SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
The field of eight is set for the 2021 New Japan Cup USA tournament.
Tournament matches will begin on the Friday, April 2nd episode of NJPW Strong and will run through the month of April. This year’s Cup winner will once again receive a match against the IWGP United States Champion with the title on the line..
The tournament bracket consists of the following first-round matches:
- Clark Connors vs. Lio Rush
- Brody King vs. Chris Dickinson
- Ren Narita vs. Tom Lawlor
- Hikuleo vs. Fred Rosser
The Connors vs. Rush winner will face the Kin vs. Dickinson survivor in one semifinal. The other semifinal will pit Hikuleo or Rosser against either Narita or Lawlor.
It’s important to note that Team Filthy has two competitors in the field of eight. The first being the ” Dirty Daddy” Chris Dickinson and the other being Lawlor himself. Team Filthy also consists of Danny Limelight and J.R.Kratos. Limelight was not entered into the tournament and Kratos was eliminated by Fred Rosser.
Kenta won the 2020 New Japan Cup USA tournament, earning a title shot against IWGP United States Champion, John Moxley. Kenta was unsuccessful in his attempt to dethrone the champ in a match that aired on the February 26, 2021 edition of Strong.
Rev’s Analysis: I am really looking forward to these matchups. The Rush/Connors match should be a healthy mix of speed and technical prowess. The Brody King/Chris Dickinson matchup should be a battle of power and will. Lawlor’s experience and skill should be enough to overtake Narita. Can Hikuleo avenge his only singles loss to date on New Japan Strong? That will be another storyline to follow as the tournament rolls along.
-Rev. Keith Bennett can be reached on Twitter @keithbe77 or via email at email@example.com.