NJPW has announced the return of the New Japan Cup beginning in March 2021. The single-elimination tournament begins on March 5th at Tokyo’s Korakuen Hall. The tournament will then tour Japan culminating in the finals on March 21st. For the first time ever, the finals will take place at Miyagi’s Xebio Arena Sendai.
New Japan Cup 2021 is coming this March!
— NJPW Global (@njpwglobal) January 13, 2021
A statement from NJPW read:
“It’s the biggest single-elimination tournament of the NJPW calendar, and after 2020 saw New Japan Cup pushed to the summer, 2021 sees the tournament return to its spring slot. Just one day after NJPW celebrates its 49th anniversary in the fabled Budokan Hall, action will begin in Korakuen Hall on Friday, March 5, before we head to Ota-ku on March 6, and then around the country, with events culminating on March 20 and 21. These final matches will see New Japan Pro-Wrestling action hit Miyagi’s Xebio Arena Sendai for the very first time!”
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, 2020’s tournament was postponed from March until the summer. That edition of the New Japan Cup saw EVIL prevail over Kazuchika Okada in the final. Following the match, EVIL turned on fellow Los Ingobernables De Japon member, Tetsuya Naito, and revealed he had joined Bullet Club.
In recent years the New Japan Cup has expanded to a 32-man field. The winner will be in line for a championship match against the current IWGP Heavyweight and Intercontinental Champion, Kota Ibushi. The last 2 New Japan Cup winners have gone on to be successful in their championship opportunities.
One name fans will be looking out for when the New Japan Cup brackets are revealed is Jay White’s. Recent reports have suggested his contract could be up with NJPW, although he has been advertised for other events with the company in March.