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NJPW Strong (Episode 2) Recap & Review

NJPW Strong
Episode 2
New Japan Cup 2020 in the USA Semifinals

Original Air Date: August 14, 2020 (22:00 EDT)
Event Date: August 14, 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)


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.

Ring Area
Kevin Kelly and Alex Koslov talk about tonight’s show and preview the two semifinal matches in the New Japan Cup 2020 in the USA.

Intro Video


Match 1
Barrett Brown & Logan Riegel vs Jordan Clearwater & Clark Connors
(referee: Julio Rodriguez)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Barrett Brown pins Jordan Clearwater with a schoolboy
Time: 6:44

Match Thoughts
Pretty good match. Brown and Riegel had some nice tag chemistry, but Connors probably had the best and most intense performance out of anyone in the match. This was a fine opener, even if it was somewhat unremarkable. I think the finish was just okay, and that kind of took some of the excitement out of the match.


Match 2
Blake Christian & Misterioso & PJ Black vs Alex Zayne & ACH & TJP
(referee: Sparky Ballard)

Show/Hide Results

Result: PJ Black pins Alex Zayne with the Placebo Effect (springboard 450 splash)
Time: 7:55

Match Thoughts
Great match. This was fast and high-flying from bell to bell. After a while it essentially turned into a tornado trios match, and the legal guys were difficult to keep track of, but the match was super fun regardless. Everyone was highlighted throughout the course of the match, and everyone looked great. Alex Zayne and Blake Christian were the only two I had never seen prior to tonight, but now I can say I’m a fan. Plus, it was great seeing ACH and PJ Black after a really long time. This was a nice mix of NJPW USA regulars, guys who have been a away for a while, and guys who maybe not everyone knows about.


The ring is cleaned and disinfected during a brief intermission.


Match 3
New Japan Cup 2020 in the USA Semifinal Match
Tama Tonga vs David Finlay
(referee: Justin Borden)

Show/Hide Results

Result: David Finlay wins via pinfall after Prima Nocta, David Finlay advances to the finals
Time: 7:10

Match Thoughts
Great match! It felt like David Finaly was the underdog going into this match, but he certainly didn’t fight like an underdog. Finlay took the fight to Tama, but he was smart about it. Finlay took some punishment, but he also waited for the right opportunities to strike so that his own offense was super effective. Finlay was also able to block and counter Tama at opportune times, and that was as important as nearly anything else he did. Tama Tonga is a tough opponent though, and it felt like he was always only a move of two away from getting the win. I figured I’d like this match, but it exceeded my expectations and got me even more excited for the finals of the tournament.


Match 4
New Japan Cup 2020 in the USA Semifinal Match
KENTA vs Jeff Cobb
(referee: Justin Borden)

Show/Hide Results

Result: KENTA wins via pinfall with a small package (after a low blow)
Time: 14:38

Match Thoughts
Very good match. This could have been a great match (and it probably was from certain perspectives), but the shenanigans involved in the finish had me grumbling a bit. It was good bad-guy stuff though, and KENTA is great at being a bad guy, so it all worked out like it was supposed to. Still, I would’ve loved to have seen KENTA and Cobb have a 100% competitive match. Instead, we got a 90% competitive match. That ninety percent was great, and it was exactly what I wanted. Cobb used his power, and KENTA used his powerful kicks. It was a lot of fun.


Show Impressions
This was a really good show. It had a nice mix of styles in the ring, and the matches felt important. I’m definitely looking forward to next week.

Match of the Night
Tama Tonga vs David Finlay
I’d definitely watch this one again. The main event was really good too, as was the six-man tag, but Finlay and Tama caught my attention the best and got me the most invested in the action.


Official Results: https://www.njpw1972.com/tornament/77907?showResult=1



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