Sakura Genesis main event is set following New Japan Cup final

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Zack Sabre Jr. won the New Japan Cup tournament on Wednesday morning after submitting Hiroshi Tanahashi in the main event in Nagaoka.

The match saw Sabre attack the right arm and knee of Tanahashi, culminating in the closing stretch when Tanahashi landed a High Fly Flow to the back and attempted a follow-up, missed Sabre with the High Fly Flow and landed on the injured knee.

After kicking out of a bridge from an O’Connor roll, Sabre locked on the “Orienteering with Napalm Death” submission and Tanahashi instantly tapped as it was fully applied at 32:02 of the match.

After the match, Sabre announced that he wanted to face Kazuchika Okada for the IWGP heavyweight title and the two will headline Sakura Genesis on April 1st at Sumo Hall.

The tournament was a tremendous success in establishing Sabre as a top-flight heavyweight contender with submission victories over Tetsuya Naito, Kota Ibushi, Seiya Sanada, and Hiroshi Tanahashi and will go down as one of the most effective two-weeks of booking in recent memory, taking someone from a mid-card role and bring thrust into the upper echelon of their promotion.

This was the 14th version of the New Japan Cup, which began in 2005. The following year they added a stipulation that the winner would receive a title shot.

I’m really pleased that Sabre won and this tournaments shows how tournaments should work. It’s completely cemented him as a believable challenger for Okada and just a top guy all round.

Looking forward to this match as it will be different than Okada’s defense previously. Okada will have to find a way to avoid and/or counter Sabre’s submission holds. Right now they havd Sabre looking strong going into this match. What a way to kick off the busiest week in wrestling this year. :sunglasses:

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He looks like such a beast right now and I absolutely LOVE Taka as his hype man. Great tournament all around. This is what the King of the Ring could have been like. I always thought the winner should have received a SummerSlam title match.


I still hope that WWE will bring back the King of the Ring. They did it right back in 2002 when Brock won and went onto Summerslam to win the title. That’s how they should do it.

Yeah Sabre with Taka as his hype man is a good combo. Sabre might be considered a early wrestler of the year candidate as he has several titles in different promotions.

The best part about it is Sabre isn’t even that new to the top of the card given he did get the victory over Tanahashi in the G-1 and then headlined one of the Destruction shows in September. He already had a good amount of credibility going beforehand.