REVIEW: New Japan Pro Wrestling Strong – Nemesis Episode 1 (2022)

A Pay-Per-View Event by NJPW

After enjoying my last foray into NJPW Strong, I chipped in with my remaining credits from Fite.TV and pre-ordered this four part series from them. As of this writing, there are two episodes out, with each released each week in the month of January. You can get them separately, which is silly because all four are less than ten dollars in a package deal – do that! My interest was especially piqued because Eddie Kingston and Christopher Daniels from AEW had something to do with this show, and you know I’m not going to miss that!

I mentioned in my previous review that I had some sort of audio syncing issues, and I may have unfairly maligned them as I have discovered my Roku may have been the cause of that issue, please ignore that then, as fiddling with my setting to see why it isn’t auto-syncing was the trick to that issue.

For anyone wanting to watch this, I would recommend Fite.TV. you can get some FITE credits (10 dollars I believe) with the following code: “6m6lyyn”. I’m sure there are other ways to watch it, but FITE has a solid interface and has been worth it so far. All four episodes of this can be purchased for around ten dollars, so this code would take care of it!

The Card:

  • 1 TJP defeated The DKC Singles match 8:31
  • 2 Bullet Club (Hikuleo and Chris Bey) defeated Jordan Clearwater and Keita Murray Tag team match 9:12
  • 3 Eddie Kingston defeated Gabriel Kidd Singles match 12:37

My Thoughts:

As I’ve stated before, my methodology for this is to avoid giving arbitrary star ratings or anything resembling the typical ratings people give in wrestling reviews. I stopped awarding “grades” to things long ago, after my gig at a videogame site slid into them manipulating scores. I usually go through the show and pull a handful of things that I thought were significant or that I liked. You might think some of my choices are dumb and that’s okay – we all like different things!

TJP is Doing Great Here:

TJP is one of those guys that seems to be everywhere right now – he’s been in both MLW and Impact Wrestling until very recently, and was in the last XPW show I watched. He has solidified himself as an amazing heel right now, as he comes across as your typical egotistical D-Bag that thinks he’s helping a company by simply being there. In this battle of three letter name guys, TJP puts DKC through the ringer and ultimately is too much for him. Solid match overall.

Hikuleo Has Improved a LOT:

The tag team pairing of Hikuleo and Chris Bey has done wonders for the young giant, son of King Haku/Meng. When he first showed up on both AEW and Impact Wrestling, I wasn’t completely sold on him yet, but appreciated him obviously trying to learn a lot. He excels in a tag team, and I hope they don’t stop the partnership between the two companies for quite a while.

What a Beast!

Not only would I pay to see Eddie Kingston cut promos on common household items, the guy could probably wrestle them as well. Switching his style up a bit to a more strong-style influenced bag of tricks, Kingston beat the hell out of Gabriel Kidd. This honestly looked like one of those “pay your dues” matches they do in Japan, but I could be wrong. One of my favorite parts was Kingston not being able to pick Kidd up into what we found out was a powerbomb, then stopping to kick him a bunch of times while still holding him, then delivering the move. I wasn’t really familiar with Kidd prior to this match, but he looks pretty awesome. There was a spot where the two start trading slaps, and Gods bless the camera man and perfect lighting for one of the cooler shots of the whole match. Every time Eddie got slapped, his face erupted in a fine mist of sweat in a halo around his head, really driving the point home that these guys mean business. If he ever gets to have a solid belt run in AEW, this is the sort of stuff I want to see him doing!

Conclusion:

Really, the main event of this show was the only great match, but that isn’t to say this isn’t worth watching. You can tell a lot of these younger guys are getting matches with seasoned veterans to improve, and I’m sure guys like Eddie Kingston and TJP can really help in the long run. I will have to keep my eye on Hikuleo and Gabriel Kidd, as both impressed me here, and low-key wonder if Chris Bey isn’t about to fully “jump-ship” at some point. I can’t wait for whatever episode has Christopher Daniels vs Jay White, so stay tuned for my review of that whenever it happens.

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