New Japan Pro Wrestling has crowned Tom Lawlor the first-ever NJPW Strong Openweight Champion.

Friday’s new episode of NJPW Strong saw Lawlor defeat Brody King to win the New Japan Cup USA, and become the inaugural NJPW Strong Openweight Champion.

The finish saw Lawlor apply a rear naked choke to King. The match ended via referee stoppage at 20:05.

Lawlor will now defend his title against Team Filthy member Chris Dickinson.

After Lawlor was presented the title and the New Japan Cup USA trophy, he cut a promo with Team Filthy’s Dickinson and JR Kratos. After Lawlor had words for the NJPW roster, Dickinson took the mic and said he will be stepping up as the first challenger to Lawlor’s title.

The New Japan Cup USA was introduced in 2020, and Lawlor now joins KENTA as the first two winners. This tournament saw Lawlor pick up wins over Ren Narita, Hikuleo and King. Dickinson also competed in the tournament, losing to King in the first round.

The NJPW Strong Openweight Title will be exclusively featured on NJPW Strong, which is New Japan’s weekly American TV show.

Stay tuned for more. Below are a few shots from Friday’s show: