April 15, 2024

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NJPW “Battle In The Valley” 2023 (Wrestling Review)


Battle In The Valley

San Jose, California

Feb. 18th, 2023



Eight Man Tag Team Match
Adrian Quest, Josh Alexander, Mascara Dorada & Rocky Romero vs. Kevin Knight, KUSHIDA, The DKC & Volador Jr.

A fine opener. Some good action but never really felt too exciting or like it hit its big moment. 

2 / 5

NJPW STRONG Openweight Title Match
Fred Rosser (c) vs. KENTA

Commentary selling this as a bigger deal than it was came off a bit lame. The match really dragged though. Two guys I expected better from and instead we got a boring match. 

1 / 5

NJPW STRONG Openweight Tag Team Title Match
The Motor City Machine Guns (Alex Shelley & Chris Sabin) (c) vs. The West Coast Wrecking Crew (Jorel Nelson & Royce Isaacs)

Under 10 minutes and almost all action. Everything you’d pretty much expect here and it was a breathe of fresh air after these first two matches. 

3 / 5

Loser Leaves NJPW Match
Eddie Kingston vs. Jay White

A super NJPW match, pretty much exactly what you’d. Slow and heavy but never boring. Eddie was Eddie in full effect and there were hard hits galore here. Told a story throughout the match but a few extra moves at the end was almost overkill. 

4.25 / 5

Filthy Rules Fight
Homicide vs. Tom Lawlor

This was a Flithy Rules Match which was better much just a no DQ, no ropes match. This was fun and had a few fantastic spots in it. Some of the weapons though looked so cheap like the flimsy pans they used. If this was like 5 minutes shorter it wouldn’t have dragged on so much as well. 

2.75 / 5

NJPW World Television Title Match
Zack Sabre Jr. (c) vs. Clark Connors

A slower submission based match just as you’d expect. Connors is good but he isn’t ZSJ. ZSJ does submissions in a way that makes them look extremely simple yet so complicated. 

3.5 / 5

IWGP Women’s Title Match
KAIRI (c) vs. Mercedes Mone

The NJPW debut of Mercedes Mone. This was a phenomenal  match. It told a story in ring, had big moves, close calls, and the crowd was behind it knowing it could have ended at several different times. Mercedes didn’t miss a beat in her time off and will be a huge thing in Japan. Kairi looked like a million bucks here too. Honestly I know this was a double main event but this should have closed the show.

4.5 / 5

IWGP World Heavyweight Title Match
Kazuchika Okada (c) vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi

Honestly this match was somewhat doomed following that womens match. This was a fine match but just that. It wasn’t their best match against each other and didn’t even have any drama. There were close falls but no one thought Okada was losing here. 

3 / 5

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