Hiroshi Tanahashi victorious in STRONG main event
The main event on NJPW STRONG this week saw Gabriel Kidd return to STRONG competition against none other than Hiroshi Tanahashi. After an early hold exchange, it would be Tanahashi with the advantage and a tight headlock, Kidd responding with stinging chops on the Ace. As the Hollywood crowd got behind Tanahashi, Kidd gladly drew boos from the crowd with taunts to Tanahashi, and then rang the grand slam holder off the ringpost outside.
Kidd wrestled with confidence, playing Tanahashi like the Ace’s air guitar with an abdominal stretch before delivering sharp right hands, but Tanahashi would fire back with a flying forearm and the somersault senton. Stopping Tanahashi’s momentum with a left handed lariat, Kidd got a near two from a moonsault on the Ace, before going down stairs to his opponent’s knee.
Yet Tanahashi could not be denied, and a rally saw him hit two Slingblades and the Twist and Shout. The High Fly Flow followed for Tanahashi, who celebrated victory, but also acknowledged Kidd’s incredible journey, with plenty more still to come for the young Briton.
A four way match on STRONG saw the LA Dojo team of Kevin Knight and the DKC compete against Stray Dog Army’s Misterioso and Barrett Brown, the West Coast Wrecking Crew of Royce Isaacs and Jorel Nelson, and TMDK’s Shane Haste and Bad Dude Tito in a number one contendership battle for the STRONG Openweight tag titles.
The LA Dojo side would be the target of all three opposing teams, but Knight and DKC would have the better of both the Wrecking Crew and Stray Dog Army, before Haste and Tito took over. Knight would be on the back foot until a huge dropkick, but it would be Isaacs getting a blind tag rather than Knight’s own partner. DKC would eventually get the tag, coming in with trademark fire; as the match broke down, both Tito and Misterioso would dive to the floor, and as carnage reigned, Brown hit his ‘Hollow Point’ boot to come away with the win.
Rocky Romero would fought for LA Dojo pride in the opening match of the night against Christopher Daniels. With the Hollywood crowd behind him, Rocky was impressive with a trio of topes suicida, and the Forever Clotheslines. Rocky countered Daniels with a DDT out of an uranage that was certain to set him for the BME, but a quick rollup with the feet on the ropes would bring the Fallen Angel a tainted victory.