NJPW Strong Results and Grades: New Japan Cup USA Semis, ACH Debuts

NJPW, KENTA (Photo by Etsuo Hara/Getty Images)
NJPW, KENTA (Photo by Etsuo Hara/Getty Images) /
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The full results and grades for NJPW Strong Week 2.

NJPW continued with a new venture in their company tonight as fans witnessed the Semi-Finals of the first New Japan Cup USA. The two tournament matches saw Jeff Cobb face off against former WWE superstar KENTA, and David Finlay a former IWGP Tag Team Champion faced off against another former champion in Guerillas of Destiny’s Tama Tonga.

The winners of these matches will go on to face off on next week’s very special episode of Strong in order to crown the very first winner of the New Japan Cup USA and the newly crowned holder of the currently vacant IWGP United States Championship.

Jordan Clearwater & Clark Connors vs. Logan Riegel & Barrett Brown

Result: Barrett Brown pins Jordan Clearwater in 7:03

Clark Conners and Barrett Brown, a long-standing member of the Texas indy scene, started the match in the ring with a brief display of technical wrestling. Eventually, they were drug apart due to a rope break at which point Barrett Brown took control of the match forcing Clark back into the opposing teams corner laying into him for a few moments before tagging in Logan Regal of the Regal twins.

Logan stalked Clark across the ring until he was able to scamper back into his corner and bring in his current LA Dojo classmate, the Debuting Jordan Clearwater. Clearwater, described by Kevin Kelly as, “a Karl Anderson guy.” referencing that his initial training in the sport of professional wrestling came at the tutelage of current Impact superstar and former IWGP Tag Team Champion, “Machine Gun” Karl Anderson.

Clearwater, who stands at least a head above anyone else involved in the match took his time delivering increasingly desperate clotheslines before pulling up Riegel into a massive power slam. Temporarily dazing himself before getting the hot tag of Clark Conners.

Following the spear, Clark was tagged by Clearwater who entered the match with zeal if not grace pummelling the much smaller Brown. But where size was not on Brown’s side experience surely was when during a bit of grandstanding from Clearwater, Brown was able to slide down Clearwaters back and pull him in for the pin.

Grade: B- 

A fun match that introduced a young if the arrogant future star in Jordan Clearwater and reminded us that NJPW is not only in the US to develop the western stars they already employ but to train a whole new generation of talent. I hope to see all four of these men in Korakuen Hall someday.

The second match of the night is a six-man affair featuring five established NJPW talents and one debut as PJ Black, Misterioso, and Blake Christian took on TJP, Alex Zayne, and marking his return to a New Japan Pro Wrestling ring for the first time in 2 years, ACH.