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NJPW Strong results: Josh Alexander vs. Daniel Garcia

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Josh Alexander defeated Daniel Garcia

This was an excellent opener.

Alexander hit a single leg and locked in a new crank early, Garcia countered quickly, but Alexander seem to have a counter for each of Garcia’s counters. Great technical grappling on showcase here from both.

Alexander used a an impressive stalling vertical suplex.  Things got chippy between the two midway through this and the two exchanged hard slaps in the face between moves. This added a realistic flavor to it, like a flashier Young Lions-type match.

RC was able to slap on a guillotine choke and pulled Alexander into his full guard. Alexander stood up and tried to suplex Garcia off of him, but Garcia transitioned to the back and locked in a rear naked choke variation while hanging on Alexander’s back. Garcia is much smaller than Alexander so the visual is that much more striking. Garcia tried a figure four, but  Alexander broke the hold. He then powered up and dropped Alexander with a backdrop Suplex.

When Garcia ran at him with a kick, Alexander caught him in a cradle, lifted him up and slammed him across his knee, a cool cradle backbreaker variation. He then stacked Garcia and deadlifted him to a power bomb before sticking him with a Jay Driller for the win. 

TJP defeated Rey Horus 

These two opened with a number of crafty and really smooth counter exchanges. Horus used a twisting cazadora thing, and then went for a dive. TJP halted that and set him up for a springboard basement dropkick on the apron.

TJP slowed things down midway through this, using a mix of submissions and holds. Horus was finally able to land his dive to the floor, somersaulting over the corner post onto TJP. 

TJP would counter and land a few more hard face kicks before finally connecting with the running kick.

He would later land a Detonation kick and frog splash to put Horus away in just over ten minutes.

Afterwards, TJP said “In wrestling, there’s a saying that a good wrestler never has a bad match two times in a row, and great wrestlers never have bad matches.” That’s why he has great matches, and that’s why he had to beat Horus, since he lost last time. 

Hikuleo defeated Matt Morris

They locked up after the bell, and Hikuleo forced Morris into the corner. Before he broke the hold, Hikuleo patted Morris on the head in a patronizing way.

He tried stomping Morris’ arm on the mat moments later, but Morris escaped as Hikuleo’s boot hit the mat. The youngest of Haku’s sons flashed Morris the two-fingers “this close” gesture. 

Later, Morris missed a pescado to the floor. Hikuleo actually caught him in mid-air, then slammed him spine-first into the corner post. Hikuleo’s been booked like a monster this summer. 

On commentary, Kevin Kelly told an interesting story about Hikuleo when he was training in the dojo early on and broke his hand three weeks earlier, but didn’t tell anybody. He just toughed it out.

Both Morris’ and Hikuleo’s chests began turning red as this went on. They laid in the chops in this one. Hikuleo controlled much of this match, but towards then end, Morris was able to low-bridge Hikuleo over the top rope and out onto the floor before taking him out with a running cannonball off the apron. 

Back in the ring, Morris connected with a swanton off the top for a two-count. Hikuleo answered with a hard lariat for a two of his own. When he went for the Tongan Driller, Morris slipped out and locked in a sleeper. He must have watched the opener, because Danny Garcia used a similar escape in his match with Josh Alexander. 

Finally, after a snap powerslam and the Tongan Driller, Hikuleo was able to put Morris away for the win. 

**********

Despite the match being over, Hikuleo continued to torture Morris in the ring and began strangling him. He then pulled out a table from underneath the ring and attempted another Tongan Driller on Morris, this time through the table. Just as he lifted Morris into the fireman’s carry, Juice Robinson appeared for the save. Morris escaped to the floor.

Robinson tried putting Hikuleo through the table, but he slipped out of Robinson’s grasp before anything could happen. They jaw-jacked with each other as Hikuleo walked to the back.

The show wrapped with Robinson and Morris heading to the back to the tune of Robinson’s theme song. 

Final thoughts:

  • BBQ Brawl turned out to be yet another good episode of NJPW Strong. It also felt like a fresher episode than in past weeks. We didn’t see any multi-man tag team matches, just singles bouts between with newer faces or less established guests.
  • Go out of your way to catch the opener between Josh Alexander and Danny Garcia if you get a chance, because that was excellent.