The show opened with an interview between Karl Fredericks and Kevin Kelly discussing Frederick’s new career chapter in NJPW. He is no longer a young lion.
The show opened with a slick opening graphic, and showcased a new production style for the new brand. The show’s ring announcing was in English, with Kevin Kelly, Chris Charlton, and Gino Gambino calling the action. The setup itself looks good. The ring is smaller than usual, but it works for television.
Hiroshi Tanahashi and Katsuyori Shibata did guest commentary for the Japanese language broadcast.
Clark Connors and Alex Coughlin went to a ten-minute draw
Really good. Lots of tight matwork at the top. Coughlin went after Connors’ arm early on. He looks bigger than before.
They exchanged huge chops and power moves midway through. Coughlin used a creative fall-away slam into a bridging pin for two; Connors responded with a picture-perfect powerslam.
More chops. Coughlin used a big side suplex on Connors for two. He locked in an armbar seconds before the bell, Connors didn’t tap, and the match ended in a draw. Good stuff from these two. They had an intense little exchange in the ring together afterwards.
Connors said in his post-match interview that wins and losses matter in NJPW. He said that he refused to be the last trainee to graduate from the LA Dojo.
Karl Fredericks and TJP defeated Jeff Cobb and Rocky Romero
The story here highlighted TJP and Rocky Romero, as they were a part of NJPW’s first dojo in Los Angeles. Karl Fredericks has a new haircut and red tights with tassels.
This was all action. TJP looked impressive here, especially when he and Rocky were in together. Good chemistry between the OGs.
Fredericks really looks like a superstar now. His exchange with Cobb toward the end of this was impressive, especially when he landed a crazy-looking kuru-kuru dropkick.
At around ten minutes in, TJP landed a slingshot dropkick to the apron, knocking Cobb back to the floor. Fredericks was able to keep Romero down for a three-count with a backslide pin for the upset win.
Fredericks and Cobb got into it right after the match, and it looked intense. In his post-match promo, Fredericks said that Rocky Romero isn’t a real LA Dojo guy anymore, that he’s CHAOS, and that he shouldn’t keep claiming he’s a part of his dojo.
This was an easy watch. Two solid matches that featured talent that probably wouldn’t get the proper look otherwise. Alex Coughlin, Clark Connors and especially Karl Fredericks will be important cogs in the NJPW machine going forward.
Next week on NJPW Young Lions Collision: DKC vs. Rust Taylor and Danny Limelight vs. TJP