Autumn Action continues on Las Vegas with Aussie Open and Fred Rosser defending their titles.
Doc Gallows pinned Che Cabrera in 7:53 (**¼)
Mark Davis & Kyle Fletcher pinned Danny Limelight & JR Kratos in 10:08 to retain the NJPW Strong Openweight tag team championships (***½)
Fred Rosser and Chris Dickinson went to a double count-out in 6:48 (***)
We’re back at Sam’s Town Live in Las Vegas, with Ian Riccaboni and Alex Koslov on the call. Kevin Knight and his blurred basketball jersey interrupts proceedings to tell us he’ll be scouting the tag title match… because he and the DKC want a crack at the titles soon.
Che Cabrera vs. Doc Gallows
Clark Connors is on commentary for this as we learn Che’s got a nickname for his return: Latino Meat. I appreciate a bad pun.
Cabrera throws some chops early, but got rocked with an uppercut as Gallows began to have his way. A back elbow in the corner has Cabrera covering up… exposing his midriff for some body blows before a suplex out and a clothesline took Che to the floor. Gallows follow Cabrera on the outside, throwing him through the railings before we headed back inside, with Cabrera sneaking in as he hung up Gallows in the ropes. Choking in the ropes followed from Che, along with a clothesline out of the corner for just a one-count. We’re back outside as Gallows gets thrown into the side of the ring, and it’s more of the same back inside as Cabrera pulled Gallows into almost a Steiner Recliner.
Gallows breaks the grip quickly though, but Cabrera sinks him with a side chinlock again, before Gallows fought out with clothesline and a head kick. A leaping shoulder tackle has Cabrera down, before a Gallows Pole nearly put Che away…
Cabrera escapes a chokeslam and countered with a death valley driver for a near-fall, only for another thrust kick from Gallows to lead to a Magic Screw – dubbed an Anarchy Suplex – for the win. Che made Gallows look distinctly ordinary here, almost putting it in the realm of “the wrong man won,” especially given Doc’s move this week. **¼
NJPW Strong Openweight Tag Team Championship: Team Filthy (Danny Limelight & JR Kratos) vs. Aussie Open (Kyle Fletcher & Mark Davis) (c)
Limelight and Kratos took offence to not being in the tag title tournament, which led to this match being challenged.
Fletcher and Limelight start us off with shoving and shoulder tackles, but it’s Fletcher who spun Limelight to the mat first as the champions drew first blood. Mark Davis is in, but evades the pair and made the tag out to JR Kratos, leading to the two big lads squaring up to each other. They trade shoulder tackles, then forearms, before Davis tried to hit a bodyslam.
Kratos doesn’t move on that, as he hit the ropes to clothesline Davis down, following up with some punches for above as Limelight tagged in hit a springboard kick, then a back senton as Davis was draped across Kratos’ knees. Limelight got a little too cocky though as he ran into a back body drop, as tags bring us to Fletcher and Kratos… with Kyle running into a powerslam. A deadlift suplex is next for Fletcher, as Limelight came in to throw Fletcher into Kratos, ahead of a propelled double stomp that drew a two-count for the challengers. Limelight’s clothesline into the corner traps Fletcher ahead of a senton atomico for a near-fall, before Fletcher leaps over Limelight in the corner and made the tag out.
Davis goes wild with chops and clotheslines to the challengers, before we settled on Kratos and Davis teeing off with forearms on each other. Kratos wins out briefly, before Davis hit a back elbow in the ropes, only to earn him an instant response. An attempt to lift up Kratos backfired as it’s countered into a German suplex, taking Davis into the corner… where he suckered Kratos into a flatliner and a sliding punch. Fletcher tags back in as the Aussies teed up for a Dental Plan.. but Limelight blind-tags in and springboarded in for a Destroyer on Fletcher. Davis eats a cannonball off the apron from Kratos as Limelight went up top for a frog splash, but it’s not enough for the win. A spinning tombstone from Fletcher shuts off Limelight as Kratos ran in and took a Dental Plan… then the assisted Aussie Arrow to get rid of him.
That leaves Limelight on his own as it’s elementary… forearms weaken Danny ahead of the Coriolis, and that’s enough for the win in a solid tag match – and one I’d not be against them running back down the line if they fancied doing more than a week’s build! ***½
We’ve a recap of Chris Dickinson’s return two weeks ago, and his attack on Fred Rosser… which leads to tonight’s main event.
NJPW Strong Openweight Championship: Chris Dickinson vs. Fred Rosser (c)
Rosser made a beeline for Dickinson, who powdered outside before the bell…
Rosser jumped Dickinson as the referee was checking him before the bell, but the challenger sweeps the legs and hit a German suplex in response. Dickinson’s kick is barely registered by Rosser, while a follow-up just pissed off the champion as the pair teed off with elbows in response. A front kick from Rosser knocked Dickinson backwards, while a shoulder tackle took Dickinson down for a hip attack. Heading outside, Dickinson hits an apron PK, then a shoulder tackle off the apron. They return to the ring, where Rosser tries a chicken wing, but a back suplex from Dickinson breaks it up as Rosser responds to chops with headbutts and right hands.
An elbow from Dickinson staggers Rosser ahead of a running death valley driver attempt, but Rosser escaped and hit a running powerslam for a two-count. Rosser tries for a chicken wing STF, but Dickinson slithers into the ropes, and onto the apron as Rosser added a side suplex onto the side of the ring. Dickinson doesn’t roll back inside, and instead booted Rosser off the apron before a clothesline took the pair over the railings and into the crowd. Heading back towards the ring, Dickinson’s caught with an eye rake and some gouging from Rosser… before the pair stopped each other getting back into the ring, which led to the double count-out. Cue boos, as Rosser retains… in a match that they tried to amp up, but given Dickinson’s return hadn’t aired before this show took place, a lot of the Vegas crowd seemed ambivalent to this. ***
We end the show with a pull-apart as Dickinson choked out Rosser after the bell… they’re eventually separated as Dickinson grabbed the bell hammer before he charged back at Rosser This feud, clearly, must continue…
A “championship quality” show fell a little flat, with at least the Aussie Open/Team Filthy tag feeling important – while the Strong openweight title main event was more of an angle than a match.