NJPW STRONG #10 – Lion’s Break: Crown 2020 Part 3

Port Hueneme, CA – 10.9.2020

Commentary is provided by Kevin Kelly & Alex Koslov.

Blake Christian, Logan Riegel & Misterioso vs. Adrian Quest, Barrett Brown & Fred Rosser

Rosser wears down Riegel’s back after catching Riegel’s crossbody attempt and giving him two backbreakers. He follows that with a backbreaker on the ring apron. Riegel catches Brown with a rebound German suplex and tags in Misterioso. Quest takes him down with a headscissors and also sends Christian to the floor, but Misterioso pops Quest up into a powerbomb for two. Misterioso and his partners each get in a shot, but Quest tags out to Brown after taking Misterioso down with a tornado DDT. Christian wipes out Quest on the floor and pulls Rosser off the apron before attempting Elia on Brown. He misses and Brown gives him a high speed prawn hold facebuster for two. Christian stops a charging Brown with a standing Spanish Fly, then hits Elia successfully for the pin at 10:30. This falls into the “fun little bop” category – a good way to get some of the eliminated tournament combatants and randos a match, but nothing memorable or significant. **½

Lion’s Break Crown Tournament Final Round Match
Clark Connors vs. Danny Limelight

After Connors went for an armbar early, Limelight landed a high kick to Connor’s upper shoulder and neck. That’s where Limelight’s attack focused, and he went for the Symbiote DDT early. Connors blocked that in mid-air with a powerslam and decided from there he would wear down Limelight’s back and midsection. Naturally this meant Connors would be going for his signature Boston Crab. Limelight used his legs to throw Connors throat first to the middle rope and kick him in the neck and shoulder. Limelight goes for a Muta Lock after landing double knees, converting to a neckbreaker when Connors resists. After avoiding a spear, Limelight drops Connors with a fisherman’s buster for a close nearfall. Connors avoids the Symbiote DDT, but Limelight kicks him in the stomach and brings him to the top turnbuckle. Connors knocks Limelight to the mat. He then comes off the second rope with a spear and applies the Boston Crab for the submission at 12:36, winning the match and tournament. As much as I was pulling for Limelight, Connors as a Dojo representative winning this tournament makes sense. I really like that both of them played into their earlier victories, and that Connors won all of his tournament matches with THE Dojo hold, the Boston Crab. This was a very impressive outing for Limelight too, who I continue to be most excited to see compete on a weekly basis. ***½

Elimination Match
ACH, David Finlay, Jeff Cobb, Karl Fredericks, Rocky Romero & TJP vs. BULLET CLUB (Jay White, KENTA, Chase Owens, Tama Tonga, Tanga Loa & Hikuleo)

Eliminations can occur by pinfall, submission, or by being thrown over the top rope and both feet touching the floor. Romero gets abused by the Bullet Club in the early going. Romero stuns the BULLET CLUB when after two close schoolboys and a close over the top elimination, he pulls off an over the top elimination on the second try at 7:18! An embarrassed and angry White attacks Romero after the fact before being sent to the back. A real uncomfortable moment occurs when Loa uses his Black Lives Matter t-shirt to try and make a truce with ACH. ACH doesn’t buy it, and moments later is thrown over the top and to the floor by Loa at 8:39. Fredericks then ducks a clothesline and ends up clotheslining Loa to the floor at 9:06. Fredericks blocks being sent over the top by Tonga. However, Fredericks misses a corner splash and Tonga drops him with the Gun Stun for the pin at 9:49. Tonga tries a Gun Stun on Cobb, but Cobb catches him and throws him to the floor at 10:13. Cobb tries for Tour of the Islands on Hikuleo. Hikuleo shoves him to the corner where KENTA grabs Cobb’s hair. This distraction allows HIkuleo to come from behind and toss Cobb out at 11:09. Romero and TJP double team Hikuleo in the corner, with TJP helping Romero with Forever Clotheslines. Hikuleo reverses a double suplex and then clotheslines Romero to the floor at 12:03. Hikuleo throws TJP over the top. TJP skins the cat and uses his feet to headscissors Hikuleo to the floor at 12:39. Hikuleo angrily pulls TJP to the floor, which the referee counts as a legal elimination at 12:48. This leaves Finlay against KENTA and Chase Owens, and the man advantage allows for BULLET CLUB to easily take the match in their favor. Owens holds Finlay’s arms as he stands on the apron. An errant kick from KENTA knocks Owens off the apron at 15:52. Finlay drops KENTA with Prima Nocta before throwing him over the top rope at 16:00 to win the match. This sett up some big singles matches for future weeks (Finlay vs KENTA, Romero vs White) and was a nice change of pace from the normal matches we see week in and week out. The over the top eliminations made the close together eliminations more palpable, and I think that style of elimination adds a nice wrinkle to this type of bout. ***¼


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