NJPW Strong Style Evolved Review

5 years ago by Wrestle Talk

On the undercard:

  • ‘Switchblade’ Jay White defeated Adam ‘Hangman’ Page to retain the IWGP United States Championship in a decent affair. After three and a half hours of action, fans weren’t really into this at all and most of the action took place in front of tired eyes. New Japan is high on White but he’s yet to connect with the audience and had this gone on in the middle of the show it would have been much better received. Following the bout, David Finlay attacked the champion, signaling a new number one contender.
  • Zack Sabre Jr. and Minoru Suzuki best Kazuchika Okada and Tomohiro Ishii in an exciting outing via referee stoppage. This built tension for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship match on April 1 with Sabre Jr. looking unbeatable. Attacking Okada following the fight, the Brit locked him into the octopus stretch perfectly setting up their headliner.
  • Will Ospreay rolled over Jushin Thunder Liger in a decent outing.
  • Los Ingobernables de Japon (Tetsuya Naito, BUSHI, SANADA, and Hiromu Takahashi) cracked Taguchi Japan (Ryusuke Taguchi, Hiroshi Tanahashi, Dragon Lee, and KUSHIDA) in a standard eight-man tag team match.
  • Cody and Marty Scurll whitewashed the Guerrillas of Destiny in a substandard affair considering the names involved.
  • Killer Elite Squad destroyed Toru Yano and Chuckie T in a watchable outing.
  • David Finlay and Juice Robinson beat Hirooki Goto and Gedo in very good doubles action. Finlay picked up the pinfall to set him up for the IWGP United States Championship challenge later in the evening.
  • Roppongi 3K and Rocky Romero shocked SoCal Uncensored in a passable six-man tag team affair.

Strong Style Evolved 2018 wasn’t the greatest show New Japan Pro Wrestling have ever staged in America or anywhere else, but it was good enough to keep interest in the promotion alive and further their standing in the country. The main event was an excellent example of what can be done when wrestlers are allowed the freedom to express themselves, Vince McMahon take note, and several storylines were continued and started to carry the company forward.

New Japan Pro Wrestling will return to America in July at the 12,000 seat Cow Palace in San Francisco, but for now, the gauntlet is passed to Sakura Genesis and its main event which could make professional wrestling history.


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