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NJPW to Crown its First-Ever United States Champion

NJPW announced tonight in the ring of the co-branded ROH/NJPW PPV “War of the Worlds” the G1 Special shows of July 1 and 2 in Long Beach, California, will be a two-night robin-round tournament to determine the first-ever NJPW United States Champion.

The first official entrant of the tournament is ROH’s Jay Lethal. After the debut of the PPV, Lethal came out to the ring and cut a promo on how he will become the first NJPW United States Champion. We may expect the belt to be a co-branded title, that would be defended on both territories and held by wrestlers of both promotions.

NJPW US belt
The NJPW United States Championship belt (credit: NJPW official Twitter)

NJPW already announced the presence in California shows of IWGP Heavyweight Champion “Rainmaker” Kazuchika Okada, IWGP Intercontinental Champion Tetsuya Naito, Hiroshi Tanahashi and Kenny Omega. More names are set to be announced soon.

The cards of these shows are expected to take shape after NJPW’s Dominion PPV on June 11th. Rematches of Wrestle Kingdom PPV have already been set, as Okada will put his title on the line against Kenny Omega and Naito against Tanahashi.

The announcement in early January by NJPW of these 2 American dates has been so heavily expected that the tickets were sold out in only two hours. On Tuesday, NJPW put more tickets on sale for additional seats, they were sold out almost “instantly”. Shows will air live on NJPW World.