Every year in March every wrestling enthusiast is tied to their tv screens for the annual single-elimination professional wrestling tournament “New Japan Cup” (NJC) which is held by the New Japan Pro Wrestling. This year NJC had been canceled due to the Coronavirus outbreak, but not to worry because in June 2020 NJPW announced that the tournament is returning this summer from June 16th to July 11th. The New Japan Cup will be hosted by Osaka-jo Hall in Osaka city with wrestlers from heavyweight and jr heavyweight divisions who will fight for the title IWGP Heavyweight and IWGP Intercontinental championships.
What is the New Japan Cup?
The New Japan Cup is an annual single-elimination professional wrestling tournament in Japan. The winners are competing to receive a shot for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship. In 2014 the winner Shinsuke Nakamura was given the right to compete for the IWGP Heavyweight or the IWGP Intercontinental Championship and he competed for the IWGP Intercontinental Championship at Invasion Attack 2014.
In 2015 Kota Ibushi competed for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship at Invasion Attack 2015 and lost to A. J. Styles. Most of the winners in the past except Shinsuke Nakamura have taken the challenge to compete for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship. The past winners include Hiroshi Tanahashi in 2005, Giant Bernard in 2006, Yuji Nagata in 2007, Hiroshi Tanahashi in 2008, Hirooki Goto in 2009, 2010 and 2012, Yuji Nagata in 2011, Kazuchika Okada in 2013, Shinsuke Nakamura in 2014, Kota Ibushi in 2015, Tetsuya Naito 2016, Katsuyori Shibata in 2017, Zack Sabre Jr. in 2018 and Kazuchika Okada once again in 2019.
For the first time in the tournament history, 13 of the 32 wrestlers in the New Japan Cup will be junior heavyweight all eager to face Tetsuya Naito for the IWGP Heavyweight and Intercontinental Championships at Dominion in Osaka Jo Hall July 12. This year the NJC will be held in Osaka Hall in Osaka city from June 16th to July 11th. As of June 24th, the Round two has been completed with Quarterfinalists Hiromu Takahashi who is signed to NJPW where he is the Junior heavyweight Champion, Tomohiro Ishii who is a professional Japanse wrestler currently signed to New Japan Pro Wrestling, Kazuchika Okada who is a Japanese professional wrestler and Taiji Ishimori who is a Japanese professional wrestler currently signed to New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW). On April 19th wrestler Minoru Tanaka who was signed to NJPW suffered from intense dizziness and was forced to be replaced by Osamu Nishimura who was beaten by him in round 1, Nishimura lost the round 2 later on April 21st.
This year’s New Japan Cup 2020 is being held from June 16th to July 11th and all the wrestling enthusiasts are able to follow their favorite wrestlers online on the NJPW World site. For all the foreign viewers NJPW World uploads English commentary after the final rounds are ended.
Round 1 – June 16th, 17th, 22nd, 23rd.
Togi Makabe vs Yota Tsuji, Tomohiro Ishii vs. El Desperado, Toru Yano vs. Jado, Tomoaki Honma vs. Hiromu Takahashi, Kazuchika Okada vs. Gedo, Yuji Nagata vs. Minoru Suzuki, Yuya Uemura vs. Yoshinobu Kanemaru, Gabriel Kidd vs. Taiji Ishimori, Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Taichi, Kota Ibushi vs. Zack Sabre Jr., Ryusuke Taguchi vs. Sanada, Sho vs. Shingo Tagaki, Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs. Yoshi-Hashi, Yoh vs. Bushi, Satoshi Kojima vs. Evil and Hirooki Goto vs. Yujiro Takahashi.
Round 2 – June 24th, July 1st.
Togi Makabe vs. Tomohiro Ishii, Toru Yano vs. Hiromu Takahashi, Kazuchika Okada vs. Yuji Nagata, Yoshinobu Kanemaru vs. Taiji Ishimori, Taichi vs. Kota Ibushi, Sanada vs. Sho, Yoshi-Hashi vs. Bushi, Evil vs. Hirooki Goto.
Quarterfinals – July 2nd
Tomohiro Ishii vs. Hiromu Takahashi and Kazuchika Okada vs. Taiji Ishimori, further two fights will be known on July 1st.
Semifinals will take place on July 3rd and the finals on July 11th.