STRONG Preview: Lawlor vs Fredericks 【NJoA】

STRONG Openweight Championship at stake in main event



With a lot of attention on Friday nights after the announcements of Tag Team Turmoil in July and Resurgence in front of live fans on August 14, even more eyes are flocking to Friday nights. This week, the main event of Ignition will be key as we determine who will be carrying the torch for STRONG as we count down to The Torch at LA Coliseum!

Watch STRONG Friday at 10/9c on NJPW World!

Ignition will be available day and date on FITE!

Main event: STRONG Openweight Championship- Tom Lawlor vs Karl Fredericks

The main event of Ignition sees ‘Filthy’ Tom Lawlor heading into his second defence of the STRONG Openweight Championship against karl Fredericks. After Lawlor defeated Chris Dickinson at Collision to defend his new title for the first time, Fredericks was quick to challenge. Before the Lawlor and Dickinson title match, an elimination bout saw Fredericks direct Lawlor over the top rope, eliminating him. That inspired the Alpha Wolf to make his challenge, but he would only receive derision in response. Lawlor would decry ‘Blue Wolf’ Fredericks, making the point that he was not pinned or submitted, and certainly a championship environment is a very different set of circumstances for Fredericks. 

Yet Lawlor is at risk of looking past his young challenger. As Lawlor’s Team Filthy partners JR Kratos and Danny Limelight have learned the hard way in recent weeks, Fredericks has hit a new level of intensity of late. With the chance to represent STRONG on the big stage of The Torch in LA at Resurgence as added motivation,  Fredericks should not be ignored, and may not be denied. 

2nd Match: Rocky Romero vs Clark Connors

Singles record: 2-0 Romero

Speaking of new levels of intensity, Clark Connors has found just that ever since shunning the traditional black trunks and graduating from the LA Dojo to become the ‘Wild Rhino’. Connors has been a force of nature ever since, and is eager to show the whole world that he is not to be messed with, nor educated anymore; that instead he has harsh lessons of his own to mete out. 

One of the people to whom he has a point to prove is Rocky Romero. Rocky’s two career victories over his Ignition opponent tonight both came while he was a Young Lion, and when Connors and the DKC teamed up to face Rocky and Lio Rush two weeks ago, the Wild Rhino elected to stampede right through Romero. A wild post match brawl broke out as a huge crowd fought to hold Connors back from Rocky; a singles meeting was inevitable, but who emerges victorious?

1st Match: Fred Yehi & Wheeler Yuta vs LA Dojo (The DKC & Kevin Knight)

Tonight’s action kicks off with a special preview of Tag Team Turbulence. The new combination of Fred Yehi and Wheeler Yuta, as well as the LA Dojo side of Kevin Knight and the DKC are two of the eight teams that will be in the first round of the tournament on July 16, and clash with one another Friday as well. 

Yehi and Yuta impressed greatly on their debut a couple of weeks ago, and even amid tough competition including Violence Unlimited, the Good Brothers and more besides, are already being considered among the tournament favourites. Conversely, Knight and the DKC, still progressing as Young Lions, are the rank outsiders for the tournaments, but will be looking to show tonight that they are not to be dismissed. As all four men have something to prove, you can’t look away from STRONG from the opening bell this week!