Jon Moxley has a few words for KENTA this week on the first instalment of the Road to The New Beginning USA.
The DKC submitted Kevin Knight in 7:23 (**¾)
Bateman, Misterioso, Adrian Quest & Jordan Clearwater pinned Barrett Brown, Brody King, Logan Riegel & Sterling Riegel in 11:19 (***½)
Rey Horus pinned TJP in 10:41 (***¼)
We’ve got a new intro sequence with updated footage – and Jon Moxley yelling into the camera. Kevin Kelly and Alex Koslov, as ever, are on the call…
The DKC vs. Kevin Knight
The DKC’s getting pushed as a Young Lion, which sure sounds like a contradiction… but it’s a story, and they’re not having him beat “main roster” guys. Kevin Knight still has a bandage on his eyebrow. Must be a slow healer… (I KNOW).
Knight rolls down DKC early on from an underhooked tie-up, but DKC’s attempt to return with a crossface quickly ends in the ropes. DKC returns with a toe hold, but Knight countered into a cross armbar. That went nowhere as DKC gets free, applying a side headlock, but going to the mat sees Knight counter back with headscissors, raising himself up for extra torque as well. Knight keeps going with a wristlock, but DKC rolls free and reverses it, only for DKC to switch right back with a knee drop to the arm, keeping the wristlock going. Another cross armbar follows from Knight, then uppercuts, before the pair traded elbows and shots in the corner. A hiptoss out of the corner from Knight gets a two-count, but DKC comes back with a leg lock, rolling Knight to the ground.
Uppercuts from the DKC take Knight into the corner, before a hiptoss of his own gets just a one-count. DKC moves to a head and arm choke on the mat, but Knight rolls free and nearly gets a pin from it. A slam gets DKC a two-count, before Knight snuffs out DKC with a big dropkick… only for the follow-up Boston crab to end with DKC getting to the ropes. Knight stomps away on DKC on the break, but a back fist helps take down Knight before a single-leg dropkick put DKC ahead. From there, he snapmares Knight down for a chop, before a fist drop drew a two-count… with DKC then transitioning into a triangle choke from the kick-out for the submission. A rather different choice of submission out of the LA Dojo, as DKC continues his resurgence. **¾
Promo time with Jon Moxley now – he’s backstage as Kevin Kelly asks the burning questions. Moxley tells KENTA he needs to go through him to get that US title – there’s no litigation or other shortcuts available. Moxley admits that “everyone stole their shit from KENTA,” as he recalls how excited he was to meet him back when he debuted in New Japan… they meet in three weeks’ time for the US title.
Brody King, Barrett Brown, Logan Riegel & Sterling Riegel vs. Bateman, Misterioso, Adrian Quest & Jordan Clearwater
Well aren’t these a pair of motley crews? We’ve a lot of random button mashing here to get these teams, as the headlines would suggest they’re perhaps teasing an all-ROH match between Bateman and Brody.
Quest and Brown start us off, as a side headlock from Brown led to a shoot off and a shoulder tackle. Quest trips Brown then rolls him in a seatbelt pin for a two-count, before a Brown roll-up got a one-count. They keep flashing pins before Brown blocked an O’Connor roll and traded armdrags en route to a staredown. It’s rather heated stuff this, but it calms down as Quest tagged out to Clearwater… before Brown rolled out to tag in a Riegel twin. Clearwater misses a legdrop and eats a low dropkick as Sterling tagged out to Logan. Sterling’s back to punt Clearwater, then hit a standing moonsault before Logan’s elbow drop earned a two-count. Brody King tags in to light up Clearwater with chops, but Clearwater gets free and tags in Misterioso, who fakes out then lands a superkick for a one-count.
Misterioso’s whip is reversed, but he floats over and hits a springboard dropkick to King, then a Quebarada… adding a standing moonsault to the end of it as King rolled away. King’s had enough and elbows Misterioso, then pancaked him ahead of a back senton for a two-count. The Riegels return to feed Misterioso to King, before they both got slammed onto the masked man as well. Brown gets him some too, before King teased slamming the ref as well. All of that nonsense led to a two-count before a knee in the ropes from Bateman led to Logan getting met with a tiltawhirl facebuster. Bateman tags in and lays waste to Logan with crossface punches before a back suplex dropped Logan. Clearwater’s back to take advantage, but he has to push off an elevated DDT before dumping Logan with a spinebuster for a near-fall.
Logan’s thrown chest-first into the corner, while Quest tagged in to hit a snap suplex for a two-count. Misterioso returns to stomp away on Logan, who just couldn’t break free. Bateman swats him down with an elbow strike, before catching a crossbody… Logan manages to slip free and spike Bateman with a DDT, planting him into the mat before finally getting the tag out. King comes in to clear house, flinging Quest skyward with a back body drop as he single-handedly wiped out Misterioso and Clearwater. A splash squashes those two ahead of a cannonball to Clearwater, before Brown returned to get press slammed as the Riegels hit stereo dives. Bateman’s thrown back inside as King hits a piledriver… but Brown’s legal and gets a two-count before Clearwater broke it up.
Things break down into a Parade of Moves as King’s dumped with an assisted Code Red by Quest, but Brown’s still legal as he hit a destroyer neckbreaker to Misterioso. A spin-out side suplex from Misterioso keeps the moves going, before the Riegels dropped Misterioso with a Doomsday Blockbuster. Clearwater clotheslines the Riegels ahead of a neckbreaker as Brown’s kick took care of the Golden Boy… but it’s Bateman who’s legal, quickly finishing off Brown with the This is a Kill spinning tombstone for the win. A fun tag match, in spite of the too-indie sequence at the end, as they do more than tease Bateman vs. King. ***½
There’s something new for Clark Connors to get excited for – a new cleaning cloth! Except his finger snapping game is off, as he leaves poor Karl Fredericks in the locker room. Oh, and burns Alex Coughlin’s hand in a pan of hot oil?
TJP vs. Rey Horus
On paper this seems utterly random…
From the opening lock-up, TJP and Horus head to the mat, with TJP grabbing a crucifix early before they flipped into a stand-off. Horus chops TJP into the corner, then booted him away before a springboard armdrag took TJP outside. Horus baseball slides to the outside as TJP slid back in… a rear spin kick knocks Horus to the floor, but he kicks TJP as he went for a dive, before a crossbody back in was dropkicked away by TJP. Flashy tactics with flashy counters. A knee drop from TJP gets a two-count, before he trapped Horus in an armbar on the mat.
TJP snaps back on a bow-and-arrow hold, then followed with a pendulum backbreaker for a two-count. A senton atomico misses from TJP, but he keeps going with headscissors as Horus then hoisted himself up for a ‘rana. A powerbomb is escaped by TJP, who countered with a springboard armdrag that took Horus outside… but the springboard dropkick outside is avoided as Horus knocks him off the apron with a gamengiri, then followed up with a tope con giro across the ring post. Back inside, Horus hits a crossbody off the top for a two-count, then chopped TJP as he went up top for a superplex. TJP escapes and tried for a tornado DDT, but he ends up missing a shoulder into the corner as Horus manages to go up top. That led to nought as Horus ends up hitting a standing Spanish fly for a near-fall.
TJP sneaks back with an Octopus hold after feigning being out, before turning the hold into almost a Magistral driver for a near-fall. Horus tries to hit the ropes, but TJP evades and came back with a springboard DDT off the top for a near-fall, before he went up top for a Mamba splash. Horus cuts him off though, only to get shoved down as TJP has to flip off the top, only for a second trip up top to get stopped as Horus caught him with a wheelbarrow driver… planting TJP for the win. A fun change of pace in the main event, but perhaps a touch too flippy for the sake of it? ***¼
It sounded like Kevin and Alex’s mics were off for the closing segment as they again built up KENTA/Moxley for the end of the month… but nothing for next week. Perhaps with more eyes on it after Moxley’s surprise appearance last week, NJPW Strong delivered a good-to-middling show as they began to plant seeds for the bigger New Beginning shows.