Rosser, Lawlor Take Best of STRONG Back to Back 【NJoA】

Fred Rosser vs Tom Lawlor voted STRONG fans’ match of 2021

This month saw fans vote for the best match of 2021 on STRONG. This was the second year of the fan poll, but one that gave fans even more choices than in 2020. Unlike in STRONG’s debut year, there was a full year of matches to choose from, many of which conducted before crowds as NJPW action returned to live audiences in August. 

After a week of competitive polling, the top five are as follows: 

5/ Tomohiro Ishii vs Brody King: Detonation, Riverside California

This brutal heavyweight war between Big Bad Brody King and the NEVER Openweight Champion was quick to earn plaudits from fans as two of the toughest no-nonsense fighters brought the action. 

4/ STRONG Openweight Championship: Ren Narita vs Tom Lawlor- Autumn Attack, DFW Texas 

Ren Narita’s first career championship match saw him bring heart and fight to STRONG Openweight Champion Tom Lawlor in an effort that brought memories of mentor Katsuyori Shibata strongly to the fore. 

3/IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship: KENTA vs Jon Moxley: New Beginning USA 2021

After over a year, Jon Moxley returned to an NJPW ring to halt KENTA’s months long hunt for the IWGP United States gold, as the ‘Forbidden Door’ between NJPW and AEW was burst open for the first time.

2/ STRONG Openweight Championship: Chris Dickinson vs Tom Lawlor: Collision 2021

Filthy Tom Lawlor’s first defence of the STRONG Openweight Championship was against a former Filthy Teammate, who wanted to strike out as his own Dirty Daddy. 


1/STRONG Openweight Championship: Fred Rosser vs Tom Lawlor: Detonation, Riverside California

The final STRONG match of the year turned out to be fans’ favourite, as the Filthy champion and the Suntan Superman challenger made the match of the year grade for the second year in a row!

Comment from STRONG Openweight Champion Tom Lawlor: 

How fitting that the more things change, the more they stay the same! 2 years in a row, 2 matches with Fred Rosser and most importantly 2 wins that showcase exactly who the STRONGEST on the roster is. There can be an empty arena, a coliseum full of fans, or a back alley with some dogs: I’ll fight Fred until one of us can’t any longer.

Comment from Fred Rosser 

2021? AGAIN?!
I can’t believe it! 
I demand a recount because, besides Lawlor and I, there were some incredible matches this year on STRONG. Seriously though from the bottom of my heart I want to say thank you to all of the fans that voted Match of the Year 2021 between myself and Tom Lawlor topping the polls yet AGAIN for best of NJPW STRONG 2021!
The reward isn’t as good without the struggle
and boy oh boy did we go at it. This isn’t over because my mindset everyday is to chase the dude that’s number one if I’m not number one. I want to stay on his trail. Stay on his tracks. I need something to keep me moving, keep me going and it’s that Strong Openweight Championship. I won’t give up because if you want something bad enough and you go to bed thinking about it and you wake up thinking about it and you can’t shake it than keep going and don’t stop! 
I’m truly grateful for the response and the continued support from my fans!
Words cannot express the appreciation I have for my fans and I’m gonna always show love to them because I wouldn’t be here without them!
19+ years in the wrestling business, I’m much more me when I’m with NJPW STRONG – The best hour of pure professional wrestling on the planet!