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NJPW Strong results: Hiromu Takahashi vs. El Desperado vs. Blake Christian


JR Kratos defeated Drew Adler

Adler is a local wrestler from North Carolina. He did some comedy early on. Kratos dropkicked Adler out of the ring and made fun of the crowd. He launched Adler across the ring with a vertical suplex before putting him away with a modified Boss Man Slam for the win in a few minutes.

Afterwards, The Workhorsemen, JD Drake & Anthony Henry, introduced themselves to the NJPW Strong audience and built their upcoming match against KUSHIDA & Ren Narita.

Dax Harwood defeated Rocky Romero

AEW's Dax Harwood and partner Cash Wheeler currently hold the IWGP Tag Team titles, titles which they won in a three-way tag match at AEWxNJPW: Forbidden Door in June against champions United Empire (O-Khan & Cobb) and Roppongi Vice (Romero & Beretta). Romero's promo on last week's episode of NJPW Strong heard him explain how Roppongi Vice really should have won that match, and that his match against Harwood at High Alert would see Romero getting back at FTR.

Harwood got a big reaction from his hometown crowd before the bout got under way. Harwood controlled Romero on the mat early on, before Romero began chopping Harwood's chest up in the corner. Romero played de facto heel here, and not only because he wasn't the hometown hero, but because he'd sometimes use his cunning to get one over on Harwood. The crowd would boo when the professor of "Sneaky Style" would sneak in an eye-poke in order to knock Harwood off his game.

Romero caught Harwood with a springboard dropkick to Harwood's arm before laying him on the mat and locking in a top wristlock. He'd connect with his signature Rewind Kick for a two-count.

Harwood countered Romero's onslaught with a sharpshooter. Harwood later laid Romero out with a big superplex off the top ropes, right onto the middle of the Lion Mark mid-ring.

The finish saw Romero land Sliced Bread before locking in a cross armbreaker. Harwood was able to power up and out of the move, power bombing Romero with his trapped arm before slapping on the sharpshooter once again, this time for the clean submission win. Fans chanted "F-T-R!" after the match. Romero got into Harwood's face, but the two ended up shaking hands in the end. This was good.

El Desperado defeated Blake Christian & Hiromu Takashi in a three-way match

Takahashi brought Daryl to the ring with him before setting him on the English commentary table in front of Ian Riccaboni. Fans chanted for Takahashi once he stepped into the ring. By the time Blake Christian and El Desperado were in the ring together with Takahashi, the audience started in with an "ALL THESE GUYS!" chant. Takahashi responded to this brilliantly by walking over to NJPW official Jeremy Marcus and raising his arm in "victory." The fans then chanted for them to have a four-way match before Takahashi, and then Desperado, got out of the ring and stood on the apron, leaving Marcus and Christian alone in the ring together—implying that this was now a tag team match. The fans lost it.

Once the crowd settled down, the match was finally allowed to start. The three huddled around each other, a pensive triangle, of sorts, testing out who'd make first contact, which turned out to be Takahashi and Christian simultaneously kicking Desperado in the stomach.

Fast action abounded as the pace began to quicken. The three all caught each other's legs at the same time next, which saw Takahashi and Desperado then team up against Christian for the break. Their alliance was short-lived, as Desperado ended up booting Takahashi in the face a minute or so afterwards.

After all three brawled around ringside, the match shifted back into the ring. Desperado and Takahashi went nuts on each other with front-handed chops.

Christian would appear moments later and take Takahashi out with an enzuigiri before leapfrogging over Desperado and putting Takahashi back down with a dropkick. Christian's offense is very creative.

Desperado pulled Christian off the top rope, then climbed to the top and landed on Takahashi with a frog splash of his own. Christian broke up the pin attempt at the count of two. He and Desperado traded elbows to the score of a chanting crowd.

When Desperado went to dive to the floor, Christian caught him with a kick on the way through the ropes. Takahashi would then dive onto Desperado with a top-rope senton to the floor. Christian followed suit, crashing onto both of them with a Fosbury flop.

Takahashi was able to catch Christian with a deadlift German suplex. He then went for the Timebomb, but Desperado reappeared and ran at Takahashi with a back elbow.

After another crazy round of offensive exchanges, all three wrestlers laid strewn on the mat selling their pain & fatigue. Takahashi was up first and slammed Christian into the cornerpad with a running Death Valley Bomb, but Christian must not have felt it because he immediately hit Takahashi with a jumping knee. Takahashi caught Christian with a lariat, then Christian served him one of his own. He pinned Takahashi with a footstomp but Desperado broke up the pin. You could notice a medium-length gash across Christian's back in the shot, too. Not sure what he did to get that.

El Desperado would put Christian away in the end with Guitara de Angel for the win in 19:19.

Desperado would get on the mic after the match and tell Blake Christian that he'd be waiting for him in Japan at next year's Best of the Super Juniors tournament.

Next, Desperado said he respected the USA and even liked the USA, but the important fact he wanted fans to know was that he hates traveling on airplanes. He said he couldn't come to the US too many times because of this, and he doesn't know how many times he'll be back, but for now, while he's here, please check out his matches.

Next week's episode of NJPW Strong sees the debut of KUSHIDA with Ren Narita as they take on The Workhorsemen.