We’ve the start of a new set of tapings as Will Ospreay and TJP team up to take on Clark Connors and Ren Narita in Philadelphia.
Royce Isaacs, Jorel Nelson & JR Kratos pinned Yuya Uemura, Alex Coughlin & David Finlay in 10:29 (***¼)
Juice Robinson pinned El Phantasmo in 13:52 (***½)
Ren Narita & Clark Connors pinned TJP & Will Ospreay in 13:27 (***¼)
We’ve got a new room for this set of tapings, in the form of the 2300 Arena in Philadelphia. Matt Rehwoldt and Alex Koslov are still on hand for commentary. It looks way busier than it did in not-Dallas, but the shows still have the feeling of “we sliced a house show into pieces,” rather than it being a “made for TV” product.
Team Filthy (Jorel Nelson, JR Kratos & Royce Isaacs) vs. Alex Coughlin, David Finlay & Yuya Uemura
Danny Limelight joined commentary for this one, as we started with Isaacs and Uemura in the ring.
Uemura’s on top early, keeping Isaacs down with armbars, before tags got us to Nelson and Finlay, who lands a knee drop early on. Coughlin’s in to keep chopping Nelson, but JR Kratos manages to get the tag in and threaten to turn the tide. A dropkick takes Kratos to the corner, before a chop riled the big man… who tries to strike back, eventually leaping into a clothesline on Coughlin for a two-count.
Elbows on the mat keep Coughlin down, before Kratos deadlifted him up into a suplex for a near-fall. Team Filthy clear the apron and pose over Coughlin, which gave Coughlin time to recover as he tries to slam Kratos… instead, Kratos tagged in Isaacs who ended up taking a German suplex before Finlay tagged back in.
Running European uppercuts drop Isaacs, with Nelson taking a dropkick as Kratos took a plancha on the outside. Back inside, Finlay brings Uemura back in to lay into Isaacs in the corner with forearms and chops, leading to a slam and an elbow drop for a two-count. An overhead belly-to-belly nearly wins it for Uemura, before a Parade of Moves led to Coughlin lifting up Kratos for a bodyslam.
Coughlin’s quickly quelled with a pop-up powerbomb, then a slingshot into a slam as Uemura had to fight away Isaacs and Nelson by himself… a wheelbarrow nearly puts Isaacs away, as did an inside cradle, before an elevated German suplex and a springboard cutter gets the three over the on-excursion Young Lion. ***¼
Post-match we get a pull-apart between Coughlin and Kratos, so we’ll have that to look forward to in the weeks ahead.
El Phantasmo vs. Juice Robinson
Juice decides to pose before the match, like a mix between Hiroshi Tanahashi and Ryusuke Taguchi. Muscle arse.
We start with ELP charging down Juice, following a poke to the eye, before ELP shoved Juice into the bottom rope, seemingly tweaking his knee in the process. A Manhattan drop, then an Atomic drop sent ELP sailing outside, while a plancha crushed the Canadian on the outside. Phantasmo takes a back body drop in response to his plea for a time out, ahead of some mounted punches in the corner, with all ten landing ahead of Phantasmo flopping to the mat.
Phantasmo’s back up throwing forearms, who then superkicked Juice in the gut as the back rakes came out to play. A side chinlock keeps Juice down, but he gets free with some jabs before Phantasmo grabbed Juice’s nipples… and earned himself a left hand. Juice pushed back in, getting a near-fall out of a cannonball, before a full nelson slam and a back senton drew another two-count.
More back rakes stop Juice briefly, before he shrugged off a springboard crossbody to hit a Fireman’s carry gutbuster for a near-fall. Phantasmo crotches Juice in the ropes and brought him down with a ‘rana… following with a big splash off the top to nearly win it. A Styles Clash keeps Phantasmo close, before a V-Trigger and a One Winged Angel tease leads to a ref bump… which cost Phantasmo as he punched Juice in the balls, but couldn’t get the win.
Instead, ELP tees up for Sudden Death, but Juice ducks it and countered with Pulp Friction for a near-fall, before a lariat spun Phantasmo ahead of a new move – the HHB – almost a Ki Krusher – and that’s the win for Juice. ***½
After the match, Juice called out Moose for Battle in the Valley in San Jose next week.
They play the film noir-ish trailer for Buddy Matthews’ debut in Battle in the Valley – he’s since been confirmed to be taking on Kazuchika Okada. That’s a hell of a shot for a debut.
Clark Connors & Ren Narita vs. United Empire (TJP & Will Ospreay)
Commentary takes time during Ospreay’s long entrance to fill in viewers on other additions to Aussie Open over in England…
We eventually start with Narita and Ospreay, but Ospreay barely had locked up before he flipped off Narita and tagged out. TJP gets us going with headscissors on the mat, but Narita gets free and tagged in Connors, who charged Ospreay off the apron before chopping through TJP.
Narita’s back to boot Ospreay off the apron as TJP found himself isolated… Ospreay runs in and takes a back body drop from the LA Dojo lads, before TJP ate a bunch of mounted punches in the corner. After those, TJP hooked himself in the ropes and grabbed a drink, but sprayed it in Connors’ face as Ospreay hit the ring to help turn things around.
There’s some rather choice insults from the Philadelphia crowd as Ospreay took over on Connors in the corner. TJP does the same, following in with a face-washing boot for good measure. A chinlock grounds Connors, but when he did get free, Ospreay’s right in to stop him ahead of a big ol’ POUNCE. A move befitting a man with the nickname “Wild Rhino.”
That leads to Narita getting the tag in on Ospreay, catching him with a release overhead belly-to-belly suplex. Ospreay’s handspring enziguiri caught Narita ahead of a Chelsea Kiss as Connors’ bid to make the save sees him trapped in a TJP Octopus. Narita’s able to break out of a Storm Breaker and catch Ospreay in a Cobra twist, but that ends in the ropes.
An Ospreay superkick leads to a near-fall on Connors, before a bicycle kick from Narita turned it back around. He knocks Ospreay off the apron too, then went back to TJP after a Connors spear, landing the Narita Special #4 for the pin. This took a while to get going, but seemed to be setting up the Ospreay/Narita match for later in the tapings. ***¼
Post-match, TJP attacks Connors while Ospreay returned to the ring and tried for a Hidden Blade, only to get kicked outside by Narita. A subtitled promo afterwards tells us that Narita doesn’t want Ospreay’s “fake belt,” but rather a win over him as the show closed out.
A livelier crowd than before, but Strong is still finding its feet outside of the studio set-up – and it’ll likely take a few tapings before things do settle down. At least the in-ring is of the level you expect, even if the “house show” feel remains.