March 12 episode. Lio Rush and Tom Lawlor won qualifying matches on the March 5th episode.
(1) CLARK CONNORS vs. TJP – New Japan Cup USA Qualifier Match
This was technical mastery at its best. These two traded takedowns, arm bars, and leg locks throughout this encounter. The finish occurred when Connors shifted his weight while reversing TJP’s leg lock into a pinning combination.
WINNER: Connors via pin in 9:27.
(2) BLAKE CHRISTIAN vs. CHRIS DICKINSON – New Japan Cup USA Qualifier Match
At the onset, Dickinson attempted to intimidate his less experienced opponent, but it was to no avail. Christian matched Dickinson with punches and knife-edged chops. The commentary was quick to point out how much Blake Christian had developed since his arrival in New Japan Pro Wrestling. Dickinson went back to the ground attack and eventually secured the win to advance in the New Japan Cup USA tournament.
WINNER: Dickinson via pinfall in 8:53
(3) DAVID FINLAY & KARL FREDERICHS vs. TOM LAWLOR & DANNY LIMELIGHT
The pairing of Finlay and Frederich’s is an interesting one because you have the veteran in Finley combined with the young lion. Lawlor and Limelight dominated the majority of the match by cutting off the ring and restricting tags. Limelight and Lawlor vehemently worked on the legs of Frederichs. Eventually, Frederich’s was able to mount an offensive and delivered a running dropkick to a fallen Limelight in the corner. The finish came when Lawlor tagged himself in and capitalized with a German suplex on a weakened Frederichs. All the while, Finlay and Limelight were fighting on the outside. Upon receiving the hot tag, Finlay delivered a lariat clothesline followed by his neck-breaker finisher for the win.
WINNER: Finlay & Frederichs via pinfall in 17:00
FINAL THOUGHTS: This was an action-packed show with a monumental upset in Clark Connors defeating TJP to advance to the final eight of the New Japan Cup USA. He will be joined by Chris Dickinson and the six other men that have qualified.The tournament is set to begin in two weeks on Strong. As always, stay tuned.
Rev.Keith Bennett can be reached via Twitter @keithbe77.
NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S NJPW STRONG REPORT: 3/19 NJPW STRONG REPORT: Brody King vs. Bateman and Narita vs. Misterioso in New Japan Cup USA qualifier matches