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NJPW reveals bracket for 2018 New Japan Cup

Image: @EvanDeadlySinsW

NJPW has announced the lineup for the 2018 New Japan Cup tournament, which will set up a title match for Sakura Genesis in April.

The left side of the bracket has Michael Elgin vs. Tomohiro Ishii, Juice Robinson vs. Yujiro Takahashi, Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Taichi, and Bad Luck Fale vs. Lance Archer. The tour will be the first time Tanahashi has wrestled since January after being written out for a bit when he lost the IWGP Intercontinental Championship to Minoru Suzuki.

On the right side of the bracket, YOSHI-HASHI vs. Kota Ibushi, Tetsuya Naito vs. Zack Sabre Jr., Toru Yano vs. Davey Boy Smith Jr., and Chuck Taylor vs. SANADA are set. Taylor tweeted that he's a replacement for Trent Barreta, who was injured in a match with Taylor for PWG on February 16th.

The winner of the New Japan Cup will challenge for either the IWGP Heavyweight Championship. IWGP Intercontinental Championship, or NEVER Openweight title at Sakura Genesis on April 1st, with the storyline being that they get to choose which belt to go after.

The tournament will begin at Korakuen Hall on March 9th and conclude in Niigata on March 21st. Here's the schedule for it:

  • March 9th -- Elgin vs. Ishii, Robinson vs. Takahashi
  • March 10th -- Tanahashi vs. Taichi, Fale vs. Archer
  • March 11th -- Naito vs. Sabre Jr., YOSHI-HASHI vs. Ibushi
  • March 12th -- Chuck Taylor vs. SANADA, Yano vs. Davey Boy Smith Jr.
  • March 14th -- Two quarterfinal matches
  • March 15th -- Two quarterfinal matches
  • March 16th -- First semifinal
  • March 18th -- Second semifinal
  • March 21st -- Finals