"The time has come for a new beginning." This phrase boomed over a promo early in the show before a slick montage for the New Beginning 2021 tour aired using all of the latest clips from last month’s episodes.
The DKC defeated Kevin Knight
So as an official young lion this year, The DKC dropped his old ring gear and now sports the classic black trunks and boots combo. Same with Kevin Knight, the former Jet Knight out in the Pacific Northwest, who sported the classic look as well.
Mostly technical grappling between the two from the beginning with Knight looking to have a slight advantage, working for arm submissions from the top. The Buddy Wayne-trainee later worked DKC into the corner, where the two exchanged hard kicks before Knight used a big hip toss to bring DKC back down to the “cerulean blue.” Not much hesitation between moves here, neither from Knight nor DKC, who seconds later hit an even higher angle hip toss of his own on Knight before he locked in a head-and-arm choke.
The DKC used a nice one-legged dropkick to take Knight down at around the seven minute mark before he tapped him out with a triangle choke for the win. Both of these guys are very talented and I imagine are already on a path to big things down the road this year. Nothing too flashy here, just hard-hitting fundamental wrestling.
A Jon Moxley interview with Kevin Kelly over a video call aired. Moxley said he had heard everything KENTA and his Bullet Club buddies said, but the key point is that he was still IWGP United States champion. He said that KENTA can play games with the red briefcase, but in the end will take him out, and that KENTA can’t just litigate his way to the title.
Mox claimed he knows what KENTA’s trying to achieve here. He was excited to see him with Katsuyori Shibata at Dominion in 2019, but ultimately he doesn’t want the Bullet Club 4-on-1, 5-on-2 nonsense -- he wants the KENTA who inspired a generation, he wants that KENTA in his match on NJPW Strong.
Bateman, Jordan Clearwater, Adrian Quest & Misterioso defeated Brody King, the Riegel Twins and Barrett Brown
The Riegel Twins rocked out to Brody King’s theme music during their entrance. Should be noted that King’s theme song is performed by his own band, God’s Hate.
Brown and Quest had a quick but even exchange, both can fly around with ease and teased what they could do early on. Clearwater was next and took out one of the Riegels. King blasted Clearwater with a chop before the Karl Anderson-trainee tagged out to Misterioso, who hit a standing moonsault just after hitting the ring.
King later bodyslammed each of his tag partners on top of Misterioso, but he got so into it that he also grabbed the referee and lifted him up for a slam before he realized what was happening.
Misterioso tagged out to Bateman, who immediately slowed the pace, softening L. Riegel up for Clearwater, who planted Logan with a big spinebuster.
Riegel spiked Bateman with a DDT that Bateman sold brilliantly, basically staying planted on his head in a tripod position. L. Riegel tagged out to Brody King, who immediately took out Bateman with a lariat, then launched Quest towards the ceiling with a back body drop. You can look for that one on Twitter, I’m sure. The Riegels then did simultaneous suicide dives while King press slammed Barret Brown onto the opposing team on the floor.
Ten minutes in, Brown hit a wild modified DDT on Quest before Misteroso used a back suplex bomb before the Riegel Twins landed a top rope double blockbuster. Clearwater landed a big neckbreaker on one of the twins next before Brown took out Clearwater himself, but Bateman darted in and pinned Brown after spiking him with a spinning tombstone piledriver, picking up the win for his team.
Impressive work from everyone, with a nice mix of big and small wrestlers that seemed to freshen up the show.
Bateman celebrated with his teammates post match and somewhat eluded to him and his three partners forming some sort of group. He showed them some sort of secret handshake and winked to the camera after mentioning being on the “winning team.”
Rey Horus defeated TJP
Pretty good high flying match to top the show off tonight. Horus used a crazy spinning armdrag early on. Later, TJP used a rolling savate kick to knock Horus off the apron. Back in the ring, Horus went for body press, but TJP caught him with a dropkick mid-air. TJP then slowed things down, working over Horus’ back.
Horus later made a big dive over the white neutral corner post, the same dive that broke Blake Christian's nose at Super J-Cup last year. It's the same dive Sami Zayn often uses.
Back in the ring, Horus tried pumping the crowd up with some claps before he realized no fans were there. TJP locked in a modified cobra twist, then landed a huge springboard DDT for a near-fall. This is where the match peaked, but they kept going for another few minutes. After TJP missed his signature frog splash, Horus was able to use an avalanche quesadora bomb to put down TJP in his NJPW Strong debut.
NJPW Strong delivered once again. No surprises here, but in a good way. The new faces this year have freshened things up without changing the makeup of the show, and the eight-man tag seemed to have the most variety in terms of competitors.
The mix of giants and smaller high flyers made for an interesting and relatively exciting matchup. Again, If you're looking for something solid to watch that's under an hour, NJPW Strong has kept their record clean for about half a year now.