It’s time to see who will be the first ever NJPW Strong Openweight Champion! This is the finals of the 2021 New Japan Cup USA, and we have Brody King taking on Tom Lawlor. The powerhouse Brody King defeated Chris Dickinson & Lio Rush to get here, while accomplished MMA fighter Tom Lawlor got past Ren Narita & Hikuleo. Either man would be a great pick for a first champion, and it could truly go either way. Who will make history?
Tom Lawlor Waits For Mistakes
While King came into this one with a size and power edge, Lawlor is the better technician. Lawlor would start by testing the water with some kicks, before being caught and driven into the corner by King. A clean break would give Lawlor another chance to be driven into the corner, and this time he took some shots to the jaw. Lawlor got free again and went for the single leg takedown.
King would be taken down, but he fell into the ropes to prevent a heel hook from being applied. Getting right back to his style, King put Lawlor back in the corner and nailed some heavy handed chops, before Lawlor retreated to the floor. King would give him a chance to get back into the ring before taking him down with more heavy strikes. Lawlor baited King outside, but was unable to complete whatever he had in mind.
Back in the ring, a leg dive was blocked by King who hit some hard elbow strikes after catching Lawlor. King would get Lawlor in the corner for the cannonball, but this was the mistake that Lawlor was waiting for. He dodged the cannonball, stunning King before attacking the leg with the steel ring post and on the ropes.
King slipped outside and hit some feeling into the leg, which was taken some abuse over the course of the tournament. Lawlor met him with some kicks to the leg, but King kept fighting. King set up some chops by the ring post, and hit steel instead of flesh. Now, Lawlor had a second target and attacked the hand with some stomps.
Brody King Doesn’t Give Up Easily
Lawlor would take advantage with some chops before throwing King into the railing at ringside, before looking for either a count out win, or King to roll into the ring for more. King got back in and stunned Lawlor with a forearm before Lawlor took him down to the mat. Lawlor would grab a cravat and hit some knee strikes, before trying to take King down with a running elbow. King absorbed the shot and hit a quick senton to a now downed Lawlor.
They’d both get vertical and throw strikes, King winning out with some lariats. An exploder suplex into the corner folded Tom Lawlor up. King went for the cannonball again, and nailed it this time around. He’d look for the Gonzo Bomb, but Lawlor was able to block at this point and apply a chokehold. King carried Lawlor to the corner and put him up on the top rope, and took him down with the superplex.
Another attempt at Gonzo Bomb didn’t work, and Lawlor went after the leg of King with an ankle lock in the middle of the ring. King filled over and Lawlor went for a jackknife cover for a two count, before being dropped on his head with a piledriver. He’d kick out at two, and go back to the leg of King before trading blows with him.
Lawlor blocked a kick and got the 300lb King down with a uranage, but King kicked out at one! A running knee strike from Lawlor got a two count, and clearly wasn’t ready to go home. He’d dodge a rolling elbow and hit the German Suplex, before dropping Lawlor with a lariat. Gonzo Bomb was countered again, and Lawlor set up Cattle Mutilation. Lawlor moved into the crossface, but King held on.
And New NJPW Strong Openweight Champion Is…
King caught a PK attempt from Lawlor, but ended up back in the rear naked choke. Lawlor took King to the mat, choked him some more and nailed a PK before reapplying the hold, and he faded. This one was done. Tom Lawlor pulled from the play book of Katsuyori Shibata, and is now the NJPW Strong Openweight Champion.
Team Filthy members JR Kratos & Chris Dickinson would celebrate as Lawlor was given the US New Japan Cup, and the NJPW Strong Openweight Championship. He’d cut a promo saying that there was no doubt that he would win this tournament, and he knows how this part of a New Japan show goes. Someone’s music will hit and they’ll challenge him.
He wanted the next sacrificial lamb to him, but no one came out. There wasn’t a man in the back who could do anything about this. Because they were already in the ring, Chris Dickinson would lay down the challenge. Team Filthy is gonna have a power struggle, and Lawlor needs to prove he’s the leader. Can Chris Dickinson end this reign early? Let us know what you think in the comment section down below.
SUBSCRIBE NOW: Get TheOvertimer’s Hottest Stories, Breaking News and Special Features in your email, CLICK HERE!