Lion’s Break Collision, A Unique NJPW Presentation
Same Wrestling, Slightly Different Presentation
Several weeks ago, New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW) taped a month’s worth of New Japan of America (NJoA) content for the New Japan World streaming service. It is believed and was announced during the broadcast that NJPW is following the same COVID-19 protocol for events in the United States as they are in Japan.
Rocky Romero spoke about the steps taken to guarantee the safety of performers and staff members in an NJPW English podcast with Chris Charlton before the airing of the first Lion’s Break Collision event.
The July 3rd Lion’s Break Collision event began with the recently published interview between Kevin Kelly and the first graduate of the new NJPW Los Angeles (LA) Dojo, Karl Fredericks — where his graduation became public knowledge. The first match saw two NJPW LA Dojo Young Lions Clark Connors and Alex Coughlin compete against one another.
The slight differences in camera angles were present from the typical NJPW production normally seen in Japan. The up-close shots presented a more athletic and intimate view of the action for those viewing on New Japan World — differing from the more cinematic approaches other major promotions have adopted and expanded on in recent months.
Connors and Coughlin wrestled an intense freestyle wrestling focused match that exemplified the NJPW Dojo system (locations in LA, Noge, and New Zealand). The two Young Lions would eventually wrestle to a ten-minute draw and would show each other respect after the fact.
Unlike regular NJPW events, the taped production presented the backstage comments of Clark Connors on the broadcast, before the marquee match of the taping featuring Karl Fredericks/TJP against Rocky Romero/Jeff Cobb.
In a fast-paced and aggressive tag match, the teams split the advantage. Fredericks looked confident, explosive, and had the presence of a future major NJPW draw. Since his performance in last year’s Best of the Super Junior (BOSJ) tournament, Romero has quietly positioned himself as a possible contender for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship in the near future.
However, Fredericks was able to capture the veteran in a backslide for the pinfall victory. Cobb and Fredericks would have to be pulled apart after the match. During his backstage remarks, Fredericks denounced the current faction mentality in NJPW, promising to act like a wolf.
Importantly, Fredericks didn’t claim he would never align with a faction, he claimed he didn’t want any part of the groups as they present themselves at the moment. That could mean he is eventually courted into a unit, or he joins a fresh faction in the future.