NJPW Reveal New Japan Cup 2023 Bracket

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NJPW’s premier single-elimination tournament is less than a month away.

New Japan Pro-Wrestling is big on tournaments. The main roster hosts five tournaments per year. Historically, these have served as major launching pads for wrestlers’ careers and have also led to of some of NJPW’s greatest-ever matches.

And things are only getting bigger for this year’s installment of the New Japan Cup.

Established in 2005, the New Japan Cup is a single-elimination tournament similar to WWE’s King of the Ring, but with no regal gimmicks and much higher stakes for the winner.

Whosoever wins the Cup receives a trophy and a shot at a title of his choosing. As of last year, the options were widened so that the winner could challenge for either the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship or the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship.

Previous winners of the New Japan Cup include Hiroshi Tanahashi, Kazuchika Okada, Tetsuya Naito, Katsuyori Shibata, Zack Sabre, Jr., and Will Ospreay.

According to the Wrestling Observer, this year’s New Japan Cup will see some changes. Instead of the usual 16 participants, the 2023 edition will feature 24.

Since this number doesn’t work with a standard bracket, eight wrestlers will receive first round byes. Those eight wrestlers are: KENTA, Chase Owens, Jeff Cobb, Will Ospreay, Hirooki Goto, Tama Tonga, Great O-Khan, and Zack Sabre, Jr.

The other sixteen participants are as follows:

  • Taichi
  • Naito
  • El Phantasmo
  • Ren Narita
  • EVIL
  • Toru Yano
  • Mark Davis
  • Kyle Fletcher
  • Shingo Takagi
  • Aaron Henare
  • David Finlay
  • Tomohiro Ishii
  • Shota Umino
  • Yujiro Takahashi

A breakdown of NJPW’s main annual tournaments can be found below:

  • G1 Climax (heavyweight singles, round-robin): usually held from mid-July to mid-August
  • New Japan Cup (openweight singles, single-elimination): usually held in March or April
  • Best/Top of the Super Juniors: has changed formats over the years, usually held from Mid-May to mid-June
  • World Tag League (heavyweight tag, round-robin): usually held from late-November to mid-December
  • Super Junior Tag League (junior heavyweight tag): has changed format over the years, has been slotted at different points over the years

The 2023 New Japan Cup begins on March 5th and the finals will take place on March 21st.