Yota Tsuji Wins New Japan Cup, Full Sakura Genesis Card Revealed | Weekly Puro Guide


New Japan Pro Wrestling

The New Japan Cup ended this past week with an exciting final between Hirooki Goto and Yota Tsuji. The tournament started with 28 participants, with the winner getting an IWGP World Championship shot against Tetsuya Naito at Sakura Genesis and on March 20th it was down to the final two who were fighting for the prestigious Cup in the show’s main event.

Yota & Goto tore the house down and reminded everyone what New Japan could be all about. Two domestic talents wrestled a great match, with the hot crowd and a ton of emotion shown by both men making this must-watch. Goto was tremendous in this match, playing the veteran gatekeeper that Yota Tsuji needed to beat to make New Japan “his” era. The final three minutes were the peak of a great match with Goto going for the Rainmaker, but Yota hitting a Geneblaster and a second Geneblaster to win the New Japan Cup and earn his shot against Tetsuya Naito at Sakura Genesis in an impressive match with the right winner.

Whilst the match marked one of NJPW’s four rising stars finally picking up a major accomplishment, it also showed that even in 2024, Hirooki Goto should play an essential role in the top matches of New Japan. The current roster isn’t as strong as it was six years ago with multiple stars either leaving or winding down, so having someone like Hirooki Goto as a wrestler who puts over the young talents by giving them great matches is needed, even if it happened here in this instance due to Finlay’s illness.

New Japan then announced the full card for the Sakura Genesis show in Sumo Hall on April 6th, featuring Yota Tsuji challenging Tetsuya Naito for the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship. The card also features four more championship matches and the return of Jon Moxley, who will team up with his student Shota Umino against House of Torture’s Ren Narita & Jack Perry in tag team action. This is the first time since Perry appeared in New Japan that he will face a wrestler from AEW, so this match will have an interesting dynamic.

Outside of the main event, the championship matches all feature either the Bullet Club or House of Torture, which means a lot of interference is expected, especially in the NEVER Openweight Championship between EVIL & Shingo Takagi, after EVIL eliminated Shingo in the New Japan Cup and the all-out brawl LIJ & HoT had throughout the tournament. The same goes for SHO’s first IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship defence against YOH, where shenanigans are almost guaranteed.

Full Card for Sakura Genesis 2024 on April 6:

  • El Desperado & Ryusuke Taguchi vs. TMDK (Kosei Fujita & Zack Sabre Jr.)
  • Los Ingobernables de Japon (BUSHI & Hiromu Takahashi) vs. Bullet Club War Dogs (David Finlay & Gedo)
  • United Empire (Callum Newman, Great-O-Khan & Jeff Cobb) vs. Just 5 Guys (DOUKI, SANADA & Yuya Uemura)
  • Bullet Club War Dogs (Clark Connors & Drilla Moloney) (c) vs. Catch 22 (Francesco Akira & TJP) vs. Intergalactic Jet Setters (Kevin Knight & KUSHIDA) for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship
  • Bullet Club (Chase Owens & KENTA) (c) vs. Bishamon (Hirooki Goto & YOSHI-HASHI) for the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championship
  • SHO (c) vs. YOH for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship
  • Jon Moxley & Shota Umino vs. House Of Torture (Jack Perry & Ren Narita)
  • EVIL (c) vs. Shingo Takagi for the NEVER Openweight Championship
  • Tetsuya Naito (c) vs. Yota Tsuji for the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship

Alex Coughlin announced his retirement from pro wrestling on March 24th on his official X (formerly known as Twitter) account for unknown reasons. The ‘Dead-Eye Dreadnought’ made his debut in 2018 and joined New Japan a couple of months later to train under Katsuyori Shibata in the LA Dojo. At Dominion 2023, he officially became part of the main roster of NJPW by joining forces with Gabe Kidd, Drilla Moloney, Clark Connors, and David Finlay as part of the Bullet Club War Dogs that have taken the promotion by storm since being formed. Coughlin’s only championship win came just a month later, when he & Gabe Kidd won the NJPW STRONG Tag Team Titles from Bishamon, holding them for 97 days.

Coughlin’s retirement at the age of just 30 is an unfortunate one, as he undoubtedly had the potential to make it big in the wrestling scene with his physique and skills in the ring. You can only wish him the best for his future life!

Finally, New Japan has added three more matches to the Windy City Riot show on April 12th in Chicago, with El Phantasmo & Hikuleo now set to defend their NJPW STRONG Openweight Tag Team Titles in a four corner match against three yet-to-be-revealed teams. On top of that, two special singles match have been added to the show, with Shota Umino facing Jack Perry in a rematch from their New Japan Cup match and Tomohiro Ishii facing the IWGP Global Heavyweight Champion Nic Nemeth in a special non-title singles match

Current Card for NJPW Windy City Riot 2024 on April 12th:

  • Nic Nemeth vs. Tomohiro Ishii
  • Jack Perry vs. Shota Umino
  • Guerrillas Of Destiny (El Phantasmo & Hikuleo) (c) vs. ??? & ??? vs. ??? & ??? vs. ??? & ??? for the NJPW STRONG Openweight Tag Team Championship
  • ???, ???, ??? & Eddie Kingston vs. ???, ???, ??? & Gabe Kidd in a “Riot Rules” Match
  • Mustafa Ali vs. Hiromu Takahashi
  • Tetsuya Naito vs. Jon Moxley

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