Unlike previous tournaments, this year’s tournament will be featuring thirty competitors with two receiving First Round Byes. NJPW revealed that last year’s tournament winner EVIL and current NEVER Openweight Champion Hiroshi Tanahashi were given the two bye spots.
The winner of this year’s tournament will earn an automatic title shot for the new IWGP World Heavyweight Championship at Sakura Genesis 2021 on April 4th in Sendai, Japan.
Full First Round matchups schedule for New Japan Cup 2021 tournament:
- March 4th – Satoshi Kojima vs. Jeff Cobb
- March 4th – Tetsuya Naito vs. Great-O-Khan
- March 5th – Toru Yano vs. Bad Luck Fale
- March 5th – Taichi vs. Hirooki Goto
- March 6th – Tomoaki Honma vs. Minoru Suzuki
- March 6th – Juice Robinson vs. KENTA
- March 6th – Kazuchika Okada vs. Shingo Takagi
- March 7th – Gabriel Kidd vs. Zack Sabre Jr.
- March 7th – Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs. Will Ospreay
- March 9th – Yuji Nagata vs. Yota Tsuji
- March 9th – Tomohiro Ishii vs. SANADA
- March 10th – David Finlay vs. Chase Owens
- March 10th – YOSHI-HASHI vs. Yujiro Takahashi
- March 10th – Toa Henare vs. Jay White