Eddie Kingston Wins Gold At NJPW STRONG Independence Day

New Japan Pro-Wrestling STRONG capped off their two-night Independence Day events in Tokyo on July 5 with a pair of shocking title changes.

In the semi-main event of the evening, Eddie Kingston defeated KENTA to become the new NJPW STRONG Openweight Champion. According to NJPW's recap, KENTA targeted Kingston's right arm in the bout, but Kingston remained resilient. In the end, Kingston avoided the Go 2 Sleep and was able to take KENTA down with a Backfist to the Future followed by a Northern Lights Bomb for the three-count.


While Kingston has held several titles on the independent scene throughout his career, this marks his first championship win since 2019 when he held Glory Pro's Crown Of Glory Championship. It's also his first NJPW title as he was able to achieve a dream of winning gold at the historic Korakuen Hall.

KENTA's second STRONG Openweight title reign now ends at 45 days. He initially dethroned Fred Rosser in February but briefly lost it to Hikuleo in the spring. Tom Lawlor, the inaugural champion, still remains the longest-reigning titleholder since the title was introduced in 2021.

Kingston is signed to AEW and has also performed for Ring of Honor and NJPW this year. He challenged Claudio Castagnoli for the ROH World Championship in the main event of ROH Supercard of Honor prior to undergoing hernia surgery. The 41-year-old recently returned to action to side with The Elite in their battles against The Blackpool Combat Club. It's worth noting that Kingston is undefeated in his NJPW matches in 2023 thus far.