Cum sociis natoque penatibus et magnis

Error: Contact form not found.

Subscribe elementum semper nisi. Aenean vulputate eleifend tellus. Aenean leo ligula, porttitor eu, consequat vitae eleifend ac, enim. Aenean vulputate eleifend tellus.

Error: Contact form not found.

Subscribe elementum semper nisi. Aenean vulputate eleifend tellus. Aenean leo ligula, porttitor eu, consequat vitae eleifend ac, enim. Aenean vulputate eleifend tellus.

Error: Contact form not found.

NJPW Music City Mayhem Review

2 years ago

NJPW Music City Mayhem Review

NJPW Music City Mayhem Review

By Thom Fain

It was a continuation of the massively successful AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door — this time, a Music City Mayhem. The action stoked an intimate crowd in Nashville, who witnessed wrestlers from both sides of the Pacific demonstrate that heightened level of competition starting to trademark the events coming from Takami Ohbari and Tony Khan’s burgeoning partnership.

The production quality was noticeably better than previous FiteTV PPV events. Music City Mayhem also featured enough main card talent from Japan to be a proper throwback of those Cow Palace and Walter Pyramid shows from 2017-18, where The Elite set the tables for ALL IN and igniting change in the wrestling world. Although Nashville is hardly a wrestling epicenter, the fanfare for KUSHIDA, Hiromu Takahashi, El Desperado, and Shota Umino had to have encouraged New Japan’s Tokyo officials who remain hellbent on building out their Western version of Strong Style Evolved.

The growing legends of FTR and Jon Moxley highlighted the afternoon, but plenty of stories are building towards the next big U.S. event New Japan’s main players intend to crash.

Ren Narita and Yuya Uemura continued to show New Japan officials they’re ready to join Yota Tsuji and Shota Umino for some much-needed heavyweight reinforcement on the roster back in Japan. The DKC — whose creative offense paired well with LA Dojo mate Kevin Knight’s freakish athleticism — didn’t get the much-needed victory to build on his recent coming out party over in AEW. But he did get some rapid fire throat chops and a step-up enziguri on the fan favorite “Shooter”, whose comeback would finish the show. Shota Umino also showed the Tokyo offices his Ace-like flair, playing the crowd favorite and stealing the pinfall victory over The DKC after Yehi and Uemura wore down their opponents.

Two former ROH tag-team champion partners in Rocky Romero and Davey Richards fought against one another in a singles match for the first time in 15 years, and for the MLW National Openweight Championship no less. Seems like the only Forbidden Door remains up in Connecticut. A running knee strike off the side of the apron onto the floor put Rocky in control early, but the “King of Sneaky Style” couldn’t fend off a huge onslaught of kicks and submissions aimed at Romero’s knee. Not even his Diablo Armbar off an inventive shotgun dropkick back to back with a swinging DDT by Romero could fend off the inevitable outcome: Richards hit his patented brainbuster, ankle lock, and eventual pinfall to retain the title.

NJPW Strong’s Openweight champion Fred “Mr. No Days Off” Rosser would defend his title against Big Damo, the 6’4” Northern Irishman mostly known for his time as an NXT stalwart (fka Killian Dain).

With Tiger Hattori on hand to showcase the significance of NJPW Strong brand’s top title, Rosser withstood several minutes of high impact debauchery from Damo, whose size and heft weren’t enough to overcome the champion’s motivations for being a “fighting champion.” Rosser was able to wear down the big man by forcing him to expend his energy and finish the job with a fiery mix of strikes, clotheslines and submissions on the mat until eventually a running sidewinder put the challenger down for the count.

Nobody excited Nashville like Hiromu Takahashi and Blake Christian, whose energetic dives and indie inclinations produced more than a handful of “A-L-L H-E-A-R-T!” chants, even momentarily causing the crowd to forget the significance of TIMEBOMB’s presence. Neither man know how to hold anything back, and you’d think it was an IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Title match with the way they painted a picture of pro wrestling at its finest. The pair used every part of the ring and its surrounding area as Christian, bloodied and bruised, pushed the LIJ mainstay to his limits. Connecting on a 450 splash wouldn’t even be enough, though, as Hiromu made good on his promise to Daryl-hoisting fans to head back to Japan the victor.

The crowd became unhinged during FTR and Alex Zayne vs. Aussie Open and TJ Perkins, and when you carry the reputation Dax Harwood and Cash Wheeler have of being the absolute best in the world — your opponents are going to bring their “A” game, which is exactly what United Empire did. You won’t find more inventive tandem offense than when Aussie Open and FTR get in the ring together, and in spite of their all-out war last weekend vs. The Briscoes, the IWGP Champions brought the fight to Nashville. The badassery didn’t let up until a Coriolis gave United Empire’s duo of Fletcher & Davis the victory — and a shot at the IWGP Heavyweight Tag-Team Titles on a date TBD.

KUSHIDA returning to New Japan is a feel-good story covered in the upcoming Monthly Puroresu magazine Issue #9, and seeing him go toe-to-toe with old for Alex Shelley was everything NJPW fans could hope for on a tour in the U.S.

A well paced affair brought out the competitor in each man, as strong style chop exchanges and Jr. Heavyweight offensive opportunities we know each man for: handspring elbows, arm trap hammerlocks, cradle shocks, butterfly suplexes, and a number of masterful reversals to go with each man’s expert attention to detail in the ring. At the end, though, neither man could outmaneuver the other — in spite of desperate submissions — as a time limit draw preserved the honor of both babyfaces.

El Desperado channeled his inner Jun Kasai, and Jon Moxley brought out his inner Atsushi Onita in a violent affair where piledrivers and suplexes were the most genteel moments in the match. Barbed wire tables, meat skewers in the skull, guitar shots, steel chairshots, broken tables and an array of punches, kicks, stomps and slams gave the Southern crowd a reason to keep the camera apps their phone batteries as each moment escalating towards a crescendo of violence.

In the end, of course, the “Death Rider” Mox used would set up a chokehold to knock the fighting spirit out of El Desperado.


Shota Umino, Fred Yehi & Yuya Uemura def. Ren Narita, The DKC & Kevin Knight
Davey Richards (c) def. Rocky Romero to retain the MLW National Openweight Title
Fred Rosser (c) def. Big Damo to retain the NJPW Strong Openweight Title
Hiromu Takahashi def. Blake Christian
United Empire (Mark Davis, Kyle Fletcher & TJP) def. Alex Zayne, Dax Harwood & Cash Wheeler
KUSHIDA vs. Alex Shelley (draw)
Jon Moxley (c) def. El Desperado in a No DQ match