By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
New Japan Pro Wrestling has announced the following first round matches for the New Japan Cup tournament.
March 8 in Tokyo, Japan at Korakuen Hall
-Yuji Nagata vs. Tomohiro Ishii
-Tomoaki Honma vs. Taichi
-Manabu Nakanishi vs. Yoshi-Hashi
-Juice Robinson vs. Chase Owens
March 9 in Aichi, Japan at Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium
-Kazuchika Okada vs. Michael Elgin
-Mikey Nicholls vs. Hikuleo
-Will Ospreay vs. Bad Luck Fale
-Toa Henare vs. Lance Archer
March 10 in Hyogo, Japan at Baycom Gymnasium
-Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Shota Umino
-Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs. David Finlay
-Kota Ibushi vs. Tetsuya Naito
-Evil vs. Zack Sabre Jr.
March 11 in Kagawa, Japan at Takamatsu City General Gymnasium #1
-Togi Makabe vs. Colt Cabana
-Toru Yano vs. Davey Boy Smith Jr.
-Satoshi Kojima vs. Minoru Suzuki
-Sanada vs. Hirooki Goto
Powell’s POV: The winner of the tournament will challenge Jay White for the IWPG Heavyweight Championship at the G1 Supercard event in New York’s Madison Square Garden on April 6. Ibushi vs. Naito stands out as the biggest first round match, and I’m looking forward to Evil vs. Sabre the same night.
Check below for the new Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell and former WWE Smackdown lead writer Alex Greenfield discussing the NXT call-ups, Stephanie McMahon’s past contributions to WWE creative, the growth of MLW, and much more.