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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Result: David Finlay pins Tama Tonga

David Finlay and Tama Tonga may be primarily known in New Japan Pro Wrestling for their time in the Tag Team division (where they have both earned the top prize, the IWGP Tag Team Titles). But both men seemed eager to prove themselves away from the safety and security of their tag teams in this tournament.

The last time that David Finlay and Tama Tonga faced across from one another in a NJPWring was at Wrestlekingdom 13 when the team of Juice Robinson and David Finlay beat the Gorillas of Destiny (Tama Tonga and Tonga Loa) for their IWGP Tag team titles.

In a surprising turn of events, David Finlay was able to overcome the challenge of Tama Tonga and pin him in the center of the ring following a stunner and his finisher the Trash Panda, a suplex shoulder breaker.

Grade: B

A really really solid match with a truly surprising finish. I don’t think anyone expected David Finlay to make it this far in the tournament especially when you consider the level of talent that he has had to overcome to get to this point. I am excited to see where he goes with the push being provided to him.

In his post-match comments, Finlay addressed Tama Tonga directly saying, “Tama Tonga – you are one tough SOB. Our Families go way, way back. My father fought your father. Now, look at us fighting each other. This proves what I have been saying for months and for years.  Tama Tonga and Tonga Loa can not beat me clean. No Jado to help, no tonga loa, nobody to help. Man on man and I came out on top.”