NJPW & IMPACT: Multiverse United: Only The STRONG Survive
Thursday, March 30
Globe Theatre
Los Angeles, California

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Watching Impact Wrestling and New Japan Pro Wrestling rebuild a working relationship over the last couple of years has been fun to watch. They step those collaborations up here with a full cross-promotional show for WrestleMania weekend in the shape of Multiverse United: Only the Strong Survive. 

After initially looking like one of the week’s best cards, the sold-out event has become snakebit in the last week or so, with Will Ospreay, Josh Alexander, and Mickie James all forced off the card through injury. The rejigged show is still quite strong, though, and while Impact is also coming off a pretty weak Sacrifice event, I’ve got high hopes that Multiverse United can deliver in a big way.

Following the cancellation of Josh Alexander’s title defense against KUSHIDA (with the latter still expected to be rebooked for this show), the new main event is a first-time-ever singles match between Mike Bailey and Hiroshi Tanahashi. How cool is that? You’ve got one of the hottest guys across North America over the last year against a Japanese icon and one of the best ever to do it. 

As much as Bailey against Will Ospreay would have been a lot of fun, I’m so much more intrigued to see how Bailey and Tana gel. I think the change in opponent could change the result but irrespective of that, this is a must-see for all wrestling fans. 

Another standout singles match set for this show is between Jeff Cobb and Moose. When they made it clear that Cobb was going after Kenny Omega’s US title, I assumed that this was just a fun, hoss fight that would give the United Empire man momentum. However, as Cobb’s title challenge is on Dynamite the night before, this booking of this match now feels open. The dynamic here will be fun – Moose will want to steal the show in his first big match in months, and Cobb is always good value for throwing people around and doing great big guy stuff. 

Three titles will be on the line at Multiverse United, namely the NJPW Strong Openweight title, the Impact Wrestling X-Division title and the Impact Wrestling World Tag Team Championships.

For the Strong title, KENTA will make his first defense against Minoru Suzuki. While both guys definitely have their best days behind them, this match is tailor-made for an American audience and should be entertaining for however long it lasts.

Trey Miguel will be putting his X-Division strap on the line in a six-way scramble also involving Clark Connors, Frankie Kazarian, Kevin Knight, Rich Swann and Rocky Romero. It doesn’t take a genius to work out that Romero will be eating the fall but this should be entertaining as long as it gets a good amount of time. 

If there’s going to be a title change, it’s most likely in the tag team four-way that’ll see Ace Austin and Chris Bey defending against The Motor City Machine Guns, Aussie Open and TMDK’s Shane Haste and Bad Dude Tito. All four teams absolutely rock – Austin and Bey’s rise to the top of the Impact tag division has been a treat to watch, Aussie Open are heating up again across multiple promotions, Haste and Tito starred at the recent Sacrifice show and the Guns are, well, one of the best ever. Tito eating the pin seems the most likely outcome but who to? 

Mickie James’ injury means the Knockouts World Championship won’t be defended here. Instead, Deonna Purrazzo, Gisele Shaw, Masha Slamovich and Miyu Yamashita will face off in a number-one contender’s four-way. If I’m Impact, I give Yamashita the win and push her hard right out of the gate. Purrazzo has been booked very strongly this year though and seems the obvious person for Impact to turn to in their current bind. 

Opening up the show is an eight-man tag pitting Eddie Edwards, the Impact Digital Media Champion Joe Hendry and Team Filthy’s JR Kratos and Tom Lawlor against Fred Rosser, PCO, Alex Coughlin and Callihan. There’s a slightly odd dynamic in this one of Callihan, a heel, teaming with the babyfaces and Hendry, a face, working with the heels, but this should be a decent match nonetheless. Rosser and Team Filthy have history, so that’ll likely feature, as will the current feud in Impact between PCO and Edwards. Conventional booking says Edwards sneaks the win in this one before losing the blow-off but I might be way off base and instead they use this to set up something for Hendry’s Digital Media belt. 

On the pre-show, an entertaining young lion rivalry will renew as Yuya Uemura and Gabriel Kidd lock horns. Uemura, who is currently on excursion in Impact, holds a 10-6 record in their previous singles matches but both men are very different to their last meeting almost two years ago. 

All in all, Multiverse United promises to be one of the stronger and more entertaining shows across Mania weekend and one that’s absolutely worth adding to your viewing schedule. 

Full NJPW & IMPACT: Multiverse United: Only The STRONG Survive Card

  • Pre-show: Yuya Uemura vs. Gabriel Kidd
  • Alex Coughlin, PCO, Callihan & Fred Rosser vs. Eddie Edwards, Joe Hendry, JR Kratos & Tom Lawlor
  • Four-way to determine No.1 Contender for the Impact Wrestling Knockouts World Championship: Deonna Purrazzo vs. Gisele Shaw v Masha Slamovich v Miyu Yamashita
  • Four-way for the Impact Wrestling World Tag Team Championships: A-B-C (Ace Austin & Chris Bey) (C) vs. Aussie Open vs. TMDK vs. Motor City Machine Guns
  • Six-way for the Impact Wrestling X-Division Championship: Trey Miguel (C) vs. Clark Connors vs. Frankie Kazarian vs. Rich Swann vs. Kevin Knight vs. Rocky Romero
  • NJPW Strong Openweight Championship: KENTA (C) vs. Minoru Suzuki
  • Jeff Cobb vs. Moose
  • Mike Bailey vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi