Source: @WillOspreay on Twitter

NJPW Resurgence (8/14) New Champion Crowned, Ospreay Returns, GOD & Good Brothers Face Off

New Japan Pro Wrestling returned to California on Sunday. NJPW Resurgence was not only a return to US soil, but a return to form. Hamstrung by audience restrictions in their native country, the NJPW talent seemed to truly relish the Los Angeles’s crowd vocal energy.

The main event saw Hiroshi Tanahashi become the second ever Quadruple Crown Champion in New Japan Pro Wrestling history. He joins Jay White in the rarified air of wrestlers that have held the IWGP Heavyweight, IWGP Intercontinental Heavyweight, IWGP United States Heavyweight & NEVER Openweight Championships.

In the show-closing promo, Tanahashi promised to be back soon. The pledge was an instant boost for the IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship. The belt had been moved beyond the back burner as pandemic travel restrictions stranded then-champion Jon Moxley in the US with the title for months. The title was boosted by Lance Archer’s brief title reign, which saw Archer as very much a defending champion. Now the belt is around the waist of a living legend, and centerpiece of NJPW programming, likely meaning it will rejoin the pantheon of its prestigious IWGP siblings.

While stability has returned to the IWGP United States Heavyweight Title, the IWGP World Heavyweight Title situation was thrown into disarray at Resurgence, when former-IWGP World Heavyweight Champion Will Ospreay stormed the ring with his own IWGP World Title, ran down the company with a series of insults, and claimed that since he never lost the title, he is the “real” IWGP World Heavyweight Champion, and Shingo Takagi is merely an interim champion. Ospreay then promised to take his IWGP Title to NJPW Strong before being run off by TJP, Clark Connors & Karl Fredericks. Ospreay then apparently went into the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum to blow off some fireworks.

In a marquee match, Jon Moxley teamed with surprise partner Yuji Nagata in a losing effort against Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows. After the match, The Good Brothers’ celebration was interrupted by Bullet Club’s Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa. The former friends turned bitter rivals have been going back and forth on social media for much of the year, and now a collision feels inevitable, whether in AEW or NJPW.

Elsewhere on the show, Jay White defended the NEVER Openweight Championship against long-time rival David Finlay. Finlay got a cold reception from the southern California crowd, after using a recent podcast appearance to talk up NXT and his preference for North American pro-wrestling. Tomohiro Ishii, fresh off a bruising fight with Moose, challenged White after the match. Plus former Young Lions like Karl Fredericks & Yuya Uemura picked up big victories in the undercard.

The big winner from the show was NJPW Strong. There are numerous NJPW of USA shows coming up, and with talents like Tanahashi, Ospreay, and White promised, as well as NJPW Strong Openweight Champion Tom Lawlor, that will help add a little more substance to future Strong episodes. The show was running the risk of becoming an independent wrestling showcase, and now it will feel a little more like the “real” NJPW, for lack of a better term.


NJPW Resurgence

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  • Alex Coughlin Open Challenge: Karl Fredericks def. Alex Coughlin by pinfall via MD. (10:48)
  • Ren Narita, Clark Connors & TJP def. Fred Rosser, Rocky Romero & Wheeler Yuta by pinfall. (11:19)

    Clark Connors pinned Rocky Romero via Trophy Kill/Mamba Splash.
  • Chris Dickinson, Fred Yehi, Adrian Quest, Lio Rush & Yuya Uemura def. Tom Lawlor, JR Kratos, Danny Limelight, Royce Isaacs & Jorel Nelson by pinfall. (13:00)

    Yuya Uemura pinned Danny Limelight via Deadbolt Suplex.
  • Juice Robinson def. Hikuleo by pinfall via Victory Roll Pin. (9:00)
  • Tomohiro Ishii def. Moose by pinfall via Vertical Drop Brainbuster. (16:07)
  • Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows def. Jon Moxley & Yuji Nagata by pinfall. (10:33)

    Karl Anderson pinned Yuji Nagata via Magic Killer.
  • NEVER Openweight Championship Match: Jay White (c) def. David Finlay by pinfall via Bladerunner. (22:59)
  • IWGP United States Championship Match: Hiroshi Tanahashi def. Lance Archer (c) by pinfall via High Fly Flow. (19:26)

NJPW will return for Summer Struggle on August 16th at 5:30am ET on