Tonight saw the final installment from NJPW Strong's Mutiny tapings in Hollywood, California.
KEITA and Yuya Uemura defeated Kevin Blackwood and Lucas Riley
Uemura and Blackwood started things off. Uemura was quick on the turnaround off the first lock-up, spinning out of Blackwood's hands and taking him over with a flying mare—and got a pop for it. It's a sequence many of us have seen ad nauseam, but this crowd was here for Uemura and whatever he did.
Moments later, the crowd heated up when he landed a shoulderblock, then a deep Steamboat-style arm drag. They went back and forth with Blackwood scoring a hip toss.
Blackwood returned Uemura's attack with some kicks until KEITA and Riley were in next. Keita landed a big modified backbreaker which received a loud response from the crowd. Blackwood tagged in and landed a low dropkick to KEITA's head while Riley held him upside down. Riley then hit KEITA with a low dropkick to the back of his head.
KEITA tried tagging out, but Blackwood pulled him back and landed a German suplex for two. KEITA came back with a jawbreaker and an upkick to tag Uemura back in. The crowd came alive for his return to the ring. He took Blackwood out with a flying forearm smash that'd make Tito Santana proud. This kid is on another level right now. Blackwood used a big roundhouse kick to counter, knocking Uemura down to the mat.
KEITA and Uemura double-teamed Riley after KEITA threw Blackwood to the floor.
Before the finish, each wrestler seemed to have gotten a few of their last licks in. KEITA took out Blackwood. Riley took out KEITA. Then, finally, it was Uemura who would take out Riley, landing a Frankensteiner for the win. This was a good opener, but I need to mention that Uemura is special. Now might be the best time to hop on the bandwagon because he is hitting his stride in 2022.
Afterward, Blackwood and Riley cut a promo backstage where Riley explained that it was all right and that the second time would be better. When he attempted to confer with Blackwood, he was met with frustration and contempt. Blackwood blamed Riley for the loss. He then said that he was still 1–0 in NJPW and reiterated that it was Riley who had lost the match not himself.
Bullet Club (El Phantasmo & Chris Bey) defeated Alex Zayne and Christopher Daniels
Zayne and Bey were in first and had a quick, creative exchange. Zayne did a standing corkscrew senton for two.
Daniels, at 51, is still looking real fit for his age. Bey would tag out to El Phantasmo. He would later jump off the ropes and rake Daniels' back with his fingernails. Bey did a superfluous backrake spot of his own, too. They used a combo that saw ELP earn a two after landing on Daniels with a standing moonsault.
Daniels later used an STO, finally freeing himself up from Bey. He tagged out to a fresh Zayne who landed a few punches before a standing Harlem Hangover/Harlem sidekick combo for two.
Bey and Daniels fell out of the ring. Zayne went for a shooting star press, but missed. He landed on his feet and rolled out of the way, but Phantasmo laid him out with the C4 for two. He then put Zayne out for good with his Sudden Impact superkick which Zayne took a Fatu-style spinning bump for.
Tomohiro Ishii defeated Big Damo
The story is that these two had a match seven years ago in RevPro out of the UK where Damo actually took the victory.
The two locked up, but Damo immediately shoved Ishii into the red corner. Both elbowed and shouldered the hell out of each other next. Damo had the advantage early on, though Ishii constantly barked at him to bring more of it on.
There were a few hecklers in the crowd who ganged up on Damo and told him to shave his back. Damo handled them well, at one point telling them off before giving the hecklers a full, proud view of his back, arms outstretched.
While this was a good moment, the ringside trolls at the show wouldn't let up, regardless of what was going on which definitely hurt the vibe of the main event as a whole. Thankfully, much of it was inaudible on the recording. In a different setting, this match could have been much better.
Ishii tried to come back, whipping Damo into the corner and crashing into him with a corner lariat. Ishii unloaded his version of Genichiro Tenryu's goo punch–chop sequence in the corner; jab, chop, jab chop.
Damo countered the attack later with a running crossbody block and a jump kick to Ishii's face after trading more blows. Tomohiro Ishii: perpetual underdog.
Ishii survived a fisherman's superplex, standing up almost immediately after landing on the mat. He fired up which the crowd fed on. Damo missed another jump kick and Ishii then put the big man down with a vertical suplex.
Damo hit a huge John Woo dropkick before using a slingshot senton into the ring. He pinned Ishii for two as the ten-minute announcement sounded over the house PA.
When Damo went for a Vader Bomb, Ishii moved out of the way and Damo crashed into the mat face down. He elbowed Ishii who responded with headbutts and a hard headbutt of his own. He took Damo out with a running lariat for two. Later, he scored a sliding lariat for two before putting Damo away for good with a big vertical drop brainbuster for the win in a little over 13 minutes.
The main event was good, but would have been better if it hadn't gone on last at the Mutiny tapings which was a good four hours into the card. Fans sounded restless and it seemed to affect the match quality.
The opener between Uemura and KEITA vs. Blackwood and Riley had much better energy which makes sense since at the tapings, it was the second match of the night. Nitpicks aside, this was a solid episode to wrap the Mutiny tapings with.
Next week kicks off NJPW Strong's next "tour" titled Collision, which was taped in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania last month.