Rocky Romero defeated Danny Limelight via submission
The mentor-mentee program between these two has been boiling slowly over the past few months, and this seems to act as the blow-off match.
Romero went after Limelight before the bell sounded. They let their hands go early, exchanging hard open hand strikes. Romero went for his patented Forever Clotheslines in the corner early, but Limelight moved out of the way, then threw him out of the ring and started working Rocky‘s left arm. That's been a subtle angle Romero has milked over the summer into these current episodes, the injured left arm and his opponents consistently targeting it.
Romero mounted a comeback with another lariat out of the corner, then a springboard dropkick to Limelight as he was draped over the second rope.
Limelight answered, using a front suplex off the ropes, then turning the hold into a modified key lock once they hit the mat. Romero made it to the ropes for a break. Rocky used sliced bread a for close two count.
Moments later, Romero used a falcon arrow directly into an armbar for the submission victory.
Good match. Rocky iced his arm in the ring afterwards.
Jeff Cobb defeated Rust Taylor
Rust Taylor just signed with WWE NXT. Cobb is scheduled to wrestle Shingo Takagi for the NEVER Openweight Championship at Wrestle Kingdom 15.
This started off with a bit of standing chain wrestling and some flashy stuff from Taylor. Cobb eventually out-muscled Taylor and slammed into the mat. Just before Cobb tried a standing moonsault, Taylor blocked it and locked in a modified armbar/triangle thing. Taylor continued going after Cobb's left arm from there.
Cobb used his gachi-muchi power again, muscling out with a swinging back suplex and standing moonsault.
Taylor responded by going after Cobb's arm once again, keeping him on the mat, neutralized. Taylor threw a flurry of European uppercuts late in this, but ultimately it wasn't enough, as Cobb planted Taylor with Tour of the Islands just a few moments later to win this one.
Another solid match.
Fred Rosser and PJ Black defeated Team Filthy (JR Kratos & "Filthy" Tom Lawlor)
Kratos looks massive. He reminded me of Steve Williams with the red and white color scheme tonight.
Kratos and Rosser were in first, but it wasn't long before Black had tagged in and took a beating from Team Filthy. Kratos dragged Black to his team's corner and tagged in Lawlor, who worked Black over for a few minutes. When Black tried a leapfrog, Tom countered, locking in an ankle lock after taking Black out of the air.
Black later reversed the momentum, escaping out of Lawlor's German suplex attempt and somehow found a way to tag out to Rosser, who proceeded to clean house. He knocked Kratos off the apron to the floor, then launched himself and Lawlor from the ring to the floor with a lariat.
Rosser then jumped off the apron, launching himself at Lawlor on the floor. Go Fred. After a few more moments of brawling and chaos outside the ring, Rosser and "Filthy" Tom threw down and had a hot exchange, the final sprint of this match.
Rosser and Black began double-teaming Kratos. Lawlor tried making the save but accidentally got knocked to the floor by his partner. That fatal flaw led to a Black landing a springboard 450 splash on Kratos for the win.
Rosser and Lawlor's mini-feud continues on NJPW Strong continues.
KENTA defeated Brody King to retain the right to challenge for the IWGP U.S. Championship
A slick promo package aired for this beforehand.
KENTA talked trash at King when both had made it to the ring, before the match.
KENTA tried avoiding King early on, holding himself between the ropes until the much larger King would back off. King simply went to the corner and dragged KENTA back to the middle to fight. King dwarves KENTA, which made for a pretty unique visual.
KENTA threw big kicks early. King ate them without wincing, then went after KENTA. King slowed the pace and punished him with a neck lock and some hard chops.
KENTA played chickensh*t heel perfectly throughout this. He tried escaping the ring a few times until he could find King distracted enough to catch him out of nowhere, using a stun gun from the apron to the floor.
KENTA's chicanery opened up a chance for him to step in and dictate the pace for a little while. He used dozens of low kicks and one dragon screw leg whip in an attempt at chopping King down to the mat from the bottom up.
Later, King answered back with a huge jumping lariat, but he he couldn't make the pin because of his knee. KENTA would throw on in a figure four leglock on King, who screamed in pain before he was able to grab the ropes, forcing KENTA to break the hold.
The two were soon on the apron next, where KENTA blocked a chokeslam attempt from King, then spiked King with the "Greed Killer," his signature draping DDT. This earned him a two-count. He and King exchanged hard strikes until King planted KENTA with a sudden black hole slam, followed up with a big piledriver for two.
KENTA blocked King's Gonzo Bomb finisher, but accidentally shoved King into the referee in the process. The ref lay dazed in the corner while KENTA spiked King with a DDT, then went to the floor to grab his IWGP US title briefcase. He brought it into the ring and smashed King in the head with it twice.
KENTA then blasted King with a penalty kick. KENTA lifted King into a fireman's carry, then planted a knee in his face, a picture-perfect Go2Sleep to put King away. KENTA wins, and in doing so, he keeps his right to challenge for the IWGP US title.
Afterwards, KENTA grabbed a microphone and shouted "Where are you Jon Moxley? I don’t wanna waste time anymore. I’m ready to fight anytime anywhere. Jon Moxley, I’m coming for you."
Final thoughts --
A solid episode of NJPW Strong, with KENTA and Brody King delivering what could arguably be considered as a G1-level match. This was on par with KENTA's main events on Strong with Jeff Cobb earlier in the year.
The only real weak point in this week's show is the fact that it looks so obviously taped, similar to what we saw in some of last week's episode. That can't be helped, of course, because of the nature of how things are in 2020 at the moment. That nitpick aside, this was yet one more solid hour of pro wrestling.
The subtle angles between Danny Limelight and Rocky Romero and "Filthy" Tom and Fred Rosser were interesting, but the main event between KENTA and ROH's Brody King was the clear standout.