NJPW STRONG airs every Friday at 10PM ET on NJPW World, and features matches taped on a closed set in Los Angeles. This week’s show features the finals of the New Japan Cup 2020 USA, with the winner of David Finlay vs. KENTA getting an IWGP U.S. title shot at a later date.
NJPW STRONG Results
August 21, 2020 (#3)
— Kevin Kelly and a fired up Alex Kozlov are on commentary.
Opening Match: Adrian Quest & Rocky Romero vs. Danny Limelight & The DKC
A lot of talk from commentary about Rocky being a big fan of Danny Limelight, a former Marine who we’re told is one to keep your eye on.
Limelight gets a bit cocky and Rocky pelts him with forearms and takes him to the mat. They take it to second gear, trading counter for counter and missing with stereo dropkicks.
Quest and The DKC tag in and go to the mat with some great grappling. Quest snaps off a series of headscissors, a springboard armdrag and springboard 630 crossbody.
Things break down into a brawl and Rocky gets taken out on the floor. Limelight delivers at least a dozen chest kicks in the corner, and DKC tags in to slow things down on the mat. Quest rallies with rapid strikes and goes to the ropes, but Limelight catches him with a nasty knee lift, right in the gut.
Quest eventually hits a double knees and makes the hot tag. Rocky sends both flying with headscissors. A trio of Forever clotheslines connect, he ducks a spin kick and turns Limelight out with a lariat. Limelight responds with a jumping knee, nearly taking his head off.
DKC gets the tag and knocks Quest off the apron. Forearms to Rocky. He makes the really dumb mistake of taunting Rocky and telling him to get up… but actually manages to light him up with strikes and a big lariat. A little bit of double team action. DKC hits an Argentine neckbreaker for a nearfall. Limelight could have stopped Quest from breaking up the pin, but was too busy posing in the ropes.
Quest hits a neckbreaker on Limelight, who tries to escape to the floor. Quest follows with an insane Asai corkscrew moonsault to the outside. Meanwhile, DKC telegraphs his finisher and Rocky blasts him with an elbow. RVD feint kick from Rocky, into the running Sliced Bread. 1-2-3.
Really good opening match here. They hyped up Limelight big time as a potential prospect, and then he went out and delivered. Quest’s offense was lightning quick and very smooth.
Winners: Adrian Quest & Rocky Romero
Tag Team Match: Brody King & Flip Gordon vs. Bullet Club (Chase Owens & “Switchblade” Jay White)
It’s good to have these guys back in action. Flip starts things off with White, taking him to the mat with stiff kicks. He hits the ropes, but Owens trips him up from the outside and Bullet Club beats him down on the outside.
Owens sets in with big chops in the corner, and taunts Brody King, who of course pulls the ref’s attention and allows them to keep taking cheap shots. White slaps on a chin lock and sits on it for a minute. Flip works his way out of it, but is quickly taken back down with a running uppercut.
White climbs to the top rope, and Flip surprises him by jumping to the top rope and kicking him in the head. Here comes big Brody! The big man splashes both opponents in the corner, gives Owens a big boot on the floor, and whips Flip into a running dropkick. Another splash on White for a two-count.
White catches Flip with a nasty DDT. Brody charges, but is caught with a DDT as well. They run a train of splashes and uppercuts on Flip in the corner. Flip does a Matrix bend and kips up to duck a lariat, hitting a superkick, and tags out.
Things break down into a brawl. Flip hits a springboard spear on White and they throw him out of the ring. Brody gets him up on his shoulder… and drops him into a sit-down piledriver! Count to 20.
Winners: Brody King & Flip Gordon
— After the match, Jay White tries to sneak in the ring and give Chase Owens the Blade Runner, but is chased away. Brody King stands tall, but Hikuleo makes his return and blindsides the big man. They trade forearms and punches, until Hikuleo drops him with a urinage facebuster. Wow.
— Kevin Kelly announces NJPW Fighting Spirit Unleashed 2020 tour. The dates were not announced, but all the matches will air on future episodes of NJPW STRONG. Next week’s show will be the Road to Fighting Spirit Unleashed, so we’ll likely find out more soon.
New Japan Cup USA Finals: David Finlay vs. KENTA
Lock up in the center of the ring. KENTA takes the wrist and they trade control, jockeying for position. Finlay into a headlock, taking him down to the mat, but KENTA is able to reverse the hold. He shoots Finlay into the ropes, dropdown, leap frog, and runs right into a nice looking dropkick.
Finlay takes control with kicks and clubbing blows, brawling around ringside. KENTA catches him with a knee to the head coming back into the ring, kicks him hard in the chest a few times, and delivers a diving knee in the ropes.
Finlay looks to be in trouble as he’s dropped with a neckbreaker. Chinlock applied. He fires back with forearms and body shots, but KENTA immediately traps him in a heel hook, then transitions into a triangle headcissors. Again Finlay tries to respond with strikes, and hits a big back suplex to give himself a bit of space.
After a breather, Finlay hits heavy punches and an elbow in the corner. Running uppercut. Flying European uppercut from the second rope. Cover, hooks the leg, two-count. KENTA rushes him and is caught with a Side Effect. Finlay picks him up for a deadlift German, but the Bullet Club star fires back with uppercuts to save himself.
KENTA rolls to the apron and connects with a springboard clothesline, then spikes him with a DDT. The Hangman’s DDT follows for a nearfall at the 10-minute mark. He’s beginning to get frustrated, but gets on his opponent with a running shotgun dropkick, and hits the diving double foot stomp. 1… 2… not quite.
Finlay explodes out of the corner with a spear from hell. The Last Shot connects, but is still not enough. Finlay drags a thumb across his throat, signaling for the end, but KENTA throws him into the referee and kicks him in the balls. Inside cradle for 1… 2… Finlay kicks out!
KENTA sets up for the GTS, but Finlay wriggles free and hits some huge European uppercuts. KENTA ducks a lariat and locks in the sleeper, taking him to his knees. The PK takes his head off. The Go To Sleep connects. 1… 2… 3.
— KENTA is announced as the winner of the New Japan Cup USA and presented with a big trophy. He is also given a briefcase, with a contract for a future IWGP U.S. Heavyweight Championship match. It’s announced that he will have to defend that briefcase just like the winner of the G1 Climax, and there will be at least one defense before the title match is signed.
— KENTA calls out Jon Moxley and wonders where he is, and what he’s been doing. He tells Moxley he’s coming for him and the U.S. title, reminding everyone that he promised 2020 would be his year. Jeff Cobb came out of nowhere and tried to attack him from behind, but KENTA escapes from the ring and retreats up the ramp.