NJPW Battle in the Valley: Ishii wins NEVER title, Ospreay issues challenge, Jonah debut

John Siino's review of the NJPW Battle in the Valley card highlighted by Jay White vs. Tomohiro Ishii and Kazuchika Okada vs. Buddy Matthews.

Photo Courtesy: NJPW

NJPW Battle in the Valley

November 13th, 2021

By: John Siino

San Jose Civic in San Jose, CA

Commentary: Kevin Kelly & Alex Koslov

Dark NJPW Xtra Match: BULLET Club (Hikuleo & Chris Bey) def. Kevin Knight & The DKC by pinfall at 8:35

Yuya Uemura vs. Josh Alexander

This crowd is fired up here to start the show. They start the match exchanging waist looks and arm locks, but Alexander is able to maneuver out into an ankle lock. Alexander keeps a headlock on, until Uemura puts on a strong one of his own, bringing Alexander down in the middle of the ring. Kelly & Koslov do a great job explaining what Alexander has just gone through with the IMPACT World Championship to anyone watching who might not be familiar with it. Alexander controls Uemura, including bouncing him off the ropes into a Northern Lights suplex. Alexander keeps Uemura down with strikes as the crowd starts getting behind Uemura, followed by them tussling in the corner with chops. Uemura is able to stop Alexander in the corner with a high dropkick. Uemura hits a giant chop into a back suplex for a two count but goes right into a cross armbreaker. Alexander comes back with a couple German suplexes, until Uemura switches into a German of his own for a two. Alexander dodges another dropkick and puts on the ankle lock, transitioning into a Sharpshooter, but Uemura is able to grab the ropes. Alexander hits a deadly stomp on top of Uemura’s leg and right into the ankle lock again. Uemura puts on the cross arm breaker, but Alexander gets out as Uemura meets him with a couple dropkicks. Alexander catches him and applies the ankle lock while kicking Uemura in the head until Uemura taps out.

Winner: Josh Alexander by submission at 11:44

Uemura looks upset after the match, but the crowd gives him a round of applause.

Stray Dog Army (Misterioso & Bateman) vs. VLNCE UNLTD (Brody King & Chris Dickinson)

All four, start brawling before the bell rings outside the ring, to the point where they knock the commentary audio off the air. The referee finally starts to count them out, but they eventually get back in as Bateman and Brody King are the two official men to start the match. Bateman and Misterioso start double-teaming Brody as commentary finally comes back after two minutes. Stray Day Army continues to take turns tagging in and attacking Brody, keeping him near their corner. Brody fights out and makes the hot tag, as Dickinson hits a double dropkick off the top rope, to both Bateman and Misterioso. Dickinson goes right after Misterioso and puts on a cross arm breaker. Now Bateman and Misterioso take turns attacking Dickinson, as the crowd tries to get behind Dickinson. Misterioso hits double knees to the side of Dickinson’s head but only gets a two count. Dickinson tries to make a comeback knocking Misterioso out of the ring, and rolling over to take Brody in, who hits a big cannonball to Bateman in the corner followed by tossing Misterioso on top of him. Dickinson and Brody hit a sleuth of double team offense that ends in Dickinson hitting a frog splash but seems to have injured himself as he struggles to make the pin attempt. Brody and Misterioso seem to call an audible and fight on the outside, while Bateman seems to have a quick talk to Dickinson, he rolls him up and gets the simple pin.

Winners: Stray Dog Army (Bateman & Misterioso) by pinfall at 10:08

They end up taking Dickinson out of the ring with a stretcher as commentary points out that it could be hamstring-related.

Team Filthy (Danny Limelight, Royce Isaacs, Jorel Nelson, JR Kratos & Tom Lawlor) vs. Alex Zayne, Alex Coughlin, Rocky Romero, David Finlay & Fred Rosser

Rosser comes out with a new shaved head look. Rosser and Lawlor start the match and go right at it with punches and chops in the corner, but quickly end up on the outside where all 10 men start brawling. Rosser and Lawlor start fighting on the apron, where Lawlor tries to apply a chokehold on the ropes, but the referee is able to break it up, as Rosser hits a backbreaker onto the apron, as the 10 men outside all start brawling again. Rosser challenges Lawlor to kick him, as commentary seems to have disappeared again. Limelight and Finlay tag in as Finlay takes him down with a side suplex and dropkicks Nelson out of the ring. Romero comes in and hits a dropkick to Limelight who was hanging on the ropes. Romero, by the way, I have seen wrestle in AEW, House of Glory, IMPACT, and now NJPW within the span of 4 days. Nelson and Limelight are able to hold Romero down, as they tag Kratos inside. Kratos hits a big suplex on Romero as Team Filthy takes out the babyfaces and tries to pose in the ring as Rosser breaks it up by attacking Lawlor. They start brawling on the outside, taking out the cameraman in the process. Romero tries to fight out and make the tag, but Limelight holds him back. Romero does eventually tag out to Zayne who takes out all of Team Filthy, including jumping off of Nelson’s back to hit a hurricanrana from off the top rope to Limelight. Beautiful. Zayne tries to run the ropes, but Nelson trips him up as Limelight takes out Kratos. Coughlin tags in for the first time and attempts a gut wrench suplex to Kratos who fights out and hits a pounce to Coughlin. Kratos hits the gut wrench suplex himself and then clotheslines and throws Finlay over the top rope. Kratos teases jumping to the outside but gets stopped by Zayne. As all the men are brawling on the outside, Zayne hits a springboard moonsault on to them all. Limelight joins them with a dive of his own, followed by Romero hitting a crossbody. Kratos hits a dive of his own on them and the crowd erupts for that. Kratos tosses Coughlin inside and tries to grab him by the mustache, but Coughlin smacks him. They start trading chops, but Kratos stops him with a big punch and tries a suplex, Coughlin gets out, chops Kratos knee, and hits a running clothesline to the back of the head. Coughlin attempts the gut wrench suplex again and finally hits it as the crowd pops for that as well for finally delivering it, as Kratos rolls to the outside. Rosser and Isaacs tag in as Rosser takes control until Nelson trips him up on the run and the West Coast Wrecking Crew double team him, followed by a frog splash by Limelight but everybody comes in to break up the pin. Rosser eventually hits a modified power slam to Isaacs for the pin.

Winners: Fred Rosser, Rocky Romero, David Finlay, Alex Coughlin, and Alex Zayne by pinfall at 15:12

Rosser teases Tom Lawlor on taking his NJPW Strong Openweight Championship at the Detonation show. Lawlor jumps to commentary and mentions that ‘Darren’ can’t get it done. That was a really fun 10-man match!

United Empire (Jeff Cobb & TJP) vs. Clark Connors & Karl Fredericks

All four men start brawling as the referee starts the match, with Fredericks diving onto Cobb on the outside. Connors and Fredericks start double-teaming on TJP including a double tackle for a one-count. Cobb and Connors go at it, with Connors attempting and failing, knocking Cobb over his feet with shoulder tackles. Connors tries to run the ropes but gets kicked by TJP as Cobb takes Connors down and stands on his back as if he’s surfing. Cobb tells TJP that he’s going to beat up Connors for a little bit as he attacks him in the corner. Kevin Kelly mentions it being the 16th anniversary of the death of Eddie Guerrero, as we see a lot of tributes for him tonight. TJP keeps Connors in the corner with a boot wash, but Connors quickly escapes out of it with a German suplex and makes the hot tag to Fredericks who immediately goes, and trades strikes with Cobb. Fredericks hits a spine buster but only gets a two-count on Cobb. Cobb comes back with the Spin Cycle, as the crowd gets behind this match. Connors and TJP both tag in, but TJP quickly takes him down with a low dropkick, but Connors comes back with a power slam. Cobb hits a standing moonsault on Connors, but Connors is able to escape out of the Detonation Kick, throw TJP on top of Cobb, and spears Cobb down before tagging in Fredericks. Fredericks and Connors start attacking TJP in the corner with some innovative double-team moves. Fredericks tries to go for the Manifest Destiny on TJP, but Cobb throws Connors into them, breaking it up. While the referee is distracted, TJP tries to cradle Fredericks, but Connors pushes them causing Fredericks to get the pin instead as Cobb was tied up in the corner.

Winners: Karl Fredericks & Clark Connors by pinfall at 10:00

Ren Narita vs. Will Ospreay

Ospreay takes a while to hand his IWGP title to the referee, to the point when Narita himself starts the match with a big boot. In Ospreay’s defense, he just had a fantastic match with Amazing Red, 24 hours prior across the country in New York. Narita goes on the attack with a back body drop, as the crowd gets behind Ospreay. Ospreay comes back and places Narita on the ropes and knocks him onto the floor with a running kick. They fight on the outside where Ospreay hits a vicious-looking backdrop to Narita on top of the barricade as Narita slowly crawls back in at the 17 count, when Ospreay gets a 1 count with a nonchalant pin attempt. Ospreay hits Narita with a kick to the back then goes and imitates Katsuyori Shibata to the boos of the crowd. They trade offense with Narita hitting a double underhook suplex followed by a running elbow to the corner and another bridge suplex for a two. Narita tries to go for another belly-to-belly but Ospreay stops it and hits a handspring kick knocking Narita to the outside. Ospreay goes to dive to the outside but misses it and gets hit with a belly-to-belly by Narita. Ospreay gets just in at the 19 count but gets kicked in the head by Narita and put into a leg lock. Ospreay powers out and hits a suplex. They get on their knees and start trading forearms before continuing on their feet. Ospreay hits a crazy-looking kick after moonsaulting off of Narita, followed by a Storm Breaker attempt, but Narita gets out and puts on a rear-naked choke and then into the Cobra Twist. Ospreay gets out, tries to kick Narita, but Narita turns it into a German Suplex. Narita tries another suplex, but Ospreay reverses it into a stunner. Ospreay comes back with some deadly-looking kicks, tries the OsCutter but Narita stops it, Ospreay hits a powerbomb and gets a two. Ospreay misses a 450 splash, which shows he landed on his leg, so Narita tries to put on the Boston Crab, then eventually turns it into a Sharpshooter as Ospreay tries to reach for the rope and the hand of the referee before eventually making it to the bottom rope. They start exchanging slaps, but Ospreay stops him with a hook kick, both men falling down and the crowd chanting ‘this is awesome’. Ospreay teases the Hidden Blade, misses it as Narita puts Ospreay in a front-face lock. Ospreay gets out and hits the OsCutter, but Narita kicks out at two. Ospreay follows that with the Hidden Blade and gets the pin.

Winner: Will Ospreay by pinfall at 15:43

Ospreay forces the ring announcer to reintroduce him as retaining the IWGP World Championship.

NJPW U.S. Tour Dates

·       January 15th, 2022 – Seattle, WA (Washington Hall)

·       February 17th, 2022 – Los Angeles, CA (The Vermont Hollywood)

·       March 20th, 2022 – Tampa, FL (The Coliseum)

Moose vs. Juice Robinson

This is a non-title match, but commentary points out Juice will most likely get an IMPACT World Championship match if he beats Moose. Moose puts his hand out to shake but instead gives Juice the double bird. Juice tries to take down Moose, but Moose is not impressed, asking if that’s all he’s got. Juice eventually gets on top and puts on a side headlock. Juice tries to run the ropes and get Moose confused, but Moose eventually stops him by tackling Juice out of the ring. Moose keeps trying to chop Juice in the corner, but Juice chops instead, knocks Moose to the outside, and hits a cannonball off the apron to the outside. Moose goes to chop Juice by the ring post, but Juice moves and Moose chops the steel instead, but quickly comes back and whips Juice into the barricade. Moose throws Juice in, but Juice meets him with some punches until Moose stops him with a slam. Moose hits a chop that makes the whole crowd erupted, but Juice keeps telling him to do more. They trade forearms as the fans do the ‘Moose / Juice’ chant to each shot until Moose hits a bicycle kick but gets stopped on the top rope with a punch by Juice. Juice meets Moose up there and hits a top rope hurricanrana followed by a cannonball in the corner. Juice hits a frog splash and gets a two-count. Juice tries to go for Pulp Friction, but Moose stops it and hits a big dropkick followed by a powerbomb but only gets a two. They slowly start trading strikes while comedically shouting ‘Come on Juice / Come on Moose’. Moose tries a moonsault off the ropes but gets hit with the Left Hand of God and the Pulp Friction, but Juice only gets a two. Moose tries to stop Juice from running the ropes, but Juice hits a running lariat for a two. Juice goes to the top, but Moose runs up there and hits a suplex off the top for a two. Moose kips up, goes for the Lights Out Spear, Juice rolls him up for a two, followed by a victory roll for another two, the Left Hand of God but Moose stops him with the Lights Out Spear for the pin, in a fantastic match-up.

Winner: Moose by pinfall at 14:51

Jonah is Here

As Moose is celebrating, we hear unfamiliar music as Jonah (the former Bronson Reed from NXT) comes out. Jonah goes face to face with Moose, but instead goes and attacks Juice Robinson. David Finlay runs out and he gets taken out by Jonah as well. Kevin Kelly points out this should make Jonah’s intentions being for NJPW and now IMPACT. Jonah got on the mic and said the shackles are finally off, the real violence begins, and NJPW Pro Wrestling is looking at your top dog, and Jonah is here.

Buddy Matthews vs. Kazuchika Okada

Buddy (Don’t call me Murphy) Matthews gets a pretty nice reaction as he comes out with the ‘Secret No More’ moniker, making his NJPW debut in a big way. Okada gets an even bigger reaction as he plays with the crowd when he reveals his shorts. They take in the crowd and then eventually lock up and fight over to the corners. They start teasing each other with smacks then stopping short before going face to face in the middle of the ring. Matthews tries to go for Murphy’s Law, but Okada escapes out and almost gets a kick to the face. The crowd starts to get behind Buddy, chanting his name. Okada places Matthews on the top rope and dropkicks him out of the ring. They fight on the outside and Matthews drops Okada on his back on the apron. Okada gets in at 12, and Matthews goes on the attack with knees and kicks to the back of Okada. Matthews starts teasing Okada and the crowd gets in his face and talks trash before Okada comes back with strikes of his own. Matthews jumps off the ropes but gets hit with a flapjack. Okada hits a flying back elbow to the corner followed by a DDT for a two-count. Okada tries to put in the Money Clip, but Matthews breaks out and tosses Okada to the outside, but Matthews meets him with a tope con giro. Matthews throws Okada back inside and jumps off the top rope, just for Okada to dodge it and hit a neckbreaker for a two-count. Okada hits a scoop slam and hits a flying elbow off the top rope before hitting his Rainmaker pose. Matthews dodges the Rainmaker, gets pushed back in the corner, and kicks Okada down, before hitting a sunset flip into a buckle bomb. Matthews goes for the curb stomp, but transitions into elbows to Okada’s neck. As Okada is fading, the referee pushes Matthews off to check on Okada. As Okada is slowly getting up, Matthews hits the curb stomp, but Okada barely kicks out at 2. Matthews hits the Rainmaker pose but gets rained down with boos. Matthews goes for the Rainmaker, but talks too much trash, causing Okada to get out and clothesline Matthews down. Okada goes for the Tombstone, but Matthews slides out, hits kicks, stomps on Okada’s toe, kicks him but gets stopped by Okada’s dropkick, into the Tombstone. Okada tries to lift Matthews up, go for the Rainmaker again, but Matthews stops it with a kick. Okada doesn’t let go of the wrist through more kicks but eventually stops Okada with a knee. Okada gets out of Murphy’s Law, hits the Landslide into the Rainmaker for the pin.

Winner: Kazuchika Okada by pinfall at 16:23

Will the Real IWGP World Champion, Please Stand Up

After the match, Okada goes to shake Matthews’ hand and he does as they raise each other’s hands. Okada raises his IWGP title and gets the crowd amped up. The music hits as Will Ospreay comes out with his version of the IWGP title. Neither man, mind you, is the IWGP World Champions. Ospreay gets on the mic and says ‘long time no see, big brother’ to Okada and congratulates him on his G1 win but the only reason he won it was because Ospreay refused to go back to Japan. The tradition is the G1 Winner faces the IWGP Champion, so he says Okada may challenge ‘the real world heavyweight champion’ saying he’s undefeated and unpinned. Okada says he won’t challenge Ospreay, Ospreay will challenge him. Ospreay gets upset and says Okada is just like the whiney little wankers and says Okada’s title is dead and means nothing and his title is the real world heavyweight championship. Ospreay says he was going to wait for NJPW to recognize him as the real world champion, but if he wants something done, he’ll do it himself. He tells Okada to face Shingo Takagi for the interim world championship on January 4th, and the winner can face him on January 5th to see who is the real world heavyweight champion. Okada says okay and he will make it rain in the Tokyo Dome and gets the crowd to chant along to make it rain.

NEVER Openweight Championship: Jay White (c) vs. Tomohiro Ishii

The stipulation that Jay White presented for this match is that if Tomohiro Ishii loses, he could never challenge for the NEVER Openweight Championship again. White starts the match playing to the crowd before he and Ishii go at it fast, trying to knock each other down, with White succeeding with a dropkick to the knee. White screams that he’s not playing games as he starts stomping down and on Ishii in the corner. Ishii hits a shoulder tackle knocking White to the outside, where he quickly joins him before tossing him right back inside, where White just rolls right back outside. White puts Ishii into a fireman’s carry position and drops him neck first on top of the rope, where Ishii falls to the outside. White follows him and tosses Ishii into the barricades, throwing him back inside and getting a couple of two counts. White starts attacking the leg of Ishii and taunts Ishii to get back up where he chops him in the corner. White continues to play with Ishii, but Ishii comes back with chops of his own, before getting knocked right back down with a chop block by White. White puts on a half Crab, right into a Dragon Screw. Ishii tries to come back with headbutts, White hits a knee breaker, but Ishii takes White down with a tackle then again with a power slam. Ishii keeps White in the corner with a sleuth of chops and keeps propping him back up whenever White slithers down. White comes back with a DDT then hits a Death Valley Driver for a two count. Ishii comes back with more chops in the corner as he screams down to White. Ishii places White up for a superplex, but White thumbs Ishii, shoves the referee off, and hits a half & half suplex to Ishii into the corner. White hits a Blade Buster for a two count followed by hard chops. Ishii starts no selling the chops as the crowd chants ‘you fucked up’ to White until Ishii knocks White down with a single forearm of his own. Ishii places White on the top rope again, they go back and forth a bit with strikes, until Ishii finally hits the big superplex for the two-count. Ishii goes for the powerbomb, but White fights out and hits Ishii with a uranage. White goes for the Kiwi Crusher, but Ishii fights out. They start trading forearms again and White gets knocked to the outside. White goes back inside, and they trade a flurry of forearms until White gets knocked back down. Ishii no sells White’s back suplex and hits one of his own. White comes back by tossing Ishii to the outside. The commentary goes back out as White hits the Kiwi Crusher but only gets a two. White slaps Ishii, but Ishii head butts his way out. They go back and forth until Ishii hits the German Suplex. White hits a half and half suplex, but Ishii comes right back with a clothesline, tries to run the ropes but gets stopped by a clothesline from White. White hits a brainbuster but Ishii kicks out at one at the thought of getting pinned by his own move. White goes back on the attack with hard forearms to the side of Ishii’s head, but Ishii comes back with an Enziguri. White is able to stop Ishii, hits a Sleeper Suplex, and calls for the Blade Runner. Ishii escapes and hits a clothesline, followed by a sliding lariat for two. Ishii goes for his brainbuster, White goes for the Blade Runner, they trade escaping out of their finishers a couple of times, until Ishii hits the dragon suplex and another clothesline for a two. Ishii ends up hitting his Vertical Drop Brain Buster and gets the pin and the win.

Winner: Tomohiro Ishii by pinfall at 28:40, to become the NEW NEVER Openweight Champion

About John Siino 216 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.