NJPW New Japan Cup 2019 - 3.8





NJPW New Japan Cup 2019 - 3.8

By GARZA
From March 08, 2019

NJPW New Japan Cup 2019 - 3.8
This year's tournament video is great. It highlights that the tournament has Newcomers, Young Lions, Veterans, and Jr Heavyweights. It obviously states that the winner takes on White at the MSG show.

Bullet Club (Bad Luck Fale, Hikuleo, & "Bone Soldier" Taiji Ishimori) w/Jado vs CHAOS (Will Ospreay, Mikey Nicholls, Rocky Romero) - 4.5/10


Ospreay pretty much jumped Fale, but after his initial flurry, ended up being the babyface in peril for his team. Nicholls came in with the hot tag, looked great taking on Hikuleo, who is his first round opponent. Finally, Romero and Ishimori came in, had a great exchange until Ishimori pinned Romero after a Jado assist and a Bloody Cross. I could go for a Ishimori vs Romero title match. Fale vs Ospreay should be really interesting. Hikuleo vs Nicholls will be a hard one.

Suzuki-Gun (Minoru Suzuki & Killer Elite Squad) vs Satoshi Kojima, Toa Henare, & Toru Yano - 4/10


These are three match-ups coming up, so we first got Smith vs Yano, with the latter getting worked on for a bit before unleashing Kojima vs Suzuki, which was just Suzuki running wild. Finally, Henare vs Archer, giving Henare a good showing right before getting killed by Davey Boy. This felt like a huge squash by how dominant Suzuki-Gun looked. I really hope Davey Boy goes long this tournament.

Suzuki-Gun(Zack Sabre Jr & TAKA Michinoku) vs Los Ingobernables de Japon (EVIL & BUSHI) - 5.5/10


Sabre and EVIL have had a rivalry for a long time now, so they just went in there to do their thing, Sabre with the technique, EVIL with the power. BUSHI won with MX on TAKA. Short match, but everything was great.

Kota Ibushi, Hirooki Goto, & SHO vs Los Ingobernables de Japon (Tetsuya Naito, SANADA, & Shingo Takagi) - 7/10


Naito and Ibushi started the match, they had a small sequence of dodges, reversals, and counters before Naito tagged in SANADA and told Ibushi to be Tranquilo. Goto and SANADA went at it next, which was Goto's strength vs SANADA's speed. SHO got worked on by LIJ for a while, mostly Shingo who I'm still calling it the finals of the BOSJ this year.

Ibushi and Naito had a second chance at doing their thing, but they didn't spoil much as they got SHO and Shingo back in again. After assist of Naito and SANADA, Shingo hit the Last of the Dragons on SHO for the win. I guess Shingo and BUSHI will get another shot at R3K. Great match.

Michael Elgin, Shota Umino, Ryusuke Taguchi, & Colt Cabana vs Hiroshi Tanahashi, Kazuchika Okada, Hiroyoshi Tenzan, & Togi Makabe - 6.5/10


Big Mike making his return from injury, dude looks great. Okada, along with the rest, came out to Tanahashi's song. Shota straight up pushed Tanahashi, showing that he's not backing down from taking on the Ace on his first round, hey, maybe he defeats him and skips his excursion.

Shota and Tanahashi started the match and Shota actually got the better of Tanahashi. Taguchi and Tenza were next, with them doing the strength vs speed match up. During this, there was a lot of hip attacks, from ALL of the wrestlers. Seeing Okada or Makabe do hip attacks was something. Makabe and Cabana didn't do much, but I really hope we get a hoss fight. Elgin got the better of Okada in their exchange. Elgin tagged in Umino, who looked great against Okada, but Okada just killed him with a Rainmaker after everyone had one last chance to get their shit in. Fun match, interesting pairings.

The important thing here I'd say was the lack of Tanahashi in the match, 100% due to Umino taking him out over and over again.

Phantasmo Vignette - He got a 'coming soon' vignette. I can't remember the last time a gaijin like him got this treatment. I take it Phantasmo will be a bigger deal than I expected.

New Japan Cup 2019 First Round Match
"Head Hunter" YOSHI-HASHI vs "Yajin" Manabu Nakanishi - 4/10


Look, it's Nakanishi and YH, i'm going to try and be nice. This was boring as fuck. It was a strength vs speed battle with YH working Nakanishi's leg. When they got into striking, Nakanishi got the upper hand. There was a spot with Nakanishi doing a Pescado to the outside where he springboarded, landed on the apron, and then just threw himself over YH. Nakanishi then pulled off a top rope plancha which actually woke up the crowd. Nakanishi went for the Torture Rack, but YH pulled Red Shoes and this disturbed him so much that he missed a clear pin by Nakanishi. Finish saw Nakanishi go for another Torture Rack, but YH coutnered and locked in the Butterfly Lock, which Nakanishi escaped once, but not a second one.

The only thing I found interesting was when commentary brought up that YH has had that shoulder injury since he fought Adam Cole years ago. And you know what, I'll say it, Nakanishi was better than YOSHI-HASHI.

New Japan Cup 2019 First Round Match
"Emperor Prince" Taichi w/Miho Abe vs "Vampire Chicken" Tomoaki Honma - 6.5/10


Taichi made his entrance through the crowd, like his old sensei Iizuka. Honma came out with a weird ass mask that looked like a golden paper bag.

Story of the match was that after his first Kokeshi attempt, Honma hurt his neck and so the rest of the match was Taichi working over his neck to the point that Honma couldn't even get whipped to the ropes anymore. Honma had several hope spots until he finally manage to get Taichi off his feet and landed Kokeshi. Honma hit a Steiner Driver and a top rope Kokeshi for a two count, only to go for another one that Taichi blocked, but still Honma managed to hit a Sunset Flip from up there. After several more near falls from both men, Taichi started using a new interesting crossface submission that doesn't look painful, but he can jerk the neck a lot and make it look vicious.

This was a whole lot better than I expected going in. They went 15 minutes plus, working Honma's neck all the time, and they kept Taichi's cheating to a minimum, he never used Iizuka's iron fist. Honma is so immobile that he can't get his hands up for all the kicks that Taichi threw at him, but at the end, he looked devastated for losing and he actually was great tonight, given his limitations.

New Japan Cup 2019 First Round Match
"The Crown Jewel" Chase Owens vs "The Flamboyant" Juice Robinson - 8.5/10


CHASE.FUCKING.OWENS!!

This match took a page out of the Cody Rhodes Book of Stalling. Chase worked that smart heel that stalls, finds his opening, in this case a Russian Leg Sweep onto the barricade, and work from there on. Chase worked over Juice's head all match, obviously chasing the Package Piledriver. Juice made a comeback before going back and forward, and if anything else, Juice kept hitting his head everywhere, some by accident, I think. They rammed each other all over the barricades, Owens at one point even went for the PP on the exposed floor, but Juice, hurting, kept escaping. Juice got some near falls when Red Shoes kept breaking Owen's dirty pins. Finish saw Owens hit the Jewel Heist and the Package Piledriver to put Juice down clean in the middle of the ring!

This was easily Owen's best singles match, maybe in his whole career.

New Japan Cup 2019 First Round Match
"Blue Justice" Yuji Nagata vs "The Stone Pitbull" Tomohiro Ishii - 9/10


I will always remember the first slap of this match as Nagata's Slap n Run on Ishii, it was both awesome and hilarious. This match was the slug-fest you would have expected, they hit each other with everything they had, even some cringe headbutts. There was some submission work from Nagata on Ishii's arm, which he went to every now and then, and it did get a good near submission towards the end and the story that Ishii was using an injured arm on his strikes.

Ishii and Nagata also stole a lot of each other's offense, Ishii at one point stole Nagata's kicks, while Nagata straight up took Ishii's brainbuster. Nagata's fire here was awesome, I totally popped for him kicking out at one at Ishii's lariat, but at the end, it was just too much for him as Ishii picked up the win with the brainbuster. Awesome match.

Post-match - I think Ishii called an audible and let Nagata take the ring tonight.

OVERALL THOUGHTS


Arguably a weak show to start off the New Japan Cup, with the exception of the main event obviously. Most of the undercard had way too many dudes per match to properly make something good out of showing previews of the upcoming pair ups. It's not that it was all bad though, every match had something going on for it, even watching Nakanishi's attempt to Pescado.

Tomohiro Ishii vs Taichi and YOSHI-HASHI vs Chase Owens will take place in the second round.

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