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NJPW Strong (Episode 1) Recap & Review

NJPW Strong
Episode 1
New Japan Cup 2020 in the USA Quarter Finals

Original Air Date: August 7, 2020
Event Date: August 7, 2020 (unconfirmed)
(uploaded to NJPW World)

City: Port Hueneme, CA (unconfirmed)
Venue: Oceanview Pavilion (empty arena) (unconfirmed)

Commentary (English): Kevin Kelly, Alex Koslov
Ring Announcer: Adnan Kureishy (ringside)


Intro Video

Ring Area
Kevin Kelly and Alex Koslov welcome us to the New Japan Cup 2020 in the USA.

A look at some of the past winners of the NJPW New Japan Cup in Japan, as well as a look at the New Japan Cup 2020 in the USA brackets. The winner of this tournament will earn the right to challenge for the IWGP US Heavyweight Championship.


Match 1
New Japan Cup 2020 in the USA Quarter Final Match
Karl Fredericks vs KENTA
(referee: Jeremy Marcus)

Show/Hide Results

Result: KENTA wins via pinfall after Go2Sleep
Time: 9:59

Match Thoughts
Good match. It’s really good to see KENTA again. Fredericks is coming off some great performances in Lion’s Break Collision, but KENTA was supremely confident tonight. KENTA’s strikes were as numerous as they were accurate, and Fredericks could barely get going for large parts of this match.


Match 2
New Japan Cup 2020 in the USA Quarter Final Match
Tanga Loa vs Jeff Cobb
(referee: Sparky Ballard)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Jeff Cobb wins via pinfall after Tour of the Islands
Time: 8:45

Match Thoughts
Good match. These are two big and strong guys, and they had a big and strong match. I’d like to have seen this go a bit longer, but for a first round tournament match, I quite enjoyed it.


We are treated to some commercials as the ring is cleaned and disinfected.


Match 3
New Japan Cup 2020 in the USA Quarter Final Match
Chase Owens vs David Finlay
(referee: Sparky Ballard)

Show/Hide Results

Result: David Finlay wins via pinfall after Prima Nocta
Time: 9:46

Match Thoughts
Very good match. This match had the fastest pace so far tonight. Owens and Finlay went back and forth, and they were both getting in some really good offense. Owens cheated very well throughout the match, and that forced Finaly to push through and mount a comeback as the fight neared its finish. I liked this a lot.


Match 4
New Japan Cup 2020 in the USA Quarter Final Match
Tama Tonga vs Brody King
(referee: Justin Borden)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Tama Tonga wins via pinfall after the Gunstun
Time: 7:14

Match Thoughts
Very good match. It’s unusual to see Tama Tonga as the smaller guy in nearly any NJPW match, but that’s what he was tonight. I wouldn’t call Tama an underdog here, but he definitely had a lot to deal with against Brody King. King overpowered Tama throughout the match, and Tama was in trouble often. Tama had to pull of a lot of quick moves to contend with the power and size of King, and it made for a pretty exciting match.


Show Impressions
This was a fun first round. I expect the matches in the semifinals will be longer, and that will be a very good thing. None of these matches was necessarily too short, but I would have liked to have seen at least two of them go on longer. Regardless, I liked the show tonight, and I’m looking forward to next week.

Match of the Night
Brody King vs Tama Tonga
Though it was the shortest match of the night, I think it was also the most explosive. Seeing Tama Tonga being put out of his comfort zone by Brody King was a lot of fun to watch.


Official Results: https://www.njpw1972.com/tornament/77901?showResult=1



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