Strong Openweight Championship
The Strong Openweight Championship belt
Details
PromotionNew Japan Pro-Wrestling
Date establishedApril 2, 2021
Current champion(s)Eddie Kingston
Date wonJuly 5, 2023
Other name(s)
  • NJPW Strong Openweight Championship
Statistics
First champion(s)Tom Lawlor
Most reignsKenta (2 reigns)
Longest reignTom Lawlor
(387 Days)
Oldest championKenta
(42 years, 70 days)
Youngest championHikuleo
(32 years, 105 days)
Heaviest championHikuleo
(264 lb (120 kg))
Lightest championKenta
(187 lb (85 kg))

The Strong Openweight Championship (STRONG無差別級王座, STRONG musabetsu-kyū ōza) is a professional wrestling championship owned and promoted by the New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW) promotion. The title was officially announced on April 2, 2021, and the inaugural champion was Tom Lawlor. The current champion is Eddie Kingston, who is in his first reign.

The title is primarily featured on NJPW's American television program NJPW Strong, which includes American wrestlers, as well as on All Elite Wrestling (AEW) and Ring of Honor (ROH) programming.[1] As such, the title is also a component of what AEW promotes as an American Triple Crown Championship, also referred to as the Continental Crown Championship. When held simultaneously with the AEW Continental Championship and the ROH World Championship, the wrestler is recognized as the reigning Continental Crown Champion until losing one of the titles. As Triple Crown Champion, the wrestler can defend the title in all three promotions.

History

The title was officially announced on April 2, 2021.[2] Initially, the title was exclusively featured on NJPW's American television program NJPW Strong, which includes a distinct roster of American wrestlers.

On November 11, 2023, NJPW's American partner promotion AEW announced a tournament called the Continental Classic, with the winner becoming the first AEW Continental Champion.[3][4][5] Eddie Kingston, who held the ROH World Championship and the Strong Openweight Championship, announced that he would be putting his championships on the line in the tournament and that the tournament's winner would be an American Triple Crown Champion (collectively referred to as the Continental Crown).[5][6] At AEW's Worlds End event, Kingston defeated Jon Moxley in the Continental Classic final, retaining the Strong Openweight and ROH World championships and becoming the first Continental Crown Champion. Kingston would lose the AEW Continental Championship to Kazuchika Okada on the March 20, 2024, episode of AEW Dynamite, thus losing his recognition as Triple Crown Champion.[7]

Inaugural tournament

Qualifying
March 5, 12, 19, 26
Round 1
April 9
Semi-finals
April 16
Final
April 23
        
Clark Connors Pin[8]
TJP 9:27
Clark Connors 9:57
Lio Rush Pin[12]
Rocky Romero 13:57
Lio Rush Pin[9]
Lio Rush 7:38
Brody King Pin
Brody King Pin[10]
Bateman 13:25
Brody King Pin[12]
Chris Dickinson 10:42
Blake Christian 8:53
Chris Dickinson Pin[8]
Brody King 20:05
Tom Lawlor Sub
Ren Narita Pin[10]
Misterioso 11:12
Ren Narita 13:19
Tom Lawlor Sub[12]
The DKC 9:13
Tom Lawlor Pin[9]
Tom Lawlor Pin
Hikuleo 8:58
Jordan Clearwater 7:57
Hikuleo Pin[11]
Hikuleo Pin[12]
Fred Rosser 6:22
Fred Rosser Pin[11]
J. R. Kratos 14:16

Reigns

Current champion Eddie Kingston

As of January 1, 2024, there have been six reigns between five champions. Tom Lawlor was the inaugural champion. Kenta is the oldest, and only two time champion, when he won it at 41 years old, while Hikuleo is the youngest champion at 32 years old. Lawlor's reign is the longest at 389 days while Hikuleo's reign is the shortest at 18 days.

Eddie Kingston is the current champion in his first reign. He defeated Kenta on July 5, 2023 at Independence Day.

Key
No. Overall reign number
Reign Reign number for the specific champion
Days Number of days held
Days recog. Number of days held recognized by the promotion
Defenses Number of successful defenses
N/A Unknown information
+ Current reign is changing daily
No. Champion Championship change Reign statistics Notes Ref.
Date Event Location Reign Days Days recog. Defenses
1 Tom Lawlor April 23, 2021
(air date)
New Japan Cup USA 2021 Port Hueneme, CA 1 N/A 387 9 Defeated Brody King in the finals of an 16-man single-elimination tournament to become the inaugural champion. The exact date this event was taped is unknown. It aired on April 23, 2021 on tape delay. [13][2]
2 Fred Rosser May 15, 2022 Strong: Collision in Philadelphia Philadelphia, PA 1 279 238 7 Aired on tape delay on June 25, 2022. [14]
3 Kenta February 18, 2023 Battle in the Valley San Jose, CA 1 74 74 2 [15]
4 Hikuleo May 3, 2023 Wrestling Dontaku Fukuoka, Japan 1 18 18 0 [16]
5 Kenta May 21, 2023 Resurgence Long Beach, CA 2 45 45 0 [17]
6 Eddie Kingston July 5, 2023 Independence Day
Night 2
Tokyo, Japan 1 279+ 279+ 12 During this reign, the championship became part of the American Triple Crown Championship (also referred to as the Continental Crown), with Kingston defending the championship alongside the AEW Continental Championship and ROH World Championship after winning the Continental Classic tournament at Worlds End. Kingston would lose the AEW Continental Championship to Kazuchika Okada on the March 20, 2024 episode of AEW Dynamite, thus dissolving the Triple Crown. [18]

Combined reigns

Indicates the current champion
Rank Wrestler No. of
reigns
Combined
defenses
Combined
days
Combined days
rec. by NJPW
1 Tom Lawlor 1 9 N/A 387
2 Fred Rosser 1 7 279 238
3 Eddie Kingston 1 12 279+
4 Kenta 2 2 119
5 Hikuleo 1 0 18

See also

References

  1. ^ Solowrestling (2021-04-03). "NJPW anuncia la creación del Campeonato STRONG Openweight". solowrestling.mundodeportivo.com (in Spanish). Retrieved 2021-04-24.
  2. ^ a b New Japan Pro-Wrestling (April 3, 2021). "Strong Openweight Championship revealed 【NJoA】". njpw1972.com. Retrieved April 3, 2021.
  3. ^ Defelice, Robert (November 11, 2023). "Tony Khan Announces AEW Continental Classic Tournament Starts On 11/22, Concludes At AEW Worlds End". Fightful. Archived from the original on November 12, 2023. Retrieved November 11, 2023.
  4. ^ Rose, Bryan (November 11, 2023). "AEW announces Continental Classic tournament, Bryan Danielson first entrant". Wrestling Observer Figure Four Online. Retrieved November 14, 2023.
  5. ^ a b Renner, Ethan (November 18, 2023). "AEW announces new title & Continental Classic competitors". Wrestling Observer Figure Four Online. Retrieved November 18, 2023.
  6. ^ Thomas, Jeremy (November 19, 2023). "Tony Khan Gives More Details on AEW Continental Classic, Will Conclude At Worlds End". 411Mania. Retrieved November 19, 2023.
  7. ^ Thomas, Jeremy (March 22, 2024). "Tony Khan Clarifies Rules Around AEW Continental Title". 411Mania. Retrieved March 22, 2024.
  8. ^ a b "Road to STRONG STYLE EVOLVED". New Japan Pro-Wrestling. March 26, 2021. Retrieved March 30, 2021.
  9. ^ a b "Road to STRONG STYLE EVOLVED". New Japan Pro-Wrestling. March 6, 2021. Retrieved March 11, 2021.
  10. ^ a b "Road to STRONG STYLE EVOLVED". New Japan Pro-Wrestling. March 20, 2021. Retrieved March 27, 2021.
  11. ^ a b "Road to STRONG STYLE EVOLVED". New Japan Pro-Wrestling. March 13, 2021. Retrieved March 13, 2021.
  12. ^ a b c d Lambert, Jeremy (April 9, 2021). "NJPW Strong Results (4/9): New Japan Cup USA First Round Action". Retrieved April 9, 2021.
  13. ^ HBN Staff (April 3, 2021). "NJPW Unveils New NJPW STRONG Openweight Championship". heelbynature.com. Retrieved April 3, 2021.
  14. ^ Defelice, Robert (May 15, 2022). "Spoiler: New NJPW STRONG Openweight Champion Crowned At Collision In Philadelphia On 5/15". Fightful. Retrieved May 16, 2022.
  15. ^ Lambert, Jeremy (February 18, 2023). "NJPW Battle In The Valley Results (2/18): Mercedes Mone vs. KAIRI, Tanahashi vs. Okada, Loser Leaves NJPW". Fightful. Retrieved February 18, 2023.
  16. ^ Vetter, Chris (May 3, 2023). "5/3 NJPW "Wrestling Dontaku 2023" results: Vetter's review of Sanada vs. Hiromu Takahashi for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship, Tama Tonga vs. David Finlay for the Never Openweight Title Minoru Suzuki, El Desperado, and Ren Narita vs. Kazuchika Okada, Tomohiro Ishii, and Hiroshi Tanahashi for the Never Openweight Six-Man Titles, Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Jeff Cobb for the NJPW TV Title". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved May 4, 2023.
  17. ^ Tessier, Colin (May 21, 2023). "KENTA Wins NJPW STRONG Openweight Title, Gets Challenged By Eddie Kingston At NJPW Resurgence". Fightful. Retrieved May 22, 2023.
  18. ^ Lambert, Jeremy (July 5, 2023). "Eddie Kingston Wins NJPW Strong Openweight Title At NJPW Strong Independence Day". Fightful. Retrieved July 6, 2023.