For the first time since 2016, New Japan will hold its Super J-Cup tournament. And this time, it’s noteworthy for more than just the promise of great junior heavyweight wrestling. The seventh edition of the tourney will be held entirely in the United States.
Jyuhsin Thunder Liger has just announced the return of Super J Cup, in the US for the first time ever!— NJPW Global (@njpwglobal) June 10, 2019
8/22 Temple Theater- Tacoma, WA
8/24 SFSU Student Life Event Center- San Francisco, CA
8/25 Walter Pyramid- Long Beach, CA
Tickets on sale June 24! pic.twitter.com/T6P1q9JY4b
Liger, the cruiserweight legend who conceived of the tournament in the first place and who is celebrating his last year as an active wrestler before retiring at next January’s Tokyo Dome shows, will produce the shows. No word yet on specific entrants, but it will be a 16-man field featuring wrestlers from the regular partners New Japan, CMLL, and Ring Of Honor, as well as “other promotions”.
First round matches will take place at the Tacoma, Washington’s Temple Theater on Thurs., Aug. 22. Second round action is two days later (Sat., Aug. 24) at the San Francisco State University Student Life Event Center. Things wrap up with the semis and finals on Sun., Aug. 25 in NJPW’s regular sourthern Cali home - Long Beach’s Walter Pyramid. The first two are smaller venues with a capacity of 1,000 - 2,000 people; the Pyramid can hold up to 4,000.
Whoever wins will join a small class of winners (Liger, Chris Benoit, Kushida and Naomichi Marufuji), and attempt to continue the legacy of the Super J-Cup, which started in 1994 with a show The Wrestling Observer touted as “the most incredible single night of wrestling ever”.
New Japan’s latest push into the U.S. comes during a busy month for wrestling, with WWE’s SummerSlam and TakeOver: Toronto II, and All Elite’s All Out bookending these west coast shows on the calendar.