The participants for this year’s New Japan Cup USA have now been determined following qualifying matches on NJPW Strong.
The tournament will decide the Number One Contender for the IWGP United States Championship, currently held by Jon Moxley. Over the last few weeks, eight qualifying matches were held on NJPW Strong, narrowing the field to eight competitors:
- Clark Connors
- Lio Rush
- Brody King
- Chris Dickinson
- Ren Narita
- Tom Lawlor
- Fred Rosser
A huge edition of NJPW STRONG this week saw the new Japan Cup field complete!
— NJPW Global (@njpwglobal) March 27, 2021
In the inaugural New Japan Cup USA held in August 2020, KENTA overcame Karl Fredericks, Jeff Cobb, and finally David Finlay to win the briefcase representing his right to challenge for the US Championship. Due to travel restrictions, KENTA and Moxley were unable to face off for the title for several months. During this time, KENTA successfully defended the briefcase against the likes of NJPW ‘Ace’ Hiroshi Tanahashi and, in a bout that took place at Wrestle Kingdom 15, former IWGP Heavyweight Champion Satoshi Kojima.
KENTA finally got his shot at the championship at New Beginning USA on February 26th, but was unable to overcome the ‘Death Rider’, meaning Moxley continued his record reign with the US Championship.
The first round of this year’s tournament will begin on April 2nd with the tournament taking place throughout the month. You can watch the New Japan Cup USA on NJPW World.
First round matches
- Clark Connors vs. Lio Rush
- Brody King vs. Chris Dickinson
- Ren Narita vs. Tom Lawlor
- Hikuleo vs. Fred Rosser