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

A Pay-Per-View Event by NJPW

This is week three of four in terms of this particular “tour” in New Japan Pro Wrestling Strong. Hailing from Seattle, Washington this time- this show has been pretty impressive so far, and match by match is probably the best one I’ve seen since I started getting these. Granted, I only started two tours ago. Episode one was easily better than most of the entire Nemesis tour, with episode two being somewhat bland from a storytelling standpoint. Which sort of show are we getting tonight? stay tuned to find out! As with any of these, I always recommend purchasing the show from Fite.TV since they have a bundle you can get which contains all three episodes for the price of one. It’s a hell of a deal considering this one was only $7.99 USD for all three!

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.

The Card:

  • 1 Midnight Heat (Ricky Gibson and Eddie Pearl) defeated The DKC and Kevin Knight Tag team match 9:18
  • 2 Fred Rosser defeated Gabriel Kidd Singles match 14:52
  • 3 Jay White defeated Jay Lethal Singles match 20:07

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 few 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!

These Guys:

Who would have thought that satin jackets, mullets, and 80’s styled synthpop music would be so relevant in wrestling right now, but if you look at a single match by guys like FTR or Midnight Heat, you’d be surprised no longer. Solid match all around, but mostly I was in awe of the gimmick these guys had!

Holy Smokes!

No clever pun here or anything, these guys just beat the hell out of each other, and it was crazy. Whether it be the spot where they sad cross-legged on the ground trading slaps, or the series of crushing lariats, I would not be surprised if neither man could walk the day after this match. If you would have told me in 2010 or so that WWE’s Darren Young would be having insane Strong Style matches at some point, I would have said you were crazy – but here we are in 2022 ad that is exactly what’s happening. I can’t wait for Fred Rosser to eventually take this heat to Tom Lawlor and get that well-deserved win over him.

Mystery Solved!

The mystery opponent is none other than AEW’s Jay Lethal! The man who held the ROH Television Title longer than anyone in the history of the strap, and a multi-time world champion to boot is more than a worthy opponent for Jay White – in fact, he should have been sweating bullets as soon as that music hit. This is what many would consider a dream match, and I’m glad we got to see it here. You never know we may get a rematch on AEW before too long!

Conclusion:

This episode made up for the last episode being somewhat bland despite the great quality of matches. The Rosser vs Kidd match was incredible, and the main event was a solid dream match that I was not expecting. Jay Write continues to show that he is putting in the same sort of work that Kenny Omega did last year, elevating the once stagnant Bullet Club, and keeping New Japan pro Wrestling in the spotlight. Next week promises to be a solid show, with Tom Lawlor vs Taylor Rust, so stay tuned for yet another dip into some NJPW Strong goodness!

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