NJPW President Takami Ohbari has discussed the origins of the recently introduced NJPW Strong Openweight Championship.
At the beginning of April, NJPW unveiled a new championship, representing the Strong brand. Tom Lawlor became the inaugural NJPW Strong Openweight Champion, defeating Brody King in the New Japan Cup USA final.
In a recent interview on the NJPW website, Ohbari discussed the decision to create a new title. According to the NJPW president, they wanted a prize that would be present on Strong every week to help establish the brand’s identity.
Here is the full quote:
“Well, when we started STRONG, as I said, it was about standing up strong in tough times and looking forward. I think that was the message we had, and presented, and it worked to the point where there was this new style coming out of the program, and unique characters and personal issues playing out.
“We had tournaments like Super J-Cup or NJC USA that gave a focal point for that moment in time, but we were lacking something to aim for consistently a real axis for everything else to revolve around. At the same time, it’s its own ecosystem, it has its own independent identity, and it was around about time, we thought, to establish a hierarchy for STRONG itself. Now there’s someone that everyone is aiming for every week.”