What went down on the latest episode of NJPW Lion’s Break Collision.
NJPW has undertaken a new venture in their quest to establish themselves as a valid alternative brand for those wrestling fans in the United States who are tired of WWE’s lack of follow-through with storylines and have no interest in AEW’s brand of gymnastics turned pro wrestling. Lion’s Break Collision is a new weekly show with the intention of showcasing their young talents in the LA Dojo system. Think NXT with less backstage skits and only two matches per episode. The show is streaming exclusively on NJPW World.
The company had a strong opening last week showcasing many of their homegrown talents in place of larger US-based stars within the company and this week was no different with several LA-based young lions picking up if you will forgive the pun, the lion’s share of the work. But this week also saw the return of US-based talent as well as three debuts with The DKC, Rust Taylor, Danny Limelight wrestling for the first time in an NJPW ring.
The Episode began with Kevin Kelly “sitting down” with Jeff Cobb who was in the main event of the first episode of Lion’s Break Collision about his altercation with Karl Frederick’s during and following the match. In reaction to being the source of Karl’s anger through the match, Jeff Cobb said, “I am a man of few words and actions certainly speak louder than words, So there will be some retribution.”
It seems that Fredericks’s first feud on the main roster has been set and it promises to be an explosive one at that.
The first two of three debuts promised for the evening took place in the opening match as SoCal pro wrestlers Rust Taylor and The DKC faced off in singles competition.
Rust Taylor vs. The DKC
Result: Rust Taylor submits DKC in 7:28
The DKC seemed to control most of the early match with several holds and submission attempts. From there though Rust took control and never really let up their control bringing out several different moves that they utilized on the indies. Rust absolutely looks more confident in the ring at this stage in their training than DKC but there is a raw talent present that makes DKC one that I am excited to see grow within this system.
Grade: C –
Following the match, Rust Taylor spoke in a backstage segment about how over 16 years he has traveled the world. He knows that NJPW has claimed to have the best wrestlers in the world and now they really do because he is there. He also called out Zach Sabre Jr., Okada, and Shibata when saying that he cannot wait to be given the opportunity to prove himself.
The other debut of the night came when Danny Limelight faced off against TJP. Danny has only been a professional wrestler for the last five years but previously served as a United States Marine drill instructor.
TJP vs. Danny Limelight
Result: TJP pins Danny Limelight after 10:48
TJP and Danny Limelight’s styles really complimented each other across this match both highflyers with focuses on submission holds led to several high-intensity spots from a drop kick laying out TJP in the middle of the ring to a section of chain wrestling where the pair traded off several submission holds for over a minute.
TJP’s ferocity was on full display as he began to pick apart Danny Limelight as the match moved into the later minutes focusing heavily on Limelight’s shoulders. Limelight was astounding through the match showing just how strong and tough he was hanging on with the much more experienced TJP giving the veteran a tougher contest than he may have previously expected.
Grade: A –
In the moments after the match, TJP pulled Danny up off the canvas pulling him into a hug as a show of respect for the tough fought match before heading backstage. Backstage TJP reiterated how strong the LA Dojo was giving all credit to Danny Limelight for making him pull tools out of his bag that he hasn’t used in nearly 15 years. He then thanked Danny for giving him a hell of a workout.
To end the episode we again saw Kevin Kelly who went over some of the card for next week which will include the debut of “Filthy” Tom Lawler as well as the return of both Karl Fredericks and Jeff Cobb to the ring.