Lion’s Break Collision, Episode 3 Has Martial Arts Inspired Marquee Match
"Filthy" Tom Lawlor Looks Good In NJPW Debut
New Japan Pro Wrestling’s (NJPW) Lion’s Break Collision continued its momentum going into the third episode. The show has presented a United States weekly episodic wrestling style program, mixed with the ‘Sports Realism;’ in-ring centric approach NJPW is famous for across the world.
The marquee match of the event saw former eight-time IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champion and one-time IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion (as Black Tiger), Rocky Romero face the debuting “Filthy” Tom Lawlor.
Romero who is a graduate from the original NJPW Los Angeles (LA) Dojo, where he trained in various martial arts techniques, wrestled hold for hold against the former professional Mixed Martial Artist.
Lawlor seemed at home in the traditional wrestling style, yet couldn’t overwhelm Romero at any point. It wasn’t until Lawlor was able to catch Romero in a Rear Naked Choke that he was able to earn the submission at the nine-minute and thirty-eight-second mark.
It’s yet unknown what Lawlor’s future will be within NJPW, but him becoming a fixture on New Japan of America (NJoA) programming would be interesting — especially with a potential North American branch of the Bullet Club making themselves known shortly.
Romero looked strong and is still situated as a dark horse IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion candidate. Rocky has a long-term narrative around his return to the Best of the Super Junior (BOSJ) tournament last year and defeating El Phantasmo during his first marquee singles match at Korakuen Hall on May 24, 2019 — which brought many fans in attendance to tears.
His eventual winning of the championship would likely bring another emotional reaction from the NJPW faithful.
The opening match of the event saw NJoA regular Misterioso, who was making his Lion’s Break Collision debut team with The DKC against Karl Fredericks and NJPW LA Dojo Young Lion Clark Connors.
Misterioso and Clark Connors both stood out during the match, making it seem that Connors is fairly close to graduating from the NJPW Dojo System. The DKC, who could end up training at the LA Dojo continued to show promise.
Fredericks, who looks like he is a lock to become the IWGP United States Heavyweight Champion in the future showcased a combination of athleticism and power that is similar to former five-time IWGP Heavyweight Champion, Kazuchika Okada.
Fredericks would pin DKC at the seven-minute and thirty nine-second mark with a move the NJPW website says is called The MD, which is a Lifting Horizontal Vertical Drop DDT.
Immediately after the match, Jeff Cobb would attack Fredericks, hitting him with a release German Suplex, a message to the recently graduated Young Lion after his antics on the first Lion’s Break Collision episode — setting up a likely clash between the two in the near future.