REVIEW: New Japan Pro Wrestling Strong – The New Beginning Episode 4 (2022)

A Pay-Per-View Event by NJPW

If you were wondering what happened to the final episode of the New Beginning USA 2022 “tour” in New Japan Pro Wrestling Strong, I definitely fell behind that that, my apologies everyone! I will try my best to do some professional wrestling content this weekend, but with it being THE WEEKEND, we shall see how far I get. I have like 75 pay-per-views that could be watched, it just depends on how much money I feel like parting with! This show will be interesting because the Jay White vs Jay Lethal Match from week 3 was definitely the marquee match, it’s interesting that the matches weren’t shuffled around. That said, Ton Lawlor is amazing and will likely prove to be well worth the wait. 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 Karl Fredericks defeated Ethan HD Singles match 11:51
2 El Phantasmo defeated Matt Rehwoldt Singles match 9:45
3 Tom Lawlor (c) defeated Taylor Rust Singles match for the Strong Openweight Championship 19:11

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 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!

New Faces (For Me):

One of the things I definably enjoy about NJPW Strong, is that I usually get too see a lot of “new” wrestlers that I have never seen before. Ethan HD appears to be a longtime veteran of the Pacific Northwest, but I am fairly certain I have never seen him before. I have, however, seen at least one Karl Fredericks match, and he always seems competent. The match itself was good, but not great, but seeing fresh faces is well worth the ride for me.

Vastly Underrated:

Even if his matches are never five star super-card affairs, “The Drama King” Matt Rehwoldt is ALWAYS great on any show that he is on. Whether he gets made a manager, commentator, comedy-heel wrestler, or pretty much anything else, it’s crazy he gets overlooked so much. Against El Phantasmo, both were able to pull off a pretty solid match and keep entertaining throughout. Both are somewhat over the top characters, so that definitely helps.

Changes in Scenery are Great:

Every time I see Taylor Rust, I am reminded of how bland his entire NXT run was and how you could tell he was just there in order to ensure he wasn’t working anywhere else. The dude has been criminally misused, and is only getting better. We’ll have to see if he pops back up on the “new” ROH tomorrow, but if not he’s solid on NJPW.

Lawlor is Way too Good!

“Filthy” Tom Lawlor is 100% pure entertainment wherever he goes. The dude is a master at being an obnoxious heel, goes as far as making “Daisy Dukes” his ring gear, and yet somehow puts on easily the best wrestling matches of most anyone on any show he’s on. I’m usually not a big fan of most MMA guys turned wrestler with a few notable exceptions, but Lawlor proves that as long as the wrestling and entertainment mindset is there, some of these guys/gals can become HUGE stars. This was not the best match I’ve ever seen him have, but it was easily one of the better “TV matches” I’ve seen this week. At the end, Team Filthy came out to celebrate with Lawlor ranting about how great he was and asking who was next… only for that challenge to be answered by Clark Connors. That ought to be a hell of a show.


This was a solid show, although I am confused why they aired this after all of the top billed matches. Nothing was bad, but without the Lawlor match this would have been somewhat underwhelming. That said, a mediocre NJPW match is almost better than any match from WWE, so I was highly entertained and glad I got back into the swing of things. The next tour promises to be pretty solid just from some of the matches they have hinted at here, so I am definitely glad I have kept up with this. That is, as long as I don’t fall WAY behind again!

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