It’s the time we’ve all been waiting for! The 2021 iteration of the NJPW Cup USA officially begins on this Friday’s episode of STRONG. “Stacked bracket” doesn’t even begin to describe this year’s tournament. Not to mention the fact that a shot at the IWGP United States Championship is on the line. Although currently held by Jon Moxley, after his challenge to Yuji Nagata, who knows what the future holds. All that being said, this tournament is sure to be a show-stopper. This week’s loaded show features a whopping four first-round match-ups! Without further adieu, let’s dive in! This is NJPW STRONG Preview for 4/9/21.


Photo / NJPW

NJPW STRONG Preview for 4/9/21
Main Event:
NJPW Cup USA First Round Match
(Brody King vs. Chris Dickinson)

In a true hoss fight, the physically impressive Chris Dickinson takes on the equally intimidating Brody King. Brody King has had his issues with “Team Filthy” lately, as has most of the STRONG roster. He’ll certainly be looking to even the score a bit, as well as gain some momentum in this first-round match-up. Sure to be hard-hitting, this match has me very excited. Both men will be looking to end this bout quickly to conserve their energy for later tournament matches. When you take into account the knockout power both of these brutes possess, a quick match is a fair possibility. Don’t blink!

Photo / NJPW

Co-Main Event:
NJPW Cup USA First Round Match
(Fred Rosser vs. Hikuleo)

Fred Rosser has been on a roll lately. Earning a #1 contender’s spot for the NWA TV Championship and a spot in this tournament, things have been looking up for the veteran. It could be argued that the biggest catalyst of this run was his win (albeit under less-than-savory circumstances) over Hikuleo a little over a month ago. That being said, the Bullet Club member should be looking to redeem himself and exact some revenge. That, along with the pressure of being the only Bullet Club member in this year’s tournament, and Hikuleo should be as motivated as ever.

Photo / NJPW

NJPW STRONG Preview for 4/9/21
Second Match:
NJPW Cup USA First Round Match
(“Filthy” Tom Lawlor vs. Ren Narita)

The namesake of Team Filthy has been running roughshod over NJPW STRONG for a few months now, doing whatever he pleases. Even so, he has yet to have the trademark victory that cements him as a top guy. Winning the NJPW Cup USA would do just that. He will have his work cut out for him tonight though. Ren Narita scored somewhat of an upset victory over the always impressive luchador Mysterioso to earn his berth. Will his momentum be enough to carry him into the second round? Or will the MMA-turned-pro-wrestling star continue his dominance over the brand.

Photo / NJPW

Opening Match:
NJPW Cup USA First Round Match
(Lio Rush vs. Clark Connors)

Lion’s Break Crown winner Clark Connors is as impressive as a rookie could be. Along with Ren Narita, he has two of the highest potentials of any of the Young Lions training at the LA Dojo. Even so, the experience of Lio Rush is more than likely going to be too much. That’s to take nothing away from Connors. But disappointed with his loss to El Phantasmo at the 2020 Super J Cup, Lio Rush is determined to right the ship. Always a fiery athlete, and even more so when he’s motivated, Lio Rush knows all too well what a NJPW Cup win would mean for his career. The same could be said for his opponent too. This will certainly be an interesting, exciting match as these two young athletes look to set the tone for this exciting episode of strong.

NJPW Strong Preview for 4/9/21
Photo / NJPW


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