The 2023 New Japan Cup will no longer feature Will Ospreay.
NJPW announced on Tuesday that Ospreay was suffering from a shoulder injury and would miss the March 15 show in Okayama. In a subsequent update, it was announced earlier today at an impromptu press conference that Ospreay will miss the rest of the New Japan Cup tournament.
Ospreay was wrestling Mark Davis in a second-round tournament match on Monday, which he won to advance to the semi-finals. Davis announced earlier today that United Empire stablemate Ospreay had nominated him for the tournament as an alternate.
Davis said, “New Japan Cup 2023. We set foot into this tournament, each member of the United Empire, and we made a pact, that this year it would be for the United Empire. Now the reason I’m standing here is to deliver some deeply unfortunate news, and that is that Will Ospreay has to forfeit his place in the New Japan Cup. I’m deeply saddened to be the one to have to tell you, but I’m more motivated than ever to take his place in the tournament, and to take home that New Japan Cup for the United Empire. So on the 17th, Tokyo, Korakuen Hall, EVIL- it’s not Will Ospreay you’re going to be facing. It’s Dunkzilla Davis, and I’m taking this one home for the United Empire.”
The New Japan Cup quarter-finals are now set, with David Finlay defeating Great-O-Khan and Shota Umino defeating NJPW World Television Champion Zack Sabre Jr. in a non-title match today in Okayama.
The following matches have been scheduled for the quarter-finals:
* Tetsuya Naito vs. SANADA on March 17
* Mark Davis (replacing Will Ospreay) vs. EVIL on March 17
* IWGP Tag Team Champion Hirooki Goto vs. NEVER Openweight Champion Tama Tonga on March 18
* David Finlay vs. Shota Umino on March 18
On March 19, the winner of Naito vs. SANADA will face the winner of Davis vs. EVIL, and the winner of Goto vs. Tonga will face the winner of Finlay vs. Umino. The finals will be held on March 21 at Nagaoka City Hall Plaza Aore Nagaoka in Nagaoka, Japan. In addition, IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion Hiromu Takahashi will defend against Lio Rush at that event, among other things.
Here is an updated look at the 2023 New Japan Cup brackets: