ZSJ submits Tanahashi to win New Japan Cup

Zack Sabre Jr has become the first foreigner in 12 years to win the New Japan Cup.

The Englishman submitted Hiroshi Tanahashi in a technical encounter in the tournament final this past Wednesday, March 21, in Niigata, Japan.

Sabre exploited weaknesses in Tanahashi’s knee and bicep throughout the match.

“The Technical Wizard” endured a High Fly Flow from Tanahashi, but avoided a second and trapped Tanahashi in Orienteering with Napalm Death (an over-the-shoulder single leg Boston crab banana split) to force a rare submission from the former IWGP Heavyweight Champion.

Giant Bernard was the last foreign-born star to win a New Japan Cup, in 2006.

Sabre’s performance cements him as one of the most accomplished tournament wrestlers in the world. “The Technical Wizard” won the 2015 PWG Battle of Los Angeles, and 2016’s WXW 16 Carat Gold Tournament.

The New Japan Cup win earns Sabre a shot at the championship of his choice. And with his Suzuki-gun stablemate Minoru Suzuki holding the Intercontinental title, there is only one logical option.

“No question, I want Okada,” Sabre proclaimed.

Sabre wasn’t intimidated in the slightest when the reigning champ confronted him in the ring, warning Okada to make the most of the IWGP Heavyweight Championship because it was only “two weeks ’til you tap out.”

NJPW New Japan Cup Results:

  • Shota Umino def. Tetsuhiro Yagi
  • Taichi def. Tomoyuki Oka
  • Bad Luck Fale, Tanga Loa, & Yujiro Takahashi def. Michael Elgin, Toa Henare, & Togi Makabe
  • Killer Elite Squad (Davey Boy Smith Jr & Lance Archer) def. Tomohiro Ishii & Toru Yano
  • David Finlay & Juice Robinson def. Hirooki Goto & Yoshi-Hashi
  • Bushi, Hiromu Takahashi, Sanada & Tetsuya Naito def. El Desperado, Minoru Suzuki, Takashi Iizuka & Yoshinobu Kanemaru
  • Chuckie T & Kazuchika Okada def. Chase Owens & Kota Ibushi
  • New Japan Cup 2018:
    Zack Sabre Jr def. Hiroshi Tanahashi