New Japan Cup night 3 (March 8) Preview

Tournament heads to Fukushima



March 8 sees the third night of New Japan Cup competition, and the next two matches in the single elimination tournament. Half of our round of 16 is now set, but who joins bye recipients Will Ospreay and Jeff Cobb in that sweet sixteen tonight?

Watch ALL of New Japan Cup LIVE in English on NJPW World!

Main event: New Japan Cup 1st Round- Ren Narita vs EVIL

Our main event sees the Son of Strong Style, Ren Narita seek to get past King of Darkness EVIL. Narita’s 2023 has been fairly busy with HOUSE OF TORTURE largest on his plate; in Osaka on February 11 it was at the group’s expense that he, Minoru Suzuki and El Desperado captured NEVER Openweight 6 Man Tag Team Championship gold, and now EVIL is gunning for revenge as well as a spot in round two. 

Minoru Suzuki has vowed to imbue Narita with the Strong Style values that the King grew up immersed in. He’ll need not just every one of those values and combat instincts tonight with EVIL, but also the dirty fighting tactics that Suzuki and Desperado have employed countless times in the past during their Suzuki-Gun days, as EVIL is sure to have assistance with him in and out of the ring in Fukushima. 

6th Match: New Japan Cup 1st Round: Toru Yano vs Mark Davis

Though Toru Yano is the ironman of new Japan Cup competition, having been in every single tournament except for the first in 2005, his winning record isn’t the most spectacular of all 24 entrants this year. What Yano is though, is unpredictable, and a trap game for any opposition. Enter Mark Davis. The Aussie Open powerhouse could make a singles competition name for himself in this tournament, and could face United Empire teammate Will Ospreay in the second round, but will have to be on his toes more than ever to do so. Yano has an established track record in making sure that brains win out over brawn in this single elimination setting, and can beat any competitor on any given night, Davis very much included. 

5th Match: CHAOS (YOH, YOSHI-HASHI & Hirooki Goto) vs United Empire (Will Ospreay, Kyle Fletcher & Jeff Cobb)


With Kyle Fletcher potentially facing both members of Bishamon in his New Japan Cup bracket, the Aussie Arrow will team with second round bye recipients Will Ospreay and Jeff Cobb to face Hirooki Goto, YOSHI-HASHI and YOH. The IWGP Tag Team Champions know full well the dangers Aussie Open present as a tag team, but with Fletcher fresh off a stunning victory over Robbie Eagles at NJPW TAMASHII, the Aussie Arrow will be looking to show Eagles’ CHAOS mates his ability as a singles combatant to boot. 

4th Match: Lio Rush, Tomoaki Honma & Tama Tonga vs Los Ingobernables De Japon (Tetsuya Naito, SANADA & Hiromu Takahashi)


With Tama Tonga the recipient of a bye, and SANADA and Tetsuya Naito earning their spots, our second round cup contenders meet in this six man bout, though only LIJ mates Naito and SANADA are in the same quadrant. That tantalizing possibility of a quarterfinal bout in Korakuen March 17 could drive interactions here, in a match that sees Tomoaki Honma subbed in for the now BULLET CLUB representing David Finlay. 

3rd Match: Los Ingobernables De Japon (BUSHI & Shingo Takagi) vs United Empire (Great-O-Khan & Aaron Henare)


Before Shingo Takagi and Aaron Henare do battle Friday in Yamanashi to complete the first round of the Cup, tag team competition sees the Ultimate Weapon with his World Tag League partner, and second round bye recipient Great-O-Khan. Ota Monday night saw Henare score a very impressive victory over Takagi, and the declaration was made by the Ultimate Weapon to take out the Dragon in his home prefecture of Yamanashi. Takagi can not afford to look past Henare Friday; will he be able to make a statement to that effect tonight, or will Henare’s momentum continue to grow?

2nd Match: Just Four Guys (DOUKI, TAKA Michinoku, Taichi & Yoshinobu Kanemaru) vs BULLET CLUB (David Finlay, El Phantasmo, Chase Owens & KENTA)


With Taichi’s elimination in the New Japan Cup at the hands of SANADA, Just Four Guys find themselves still short of significant results. Bigger moves are being made within BULET CLUB thanks to the addition of the Rebel David Finlay meanwhile. As the struggle for interfactional power continues in NJPW, this first match for Finlay in BULLET CLUB colours is going to be one to keep a firm eye on. 

 1st Match: Yuto Nakashima & Shota Umino vs TMDK (Zack Sabre Jr. & Kosei Fujita)

The night’s action starts with the ongoing education for Kosei Fujita with Zack Sabre Jr. in TMDK, facing Shota Umino and Yuto Nakashima. As Fujita’s activities with TMDK has given him an ego and reason for the rest of the Noge representatives to resent “Ehime’s sweetest boy”, competition should be heated from the opening bell.