Two semifinal matchups will headline the April 16 episode of NJPW Strong.
NJPW announced that Lio Rush vs. Brody King and Tom Lawlor vs. Hikuleo will take place on Friday. The two winners will clash in the finals of New Japan Cup USA where the winner will be crowned NJPW Strong Openweight Champion.
Friday's show will open with a, eight-man tag team bout pitting Karl Fredericks, Kevin Knight, the DKC & Alex Coughlin against Misterioso, Barrett Brown, Adrian Quest & Jordan Clearwater.
Main event: New Japan Cup uSA 2021 semifinal- Brody King vs Lio Rush
The prize awaiting the winner of New Japan Cup USA 2021 is the right to be called the first ever STRONG Openweight Champion. The key word is ‘openweight’, making this year’s tournament an openweight one, and leading to this, the match with the biggest size discrepancy we’ve yet to see on NJPW STRONG. Lio Rush is no stranger to stacked odds however, and there is no doubt that the Man of the Hour will be relishing this situation against Big Bad Brody King.
The first round of the tournament saw Rush use a combination of his amateur roots and high flying expertise to overcome Clark Connors in a spectacular first round matchup. Here he will need to bring nominative determinism to the ring, and outquick the giant King, who heads into the semifinals confident but damaged from a war with Chris Dickinson. In the end a lariat rocked the Dirty Daddy out of the cup last week; should the same move find the neck of Rush, it will be game over for Lio.
2nd Match: New Japan Cup USA semifinal- Tom Lawlor vs Hikuleo
Friday’s other semifinal will see BULLET CLUB’s Young Gun Hikuleo square off against the Team Filthy leader Tom Lawlor. Friday night saw Hikuleo book his place in the semifinals with a violent and dominant victory over rival Fred Rosser, brutality being a theme in and out of the ring. Yet Lawlor was equally vicious in a hard fought victory over Ren Narita, bloodying the young man before connecting with a PK that seemed a disrespectful nod to Narita’s coach Katsuyori Shibata before sinking in a rear naked choke.
Hikuleo will have the distinct size advantage, as he does over most, if not every man on the NJPW roster, but if anybody is capable of cutting his competition down to size on the mat, it’s Lawlor. Who advances?
Fightful will have results from NJPW Strong following the conclusion of the event on April 16.