New Japan Pro-Wrestling announced that they will crown NJPW STRONG Openweight Tag Team Champions on July 24th. An 8-team single-elimination tournament will begin on June 19th at NJPW STRONG Ignition at The Vermont Hollywood in Los Angeles, CA, and conclude on July 24th at NJPW STRONG High Alert at the Grady Cole Center in Charlotte, NC.

The first part of the tournament will be the toughest for the teams, as both the first round and the semi-finals will take place on the same night. No teams have been announced for the tournament yet.

The announcement comes as NJPW continues to weave NJPW STRONG into the fabric of NJPW’s storytelling in Japan. While plenty of NJPW STRONG talent was able to be showcased in the Best of Super Juniors tournament, there were only so many spots. With plenty of talent trying to come from America into Japan, the addition of tag team titles to NJPW’s US wing gives the stories more stakes on NJPW STRONG.

STRONG already has a franchise champion in NJPW STRONG Openweight Champion Fred Rosser. Rosser defeated Tom Lawlor for the title on May 15th in Philadelphia, ending a substantial reign for Lawlor. “Filthy Tom” held the title for 387days  in the championship’s initial reign. Now a tag team will be able to make their mark on a division the way that Lawlor did.

The Openweight designation means that, unlike a lot of NJPW’s championships, the belts can be won by heavyweights and junior heavyweights alike. Along with the STRONG Openweight Championship and the upcoming Tag Championships, the IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship is sometimes defended on NJPW STRONG as well.

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