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March in New Japan Pro-Wrestling has been all about the New Japan Cup, which is soon to reach its climactic conclusion. The four semifinalists in this year’s tournament are now set, with “The Rebel” David Finlay and reigning NEVER Openweight Champion Tama Tonga advancing in their respective matches earlier today in Hamamatsu, Japan.
Finlay’s path to the semifinals came after his surprise appointment as the new leader of Bullet Club following Jay White’s exit from the company. After racking up victories against Tomohiro Ishii and Great-O-Khan in his first two bouts of the tournament, Finlay overcame “Roughneck” Shota Umino to make it out of the quarterfinals. Meeting him in the semifinals will be former Bullet Club stalwart Tonga, who has been undefeated in singles competition since the beginning of the year. Tonga, who was one of eight participants to receive a first-round bye in the tournament, defeated Aaron Henare and Hirooki Goto to advance to the semifinals.
The other side of the bracket was decided on March 17 when two upset victories shocked the crowd inside Korakuen Hall. First, Mark Davis, replacing the injured Will Ospreay, defeated former IWGP World Heavyweight Champion EVIL to move forward in the tournament. Davis had lost to Ospreay in a second-round match on March 13, but the Aussie Open member got a second chance in the tournament due to Ospreay’s injury.
The sole Japanese participant still alive in the tournament is SANADA, who upset Tetsuya Naito on Friday before withdrawing from Los Ingobernables de Japon and becoming the newest member of Just 5 Guys. Of the remaining competitors, the experience edge goes to SANADA, who will be making his fourth semifinal appearance in the New Japan Cup.
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