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NJPW Strong results: Daniels & Uemura vs. TMDK

The Strong Openweight Tag Team title tournament continued in this week's main event.

Saturday night saw more matches from NJPW Strong's Ignition tapings in Hollywood, California, including a Strong Openweight Tag Team Championship Tournament semifinal match as the main event. Here are the results from the episode:

JR Kratos defeated Jordan Cruz

Kratos squashed Cruz in a very short match. Cruz mounted a quick comeback late in this, but the much larger Kratos caught him with a Claymore Kick before putting Cruz away with a powerslam into Boss Man Slam for the finish.

Kratos got into it with the audience before cutting a promo on his rival, Alex Coughlin. He challenged Coughlin to a Last Man Standing match in Charlotte, North Carolina. "You and me, bitch!"

Mascara Dorada, Rocky Romero & David Finlay defeated Negro Casas, Adrian Quest & Lucas Riley

This was Negro Casas' NJPW Strong debut. He got a good reaction from the Hollywood crowd. David Finlay's father, Fit Finlay, and Casas often wrestled together in NJPW back in the early 1990s. Ian Riccaboni explained that Casas is actually 2–0 over father Fit Finlay at the moment.

Finlay and Casas started things off and mixed it up on the mat. Quest landed on Dorada with a tornillo a few moments afterwards.

Later, LA's Lucas Riley was able to counter Rocky Romero's Forever clotheslines and was able to suplex Romero before tagging out to Casas. The two had a nice exchange together, and the live crowd seemed to love both Romero and Casas. Riley did a running Shooting Star Press onto Romero and earned a two count for it. 

Dorada tagged in later and took Casas out with a rope-walk springboard dropkick. Finlay planted Quest with a uranage into a backbreaker.

Dorada and Finlay did dives to the floor, and Romero was able to put Riley away inside the ring with Sliced Bread to pick up the win for his team in just over 10 minutes.

Strong Openweight Tag Team Championship Tournament semifinal match: Christopher Daniels & Yuya Uemura defeated TMDK (Shane Haste & Mikey Nicholls)

TMDK jumped Daniels and Uemura before the bell sounded, but Daniels and Uemura recovered quickly and were soon on offense themselves.

There was a spot early on where Nicholls, who was standing on the floor, took Uemura's head and bashed it against the ring apron, and it looked like this unintentionally busted Uemura's nose open. It bled profusely for the remainder of the match. Nicholls began pulling and biting around Uemura's face. 

After about five minutes, Uemura, whose face was a mess by this point, was finally able to break free from TMDK, suplexing Haste, then tagging out to Daniels.

Daniels cleaned house. He tried doing an STO to Nicholls but it looked messed up. Daniels laid Haste out with a Blue Thunder Bomb, then called for Angel's Wings on Nicholls, but Nicholls back body-dropped Daniels off his back, blocking the move. He laid Daniels out with a spinebuster, then connected with a low basement lariat for two. TMDK hit the Tankbuster to Daniels but only earned a two count for it. 

Haste went for a diving lariat in the corner, but Daniels parried and rolled to Uemura for the tag. Uemura's face was still very bloody. The crowd was loud for his comeback. He ran wild on TMDK with shoulder blocks and diving forearm shots. Uemura caught Nicholls with a beautiful dropkick, then screamed in Haste's face before launching him with a release double overhook suplex. That was the highlight of the match, I think, the screaming suplex spot.

TMDK did a Tower of Power suplex but only earned two for it. The crowd rallied behind Uemura and chanted "YU-YA!" over and over. TMDK took Daniels out with a double-team pendulum slam maneuver. Uemura then reappeared and shoved Haste into Nicholls, which suddenly knocked Nicholls out of the ring. Uemura then leapt high and took Haste over with a standing Frankensteiner and pinned him for the win. 

The crowd erupted, and the announcers treated this like a big upset. Daniels & Uemura advance to the upcoming finals in North Carolina.

Final Thoughts --

The main event wasn't perfect, but it was good -- and not for the reasons you initially might think of. I believe what really made the match special was Uemura's performance in it. It was "fortuitous blood" that Uemura was able to take advantage of, turning the moment into an advantage. Uemura was able to make the match memorable.