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NJPW Strong results: Chris Dickinson debuts

We saw a Filthy Tom promo at the top of tonight's show.  He said Rust Taylor had a "white belt performance" against Jeff Cobb, and said the Team Filthy sponsors wanted him gone, so he kicked him off the team. This is what they’re doing to explain his absence since he’s gone to NXT. Lawlor also built up who "X" would be later on tonight in the main event, mentioning he picks from the best fighters from around the world.

Before matches got started tonight, they aired a quick video of all of the regular performers on the show with her name and a clip of them wrestling. Good introduction for new or casual fans.

Clark Connors defeated Kevin Knight

Kevin Knight is making his Strong debut. He played college football, and later trained in PNW with Buddy Wayne like Clark Connors did. 

Excellent and very technical wrestling in this match. It was comparable in quality with any of the Young Lions matches from this year. High quality stuff.

Knight is about the same size as Connors, and even more jacked. He didn’t wrestle like most rookies and kept right up with Connors throughout the match. He used two high dropkicks, one knocking Connors off the top rope to the floor, before he locked on the Boston Crab. Connors grabbed the ropes for a break. Connors slapped on a Crab of his own and quickly got Knight to tap. Good match.

Rocky Romero defeated The DKC

This match went to the mat early on, both trading holds and showcasing their grappling skills. Less hard hitting than the previous match, more smooth and deliberate in pace. This lasted a few minutes before Rocky and DKC traded hard elbows. Romero got the better of the exchange, then went to work on the DKC’s left arm. DKC mounted a comeback towards the finish, at one point scoring a two-count with a Northern Lights suplex. Romero took the W here, however, after going back to DKC’s left arm and locking in an armbar for the submission.

After the match, DKC got the mic and apologized for losing. He claimed he wasn’t focused. He then asked LA Dojo head trainer Katsuyori Shibata to help him train, making a public request to join the LA Dojo. Shibata came to the ring and shouted “COME. WITH. ME!” So it looks as though we will see even more of the DKC going forward.

Kevin Kelly hosted an interview with Bateman of ROH. Batemen explained that his motivation is simply to go into the ring and show what he can do, and that he is a “cruel but fair” man. He also talked about training at the NJPW LA Dojo in the past. Kelly brought up that he was “kicked out” of the dojo. Bateman neither confirmed nor denied the incident. He told fans to keep their eyes open, and after he arrives, the audience will understand just how “real” he is.

Team Filthy (Tom Lawlor, Danny Limelight and Chris Dickinson) defeated Brody King and the Riegel Twins

The mystery partner for tonight, “X,” turned out to be “Dirty Daddy” Chris Dickinson. Fantastic score for NJPW Strong if he’s in as a regular. He resembled a young Bas Rutten in the ring at first glance.

Limelight tagged Dickinson out of the match immediately after the bell sounded. Limelight claimed he’d show Dickinson how it’s done, then was bowled over by Brody King when he tried running into him.

Both Riegel Twins used a double suplex later on, putting Limelight on his back. Moments later, Limelight tagged back out to Dickinson, who blasted Logan Riegel with a chop upon entering. Really loud, in fact. Later we could see that Logan’s chest was bleeding from the chop. JR Kratos tagged in and bullied Logan some more.

Limelight played heel well in this match, it stood out. When Dickinson and Brody King were in the ring together it was fireworks, even if it was for only a half minute or so. Limelight did a big Fosbury flop onto the other team, who was on the floor late into the match. We also got a quick preview of King vs. JR Kratos, as the two had a hoss exchange inside the ring before Limelight put away Logan Riegel with a running Death Valley Driver.

Dickinson cut an awesome and very intense promo with his teammates after the match. He pointed to the Lion Mark on the backdrop backstage and explained how NJPW has been his goal from day one. He said he was so happy that Tom Lawlor called him up to take care of a little business in New Japan, and that now that he’s here, Dickinson said they will “take nobody alive” as a team. 

Before exiting, JR Kratos told Brody King that he hoped he had eyes in the back of his head.

Final thoughts:

After two weeks off, NJPW Strong is back with some momentum. We saw a few debuts tonight, first from the impressive Kevin Knight, and later from Chris Dickinson. Bateman appeared and will make his official NJPW Strong debut in the next few weeks. The DKC is now part of the LA Dojo as well, which will make for an interesting new story for the show down the road. Solid show all around, especially in terms of actual wrestling inside the ring.

Next week sees Fred Rosser, ACH & Blake Christian against the Bullet Club team of KENTA, El Phantasmo & Hikuleo, plus more to be announced in the coming week.