New Japan Pro Wrestling
Lion’s Break Collision #4
July 24, 2020
Oceanville Pavillion Port
In what feels like a season finale, New Japan has loaded up episode four of Lion’s Break Collision with a four-match slate headlined by the excellently built Karl Fredericks vs. Jeff Cobb. I’m chomping/champing at the bit so let’s just get into it.
Tom Lawlor Def. Alex Coughlin
For those that read my review of episode three, you know I love Lawlor. His charisma and presence jumps off the screen which makes him feel like a big deal. This was a nice little grappling match with the veteran Lawlor dominating his Young Lion opponent. Coughlin didn’t look like a scrub though, putting together a nice little comeback and a display of some of his power moves. Lawlor wins with a crucifix pin and cuts another great post match promo. ***
Misterioso Def. Danny Limelight
I thought this was a little disappointing. Not because the wrestling was bad but because I expected more from Limelight but it’s evident now he was used to get others over, and to his credit I think he did that. Misterioso wins in a squash that’s just below five minutes. **1/2
TJP & Clark Connors Def. Rust Taylor & Rocky Romero
This was a pretty good tag match which was highlighted by the Young Lion Clark Connors. He looked like a million bucks in this match. All of his high impact moves, like his spear and powerslam, look especially fantastic; there’s one Boston crab spot, in particular, that was awesome. Rust Taylor also continued his great Lion’s Break form, showing off more of his technical prowess. The story of the match was Taylor getting left to fight off both his opponents while Rocky was on the outside and couldn’t break up the eventual match losing pin. Backstage, Rocky and Rust got into it and it looks like this will set up a match between these two. ***1/4
Jeff Cobb Def. Karl Fredricks
This did not disappoint! The intensity was turned right up from the beginning and stayed for the entire match. My favorite matches are when every move matters and there’s a feeling of urgency in every move and this sure had that. Cobb exhausting himself after putting everything into a running uppercut and Fredericks desperately stomping on Cobb’s back so he can turn him over for the single-leg Boston crab are all simple wrestling traits, but they work every single time. The accidental blood added to the match as it always does and even the slight miscue on the Tour of the Islands finish was saved by Cobb’s strength and just made him look like more of a powerhouse. Easily the best match from the Collision series and one of the better matches New Japan has had in the COVID era. ***3/4
To nobody’s surprise this was an easy hour of wrestling, highlighted by a VERY good main event. In its four-episode run, Lion’s Break Collision has raced up the ladder for best weekly wrestling show for 2020. New Japan also announced on Twitter that NJPW Strong will start on August 7. Strong sounds like it will be the successor to Lion’s Break Collision, but potentially with more of the guys stuck in the U.S. If it’s anything like Collision, I will be one happy boy.