Champions collide in a non-title main event on this week’s Strong, as Jay White faced Fred Rosser.
Kyle Fletcher & Mark Davis pinned Greg Sharpe & Jakob Austin Young in 5:51 (**¾)
Juice Robinson pinned Jake Something in 10:44 (***¼)
Jay White pinned Fred Rosser in 19:22 (***½)
We’re back at the Vermont Hollywood, in Los Angeles for the final week of the “tour”… and yes, I’m running late on Strong once more.
Greg Sharpe & Jakob Austin Young vs. Aussie Open (Kyle Fletcher & Mark Davis)
Whenever I see a new name, I take a look in Cagematch, and as I’m not one to unmask, European fans might raise an eyebrow at Sharpe’s former life…
We’ve a jump start as Sharpe had the boots put to him, leading to a kick and a back senton before Young came in to try and fight back… only to get charged down. Things spill outside as Aussie Open charged their opponents into each other with a Super Collider, before Davis grounded Sharpe with a chinlock back inside.
Sharpe fought free, but got chopped into the corner, ducking a follow-up before he vaulted over and scored with a head kick. Davis tries to snap back in, but missed a back senton as Sharpe then took down Fletcher with a Mistica. That’s enough for him to make the tag out to Young, who scored with a single-leg lariat and a wacky crucifix’d Octopus.
Davis wandered in to kick apart that hold as the Dental Plan follow-up was caught by Young… who forced his way free. Sharpe’s back in for a crossbody, following with an arm whip and a Magistral cradle that nearly got the upset. Fletcher powered Sharpe into the corner as Davis tagged in to hit the Dental Plan and the Tankbuster (the assisted Aussie Arrow)… but it’s only good for a near-fall as Sharpe then got wound up for a Coriolis.
Young makes the save, only to get booted down as Sharpe ate the former Fidget Spinner at the second attempt for the rather straight-forward win for the World Tag League entrants. **¾
Jake Something vs. Juice Robinson
Since leaving Impact during the summer, Something’s had a few appearances on Strong as he finds his feet…
From the opening lock-up, Something took Juice into the corner, prompting the former US champion to head outside to cool things down. Back inside, White cheapshots Something, who replied with a trio of shoulder tackles before he barged away Juice’s leapfrog. Something looked to follow-up with a dive, but Juice hung him up in the ropes ahead of a plancha attempt.
Juice removes a corner pad and promptly whipped Something into the exposed corner for a two-count. The focus remained on Something’s back as a back suplex followed, then a back senton, before Something broke free and charged down Juice with a body attack.
Something spears Juice into the exposed corner, then followed him out with a dive before a Falcon arrow almost did the deal. Another charge into the corner keeps Something ahead, but a clothesline into the corner helped Juice turn it around. Lifting Something up top allowed Juice to go for a top rope ‘rana, which landed… as did a shotgun dropkick into the opposite corner.
Juice went for a cannonball, but Something caught him and counters into a sit-out powerbomb for a near-fall… Juice tries to steal it with a roll-up with the tights, but Something kicks out, only to eat a Left Hand of God. A clothesline followed, but Something roars up, only to get popped up into the exposed corner, while another Left Hand of God led to the Rock Slide (torture rack facebuster) for the win. A decent little match, with Something still left looking for his first win around these parts… ***¼
Post-match, Blake Christian pops up and hits a springboard dropkick to Juice… then a low-pe to the outside as revenge for the attack last week. We’re told that those two will meet next week…
We flash to some backstage comments from Juice, who mocked Christian’s nickname and vowed to treat Blake the same way he did Ren Narita. Wait, so he’s going to bloody up Blake and send him to Japan?!
Fred Rosser vs. Jay White
These champion vs. champion matches can be tricky to do – particularly as you usually don’t want to make either champion look particularly bad. This match came particularly out of left field, given Rosser’s last Strong match ended in a double count-out against Chris Dickinson…
White slapped Rosser at the bell as the early exchanges saw White take a powder to the outside. A switcheroo sees White back on top with a headlock takedown in the ring, only to get charged into the corner as Rosser tried to break free. Eventually, Rosser pulled ahead with a powerslam out of a leapfrog, before a Cactus clothesline sent both men outside.
Rosser celebrated in the crowd before going all Prime Time Players with a fan… he’s able to get his head back in it to cut off White’s cheapshot, before he pulled the IWGP champion into the ring post. The ring post’s brought into use again as White’s pulled back with a chicken wing, before White hung up Rosser in the ropes as the Strong champion then took a trip into the ring post.
A front suplex drops Rosser onto the side of the ring as White began to mock, then chop as the pair returned to the ring with White charging Rosser repeatedly into the corner. An eye rake’s next, while a neckbreaker earns a two-count as White started to settle into a groove here. Rosser’s sent into the corner as he couldn’t quite fight back on the rebound, as he took some chops before he knocked down White in return.
Chops from Rosser trap White in the corner for some clotheslines, leading to a sit-down splash as Rosser looked to have turned the match on its head. Another clothesline into the corner led to a Northern Lights suplex out of it for a two-count as we sailed towards the ten-minute mark. Rosser unwisely offered himself up for strikes, and ended up eating a DDT after White punched him in the gut.
White followed with a half-hatch suplex for a two-count, but Rosser’s able to block a uranage as White resorted to chops. Rosser even held himself in the corner as he offered himself up for White, before firing back with double-handed chops… only to get pulled into a Flatliner. Surging ahead, White pulls Rosser into a deadlift German suplex, while a uranage got him closer to the win.
Heading onto the apron, Rosser can’t escape White’s onslaught as he’s kicked through the ropes as White teased a sleeper suplex… but Rosser fought out and hit a back suplex onto the edge of the ring instead. Back inside, White’s able to sneak in a sleeper suplex out of a gut check, but couldn’t make the pin as Rosser fought back with the gut check for a near-fall. The pair exchange forearms from there, then tear their finishers as Rosser managed to hit the Sidewinder – Emerald Flowsion – for a near-fall.
Rosser gets right back up to lock in a chicken wing, leading to White having to have his arm raised and lowered by the ref… but White apparently spun the ref around to mask a mule kick low blow. The ref’s questioning everything, but he can’t call what he didn’t see as White then dawdled over a Blade Runner… and got pulled into a chicken wing again.
This time the ropes save White, who decided to just eff this and pulled Rosser straight into a Blade Runner for the win. A real out-of-nowhere win that did little harm to Rosser – who is more than overdue for a long-running feud for his title at this point. Yes, I know they just had to throw one out of the window… ***½
White gets the mic as usual for his show-closing promo, teasing a challenge for Rosser’s Strong Openweight title… but noted he’s busy elsewhere. Instead, he opted to pick Rosser’s next challenger for him, and after faking out a Tom Lawlor rematch, White calls out JR Kratos. Hey, I’ll take that as a “challenger of the month” at the very least. Kratos suplexes Rosser, then stood over him with the Strong Openweight title…
Another decent episode of Strong rounded out this strand of shows – and as the show heads towards the end of the year, all eyes will be on just what role Strong will play in New Japan in 2023 and beyond.