The prize for winning the New Japan Cup USA 2021 has now been revealed, with the winner set to become the first Strong Openweight Champion.
New Japan introduced the new belt earlier in the week, announcing that the winner of the US version of the tournament would immediately begin the title’s lineage.
The ‘Openweight’ nature of the belt will make it attainable to wrestlers of all weight classes, mirroring the NEVER Openweight Championship currently held by Hiroshi Tanahashi.
Eight men have qualified for the tournament following weeks of preliminary matchups on New Japan Strong.
The field includes former MLW World Champion ‘Filthy’ Tom Lawlor and ex WWE stars Fred Rosser (formerly known as Darren Young), and current MLW Middleweight Champion Lio Rush.
Friday night on an all new #njpwSTRONG, New Japan Cup USA gets underway!
Who's your final four?
Lio Rush vs Clark Connors!
Ren Narita vs Tom Lawlor!
Hikuleo vs Fred Rosser!
— NJPW Global (@njpwglobal) April 6, 2021
The belt represents another step into the US market for New Japan, having previously introduced the IWGP US Heavyweight Championship, which AEW star Jon Moxley currently holds.
The New Japan Cup USA 2021 is spread over three dates in April, Friday 9th, 16th and 23rd. The event will be available to view via New Japan’s subscription streaming service, New Japan World.