NJPW Strong: The Good Brothers defeat Violence Unlimited

TOKYO,JAPAN - JUNE 29: Karl Anderson and Scott Dawson compete during the WWE Live Tokyo at Ryogoku Kokugikan on June 29, 2019 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Etsuo Hara/Getty Images)
TOKYO,JAPAN - JUNE 29: Karl Anderson and Scott Dawson compete during the WWE Live Tokyo at Ryogoku Kokugikan on June 29, 2019 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Etsuo Hara/Getty Images) /

Tonight the Good Brothers and Violence Unlimited will be fighting for the first tag team championship in NJPW Strong.

Who will win The Good Brothers or Violence Unlimited?

But right now we have…

Kevin Knight vs. Bateman

Kevin Knight is facing his first mid-card challenge against Bateman. Because Kevin Knight has the plain black shorts of a jobber, he will be soundly beaten by Bateman. Even the commentators admit Knight will lose. I love it when the commentary tells you who is going to lose before the match starts. The real question is: Can Kevin Knight look impressive before he loses?

Knight is able to get Bateman down a few times with shoulder tackles. Bateman no-sells a few face punches. Bateman’s body shots and clubbing forearms take Knight down with ease. Knight tries to uppercut and club his way to victory, even nailing a beautiful dropkick and a scoop slam. In the end, it was Bateman’s powerful knee strikes that shook the freshman wrestler. Bateman did not stay down for long, even though he ate a standing frog splash and diving lariat, but Knight fell into Bateman’s tombstone piledriver for the loss.

Winner: Bateman

Wrestler of the match: Kevin Knight has a beautiful dropkick and great hustle. Since he is a Padawan in the NJPW dojo, he is limited to a very simple move set. He would make an excellent cruiserweight.

Karl Fredericks, Fred Rosser, Adrian Quest vs. Jorel Nelson, Royce Isaacs, and Misterioso

I will be so sad if Fredericks, Rosser, and Quest don’t walk away with a victory. They are the pride of Strong and they need a lift. The match started off with a bang between Quest and Misterioso. Quest uses the ropes as a tightrope and springs into a Japanese armdrag. Misterioso hits a handspring back elbow on Rosser and Issacs gets tagged in. Issacs fends off Quest and the team of Nelson, Isaacs, and Misterioso clear the ring. Quest gets stuck in the corner, being punished by Jorel Nelson with a gut wrench slam. Quest turns a top rope DVD into a hurricanrana and Fredericks gets tagged in. Fredericks cleans house with a spine buster and a backbreaker variant. The ring turns to chaos as Rosser, Quest, and Fredericks get thrown around. Misterioso gets alone with Fredericks who is able to hit the Manifest Destiny DDT for the win.

Winner: Karl Fredericks, Fred Rosser, and Adrian Quest

Wrestler of the Match: Adrian Quest earned his meal ticket. He was the number one seller of pain and the #1 giver of lucha libre offense. I could watch him all day.

The Good Brothers vs. Violence Unlimited (Tag Team Finals)

All four of these competitors have earned their spot in the finals. They have all done great matches in ROH and NJPW, but I doubt they will be bringing their full patented intensity to a NJPW Strong taping. Karl Anderson of The Good Brothers and Chris Dickinson exchange arm breakers and charges to start the match off. Brody King of Violence Unlimited and Doc Gallows exchange right hands until Brody hits a crossbody. Anderson distracts Dickinson so that Gallows score a spin kick to the neck. Gallows and Anderson trap Chris in their corner. Gallows hits a snap suplex and starts grounding and pounding Dickinson. King tags in and hits a tight rope walk double armdrag and follows it up with a jumping front flip off the apron. The Good Brothers hit a double-team neck breaker. Anderson hits a gun stun Dickinson breaks up the pin. Dickinson is alone with The Good Brothers and tries desperately to nail his fireman carry finished. Anderson and Gallows fight out of it and hit the Magic Killer.

Winner: The Good Brothers (Tag Team Champions)

Wrestler of the Match: Brody King is performing lucha moves that he has no right to connect with, but he does it with more grace than a ballerina. He was the savior to The Good Brother’s bullying and he looked very good doing it.

Analysis: The Good Brothers were a good and safe pick for the winners, as they have good clout with NJPW. Chris Dickinson and Brody King are set to be glorified in ROH so it was wise of them to take the loss.

In my last article, I thought Violence Unlimited were set up for the win as they were with Strong from the very beginning. I was wrong and it wasn’t a horrible choice.

I am not sure if this is an official tag team championship or just a one-time award. The “tag titles” are two trophies. It’s an odd choice to make a tag team tournament with a promotion that has no official tag title. If there is one thing I know about NJPW, they love giving out trophies.

After Match: The Good Brothers say they are officially back. Anderson says he wants the IWGP tag team championships. I guess they are graduating from Strong.

So…is this just a way to give The Good Brothers their old job back?

Impressions of NJPW Strong:

This will be my last review of the NJPW Strong show as I can no longer justify a NJPW subscription. One of the greatest enigmas about Strong was understanding what the show was trying to be. In some episodes, they were like an ROH farm league, working to get the younger guys over.

In other ways, they were like NXT for the thinking fan, focusing on mat technique over the glitz and the glam of wrestling. The one thing Strong couldn’t be was NJPW lite. NJPW needs Japan and its culture to be what it is, so Strong did not have a chance.

There were some exciting matches where wrestlers pulled out all the stops. Wrestlers like Clark Connors, Karl Fredericks, Adrian Quest, Alex Coughlin, Danny Limelight, PJ Black, El Phantasmo, and Brody King were a delight to watch. Other times, there were wrestlers who brought the least amount of excitement to a match as if this promotion was just a speed bump to what they really wanted.

My biggest gripe with NJPW and other traditional promotions is the focus on mat technique and tie-ups over good wrestling energy. Strong could easily whittle away five minutes on headlocks and rollups. Some fans love the beginning tie-ups, but I would rather fast forward to the last three minutes of the match.

The most annoying thing about Strong was Alex Koslov. He spends a great deal of time with praises for heel wrestlers that sound corny and inauthentic. It gets old so fast.

dark. Next. Landing spots for CM Punk, and why AEW makes the most sense

NJPW Strong is an enigma, but it can deliver on some great matches from the younger talent. Here is hoping they continue to improve their product.