NJPW will wrap up the second of two nights of pay-per-view action in New York City with Rumble on 44th Street.
The show is headlined by IWGP World Champion Jay White & Juice Robinson of Bullet Club against Kazuchika Okada & Eddie Kingston in the latter's first-ever pairing as a tag team.
In one of four title matches, NJPW Strong Openweight Tag Team Champions Aussie Open will defend against both the Motor City Machine Guns and Kevin Knight & The DKC in a three-way.
Shingo Takagi will defend the King of Pro Wrestling 2022 Championship against El Phantasmo in a street fight.
As part of Stardom wrestlers appearing on NJPW U.S. cards for the first time, SWA World Champion Mayu Iwatani defends against KiLynn King.
In a match set up on the Night Before the Rumble show last night, Fred Rosser defends the STRONG Openweight Championship against Jonathan Gresham.
The rest of the card features Minoru Suzuki vs. Clark Connors; Rocky Romero & YOH vs. Yujiro Takahashi & SHO; and Wheeler Yuta, Homicide & Shota Umino vs. Tom Lawlor, Jorel Nelson & Royce Isaacs.
Waka Tsukiyama & Mina Shirakawa vs. Kylie Rae & Tiara James will be the kickoff match.
Ian Riccaboni, Matt Rehwoldt, & Alex Kozlov are your commentary team this evening.
Kylie Rae & Tiara James defeated Waka Tsukiyama & Mina Shirakawa
A fine pre-show encounter.
The story here was Tsukiyama had yet to win a match in her career, with this being her 100th match as a part of Stardom. Shirakawa quickly got the advantage on Rae, landing a double dropkick with Tsukiyama for a nearfall. The Americans quickly took advantage once Tsukiyama tagged in, and proceeded to work her over in their corner. Tsukiyama landed a cross body on James and got the tag out to Shirakawa.
Shirakawa ran wild, landing a headscissors on James for a nearfall. She then worked over the leg of James before locking in a Figure Four that quickly got broken up by Rae. James cut off another attempt, sending Shirakawa into the ropes and landing a clothesline. Rae got the tag in and cut off Shirakawa's attempt at a tag before hitting a cannonball for two. Shirakawa fought back and won a forearm exchange before landing an enzuigiri.
Tsukiyama tagged in and hit a missile dropkick for two. The Cosmic Angels team worked together to take out Rae, but James broke up a nearfall on a pin attempt. Rae hit a seated superkick for two before landing a TKO for the win. Tsukiyama's first win will have to wait.
SHO & Yujiro Takahashi defeated YOH & Rocky Romero
An acceptable opener with a notable return in the post-match.
Romero and YOH got this match off to a kick start, jumping the House of Torture team before the bell. SHO got the advantage after Yujiro tripped YOH while he was running the ropes. Takahashi tagged in and drilled YOH with a big boot on the ropes for a nearfall. YOH fought off SHO before tagging in Romero, who came in a house of fire.
A tijeras to SHO followed by a dropkick in the ropes scored Romero a nearfall. Sliced bread attempt missed, leading to SHO getting the ref in the way to hit a big knee. SHO ran into a set of double knees, but he fought off a 3K attempt. Takahashi cut Rocky off and hit a fisherman's suplex for two. Romero was caught with both House of Torture members, but was able to hit the Forever clotheslines to fight back. The referee caught Takahashi with the stick, but he didn't catch SHO hitting Romero with a wrench to score the win.
Post-match, SHO went to lay out YOH with the wrench when the lights went out. When they came up, Lio Rush was in the ring. He fought off the House of Torture team and seemed to form an alliance with YOH. With Super Jr. Tag League coming up, this will be a team to look out for.
STRONG Openweight Tag Team Titles: Motor City Machine Guns defeated Aussie Open (c), Kevin Knight & The DKC
A frenetic tag match with a surprising result that frees Aussie Open up for World Tag League while saving the 2-on-2 match with the Machine Guns.
Two men in the ring at a time, as Fletcher and DKC started this one. The LA Dojo team scored a quick nearfall on Fletcher, but they got taken out by the other teams. The Machine Guns got in before Aussie Open used them as battering rams, running Shelley and Sabin into each other and Knight and DKC.
Aussie Open focused on DKC, battering him in their corner with chops and bodyslams. DKC fought back with karate chops before tagging in Knight. Knight flew around the ring, showing off his great leaping ability with a dropkick on Fletcher. He fought out of a tag team combination, hitting a rana that sent Fletcher into Davis. Aussie Open got control again by catching Knight on the outside with a tandem kick and a tag team cutter on the inside. Knight fought off an attempt at Coriolis, leading to Sabin tagging himself in on Fletcher.
The Machine Guns run wild on the Dojo team, landing basement dropkicks on Knight. Aussie Open got back involved by landing superkicks on the Guns, but the LA Dojo took everyone out with dropkicks and pescados. Pendulum DDT from Knight on Sabin got a two-count. Sabin reversed out of a Boston Crab attempt and landed a lariat on Knight. DKC cut off a Skull and Bones attempt, allowing Knight to get a few nearfalls in on Sabin. Sabin dropkicked Knight out of mid-air to take him out.
The match broke down into a six-man fray, ending with Knight and Sabin back in the ring. The Machine Guns put down Knight with a tag team combination before landing a double-team One Winged Angel-type maneuver to win the match and the titles. This was a surprising finish, but one that the crowd was happy to see. As Aussie Open weren't pinned, one would expect them to want a rematch sometime soon on strong.
- Alex Coughlin came to the ring. He made a challenge to JR Kratos, the man that put him on the shelf for four months with a torn pec. He also announced that he will be in action on the World Tag League tour coming up next month.
STRONG Openweight Championship: Fred Rosser (c) defeated Jonathan Gresham
An intense, smartly-worked battle, and a strong defense of the STRONG Openweight Title for Rosser.
Early on, Rosser attempted to keep the match from falling into Gresham's territory of grappling. He tried sending Gresham to the outside, but Gresham caught him in a Figure Four on the apron. Rosser tried to roll to the floor to break it, but Gresham kept it locked on the floor. Rosser fought out and hit a back body drop on the floor.
Rosser took control and tried to lock on the STF, but Gresham fought off the hold and got to the ropes. They got into a strike exchange that ended with Rosser catching Gresham with a shot that staggered him. Gresham recovered and went after the knee again, locking on an inside grapevine. On commentary, Riccaboni put over Gresham's knowledge of holds, bringing up that he once won 13 consecutive matches with 13 different submission holds. Rosser fought out and dropped Gresham on the apron with a side slam.
Back in the ring, Gresham hyperextended Rosser's knee before locking in another Figure Four. Rosser tried striking his way out before getting to the ropes, despite Gresham physically holding his arm back. Rosser fought out of the corner with a strike combination for a nearfall. Rosser won another strike exchange before Gresham landed a German suplex for two. Two big forearms from Gresham don't get the win, and neither does a lariat landed by Rosser. Rosser drilled Gresham with drum-like strikes to the chest and back before landing the Sidewinder to retain the title.
- New Japan announced their return to San Jose with Battle in the Valley on February 18th.
Shota Umino, Wheeler Yuta & Homicide defeated Team Filthy (Tom Lawlor, Jorel Nelson, Royce Isaacs)
A fun, energetic six-man tag that saw Umino get a pinfall victory on this feature event. Umino showed a ton of confidence in the finishing stretch.
They quickly brawled to the outside, leading to Yuta doing a stage dive onto Team Filthy. In the ring, Homicide and Lawlor got into a strike exchange that led Homicide into the corner. On commentary, Rehwoldt humorously thought that the 187 on Homicide's gear was the New York area code. It is actually the police code for murder, as Riccaboni quickly informed him. Team Filthy posed on Homicide's downed body, but Homicide fought back with suplexes on everyone.
Lawlor fought his way out of the suplexes, getting Homicide into a choke. Homicide fought out, got his suplex, and got the tag to Yuta, who cleaned house. Lawlor cut off Yuta with a chin check, but Umino tagged in and worked with Yuta to put Lawlor down with a fisherman's suplex. Lawlor caught Umino in a sleeper, and dropped him with a throw and a kick. Nelson and Isaacs hit a tag team German suplex for a nearfall on Umino.
Team Filthy worked on Umino, landing a triple powerbomb for a nearfall. Cutter from Homicide and a plancha from Yuta left Homicide as the last man standing. Lawlor cut off a Homicide dive, but Homicide caught him with a cutter and took the Homicide dive instead. In the ring, Umino landed a spinning neckbreaker on Nelson and followed it up with the Death Rider for the win.
Minoru Suzuki defeated Clark Connors
A fantastic singles showcase, as Connors gave Suzuki all the fight he could handle. This was intense, violent, and ugly in an awesome way. The match of the night.
Ken Shamrock made a surprise appearance, cornering Connors. This was Connors' first appearance in New Japan in several months after a back injury. Connors took Suzuki to the mat, choosing to grapple with him. It quickly devolved into a striking battle that Suzuki got the better of before he attempted to lock on a cross armbar. Connors got to the ropes, but Suzuki tied up the arm. Connors caught the boot on the apron and drilled Suzuki with a forearm. Connors speared Suzuki through the ropes to the floor.
Connors tried to strike Suzuki on the floor, but Suzuki stunned him with a forearm. Suzuki took him to all four sides on the floor and chopped him all the way around the ring. Back in the ring, Suzuki cranked on Connors’ arm before locking in a kimura. Connors broke it quickly, so Suzuki hit penalty kicks that Connors fought through before catching Suzuki in a powerslam.
Connors had a flurry of offense that ended with a standing splash for two. Suzuki ripped off a big boot and a running penalty kick for two. Suzuki disrespected Connors by calling him a young boy and slapping him around. They landed some disgusting open-hand chops on each other before Suzuki dropped Connors with a forearm. Connors came back with forearms of his own before they got into a forearm exchange that Suzuki won again with another massive forearm.
Connors fired up, and after some back-and-forth, he caught Suzuki with an ankle lock. He sank it in deep, but Suzuki reached the ropes. Connors lined Suzuki up for a spear, but Suzuki caught him with a front facelock. He transitioned into the sleeper hold, and despite Connors’ attempt to fight it off, Suzuki landed the Gotch Style Piledriver to win.
After the match, Suzuki and Shamrock went face-to-face before hugging each other. Shamrock helped Connors up, and Suzuki shook his hand after being sure to call him a young boy.
SWA World Championship: Mayu Iwatani (c) defeated Kilynn King
A showcase for Iwatani before her IWGP Women’s Title match at Historic Crossover. King accounted for herself very well, and didn’t look out of place with the Stardom icon.
King took advantage early with a reverse heel kick to the gut of Iwatani. King held control for a period before Iwatani ducked a corner charge to hit a big kick. Iwatani hit a seated dropkick and followed it with a tope to the floor. King caught Iwatani on the top rope, but Iwatani knocked her off and hit a shotgun dropkick for a one count. Iwatani landed a superkick on King and followed it with a double stomp for two.
Moonsault from Iwatani missed, but an overhead kick from King didn’t. King hit a massive one-armed powerbomb for two. Iwatani fought back, but King hit a pumphandle spinout slam for a nearfall. Iwatani pulled King back with a crucifix driver for two. Iwatani caught King with the Dragon Suplex before hitting a frog splash for two. Three big kicks land before Iwatani hits the moonsault for the win. They bowed to each other in the post-match.
New York Street Fight for the KOPW 2022 Trophy: Shingo Takagi (c) defeated El Phantasmo
A vicious hardcore match to presumably end this rivalry, as Shingo stands tall in the end as KOPW Champion. And as Daddy, if you’re into that sort of thing.
These two started off quickly, with Takagi gaining control by sending Phantasmo out of the ring. Takagi headed to the stage to grab the plunder, bringing a trash can and a kendo stick to the ring. Phantasmo sprayed mist in the face of Takagi, something he signaled by doing the Great Muta pose afterwards. Maybe Muta can steal a payday by beating Phantasmo before he hangs it up. Phantasmo drills Takagi with a trash can lid, before sending him into the post on the outside.
Phantasmo put a trashcan over Takagi’s head and drilled him with a kendo stick. Takagi emerged from the trash can fired up, spraying green mist into Phantasmo’s face before laying him out with a lariat. Mutoh has dollar signs in his eyes right now, but nevertheless, Takagi grabbed more weapons from the stage. Takagi hit a suplex onto an open chair for a nearfall.
Phantasmo trapped Takagi in the tree of woe and landed a dropkick to his face before standing on his crotch. Takagi tossed Phantasmo off the top, but Phantasmo landed on his feet and hit Takagi with a chair. Phantasmo set up a cross-ring coast-to-coast, but Takagi hit him with the trashcan that was in front of him. Superplex landed on Phantasmo before Takagi got some ring crew to get him more weapons, including a ladder and a table. They teased a few table spots before Phantasmo punched Takagi low. Phantasmo went up the ladder and hit the Thunder Kiss ‘86 off the top, but Takagi kicked out at two. Takagi fought out of the CR-2, but got sent into the ladder and took a Sudden Death superkick and a CR-2.
Takagi kicked out, so Phantasmo went for the CR-3 on a chair. Shingo fought out and hit the Made in Japan on the chairs for a nearfall. They got into a bar fight on chairs before Shingo hit a lariat into a chair and a Pumping Bomber for 2. Shingo sent Phantasmo into a table in the corner and hit a CR-2 of his own for a nearfall. Shingo brings Phantasmo to the top and hits the Stay Dream through the table before hitting Phantasmo with a chair and landing a CR-3 to win.
Jay White & Juice Robinson defeated Kazuchika Okada & Eddie Kingston
An energetic all-star tag team main event. Kingston was fantastic in his role here, with White and Okada giving off a preview of their Wrestle Kingdom main event. A very cool main event for this show.
Kingston pulled the straps down at the bell, asking White to chop him. White obliged, with Kingston giving him a chop that knocked him down. White baited Kingston in, allowing Robinson to jump Kingston from behind. White hit another chop, but Kingston dropped him with another chop and sent him to the floor. White told Kingston to tag in Okada, and when he did, Okada cut off Robinson trying to jump him. Kingston dropped White with another chop, allowing Okada to get some offense in on his Wrestle Kingdom opponent. Robinson and Kingston tagged in, with Kingston clawing Robinson in the face. Robinson took control with a chop block, tagging in White while ripping at the knee of Kingston.
Robinson held Kingston in the ropes while White chopped him, but Kingston took them in stride before White clawed him in the eyes. Robinson tagged in and hit a cannonball in the corner. He landed a back suplex before spitting at Okada, but Kingston got his knees up on a senton attempt. Kingston hit an enzuigiri on Robinson before tagging in Okada. Okada strung together some offense together before locking on the Money Clip, which the announcers didn’t seem to know was one of Okada’s signature moves. Robinson rolled out and hit a DDT after White hooked Okada’s leg.
White tagged in and went on the offensive, landing the Blade Buster for a 2 count. Okada fought back in a forearm exchange, ending it with a shotgun dropkick. Top rope elbow landed, leading into the Rainmaker pose. White fought out, but ran into the signature dropkick. Kingston tagged in and went on a tear, throwing chops and suplexes to both opponents. A pier-six brawl broke out, ending with Kingston hitting a double clothesline.
Kingston and White were left in the ring, with Kingston again dropping White with a chop. Okada and Kingston went back and forth with White, with Kingston landing the machine gun chops on White. White cut it off and hit sleeper suplexes on both men. White picked Kingston up for the Blade Runner, but Kingston reversed it into a Saito suplex, giving one to Robinson as well. White hit another chop block on Kingston, with Robinson hitting one to the other knee. Kingston was left two-on-one and fought them both off with chops.
Robinson took the ref while White tried for a lowblow, but Kingston caught the arm and hit him with a backfist. White got the lowblow anyway, and while Okada was held down by Robinson, hit the Blade Runner to get the win.