FEEDBACK: NJPW Strong Style Evolved

Leave us your feedback on New Japan’s Strong Style Evolved card from Long Beach.


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0 voters

Too many tag matches. Not a fan of page or white. White almost ended page’s career. That was scary. Meh event. That main event tho was FREAKING AWESOME. so many spots. Nonstop action. That was a work of art by 4 masters.

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Carl from the uk

I saw Jim Ross and Josh Barnett during the start of the show getting berated on Twitter by the fans and i could kinda see the criticism, the commentary was to hokey, but i thought with that being said by the time the main event came around they got serious and Jim was as good as he always was when calling a big match main event.

So Jericho vs Naito July 7th at the cow palace? or can they save that match for the following wrestle kingdom?

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Anthony from Los Angeles
posted this in another thread first, sorry! had a lot of fun waiting in line talking to other fans and i even got interviewed by kevin kelley. the night started hot but we were a little work down by the fifth tag match, then rey came out and everyone woke back up. suzuki and zack are awesome together, i love when they do duo submissions, especially on refs. hangman page sold a suplex off the apron by landing on his feet as though he countered the move, and they replayed it. lovers vs bucks waa transcebdent. do you think rey vs ospreay is better for the company?

Sean from Toronto

As somewhat who has been watching since Wrestle Kingdom, it was neat to finally watch New Japan live at a decent hour, enough though I was fighting sleep towards the end. It was really jarring for me to be listening to the commentary team of Jim Ross and Josh Barnett, after getting used to Kevin Kelly and Don Callis. Their absence, particularly Callis, was most noticeable during the Golden Lovers vs Young Bucks main event. Overall, it was a decent enough card, though the main event was the only match I’ll probably end up remembering.

P.S. It was sort of funny that the biggest error was made not by Jim Ross, but the ring announcer, who called Jay White the IWGP Heavyweight Champion (forgetting to add the US).

What a show! For the most part the fans were awesome expect one guy who tried to start a Roman Reigns chant. Only downfall was that there was only one beer line that took forever

What a show! The negatives are very brief for me; JR wasn’t doing it for me on commentary and I’d have preferred either Kelly/Callis or even Japanese commentary for the event, and I had some issues with camera work and production, most noticeably constantly feeling overly low outside of hard cam shots.
As for the show itself, I enjoyed every single match, helped by a hot crowd, and found the opening tag bouts to all do a great job of heating up the main card with everybody involved looking great. I thought the opening to the Club vs Club match was a fine piece of mic work to get us all invested in an otherwise nothing match, and that White versus Page was a well paced slowdown match spacing the excellent Sabre/Suzuki vs Okada Ishii match which, helped enormously by the crowd, was a solid title defence which, whilst lacking the build and excitement of the other top matches on the card, still held it’s head high amongst extrodinary peers. Jay White wearing just a little stubble helped his look also, I feel.
The Bucks/Lovers match was an incredible piecxe of emotional storytelling which brought me close to tears several times. If only they could stop killing the business for a second and learn some damned psychology, The Elite could maybe make it in this business someday :smiley:

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Andrew from Saint John
I liked the whole show but the undercard didn’t hold attention as well as the key matches like Golden⭐Lovers vs. Young Bucks and Okada/Ishii vs. ZSJ/Suzuki. Amazing main event that blended big spots with storytelling that kept me in a glass cage of emotion. Excited to see how the story is continued at Supercard of Honour.

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NJPW felt a little unprepared to be honest. The entrances felt like Korakuen Hall entrances with lower audio, and the transitions between matches were awkward. They also had an unprepared JR on commentary, instead of Kevin Kelly who should be on all the English broadcasts due to him being so entrenched. Luckily, all the big matches and stars delivered.

I hope that for the Cow Palace show, they treat it as a PPV in terms of card structure, production, and build up.

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Typical New Japan show with lots of low stakes multiman tags in the undercard. I enjoyed the drama between Cody/Marty and the Tongans, and the main event was unbelievable story telling and action. It’s honestly a match of the year contender, and told the best story within one match in quite a long time.

Looking forward to the show next weekend and hoping Kenny’s face injury won’t effect his match vs Cody mania weekend.

Hi guys!

Not too proud to admit I was crying with joy watching these guys pour their souls into that match. I appreciate the stories they’ve told the past few months so much and they are the epitome of wrestling.

Naito felt like a megastar.
Suzuki felt like a megastar. That song is so over
Marty is extremely over.
GoD is more popular than I thought.
Yano way more popular than I thought.
Ishii is tremendous.
I think with a little better structured card with less undercard tags and more title defenses they will no doubt fill major arenas. The live presentation here stateside still needs work.

Josh and JR don’t work Live enough and it shows. They also do not give NJPW the best chance for success here. I can’t help feel AXS is trying to hard to appeal to an audience that isn’t tuning in for JR anymore. It’s hard enough to find this channel in places like New York City so I do not buy the idea a casual wrestling fan might hear JR and stay watching. Instead, why not use the English speaking regulars who are known to wrestling fans and can best position the wrestlers and the product for succes with the US fans who are seeking it out. If NJPW is successful it will be because of tours not TV - so use TV to produce the best possible show. Mispronouncing names of key guys and not being prepared with names of moves is what gives crossover fans the ammo to call it minor league. Kevin Kelly is doing as much as he can for this product and he needs to be its English voice on World and Axs

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I was at this show!!!

The atmosphere was great from the start. I’m pretty sure none of the early matches were anything to write home about the energy in the stadium was fantastic throughout. The crowd really loved Toru Yano and went absolutely insane when he took off the ring corner. Cody and Marty played the crowd incredibly well and the hand off between them switching from cheers to boos was excellent. Outside of the main event Naito was the biggest star here. The place exploded when he came out and kept up the energy whenever he was in the match. The Jay White Hangman match started off fairly slow but towards the end with all of the big moves the crowd really got into it. The problem is no one really had anyone to cheer for, it was essentially two heels with fairly little personality going against each other.

The main event was everything I could have asked for, 40+ minutes of high intensity tag team wrestling from two of the best in the business. My voice is hoarse and I’m incredibly tired but this was the best live show I’ve ever been to. 20 golden triggers out of 20.


I mirror much of your feelings toward SSE last night. There were moments that I was sitting on the edge of my seat eyes glued to the TV feeling totally immersed in the stories being told throughout the night.

I felt like the Japanese stars were so over, heel or face it didn’t matter the fans were elated to see them live. Yano, Suzuki, Naito, the pops made me smile. Hearing the crowd cheer on Yano when he started up the ramp after being scared away by Archer was amazing.

Suzuki, even after losing his balance on the stairs recovered like the consummate professional he is and still got a pop so loud I had to turn down my sound system at home. Ishii made me feel last night like a program featuring him and Suzuki was in the works for later this year and I am totally excited to see it.

Aside from the Page vs. White match I felt the crowd was just on point all night. I’d agree with John, Wai and their friend Dan that the crowd was probably just tired after the ZSJ, Suzuki vs. Ishii, Okada that match just had me so excited throughout.

There were a few botches, but I didn’t mind the story telling stole the show for me and made up for quite a few little mishaps be it from camera work, commentary, etc.

I don’t think the commentary team worked last night, I heard JR mix up Roppongi 3k once or twice, but to be fair it took me a while to remember who is who. But JR seemed off, not up on the stories of the promotion and was a bit slow on the draw. It didn’t ruin my experience though, it was just noticeable is all.

Cody, Marty were great…seeing the back and forth from the crowd was great. Marty getting popped while Cody is booed, and it seemed both were perplexed as to why they had such contrasting reactions.

Bucks vs. Lovers - what can I say that hasn’t been said. Great story telling by everyone in the ring, I really felt how hard it was for Matt, Nick, and Kenny to battle it out. The Bucks felt genuinely hurt almost betrayed by Kenny and it just made the match better.

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I share this exact feeling. It didn’t ruin the show because I know the talent, stories, and such good wrestling doesn’t need commentary to help it get over. My point about whats “best for business” is that for the non-familiar fan, what is more important to NJPW, that they get their characters and stories over as best possible OR that they have a part-time play by play guy who lost his fastball but has name recognition to adult fans (a 13 year old may not even know JR as a legend, which is undoubtedly is, just one that is way past prime).

One moment that stood out for me, similar to how @wai0937 described the One-Winged Angel on Matt was when Kota grabbed Kenny’s hand and pointed it at Matt to encourage Kenny to hit the V-trigger when it looked like he did not want to continue. I believe that was a few seconds before the One-Winged moment and I thought it was magical: Kota urging his partner, and then Matt urging his former friend all while Kenny did not seem to have it in him. Kota is always incredible at selling but him cheer leading Kenny towards the end when it looked like he couldn’t even stand to help him was priceless. The story of Kenny and Kota being lovers was left out of the broadcast but if you have been following, you fully appreciate how Kenny was forced to choose not between just new and old friends, but between a true love (Kota) and the guys who kept him together in Kota’s absence from his life. Magic. I’ve been on a high all morning and just want to scream at people to watch this match even though I have practically no friends that would ever give it time - I feel l have this secret knowledge about something magical now and at least I can share it with all of you! Wrestling has never hit me like this. I’m grateful.


I think what really got to me was when Matt from atop Kenny’s shoulders yelled “Do it!” like he wanted to be put out his misery or to have Kenny feel the same hurt he was feeling by finishing off his former best friend.

The emotion throughout this match was something I hadn’t felt in pro-wrestling in a long long time. I just came out of it wanting to slow clap the Young Bucks for the performance, especially Matt.

I am curious whether someone who isn’t 100% familiar with NJPW and watched that could see this wasn’t a traditional Face vs. Heel dynamic and it was so much more. This were four men who hashed out what felt like really personal differences in the ring. Kenny didn’t want to go all out against them nor did Nick at first but by the end they were just so hurt they all wanted one another to feel their pain.

That kind of story telling just doesn’t happen in wrestling anymore.