SANADA advanced to the semi-finals of the New Japan Cup while joining a new group.
The long-time LIJ member defeated Tetsuya Naito in the main event of Friday’s card at Korakuen Hall. After kicking out of Destino, SANADA countered a follow-up attempt and hit his new finisher to defeat the LIJ leader.
It was the third singles match between the two with Naito holding a win from the G-1 Climax in 2018, and SANADA earning a victory in the 2020 tournament.
After the match, members of “Just Four Guys” entered the ring with Taichi, Yoshinobu Kanemaru, DOUKI & Taka Michinoku embracing its newest addition.
SANADA informed the crowd he had been considering this for a long time and will take his career to the next level by joining the new group. The remaining LIJ members assisted Naito to the back.
The other tournament match featured alternate Mark Davis defeating EVIL to advance to the semi-finals. Davis returned to the New Japan Cup after Will Ospreay suffered a shoulder injury in their match on Monday.
After overcoming the House of Torture interference, Davis pinned EVIL with the assistance of the United Empire, who were waved into the ring by the injured Ospreay.
SANADA and Mark Davis will meet on Sunday’s card in Gunma with the winner advancing to the finals on Tuesday.
The quarter-finals continue on Saturday as David Finlay takes on Shota Umino, and Hirooki Goto meets Tama Tonga with the two winners also meeting on Sunday.