NJPW’s decision to expand this year’s New Japan Cup to a field of 32 yielded more positivity than negativity. It allowed swathes of new in-tournament storytelling opportunities, enhanced its prestige, and expanded the scope for ****+ matches.
It also placed great strain on the New Japan viewer, particularly those who like the catch every show.
The opening rounds weren’t too hard, with NJPW booking four Cup bouts per day, but the latter stages were thinner than your writer’s hairline. The second round featured only two tournament matches to go with the usual host of skippable multi-man tags. But here’s the thing about those “skippable multi-mans”: many of them weren’t skippable at all, with NJPW using them to build a number of potential MSG programmes.
Picking and choosing was a matter of necessity throughout this competition, as it often is. Otherwise, fans were left with a burnout-inducing volume of pro-wrestling content to consume, despite the tour’s quality.
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