NJPW Rumble on 44th Street Report: Okada & Kingston vs. White & Robinson

Rumble on 44th Street Main Event - Kazuchika Okada & Eddie Kingston vs. Jay White & Juice Robinson

DISCLOSURE: Karen Peterson is currently working with Bushiroad (parent company of New Japan and STARDOM) on a limited basis on a series of articles on the history of Stardom leading into the Historic X-Over event in November that will appear on their website.

The Night Before: Jinkies!! A Halloween Mystery Card

The caveat is that the participants and matches will be announced as each wrestler enters to their music! The venue was convenient and centrally located in the just off Times Square on Broadway and 44th Street. The only real issue I had with it was that it was a black hole for cellular reception for me personally. Check out John Siino’s complete event report from last night!

Results! (10/27)

  • Tag Match: Kevin Knight & The DKC defeated The Forever Hooligans (Alex Koslov & Rocky Romero) (16:02)
  • Non Title Singles Match: Fred Rosser ©STRONG defeated Crowbar (14:43)
  • Tag Match: Aussie Open (Kyle Fletcher & Mark Davis) defeated The SAT (Joel Maximo & Jose Maximo) (7:44) – Recommended
  • Four Way Match: Mike Bailey defeated Mascara Dorada, Mighty Mante & Smiley (9:38)
  • Singles Match: Minoru Suzuki defeated Tracy Williams (13:14) – Highly Recommended
  • Singles Match: Shingo Takagi defeated Jake Something (14:17) – Highly Recommended
  • Elimination Match: CHAOS (Kazuchika Okada & YOH), Amazing Red, Eddie Kingston, Homicide & Jon Moxley defeated BULLET CLUB (El Phantasmo, Jay White & Juice Robinson) & Team Filthy (Jorel Nelson, Royce Isaacs & Tom Lawlor (29:14) – Highly Recommended

Match Card Updates: 

  • After Fred Rosser’s match with Crowbar, an impeccably dressed Jonathan Gresham came down to the ring and challenged him to the STRONG Openweight Championship for the following night at Rumble on 44th Street. 

Overall Thoughts

This was a fun show. That’s it. Just fun. I don’t follow GCW, but I was told that several of the talents featured on Night Before are regulars there. Was hoping for more costumes, but it was still a great vibe. Here’s my short rundown from the show last night.

  • I loved seeing the “Status: It’s Complicated” reunion of The Forever Hooligans. Also, I love that the Young Lions are racking up wins now, too! The DKC and Kevin Knight are really starting to come into their own.  
  • Aussie Open –whew – they keep showing everyone why they’re a tour de force in tag team wrestling. Just wished I could have seen Mark Davis chop one of the Spot Monkeys into the fifth row.  
  • There is a gaping hole now that Ren Narita is back in Japan. Honestly, Ren’s excursion journey in STRONG has been one of my absolute favorites. I know they were saving Clark Connor’s return match for the following night, but I would have loved to see a surprise return. Yuya Uemura wasn’t on the show either, and Alex Coughlin is still out at the moment. It just made me a little sad that the usually full complement of LA DOJO wasn’t involved on this show.  
  • Little sad that House of Torture wasn’t on the Halloween-themed event, including EVIL being still in Japan with the NJPW World TV Title Tournament. 
  • With STARDOM being advertised for the following night, I would have loved to have seen the women featured on this card as well, even if it were just a six-woman tag or a three-way match.
  • I appreciated Team Filthy’s dedication to the Halloween theme. Never thought I would see Tom Lawlor as a sexy yet creepy nun, but here we are. 
  • Thrilled to see Shota Umino and Jon Moxley standing side-by-side again, even if it was just for Mox’s entrance. Would have loved Shota to have been in that tag main event, too.
  • Finally saw YOH wrestle in the US for the first time since September 2019. I’ve missed fiery, babyface YOH. Loved seeing Eddie Kingston come check on him after he got put through the wringer and pitched out of the ring. 
  • The pure chaotic energy that was the 12-man elimination match main event was the perfect way to wrap up a light-hearted show. 

If you need to cherry pick once this show is available, definitely check out Suzuki/Williams and Takagi/Something. If you want a fun, nightcap, definite take in the main event.

Availability: Both events were streamed live on FITE TV with English commentary, with plans to be uploaded to NJPW World at a later date. NJPW STRONG commentary by Ian Ricabonni and Matthew Rehwoldt.  

FOCAL POINT: STARDOM Returns to the USA!! 

With the announcement that Bushiroad wants to bring their companies to the international standard of wrestling, meaning diverse cards featuring representatives from both companies, Rumble on 44th Street. The sticking point, much like when NJPW concurrently runs shows domestically and abroad, the expectations are high, however the selection and availability of the talent sent are limited. It is my sincere hope that Bushiroad begins considering blocking out time around NJPW STRONG shows so fans aren’t upset with last minute card announcements, especially when expectations are high. 

I wholeheartedly expected more than three STARDOM competitors on this event when it was announced. Yet, the Goddesses Tag League required most of the roster to remain in Japan. If Bushiroad wants to begin featuring STARDOM talent on more NJPW shows, they’ll definitely need the companies to coordinate schedules and notify fans sooner, especially for international shows, where not all of the fans in attendance are locals. There are many regulars who fly-in to support the brand.

Spoiler-Free Synopsis (Match Card)

  • STARDOM Dark Match (1/20): The first international crossover match since Bushiroad acquired STARDOM in 2019 – Worth a Watch
  • Match (1/20): Yuj SHO and YOH return to the US for the first time since 2019. – Worth a Watch & Happy Birthday, Rocky!
  • Match (1/30): STRONG Openweight Trios – Recommended
  • Match (1/30): Last minute fire addition! – Worth a Watch
  • Match (1/30): Moxley’s Sons team with Uncle Homicide to fight Team Filthy – Recommended
  • Match (1/30): Can I get a “KAZE NI NAREEEEE?” – Sleeper Hit
  • Match (1/60): Mayu’s first match in the United States since G1 Supercard at MSG in 2019 – Highly Recommended
  • Match (1/60): I’m Your Daddy now.  – Highly Recommended
  • Match (1/60): Okada/Kingston vs. Jay/Juice – Recommended

With this event being a separately ticketed iPPV on NJPW World (within Japan) and on FITE TV, the opening STARDOM match was aired for free on NJPW World’s YouTube as an event preview to boost last minute buys.

Prior to the start of the show, a short memorial ceremony for Antonio Inoki was held. The participants came to the ring wing President Takagi Ohbari and Tiger Hattori. The video package they showed at Declaration of Power. Keep in mind that I was in attendance at the Palladium Times Square, so any mention of key developments in the story lines or factoids from the commentary, I did not have access to at the time of writing.

740PM (Pre-Show): STARDOM Dark Match (1/20): Kylie Rae & Tiara James defeated Mina Shirakawa & Waka Tsukiyama (12:08) with Kylie pinning Waka

There was something special about featuring two STARDOM matches on the card. It was refreshing to see the showcase match, but also a female referee! In STARDOM, they don’t even have female officials, so this was a pleasant surprise. With Mina Shirakawa having fluency in English and Waka Tsukiyama being born in New York, they both seemed to resonate with the fans. Kaylie and Tiara were fun to watch, and I feel like we could be seeing more of them in the future. 

Mina and Waka worked well with Kylie and Tiara. My only wish was that there was more pomp and circumstance or at least some sort of introduction of the wrestlers for newer fans. My only issue is having the STARDOM talent lose their very first match in the United States since they were last here in April 2019 felt like it defeated the purpose of highlighting the women’s promotion. 

What’s Next?

  • Mina Shirakawa The Venus of Victory will challenge Saya Kamitani for the Wonder of STARDOM Championship this Thursday at the Hiroshima Goddess Festival (11/3)
  • Waka Tsukiyama continues her journey to her first victory in STARDOM.

Tag Match (1/20): HOUSE of TORTURE (SHO & Yujiro Takahashi) defeated CHAOS (YOH & Rocky Romero) (7:42) – with Yujiro (with a little help from SHO and his wrench) in pinning Rocky

Personally, this was one of the matches I was most excited for because I haven’t seen neither SHO nor YOH wrestle in the United States in fall 2019. The last time I saw either of them live was at the Tokyo Dome for Wrestle Kingdom 14 in January 2020, when they won IWGP Junior Tag Team Championships from El Phantasmo and Taiji Ishimori. However, since the split of Roppongi 3K and SHO aligning himself with House of Torture, this is a very different incarnation of one of my favorite wrestlers. 

YOH and Rocky were on the offensive for a change, taking the fight to SHO and Yujiro. They wasted no time continuing where SHO and YOH left off, reopening all the wounds since SHO’s plummet into darkness last summer. Unsurprisingly, Yujiro won the match as he was the only heavyweight between the four of them. Afterward, YOH and Rocky received a little help from an unlikely assistant… a returning Lio Rush. 

LionRush appeared and attacked House of Torture, and then helped YOH dispatch SHO with a 3K. A. THREE. KAY. I wasn’t emotionally ready for it. They timing will get more natural moving forward as backstage revealed that YOH and Lio were planning on squadding up for Super Junior Tag League next month. 

What’s Next?

  • YOH has been absent from the Battle Autumn series and is seemingly in a holding pattern until Super Jr. Tag League next month. Since losing the NEVER 6-Man championships back to House of Torture, YOH’s future is unclear. Master Wato already secured his berth in the Super Jr. 4-Way at Wrestle Kingdom 17, against Taiji Ishimori, El Desperado and Hiromu Takahashi, and in recent years, YOH’s place has either been in the Junior Heavyweight Tag Championship match with SHO or having their blood feud earlier this year after Roppongi 3K called it quits. Turning the page to a clean slate with a new tag partner could be the best solution to finally put SHO firmly in the past. YOH declares his intent to tag with Lio Rush in Super Junior Tag League.
  • Rocky Romero is working everywhere, but largely here in the United States. As to who each of them will tag with in SJTL, it could be one another or it could be other pairings. With Taguchi now tagging with Master Wato as Six and Nine, I could have seen him teaming with YOH. Robbie Eagles could be the key player in CHAOS for tag league, unless he chooses to tag with Tiger Mask again as Flying Tigers.
  • HOUSE of TORTURE the current NEVER 6-Man Champions were flying light without EVIL due to him cheating his way closer and closer to the NJPW World TV Championships. If SHO and YOH don’t kick off into another forever rivalry and have a singles match at WK17, I could easily see House of Torture facing CHAOS (YOH, Hirooki Goto and YOSHI-HASHI) either in a NEVER 6-Man match or a NEVER6 Gauntlet. I’m hedging my bet on Yujiro tagging with EVIL for WTL.

NJPW STRONG Openweight Tag Team Championship 3-Way Match (1/TL): Motor City Machine Guns (Chris Sabin & Alex Shelley) defeated LA DOJO (The DKC & Kevin Knight) and Aussie Open (Mark Davis & Kyle Fletcher)(13:42) with MCMG pinning LA DOJO?!

I love tornado tags rules, especially when there are multiple teams involved. I’ve loved what Aussie Open have been doing since their arrival in NJPW Strong, and I simply cannot get enough of them. I’ve harbored a soft spot for MCMG for years, and any time they roll up in the NJPW World, I am in fangirl overdrive. After their triumph over the Forever Hooligans last night, The DKC and Kevin Knight are catching fire and I absolutely love to see it. Their match was fast, furious and all over the ring. This match could have easily gone longer, but I wasn’t the least bit disappointed that it didn’t.

There is some special about watching veterans like MCMG and AO working with the Young Lions that just feels special. Tonight might not have been LA DOJO’s night, but there’s something in the water!

What’s Next?

  • If Aussie Open are not in World Tag League… we riot. They’ve been a breath of the freshest air in the tag team division on NJPW Strong and have been killing it over in the UK for years. It’s long overdue. I was happy to see them win the STRONG Tags back in July in Charlotte, and they’ve have consistently some of my favorite matches in NJPW STRONG and their trios matches with Ospreay on AEW was by far, my favorite of the AEW trios tournament. Davis and Fletcher have worked too hard for too long to go unnoticed and to have heaps upon heaps of fangirl bouquets lobbed at them. Still waiting for Mark to chop someone into next week though.  
  • MCMG may be hanging around the NJPW STRONG World for a little while as the new Openweight Tag Champions. Wouldn’t be mad at all if Impact could spare them for about a month because I feel like all of the NJPW tag teams should have representation in the tag leagues. As Openweights, it would be easy to slot them into the World Tag picture, but honestly, I want to see them tear it up with the Super Juniors again. I wish KUSHIDA could have been with them. I need to see one of their reunions together.
  • LA DOJO are going through a shift. With Alex Coughlin and Clark Connors reveling in their graduation tours and Ren Narita back in Japan, The DKC and Kevin Knight are truly coming into their own. I love that they’re not just opening match fodder and that Shibata’s Kids are getting proper experiences and matches on these events. My only wish was that Yuya Uemura could have been included with a partner or elsewhere on the card.

The Android, Alex Coughlin, is BACK… he’s still gunning for JR Kratos and has set his sights on WORLD TAG LEAGUE. Let’s GOOOOOOOO!!!!

NJPW STRONG Openweight Championship Match (1/TL): Fred Rosser © defeated Jonathan Gresham (14:37) 

Rosser has completely evolved as a wrestler since joining NJPW. I love the edge and fire he has and since becoming the second STRONG Openweight Champion, Mr. No Days Off is showing absolutely no signs of being toppled any time soon. His journey to the championship was a long one, but I like that he is forging his own way with the belt. Gresham always brings his purely unadulterated love for pure professional wrestling, which is always a treat to experience, especially live. Their match was intense, and simple in a refined way. No flash, just pure delicious gritty substance.

What’s Next?

  • Fred Rosser continues his dominance as the second NJPW STRONG champion. I want to see him build a run akin to Lawlor’s with a diverse pool of opponents. While it is great to bring in folks, I would love to see some of the LA DOJO lads queue up to challenge him next. As the brand’s titular championship, I would love to see it treated akin to the IWGP US Championship or the NEVER Singles Championship. Send some guys over from Japan. El Desperado (barring any future travel challenges) and Hiromu Takahashi are two that would be fantastic challengers to put the Champion to work. Wouldn’t be mad at a Tanahashi challenge either.  
  • It’s always great to see Jonathan Gresham in a NJPW ring. He is one of the best technical wrestlers in the world, and if think he could do a lot of great things if he makes NJPW STRONG one of his regular mainstays. 

6-Man Tag Match (1/30): Homicide, Wheeler Yuta & Shota Umino defeated Team Filthy (Tom Lawlor, Royce Isaacs & Jorel Nelson) (12:15) 

At a first glance, the unlikely trio of Homicide, Yuta and Shota caught me off guard. However, after seeing Homicide tag with Moxley, Kingston, Okada, Amazing Red and YOH the night before, I feel like Mox just dropped his kids (read: protégés ) off with Uncle Homicide for some fun in NYC with Team Filthy. It’s always a good time when the troublemaking trio of Tom Lawlor and the West Coast Wrecking Crew (Jorel Nelson and Royce Isaacs) roll up, especially after becoming one of the cornerstone factions in NJPW Strong. I love to boo them because their charisma is off the charts and Team Filthy just make wrestling fun.   

Throughout the match, the back and forth between everyone was fun and hard hitting, but the one thing I could not get out of my mind was how good “Shooter” Shota Umino and Black Pool Combat Club’s Wheeler Yuta looked and worked together. I don’t know if it’s possible to make them into a proper tag team, a la The Death Riders. There were chants of “Moxley’s Kids” in the section I sat in, and honestly, sign me up. Umino scored the victory, as his momentum continues to grow in NJPW STRONG.

What’s Next?

  • Team Filthy It is my hope that West Coast Wrecking Crew will get a berth in World Tag League after their time in NJPW STRONG. Words cannot describe how amped I am that Tom Lawlor and Syuri will be tagging together against Zack Sabre Jr. and Giulia at Historic X-Over on November 20 at Ariake Arena. Isaacs started winning fans in Japan over with his time during the G1 with Lawlor in the preview tag matches. It’s time WCWC and more of Team Filthy get their passports and plane tickets ready.
  • Shota Umino was previously scheduled for an Undisputed British Heavyweight Championship match with Ricky Knight Junior after Royal Quest 2. However, he was pulled from the shower after his Royal Quest 2 match against Will Ospreay as a medical precaution. RPUK is announcing matches for shows in the next few months, but Umino’s future is uncertain as his name is conspicuously absent from any of the cards I’ve seen. Much like Narita, his excursion was extended due to the global pandemic, so I could easily see him returning to Japan soon, unless they let him keep floating back and forth between RPUK and NJPW Strong, so he can work with Moxley. There haven’t been any formal announcements from NJPW as to when Umino is slated to return, but his steady improvement and growing popularity could mean it might be sooner rather than later. Zack Sabre Jr, Tomohiro Ishii and Great O’Khan have already been announced for their big event, UPRISING 2022, on December 17th at York Hall. O’Khan will face Knight, Jr. for the championship. However, if his schedule is being intentionally cleared for a reason, I would love to see him tag with Wheeler Yuta in World Tag League or a special singles match against Moxley sometime soon. 

Singles Match (1/30): Minoru Suzuki defeated Clark Connors 15:50) with a Gotch-style Piledriver

Clark Connors returns from injury to go immediately to work with Minoru Suzuki. Talk about jumping out of the frying pan and straight into the fire. The chops alone were like gunshots, but what I loved is the swagger that Connors returned with after being out with injury for the last few months. Suzuki has become one of the regulars from Japan who consistently makes the shows come alive with his matches, and not just because everyone loves singing “Kaze ni Nare.” Suzuki gave Connors a run for his money, when they were running the ropes because The Wild Rhino’s usually diagonals, but Suzuki stayed hot on his heels the entire time. Go out of your way to watch this match, just like Suzuki’s match with Hot Sauce Tracy Williams from the Night Before. There was no need for a story, but how I loved seeing the reunion between Ken Shamrock and Minoru Suzuki and how it didn’t eclipse the match Connors just had.  

Hands down one of the matches you should watch. I mean Suzuki hugs Connors… and not ironically either!

What’s Next?

  • Clark Connors looks like he’s ready to take on the world again. I would love to see him in the conversation for a NJPW STRONG Championship match against Fred Rosser, but also throw him and Yuya Uemura together for an LA DOJO Super Junior Tag Entry. Please. Somebody. ANYBODY. He had a good Super Jr. tourney earlier this year, and I think it would be great to have him featured with Uemura, even though it might be seen as cheating the learning excursion experience. I would also love to see him and Alex Coughlin in a special singles match.
  • Minoru Suzuki keeps breaking bones and stealing hearts around the world with his signature line of wrestling violence. Long Live The King. His reunion with Ken Shamrock in the ring after the match

SWA World Championship Match (1/60): Mayu Iwatani © defeated KiLynn King (11:47) 

For those unfamiliar with the SWA Championship in STARDOM, it is designed to require the opponents to be of different nationalities or heritages when challenging. With the announcement of STARDOM finally joining together with NJPW to bring wrestlers abroad once more, I was thrilled that the SWA Championship was included in the conversation, especially due to the up-until-recently entry restrictions in Japan, preventing international travel into the country without stringent protocols. With her IWGP Women’s Tournament final against KAIRI in several weeks, her defense against KiLynn King was a great way to introduce everyone to STARDOM. Mayu and KiLynn had a great match which could easily bring in lots of fans. The last time we saw Mayu Iwatani in NYC was in her match against Kelly Klein at the G1 Supercard at Madison Square Garden, so there was no better name to bring to the first STARDOM feature in the US since joining Bushiroad. 

Side note: I want to put referee Scarlette Donovan on everyone’s radar! Seeing a female referee in a NJPW ring is really, really special. Even STARDOM doesn’t have female referees!

What’s Next?

  • Mayu Iwatani will face KAIRI in the finals of the IWGP Women’s Championship at Historic X-Over on 11/20. She will also have a tall order standing in her way when she faces Jazzy “Alpha Female” Gabert at Hiroshima Goddess Festival on 11/3.

KOPW NYC Street Fight (1/60): Shingo Takagi ©  defeated El Phantasmo (20:59) 

Denim Daddy Shingo. Denim Rebellious Son ELP. (Not the least bit mad that I had to write that this time.) I love safety precautions when it comes to wrestling street fights and denim couture is essential. I appreciated Shingo coming in with his usual half-mask and robe, keeping the denim reveal until the last minute possible.  

After the “Who’s Your Daddy” Match at Declaration of Power, I genuinely thought their chapter was closed for the time being. They announced this match with a NYC Street Fight stipulation, all I knew to expect were shenanigans. That being said, I really enjoyed this match. As a newer fan of NJPW with shallow at best knowledge of Phantasmo and Takagi’s careers before joining the company, I knew little about their experiences in the realm of hardcore matches. Whenever I hear the words “hardcore” in the American sense, I automatically set the bar at the sanitized version of what we see on WWE and tune out bit. 

Both Shingo and ELP just had fun with this match. I enjoyed it far more than their DoP match because they kept the offense and defense balanced throughout, so it didn’t seem like a filler match. Honestly, throughout the match, I felt like ELP was finally getting his revenge for the pacifier and the “Shingo is my Daddy” t-shirt humiliation. The only thing I found questionable (in a fun way) was how both Takagi and ELP got the ringside crew and the referees to help them bring in the weapons and set up the tables. Referees Jeremy Marcus and Taito Nakabayashi shouldn’t be helping in the chaos, they’re supposed to be managing. Maybe that’s how a NYC Street Fight works, everyone pitches in. Loved the use of mist by both.

Thank you to the ringside crew for stabilizing the ladder for ELP. I appreciate the safety-first approach.

What’s Next?

  • Shingo Takagi returns to Japan as the KOPW Provisional Champion. Looked toward WTL, I am wondering which combinations of partners LIJ will go with this year. With BUSHI and Titan challenging the United Empire for the IWGP Jr. Tags, I am wondering if it’s finally time for Hiromu to make the jump to heavyweight, or at least a limited time participation so LIJ has two teams in WTL. With Naito/SANADA as previous IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champions, the unlikely “Yes, we used to be juniors*” combination of Takahashi/Takagi could make for a fun and rather intense pairing to offset the cool and tranquilo set of Naito/SANADA. Takagi would also be another I would love to see lined up for Rosser and the STRONG Championship as well.
  • Now that ELP finished his first G1 and has “gone heavy” I am wondering who his tag partner will be for World Tag League. With Jay likely sitting out due to being the IWGP World Heavyweight Champion and his match already set for WK17 against Okada, ELP and Juice Robinson seem like the likely pairing. They looked great together the night before in the elimination tag match. I will miss him and Ishimori as a pair of bratty kids just taking everyone to the cleaners, but I feel like this could be the best way to start his next chapter in NJPW.

Special Tag Match (1/60): Jay White © & Juice Robinson defeated Kazuchika Okada & Eddie Kingston (20:15) 

This special tag carried over from the elimination match the night before, and was a nice last international stand off before they head back to Japan for the Road to Wrestle Kingdom. There isn’t a particularly deep story, but it is weaving the fabrics of NJPW and NJPW Strong together through Jay’s involvement with both and as Champion going into Wrestle Kingdom 17. The Catalyst did have a tough time in the Big Apple as not everything went his way in the last twenty-four hours. The Switchblade really put on his working boots and turned the charisma up to fourteen, especially when playing the victim of Kingston and Okada’s double teams. 

Okada and Kingston passing Jay back and forth for chops, while Juice was laid out at ringside almost made me feel bad for the IWGP World Heavyweight Champion. Almost. It was quite satisfying to see Jay get a taste of his own medicine for a change with the numbers game being decidedly not in his favor. Whenever Okada comes to the US, he looks like he just has fun, even when he’s supposed to be all business. This match was a nice final big match glimpse before January.

I would like to give a special acknowledgement to Juice for despite Kingston chopping him out of his shirt… and his shirt quickly becoming belt and then traveling down his legs… The Rock Hard One just kept wrestling without tripping!

What’s Next?

  • I don’t know if Okada plans to sit out of WTL this year, since he is already headed to the main event against White. However, I would love to see him tag with someone in WTL. With Goto/YOSHI-HASHI likely entering as Bishamon, and Yano hopefully reuniting with Tanahashi again, I could see Okada/Ishii being the sleeper hit. Okada is teaming with The Great Muta and Toru Yano at Historic X-Over to take on The Great O’Khan, Jeff Cobb and Aaron Henare in Great Muta’s final match NJPW on November 20th. All the dates surrounding it though remain hazy at this time.
  • Kingston has become a fan-favorite in NJPW and I am wondering if his back and forth with Jay may be setting up a program for them at the Detonation tapings on November 20th in LA or for 2023 in the post-Dome New Year. 
  • White is set to collide with Okada on January 4th, and will likely sit out the Tag Leagues. Although he’s IWGP World Heavyweight Champion, he’s become one of the pillars of the NJPW Strong brand, from his open challenge days prior to winning the championship. There is a STRONG Detonation taping on November 20th in California, on the same day as Historic X-Over, so he is likely going to have some showing there. 
  • I am relieved that Robinson is getting his stride on NJPW Strong. It’ll be a bizarre WTL seeing him likely on the opposite side of the ring from David Finlay, and if he and ELP band together, they could have a solid showing. Or at least a fun one.

Overall, I enjoyed both nights of Rumble on 44th Street. The venue was pretty, but it is definitely more of a concert and venue. Sitting in the back of the mezzanine made it really hard to see what was happening in the ring, even with the monitors throughout the venue. I’m definitely going to watch it back so I can enjoy the commentary of Kazuchika Okada & Eddie Kingston vs. , Matt Rehwoldt & Alex Koslov and see what tidbits of background I missed by being there in person.

Upcoming NJPW Schedule

  • NJPW Tamashii (11/11 & 11/13) Christchurch, NZ & Sydney, AU
  • NJPW x STARDOM: Historic X-Over (11/20) Ariake Arena – Full Event Coverage
  • Super Junior and World Tag League (11/21-12/14) 
  • Wrestle Kingdom 17 (1/4/2023) Tokyo Dome – Full Event Coverage
About Karen Peterson 108 Articles
Occasionally drops by wrestling podcasts, but remains rather elusive. Joined the Japanese wrestling fan scene in summer 2017, and continues to work on bridging the language gap between fans. Outside of wrestling, she’s a dog mom, perpetual Japanese learner, and when conditions permit, world traveler. Never skips dessert.