Originally published at https://www.postwrestling.com/2022/10/27/njpw-the-night-before-rumble-on-44th-street-a-halloween-special/
NJPW The Night Before Rumble on 44th Street – ‘A Halloween Special’
October 27th, 2022
Palladium Times Square in New York City, NY
Commentary: Ian Riccaboni & Matthew Rehwoldt
A Halloween Special
This entire card is a mystery, with the matches being announced as the competitors come out. The only promise is that if they are on the poster for the show, they will appear. Ian Riccaboni is dressed as Austin Powers and Matthew Rehwoldt is dressed as Number 2.
The DKC & Kevin Knight vs. Forever Hooligans (Rocky Romero & Alex Koslov)
We see a video before the match of Rocky Romero talking to a psychiatrist whose face is covered only to reveal that it’s Alex Koslov. This is Koslov’s first match since 2015 when he teamed with Romero (unless you count Talk N Shop A Mania). Koslov and Kevin Knight start the match after Koslov and Romero tease not being on the same page just to hug it out. Koslov and Knight run the ropes a bit before Koslov asks for a handshake, and gets it after the crowd baits Knight to do it. Knight springboards off the ropes for a crossbody before doing a little dance, as Koslov goes to tag Romero in. The DKC tags in and takes control of Romero, who goes to try and tag Koslov in but he tells him ‘you just got in there’ and gets the crowd to get behind him. Koslov and Knight get in and Koslov does the surfboard while having Knight tied up in the ropes as Romero attacks DKC on the outside. Koslov keeps Knight in his corner with chops, before tagging in Romero who keeps control. Koslov holds Knight down as Romero runs the ropes uncontrollably until Koslov stops him with an Atomic Drop and tells him he was supposed to hit a drop kick. Koslov asks for a hug, but Romero hits him instead which causes Knight to hit a double dropkick and tag in DKC. DKC and Knight start double-teaming Romero, as DKC hits a top rope uppercut on Romero while he was on Knight’s shoulders. Knight and Romero fight on the top rope with Knight hitting a superplex for a two-count. Knight puts on a Boston Crab on Romero, but Koslov breaks it up and hits Knight with a DDT. Koslov puts on his ushanka and kicks away at Knight for a two-count. The Forever Hooligans start double-teaming on Knight and call for the Contract Killer, but Knight escapes. The Forever Hooligans are able to eventually hit the Contract Killer but only get a two, as DKC breaks it up. Knight rolls up Koslov with a small package for the surprise pin.
Winners: The DKC & Kevin Knight by pinfall at 15:59
Crowbar vs. Fred Rosser
Crowbar was an unannounced surprise for the show in his NJPW debut in this non-title match as Fred Rosser is the current NJPW Strong Openweight Champion. Right away they go at it, and Crowbar gets knocked to the outside. Rehwoldt brings up how the only other people to have appeared on as many promotions as Crowbar are Jerry Lynn and Christopher Daniels. Crowbar takes control and keeps Rosser tied up in the ropes with chops to the back before hitting him with a leg drop to the back of the head. They continue fighting on the apron until Rosser knocks Crowbar off and dives onto him. They continue fighting on the outside with Crowbar having the upper hand, but Rosser keeps eating all of Crowbar’s punches. Crowbar puts Rosser on a chair and starts choking him before hitting him with a clothesline off the apron to Rosser on the chair, as the referee is being a bit lax with the rules for this match. Back inside, Crowbar stays in control and hits a hurricanrana from the top rope as the crowd is fully behind him. Crowbar puts on a straight jacket choke, but Rosser backs up into the corner to break it up and hits a Northern Lights for a two-count. Rosser follows with some hip attacks and tries to put a stretch on Crowbar, but he quickly grabs the rope. Crowbar blocked Rosser’s Sidewinder and hit the Eye of the Storm for a two count, before they went into a forearm exchange. Rosser comes back and hits a lung blower followed by the Sidewinder for the pin.
Winner: Fred Rosser by pinfall at 14:45
Jonathan Gresham Accepts
Fred Rosser gets on the mic after the match and asks who’s next for the Strong Openweight Championship, as Jonathan Gresham makes his way to the ring. Gresham says he came all the way out here to say he admires Rosser on the way he came back to professional wrestling and became the champion on NJPW Strong. Gresham goes on to say that tomorrow night he will step in the ring with Rosser for the Openweight Championship and what that means for Rosser is he has to out-wrestle, outsmart and outclass the best wrestler in the world, but he won’t as Rosser shakes his hand. Rosser says this is his house and he will swat Gresham down like a fly.
Aussie Open (Kyle Fletcher & Mark Davis) vs. S.A.T. (Jose Maximo & Joel Maximo)
Another nice surprise here with S.A.T. as they get attacked by Aussie Open before the bell rings, but S.A.T. takes control back. All four men start fighting on the apron and to the outside with Aussie Open using S.A.T. as a battering ram. S.A.T. has a couple of people ringside dressed as ‘spot monkeys’ who try to get involved in the match as well. Mark Davis and Jose Maximo get in the ring and go at it before Jose tags out to Joel Maximo. Aussie Open takes control and hits a double team cutter for a two count from Davis. Kyle Fletcher comes in as they hit a double underhook into a sit-out powerbomb for a two. They go for the Corealis but it gets broken up before Fletcher tries to dive to the outside just to get caught and hit with a Doomsday Device-like move to the outside. S.A.T. hit a double-team DDT while having Fletcher on the shoulders for a two count. S.A.T. hit the double Spanish Fly on Fletcher but Davis runs in and breaks up the count. They go for another S.A.T. but Davis knocks Maximo off the top rope. Aussie Open followed with Corealis as Fletcher gets the pin for the win.
Winners: Aussie Open (Kyle Fletcher & Mark Davis) by pinfall at 7:44
Mighty Mante vs. Smiley vs. Mascara Dorada vs. Mike Bailey
Mighty Mante and Smiley are representing House of Glory, with Mante being their current HOG Cruiserweight Champion. They are both surprises along with Mike Bailey, as Mascara Dorada comes out in a Jushin Thunder Liger-inspired gear. Right when the match starts, Metalik takes off Smiley’s mask, but he just has another one underneath as all four men have a staredown. Smiley catches Mante off the top rope and hits him with a brainbuster for a two-count. Mante and Bailey go at it with kicks before Bailey hits a twisting shooting star that Dorada breaks up. Bailey goes after Smiley and tries Ultima Weapon, but Mante knocks him off the turnbuckle before going to the top himself to hit Smiley with a senton for a two count that Dorada breaks up. Smiley hits Mante with a springboard like DDT, but Mante kicks out at the last second. Bailey tries the Ultima Weapon again, but this time Dorada stops him. Mante knocks Dorada to the outside and dives onto him, before going back inside, but Smiley grabs him and puts him on his shoulder. Bailey sees this and hits Mante with the Ultima Weapon while Smiley was holding him, and pins Mante for the win.
Winner: Mike Bailey by pinfall at 9:36
Tracy Williams vs. Minoru Suzuki
Another nice surprise here with Tracy Williams making his first NJPW appearance since 2019. They square off right away, before Minoru Suzuki uses kicks and knees, but Williams takes Suzuki right down and traps his arm. They head to the outside where they start trading slaps before taking it inside and continuing them. Suzuki tries the Kimura, but Williams goes and grabs the rope right away as Suzuki tells the referee he will break his arm. Williams tries to deadlift Suzuki but struggles a bit before putting on an ankle lock instead. Suzuki breaks out of it, boots Williams in the corner and hits a running kick for a two-count. They start trading chops and forearms for a couple of minutes before Suzuki knocks Williams down hard with a big forearm that echoes throughout the venue. Williams gets on the top rope, but Suzuki joins him and puts on the Kimura, but Williams breaks out and DDT’s Suzuki on the top rope for a two count, before transitioning into the STF but Suzuki gets his foot on the bottom rope. Williams calls for the Gotch Style Piledriver, but Suzuki back body drops him off, runs the ropes into the sleeper hold. Suzuki follows it with another big forearm and his Gotch Style Piledriver for the pin and the win.
Winner: Minoru Suzuki by pinfall at 13:18
After the match, Suzuki teases hitting the referee with the piledriver, but let’s go.
Jake Something vs. Shingo Takagi
They start the match running the ropes, with each man failing to take the other down before they go into forearms before Shingo takes down Something with a hip toss and a shoulder tackle. They continue fighting and take it to the outside where Something has the upper hand. Something takes it back inside and stays in control putting Shingo into a sleeper hold. Shingo has the crowd cheering for him as he comes back, takes down Something hitting him with a senton before clotheslining him in the corner and brings him down for a two count. Shingo starts hitting hammer strikes but Something catches Shingo and face plants him down before hitting him with a chokeslam, followed by a Falcon Arrow and gets a two count. Shingo misses a clothesline, and puts on a waist lock and tries to lift up Something, who escapes out. They trade right hands, before Shingo catches Something running the ropes and hits the Spicolli Driver. Shingo gets the crowd going and hits a pump handle driver for another two count. Something catches Shingo and hits a Spicolli Driver also as both men are now laid out. Something slowly starts hitting Shingo with clotheslines while holding on to his arm, but Shingo hits some himself. Something stops this by hitting a lariat, but Shingo kicks out at two. Something goes for a powerbomb, but Shingo reverses it and hits the Pumping Bomber. They trade more forearms until Shingo hits another big Pumping Bomber for the pin and the win.
Winner: Shingo Takagi by pinfall at 14:17
Elimination Match: Team Filthy (Tom Lawlor, Royce Isaacs & Jorel Nelson) & Bullet Club (Jay White, El Phantasmo & Juice Robinson) vs. Amazing Red, Eddie Kingston, Homicide, Jon Moxley, YOH & Kazuchika Okada
This match is elimination style by pinfall, submission, or going over the top rope. Team Filthy comes out first as Tom Lawlor, Royce Isaacs and Jorel Nelson all come out dressed as nuns with scary masks, they are followed by Bullet Club’s Jay White, El Phantasmo & Juice Robinson as the “Nuns” pour holy water on Juice. Amazing Red comes out as a surprise as Ian Riccaboni said he was robbed of doing commentary for him due to COVID. Shota Umino comes out but doesn’t seem to be in the match, as he brings out a surprise in the AEW World Champion Jon Moxley. Jay White and Kazuchika Okada start the match. Royce Isaacs then tries to conduct an ‘exorcism’ on Homicide and keeps saying ‘the power of Christ compels you’, but Homicide takes the cross away from him before Jorel Nelson comes in and tries to do the same. Homicide tells Nelson to take off his mask and spits the Holy Water in his face. All twelve men get in the ring and start fighting it out. We eventually get back to normal before Team Filthy takes turns beating down YOH, but he comes back and is able to body slam every single one of his opponents.
Team Filthy is able to toss YOH over the top rope at the 14:30 mark for the first elimination. Red comes back and hits the Code Red on Nelson to pin and eliminate him, but Isaacs rolls up Red right after to pin and eliminate him. Homicide hits the lariat on Isaacs and pins him as we are now down to 4 on 4. Lawlor goes to toss Homicide over the top rope but he hangs on, before the West Coast Wrecking Crew on the outside pull Homicide down eliminating him. Jay White and Eddie Kingston go at it, ahead of their match tomorrow and trade chops. Moxley and ELP go at it, before Moxley tosses Phantasmo over the top rope, eliminating him. The final six men all started going at it now. Lawlor puts on his nun mask and tries the Death Rider, but Moxley reverses it and hits the Death Rider himself to pin and eliminate Lawlor. Moxley hits White and Juice with a double DDT before tagging in Okada. Okada knocks down Juice and hits him with a flying elbow drop and calls for the Rainmaker, but White stops him. Okada and Juice go back and forth before Okada hits a dropkick and the Rainmaker, but White comes from behind and eliminates Okada over the top rope. As White is distracted, Moxley pins Juice, eliminating him as it’s now down to Moxley and White, with Kingston on the outside. Moxley and White go back and forth with suplexes. Kingston hits the Urakan on White, followed by the Death Rider by Moxley as they toss White over the top rope to win the match:
Winners: Jon Moxley, Eddie Kingston, Kazuchika Okada, Homicide, Amazing Red & YOH at 29:16, with Moxley & Kingston as the sole survivors.