In a recent interview with New Japan Pro Wrestling, LA Dojo coach Katsuyori Shibata broke the news that Clark Connors had quietly graduated from the Young Lions programme.
Connors, who had been installed as the Dojo’s longtime ‘captain’, has since moved out of the Dojo house, following a small graduation ceremony, according to Shibata.
When quizzed on the timeline, Shibata revealed that Connors had graduated immediately following his victory in last year’s Lion’s Break Crown tournament:
Really, he graduated the second he won Lion’s Break Crown. He just has to take that next step now. It’s all about timing.
Shibata admitted to having been nervous for Connors during the tournament, a sentiment Clark himself shared with Inside the Ropes in an interview earlier this year.
The man known simply as ‘The Wrestler’ during his coveted career also remarked on Connors’ use of ‘The Pounce’ and how Dojo drills may have contributed to the move’s effectiveness:
We drill running on the diagonal and in different directions, to accelerate from any angle, but he took that teaching and applied it to land that pounce and the spear so perfectly. He took what I taught and made it his.
In the same interview, Shibata noted that Alex Coughlin had since stepped into the role of Dojo captain, following Connors’ departure.
Click here to read the full interview with Katsuyori Shibata on njpw1972.com