New Japan ran the Palladium Times Square in New York City for the second night in a row last night (Oct. 28). Rumble on 44th Street didn’t have as many surprises as The Night Before Rumble on 44th Street, but it still had newsworthy happenings.
The main event featured the odd couple pairing of Eddie Kingston & Kazuchika Okada, and was designed as a building block in G1 Climax winner Okada’s chase of IWGP World Heavyweight champion Jay White. Ahead of the Rainmaker vs. the Switchblade in the Tokyo Dome, White & partner Juice Robinson used their Bullet Club playbook to pick up a win when the champ low-blowed Kingston to set-up his Blade Runner finish while Robinson held Okada back.
The night opened with a women’s match. It will take some time to get used to seeing those welcome additions to New Japan cards, but they didn’t make us wait long for another one. In fact, the women made history when SWA World champ Mayu Iwatani pinned KiLynn King after a moonsault. It was the first time a title from NJPW’s sister promotion Stardom was defended on a New Japan show.
King acquitted herself well, but this was a showcase for Iwatani as she gets ready to face KAIRI at next month’s Historic X-Over for the new IWGP Women’s championship.
The war between Clark Connors and Minoru Suzuki was spiced up by the surprise appearance of Ken Shamrock as Connors’ corner man. After Suzuki won with a Gotch-style Piledriver, the two murder grandpas (and Pancrase pioneers) teased a showdown before hugging it out instead.
Rumble on 44th Street had two title bouts. Fred Rosser outlasted Jonathan Gresham to retain his Strong Openweight championship, but Aussie Open had two teams to defend their Strong Openweight Tag belts against — and when one of those teams is the Motor City Machine Guns? That’s a bad formula. Their bout with Kevin Knight & The DKC was as wild as you’d expect a Triple Threat to be, and Alex Shelley & Chris Sabin winning the belts by pinning Knight should give us a two-on-two dream match between MCMG and Mark Davis & Kyle Fletcher somewhere down the line. It also opens Aussie Open’s schedule for a run in the upcoming World Tag League.
The second #njpwSTRONG Tag Team Champions were crowned at Rumble on 44th Street!— NJPW Global (@njpwglobal) October 29, 2022
Motor City Machine Guns took the gold in New York!
Order the replay on @fitetv!https://t.co/JdvPmMxo0A#njpw pic.twitter.com/HXRHZ5dLK0
We also got a Lio Rush appearance. He chased off SHO, who was looking to go all House of Torture on his former tag partner YOH. Rush & YOH could be an interesting duo in the next Super Junior Tag League tournament.
／— njpwworld (@njpwworld) October 29, 2022
「Rumble on 44th Street」
※購入には無料会員登録が必要です#NJPW #njrumble #njpwworld pic.twitter.com/pdIXAXTRrD
Here are the full results from Friday night in the Big Apple:
• Jay White & Juice Robinson def. Kazuchika Okada & Eddie Kingston
• Shingo Takagi def. El Phantasmo in a New York City Street Fight to remain provisional KOPW 2022 champion
• Mayu Iwatani def. KiLynn King to retain the SWA World title
• Minoru Suzuki def. Clark Connors (w/Ken Shamrock)
• Shota Umino, Wheeler Yuta & Homicide def. Tom Lawlor, Jorel Nelson & Royce Isaacs
• Fred Rosser def. Jonathan Gresham to retain the NJPW Strong Openweight championship
• Motor City Machine Guns def. Aussie Open and Kevin Knight & The DKC to win the NJPW Strong Openweight Tag Team titles
• Yujiro Takahashi & SHO def. YOH & Rocky Romero
• Kylie Rae & Tiara James def. Waka Tsukiyama & Mina Shirakawa
Both Rumble on 44th Street and The Night Before Rumble on 44th Street were a lot of fun, and you can still stream them both on Fite.