NJPW STRONG Openweight champion “Filthy” Tom Lawlor recently appeared on The Hashtag Show to hype this weekend’s Battle In The Valley event in San Jose and discuss a wide range of wrestling related topics, including how he believes that NJPW STRONG is similar to the older version of WWE’s NXT brand. Highlights from the interview are below.
Compares NJPW STRONG to the previous version of WWE NXT:
The way I look at it is kind of very similar to how WWE has NXT. I look at New Japan STRONG as kind of the equivalent to that for New Japan. We’re in — unfortunately for some people and fortunate for others, travel overseas has been kind of put on the backburner over the past couple of years and if that was the case, maybe New Japan STRONG would be getting — oh I’m sorry, if that wasn’t the case, then maybe New Japan STRONG wouldn’t be getting the talent that it has.
How the travel issues from COVID have led to top tier talents appearing in the United States:
Maybe the Jay Whites, the Ishii’s, the Tanahashis, those guys wouldn’t be over here. Maybe they would, I don’t know. But, what it’s given is an opportunity for guys like myself — I mean I’ll put over the rest of Team Filthy. I’ll put over the West Coast Wrecking Crew; J.R. Kratos, Danny Limelight. I’ll even put over Chris Dickinson who was part of Team Filthy before but these are guys who weren’t in the New Japan ring previously and there’s a lot of guys on New Japan STRONG that are like that, that have taken the opportunity and definitely bettered themselves because of it and I think that, you know, the champ, the STRONG Openweight Champion is proof, you know? I’m one of those guys so it’s been awesome for me.
(H/T and transcribed by Post Wrestling)