NJPW issued the following:
Filthy first champion gets Dirty first challenger 【NJoA】
Tom Lawlor captures STRONG title in thriller against Brody King as Chris Dickinson emerges as challenger
‘Filthy’ Tom Lawlor has been crowned the first ever STRONG Openweight Champion after a main event battle with Brody King on NJPW STRONG this week, though he will have to quickly shift focus to his first defence, after Chris Dickinson stepped up to take on his team leader.
Lawlor tried to keep King at leg’s distance in the opening seconds, but was powered into the corner on two occasions, Brody landing a pair of forearms before going to the mat where he was outgrappled and forced to the ropes with a leg pick. When back to his feet, King had Lawlor in trouble with some stiff chops and forearms giving him full control.
Yet when Brody went for the Cannonball, he only found an empty corner, and Lawlor instantly took advantage, wrapping his opponent’s legs around the ringpost with a figure four. King would battle back to his feet, but when he went for another signature chop, his hand struck the iron post, leaving him with two badly hurt appendages.
A wounded animal, King battled back with what he had, striking away at Lawlor who retained control with a cravate and knees. A flying lariat for Lawlor didn’t knock King of his feet though, and a huge senton drove the air out of the filthy one. With the right hand hurt, King battled back with left hand chops and lariats, before an Exploder sent Lawlor crumpled into the corner.
This time the cannonball followed, and though Lawlor tried to stop his opponent with a front chancerie, he couldn’t finish the job, a superplex the result. Lawlor would respond by again going to the weakened leg of King, going into an ankle lock, but King withstood the pain, and connected with a massive piledriver for two.
As both men traded, Lawlor caught and dumped King with an uranage slam, and a Regal knee got two. Brody had an answer with a trademark German Suplex and Lariat, but Lawlor somehow kicked out at two, before escaping a Gonso Bomb and locking in Cattle Mutilation. Brody blocked a Penalty Kick, but Lawlor would navigate a rear naked choke, before connecting with the PK and again locking in the hold for the victory.
Post match, Tom Lawlor made a call for challengers to come from the back, but when none emerged, it was Chris Dickinson stepping up to the new champion. It appears that the first defence for Lawlor will be an all Team Filthy affair, as action on Friday nights is set to get even hotter.