Another week, another debut on Lion’s Break Collision as former UFC fighter Filthy Tom Lawlor appears!
Karl Fredericks & Clark Connors pinned The DKC & Misterioso in 7:39 (***)
Tom Lawlor submitted Rocky Romero in 9:38 (***¼)
We open with the recap of last week, where TJP put away Danny Limelight, before Kevin Kelly chips in to remind us that Filthy Tom Lawlor debuts in the main event tonight.
Karl Fredericks & Clark Connors vs. The DKC & Misterioso
Fredericks’ new nickname is the “Lone Wolf” – as he’s apparently not going to be joining any of the various units in New Japan. Let’s see how long that lasts!
Misterioso has worked some previous New Japan of America shows, and he’s got a totally unnecessary chain-mail over his mask. I dig it. Fredericks and DKC start, with Karl stinging DKC with kicks in the early going before taking him to the ropes. DKC returns the favour, but the cheapshot on the break annoys Fredericks, who comes in with a snapmare and some kicks to the back, before tagging in Connors.
Clark dumps DKC with some slams, but DKC escapes the spamming and hits a head kick before a tag to Misterioso brought in the masked man for a crossbody. He handsprings off the ropes as he keeps going, elbowing down Connors before dropkicking him outside for an Asai moonsault. Back inside, Misterioso hits a gamengiri from the apron before a leap off the top rope missed… allowing Connors to hit right back with a scoop slam for a near-fall. Clark keeps going with chops to the front and back, getting a near-fall from that barrage, while Fredericks tagged in to have his turn. Kicks trap Misterioso in the corner before Connors grounded the masked man with a chinlock.
Shoulder charges in the corner from Connors and a Stinger splash keeps things going, while Fredericks came in to feed Misterioso into a spear, before a leaping elbow drop helps Connors get a near-fall. DKC broke it up and gets thrown outside, which means Connors went back to shoulder tackles, only to get pushed away by Misterioso, who rebounds with a roll-through into a dropkick. Tags bring in DKC and Fredericks, with the pair trading forearms early… then kicks as Fredericks got a little more aggressive. DKC mounted a comeback with armdrags and clotheslines, before a Mistica took him into a crossface… which is countered, but DKC countered that into a crucifix for a near-fall.
Misterioso takes Connors outside for a tope con giro as we’re left with DKC and Fredericks in the ring, but DKC runs into a Shibata-ish sleeper that led to an implant DDT – called the MD – for the win. A fun tag with Fredericks getting the win, but Misterioso looked pretty solid in this one as well. ***
Post-match, Jeff Cobb runs out and attacked Fredericks as he was celebrating, leaving him laying with a German suplex. Backstage, Cobb poked fun at Karl Fredericks for being an “alpha”, while Fredericks just walked away from his opportunity to issue a rebuttal.
The wacky adverts are back! Alex Coughlin is still confused that there’s such a thing as sponges with soap baked into them. Grime was removed!
Rocky Romero vs. Tom Lawlor
The former MLW champion’s here in New Japan – but given that MLW is on hiatus, this shouldn’t raise any questions. Yet. Those shorts that looked like denim hot pants, on the other hand…
Lawlor starts by taking Rocky into the corner, for a clean break, before they jostled over a waistlock. The pair end up on the mat, looking for knee bars, but Lawlor tweaks Rocky’s arm to force the escape. Lawlor looks for a backbreaker, but ends up going for roll-ups as Romero tried to stay ahead. After kicking out, Rocky tried to corner Lawlor with forearms, only to get met with a chop… Rocky chops back, but Tom just invites more of the same as he proceeded to take down Rocky. Headscissors from Rocky allow him to hand-walk into the corner as he used the ropes to turn the tables, before going back to the chops.
More chops keep Lawlor in the corner, but Lawlor kicks out Rocky’s legs as he looked to soften up the hamstrings. A stomp to the head follows, but Rocky forces his way back as he hits Lawlor with a dropkick to the leg in the corner as both men seemed to have similar game plans. Forearms from Rocky keep Lawlor in the ropes, but a snapmare gets blocked as Rocky then had to escape a slam, wangling his way into an Octopus stretch instead. Lawlor eventually throws Rocky away, but he’s instantly caught in the corner again as Rocky goes for the arm, leaping onto it with a knee drop out of the corner. An uppercut stops Lawlor in the corner ahead of a tornado DDT, before Rocky rolled Lawlor to the mat for a cross armbreaker… but Tom rolls out into a pinning attempt that turns into a ‘rana as Rocky counters the powerbomb.
Another cross armbreaker has Lawlor in trouble, but he rolls out and goes for a German suplex that’s elbowed away, with Rocky putting more pressure on as he came into the corner with Forever clotheslines. They’re countered as Rocky’s taken into the corner and into the ropes, but Lawlor’s rear naked choke is countered into a roll-up, before a rewind enziguiri left Tom on the mat. A running knee from Rocky nearly does it, but some Sliced Bread from Rocky’s caught and turned into a rear naked choke, dragging Rocky to the mat before the eventual submission. This was a lot more even than I expected for a debut, but Lawlor looked good in there against Rocky – which bodes well for whatever plans New Japan may have for him. ***¼
We sign-off with post-match comments from Tom Lawlor – who at least stopped to put a mask on… before Kevin Kelly in a studio teases more between Jeff Cobb and Karl Fredericks down the line. Nothing’s announced for next week, other than it being “the biggest episode yet”…
With two decent TV-length matches, and the continuation of a series-long storyline – all within a 30-odd minute long show? I’m all for short, compact wrestling shows, especially in the no-fans era – and that formula is making these Lion’s Break Collision shows something that really should be getting more eyeballs on it.