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NJPW Strong results: Jon Moxley appears


Clark Connors defeated the DKC

The DKC is officially the newest young lion for the LA Dojo. Tonight he came to the ring in the traditional NJPW rookie get-up, simple black trunks and black boots. He and Connors traded holds on the mat early on, both displaying A+ fundamentals before the two tried knocking each other over with shoulder blocks. Neither would give until Connors finally bowled DKC over. 

The announcers put over DKC’s ballsiness to basically restart his career as a NJPW rookie. They also mentioned how Connors and DKC used to tag, mentioning their recent series with the Riegel Twins.

The DKC used knife-edged drops then tried locking on a triangle hold until Connors blasted DKC with a spear, then tapped him out quickly with a Boston crab submission.

Connors mentioned after the match that even though he might have broken Connors’ arm before, it seems like know he’s “learning,” like DKC is getting the hang of being a young lion.

Chris Dickinson defeated Rocky Romero

Dickinson outgrappled Romero on the mat early on; the size difference between the two becoming pretty clear early on. That was the story of the match -- Dickinson was as skilled as Romero but also way bigger, allowing him to dominate Romero early on. He later locked on a figure four leglock at around the five-minute mark. Romero eventually answered with a rewind kick, then started working Dickinson’s arm.

Romero landed a springboard basement dropkick. Rocky later baited him to the apron and used an armbreaker. He followed what with sliced bread, then eventually went for another armbar, but Dickinson reversed it into a Death Valley Bomb for the win (not a Burning Hammer like Koslov called on commentary.) 

Dickinson cut a powerful and enthusiastic promo afterwards. He said he wasn't trying to put himself over here as much as he was trying to put over NJPW. First, he celebrated his win over Rocky, and then essentially explained how NJPW is the top of the top in the business and how proud he was to be there now, and how he’d be ready for any and all comers going forward.

The New Beginning USA 2021 starts next week.

Lio Rush, TJP, and Fred Rosser defeated Bullet Club (KENTA,  Hikuleo, and El Phantasmo)

Rosser and company jumped Bullet Club just as they were “Too Sweet-ing” in their corner before the bell. Hikuleo shoved Rosser into the barricade outside the ring; it sounded pretty loud. Hikuleo continued abusing Rosser outside the ring, dropping him one more time onto the barricade before throwing him back inside the ring. El Phantasmo talked a lot of trash throughout the match.

When Rosser finally tagged out to Rush, he and Hikuleo had a stare down, the smaller Rush standing against the giant Hikuleo. Good visual. They teased getting into it, but Hikuleo tagged out to KENTA, who said he would take care of things. Rush outran KENTA, frustrating him and not allowing him to lock Rush down for more than a second or two. TJP tagged in next and locked KENTA into his modified Indian deathlock hold. El Phantasmo got involved and raked TJP’s eyes to break things up from outside the ring. KENTA took advantage of the opportunity and spiked TJP with a DDT.

KENTA and Hikuleo worked TJP over in their corner. ELP tagged in next and used his signature backrakes on TJP, just before TJP escaped the Bullet Club corner with a swinging DDT and a tag out to Lio Rush, who showed some fire for a second before Hikuleo extinguished it, slowing things down to the 6’9” rookie’s pace.

Rush finally escaped and tagged out to Rosser, who landed a legdrop at around the 10-minute mark for a two count. Towards the last half of the match, when things started spilling to the floor, TJP connected with a double dropkick inside the ring, taking out both Hikuleo and El Phantasmo before tagging out to Lio Rush, who landed a tope suicida through the bottom rope before getting back in the ring. After a few fast exchanges, Rush was able to pin ELP with a sunset flip cradle and the upset victory for the debuting NJPW Strong wrestler.

Bullet Club jumped Rosser, TJP, and Rush after the match. The lights went out for a few moments. When they were back on, we saw Jon Moxley in the ring with the IWGP US title across his shoulder. He took out Hikuleo and El Phantasmo with the belt before getting into it with KENTA, the number-one contender to that title. They traded elbows before KENTA tried hoisting Moxley up into a fireman’s carry for Go-2-Sleep. Mox countered and turned it into a Death Rider DDT.

“I think you thought you were gonna get off easy, my man,” Mox told KENTA before departing, including this final line: “Your dream of becoming IWGP US champion just became a nightmare!“

Final thoughts:

Solid episode of NJPW Strong with a great surprise angle at the end. Everything on tonight’s episode is worth checking out, though Jon Moxley appearing will be what everyone is talking about this weekend. Nothing more was announced for next week other than tonight was the final episode of the Lion’s Break Contender tour. Next week kicks off New Beginning USA 2021.