Zack Sabre Jr. has won the second New Japan Cup of his career. The gifted technician defeated Tetsuya Naito in the finals of the 2022 tournament as he hit the Zack Driver to earn the victory. Sport of Pro Wrestling’s Chris Samsa noted this is the first pinfall for Sabre Jr. in his New Japan Cup career, who had won all of his other matches through the years via submission or referee stoppage. With the win, Sabre Jr. will now get a shot at Kazuchika Okada and the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship with the most likely location for the match being at one of the Hyper Battle shows.
— 新日本プロレスリング株式会社 (@njpw1972) March 27, 2022
Zack Sabre Jr. Overcomes Three Former World Champions To Win Second New Japan Cup
Zack Sabre Jr. had an impressive run to the finals and ultimate win. He kicked off his tournament with a win over young lion Ryohei Oiwa in the first round. In the second round, Sabre Jr. would take on DOUKI in a battle of Suzuki-gun stablemates as the ever-confident technician drove DOUKI to show try and be on his level before beating him in the end. The matchup with Great-O-Khan in the next round more than exemplified the creativity of both men as Sabre Jr. managed to survive when he got his opponent to tap in the middle of being lifted up.
It was the final three matches, however, that saw Sabre Jr. pick up his own game. In the quarterfinals, Sabre Jr. managed to defeat the 2021 New Japan Cup winner Will Ospreay as a referee decision was made when it looked as though the victor was going to snap the leg of “The Commonwealth Kingpin.” As if beating his longtime rival wasn’t enough, Sabre Jr. then defeated last year’s runner-up and former IWGP World Heavyweight Champion Shingo Takagi in the semi-finals in what may have been his most spectacular outing of the tournament. And finally, Sabre Jr. defeated a hopeful Naito in the final to bring the cup home.
ZSJ will try and carry his momentum into his match with Okada with the goal of winning the first IWGP World Heavyweight Championship of his career.
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