Starting in 1985, New Japan Pro Wrestling started a tournament titled The Young Lion Cup. This tournament has a similar format as the G1 Climax tournament. The participants in the tournament would earn two points for a win, one point for a draw, and zero points for a loss. The two wrestlers with the most points would then have a singles match. The winner of this match would be given the Young Lion Cup trophy, however, the rules change and in other years it would just be the wrestler with the most points that wins.
This tournament was a way to showcase the young talent in New Japan. The likes of Shunji Kosugi, Justin Liger, Kenzo Suzuki and Karl Fredericks have gone on to win the tournament. In 2020, Lion’s Break Crown Tournament was held on NJPW Strong, which featured Young Lions.
I believe this is something that should happen in AEW and would be perfect for the implementation of the NJPW brand on AEW television. With a stacked roster filled with young talents such as Jungle Boy, Daniel Garcia, HOOK, Lee Moriarty, Wheeler Yuta, Brian Pillman Jr, Dante Martin and so many others, this tournament is needed and could be a tournament that allows the young talent to shine on Wednesday night’s as well as elevate someone to the next level. AEW seems to be the place for Younger wrestlers at this point in time, with some veterans propping up Young talent (Sting and Darby, Christian and Jurassic Express)
We could also see the matches take place on AEW Dark which in return would help get more fans interested in watching that on YouTube, with international appeal. This also could be a way to elevate the ratings for Rampage on Fridays, rather than just a card that has no story or interest to it in some cases. You could even have the finals of the Young Lion Cup on a special Saturday night TNT show such as Battle Of The Belts! Or maybe a certain join show after Forbidden Door?
With all of the talent that AEW has and with such little tv time this tournament I believe would be a sight to see. So, Tony, go ahead and book this within the next year or so! I’d love to hear what others think. Sound off on social media! You can find me on Twitter;