New Japan Pro Wrestling is once again celebrating women’s wrestling in a big way.
Thursday evening, NJPW announced there would be a one-night tournament to crown the inaugural NJPW Strong Women’s Champion featuring women from CMLL, AEW, and Stardom, along with Mercedes Moné. The tournament will take place at NJPW Strong Resurgence 2023 on May 21.
The elimination style tournament will include Moné, Stephanie Vaquer from CMLL, Momo Kohgo from Stardom and Willow Nightingale from AEW.
The new title arrives shortly after the first IWGP Women’s Championship was created last November. Moné held the title after defeating the inaugural title holder KAIRI in February at NJPW Battle in the Valley 2023.
Vaquer, a mainstay for CMLL, will face Moné in the first round of the tournament. Vaquer participated as part of Team World in last year’s CMLL International Women’s Grand Prix alongside Alex Gracia, Avispa Dorada, Hikari Shimizu, Ivelisse, Lady Frost, Mei Suruga, and Tae Homna. The 47-minute match was highly praised.
Nightingale, recently signed to AEW, is widely-known to be a fan favorite among fans. Nightingale participated in the ROH Women’s World Title Tournament in 2021 and recently competed for the title against current title holder Athena. Nightingale will face Kohgo.
Kohgo, joined Stardom in January last year as a member of STARS. Kohgo has previously competed in trios competition for CMLL, as well, during 2021.
The winner of each match will face each other for the title in the finals.
NJPW STRONG also held their first women’s match in October last year at Rumble on 44th Street. Waka Tsukiyama and Mina Shirakawa of STARDOM competed in the kickoff against Kylie Rae and Tiara James, and Mayu Iwatani defended the SWA World Championship against Kilynn King.
NJPW stated their marking a “consistent and world leading female presence on NJPW events in the US.”
Tickets are available for purchase here.