|Strong Openweight Championship|
The Strong Openweight Championship (STRONG無差別級王座 STRONG Musabetsu-kyū Ōza) is a professional wrestling championship created and promoted by the Japanese promotion New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW). It is primarily defended as the top championship of their New Japan Pro-Wrestling of America (NJoA) brand division in the United States.
Named after the NJoA's flagship program NJPW Strong, the title was announced on April 3, 2021, with the inaugural champion crowned on April 23, on the finals of the 2021 New Japan Cup USA. The title is meant to be defended exclusively at NJPW Strong television series and is the third opeweight championship in the promotion, along with the NEVER Openweight Championship and the NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Championship. The title's openweight nature means that both heavyweight and junior heavyweight wrestlers are eligible to challenge for it.
On April 3, 2021, during the Road to New Japan Cup USA 2021 tour, NJPW's sub-brand New Japan Pro-Wrestling of America announced the creation of the Strong Openweight Championship. The first champion would be crowned in a tournament on April 23, on the finals of the 2021 New Japan Cup USA. The title is part of an American expansion plan, which NJPW had made public in the years prior to the announcement. Plans had been made to run extended tours in the United States with California as the base, starting in 2018, as well the creation of the IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship.
The championship is named after the NJoA's flagship program NJPW Strong, with the title being set to become the brand's exclusive and primary's championship. The title's openweight nature means that both heavyweight and junior heavyweight wrestlers are eligible to challenge for it.
On February 28, NJPW announced the the second edition of the tournament. In March, NJPW held various qualifying matches to determine the participants for the tournament, with the bracket being revealed on March 28. The tournament itself took part in April. The tournament matches were contested through NJPW's weekly television show, NJPW Strong series.
|1||Tom Lawlor||1||April 23, 2021||Port Hueneme, California||147+||4||Defeated Brody King in the finals of the 2021 New Japan Cup USA to become the inaugural champion.|