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NJPW Strong results: Lion's Break Crown finals

Misterioso, Blake Christian, and Logan Riegel defeated Adrian Quest, Barrett Brown and Fred Rosser

Decent opener with even-tempo action. 

Blake Christian used a big springboard lariat on Adrian Quest early on. Fred Rosser later back suplexed Logan Riegel on the apron. Rosser and Misterioso looked to be the heavyweights on their teams. Misterioso landed an Asai moonsault onto Rosser. Blake Christian landed a twisting trust-fall splash for the win. 

This was good, but these six-man matches sometimes fall into cursory patterns and I got that sense here. It was good, but this show’s standard happens to be good, too.

Clark Connors defeated Danny Limelight to win the Lion's Break Crown tournament

Tentative start between these two from the bell. Limelight tried throwing low kicks and other strikes while Connors tried shooting in for a takedown. Connors ate a knee from Limelight, but he quickly countered on the mat and was able to sink in an armlock before Limelight reached the bottom rope for a break.

Connors yelled “Get back up!” at Limelight, who did just that moments later, landing a frankensteiner and then a twisting Fosberry flop to the floor. When he dove off the top rope, Connors caught him and reversed it into a powerslam. Didn’t look great but Connors pulled it off. It wasn’t a botch but we’ve seen him stick the same move perfectly before.

Five minutes into the match Connors was in clear control, working Limelight over with suplexes and generally out-grappling him. Limelight used hard strikes of his own to mount a comeback, chopping Connors hard and laying in hard kicks to wear out the ex-football player.

Speaking of football, Connors paused Limelight’s comeback with a hard pounce when Limelight was coming off the ropes. Limelight responded with a double-jump springboard meteora. The two traded higher impact moves until Limelight went to the top for a 450, but missed. Connors went for a spear, but Limelight jumped out of the way then put Connors down with a cradle fisherman’s buster, or the same move he used to win his semi-finals match.

Limelight was frustrated from not being able to put Connors away. He landed a spinning buzzsaw kick but again, only a two-count. Limelight went for a superplex from the top but couldn’t keep Connors in place, so he moonsaulted off the top back into the ring. Connors then came off the second rope with a flying spear. He then cinched in—you guessed it—the Boston Crab. After struggling for a minute or so, Limelight was forced to tap as Connors sat deeper into the hold. Clark Connors is the first ever Lion’s Break Crown tournament winner.

Dave Finlay, ACH, Karl Fredericks, TJP, & Jeff Cobb defeated Bullet Club (KENTA, Tama Tonga, Jay White, Chase Owens, Tonga Loa and Hikuleo) in a 10-man elimination match

Eliminations in this came either when a wrestler was thrown over the top rope to the floor, or pinned/submitted inside the ring.

Tonga Loa and Hikuleo bullied Rocky Romero early on in this. Actually, pretty much all of Bullet Club bullied him for a while. Romero came back later with some uppercuts to Jay White, though White shut that down quickly and continued working him over until Romero snuck up from behind White while he was distracted and threw him over the top rope to the floor, eliminating White.

ACH and Tonga Loa were in together next. Jay White decided to join Kevin Kelly and Alex Koslov on commentary midway through this. He might as well, right?

Loa knocked ACH off the top rope when he went for a springboard and eliminated him. Loa was eliminated soon after by Fredericks with a lariat. Tama Tonga and Fredericks then went at it for a minute until Tonga caught Fredericks with the Gun Stun to pin him, thus eliminating Fredericks.

Jeff Cobb was in for his team next and dumped Tonga to the floor with a back suplex drop. Eliminations were coming fast and furious at this point.

Cobb and Hikuleo had a nice exchange, but after another minute, Hikuleo eliminated Cobb. TJP and Rocky got into the ring and double-teamed Hikuleo, landing some Forever clotheslines on him in the corner before trying to double-suplex him, which didn’t work out. Hikuleo suplexed both of them. Hikuleo then eliminated Romero. TJP eliminated Hikuleo with a leg scissors while he was skinning the cat, but Hikuleo grabbed TJP from the apron and dragged him to the floor, eliminating him as well.

The end saw Dave Finlay taking on both Chase Owens and KENTA by himself since the rest of his team had been eliminated. At the fifteen-minute mark, Finlay rallied back against Bullet Club. He first dodged a running yakuza kick from KENTA, who inadvertently kicked Owens from the apron, eliminating him from the match. Finlay landed, then threw KENTA over the top to win the match for his team. This was treated like an upset on commentary. Afterwards, Finlay said he wanted a shot at KENTA’s US title briefcase soon.

Final thoughts:

Go out of your way to watch the Lion’s Break Crown finals, which was the best part of this week’s show. The first and third matches were good, but with the current deluge of wrestling we’re getting on TV these days, I wouldn’t call this a must-watch episode. Nonetheless, this was a solid hour of wrestling, once again.