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NJPW Strong results: Lion's Break Crown semifinals


Clark Connors defeated Logan Riegel

Really good match. Connors picked up the win after catching Riegel off the ropes with a sudden spear, then forced him to tap with a Boston crab in just under seven minutes. Connors moves on to the Lion’s Break Crown finals.

Quick interview with Blake Christian and Kevin Kelly before the next match. Kelly revealed that Christian was his pick to win the tournament this year.

Danny Limelight defeated Blake Christian

Limelight went after Christian from the bell with hard strikes, mostly elbows and stomps. Kevin Kelly said he was going for the early stoppage. Whenever Christian would fire up with a move off the ropes, Limelight shut it down. Christian rallied back and planted Limelight with an STO that took a lot out of both wrestlers.

Crazy finish to this. First, Christian did a 450 splash to Limelight while he was draped over the top rope, face-down, so Christian landed across Limelight’s back. I hadn’t seen that before tonight. Both sold for another few moments before Christian climbed to the turnbuckles, but Limelight suddenly kicked up from the mat, ran up the ropes and superplex’d Christian down to the mat, then rolled through and spiked Christian once more with a cradle Fisherman’s buster for the impressive win. That was a heck of a match. Limelight will take on Connors in the Lion’s Break Crown finals.

Brody King and Flip Gordon defeated TJP and Karl Fredericks

Awesome tag match. TJP and Flip Gordon were in first. Gordon looks massive now. He and TJP looked really good together, but Fredericks and King were something else when they entered next. It’s hard to believe Fredericks was a Young Lion just last year. He and King were moving around just as smoothly as wrestlers half their size.

King slowed the pace down later in the match after decking him with a sharp chop that reddened up TJP. Fredericks was about to explode on the ring apron waiting for the tag. When TJP landed a swinging DDT out of nowhere to neutralize King for a moment, he made the tag, and in came Fredericks like the proverbial house of fire. He almost had Flip finished with a single-leg crab until King broke it up. TJP went for the Mamba splash but Flip got his knees up and cradled him for a two until Fredericks broke it up.

King then entered and laid Fredericks out with a monstrous lariat that turned him inside out. This allowed Flip to land a fireman’s carry cutter on TJP for the win in eleven minutes. High-quality match.

Bullet Club (Jay White, KENTA, Chase Owens & Hikuleo) defeated Jeff Cobb, Misterioso, Rocky Romero & Dave Finlay

Nonstop action throughout all of this. Bodies flying everywhere only a few minutes into the match. Bullet Club played bullies in this and laughed at Rocky at the top of the match when he stepped into the ring with Hikuleo, who proceeded to tower over everyone in this match.

While the rest of the teammates brawled on the floor, Misterioso used a backcracker on Chase Owens. Hikuleo stepped in and planted Misterioso with a giant reverse uranage. Owens pinned him, picking up the win for Bullet Club. This felt like something we’d see on a NJPW house show in Japan but with more intensity. Everyone shined in this, but Jay White, KENTA and Jeff Cobb were especially great.

Final thoughts:

Everything on tonight’s episode is worth checking out. The first two Lion’s Break Crown matches were exceptional, especially Danny Limelight vs. Blake Christian, but TJP and Karl Fredericks vs. Brody King and Flip Gordon was on par with most TV tag matches you’d see this week. High quality show from NJPW, once again.