And then there were two—just David Finlay and Sanada remain from a field of 24 in the 2023 New Japan Cup. Both men will meet tonight in the tournament final.
Finlay, the new Bullet Club figurehead, battled his way past Tomohiro Ishii, Great-O-Khan, Shota Umino, and Tama Tonga en route to the final. Sanada, walking away from Los Ingobernables de Japon to join Just Five Guys, beat out Taichi, Kenta, Tetsuya Naito, and Mark Davis.
During a press conference Monday to announce the full New Japan Cup card, Finlay promised “blood and gold” in his future.
“I cracked Jay White in the skull and took over the greatest faction in history,” Finlay said. “[Sanada] became Just Another Guy. There is no comparison between us.”
The New Japan Cup winner will challenge IWGP World Heavyweight Champion Kazuchika Okada at Sakura Genesis on April 8.
In addition to the New Japan Cup, tonight’s event features an IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship bout between Hiromu Takahashi and Lio Rush. Auckland’s Aaron Henare will also be in action, teaming with United Empire stablemate Great-O-Khan against LIJ’s Shingo Takagi and Tetsuya Naito.
New Japan Cup 2023 concludes tonight, March 21, from 9pm (NZDT) on NJPW World.
NJPW New Japan Cup Card:
- New Japan Cup:
David Finlay vs. Sanada
- IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship:
Hiromu Takahashi (c) vs. Lio Rush
- Aussie Open & Jeff Cobb vs. Hirooki Goto, Kazuchika Okada & Yoshi-Hashi
- Aaron Henare & Great-O-Khan vs. Shingo Takagi & Tetsuya Naito
- Dick Togo, Evil, Sho & Yujiro Takahashi vs. El Desperado, Ren Narita, Ryusuke Taguchi & Toru Yano
- Chase Owens, El Phantasmo & Kenta vs. Tama Tonga, Tomoaki Honma & Tomohiro Ishii
- Kosei Fujita & Zack Sabre Jr vs. Ryohei Oiwa & Shota Umino
- Douki & Taichi vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi & Yuto Nakashima