The participants for this year’s New Japan Cup have been revealed.
Similar to last year, 32 participants will take part in this year’s tournament. NJPW has confirmed that the winner of the tournament will challenge Tetsuya Naito for both the IWGP Heavyweight and Intercontinental titles at Sakura Genesis, which takes place on March 31.
Most of NJPW’s top talent are taking part. New to the tournament this year include Shingo Takagi, Karl Fredericks, KENTA, Jeff Cobb, Alex Coughlin, and David Finlay.
Some of the biggest matches in the first round include Kazuchika Okada taking on Jay White, Yuji Nagata facing Minoru ‘Suzuki, Kota Ibushi facing Zack Sabre Jr. and Will Ospreay squaring off against Shingo Takagi. The latter match will be a rematch from last year’s Best of the Super Juniors tournament.
The opening round starts on March 4, with the finals taking place on March 21. All cards will air live on New Japan World with English commentary.
Here are the list of matches taking place in the opening round:
Togi Makabe vs. Jeff Cobb
Tomhiro Ishii vs. Toa Henare
Toru Yano vs. Chase Owens
Colt Cabana vs. Bad Luck Fale
Kazuchika Okada vs. Jay White
Yuji Nagata vs. Minoru Suzuki
Juice Robinson vs. Alex Coughlin
David Finlay vs. Tanga Loa
Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Taichi
Kota Ibushi vs. Zack Sabre Jr.
Mikey Nicholls vs. SANADA
Will Ospreay vs . Shingo Takagi
Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs. YOSHI-HASHI
KENTA vs. Karl Fredericks
Satoshi Kojima vs. EVIL
Hirooki Goto vs. Yujiro Takahashi