Round one of STRONG tournament sees two teams advance
NJPW STRONG this week saw the STRONG Openweight Tag Team Championship tournament kick off, as the first four teams vied for a spot in the semifinals. The week’s main event would see two favourites in the single elimination tournament face off, as the TMDK side of Mikey Nicholls and Shane Haste took on Jorel Nelson and Royce Isaacs of Team Filthy and the West Coast Wrecking Crew.
Slick teamwork from TMDK showed that Haste and Nicholls, tagging as a duo for the first time in a long time, had no rust on them, but Nelson and Isaacs were incredibly effective in their own right, Nelson flying to haste with a tope and setting Isaacs up for a long delayed vertical suplex. Haste was effectively controlled by WCWC, but Haste was eventually able to nip up to the top rope to cut off a flying attempt from Nelson, and the tag was finally made for ‘Mad’ Mikey to clean house.
Though Nelson and Isaacs were able to score with more effective double teams, an assisten powerbomb nearly getting three for Nelson, it would be Nicholls and Haste securing victory. The Tankbuster got two for the side, and even after a top rope powerslam from Isaacs and elbow from Nelson for two on Haste, the Thunder Valley would secure the win for TMDK.
Also moving to the semifinals was the combination of Christopher Daniels and Yuya Uemura. The new combination of Daniels and Uemura worked well together until a trip from Nick Comoroto to give he and Aaron Solo of The Factory the advantage. Comoroto’s power and Solo’s wiles effectively combatted both members of their rookie and veteran opposition, but Uemura was able to kick out of an Ushigoroshi and top rope stomp combination and tag in Daniels. A low bridge led to a plancha from Uemura to Comoroto, and the BME soon followed for Daniels on Solo. Daniels and Uemura will now face TMDK in the semifinals of the tag tournament.
Singles action broke up the tournament matches as Taylor Rust took on JONAH. Rust did his best to chop down the tree of JONAH, and made some progress, targeting the ankle and then impressively hoisting him for a fireman’s carry. There was much too much JONAH though, and a lariat, senton and the Torpedo ended the match.