This evening, New Japan Pro Wrestling announced that Rey Mysterio Jr. will not be able to take part in their Strong Style Evolved event on March 25 in Long Beach. Rey Mysterio Jr. was scheduled to face Jushin “Thunder” Liger in the second ever singles matchup between the two wrestlers. Will Ospreay will be replacing Mysterio against Liger.
New Japan announced that Rey Mysterio Jr. was not medically cleared for the match due to a bipedal tendon injury in his upper left arm. Mysterio injured the arm on March 2 in a match where he teamed with Flip Gordon against Joey Mercury and Caleb Konley at Northeast Wrestling in Connecticut.
With the announcement of Mysterio being unable to compete at Strong Style Evolved, New Japan also announced the rest of the event’s lineup. There will be nine matches in total.
The opening match will see SoCal Uncensored (Christopher Daniels, Frankie Kazarian, and Scorpio Sky) versus Ropongi 3k (YOH, SHO, and Rocky Romero). This will be Scorpio Sky’s debut in New Japan (though he did appear on numerous Inoki Dojo shows in the mid 2000s). It will be Kazarian and Daniels first appearances in the promotion in over two years.
The second match is scheduled to be David Finlay and Juice Robinson going against Gedo and Hiroki Goto. The third match will be Chuck Taylor and Toru Yano taking on Davey Boy Smith Jr. and Lance Archer. Fourth up will be Guerrillas of Destiny (Tanga Loa and Tama Tonga) versus Marty Scurll and Cody.
Fifth up will be an eight-man tag that will put Dragon Lee, Ryusuke Taguchi, KUSHIDA, and Hiroshi Tanahashi against Hiromu Takahashi, BUSHI, SANADA, Tetsuya Naito. The Jushin “Thunder” Liger versus Will Ospreay match will be sixth.
The seventh match will be New Japan Cup winner Zack Sabre Jr. teaming with Minoru Suzuki to face IWGP Heavyweight Champion Kazuchika Okada and Tomohiro Ishii. Zack Sabre Jr. will be challenging Okada for the IWGP Heavyweight title at the April 1 New Japan event in Tokyo, Japan.
The semi-main event will be Jay White making his first IWGP U.S. title defense against Hangman Page. Jay White defeated Kenny Omega for the title on January 28 in Sapporo, Japan.
Strong Style Evolved’s main event will be The Young Bucks (Matt Jackson and Nick Jackson) facing The Golden Lovers (Kenny Omega and Kota Ibushi) in what is considered by many to be a dream match. This match was setup when at NJPW/ROH’s Honor Rising Night 2 event in Tokyo, the Young Bucks had an in ring encounter with Omega and Ibushi after Omega claimed he and ibushi were the best tag team in the world. After Omega’s comment, the Young Bucks announced they’d be moving up to the heavyweight tag team division. At the post show press conference, Omega said that he’s still best friends with the Young Bucks but he isn’t someone who runs away from what he believes in. He stated again that he believes he and Ibushi are the best tag-team in the world, and they have no choice but to prove it if the Young Bucks think that they are the best.
New Japan Pro Wrestling’s Strong Style Evolved will be taking place on March 25 at the Walter Pyramid in Long Beach. It will also air live on AXS TV in the United States at 5:00pm PDT and be available for streaming later on New Japan World.
Stay tuned to SoCalUncensored.com for news and updates.