New Japan’s latest United States show ended on bit of a down note due to Mercedes Moné’s injury, but that shouldn’t overshadow the other events from Resurgence in Long Beach... including the other big takeaway from May 21’s main event, Willow Nightingale becoming the first-ever NJPW Strong Women’s champion.
https://t.co/iMp7ncqFM1 pic.twitter.com/tZcAsRCoea— Willow Nightingale (@willowwrestles) May 22, 2023
Another member of the AEW Women’s division showed up at Walter Pyramid, as Toni Storm helped her husband Juice Robinson beat his rival, Fred Rosser. Her initial low blow may have been thwarted, but Storm got in a few moves on Rosser — including her finisher — before Robinson pinned him in a Street Fight that effectively became a handicap match.
"Invasion of #Tonistorm— njpwworld (@njpwworld) May 22, 2023
Live on #njpwworld PPV! ⇒https://t.co/1jAfO5ZEUs…#NJPW #njResurgence #njpwworld pic.twitter.com/C9AqGiWJV2
We’ll see if that leads to more Toni Time in NJPW (or a return to Stardom?), but several other happenings at Resurgence seem like they’re definitely setting things up for Forbidden Door season.
We’re one step closer to a match a lot of people think could main event AEW All In at Wembley Stadium, as Will Ospreay defeated Hiroshi Tanahashi in the mini-tournament to determine the next challenger for IWGP United States champion Kenny Omega. Ospreay will now face Lance Archer at New Japan Dominion in Osaka on June 4, with the winner getting the next shot at Omega.
【現地時間5.21ロス大会・第7試合】— 新日本プロレスリング株式会社 (@njpw1972) May 22, 2023
IWGP USヘビー級王座 ナンバーワン・コンテンダートーナメント 1回戦
While Tanahasi was putting over the Aerial Assassin, the other 2⁄3 of the NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag champs were taking on Jon Moxley and his young boys, Shota Umino & Wheeler Yuta. Umino got the pin on Kazuchika Okada & Tomohiro Ishii’s partner for the night, Rocky Romero, after hitting him with Death Rider. Shooter also nailed Okada with his finisher before he did the same to Romero, but that came after his mentor took a Rainmaker. The most exciting moments of this one were provided by Mox and Okada’s interactions, and we should definitely looking for more of that when the the Blackpool Combat Club brawler returns to Japan in a couple weeks for Dominion.
⚡️RESURGENCE 5/21 LA⚡️— njpwworld (@njpwworld) May 22, 2023
ロッキー・ロメロ & 石井 智宏 & オカダ・カズチカ vs ウィーラー・ユウタ & ジョン・モクスリー & 海野 翔太#新日本プロレスワールド で配信中！
⇒https://t.co/4Mplv7qgjP#NJPW #njResurgence #njpwworld pic.twitter.com/Hn4zpxf5ps
Eddie Kingston may be out recovering from a hernia operation, but he’s already lining up his next New Japan fight. Before Hikuleo and KENTA duked it out for the NJPW Strong Openweight title, a video from the Mad King was shown where he challenged whoever holds that belt to a match.
After Resurgence, and this spot, that’s once again KENTA...
Another look at the terrifying spill that granted KENTA the STRONG Openweight title!— NJPW Global (@njpwglobal) May 22, 2023
BUY: https://t.co/A5RevPMp4u#njpwSTRONG #njresurgence pic.twitter.com/ilzPZcWGjq
During last night’s stream, New Japan announced the Strong brand (which up until now has been used for NJPW’s efforts in the United States, and largely focused on talent based in their Los Angeles dojo) will be running two Independence Day shows in Tokyo’s famed Korakuen Hall on July 4-5. Kingston was announced for those shows and shown on a graphic opposite Rosser, but the company’s write-up doesn’t make it clear if they’re facing each other. No matter, expect a lot more Kingston/KENTA hype as Eddie’s return date approaches.
Another piece of bad news delivered during Resurgence could impact Tony Khan’s plans: Aussie Open were forced to vacate the IWGP Heavyweight & NJPW Strong Openweight Tag titles due to an injury Mark Davis is dealing with. Davis & Kyle Fletcher had been scheduled to face House of Torture (EVIL & Yujiro Takahashi) and Bishamon (Hirooki Goto & YOSHI-HASHI) for the belts at Dominion. Now those two teams will square off for both sets of belts.
No word on Davis’ injury, but Fletcher said Aussie Open will be back “sooner than you think”. So it’s possible he’s only out for a few weeks and New Japan is simply upholding their rule about missing a scheduled title defense, and the United Empire duo could still be in the mix for another dream match with FTR sometime this summer. In the meantime, Fletcher challenges Orange Cassidy for AEW’s International championship this Weds., May 24 on Dynamite.
Here are the full results from Resurgence:
Willow Nightingale def. Mercedes Moné via pinfall after a powerbomb, becoming the first ever NJPW Strong Women’s champion
Will Ospreay def. Hiroshi Tanahashi via pinfall after an OsCutter, a Hidden Blade, and a Stormbreaker to advance in the IWGP United States Championship number one contender’s tournament
Jon Moxley, Wheeler Yuta & Shota Umino def. Kazuchika Okada, Tomohiro Ishii & Rocky Romero via pinfall (Umino on Romero after Death Rider)
KENTA def. Hikuleo via countout, becoming the new NJPW Strong champion
Juice Robinson def. Fred Rosser in a Street Fight, via pinfall after a Toni Storm stop sign-assisted hip attack and a DDT onto a steel chair
Willow Nightingale def. Momo Kohgo via pinfall after a powerbomb to advance in NJPW Strong Women’s Championship tournament
Mercedes Moné def. Stephanie Vaquer via pinfall after the Moné Maker
Barbaro Cavernario & Virus def. Zack Sabre Jr. & Bad Dude Tito when Cavenario made Tito tap out
Alex Coughlin def. Christopher Daniels (pre-show)
The DKC def. Bateman (pre-show)
The show is honestly worth watching for the women’s matches alone. You can do so on New Japan’s NJPWWorld subscription streaming service here.