As Japanese legend Jushin Thunder Liger prepares to retire from the ring this coming January, he’s dusting off a tournament in New Japan that he himself created in 1994. The Super J Cup was a Junior Heavyweight tournament that ran in 1994 and 1995 and then sporadically since (2000, 2004, 2009, and 2016 respectively), traditioning bringing in Junior Heavyweight representatives from multiple promotions. While NJPW has always been a constant, past Super J Cups have seen competitors from Frontier Martial Arts-Wrestling (FMW), Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW), Wrestle Assocaition-R (WAR), Michinoku Pro, Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre (CMLL), Pro Wrestling NOAH and AAA Lucha Libre. Previous winners of the Super J Cup include Wild Pegasus (Chris Benoit, 1994), Jushin Thunder Liger (1995, 2000), Noamichi Marufuji (2004, 2009), and KUSHIDA (2016). Jushin Thunder Liger will be hosting the Super J Cup, but will not be wrestling in this year’s 25th-anniversary edition.
New Japan has been slowly announcing this year’s field of competitors featuring CMLL’s Caristico and Dragon Lee, former WWE Cruiserweight Champion TJP, and NJPW’s Taiji Ishimori, Roppongi 3K (SHO & YOH), BUSHI, and Ryusuke Taguchi. But one of the more exciting names announced is former IMPACT Wrestling star and indie legend Amazing Red. Amazing Red is also planning to retire this year but has hinted he’d like his final match to be against New Japan’s Will Ospreay. Should Ospreay be ultimately announced for Super J Cup’s 16-man field, that would definitely be a dream match many would expect. So far NJPW has announced nine names for the tournament, which runs from August 22 through August 25, during a three tour of the US, hitting Tacoma, WA, San Francisco, CA and Long Beach, CA.
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