Well I mean they did draw more for a G1 show in Aichi in 2015 with Tana vs Yano as the main event (and really nothing interesting underneath) than they did last year, with Omega vs Elgin and Shibata vs Naito last year, and both shows were on weekend iirc. So..I don't know, maybe they do feel Tanahashi, Honma, Elgin and let's say Yano are bigger draws than Omega or Shibata in those areas.elloziom wrote:Interesting thing about this year's New Japan Cup is that this year's New Japan Cup tour is being run in some really big arenas with not so great cards. I mean Niigata, Tokorozawa and Aichi are run in G1 Climax venues. I mean they're doing Tanahashi vs Evil and Elgin vs Fale for a venue that is reported to hold like 5-6k people? I would personally switch venues for night 1 and night 2, but maybe NJPW believes more in Honma, Elgin, Tana and Yano drawing people (especially Tana) than Omega, Suzuki, Shibata, Ishii in an actual competitive match-ups. When it comes to results I would personally have Kenny winning with Elgin in the finals and Shibata either losing to Kenny or Sanada in semis. If he would lose to Sanada, he could win with him at Sumo Hall or Fukuoka, so you could set him up for Osaka with Naito. Kenny wouldn't cash in until Osaka, because Okada loses/draws to Tiger Mask W, who unmasks as Ibushi so we can have Kota vs Okada for Sumo Hall. In my opinion the big match after you do the Okada vs Omega in Osaka is Omega vs Naito, because Naito is the guy in Japan and Omega seems like the guy for other areas they would like to start in doing more shows.
And here's the thing. If they are running venues that big, I wouldn't really expect many upsets in the 1st round. I mean, there is really no way Tana is losing to EVIL, right? He is pretty much the only big draw in his part of the bracket. Normally EVIL winning this match would be actually very likely with the way Gedo books tournaments, but I don't see this here. Same could be said about Shibata and Omega, altough them losing is way more possible, since like you said the 2nd part of the bracket doesn't headline venues as big.
Alright, let's see who can win this thing
Tanahashi - absolutely, NJ Red Army are still feuding with LIJ, and the rematch between Tana and Naito with some good support underneath could easily sell out Sumo Hall, so why not do this? Tana is at least making it to the semi-final.
EVIL - As I explained earlier, I don't see him beating Tanahashi. If he had a different opponent in the 1st round, I could see him making it to the final four, but not this time I guess.
Roa - he can beat Honma, but quarter-final is his ceiling.
Honma - he can and he probably will beat Roa, but then again, his next opponent will probably be Tanahashi, so yeah, he will not do well there.
Elgin - he just lost the IC title match, and let's be honest here, even though I love Big Mike, there is no way they will headline a Sumo Hall show with him in the main event. He could easily make it to the final four and maybe even to the final, but he is not winning.
Fale - Elgin needs a strong win after New Beginning, and I believe that's why Passable Match Fale is here.
Yano - you never know with him, but no, he isn't making it to the final four this time. Quarter-final is his ceiling.
Tama Tonga - I think he can beat Yano to set up a future title match between CHAOS and G.O.D. Then his opponent most likely will be Elgin, and tbh I don't see them doing Tana/Elgin in the NJ Cup, so he may even score an upset here. Then he 'd have Tana in the semis so that's his ceiling.
YOSHI-HASHI - Even if he beats SANADA, his next opponent is most likely Omega, so quarter-final is his ceiling.
SANADA - If he wins, I could also see Ishii scoring an upset win over Kenny, and if that'd be the case, SANADA could even make it to the final. That's not very likely, but he can win some matches in the tournament, the key will be whether Kenny beats Ishii or not.
Ishii - if he beats Omega, which I am going to talk about in a moment, he could even make it to the finals, he's not winning though.
Omega - Here's a thing. It would make perfect sense for Kenny to win now, he is red hot, he is so over with the crowd, everyone is talking about him etc. But I still think he will win the title at Dominion, not at the April show. So I think there is a high possibility that Ishii will beat him on the 12th, and then Kenny will get his win back at Sakura Genesis or Dontaku, and then he challenges Okada for the title match at Dominion. That's just how I see it though, but Omega is obviously one of the favorites here, wouldn't be surprised at all if he won.
Yujiro - he is going to have a ** 1/4 match with Juice, he will eat a Pulp Friction and that will be it for the Tokyo Pimp. The easiest outcome to predict of the all 1st round matches.
Juice - he will obviously beat Takahashi, but then his opponent is either Suzuki or Shibata, and he is not winning that.
Suzuki - he just lost the title match with Okada and they are definitely not going to do this again, and with how NJPW does things I also doubt he will challenge Naito. He may very well even go to the finals, but he is not winning.
Shibata - we all know his huge push is coming, he is going to go for one of two main titles sooner or later, the question is rather: is it the time? NJPW is very slowly moving him up the card, he will probably headline the 3/12 show with MiSu. Suzuki has come to the company..and lost to Okada in his first match back. It wouldn't make much sense for him to lose here as well, would it? I think Minoru will beat Shibata, there is a lot of potential in this little feud here, so why the hell not. Shibata can beat Suzuki down the line and get his win back later this year, in the meantime he can also fucking kill Cody Rhodes so I don't ever have to watch him, and then he will either win the G1 or just have a big title match regardless. He is one of 3 favorites for me, but I predict him losing to MiSu in the 1st round.