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NJPW reveals New Japan Cup participants, Mikey Nicholls to return

The participants for this year’s New Japan Cup have been revealed.

This year’s tournament format has changed. Instead of the usual 16 man tournament, the number has now doubled to 32 participants. The tournament will kick off on 3/8 at Korakuen Hall and will end on 3/24 in Niigata.

The most notable name for this year’s tournament is Mikey Nicholls, the former Nick Miller of the NXT team TM61. He had asked for this release from NXT back in December of last year, splitting the long-running team formerly known as TMDK with Shane Haste/Shane Thorne. Rocky Romero noted on Twitter that he has also joined CHAOS in the process.

Michael Elgin will also be making his return to the company, having recovered from a knee injury. HIKULEO will also return to the promotion after being out nearly a year due to an ACL injury and training at the NJPW US dojo. Colt Cabana is also coming in for this tour, taking on Togi Makabe in the opening round.

All shows will be streaming live on New Japan World with English commentary. The second round will take place 3/13, 3/14. 3/16 and 3/17. Quarterfinals will take place on 3/20 and 3/21, and semi-finals on 3/23.  

Here are the first round matches for the tournament:

March 8 - Korakuen Hall

  • Yuji Nagata vs. Tomohiro Ishii
  • Juice Robinson vs. Chase Owens
  • Tomoaki Honma vs. Taichi
  • Manabu Nakanishi vs. YOSHI-HASHI

March 9 - Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium

  • Toa Henare vs. Lance Archer
  • Will Ospreay vs. Bad Luck Fale
  • Kazuchika Okada vs. Michael Elgin
  • Mikey Nicholls vs. HIKULEO

March 10 - Hyogo Baycom Gymnasium

  • Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs. David Finlay
  • Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Shota Umino
  • EVIL vs. Zack Sabre Jr.
  • Kota Ibushi vs. Tetsuya Naito

March 11 - Kagawa Takamatsu City General Gymnasium #1

  • Toru Yano vs. Davey Boy Smith Jr.
  • Satoshi Kojima vs. Minoru Suzuki
  • Hirooki Goto vs. SANADA
  • Togi Makabe vs. Colt Cabana