NJPW STRONG #9 – Lion’s Break: Crown 2020 Part 2

Port Hueneme, CA – 10.2.2020

Commentary is provided by Kevin Kelly & Alex Koslov.

Lion’s Break Crown Tournament Semifinal Round Match
Logan Riegel vs. Clark Connors

Riegel did an admirable job hanging with Connors at the mat. As has become a staple for Connors, his Pounce changed the trajectory into his favor. Riegel German suplexed Connors after ducking a corner-attack, following that up with a pescado and Sling Blade for two. Connors blocked Riegel’s spike DDT and jump-up neckbreaker. Connors speared Riegel and put him in the Boston Crab for the submission victory at 7:51. No surprise there, and Connors utilizing the signature move of the Dojo to earn another tournament victory is very suitable. **½

Lion’s Break Crown Tournament Semifinal Round Match
Danny Limelight vs. Blake Christian

Limelight immediately attacked Christian’s mid-section, which was worn down by Adrian Quest last week. Christian takes down Limelight with a running STO to buy some recovery time. Limelight however folded up Christian high with a sit-out powerbomb. When Limelight tries a fisherman’s buster, Christian spins him out into a facebuster. Limelight avoids a springboard 450 splash. Christian however enzuigiri’s Limelight, hanging him on the top rope, and lands a 450 splash to Limelight’s back. Christian goes to the top rope when Limelight kicks out. Limelight musters the strength to follow him. He brings Christian down with a superplex, immediately following that with a fisherman’s suplex with a cradle for the pin at 7:54. This was a pick ’em all the way through, and even in defeat I think Christian may have come out looking the stronger of the two on this night. Limelight however has been killing it week in and week out and is a very fitting pick for the tournament finals. ***

Brody King & Flip Gordon vs. Karl Fredericks & TJP

TJP and Gordon have a pissing contest, which ends when Gordon escapes an almost Muta Lock and tags in King. Fredericks shows no fear against the thicker King, even taking him down with a jumping crossbody for two. King accidentally clotheslines Gordon and gets dropkicked to the floor. Fredericks pulls Gordon back to the corner for him and TJP to execute a double suplex. Gordon slips outside and pulls TJP out with him. King knocks Fredericks off the apron as Gordon slams TJP face first onto the ring frame. King and Gordon beat down TJP in their half of the ring until TJP counters a slam from King with a tornado DDT. Fredericks himself counters a springboard DDT from Gordon with a spinebuster and then locked in a half crab. King saved Gordon by booting Fredericks in the back of the head. TJP blind tagged himself in, wiping out Gordon with a high crossbody and sending King to the floor with a headscissors. Gordon got his knees up to block a Mamba Splash, and Fredericks stopped Gordon’s pin after that. A german suplex and lariat from King wiped out Fredericks. Gordon hit the Flip-5 on TJP for the pin at 11:06. King and Gordon make for a good power and speed combo, which should be no surprise given their prior affiliation, but TJP and Fredericks really stepped up as a team too. On paper I didn’t expect much from this and ended up really enjoying myself. ***¼

David Finlay, Jeff Cobb, Misterioso & Rocky Romero vs. BULLET CLUB (Jay White, KENTA, Chase Owens & Hikuleo)

Hikuleo overhand chopped poor Romero’s chest to death at the very beginning. Cobb looked for revenge on KENTA and Owens for screwing him in the IWGP US Briefcase match three weeks earlier, but his and knee once again became the target for the BULLET CLUB. Cobb found his freedom with a suplex to White and a tag to Finlay who cleaned house on the BC. All of his team attacks White in the corner, ending with a uranage backbreaker from Finlay. KENTA kicks Cobb in the knee on the floor as White blocks Prima Nocta from Finlay by pulling his hair and spiking him with a DDT. Misterioso lands a double jump lionsault on Owens for two, and is able to take out both Owens and KENTA with a back handspring elbow. He does however miss double knees in the corner. White capitalizes with the Blade Buster, and Owens follows up with the Doppler Effect for two. A series of offenses from all participants leads to Hikuleo hitting Misterioso with the GunSlinger, and pulling Owens on top of him for the pin at 11:28. The first half was more cohesive than the second, and ending with Misterioso and Owens in the ring was a very questionable move. Nevertheless, it makes sense for the more formidable unit to stand tall, and it was fun seeing Finlay run amok. **¾

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