Music City Mayhem (July 30) Preview

NJPW hits Nashville for Starrcast weekend


NJPW returns to Nashville on July 30, as the Nashville fairgrounds play host to Starrcast, and along with it Music City Mayhem. A wild night will see seven must see matches on a gripping live card. 

Music City Mayhem TICKETS (Ringside A almost gone, Ringside C SOLD OUT)

Watch LIVE on FITE! 

Main event: No Disqualification Jon Moxley vs El Desperado

 When NJPW and AEW collided at Forbidden Door in late June, one of the biggest narratives surrounded the alignment of Suzuki-Gun and the Jericho Appreciation Society, as Chris Jericho targeted the Blackpool Combat Club and its allies. It was the continuation of a long standing issue between Jon Moxley and Minoru Suzuki that started when Minoru Suzuki challenged Moxley for the IWGP United States Championship in early 2020 and continued to Moxley and Eddie Kingston meeting Suzuki and Lance Archer in a wild hardcore brawl in Philadelphia last autumn. 

At Forbidden Door, the team of Minoru Suzuki, Chris Jericho and Sammy Guevara were victorious against Shota Umino, Wheeler Yuta and Eddie Kingston, but after Jon Moxley captured the Interim AEW World Championship, El Desperado volunteered to continue the fight. The match was made as a No Disqualification battle, something that suits Desperado just fine. Desperado is a veteran of bloody hardcore wars with Jun Kasai in Japan, but that doesn’t phase the ultra violent master Moxley one bit. Who will leave the bigger mark on the other in the Music City this Saturday night?

6th Match: KUSHIDA vs Alex Shelley

 Former partners will collide tonight when KUSHIDA takes on Alex Shelley. Alex Shelley has played a crucial role in KUSHIDA’s career both in the US, and in Japan, where the Timesplitters twice held the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championships. As Shelley and KUSHIDA took different paths through their personal and professional lives, KUSHIDA’s return to NJPW after a stint in WWE meant that the time was right for a challenge to be issued. 

KUSHIDA addressed Shelley as his ‘dearest professor, best friend and all-time best partner’ when making his challenge. Doubtless this will be a match marked with mutual respect and classical competition, but there will be nothing held back as KUSHIDA seeks to make waves that IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion Taiji Ishimori will pick up on back in Japan, and Alex Shelley wants to make a mark in his first NJPW match since 2016.

5th Match: Dax Harwood, Cash Wheeler & Alex Zayne vs United Empire (Kyle Fletcher, Mark Davis & TJP)

From former tag team greats to current tag legends in the making, six man action sees two of the best teams in 2022 combine with impressive partners. At Forbidden Door, FTR added the IWGP Tag Team Championships to their ROH and AAA belts, and it has not taken long for Dax Harwood and Cash Wheeler to make their first steps in an NJPW ring as a result. They’ll be teaming with Alex Zayne to make a flavorful trio against the United Empire team of TJP and Aussie Open. Currently favourites to become STRONG Openweight Tag Team Champions, Mark Davis and Kyle Fletcher could become targets for FTR in due time, but in the meanwhile, there’s plenty of bad blood to go on, with Dax and Cash still not having forgiven United Empire’s attacks on AEW TV on the road to Forbidden Door in Chicago. 

4th Match: Hiromu Takahashi vs Blake Christian 

Blake Christian meets Hiromu Takahashi one on one in Nashville for the first time. Alex Zayne made massive waves in Japan with his debut Best of the Super Jr. entry, including leaving a lasting impression on Takahashi. Now Hiromu will test Zayne’s rival and friend in Christian. The ‘All Heart’ mentality should certainly be something that the Time Bomb has affinity for, and Christian’s wild in ring style will fit perfectly with Hiromu’s for what should be a memorable first time ever encounter. 

3rd Match: STRONG Openweight Championship- Fred Rosser vs Big Damo

After Fred Rosser finally culminated an epic journey to the STRONG Openweight Championship in Philadelphia this June, he still stayed true to his Mr. No Days Off moniker. Not content with putting his feet up and resting on his freshly acquired laurels, Rosser was quick to assert himself as a fighting champion. Rosser has demanded that he defend his championship as early and often as possible, and requested Big Damo as his opponent. The Beast from Belfast is huge competition indeed for Rosser, who wants the image of him as STRONG champion etched in as many minds as possible with big wins over big opposition. Yet Damo is no slouch, and the big man could end Rosser’s resign before it even gets started. Has the Suntan Superman bitten off more than he can chew?

2nd Match: MLW National Openweight Championship: Rocky Romero vs Davey Richards 

 Another battle of former partners, MLW’s National Openweight Champion Davey Richards is challenged by Rocky Romero. Through the latter part of the 2000s, the No Remorse Corps were a fearsome force in both Ring of Honor and New Japan Pro-Wrestling, acquiring both the ROH Tag Team Championships and a pair of IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship reigns. 2012 would see Richards shift career focus away from NJPW, and his tag team with Romero was dissolved that March. 

Ten years later though, and fate has brought the two partners back together, in opposite corners. Having won the MLW National Openweight Championship from Alex Kane in new York City, his scheduled match with Clark Connors in Nashville was made a championship affair, but an injury forced Connors out of Music City Mayhem. Rocky stepped up to fill his spot in what will be an emotionally charged title fight.

1st Match: Shota Umino, Fred Yehi & Yuya Uemura vs LA Dojo (Ren Narita, Kevin Knight & The DKC)

Six man action will kick off the evening, as growing stars with a lot of deserved attention will seek to set their team and themselves apart in victory. Shota Umino and Ren Narita were contemporaries in the Noge Dojo some three years ago, and their respective excursions in the LA Dojo and in the UK have seen them take different paths, but now these two prospects will lock horns again.

Yuya Uemura was one class junior to Umino and Narita, but has set himself on a striking path, this week reaching the finals of the STRONG O0penweight Tag Team Championship tournament alongside Christopher Daniels. The DKC has been making waves in the US and Japan, waves that Kevin Knight wants to replicate, while the Savageweight Fred Yehi intends to burst into the main event scene on STRONG. As much as both sets of trios will want to succeed, the battle for the limelight could be a more personal one!