New Japan Strong: New Japan Cup USA 2021 | Saturday 24th April 2021 | 03:00 (UK) | NJPW L.A. Dojo.
This is it! We’ve reached the final of the New Japan Cup USA 2021. The winner of tonight’s main event will leave with the New Japan Cup USA trophy, and be the FIRST EVER NJPW Strong Openweight Champion!
Before we start, check out my preview and predictions here.
MATCH ONE | TAG-TEAM MATCH: Clark Connors & TJP Vs Chris Dickinson & JR Kratos [Team Filthy]
Connors and Kratos tie-up, with Kratos getting the better of the exchanges, throwing the former Young Lion across the ring a few times. TJP changes the plan and grabs a headlock, hanging on despite Kratos trying to throw him, but Kratos escapes with a cartwheel. TJP tries to put Kratos in an abdominal stretch, and ducks when Dickinson tries to stop it, forcing the Dirty Daddy to chop his own partner. TJP then locks both men in a variation of the hold, before using Kratos as a platform to nail Dickinson with a tornado DDT. Connors and TJP land a double hip-toss on Kratos for a one-count. TJP and Connors go for a double team, but TJP gets in Clark’s way, allowing Dickinson to regain the advantage. Kratos sends Connors corner-to-corner with a release suplex. Kratos gets a near-fall following a series of knees to a downed Connors.
Connors lands a few elbows to Dickinson and escapes a suplex attempt to make the tag to TJP. TJP drops Dickinson with a springboard elbow and then a boot in the corner. TJP puts Dickinson in the Tree of Woe and lands a hesitation dropkick for a two-count. Connors blind-tags in and helps TJP out of a suplex before throwing some hard chops and a forearm at Dickinson. Dickinson retaliates with the same, but Connors lands a powerslam. Connors locks Dickinson in a Boston Crab. Kratos comes in to break it up, but TJP locks on an Octopus Stretch. Kratos breaks free and releases Dickinson. Kratos and Dickinson double team Connors, but TJP drags Dickinson outside. TJP lands a tope suicide on Dickinson, and Connors delivers a vicious spear on Kratos.
Dickinson suplexes TJP on the outside then comes back in with a running enziguiri on Connors. Dickinson then lands a brainbuster, but only for a two-count. Dickinson lands a Death Valley Driver and goes for the pin, but Kratos had tagged himself in. Connors rolls up Kratos for a near-fall. Kratos avoids the Boston Crab and flattens Connors with a single-leg dropkick and a wheelbarrow German Suplex for the win.
Match Time: 11m 06s
WINNER: JR Kratos via a Game Changer [Wheelbarrow German Suplex]
This was all about the miscommunication on both sides. For Team Filthy, sowing the seeds for Dickinson’s departure. On the other side, a slow heel turn for TJP.
SEMI-MAIN EVENT | MATCH TWO | SINGELS MATCH: R0cky Romero Vs Wheeler Yuta
Wheeler Yuta is making his debut for New Japan Pro Wrestling. Romero enters ringside again with the Black Tiger mask.
Yuta and Romero trade holds to start. Wheeler locks the legs and pulls Romero into a bow-and-arrow, but is too close to the ropes and Romero
escapes. Romero re-engages and starts working on the arm, but Yuta fights back focusing on the legs. Yuta bridges up on a version of a leg lock, but Romero fights out. Romero attempts an armbar, but this time he’s too close to the ropes. After a short Lucha-style rope-run and arm-drag sequence, Yuta fakes Rocky out and lands a dropkick for a two-count. Romero attempts the Forever Clotheslines, but Yuta gets a boot and elbow up to evade. Rocky ducks a springboard crossbody and locks in an octopus hold, but again Yuta gets a rope break. Romero drops a knee across Yuta’s arm from the second rope. Romero attempts a back suplex but Yuta turns and gets a two-count. Yuta also gets near-falls from a springboard crossbody and a diving crossbody from the top rope.
Both men trade forearms in the centre of the ring. Romero counters a forearm into a backslide, before turning it into a shoulder breaker. Yuta blocks a kick to the arm and turns Rocky into an Olympic Slam for a near-fall. Yuta locks in a variation of an Indian Death Lock, and as Romero reaches for the ropes he rolls through, keeping the legs, and locks in a face lock as well. Romero reaches the ropes to break the hold. Romero gets to the apron and delivers a shoulder breaker over the top rope. Romero drapes Yuta over the middle rope and gets a two-count following a diving stomp to the back. Yuta evades the Shiranui then lands an atomic drop and an enziguiri. Yuta gets a two-count from a bridging German suplex. Yuta reverses an armbar into a pin attempt for a near-fall.
Romero lands a running Shiranui for a two-count, then transitions into an armbar. Yuta taps out.
Match Time: 12m 41s
WINNER: Rocky Romero via a Diablo Armbar
MAIN EVENT | MATCH THREE | New Japan Cup USA | FINAL NO TIME LIMIT MATCH: Brody King Vs “Filthy” Tom Lawlor
Lawlor starts with a few leg kicks on to the leg King’s previous opponents have focused on. King backs Lawlor into the corner and delivers a punch to the stomach. King delivers the first real impact with brutal chops in the corner that echo throughout the arena. Lawlor lands some body shots, but King drops him to a knee with a forearm shot, then hits an axe kick to the back of the neck. Lawlor takes a shortcut by going for King’s eyes and then attempts to bait King by heading outside, but Brody’s having none of it.
Lawlor moves out the way of a Brody cannonball, then uses the ring posts to attack both of King’s legs. Brody fights back and sets up for a chop only for Lawlor to duck and force King to chop the ring post. Lawlor then attacks King’s hand, slamming it on the apron and delivering a stomp to the fingers. Lawlor delivers a series of chops on the outside and then whips King into the railings outside. After a few minutes on the outside, the referee finally starts the count-out when Lawlor returns to the ring.
Lawlor swarms on King and backs him into the corner, but a forearm and a chop from Brody creates space. Unfortunately for King, he used the injured hand, and Lawlor comes back with some Muay Thai knee strikes. Lawlor tries a few clotheslines, but only staggers King. Lawlor’s third attempt is a leaping clothesline, but he bounces off King to the mat, and Brody takes advantage with a senton. King attempts a pin, but takes a while to do it, and only gets a one-count.
Lawlor lands a few strikes as both men get to their feet, but this simply annoys King, who throws a series of left-handed chops and a pair of lariats. King pauses to recover and meets Lawlor coming in, throwing him upside down into the corner with an exploder suplex. King connects with the cannonball, but only gets a two-count. King attempts the Gonzo Bomb but can’t lift Lawlor thanks to the damage to his leg. Lawlor instead locks in a guillotine, but King lifts him and carries him to the corner. King escapes with a headbutt, and plants Lawlor with a massive snap superplex (the speed of rotation on this was incredible!) but only gets a two-count.
King again attempts a Gonzo Bomb, but Lawlor escapes and attacks the legs before applying an ankle lock. King turns over and goes to kick Lawlor away, but Lawlor grabs the leg and flips into a jackknife cover. King escapes at two, rolling through to lift Lawlor for a piledriver but Lawlor kicks out at two! King takes a breather, allowing Lawlor to get back to his feet. They trade forearms then Lawlor plants King with a Uranage, but King kicks out at one! Lawlor follows up with a running knee strike, but again only for a near-fall.
Lawlor starts throwing forearms and leg kicks at King, with two rolling elbows – the second to the back of the neck – but King ducks a third and lands a release German suplex. King hits a lariat, but Lawlor kicks out at two. Lawlor escapes the Gonzo Bomb and transitions from a rear-naked choke into a Cattle Mutilation! King doesn’t submit, so Lawlor switches into a crossface. As King rolls into a seated position, Lawlor goes for the PK. King catches his leg and stands back up, but Lawlor ducks a right hand and locks in the rear-naked choke again. Lawlor gets King seated, and at the second attempt lands the PK. Lawlor locks in another rear-naked choke, with the legs hooked, and King passes out.
Match Time: 20m 05s
WINNER OF THE NEW JAPAN CUP USA 2021, AND FIRST EVER NJPW STRONG OPENWEIGHT CHAMPION: “FILTHY” TOM LAWLOR via a Rear-Naked Choke
Post-match, Dickinson and Kratos come out to celebrate. Lawlor is presented with both the New Japan Cup USA trophy and the NJPW Strong Openweight Championship belt.
Lawlor says “everybody knew who number one was” and says it’s been a “long time coming.” He says he’s been the “strongest around these parts for a long time.” Lawlor says he’s familiar with NJPW, and this is the part of the show where someone is going to come out and challenge him. He throws out the gauntlet to bring out the next “sacrificial lamb to New Japan’s Strongest.”
With no music playing, Lawlor states no one has the guts. No one thinks they can beat him, they all know what the truth is – “Filthy Tom Lawlor is the absolute strongest, and there’s not a man in the back that can do a thing about it.”
Well… he’s right. He gives the microphone to Chris Dickinson. Dickinson says Lawlor doesn’t have to look too far for the first challenger, he’s “looking right at him.” THE CHALLENGE IS SET! The Dirty Daddy Chris Dickinson officially challenges his teammate, Filthy Tom Lawlor!