In a shocking announcement earlier this year, New Japan Pro Wrestling announced that they would be brining a second show to their streaming service, New Japan World, but this one would come from the United States. Clearly, COVID-19 has spread many of NJPW’s foreign workers across the globe with some of their biggest names here in the US. So, NJPW decided to pivot just like all other sports leagues and create a tournament born of resourcefulness. Enter the NJPW US Cup. Tonight, we will see the beginning of a three round tournament with the eventually winner getting a shot at Jon Moxley’s IWGP United States Championship. I know, its crazy to believe that we’re almost ¾ of the way through the year and Moxley still holds both belts.
The Field: So, who is in this tournament? Why should I watch? These are questions you’re probably asking yourself as you browse Wrestling News World for all the latest updates on Smackdown.
Well, this tournament is fairly stacked with some infrequent contributors to NJPW jumping into the field. Round 1 - Karl Fredericks vs KENTA - Jeff Cobb vs Tanga Loa - David Finlay vs Chase Owens - Brody King vs Tama Tonga The matchups lineup quite nicely at the beginning. The Tongans have the most intriguing matchups of the first round, but do not sleep on David Finlay vs Chase Owens. Both of these guys are solid workers with Chase Owens typically working good matches, but eventually taking the pinfall for Bullet Club multi- man matches.
Round 2 - Winner of Fredericks/Kenta vs Winner of Cobb/Loa - Winner of Finlay/Owens vs Winner of King/Tonga Super intriguing matches are possible based on the layout of the bracket. We could get a Bullet Club Veterans showdown with Tama Tonga vs Chase Owens on the right side of the bracket. On the left side of the bracket, we could see what would surely be one of the better matches of the year in Jeff Cobb vs KENTA. Finals The finals will have a host of options that could bring fun matchups. We could potentially see the Tongans meet in the finals, for example. KENTA vs either of his Bullet Club stablemates would add some Los Ingobernables de Japon stable disruption to the tournament. KENTA vs Brody King would also be tremendous. For my money, I’m wanting to see Jeff Cobb vs Brody King. Yes, these are both Ring of Honor guys and it is hard to see New Japan pulling the trigger on not having one of their own in the mix for the IWGP US Title, but these two guys are so unique and could present a fantastic strong style match in the finals. A dream match for me would be Brody King vs Jon Moxley for that IWGP US Title. Talk about a violent, stiff match! The tournament starts tonight at 10pm est. Are you tuning in?