NJPW: Lion’s Break Collision #4

Port Hueneme, CA – 7.24.2020

Commentary is provided by Kevin Kelly, Chris Charlton & Gino Gambino.

Alex Coughlin vs. Tom Lawlor

After five minutes passing and no man having a clear advantage, Coughlin went the route of using his strength to overwhelm Lawlor. After several body slams and a spear he went for his signature Boston Crab. Although Lawlor converted that into a triangle choke, Coughlin used his power to pick up Coughlin and slammed him to escape the submission. After a side Russian leg sweep, Lawlor grabbed Coughlin in a spladle for the pin at 8:05. A solid story was told, but it wasn’t terribly interesting. **

Misterioso vs. Danny Limelight

After taking an overhand chop, Limelight sends Misterioso to the floor with a flying Frankensteiner and follows with a tornado plancha. Back inside, however, Misterioso stops Limelight mid-air with a powerbomb and nails a superkick to the chin for a two count. Limelight comes back with the Symbiote DDT, but Misterioso is close enough to the ropes to stop the pin with ease. Misterioso enzuigiri’s Limelight to end a strike exchange. Another superkick lands, and a backcracker earns Misterioso the win at 4:43. I don’t understand that choice at all. From my perspective, Limelight was the most exciting newcomer over the course of these episodes, and probably only second to Lawlor in terms of overall promise to NJPW’s future. Misterioso is good, but no better than any other garden variety luchadore in America. Good match, puzzling result. **¼

TJP & Clark Connors vs. Rocky Romero & Rust Taylor

Connors was excited to get involved with the more established wrestlers, but several chest kicks from Taylor gave him a reality check. Taylor and Romero double teamed Connors until Connors caught Romero with a snap slam. Connors almost had Taylor pinned with a Doomsday Blockbuster with an assist from TJP. Moments later Connors accidentally spears TJP and eats a jumping knee from Romero. TJP and Connors get back on the same page in avoiding Romero’s forever clotheslines. TJP kicks Romero into a spear from Connors. Taylor gets TJP locked in the Gaia Lock, which TJP turns into a pin to escape. Connors throws Romero to the floor. TJP dragonscrew leg whips Taylor before hitting the Detonation Kick for the pin at 9:47. Romero losing all three of his matches during this series of shows is really intriguing, as is TJP winning all of three of his, and I wonder if it will be a story going forward. He and TJP didn’t have as much interaction as they did during their match on Episode 1, which is a shame, but I liked TJP’s dynamic with Taylor, as well as seeing Connors improve as the match progressed. Taylor and Romero bicker backstage, and I would be all about that singles bout. ***

Jeff Cobb vs. Karl Fredericks

Tensions had been building between these two for the entire series, and they appropriately beat the heck out of one another. Fredericks channeled Shibata with his forearm take down and subsequent dropkick in the corner, and implemented a single leg Boston Crab, which is a hallmark of Shibata’s teachings. He even busted open Cobb’s nose in the process. Fredericks originally seemed to have Cobb’s Tour of the Islands attempt stunted, but Cobb was able to execute it fully and get the pin at 11:48. How beat up and exhausted Cobb was even in victory goes to show how far Fredericks has come from his young lion days . The arrogant Fredericks may have been humbled in defeat, but this series really breaks him out of the pack, while also keeping him affiliated with the Dojo. ***¼

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