The first ever New Japan Cup USA winner is crowned today, while Jay White makes his NJPW Strong Debut.

We’re back to the mystery location, with Kevin Kelly and Alex Kozlov on commentary…

Quick Results
Rocky Romero & Adrian Quest pinned The DKC & Danny Limelight in 10:00 (***¼)
Brody King & Flip Gordon pinned Chase Owens & Jay White in 8:40 (***)
New Japan Cup USA 2020 Final: KENTA pinned David Finlay in 13:30 (***)

Danny Limelight & The DKC vs. Rocky Romero & Adrian Quest
It’s a debut for Quest, as Limelight and DKC return after their showings in the Lion’s Break Collision shows.

Kevin Kelly on commentary notes that Rocky wants to take Danny Limelight “under his wing,” but this is a sort of a proving ground. We got going with those two, as Romero uses a cravat to snapmare Limelight to the mat before an attempt to work the wrist got shoved away. A chop from Rocky stings Limelight, who then floats out of a hiptoss before he monkey flipped Romero into the ropes as the pace quickened en route to double dropkicks and a stand-off. Tags bring in the DKC and Quest – with the latter taken into the ropes from the initial lock-up. Quest swaps waistlock takedowns as they scrambled for position, but to no avail. Quest hits the ropes and lands a tijeras before DKC got caught with a springboard armdrag and a springboard corkscrew bodypress back inside.

DKC knocks Romero off the apron as he proceeds to tag in Limelight, who hits a senton atomico – along with some mocking of Rocky’s shoulder shuffles. Quest is back to take some kicks, before DKC tagged back in to land a suplex and a fist drop for a two-count. Quest heads into a Mistica, before a Magistral cradle got a near-fall… but Limelight’s right back up to blast through him with a kick, before he lost a suplex. Quest runs in with a Codebreaker that bought him enough time to make the tag out to Romero, who took care of DKC with headscissors before going after Limelight with Forever clotheslines in the corner. Limelight evades one, but takes a lariat before he tripped Rocky into a roundhouse kick.

Romero shoves away a tornado DDT as the pair trade strikes, leading to both men going to ground. Limelight gets up first to tag in DKC, who takes his shots on Rocky, leading to a lariat before some double-teaming looked to have Rocky in trouble. A fallaway torture rack gets DKC a near-fall, as Danny Limelight lost track of Adrian Quest, who broke it up… Quest sends Limelight packing with a springboard corkscrew moonsault to the outside, while DKC tried to put away Rocky… but ends up taking an rewind enziguiri before a running shiranui gets Romero the win. A fun opener, with all four guys looking good in the time they got. ***¼

Apparently New Japan Strong next week is also the Road to Fighting Spirit Unleashed. Can you just have one title for your show – it’s screwing with the SEO stuff!

Flip Gordon & Brody King vs. Bullet Club (Jay White & Chase Owens)
Flip and Brody teamed up in ROH, but it looks like that whole group has been dismantled over there. They’re still teaming here, just without a team name… This match marked Jay White’s return to action for the first time since February, and confirms that no, he’s not living in New Zealand… which changes a few people’s fantasy booking ideas.

Owens and Gordon start us off, but of course Jay White attacks Flip from behind as boots in the corner put Flip on the back foot early on. White’s targeting the lower back with shots, but a back suplex is flipped out of as Gordon took him to the ropes for an O’Connor roll, which gets a near-fall, ahead of a knee strike as Flip had to juggle attacking White with Chase Owens skulking on the apron. Gordon tries for a suplex, but instead just chops White before a springboard in the ropes was caught by Owens, with the distraction allowing White back in with a neckbreaker off the middle rope. Flip’s taken outside as Brody King protests, while Chase slammed Gordon on the outside for the heck of it.

Back in the ring, Chase chops Gordon as he again wound up King on the apron. White’s back with a snapmare into a chinlock on the mat as he tightened the hold. Gordon elbows free, and manages to get himself enough space to tag in an angry Brody King, who clubs away with clotheslines as he proceeded to splat the Bullet Club pair in the corner. A Bossman slam drops White for a near-fall, before King slide outside to deck Chase with a big boot. White’s thrown back inside as Flip Gordon tagged back in to help double-team the former IWGP champion, with a slingshot dropkick into the corner almost getting the win. Chase breaks it up, then gets thrown outside.

DDTs from Jay White look to turn it back around as he tags Owens back in. A running kene from Chase nearly gets the win, but again Flip fights back, kipping up away from a dropkick before landing a kick to take Owens down. Brody’s back, but he’s taken to a knee as Chase hits a knee strike en route to a package piledriver… but he can’t get Brody up and ends up taking a short-arm clothesline instead. White and Gordon tussle again, as a springboard spear takes White to the outside before Flip fed Chase into a version of Dan Moloney’s Drilla piledriver for the win. The Bullet Club pair worked well, but when the plan failed they struggled to pull it back. A decent showing for Brody and Flip, but the story progresses… ***

Post-match, Jay White tried to attack Flip with a Blade Runner, but got scared away by Brody King… only for Hikuleo to come in from behind to attack. He lays out Brody with a twisting uranage – the move Rev Pro tagged as a Gun Stun – and it looks like we’ve got ourselves a hoss fight in the future.

Ad time – it’s not just the ring that’s getting cleaned. Grime was removed!

They formally announce the Fighting Spirit Unleashed “tour” starting next week on New Japan Strong… and then it’s off to a video package ahead of the tournament final.

New Japan Cup USA 2020 Final: KENTA vs. David Finlay
KENTA still has the generic Bullet Club theme, and this HBK-like pose. At least his ring gear didn’t get stuck in the stage…

Neither man is in much of a rush to get going, as they traded wristlocks early on before KENTA took Finlay to the mat. Finlay switches around into a side headlock, then floated KENTA back down. KENTA gets free and applies a headlock of his own, before Finlay pushed him off and came in with a dropkick. KENTA rolls to the outside, but he gets little respite as Finlay rolls him back inside. Again, KENTA drags himself to the outside as he tries to stall for time, but instead he suckers in Finlay. A floatover in the corner has Finlay in a bad position as KENTA kicks him between the ropes ahead of a stomp to the back of the head, before a neckbreaker keeps KENTA on top.

Stretching Finlay comes next from KENTA, who continued to wear down the former tag champion. Finlay offers some fightback in the form of forearms, but a drop toe hold took him back down for some figure four headscissors that ends in the ropes. Elbows keep Finlay on the back foot as he again tries to fight back, finally landing a backdrop suplex to buy him some time. Elbows from Finlay see him try to forge a way back in, as does a European uppercut off the middle rope, but it’s only enough for a two-count. Finlay goes for a uranage backbreaker, and eventually lands it for a near-fall, as KENTA manages to return with a clothesline off the middle rope. That gets him a two-count, before a snap DDT and a draping DDT saw KENTA really focus for the head and neck.

KENTA measures Finlay for a running front kick, then a stalling dropkick into the corner, before a double stomp off the top almost got him the win. Finlay surprises KENTA with a spear for a near-fall, before an over-the-knee brainbuster for Finlay ever so slightly closer… but when he went for a Prima Nocta, KENTA shoves Finlay towards the referee. That means he doesn’t see the follow-up low blow, which only gets KENTA a two-count, as Finlay again fires back with uppercuts as he avoided a Go 2 Sleep… but another Prima Nocta is blocked as KENTA drops Finlay with a sleeper and a PK. From there, it’s the matter of a Go 2 Sleep, and that’s enough for KENTA to take away the New Japan Cup USA trophy. This never really got into a higher gear for me – perhaps the lack of fans or any sort of atmosphere played a part, but this was just a good match that never threatened to be anything more. ***

After the match, KENTA gets the trophy and the briefcase, before he bragged about his win. He finally utters the name of Jon Moxley, saying that he’s coming for the previously-not-named champion before he cut another promo in Japanese. Thankfully, it’s subtitled, but KENTA’s interrupted by Jeff Cobb who looked for a suplex… only for KENTA to scarper away. Cobb picks up KENTA’s briefcase, and it looks like that while Moxley isn’t on these shows, that briefcase is going to be the default “title” everyone wants a piece of here.

“An easy watch” is always the rallying cry with these US-based New Japan shows – but as other promotions have been able to add some bells and whistles (be it fans at ringside or all of the video screens in the world) to substitute for a regular crowd, New Japan’s not been able to do that for these shows. Hopefully the future shows are able to add something, because as good the shows have been, the sterile environment absolutely will put people off.