This week's episode of NJPW Strong will feature TJP in the main event against a competitor that he has a 1-1 record against in what will be their tiebreaker.
Also, Lio Rush will be teaming with Ariya Daivari in an alliance of former WWE Cruiserweights against two of Bullet Club's most formative stateside representatives, El Phantasmo and Chris Bey.
New Japan Pro-Wrestling shared the following preview for this week's three-match card:
NJPW STRONG Preview: TJP vs Clark Connors 【NJoA】
More action from Philadelphia this week on STRONG
This week’s NJPW STRONG sees the continuation of the Showdown series, with three big time matchups on tap!
Watch STRONG Saturdays at 8/7c on NJPW World! Or watch on FITE!
Main Event: Clark Connors vs TJP
Singles record 1-1
Our main event this week sees Clark Connors and TJP meet for the third time in singles action, but with a distinctly different aura to that of their prior encounters. Connors and TJP first met one on one in Super J-Cup 2019, and the young Connors impressed TJP enough for the Fil-Am Flash to take the Young Lion under his wing. The two teamed together through Super Junior Tag League that year, and maintained their connection through the birth of NJPW STRONG as TJP mentored the LA Dojo Young Lions.
Then came the qualifiers for New Japan Cup USA this year. Connors shocked TJP with a victory, and ever since, the teacher and student relationship was redefined. Tensions were palpable but the two still teamed, until Autumn Attack. When TJP joined United Empire as its newest member, gas was added to a brewing war between the group and LA Dojo, and now Connors and the Public Enemy meet in Philadelphia. This past weekend, Battle in the Valley saw Connors and Fredericks score a quick win over TJP and Jeff Cobb; could the Wild Rhino definitively run through TJP this week?
2nd Match: Ariya Daivari & Lio Rush vs Bey-F-Fs (Chris Bey & El Phantasmo)
After Ariya Daivari made an impressive STRONG debut in a narrow losing effort to Alex Zayne last week, tonight he teams with Lio Rush as the two face BULLET CLUB’s Bey-F-Fs, El Phantasmo & Chris Bey.
When BULLET CLUB collided with NJPW STRONG’s ‘hontai’ side in Dallas, eyes were instantly drawn to Rush and Bey, who had instant rival chemistry. Speaking of rivals for Rush though, El Phantasmo has been a thorn in the side of the Man of the Hour since his debut last year in Super J-Cup 2020, and Rush badly wants to deliver a lesson to both BULLET CLUB members. With Daivari stating he’s turning over a new leaf from his rule bending tactics in WWE, could Rush and Daivari be the perfect team to topple this impressive junior heavyweight combination?
1st Match: Yuya Uemura & Kevin Knight vs FinJuice (David Finlay & Juice Robinson)
Yuya Uemura has done nothing but impress since arriving in the US this summer. Though results have not always gone his way, San Jose crowds saw the young man push Josh Alexander to the limit at battle in the Valley this past weekend, and David Finlay too knows Uemura’s potential having battled him in Texas on NJPW XTRA. Now Finlay and Uemura lock horns again as Uemura teams with Kevin Knight, but it’s a tall order for the up and comers as they take on former World Tag League winners and IWGP Tag Team Champions in FinJuice.
Fightful has live coverage of New Japan STRONG every week in our results section.