Originally published at NJPW Resurgence: Archer vs. Tanahashi, White vs. Finlay
Welcome to our live coverage of NJPW Resurgence from The Torch at The L.A. Memorial Coliseum in California.
John Pollock and WH Park will be reviewing the show on Sunday night’s edition of POST Puroresu here on the site.
*IWGP U.S. Championship: Hiroshi Tanahashi over Lance Archer (champion) in 17:22
*NEVER Openweight Championship: Jay White (champion) over David Finlay in 22:59
*Jon Moxley & Yuji Nagata over Karl Anderson & Doc Gallows in 10:33
*Tomohiro Ishii over Moose in 16:07
*Lio Rush, Fred Yehi, Yuya Uemura, Adrian Quest & Chris Dickinson over Tom Lawlor, JR Kratos, Danny Limelight, Jorel Nelson & Royce Isaacs in 12:45
*TJP, Clark Connors & Ren Narita over Fred Rosser, Rocky Romero & Wheeler Yuta in 11:19
*Karl Fredericks over Alex Coughlin in 10:48
The show kicked off with the commentary team of Kevin Kelly, Alex Koslov, and Matt Morris.
The video started off very choppy on the Fite TV feed.
ALEX COUGHLIN VS KARL FREDERICKS
Fredericks lit up Coughlin with kicks to the back that the audience encouraged more of. Coughlin prevented a Boston Crab and hit a gut buster. Fredericks drilled him with forearms in the corner and a baseball slide dropkick ala Katsuyori Shibata.
Coughlin hit a brutal lariat for a two-count. Fredericks came back with a big overhand chop.
Fredericks countered a suplex and hit the Manifest Destiny (Impaler DDT) for the win.
WINNER: Karl Fredericks in 10 minutes and 48 seconds
A very technically sound opener in the style of a big Young Lions match, although Fredericks had graduated from that level. This was a very good start to the show.
The announcers hinted at Matt Morris wrestling Fredericks in the future.
TJP, CLARK CONNORS & REN NARITA VS FRED ROSSER, ROCKY ROMERO & WHEELER YUTA
The feed was fixed by the second match after problems throughout the opener.
Early on, they worked over Connors with Rosser taking a cheap shot against Narita on the apron. Yuta stomped the left arm of Connors and worked on it.
Narita was tagged in and nailed Rosser on the apron with a running boot twice. So, Rosser was tagged and dropped Narita on the edge of the apron. They had a big exchange inside the ring ending with a double knockdown.
All six were in the ring, Connors hit Rosser with a spear and then missed Romero, who proceeded with the “Forever” clotheslines and a double ‘rana to Connors and TJP.
Romero’s shiranui was blocked by Connors and followed by TJP’s top rope splash allowing Connors to pin Romero.
WINNERS: Clark Connors (pinned Rocky Romero), TJP & Ren Narita in 11 minutes and 19 seconds
Narita got into the face of Rosser demanding a handshake and was denied as their feud progresses.
This was an action-packed six-man tag with a focus on Narita-Rosser and Romero was a standout down the stretch and Connors getting the spotlight with the pin.
TOM LAWLOR, JR KRATOS, DANNY LIMELIGHT, ROYCE ISAACS & JOREL NELSON VS LIO RUSH, FRED YEHI, YUYA UEMURA, CHRIS DICKINSON & ADRIAN QUEST
Earlier in the day, it was announced that Adrian Quest is replacing Brody King. Kevin Kelly stated it was an injury that King is dealing with.
The match began as a brawl involving all ten. Dickinson isolated Lawlor in the ring. Everyone took turns in the ring with multiple pairings, the audience was chanting for Lio Rush and he stood out in the early minutes.
Team Filthy got control of Quest in their corner and they knocked all of Quest’s teammates off the apron to the floor that generated a lot of boos aimed at Lawlor.
Quest hit an amazing moonsault off the top rope to the floor. Kratos sent Rush to the floor with a military press. Kratos followed by climbing to the top but was stopped by Uemura with a powerbomb.
Lio hit the Rush Hour on Limelight, Uemura followed with the double overhook suplex with a beautiful bridge on Limelight for the win.
WINNERS: Yuya Uemura (pinned Danny Limelight), Lio Rush, Fred Yehi, Chris Dickinson & Adrian Quest in 12 minutes and 45 seconds
Lawlor cut a promo on Lio Rush into Kevin Kelly’s microphone calling him a “first grader” and a video game player. They promoted Lawlor vs. Lio Rush coming up for the Strong Openweight Championship.
It was an entertaining ten-man tag with a lot of moving parts. Uemura got the big win at the end in the first big match of his excursion, so there appears to be a lot of emphasis on him for future shows.
After the match, he cut a promo in the ring for the audience promising to become stronger, and was greeted by Katsuyori Shibata in the ring and he said, “come with me” and they shook hands.
Kratos played the monster role the audience responded well to him.
Rush looked very smooth and stood out as well especially with the build for the Lawlor match.
HIKULEO VS JUICE ROBINSON
On the floor, Robinson was sent into the post and dropped on the guardrail and Hikuleo dominated Robinson inside the ring.
Robinson appeared to be losing his balance on the top turnbuckle, so Hikuleo knocked the rope allowing him to crotch himself. If that was an audible by Hikuelo, it was a great instinct sensing Robinson was clearly off-balance.
Robinson fired back with the Left Hand of God and a lariat but Hikuleo popped up and hit his own lariat.
Hikuleo attempted the Tongan Driller but it was countered with a roll-up for the cover by Robinson. The ending sequence wasn’t smooth.
WINNER: Hikuleo in 9 minutes and 3 seconds
Hikuleo just attacked Robinson after taking the fall and made the finish instantly forgettable.
This was the weakest match of the show, so far, although Hikuleo has a lot of promise but the match didn’t click.
They promoted the following U.S. dates for the fall:
*September 25 & 26 at the Curtis Culwell Center in Dallas, Texas
*October 16 & 17 at the 2300 Arena in Philadelphia
*November 13 “Battle in the Valley” in San Jose, California at the San Jose Civic Center featuring Jon Moxley, Jay White, Tomohiro Ishii, Juice Robinson, Lio Rush
*November 15 at the Riverside Municipal Auditorium in Riverside, California
MOOSE VS TOMOHIRO ISHII
Moose overpowered Ishii in the beginning portion. On the floor, Moose charged at Ishii and missed running into the guardrail.
Ishii attempted to lift Moose in the ring, and he blocked both attempts. Ishii continued to work on Moose and then lifted him for the vertical suplex and the audience popped for the feat.
Ishii was dropped and he popped up and hit a suplex, they traded strikes and ran at each other with lariats before both stumbled to the mat.
It built up towards near falls and the audience was into it. Ishii hit Moose with head butts while seated on the turnbuckle and was met with a leaping dropkick and Sky High off the corner for a two-count.
Moose ran through a lariat, dropped Ishii to a knee with a boot and Ishii fired off a lariat that generated a one-count. Moose hit a huge dropkick as Ishii came off the ropes. Ishii used a release German and both men are down.
Ishii destroyed Moose with a brutal lariat and Moose kicked out.
After a Sliding Lariat, Ishii got him up for the brainbuster for the win.
WINNER: Tomohiro Ishii in 16 minutes and 7 seconds
This was off-the-charts and may have been the best match of Moose’s career. This was an incredible match that was at a G1 level for Ishii, which is a high bar. Excellent stuff.
Will Ospreay came out for an unannounced appearance and stated he is medically cleared. He brought up the G-1 Climax and stated he would NOT be performing in the G-1 and isn’t going back to Japan at all.
He said he worked his ass off and broke his neck for NJPW and needed four months off and they stripped him of his World Heavyweight Championship and compared his situation to Jon Moxley, who didn’t defend the belt for a year and was not stripped.
Ospreay insulted Shingo Takagi and said he is carrying a “fake championship” and it’s an interim title. He reveals his “real” championship and holds it in the air and is willing to defend the title against anyone.
He said he is going to make his home here on NJPW Strong and they need a genuine star.
Ospreay insulted the L.A. Dojo wrestlers that prompted Karl Fredericks, Clark Connors, and TJP to walk down to the ring as Ospreay yelled that “Shibata can’t hold a candle to me”.
Ospreay ran off with the belt into the crowd.
KARL ANDERSON & DOC GALLOWS VS JON MOXLEY & YUJI NAGATA
Nagata was revealed as the mystery partner for Moxley.
As Gallows and Anderson had the heat on Nagata, fireworks were going off in the distance, so it was a bizarre scene.
Moxley got the tag and hit a tope suicida on both opponents. Moxley whipped a chair at Anderson and Gallows on the floor.
Nagata snapped the arm of Anderson but Gallows grabbed his foot from the floor allowing Anderson to attack with a boot.
Gallows & Anderson hit the Magic Killer to Moxley on a chair on the floor. They returned to the ring with a 2-on-1 advantage on Nagata.
Gallows hit a head kick followed by the Gun Stun and Magic Killer
WINNERS: Karl Anderson & Doc Gallows in 10 minutes and 33 seconds
The audience responded well to Nagata as the surprise and he worked really hard for the full length of the match. It was a difficult match to have the babyfaces win with Gallows & Anderson holding the IMPACT tag titles.
It wasn’t the best match on the show and was following the best one along with a big angle but the audience was into it and Moxley was having fun throughout the introduction of Nagata.
Gallows and Anderson cut a promo but their microphone died.
The Guerrillas of Destiny walked out, and it appeared they had to improvise since the audio died, and presumably, they were supposed to interrupt.
They got into the ring and traded words before Gallows & Anderson bailed and left with the IMPACT titles.
JAY WHITE VS DAVID FINLAY FOR THE NEVER OPENWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP
This is a rematch from the New Japan Cup earlier this year where Finlay scored the upset and the biggest singles win of his career over his former Young Lion stablemate.
Finlay was leveling White with uppercuts in the corner and controlling the first half of the match as he brought the fight to White with heightened aggression.
White tried to suplex Finlay off the edge of the apron to the floor, which was stopped with elbows to the head.
They were on the top and Finlay hit a superplex after recovering from a big Uranage. They had an exchange of lariats, Finlay went for another and it was countered with a flatliner and the Blade Runner was blocked.
White shoved Finlay into the referee, Finlay bounced off and was hit by a low blow. It was a clever spot. Then, White shoved the referee and Finlay hit a low blow and the Last Shot for a big near fall on White.
Finlay hit the stunner, a pair of half-nelson suplexes, and called for the Acid Drop, it was blocked and turned into the Blade Runner as White wins.
WINNER: Jay White in 22 minutes and 59 seconds
This was a really strong match from the two and White was taken as babyface down the stretch and once again, having a counter for the big move and transitioning to the Blade Runner as a counter.
Tomohiro Ishii came down and confronted White and was met by a promo from White. He said he’s won all the championships including the top title that Ishii has never won. He said he is the “number one asset in pro wrestling”, he single-handily sold-out Madison Square Garden, the first Grand Slam champion, and he is the REAL belt collector.
White said it doesn’t matter if it’s an NJPW ring, an IMPACT ring, or even an AEW ring as he can show up anywhere. The audience reacted to the AEW mention.
LANCE ARCHER VS HIROSHI TANAHASHI FOR THE IWGP UNITED STATES CHAMPIONSHIP
They mention that Jon Moxley has come down to watch the match ringside.
Archer attacked Tanahashi on the floor, bullying the challenger and beating him down in the ring. Tanahashi finally stopped the attack with a dragon-screw leg whip after ten minutes of offense by the champion.
Archer hit the Blackout and Tanahashi got his foot on the bottom rope. Archer went for another and it was countered with a sling blade.
Tanahashi hit another sling blade, a Twist & Shout, and another sling blade for his biggest offensive flurry, thus far.
Archer placed a chair in the corner after removing the turnbuckle padding. Tanahashi reversed and sent Archer into the chair and used a roll-up for a two-count. Archer got up and hit a Black Hole Slam for a two-count.
Tanahashi hit the Aces High, a High Fly Flow onto Archer’s back and then another on top of Archer and won.
WINNER: Hiroshi Tanahashi in 17 minutes and 22 seconds
This was a very simply laid-out match with Tanahashi selling for 90 percent of the match and then having the heroic comeback and pulling off the upset. The audience loved Tanahashi and he was so great as the underdog babyface that was overmatched by the giant Archer.
Archer said that Tanahashi “truly is the Ace” and enjoys beating the crap out of each other. He said he has always respected Tanahashi and has since meeting him in 2011.
Archer said he wants Tanahashi to come to AEW and wants to face him next in a rematch.
Tanahashi was alone in the ring and thanked the audience and posed with the championship. He said he promises he will come back soon and did the air guitar routine.