11/13 NJPW Battle in the Valley PPV report: Radican’s results & analysis of Moose vs. Robinson, Okada vs. Matthews, White vs. Ishii

By Sean Radican, PWTorch columnist (Twitter: @SR_Torch)


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NJPW BATTLE IN THE VALLEY PPV REPORT
NOV. 13 2021
SAN JOSE, CALIF.
AIRED LIVE ON PPV ON FITE.TV

Announcers: Kevin Kelly and Alex Koslov

(1) JOSH ALEXANDER vs. YUYA UEMURA

This was a very physical back and forth match with some crazy strike exchanges. Uemura went for a suplex late in the match, but Alexander countered him and go an ankle lock. Alexander quickly transitioned and got a grapevine. He then began kicking Uemura with the ankle lock applied on the mat with the grapevine and he tapped.

WINNER: Josh Alexander at 11:44. (***¾)

(Radican’s Analysis: Tremendous opening match.)

(2) VIOLENCE UNLIMITED (CHRIS DICKINSON & BRODY KING) vs. STRAY DOG ARMY (BATEMAN & MISTERIOSO)

The Stray Dog Army jumped their opponents and the bell rang. Stray Dog Army ended up working over Dickinson inside the ring as the five minute mark passed. King got the tag and hit a big cannonball on Bateman in the corner. Misterioso ran at him and he suplexed him right into Batmen. Dickinson went for a frog splash on Bateman and hit it and the crowd went nuts. Dickinson held onto his leg and hip. He then made the cover, but MIsterioso broke it up. King clotheslined Misterioso to the floor. Dickinson was clearly badly hurt in the ring and Bateman covered him for the win.

The announcers asked what Bateman did to Dickinson. They said their eyes were on King and Misterioso on the floor.

WINNERS: Bateman & Misterioso at 10:08.

(Radican’s Analysis: This was really good until Dickinson suffered an unfortunate injury.)

After the match, King checked on Dickison. Several people came into the ring to check on Chris as well. Kelly mentioned we just saw Ibushi injured at G1. A board was brought out to carry Dickinson to the back.

(3) TEAM FILTHY (STRONG OPENWEIGHT CHAMPION TOM LAWLOR & DANNY LIMELIGHT & J.R. KRATOS & ROYCE ISAACS & JOREL NELSON) vs. ROCKY ROMERO & FRED ROSSER & ALEX ZAYNE & ALEX COUGHLIN & DAVID FINLAY

Lawlor and Rosser started things off. They spilled through the ropes and both teams brawled at ringside before separating. It wasn’t long before both teams went at it again at ringside. The opening exchanges did a good job of setting up the upcoming Lawlor vs. Rosser match at the Strong tapings. Team Filthy cleared the ring and posed in the ring, but Fred Rosser suddenly charged into the ring and went after Lawlor. Rosser was tossed to the floor quickly by Team Filthy and he wiped out a cameraman in the process. Zayne flipped over an opponent and went right into a hurricanrana off the turnbuckles on Limelight. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

Everyone was brawling on the floor and Zayne hit an inside out springboard moonsault. Limelight then dove over the ropes and wiped out everyone. Romero then came off the top with a splash and the fans went nuts. Kratos was left alone in the ring and he teased a dive and hit a splash over the top to the floor. WOW!!!! The crowd erupted in a huge holy s–t chant. Rosser ended up taking a combination of moves capped by a Limelight frog splash. Rosser ended up alone in the ring with Isaacs and he pinned him with a powerslam.

WINNERS: Fred Rosser & Rocky Romero & Alex Zayne & Alex Coughlin & David Finlay at 15:12. (***½)

(Radican’s Analysis: This match had fantastic energy from start to finish. It did a nice job of showcasing the individual participants in the match as well as setting up the big Rosser vs. Lawlor match at the NJPW Strong TV tapings this week.)

(4) THE UNITED EMPIRE (JEFF COBB & TJP) vs. CLARK CONNORS & KARL FREDERICKS

TJP shoved Connors and both teams went at it. The ref called for the bell and the match was on. TJP tried to cut off Fredericks from wiping out Cobb with a flip dive to the floor, but couldn’t get there in time. I liked that spot. I haven’t seen that before that I can recall. Cobb began working over Connors and he ran him back and forth across the ring slamming him corner to corner. Fredericks and Cobb went to a strike exchange. Cobb tried to lift Fredericks, but he slipped out the back door and hit a spinebuster on Cobb for a two count. Cobb fired back a short time later and hit the spin cycle and both men were down.

Connors hit a pounce on TJP, but Cobb caught him, so he speared Cobb and both men were down. Cobb grabbed the ref and TJP sprayed water into Connors’s eyes. TJP then went for a small cradle, but Fredericks turned them over and then held Cobb back and Connors got the win with the small package.

WINNERS: Clark Connors & Karl Fredericks at 10.00. (**¾)

(Radican’s Analysis: This was a good match, but it was just getting going when it ended. The focus was more about getting over Fredericks and Connors overcoming the heels cheating than the action in the ring.)

Kevin Kelly talked about how Ospreay is not the IWGP World Hvt. Champion. He said Ospreay could have been in the G1, but he chose not to. Ospreay came to the ring with a IWGP World Hvt. Championship belt. Kelly said Ospreay no longer was the champion because he had vacated the title due to injury. Ospreay demanded the ref hold up his title before the match, but Narita wiped out Ospreay with a kick and the match was on.

(5) REN NARITA vs. UNDISPUTED BRITISH HVT. CHAMPION WILL OSPREAY

Narita hit a running kick that sent Ospreay over the barricade. Kelly mentioned Narita was on his excursion in the U.S. Ospreay fired back and crotched Narita over the top rope. He then booted him to the floor. Kelly said if Ospreay wants to be champion, he will have to eventually face the winner of Kazuchika Okada vs. Shingo Takgagi at Wrestle Kingdom 16: Night 1. Ospreay worked over Narita and then did Shibata’s pose, which drew some boos. Ospreay fired back and sent Narita to the floor. He went for a dive, but missed and landed on his feet. Narita then nailed him with a belly to belly suplex and both men were down. Ospreay barely beat the 20 count getting back into the ring.

A short time later, Ospreay mounted a comeback and went for a Stormbreker, but Narita slipped out and got Shibata’s signature choke. He transitioned to a cobra twist. They went back and forth and Ospreay eventually countered Narita’s choke into a stunner and both men were down on the mat. Narita blocked an Os-cutter attempt, but Ospreay eventually hit a stacked powerbomb for a near fall. Ospreay went for a 450 and tried to land on his feet when Narita got out of the way, but his leg buckled. Narita went after his legs and tried to lock in a leg submission. He hit several strikes on Ospreay and locked in the sharpshooter. Ospreay almost got to the ropes, but Narita dragged him back and sat down on the hold.

Ospreay fought towards the ropes again and got there to break the hold. They ended up trading slaps, but Ospreay caught Narita with a hook kick. Narita ducked a hidden blade attempt and got an inside cradle for a two cout. Ospreay tried to lift Narita up into a Stormbreaker, but Narita got a front face lock. Ospreay hit a KO elbow to the back of Narita’s head. Narita got right up and Ospreay hit an Os-Cutter for a near fall. Ospreay then hit a Hidden Blade for the win.

WINNER: Will Ospreay at 15:43. (***3/4)

(Radican’s Analysis: This was a very good match. Narita got in a lot of offense and took Ospreay to the limit at times before falling short in the end.)

After the match, Ospreay made the announcer announce him as the IWGP World Hvt. Champion.

A video aired announcing upcoming dates for NJPW Strong tapings in Seattle in January, Los Angeles in February, and Tampa in March of 2022.

(6) IMPACT WORLD CHAMPION MOOSE vs. JUICE ROBINSON – non-title match

Moose teased a handshake before the match began and then flipped Robinson off. They went to the floor and Moose missed a chop and connected with the ringpost. A short time later he countered Robinson and whipped him into the guardrail with extreme force. Moose favored his hand before going back after Robinson inside the ring. Kelly talked about how Josh Alexander was going to have to wait to get his shot at Moose in Impact. Moose hit some big chops in the corner and Robinson fired up after each one. They ended up trading forearms in the middle of the ring. Moose went up top, but Robinson caught him with the Left Hand of God. He followed up with a frankensteiner. Robinson went up top and hit a frog splash for a near fall. It is amazing to see so many tributes to Eddie Guerrero between AEW and NJPW on this night.

Robinson set up for Pulp Friction, but Moose fought him off. Moose caught Robinson with a dropkick as he came off the ropes. He hit a big powerbomb for a near fall and the fans gasped. They went to another strike battle. Robinson told Moose to bring it and took several chops. THey continued to exchange blows. Moose went for a springboard, but Robinson hit Moose with the Left Hand of God. He then hit Pulp Friction, but Moose kicked out and the fans fired up with a this is awesome chant. Robinson went up top, but Moose ran across the ring right up the ropes and hit a belly to belly off the top for a two count. Both men were down after Robinson kicked out. Robinson jumped over a spear attempt and got a rollup for a nearfall. Robinson got another rollup and Moose kicked out. Robinson hit a Left Hand of God and went to bounce off the ropes, but Moose fired up and went around him and hit a spear for the win.

WINNER: Moose at 14:51. (****)

(Radican’s Analysis: This was a great back and forth match with tons of counter wrestling and great strike exchanges. Robinson showed great fire while absorbing Moose’s chops and they built up to some great fighting spirit spots for Robinson, but Moose ended up getting the win in the end.)

After the match, a video played that said Jonah. Jonah FKA Bronson Samson in WWE came out and the fans fired up as he made his way down to the ring. The fans popped big. Jonah got into the ring and went face-to-face with Moose. Moose backed off and left with the Impact World Championship. Jonah ended up hitting a senton on Robinson, who was still down inside the ring and the fans fired up. Koslov said that is how you make a statement. David Finlay ran down to help Robinson, but Jonah wiped him out as well and hit a big running senton. Jonah got on the mic and said, “Now the shackles are finally off.” He said the real violence begins. He said he is NJPW’s top dog. He concluded by saying “Jonah is here!”

A video package aired for the Kazuchika Okada vs. Buddy Matthews match.

(7) BUDDY MATTHEWS vs. IWGP WORLD HVT. CHAMPION KAZUCHIKA OKADA – non-title match

They had a fast exchange early and came to a stalemate and the fans applauded and chanted for Matthews. Matthews took control and began working over Okada. He grabbed Okada’s head and taunted him, but Okada fired back with a forearm. Murphy tried to come out of the corner a short time later, but Okada hit a flapjack. The crowd fired up with chants for Okada as he tried to lock in the Money Clip on Matthews. Matthews shook Okada off quickly and he went to the floor. He then hit Okada with a big flip dive and the fans fired up. Matthews went for a splash in the corner, but Okada turned it into his signature neck breaker.

Matthews ducked a Rainmaker attempt, but Okada drove him into the corner. Okada charged into the corner, but Matthews caught him with a boot. Matthews rolled over Okada out of the corner and went right into a buckle bomb. Okada went for another Rainmaker and missed. Matthews then began landing some big elbows to Okada’s head. The ref tossed Matthews off and checked on Okada. The ref allowed Okada to continue and Matthews immediately hit a curb stomp for a near fall. Matthews set up for a Rainmaker, but missed. Okada then caught Matthews with a spinning Rainmaker and both men were down. They went back and forth and Okada eventually caught Murphy with a dropkick as he came off the ropes. Okada then caught Murphy with a tombstone.

Okada held onto Matthews’s wrist. Matthews hit kick after kick, but Okada wouldn’t let go. Matthew hit a knee and went for Murphy’s Law, but Okada countered it into a Landslide Tombstone and then a Rainmaker for the win.

WINNER: Kazuchika Okada at 16:23. (****)

(Radican’s Analysis: This was a great showing for Matthews after being released by WWE and going toe-to-toe with one of the best in the world in a fantastic match. I’m so excited to see more of Matthews in NJPW)

Okada showed respect to Matthews after the match and shook his hand. Matthews ended up raising Okada’s hand before leaving the ring.

Will Ospreay’s music played and he came out wearing a brown jacket and gold chain with no shirt on and jeans. Ospreay had a hat on backwards as well. He came out carrying his IWGP World Hvt. Championship. Ospreay told Okada he was unpinned, unsubmitted, and undefeated. He said since Okada won G1, he could challenge the real IWGP World Hvt. Champion. Okada said he would not challenge Ospreay. He said Ospreay would challenge him. The fans chanted Okada’s name loudly. Ospreay called the fans dickheads and told them to calm down. Ospreay made fun of Okada for bringing back the old IWGP Hvt. Championship. He said it means nothing and his belt is the real IWGP World Hvt. Championship. Ospreay said he was waiting for NJPW to recognize him, but if he wants things done right he has to do it himself.

He said he would face the winner of the Okada vs. Takagi match for the interim IWGP World Hvt. Champion would face him on Jan. 5. The fans chanted Okada’s name. Okada got on the mic and said, “Okay, so I will make it rain. I will make it rain. I will make it Rain!” He then said, I will make it…” and the crowd yelled rain and Okada concluded by saying, “at the Tokyo Dome.” That was a tremendous segment between Okada and Ospreay. Okada held up his title and Ospreay walked down the aisle and raised his title with his back to Okada. The camera was facing Ospreay from the front, so it made for a great visual.

They aired a video package that showed Tomohiro Ishii beating Jay White at G1 Climax last year and then pinning him in a tag match at New Year Dash in January. They showed footage of White beating Ishii at Castle Attack earlier this year. They then showed White challenging Ishii for a NEVER Openweight Championship match at NJPW Strong. They showed White saying if Ishii doesn’t win, he can never challenge for the NEVER Openweight Championship again.

(8) NEVER OPENWEIGHT CHAMPION JAY WHITE vs. TOMOHIRO ISHII – if Ishii loses, he can never challenge for the NEVER Openweight Championship again

Ishii took White down and he rolled to the floor. Ishii rolled him back into the ring, so White rolled out the other side of the ring. White got the upper hand and began working over Ishii on the floor. He hit a chop block on Ishii a short time later. Ishii fired back and went on the attack inside the ring. He began working over White with chops and forearms in the corner. White eventually mounted a comeback at the 10 minute mark and went for a urangi, but Ishii fought him off and hit a throat chop. Ishii worked over White in the corner, but White went after his eyes and then suplexed him into the corner. The fans fired up behind Ishii, but White nailed him with the Blade Buster for a two count.

The fans chanted for both men as White worked Ishii over. White went for the uranagi again, but Ishii blocked it only to eat a big chop from White. White flipped the fans off after hitting the chop. They built up to Ishii mounting a comeback after White hit his signature chop/forearm combination on him in the corner. Ishii eventually hit his stalling superplex only for White to come back and finally catch him with a uranagi. They went to a strike battle and Ishii told him to bring it. They traded blows back and forth. Ishii finally dropped White with a forearm and the fans chanted his name.

They had a fantastic exchange where White hit a half and half suplex, but Ishii got right up and hit a clothesline and both men were down. Jay White got up and obliterated Ishii with a clothesline. He then hit Ishii with a brainbuster and he kicked out at one! WOW!. Ishii got up and stumbled around before collapsing and the fans chanted this is awesome. Ishii blocked a blade runner attempt. He connected with a sliding lariat a short time later for a two count. White blocked the Vertical Drop Brainbuster. Both men countered each other’s finishers until Ishii hit a dragon suplex. Ishii then obliterated White with a lariat for a near fall. Ishii hit the Vertical Drop Brainbuster and it was good for the win.

WINNER: Tomohiro Ishii at 28: 40 to become the new NEVER Openweight Champion. (****¼)

(Radican’s Analysis: This was a fantastic match. It was a little slow in spots, but they told a great story of White trying to be a jerk and Ishii not having any of it. They built up to some great counter exchanges late building to Ishii hitting his finish for the win. Ishii truly is a thorn in White’s side.)

After the match, Ishii stood over White and taunted him with the title before leaving. The fans applauded as Ishii went to the back with the belt. The show ended with White being helped to the back before collapsing on the entrance ramp.

Contact Sean at radicansean@pwtorch.com. Follow him on Twitter @sr_torch

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