Willow Nightingale Becomes The First NJPW Strong Women's Champion

AEW and ROH star Willow Nightingale became the inaugural NJPW Strong Women's Champion after defeating Mercedes Mone at NJPW Resurgence in Long Beach, California on Sunday. 

The 29-year-old defeated Japanese star Momo Kohgo in the semi-finals of the tournament earlier in the night, while Mone got past Stephanie Vaquer in the semis to set up a match between Mone and Nightingale in the final, which headlined Resurgence.


The duo soaked in the atmosphere at the Walter Pyramid arena as the crowd chanted "This is awesome" before the start of the match. Nightingale got the win over her much-celebrated opponent after landing two powerbombs to become the first-ever NJPW Strong Women's Champion.

The NJPW Strong Women's Championship is Nightingale's first major title in a big promotion like NJPW, and a win over one of the best in the business like Mercedes Mone will only help her grow in the pro wrestling world. 

The Strong Women's Championship was announced by NJPW last month and is the second singles women's title in NJPW after the IWGP Women's Championship. The IWGP Women's Championship was introduced last year, with KAIRI being the inaugural winner before Mone won the title off her. Mayu Iwatani is the current holder of the title after she beat the former WWE star at Stardom All Star Grand Queendom last month.


At Resurgence, Blackpool Combat Club's Wheeler Yuta and Jon Moxley teamed up with Shota Umino to defeat Chaos' Kazuchika Okada, Tomohiro Ishii, and Rocky Romero, while Kenta won the Strong Openweight title from Hikuleo. Will Ospreay is one step closer to facing Kenny Omega for the IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship after defeating Hiroshi Tanahashi at Resurgence. He will now face Lance Archer at Dominion on June 4, with the winner getting a shot at Omega's title.