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Csonka’s NJPW Strong Style Evolved 2018 Review

March 26, 2018 | Posted by Larry Csonka
NJPW Strong Style Evolved
7.5
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Csonka’s NJPW Strong Style Evolved 2018 Review  

Csonka’s NJPW Strong Style Evolved 2018 Review

OFFICIAL RESULTS
– Roppongi 3k (Sho & Yoh) & Rocky Romero defeated SoCal Uncensored @ 10:00 via pin [**¾]
– David Finlay & Juice Robinson defeated Hirooki Goto & Gedo @ 7:26 via pin [***]
– KES defeated Toru Yano & Chuckie T @ 10:50 via pin [**¾]
– Marty Scurll & Cody defeated The Guerrillas of Destiny @ 10:55 via pin [**¾]
– LIJ defeated Taguchi Japan @ 12:17 via pin [***½]
Non-Title Match: Champion Will Ospreay defeated Jushin Liger @ 10:40 via pin [***¼]
– Minoru Suzuki & Zack Sabre Jr. defeated Kazuchika Okada & Tomohiro Ishii @ 20:05 via referee stoppage [****]
IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship Match: Champion Jay White defeated Hangman Page @ 21:11 via pin [***¼]
– The Golden Lovers defeated The Young Bucks @ 37:30 via pin [*****]


– Follow all of my reviews at this link.

– You can read my preview for the show at this link.

– We get a really good opening video to run down the card.

Roppongi 3k (Sho & Yoh) & Rocky Romero vs. SoCal Uncensored (Kazarian, Christopher Daniels, & Scorpio Sky): Sky and Romero to begin. They lock up and Sky looks to ground things, Romero back to his feet and they trade strikes and chops. Sky hits a neck breaker, and then Yoh & Kaz tag in. Kaz takes control with a headlock, Yoh picks up the pace and hits a clothesline. 3K work double teams, and then send Daniels to the floor. Sky tags back in, but Sho takes control and Yoh tags back in, hitting suplexes for 2. Yoh follows with forearms until Daniels cuts him off. Sky trips up Yoh and Kaz looks to have tweaked his knee. Daniels tags in and SoCal work triple teams, and Kaz covers for 2. He looks to be ok as he grounds the action. Romero tags in but SoCal had the ref distracted. That allows Kaz to maintain control as Daniels hits a moonsault onto Yoh on the floor. Sky hits a cutter back in the ring, covering for 2. Yoh makes the tag to Romero, who hits a high cross and RANA. He follows with forever clotheslines. Rights to Kaz follow, sand then a dropkick to Kaz who was draped in the ropes. It breaks down, 3K sent to the floor and Sky hits a dive. The best Meltzer ever gets 2 on Romero Yoh makes the save. Sky accidentally takes out Daniels. Sho tags in and 3K double team Kaz, Sky in but gets taken out. Yoh hits a plancha to the floor, Sho hits Germans on Sky, they double-team Sky, and the cover gets 2. The back stabber and dropkick follows, and the 3K finishes Sky. Roppongi 3k (Sho & Yoh) & Rocky Romero defeated SoCal Uncensored @ 10:00 via pin [**¾] This was a pretty good opener, with a good crowd, but felt way too disjointed and rushed overall. The camera work was also really bad at times, missing key moves. I was a bit surprised that the ROH trios champions lost to be honest with you.

– Barnett oddly said after the match that, “they need to get out of the fucking ring.”

David Finlay & Juice Robinson vs. Hirooki Goto & Gedo: Goto and Juice to begin. They lock up, Juice looks to work the arm, but Goto escapes. They work shoulder tackles, and Juice connects with a back elbow and senton, covering for 2. They trade clotheslines, Juice misses a kick, but Goto cuts him off with a lariat and then suplexes Finlay onto Juice. Goto takes control, laying in clubbing strikes to Juice. Goto is bleeding from the mouth and Gedo tags in. He rakes the eyes of Juice, some double team follows, and Goto tags back in. Goto lays in strikes, dropping Juice and tagging Gedo back in. Gedo again rakes the eyes, and follows with jabs. But Juice cuts him off and he follows with jabs as the crowd is behind him. They trade eye pokes, and Finlay lays out Gedo and gets the tag. Goto in as well, Finlay picks up the pace and hits the running uppercuts on both opponents. The uppercut off the ropes gets 2 on Gedo. Gedo counters the stunner, allowing Goto to hit an ushigoroshi, but Juice makes the save. Juice counters and hits a full nelson slam. He drops Gedo with a left, and follows with a plancha onto Goto. Finlay hits the stunner for the win. David Finlay & Juice Robinson defeated Hirooki Goto & Gedo @ 7:26 via pin [***] This was a good match, much cleaner than the first, but unfortunately the camera work continues to be an issue, as they are shooting very tight, and missing some things. I’m surprised that Finlay picked up the win and not Juice.

CHAOS (Toru Yano & Chuckie T) vs. Killer Elite Squad (Lance Archer & Davey Boy Smith Jr.): KES are basically the #1 contenders for the tag titles right now. KES attacks before the bell and Smith isolates Chuckie in the ring. Archer works over Yano on the floor. Chuckie hits soul food and locks in an octopus hold. Smith escapes, and follows with a dead lift German before taking Yano to the floor. Archer tags in, working over Chuckie with rights until Chuckie cuts him off. Archer quickly hits a clothesline and he looks to go old school, tags in Smith before connecting and Chuckie tries to fight back with rights. Smith cuts that off, covering for 2. Smith follows with knees and a belly to belly for 2. The crab follows, Chuckie escapes, and Smith drops the elbow. Smith follows with rights, and tags in Archer. Archer hits a shoulder tackle, and chases Yano away. Smith tags back in, maintaining control on Chuckie, hitting a butterfly suplex for 2. Smith grounds the action as the crowd tries to rally Chuckie. Archer tags back in, but Chuckie counters out of the hart attack and hits a DDT. Yano gets the hot tag, does his usual shenanigans, pissing off Archer. Yano then begs off, the low blow is blocked, and Archer knocks him to the floor. Archer teases a dive, but Yano pulls him to the floor. Chuckie follows with a tope and Yano is back in and undoes the buckle pad. Archer back in and Yano lays in strikes, Archer no sells him and they grab each other’s hair. Yano pulls him down, but gets sent to the floor. Chuckie in and gets a sunset flip for 2. The piledriver follows but it break down. Yano & Smith to the floor, Chuckie misses the moonsault, and Archer hits the pounce The chokeslam gets 2 as Chuckie get a crucifix for 2. The killer bomb is countered, Chuckie runs wild but gets cut off, the killer bomb finishes him. KES defeated Toru Yano & Chuckie T @ 10:50 via pin [**¾] This was pretty good, Chuckie looked good, Archer was a beast, and the crowd loved Yano. Most importantly, KES kept their run going with another win.

– Cody cuts a pre-match promo; they hate him. He says Bullet Club is fine, but what’s not is the booking of this match. He claims there will be no match. He says they are all friends, and praises Tama as a Bullet Club OG. The Guerrillas as three-time tag champions, and they made Bullet Club cool, and superstars like him made it popular. That gets “fuck you Cody” chants. He says they are all team Cody. Loa grabs the mic and says Cody will not deny the fans the match, and says they are not on team Cody.

Guerrillas Of Destiny (Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa) vs. Marty Scurll & Cody: Brandi is out with Cody. This match is part of the ongoing Bullet Club Civil War. They brawl to begin, with Tonga and Cody fighting. Scurll tries to make friends as they toss Cody, but the guerrillas attack and toss him. He and Cody hug. Loa and Cody are in but Cody tags right back out. Loa looks to take control, but Scurll with slick escape and they work into a stand off until Loa attacks and tags in Tonga, the slam and elbow drop follow. Cody tags in, and Tonga hits the corner splash. Brandi pulls Cody to the floor. Tonga follows as Scurll takes out Loa and then Tonga, hitting an apron superkick. Back in and Cody takes control, Scurll tags in and works him over in the corner. Cody and Scurll continue to work quick tags, and Cody hits a delayed suplex. Scurll back in and knocks Loa to the floor, Tonga fires back but Scurll takes him down and looks for a chicken wing. Cody back in and Tonga counters cross Rhodes and he hits cross Rhodes. Cody and Loa trade strikes, Loa is fired up and hits a big slam. He takes out Scurll, but Cody hits a disaster kick. Cody up top, Tonga cuts him off and hits a superplex. Tonga up top and Scurll cuts him off, and he hits a superplex. Loa then superplexes Scurll. Everyone is down. Coy struggles to his feet and teases rise of the terminator, but Loa cuts him off with the spear; Scurll makes the save. Cody takes out Tonga, they isolate Loa, but Scurll accidentally hits Cody. The guerrillas double team Scurll, Cody back in and Tonga hits the dropkick. Cody runs them together, hits cross Rhodes on Loa and that’s that. Marty Scurll & Cody defeated The Guerrillas of Destiny @ 10:55 via pin [**¾] Cody was really great here, getting good heat and just doing all of those little things that make a huge difference. The match was pretty good overall, with Cody picking up a win in he first meeting in his arc with the Tongan side of Bullet Club; this is far from over. The camera work once again took away from things, missing several spots or just being poorly positioned; the director is doing a bad job tonight.

Taguchi Japan (Ryusuke Taguchi, Hiroshi Tanahashi, Dragon Lee & KUSHIDA) vs. Los Ingobernables de Japon (Tetsuya Naito, BUSHI, SANADA & Hiromu Takahashi): Naito is wearing the suit with a cape, so he’s in serious mode tonight; Taguchi is wearing an In & Out hat. We have a very pro-LIJ crowd tonight, but they are hot for everyone in the match. Tanahashi and Naito to start us off. Naito took off his suit and is still sporting his shirt. SANADA attacks and he and Naito lay the boots to Tanahashi. SANADA then accidentally hits Naito, allowing Tanahashi to make a comeback and tags in Lee. Takahashi in as well. They trade chops right away, beating the shit out of each other as the crowd goes wild. They pick up the pace; working into counters, and Lee hits a German. The tope connects! Back in and Lee lays the boots to Takahashi, and the faces rush in and take LIJ to the floor, isolating Takahashi. They work him over with corner attacks, and Taguchi hits the ass attack. KUSHIDA in and grounds Takahashi, locking in a cattle mutilation. LIJ now rushes in, clearing the ring and isolating KUSHIDA. Takahashi takes control back in the ring and BUSHI flies in with the missile dropkick. SANADA tags in, continuing the heat on KUSHIDA. The paradise lock follows, and then the dropkick to the ass. BUSHI back in and grounds the action. KUSHIDA escapes, but BUSHI chokes him out with the shirt. BUSHI knocks the faces to the floor, but KUSHIDA battles back, hits a dropkick, but there’s no one to tag. SANADA back in, but KUSHIDA hits a back handspring elbow. Tanahashi finally tags in, running wild hits a high cross on SANADA. He takes out BUSHI & Takahashi with dragons crew leg whips. SANADA in, but Tanahashi counters skull end, SANADA escapes and hits the missile dropkick. Taguchi and Naito tag in, Taguchi gets the ankle lock and KUSHIDA locks on the hover board lock on BUSHI. Tanahashi gets the cloverleaf on SANADA as Lee and Takahashi brawl on the floor. Naito cuts off Taguchi, but Taguchi get the ankle lock; SANADA makes the save, Tanahashi takes him out, and KUSHIDA takes out BUSHI. Lee gets suplexed to the buckles by Takahashi. Naito hits destino on Taguchi and that that’s that. LIJ defeated Taguchi Japan @ 12:17 via pin [***½] This was a very good and tremendously fn tag match, and easily the best thing on the show so far. LIJ winning was expected and made the most sense, with BUSHI, Takahashi, and Naito all headed towards title shots.

– Rey Mysterio’s music hits and he arrives. He was supposed to face Liger, but is out with a partially torn biceps. Rey grabs the mic and plays to the crowd. He apologizes for not being able to wrestle tonight, due to his injury. He says the match with Liger still may happen, and has nothing but respect for him. He promises that he will come back when he’s ready and wrestle for New Japan. Rey takes a seat at ringside.

Champion Will Ospreay vs. Jushin Liger: Liger immediately grounds things, taking the champion down and controlling. He works into the Romero special, and then lays in chops. Ospreay counters back, and hits the hesitation dropkick in the corner. Ospreay follows with uppercuts and he now grounds things, but Liger makes the ropes. Liger back to his feet, hits the back breaker, and then hits the cannonball to the floor. Liger then hits a brainbuster on the floor! Liger back into the ring, they do a countout tease on Ospreay but he just barely makes it back in. Shotei by Liger, and the Liger bomb follows for 2. Liger takes him up top and follows, hitting the RANA, but Ospreay lands on his feet, stumbles but hits a back handspring elbow. Ospreay follows with the Sasuke special. Back in and Ospreay springboards in with the lariat. The running shooting star press follows for 2. Ospreay hits a dropkick and then a 619 misses, allowing Liger to hit the rolling kick. Ospreay cuts him of with a Spanish fly for 2. The Robinson special connects, but Liger cuts off the Oscutter with a brainbuster. They work back up top, and Liger hits the SUPER BRAINBUSTER for 2. Liger is frustrated, looks for a shotei, but Ospreay counters into a hook kick, but Liger hits the running shotei for a good near fall. Liger fires up, but Ospreay counters a shotei into a powerbomb for 2. Ospreay lays in kicks, hits the OsCutter and puts Liger away. Champion Will Ospreay defeated Jushin Liger @ 10:40 via pin [***¼] This was a good match, with Liger getting enough to look competitive, before the champion took the win, going 4-0 against the legend. It was basically Liger’s greatest hits, it worked and Ospreay worked his ass off as usual.

– Ospreay says he hope she can work like Liger at 53. he praises Liger for everything he’s done in his career, but says that to make his own legacy, he needs to beat legends. He wants to take the title to a new level, and wants a match with Mysterio. He says when Rey’s better, they need to do this. Marty Scurll attacks and lays out Ospreay with the umbrella. Rey tries to make the save but Marty rips his mask off and then Liger makes the save. It looks like they are setting up Marty & Ospreay, possibly for Sakura Genesis, and Liger vs. Rey for, hopefully, a later date.

Kazuchika Okada & Tomohiro Ishii vs. Minoru Suzuki & Zack Sabre Jr.: Okada and Zack start us off. Zack grounds things right away, and they work into some grappling, with Zack breaking and patting Okada on the face. He goes right back to the ground, working the arms of Okada. Okada counters out, and he grounds Zack. Zack quickly escapes, so Ishii & Suzuki tag in. They go face-to-face and start trading strikes. Neither man is a mused as they continue to trade, just lighting each other up. Ishii hits a big shoulder tackle, but Suzuki gets the hanging arm bar in the ropes as Zack takes Okada to the floor, working an abdominal stretch. Suzuki works over Ishii with a chair, and then dumps him into the crowd and follows. Zack is working over Okada’s arm in the barricade, and Suzuki lays in chops as they are in control. Back in the ring, and Ishii lays in chops on Suzuki, but Suzuki just laughs at him, and fires back. Zack tags in, grounding Ishii, working an arm bar as Suzuki joins in and they work double submissions as Okada argues with the ref. Suzuki in and continues to beat on Ishii, and knocks Okada to the floor. Suzuki then locks on a knee bar on Ishii, but Ishii makes the ropes. Ishii tries to fire up, but Suzuki just slaps him around and follows with head butts. Zack tags back in, laying in kicks, but Ishii fires up and absorbs the kicks and counters a knee bar into a big German. Okada finally gets the tag, and runs wild on Zack as he knocks Suzuki to the floor. The DDT follows for 2. Zack cuts him off with a guillotine, and then counters the neck breaker into a head scissors and double armed submission. Suzuki cuts off Ishii, and Zack gets the octopus hold. Okada counters out, looks for a tombstone, but Zack counters into the hanging kimura. He takes Okada to the mat, but Ishii makes the save. Zack lays the boots to Okada, Okada tries to fire back as we get, “lets go Zabre/fuck you Sabre” chants. Zack counters out of the cobra clutch and tags in Suzuki. He kicks the hell pout of Okada, locks on the sleeper, but Okada counters the Gotch into the neck breaker. Ishii gets the tag, laying in strikes and rights on Suzuki in the corner. They now trade strikes center ring, Ishii dares Suzuki to hit him more, so he does. Ishii is rocked, but keeps challenging Suzuki to hit him. Ishii keeps fighting back and taking strikes, Suzuki lays in rapid-fire strikes now, but Ishii fight s back and hits the suplex. Suzuki gets the sleeper, escape and Zack tags back in, knocking Okada to the floor. Zack lays in uppercuts, Suzuki hits the boot and double PKs follow for 2 as Okada makes the save. Suzuki and Okada to the floor, Ishii blocks the PK and hits a head butt; the powerbomb gets 2. Zack looks for a guillotine, but Ishii powers out and Okada in with a dropkick and another. The siding lariat by Ishii gets 2 as Suzuki makes the save. Zack cuts off Ishii, and locks on an arm bar as Suzuki chokes out Okada. Zack locks on orienting with napalm death and the ref waves it off. Minoru Suzuki & Zack Sabre Jr. defeated Kazuchika Okada & Tomohiro Ishii @ 20:05 via referee stoppage [****] This was great, as they did an excellent job working the Okada & Okada teases, setting up a bunch of fun spots and counters for their match on Sunday. The Ishii vs. Suzuki stuff was absolutely incredible, hard-hitting violence, and I desperately want them to have a one on one match soon, with just them and no interference. Ishii is awesome and Suzuki has been on fire in 2018.

– Post match, Zack locks on the octopus hold on Okada and poses. he and Suzuki then attack the referee.

– On July 7th, NJPW comes back to the US for G1 Special: Fighting Spirit Unleashed at the Cow Palace in San Francisco.

IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship Match: Champion Jay White vs. Hangman Page: This is a big test for both guys in this position. They brawl right away; White lays in chops and follows with a running forearm. Page cuts him off with a boot and mounted rights. Page follows with a backdrop suplex, covering for 1. White then hits the dropkick, and grounds the action, working a Muta lock. Page tries to power out, and makes the ropes. They work to the floor, White lays in chops but Page cuts him off and he now delivers chops. Back in, Page to the apron and hits a neck breaker in the ropes and they spill to the floor. Page then sends White into the barricade. Page then tosses White into the post, rolls back in and then back to the floor and rolls White back in. Page follows with a dead lift pump handle suplex into a pinning combo for 2. Page then hits a back breaker, covering for 2. Page lays the boots to White, talking some shit as well. White fires back with chops, and follows with a snap Saito suplex. White follows with more chops, hits a back elbow and then rolling suplexes. Page cuts off the third, but White slams him to the buckles and follows with strikes and the suplexes him to the buckles for 2. Page counters the kiwi crusher into a cradle for 2. Page counters the German, but White gets it on the second try for 2. Page fights back, but White lays in more chops. Page stops that with a draping DDT and both men are down. Page looks for the buck shot lariat, but there’s an odd delay as he lays in strikes on White. White cuts him off and lays in chops and uppercuts in the ropes. They work to the apron, White teases blade runner, but Page grabs the ropes. White hits an apron flatliner, and then about KILLS Page with a SICK apron German as Page landed on his shoulder. Back in and White sets Page up top, and follows him up. Page tries to fight him off, does and they trade strikes and chops. Page follows with elbows, and then hits a neck breaker off the top. Page covers for 2. They trade strikes from their knees, and now to their feet, going crazy fists. White then suplexes Page to the floor. White then suplexes him on the floor. Back in they go, Page fights back with elbows, but eats another Saito suplex. Page counters blade runner and hits a powerbomb. Page looks for another, but instead opts for a piledriver, covering for 2. White to he floor and Page hits the shooting star press off of the apron. Page heads up top and hits the big moonsault. Back in and Page hits the buck shot lariat for a good near fall. Page looks for rite of passage, White counters out and cradles him for 2. White then hits a sick half nelson suplex, and then the kiwi crusher. Page sort of kicks out. The blade runner is countered as Page spits in his face, and follows with a superkick and rolling elbow. White counters rite of passage and hits blade runner for the win. Champion Jay White defeated Hangman Page @ 21:11 via pin [***¼] This was a good match overall. They worked had, but the issues were that they went too long, and that both guys play better off of superior opponents. They lost the crowd a bit, and there was some awkwardness in the middle. Page worked his ass off, took big bumps and did everything to get the crowd into the match, but together, it just didn’t feel that they were ready for this position, in terms of working a long main event style match.

– David Finlay attacks White post match and lays him out. Finlay says they aren’t done yet, and says on April 24th, he challenges him for the championship. And that’s why Finlay got the pin earlier.

The Golden Lovers (Kenny Omega & Kota Ibushi) vs. The Young Bucks (Matt Jackson & Nick Jackson): Matt wants Omega to start. Matt attacks Ibushi and Nick tags in. So does Ibushi. They work into a fast paced counter exchange, Ibushi lays in kicks, Matt in and he eats kicks to the previously injured back. Omega tags in, and checks on Matt, but gets shoved away. Ibushi and Omega work double teams, but the Bucks cut them off and they work double teams. They send Ibushi to the floor and Omega cuts them off. Omega sets for rise of the Terminator and Nick cuts off the tope with a superkick. Nick then wipes then out with a dive. They roll Ibushi back in, as Matt looks under the ring and gets a table. He and Nick argue over that and Nick rolls back in, working over Ibushi. The neck breaker follows and Matt follows with a slingshot senton. Matt tags in and Ibushi counters the charge and hits a dive to the floor onto Nick. Back in and Ibushi looks for a tag, but Nick pulls Omega to the floor. The Bucks follow with double teams and Matt covers for 2 as Omega makes the save. Ibushi again fights back, and hits the dropkick. He gets the tag and Omega flies in with a high cross and runs wild on the Bucks. Nick cuts him off as they double-team Ibushi, but Ibushi rebounds with a missile dropkick. Ibushi and Omega double-team Nick, he rolls to the floor and the golden triangle moonsaults follow. Ibushi and Omega follow with rapid-fire double teams on Matt, and that gets 2. Omega continues to work the back of Matt, Ibushi tags back in and lays in boots to the back of Matt. Ibushi follows with forearm strikes and tags Omega back in. He connects with a back breaker, Ibushi Back in, but Matt takes Omega to the floor. He follows and gets dumped onto the apron. Back in and Matt make the tag, Nick runs wild and takes out both opponents. Omega cuts him off, hits a RANA, but Nick hits the back stabber on Ibushi, They send Omega to the floor and double team Ibushi, and Nick covers for 2. The Bucks head up top and Ibushi cuts them off, knocking Nick to the floor but Matt fights him off. Omega joins in, and they double superplex Matt! They set up Matt, and they head up top. But the Bucks cut them off, and Nick hits an apron German onto Omega. Nick now makes a table bridge at ringside, and sets Omega onto it. Matt up top and he hesitates, and then Ibushi cuts him off. Ibushi takes Nick to the floor and Omega grabs Matt and teases the one winged angel through the table, lading to Ibushi killing Matt with an elevated German back into the ring. Matt battles back with rights, but eats a V trigger, and Ibushi hits the last ride for 2. Omega hits another V trigger, but Nick makes the save. Omega dumps Nick, as Ibushi lays in kicks to the back of Matt. Omega sends Nick into the crowd, and Matt counters the Ibushi standing moonsault. Matt now gets the sharp shooter, Omega in and lays in rights but Matt fires up. Nick makes the save and Nick follows with a moonsault to the floor onto Omega, Matt locks the sharp shooter back on, Nick cuts off Ibushi and hits a tornado DDT onto Omega on the floor. Matt’s back gives out on the sharp shooter, Nick calls for the tag and gets it. Matt’s back gives out, Nick takes out Omega and then Matt puts Omega through the table with an elbow drop. Nick rolls Matt back in and they look to finish Ibushi. The assisted 450 connects for 2. Ibushi fights with all he has left, but eats double superkicks. Omega is back and looks for one winged angel, but eats superkicks, and Ibushi makes the save. Ibushi tags in Omega, and everyone is dead tired and beat down. Matt and Omega are in and they trade strikes center ring. Snapdragon by Omega, but Matt rebounds and hits a piledriver. Matt takes off his weight belt and whips Omega with it repeatedly. Omega cuts him off with a shot to the back and he gets the belt and now Omega tosses it aside and hits a V trigger. Another. Matt cuts off the third with a desperation spear. The Bucks look for the Meltzer driver, Matt’s back is hurting so Nick has to help. Ibushi cuts off Nick and powerbombs him through a table at ringside! The Golden Lovers hit an indie taker, but Matt kicks out! Ibushi hits a head kick and Omega hits a doctor bomb for 2. Matt has no one to tag now, Omega hesitates a bit, as Matt is down. Matt hits a desperation superkick, Ibushi cuts him off and he tells Omega to finish things the running V trigger follows and Omega hesitates on the one winged angel, but hits it anyway as Nick makes the save. Nick checks on Matt, but Matt is out. Nick asks Omega what has this come to and starts to fight back by himself. The V trigger and snapdragon follows, Omega drops the kneepad, and the Golden Lovers hit the golden trigger and finally pick up the win. The Golden Lovers defeated The Young Bucks @ 37:30 via pin [*****] First off, this match told an overall amazing story, building off of everything they’ve done up and to this point on NJPW shows, and on being the Elite. It started with the initial reluctance of Omega to fight Matt, and then Matt refusing Omega’s help when he checked on him. From there, Matt was wearing the team Cody weight belt, and Nick wasn’t. This plays into the recent Being The Elite episodes, when Cody has gone to he Bucks individually, and trying to cause issues, by telling each of them that they are the real star or Shawn Michaels of the team, and the real break out star. And then there’s matt selling the back, which has been a constant story in their matches since January 4th. On top of that, there is Nick continually making or asking Matt do things his body can’t do, due to the back injury; until now they had over come, but in the end, Matt was too weak and took the loss here. And in the end, it was Ibushi finally being the one to force Omega’s hand to finish things off. The expectations for the match were certainly high, but when you combine the amazing story of the match and combine it with the overall incredible action, I believe this was an absolutely spectacular match, and one of the very best of the year. The action was great, the pacing and overall lay out were awesome, and the slow breakdown of the friendship as the action escalated and became more extreme and violent was just about as perfect as you can ask for. This kicked all of the asses, and is a must see match in my opinion.

– Post match, Cody arrives and yells at matt and then shoves down Nick. Omega & Ibushi return and run him off. Omega checks on his former Elite friends, and offers them a handshake, Nick accepts and they hug. Matt bails and refuses. Nick leaves with him.

– Omega cuts the post match promo, saying it can be a sad word when friends have to fight. In war there are casualties, and he wishes he could be happy. But the Golden Lovers are back and here to stay. Rest assured, they will both be in featured matches when they come back to the US. He wishes the issues with Bullet Club could end, but all Cody does it talk, and beat the shit out of Cody. He hypes the July 7th event, and for he and Ibushi. Goodbye and good night. Omega said he may have a broken orbital socket as well.

– End Scene.

– Thanks for reading.

 photo fe36ffd0-0da4-4e3b-a2d3-b026b341dd87_zps41ef5d61.jpg
“Byyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyye Felicia!”

7.5
The final score: review Good
The 411
First of all, the bad. The production hurt the early portion of the show, continually missing key moves and transitions, and at times shooting the ring too close, also causing things to be missed. In terms of commentary, Jim Ross was really bad. I am a huge Jim Ross fan and respect what he’s done in his career, and other than not knowing names of wrestlers, names of moves, and basically dropping play by play for shit analogies, he was great. He came off as uneducated on the product way too often and considering he calls their weekly show, that’s honestly quite pathetic.

Overall the NJPW Strong Style Evolved 2018 show was a good and strong show, that had mostly good wrestling, nothing bad, and a lot of set up for future matches, as well as the continuation of the Bullet Club Civil War. The main event was absolutely spectacular and will be what the show is remembered for.

legend