REVIEW: New Japan Pro Wrestling Strong – Nemesis Episode 3 (2022)

A Pay-Per-View Event by NJPW

NJPW Strong Nemesis logo

This is the penultimate episode of the Pay-Per-view series New Japan Pro Wrestling Strong – Nemesis, and what a banger it is. The main event this week features a six man grudge tag-team match between Rocky Romero, Fred Rosser, and Taylor Rust vs. Team Filthy (Tom Lawlor, Black Tiger, and Jorel Nelson. The big wildcard here is that nobody is certain if anyone can trust Taylor Rust, seeing that he was once a a member of Team Filthy. Lawlor definitely seems like the kind of the guy that would do such a despicable thing (planting a spy in the babyface camp), so all bets were off.

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The Card:

  • 1 Royce Isaacs defeated Lucas Riley Singles match 7:24
  • 2 Juice Robinson defeated Bad Dude Tito Singles match 9:37
  • 3 Rocky Romero, Fred Rosser, and Taylor Rust defeated Team Filthy (Tom Lawlor, Black Tiger, and Jorel Nelson) Six-man tag team match 11:35
NJPW Strong Logo

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 half-dozen or so 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!

NJPW Wrestler Royce Issacs

Good to See Royce Isaacs Still Rocking It:

Considering how much I enjoyed NWA Powerrr when it originally launched on YouTube pre-Covid, all of those early guys were instrumental in its launch. Some of them never came back, which is a shame, but understandable. Strictly Business was the main “heel Faction” in those early days, and I quite enjoyed Isaacs and Latimer as tag champs, however brief it was. In 2020 he was granted his release due to all of the time nobody actually wrestled, and moved on to NJPW. He looked great here, and I can’t wait to see what he can do in the future!

NJPW Wrestler Bad Dude Tito

Bad Dude Tito:

This is the first time I’ve ever seen Bad Dude Tito, unless I am mistaken, and he has all of the hallmarks of a future star. The dude looks like a million bucks, and reminds me a bit of a less flippy version of Jeff Cobb/Matanza in many ways. For Better or worse, NJPW Strong does all of the things that made WWE NXT 1.0 so great, and now that it’s a dead brand (I honestly refuse to watch NXT 2.0 at the moment), I feel like the torch was passed here. This show, for me, is a showcase of up-and-coming young talent that will be the future leaders of the company as a whole.

NJPW wrestler Juice Robinson

Funniest Thing of the Night:

Speaking of the Tito vs Robinson match, at one point Tito hits Juice Robinson with the force of an imploding star across his chest. Robinson stands there with a bewildered look on his face, then shrugs it off by rubbing his nipples in a suggestive way saying “that didn’t hurt, in fact I liked it”. It made me laugh, and was perhaps the funniest NJPW thing I’ve seen in a while.

NJPW's Team Filthy (Tom Lawlor, Black Tiger, and Jorel Nelson)

Love Me Some Team Filthy:

Team Filthy was always one of the main reasons I loved MLW last year, so seeing Tom Lawlor here with a new version is great. This match was obviously building some hype for a few upcoming singles matches – Lawlor vs Rosser rematch and Black Tiger vs Romero. I can’t wait to see the eventual unmasking of this “fake” Black Tiger and what comes of that (yes I can tell who it is lol). Everything Lawlor does is so obnoxious, I’d love for he and his group to get the same sort of treatment as The Elite down the road. people would pay to watch him lose.

Conclusion:

Overall, solid episode as usual – loved the main event, and enjoyed seeing more “new guys” to me at least. Next week is going to be the “main event” of the series, featuring a big match between Jay White and Christopher Daniels. This was one of the more storyline-heavy episodes of NJPW Strong that I’ve seen – I’m not sure of these storylines will build into another show or a main-line pay-per-view, but either way I’m excited. Final Nemesis review coming soon, perhaps later this week.

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