NJPW Strong Report: Jon Moxley vs. KENTA for the U.S. Title

John Siino reviews NJPW Strong featuring Jon Moxley defending the IWGP United States Championship against KENTA.

Photo courtesy: NJPW

NJPW Strong #29 – “The New Beginning USA 2021”

February 26th, 2021

By: John Siino

Oceanview Pavilion in Port Hueneme, California

Commentary: Kevin Kelly & Alex Koslov

Brody King, ACH & The Riegel Twins vs. TJP, Clark Connors, The DKC & Kevin Knight

ACH and Logan & Sterling Riegel all had matching masks that Brody King wears to show unity. The referee asked ACH to take off his hoodie and mask, which he didn’t, instead, they put another mask on the referee that he took off. The new Young Lion, DKC, and ACH started the match off. ACH chopped away on DKC, before tagging in Sterling who quickly tags out to his brother Logan as Alex Koslov is proud to finally be able to tell the twin brothers apart. Logan goes for the pin, that Knight breaks up. DKC is able to land on his feet from a back suplex, and tag in his acronym partner TJP. TJP was able to duck a couple of leapfrogs and take Logan down with an arm strong for a 1 count but then took a dropkick from Logan. TJP goes to apply a scorpion deathlock that he turns into a figure four, before Logan tags in the big Brody King.  Kevin Knight begs TJP to get tagged in, which he does and goes face to face with the much bigger Brody. Brody challenges Knight to chop away, which he does, but Brody is able to easily take Knight down a couple of times before taking a dropkick but not being affected and knocking Knight down then a senton. ACH comes in with the hoodie and mask on and is able to keep Knight in their corner, before tagging in Sterling Riegel. Brody’s team takes turns tagging each other in while holding Knight in their corner. Knight is able to finally tag out to Clark Connors who is on fire against ACH taking him down with a hip toss before running into a back elbow but coming back with a power slam for a 2 count. Connors tags in TJP, as he and Connors, are able to double team on ACH, with TJP hitting a Mamba Splash that gets broken up by Brody. After all the men get involved, back in the ring DKC is able to sneak an inside cradle on ACH for a two, before ACH hits a superkick followed by a brainbuster for the pin.

Winners: Brody King, ACH & The Riegel Twins by pinfall at 8:36

Chris Dickinson vs. Ren Narita

The match starts a bit slow with a couple of wrist locks being applied until Narita is able to take Dickinson down in head scissors. Back on their feet, Dickinson works on the left arm of Narita before they start trading off chops. Dickinson comes back with kicks and a half nelson, that Narita rolls out of and gets schoolboyed for a two, before being put into an STO that Narita grabs the ropes to escape. Dickinson applies kicks on Narita before they trade-off forearms with Dickinson stopping it with an eye rake. Dickinson ties up Narita into a leg lock with Narita trying to grab the ankle himself to twist. While both tied up, they start slapping each other until they roll around into the ropes to break it up. Back on their feet, they start chopping again with Narita getting the upper hand until Dickinson takes him down with a dragon screw. Narita runs into a big boot by Dickinson in the corner but comes back with forearms and chops in the corner even pushing the referee away in his onslaught. The referee finally stops Narita after stomping in the corner, before pushing the referee off again. Dickinson comes back with a Death Valley Driver for a close 2 count. Dickinson calls for the finish but struggles to lift Narita up in a powerbomb position. They start trading forearms and hard chops, as Narita mounts Dickinson with a sleuth of hard chops the referee had to stop. Narita goes for the Boston Crab into a sharpshooter and Dickinson surprisingly taps out to. Kelly & Koslov really talked this up as a huge upset by Narita.

Winner: Ren Narita by submission at 7:51

They quickly go to a break as they clean and disinfect the ring before the main event.

IWGP United States Championship: Jon Moxley (c) vs. KENTA

We see a video package before the main with Moxley saying he’s the boogeyman and no political lines or oceans will separate him from coming for KENTA. KENTA chimes in and say that it’s time and he will make Moxley go to sleep. Rocky Romero joins Kelly & Koslov on commentary. Moxley comes out to his NJPW Death Rider theme song and camouflage pants. The match starts fast with hard forearms between the two followed by a big boot from KENTA and a tackle from Moxley. Moxley starts chopping KENTA in the corner.

Back on the mat, Moxley goes for the bulldog choke but KENTA quickly grabs the rope. KENTA goes for a springboard but Moxley forearms KENTA out to the floor. On the outside, KENTA blocks a suplex and hits a suplex of his own to Moxley on the concrete floor. KENTA goes and grabs the briefcase, but Moxley is able to knock it out and attempts a piledriver, but KENTA blocks it and hits a DDT to Moxley on the briefcase on the outside.

Back on the inside, KENTA goes for the cover but only gets a two. KENTA hits a hard kick to the back of Moxley, as Moxley screams out ‘Why?!?” before KENTA hits a couple more kicks to the back. KENTA hits a neck breaker for a two-count. Back on their feet, they start trading shots before KENTA takes Moxley down with a drop toe hold and mounts the back with shots to the neck to Moxley. KENTA hits a hard knee before exposing his knee just to kick Moxley in the ear. Moxley struggles to get up as 5 minutes elapses in the match.

KENTA starts hitting kicks to the chest before Moxley grabs the leg and they start trading forearms. KENTA goes for the GTS, but Moxley is able to get KENTA on the outside and hits a suicide dive on KENTA. Moxley hits a headbutt on the outside before heading towards the entrance and runs and hits a jumping knee off the stage into KENTA. Moxley grabs a table from under the ring and sets it up, as he goes to grab KENTA, KENTA hits Moxley in the face with the US Title.

KENTA places Moxley on the table and goes back inside the ring. KENTA hits a flying elbow off the top rope onto Moxley right through the table as the referee is allowing all this to go down before finally going inside and starting the 20 count, where KENTA goes in at 10 and Moxley at 19. KENTA hits a jumping boot followed by a dropkick in the corner as 10 minutes elapse, KENTA hits a double stomp for a close 2 count. KENTA goes for the GTS, but Moxley elbows out before Moxley hits a snap German suplex, followed by a clothesline for a 2. Moxley goes to mount KENTA and starts hitting forearms, but KENTA reverses it into the Game Over, but Moxley reverses into the Bulldog Choke that KENTA gets out of and into the Game Over again. Moxley squirms around closer and closer into the ropes and as it looks like he’s fading out he gets a surge and grabs the ropes.

KENTA hits a crazy hard kick to Moxley then a knee to the back of his head, runs the ropes, right into a hard lariat from Moxley. Moxley calls out the Death Rider, slowly goes to apply it, but KENTA reverses into the GTS, Moxley gets out, they start hitting forearms before Moxley hits a quick DDT for a 2 count. Moxley starts saying “You’re done KENTA, you’ll pay for all your shit.” KENTA says he’s not done yet, yells “FUCK YOU MOXLEY!” but Moxley hits the Death Rider for three-count.

Winner: Jon Moxley by pinfall at 14:25, to retain

After the match, Moxley places the title down in the middle of the ring and KENTA slowly tries to crawl to it, as Moxley shows appreciation by bowing before grabbing and raising the title up. Before blowing a kiss and saying I miss you to his wife into the camera.

Siino Vision: This show was all about the main event, and it definitely delivered. Although it wasn’t advertised as no disqualification, it sure felt like a war and the referee was pretty much lenient on everything here until randomly deciding he felt like starting the outside count. I have to admit, I was pretty shocked by the decisive retainment from Moxley here as I was sure this would be a way to finally get the title onto NJPW Strong and have it become the main title defended here, but the long built storyline of KENTA and his briefcase has come to an end. The other main notable event here was the announcers putting over Narita’s win over Dickinson as a big one for him.

Not sure where they are going here, as I’m a bit perplexed and what they do with Moxley and the US title, unless there are plans for him to show up again soon NJPW Strong or even Japan itself before taking a fatherhood hiatus, so it definitely left me with more questions than answers. The main event delivered, and you can easily just go right to that if you choose to watch this show.

8 bulldog chokes out of 10

About John Siino 294 Articles
New York native and reporter at POST Wrestling. He is also Associate Producer and Social Media Director at upNXT, and the host of the 'Shot in the Dark' podcast.