New Japan Pro-Wrestling swung through the Mid-Atlantic United States over the weekend, putting on Capital Collision in Washington, D.C. on Saturday night (April 15) and hitting the City of Brotherly Love for Collision in Philadephia on Sunday (April 16).
Capital Collision saw new Bullet Club leader David Finlay add Clark Connors to the group. Just a week ago, Finlay kicked El Phantasmo out of the group. On Sunday, Finlay explained he’ll be trying to avoid the fate that’s befallen everyone else who’s led the Bullet Club by keeping the group sharp with these kinds of roster changes.
Finlay is looking for SAVAGES! Clark Connors...welcome to David Finlay's #BulletClub!#njcapital pic.twitter.com/JB6PR0yVy3— FITE (@FiteTV) April 15, 2023
'I'll be the first leader to get BULLET CLUB before BULLET CLUB get me'@thedavidfinlay had an authoritative statement to make in Philly tonight!— NJPW Global (@njpwglobal) April 16, 2023
Collision is LIVE on @FiteTVhttps://t.co/UgqfyqZQT6#njcollision #njpwSTRONG pic.twitter.com/xTokje71Pa
The increasingly personal feud between Fred Rosser and Juice Robinson escalated when Rosser reserved a seat at ringside for Robinson’s wife, Toni Storm. Juice ended up using that chair to finish up his beatdown on fka Darren Young before borrowing a page from Academy Award winner Will Smith’s book and telling Rosser to keep his wife’s name out of his mouth. Rock Hard got a suspension for that.
As a result of events last night in Washington DC, NJPW has determined that Juice Robinson be suspended, effective immediately and until further notice.— NJPW Global (@njpwglobal) April 16, 2023
Details, card changes:https://t.co/vw4KxsnXi1#njpw #njcollision pic.twitter.com/Noyaiyeh7p
The main event saw new IWGP Heavyweight Tag champs Aussie Open (Mark Davis & Kyle Fletcher) win the Strong Openweight Tag belts from Motor City Machine Guns (Alex Shelley & Chris Sabin) in a match that also featured the Ace duo of Kazuchika Okada & Hiroshi Tanahashi.
Aussie Open are the first ever dual IWGP and STRONG Tag Team Champions after a gripping three way main event in DC!#njcapital reporthttps://t.co/gKBdvrI6s2— NJPW Global (@njpwglobal) April 16, 2023
Watch the replay now!https://t.co/poZQHcy5GN#njpwSTRONG pic.twitter.com/lXWLIct0Wb
Unfortunately, Tanahashi suffered an injury in the the losing effort...
昨夜、病院に行きました。肋骨が折れていました。すみません。— HIROSHI TANAHASHI (@tanahashi1_100) April 16, 2023
I went to hospital last night. My rib is broken. Sorry. #njpw
... which (along with travel issues for TJP) prompted a chance for Sunday’s Philly show. Instead of a trios match between the new Strong Tag champs & TJP against Tanahashi, Lio Rush & Tomohiro Ishii, Aussie Open successfully defended the latest addition to their belt collection against Rush & Ishii. The champ-champs teased a showdown with FTR to close both shows.
Earlier on Sunday’s show, Robinson’s suspension meant that Rosser replaced him as Lance Archer’s opponent in the mini-tournament to determine who Kenny Omega’s next challenger for the IWGP United States title will be. Archer won that, thanks in large part to turning it into a Street Fight that allowed Robinson to run-in and hit Rosser with a loaded punch. Afterwards, the Murderhawk Monster sent a message to Omega & their boss afterwards:
After his victory over Fred Rosser in Philadelphia, @lancehoyt had powerful messages for @tanahashi1_100 and @willospreay- as well as @tonykhan and @kennyomegamanx!— NJPW Global (@njpwglobal) April 17, 2023
Order the replay now on @fitetvhttps://t.co/UgqfyqZj3y#njcollision #njpwSTRONG pic.twitter.com/VwEs1F7Wb4
AEW’s Orange Cassidy was also in action. Subbing in for the injured Eddie Kingston, Cassidy put his International championship on the line against Gabriel Kidd. He left with the belt still in his backpack.
Here are the full results from both Collision weekend shows, which also featured other AEW, Impact & Ring of Honor talent, built toward big upcoming shows like May’s Wrestling Dontaku (which will feature new IWGP World Heavyweight champ SANADA’s first defense), and more.
• TMDK (Shane Haste & Bad Dude Tito) def. West Coast Wrecking Crew (Jorel Nelson & Royce Isaacs)
• KUSHIDA, Volador Jr., Mike Bailey, Gabriel Kidd & Kevin Knight def. Chuck Taylor, Rocky Romero, Lio Rush, Clark Connors & The DKC
• David Finlay def. AR Fox via pinfall after Trash Panda
• Finlay adds Connors to Bullet Club
• Zack Sabre Jr. def. Tom Lawlor via pinfall to retain the New Japan TV title
• Tomohiro Ishii def. El Desperado via pinfall after a brainbuster
• Juice Robinson vs. Fred Rosser didn’t happen due to Robinson’s beatdown of Rosse
• Just 5 Guys (SANADA & Yoshinobu Kanemaru) def. Los Ingobernables de Japon (Hiromu Takahashi & Tetsuya Naito) via pinfall (Kanemaru on Takahashi)
• KENTA def. Eddie Edwards via pinfall after GTS (and a low blow and belt shot) to retain the NJPW STRONG Openweight Championship
• Via video, Hikuleo challenged KENTA for the belt at Dontaku, and the champ accepted
• Aussie Open def. Hiroshi Tanahashi & Kazuchika Okada and Motor City Machine Guns via pinfall after hitting Coriolis on Sabin to become the NEW STRONG Openweight Tag champs
Collision in Philadelphia
• El Desperado & Volador Jr. def. Delirious & Kevin Knight
• Alex Coughlin def. Tracy Williams in a Pure Rules match, via pinfall with a bridging suplex
• After Finlay’s promo, Clark Connors def. The DKC via pinfall after four spears
• Team Filthy (Jorel Nelson, Royce Isaacs & Tom Lawlor) def. TMDK (Bad Dude Tito, Shane Haste & Zack Sabre Jr.) via pinfall (Lawlor on Tito after a knee to the head)
• Just 5 Guys (SANADA & Yoshinobu Kanemaru) def. Homicide & Rocky Romero via pinfall (SANADA on Homicide after countering Cop Killer into a bridging cover)
• Orange Cassidy def. Gabriel Kidd via pinfall (countering a kimura attempt into a mousetrap cover) to retain the AEW International title
• LIJ (Hiromu Takahashi & Tetsuya Naito) def. Bullet Club (Chase Owens & KENTA) via pinfall (Naito on Owens after Destino)
• Rocky Romero announced All Star Junior Festival USA will take place Aug. 19 in Philadelphia. Japan-based All Star Junior Festivals involve cruiserweights from NJPW and other promotions.
• Lance Archer def. Fred Rosser in a Street Fight via pinfall after another Juice Robinson assault on Rosser and a lariat, advancing in the IWGP United States Heavyweight Title #1 Contendership Tournament
• Aussie Open def. CHAOS (Lio Rush & Tomohiro Ishii) via pinfall after hitting Coriolis on Rush to retain the Strong Openweight Tag Team championship