TJP defeated The DKC
The battle of the acronyms.
LA Dojo trainee The DKC came into this match like a fireball. He lit TJP up with chops early on. DKC had a couple of very vocal supporters in the audience and was very over at the venue.
TJP slowed the match down once he took control on offense. He worked over DKC’s knees with a variety of leglocks. The DKC came back with a leg lariat and a flurry of knife-edged chops from all angles. He then used DK Fire on TJP, which is a signature spot of his where he bends his opponent across his knee, almost like a GTR, but then just starts chopping the opponent up.
The DKC is about chops and fire, and I can get behind that.
TJP made a late comeback in this and eventually laid the DKC out with a nice backdrop suplex. Actually, both were out on the mat after that. He’d later catch the DKC in mid-air with a dropkick, then put him away with a big Black Mamba frog splash. Good opener.
Bullet Club (Hikuleo & Chris Bey) defeated Jordan Clearwater and Keita Murray
Murray was subbing for Clark Connors, who had to miss the tapings after he contracted COVID-19.
Bullet Club was pretty popular with the Hollywood crowd. These two have been a semi-regular team lately, not just competing for NJPW Strong but also on IMPACT.
Murray and Bey kicked things off and had a short but sweet exchange. Clearwater and Murray would double-team Bey until Bey tagged out to Hikuleo. These two could be a money feud for Strong in 2022 and beyond.
Murray spiked Bey with a DDT. He and Clearwater double-teamed the larger Hikuleo, but eventually Bey snuck into the ring and took Murray out with a roundhouse kick to the head and a ripcord knee to put Murray away and pick up the win for BC.
Eddie Kingston defeated Gabriel Kidd
The crowd in Hollywood were chanting “ED-DIE! ED-DIE!” before Kingston even walked out. He felt like a big deal, which in turn made the match feel like a big chance for Kidd.
They locked up. Kingston forced Kidd into the corner, then missed an uraken spinning backfist when Kidd parried. Kingston gave Kidd the “this close” gesture.
The two exchanged hard chops and elbows next. Kidd was fired the hell up. He put Kingston on the mat with a big boot. The crowd began booing him. That’s how hot the crowd was for Kingston at the tapings.
Kingston poked Kidd in the eye, headbutted him, then bit him. Kidd threw a penalty kick into Kingston’s back, which apparently woke Kingston up because he immediately stood up and blasted Kidd in the face with two hard palm strikes. His singlet straps came down next. Business time.
They had another pretty insane exchange of strikes on their feet, and again Kingston laid Kidd out with palm strikes. I was actually in attendance for this and wanted to emphasize how physical and brutal, this was. It wasn’t over the top, just physical and very intense.
They traded machine gun chops in the corner. The crowed loved that. By around five minutes into the match it felt like these two had thrown at least 100 chops. Kidd took Kingston down with a hard European uppercut.
Before Kingston stood up, Kidd kicked him, then called him a “motherf*cker.” The crowd immediately began chanting “YOU F*CKED UP!”
The exchanged even more chops next. Both had red & purple chests. They traded really hard palm strikes. Kidd cursed at him again. Kingston responded with another eye poke. Kingston’s mouth was bleeding late in this.
Kidd earned a two count after a backdrop suplex. He next used an exploder suplex, which Kingston was immediately up from. Kingston threw Kidd with his own exploder. Kidd was also immediately back up from Kingston’s suplex.
If this were a video game, both wrestlers’ spirit meters would be flashing like crazy. Kidd plowed Kingston with a two hard lariats and a brainbuster, but he wasn’t able to make it back up to pin Kingston. The ref started a double countout.
Kingston stuck Kidd with a DDT. At the 10-minute mark, he earned a near fall after a sit-out power bomb. He’d connect with the uraken next but Kidd wouldn’t go down. Kidd launched Kingston with a German suplex. Kingston answered with a backdrop suplex of his own.
The crowd was hot for this as it came to a finish. They had yet another palm strike exchange before Kingston spiked Kidd onto his head with a half-nelson suplex before putting Kidd away with the uraken, which he’d attempted at the top of the match.
The crowd chanted for Kingston as he exited. Kidd was helped to the back by ring staff.
Good episode of Strong with an absolutely killer main event.
We’ve all seen tons of great wrestling of the past week, but I’d consider Kingston vs. Kidd must-see. Kidd is going to be a big, big deal in the future, while Kingston clearly is a big deal right now.
Next week sees the next installment of NJPW Strong: Nemesis from Hollywood.