NJPW STRONG Preview 4/16/21 (NJPW Cup USA Semi-Final)

After an incredible opening round, the semi-final of the NJPW Cup USA is upon us. Previously, it was thought that the prize would be a shot at the IWGP US Championship like last year. However, the announcement was made that the winner will be crowned the first-ever STRONG Openweight Champion. Being the first-ever STRONG exclusive champion is a huge honor. This is the NJPW STRONG Preview 4/16/21.

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NJPW Cup USA Semifinal

Photo / NJPW

An honor that all four men remaining are sure to want to add to their resume. Last week saw us see Lio Rush, Tom Lawlor, Hikuleo, and Brody King all win their first-round matchups and advance. This week, we will see who will clinch a berth in the final. Will Tom Lawlor finally get his trademark win? Will Lio Rush avenge his Best of the Super Jrs disappointment? Or will the imposing Brody King or Bullet Club’s Young Gun Hikuleo punch their ticket?

Photo / NJPW

Opening Match:
Karl Fredericks, The DKC, Kevin Knight, and Alex Coughlin vs. Misterioso, Barrett Brown, Adrian Quest, and Jordan Clearwater

The first match of the evening features Karl Fredericks leading a team of LA Dojo students against a formidable team lead by the luchador Misterioso. Misterioso, Brown, Quest, and Clearwater certainly have the experience advantage. That said, all four men have been on a bit of a losing streak lately. Their desperation and frustration could be enough to offset the experience advantage they hold. This bodes well for the Dojo students as they hope to gain experience and add some quality wins.

Photo / NJPW

NJPW STRONG Preview 4/16/21
Second Match:
“Filthy” Tom Lawlor vs. Hikuleo
(NJPW Cup USA Semifinal)

In our first tournament match of the night, the “Team Filthy” namesake takes on Bullet Club’s Young Gun Hikuleo. Both coming off of dominant performances; no one man has the momentum on his side. Last week Hikuleo avenged his recent loss to Fred Rosser with an absolutely world-beating performance. Lawlor had a great showing as well. After bloodying the resilient Ren Narita, he connected with a vicious PK before locking in a rear-naked choke.

Both men have violent streaks and little regard for their opponent. The result should be an intense, hard-hitting match. Will Lawlor’s MMA expertise prove too much for Hikuleo to handle? If not, and Hikuleo is able to pick up the win, he will have all of the momentum on his side. As many have pointed out, whoever wins this matchup should be the favorite to win it all.

NJPW STRONG Preview 4/16/21
Photo / NJPW

NJPW STRONG Preview 4/16/21
Main Event:
Lio Rush vs. Brody King (NJPW Cup USA Semifinal)

As mentioned earlier, the new title that is up for grabs is an openweight championship. That being said, the main event will give us the largest size discrepancy between any two competitors in the tournament. Although size only means so much when the smaller man has a heart the size of Lio Rush’s. On the flip side, heart can only get you so far when facing off against such a dominant force.

After last week’s war between Chris Dickinson and King, Lio looks to take advantage of his possibly still-hurting opponent. While the Man of the Hour had a competitive match himself against Clark Connors, it pales in comparison to the hoss fight his opponent endured. Being the smallest man remaining, Rush certainly has a chip on his shoulder. As any who has followed his career knows, that only makes him hungrier. In a match that is truly worthy of the main event, this one has the potential to steal the show.

As always, let us know what matches you are excited to see, as well as who you hope to see in the final! Be sure to like and follow Pro Wrestling Post across any social media platform!

You can catch NJPW Strong every Friday at 10 pm EST on NJPW World for 999 yen (about $9.99 USD) a month.

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