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NJPW Strong results: Fred Rosser vs. Ren Narita

Yuji Nagata and Yuya Uemura defeated Kevin Knight and The DKC

Uemura and Knight kicked things off. Both will be huge deals in a matter of years, that’s clear. Kevin Kelly mentioned he thought Uemura reminded him of Tatsumi Fujinami a bit, which I’d have to agree with. Something unique about these two.

The DKC and Nagata were in together next. DKC was aggressive in going after Nagata and used lots of elbows in the corner. Nagata made him pay with an arm breaker. The crowd started chanting his name as he continued working over DKC’s arm. The audience being there gives the show a totally different flavor from what we’ve been used to.

DKC caught Uemura with a flying kick of the ropes. Knight was next and caught Uemura with white possibly the highest dropkick in the wrestling business right now. This guy is explosive.

The DKC incorporates a lot of karate-type strikes. He chopped Nagata up late in the match. Knight applied a Boston crab to Nagata but Uemura made the save. Nagata caught Knight with his Exploder suplex for a close two-count. He floated over into the Nagata Lock from there and tapped Knight moments later. Nagata and Uemura take home the win at 9:27. Great stuff.

Jay White defeated Wheeler Yuta

The crowd sounded like they were super into Jay White before this started. This was a really good pure wrestling match. When I write “pure,” I mean that aside from White’s occasional fishhooks, eye gouges and other dirty tactics, what made this good was how fluid and logical the work between the two was. It felt like a throwback in ways, with more athleticism. White looked huge next to Yuta.

Yuta scored a two-count with a high cross body off the top rope. White then pulled Yuta’s nose and hair to slam him back to the mat. The crowd sounded split between White and Yuta, but Yuta won some people over by the end. He scored three really close falls in a row on White. He then connected with a big German suplex, again for two. He locked White in a modified figure four STF but he let go to pull White away from the ropes. White escaped and spiked Yuta with a sleeper suplex. White put Yuta away after a Bladerunner at 10:29. This was a great “almost-an-upset” match.

Afterwards, White taunted the fans. He accused them of really being there to see Tomohiro Ishii instead of himself. White called Ishii out next and Ishii came to the ring. White said they could fight right then, but they weren’t going to. They butted heads and then White rolled out of the ring.

Before he exited, he addressed Ishii once more and asked if he had anything to say. Ishii said “F*** you.” The crowd started chanting it next. White got in Ishii’s face again and said Ishii would never get the NEVER title from him, so Ishii threw an elbow in his face. He went for a brainbuster next but White slipped out of it and low blowed him, then laid him out with a Bladerunner. “No, Ishii. F*** you.” The crowd chanted “F*** You Jay!” after he dropped the mic.

Ren Narita defeated Fred Rosser

This feud started at Resurgence last month after a six-man tag match both were in. They were on opposite teams, and afterwards Rosser went to shake Narita’s hand but Narita refused it and insisted he didn’t need Rosser’s respect.

They went hold for hold early on. Rosser tried dropping him on the apron early with a suplex but Narita had it scouted and blocked it. They started brawling around the ring next. Rosser dropped two vertical leg drops onto Narita, the latter one after running off the apron. This was a mean brawl. Nothing fancy or flashy, just two pissed dudes beating the hell out of each other.

The match slowed after it moved back into the middle of the ring. They tried tapping each other out with submission holds. Narita focused on Rosser’s knees and turned up the heat when he locked in a figure four leg lock. Rosser and Narita traded slaps to the face until Narita let go.

Rosser laid in tons of forearms, then scored a two-count with a BT bomb. Narita locked on a sleeper, then turned that into a cobra twist, or Antonio Inoki’s finisher. He almost tapped Rosser with his version of the Texas cloverleaf, a mix of that hold plus a Boston crab. Rosser barely escaped with a rope break.

Rosser powered up and earned a couple of near-falls but at the 15:00 mark, Narita tied Rosser up in a cradle and scored the pinfall. This is a big upset win for Narita, who is still technically a Young Lion. They were ambiguous selling Narita’s win afterwards and spun it like maybe, possibly Rosser got his shoulder up. The ref’s decision was final, though. Narita won. The two finally shook hands to close out the show.

Final thoughts:

This was an excellent episode of Strong. With the crowd in attendance and the bigger feel in general, plus the new presentation, it really emphasizes the “professional” aspect of “professional wrestling.” The main event was fantastic and if you haven’t seen it, go out of your way to. Fred Rosser has to be in the discussion for Most Improved, and Narita is confirming he’ll also be a big deal in the next few years with NJPW.