NJPW releases brackets for 30-man New Japan Cup tournament

NJPW has released the brackets for the annual New Japan Cup that begins Thursday at the Anniversary show with the winner challenging for the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship.

Photo Credit: New Japan Pro-Wrestling

NJPW has released the brackets for the annual New Japan Cup that begins Thursday at the Anniversary show with the winner challenging for the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship.

The tournament will now be a 30-man version with first-round byes awarded to Hiroshi Tanahashi and EVIL on opposite ends.

The winner will challenge for the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship at Sakura Genesis on Sunday, April 4th. The IWGP Heavyweight and IWGP Intercontinental titles will be merged to form the newly named championship with Kota Ibushi defending the titles against El Desperado this Thursday at Budokan Hall.

Below are the tournament dates and matches:

March 4 at Budokan Hall
*Satoshi Kojima vs. Jeff Cobb
*Tetsuya Naito vs. The Great O-Khan

March 5 at Korakuen Hall
*Toru Yano vs. Bad Luck Fale
*Hirooki Goto vs. Taichi

March 6 at Ota City Gymnasium
*Kazuchika Okada vs. Shingo Takagi (a huge match for the first round)
*Minoru Suzuki vs. Tomoaki Honma
*KENTA vs. Juice Robinson

March 7 in Yamanashi
*Will Ospreay vs. Hiroyoshi Tenzan
*Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Gabriel Kidd

March 9 in Okayama

*Yuji Nagata vs. Yota Tsuji
*Tomohiro Ishii vs. SANADA

March 10 in Kyoto
*David Finlay vs. Chase Owens
*Yoshi-Hashi vs. Yujiro
*Jay White vs. Toa Henare

March 11 in Ehime
*EVIL vs. Kojima/Cobb winner
*Naito/O-Khan vs. Yano/Fale winner

March 13 in Aichi
*Goto/Taichi winner vs. Okada/Takagi winner
*Suzuki/Honma winner vs. KENTA/Robinson winner

March 14 in Hyogo
*Ospreay/Tenzan winner vs. ZSJ/Kidd winner
*Nagata/Tsuji winner vs. Ishii/SANADA winner

March 15 at Korakuen Hall
*Owens/Finlay winner vs. Yujiro/Yoshi-Hashi winner
*Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. White/Henare winner

March 16 at Korakuen Hall
*Two quarter-final matches

March 18 in Shizuoka
*Two quarter-final matches

March 20 in Sendai
*Two semi-final matches

March 21 in Sendai

*The finals

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Born on a Friday, John Pollock is a reporter, editor & podcaster at POST Wrestling.He runs and owns POST Wrestling alongside Wai Ting.