JONAH returns to action on this week’s New Japan Strong, as he faces David Finlay.
Karl Fredericks & Kevin Knight pinned Misterioso & Bateman (**½)
Brody King pinned Dave Dutra in 6:31 (**¾)
JONAH pinned David Finlay in 8:20 (***)
Once again we’re at the Vermont in Hollywood, CA for another part of the Nemesis tapings. Alex Koslov and Kevin Kelly are on hand for this one, again plugging Jay White vs. Christopher Daniels down the line… and then tonight’s main event of JONAH vs. David Finlay.
Stray Dog Army (Bateman & Misterioso) vs. Karl Fredericks & Kevin Knight
We’ve new music for the Stray Dog Army, as they’re taking on some LA Dojo lads here.
The Stray Dogs attacks before the bell, with Fredericks getting thrown into the rails by Bateman, as Kevin Knight pulled ahead with slams on Misterioso for an early one-count. Double-teaming sees Bateman pancake Knight before coming in to land some chops.
Misterioso’s back to keep Knight grounded with a sleeperhold, then nearly won it with a DDT that drew in Karl Fredericks to break up the pin. The beatdown on Knight continued, with Bateman poking Knight in the eyes for good measure, before Knight found a way in with a dropkick.
Finally Knight makes the tag out to Fredericks, who landed a spinebuster to Bateman… then a backbreaker to Misterioso. Fredericks wears down Bateman in the corner, before crashing in with the Shibata-ish dropkick ahead of a back suplex. An attempted Manifest Destiny DDT’s blocked as Bateman countered back with a brainbuster for a near-fall, before Misterioso tagged back in.
Misterioso flies in with his version of an Alabama Jam for a near-fall as commentary again mused over possible tag titles… Knight breaks the pin as all four men went on to fight in the ring. Knight and Misterioso’s exchange ends with some clotheslines as all four men were laid out. They continue to trade, ending with Bateman getting thrown outside for a Knight plancha, before Fredericks shrugged off a superkick and hit another spinebuster to Misterioso. From there, Manifest Destiny followed, and that DDT ends up winning the match. A good little tag match, but a loss for the Stray Dog Army goes down as an upset considering they were up against a Young Lion… **½
Dave Dutra vs. Brody King
It’s a New Japan Strong debut for Dutra, who’s been on a few TV wrestling shows in 2021, usually in enhancement roles.
Dutra chopped King to start, then some forearms as King demanded a response… before he just chucked Dutra into the corner. Chops from Brody, then clubbing forearms have Dutra down, ahead of an abdominal stretch that led to a two-count, while a back senton threw in another two-count before Dutra got thrown to the outside.
Brody followed him outside for some more chops, then posted Dutra, who replies with a kick off the apron ahead of an Orihara moonsault that nearly missed. Back inside, Dutra tries to add to that, but had to boot Brody out of the corner ahead of a tornado DDT. That sets up for an attempt at the Heaven’s Blade, but the elbow drop misses as Brody came back with a discus lariat, then a right hand, before Dutra’s knee just earned him a forearm.
From there, Brody’s clothesline dumps Dutra ahead of a Ganso bomb, and that’s all folks. Pretty light work for Brody, as I wonder if they’ll be able to do the teased Brody/JONAH match… **¾
Cue ads, as we’re still not teleporting by the magic of cleaning cloths…
JONAH vs. David Finlay
We had a video package before the match showing how we got here – and we had a jump start attempt, which Finlay neatly sidestepped at the bell.
Uppercuts from Finlay in the corner saw him pull ahead, but a simple body attack from JONAH ran over the former tag champion. Finlay sidesteps a charge as JONAH went outside, but the follow-up plancha’s caught as Finlay’s posted, before a claw from JONAH targeted Finlay’s ribs.
JONAH shoves Finlay into the corner, then sidestepped a European uppercut as a back senton squashed Finlay once more. Finlay’s just sat on in the corner from there, as JONAH wore him down some more with a waistlock on the mat. Another comeback from Finlay leads to a dropkick that took JONAH outside for a plancha, as Finlay looked to pull ahead…
Finlay scores with uppercuts and a clothesline to the back of the head, before a sleeperhold was quickly broken up. A scoop slam off the ropes from JONAH stops all that momentum, but he misses the back senton as a crucifix nearly nicks it for Finlay, who then rolled in for a crossface… only for JONAH to power up and hit a backbreaker.
A lariat follows, then a powerbomb, before JONAH went up top for a big splash off the top… and that’s enough to put away Finlay. A solid main event as they presumably are setting up for Juice vs. JONAH at some point down the line? ***
Next week: Tom Lawlor, Black Tiger & Jorel Nelson vs. Rocky Romero, Fred Rosser & Taylor Rust.
A more compact show – coming in at 40 minutes this week – is making Strong an easy watch compared to the lengthy shows we had at the end of 2021. That being said, without any (ahem) strong matches, there’s little to grab you.