NJPW USA’s Lion’s Break Collision, announced as a limited run show, has run its course, and New Japan have announced a followup weekly show without a set end date, to be called NJPW Strong.
Following on from Lion’s Break Collision, it’ll take the same Friday night 10PM Eastern time slot on NJPW World, and they’re starting things off with a bang— just look at this bad boy bracket right here!
That’s right, New Japan Cup is coming to America!
The winner will get a shot at Jon Moxley’s IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship, and while none of the first round matches (all of which will air on NJPW Strong’s debut episode on August 7) strike me as super exciting, there’s some fun semifinals possibilities— Cobb vs. KENTA and Finlay vs. King leap right out at me, and any combination of those men in the finals and against Mox is enough to get me interested.
But that’s not all, because the the mothership has big news as well! The NEVER Openweight Six-Man Tag Team Championship has been vacated given that EVIL is no longer willing to team with his partners BUSHI and Shingo Takagi, and now we know that new champions are going to be crowned in a four-day run at Korakuen Hall this week.
Round one of the tournament will kick off on August 6 with the Chaos team of Kazuchika Okada, SHO, and Toru Yano taking on Bullet Club’s ex-Chaos squad of Gedo, Jado, and Yujiro Takahashi, plus Los Ingobernables de Japon fielding BUSHI, SANADA, and Shingo Takagi against Suzuki-gun’s DOUKI, El Desperado, and Minoru Suzuki himself. August 7 sees former IWGP Tag Team Champions Hiroshi Tanahashi and Kota Ibushi team up with Master Wato against another Suzuki-gun squad, this time current champs Taichi and Zack Sabre, Jr. teaming with Yoshinobu Kanemaru, as well as Great Bash Heel of Togi Makabe and Tomoaki Honma teaming up with Ryusuke Taguchi against a hard-hitting Chaos team of Hirooki Goto, Tomohiro Ishii, and YOSHI-HASHI.
The NEVER tournament semifinals will take place on August 8, with finals decided on August 9. I fully expect either LIJ or the Bullet Club squad to take it to further the drama surrounding EVIL’s departure, but the NEVER trios belts are anybody’s game in the best of times, and now everything feels like it’s up in the air.
There you have it, folks
Who do you have winning these tournaments, Cagesiders?