Bullet Club (Bad Luck Fale, Taiji Ishimori, & Hikuleo) vs Juice Robinson, Tomoaki Honma, & Yuya Uemura - 4/10
BC worked over Honma. Juice ran wild with the hot tag. Uemura was the MVP, but tapped out to Ishimori's crossface. Uemura is awesome. Ok match, nothing to it.
Yuji Nagata, Manabu Nakanishi, & Toa Henare vs Togi Makabe & Tencozy - 5/10
Team Makabe worked over Henare for a long while (long considering the short match I guess), which was all ok. It wasn't until Nagata got the tag that the match got exciting as he went against Kojima. Nakanishi came in and went against Makabe, and got close to submitting him with the Rack, but Kojima and Tenzan saved him before hitting the 3D and leaving him ready for Makabe's KKKD for the win. Given that it's all old timers, this was good.
Michael Elgin, Shota Umino, & Ren Narita vs Los Ingobernables de Japon (Tetsuya Naito, Shingo Takagi, & BUSHI) - 7/10
Fuck yeah! Elgin vs Shingo! They started putting power vs power with Elgin getting the better of Shingo, which actually paid off at the end when they went again and Shingo was able to get the better of Elgin. The rest of the match was just pairing up everyone with everyone, Shota taking on LIJ was good. At the end, Shingo killed Narita after he slapped him, even though, Narita survived one Blood Fall and one Pumping Bomber before getting pinned after a second Blood Fall. This was pretty great.
Los Ingobernables de Japon vs Suzuki-Gun (Minoru Suzuki & Davey Boy Smith Jr) - 6/10
SZKG worked over EVIL for a while until Suzuki and SANADA got a chance to pair up and do their thing. SANADA had a quick run against Davey Boy at the end and go the roll up with the Okana Roll. Ok match, i'm getting tired of Davey Boy taking losses, he's awesome.
Suzuki-Gun (Zack Sabre Jr, Lance Archer, & TAKA Michinoku) vs Kota Ibushi, Will Ospreay, & Hirooki Goto - 7/10
Kota Ibushi and Will Ospreay are teaming tonight, that's a nice surprise. And while we got more Archer vs Ospreay, we got a little bit of Sabre vs Ospreay. Ibushi vs Sabre was great, Sabre already show that he can block the Kamigoye. At the, Kota and Ospreay did some stuff together, but it quickly ended with Goto hitting the GTR on TAKA. This was way too short for the first time pairings we got.
Ryusyke Taguchi, Colt Cabana, & Mikey Nicholls vs Hiroshi Tanahashi, Kazuchika Okada, & Toru Yano - 6/10
Cabana vs Yano was short, but funny, it be cool if their comedy would cancel out and have a normal match. Taguchi vs Tanahashi was nice, Taguchi actually took Tanahashi seriously this time and ended up getting the upper hand which led to Tanahashi getting his ring cut in half. Okada and Nicholls did their thing, Nicholls got more offense this time around. Nicholls got the win with the Mikey Bomb on Yano.
New Japan Cup 2019 Second Round Match
"Head Hunter" YOSHI-HASHI vs "The Crown Jewel" Chase Owens w/Jado - 7/10
Story here was that both men were somewhat balanced, with YH having the slight advantage, so Chase Owens went after YH's injured shoulder and cheated every chance he had to get the advantage. Rocky Romero brought up something interesting that Chase was using cheats that are more American, so little things that Red Shoes wouldn't normally check, like using the ropes for leverage during submissions. I liked that idea, but with so many foreigners, I have to imagine someone like Red Shoes has seen it all.
At one point while YH was making his comeback, Jado got involved distracting the ref while Chase hit YH with the Kendo Stick for a two count. Finish saw Jado accidentally hit Owens with the stick, leaving him oven for YH's double knees and Butterfly Lock which Owens escaped, but not the Karma that followed. I was really hoping for Owens to win, YH is so irrelevant, at least with Owens we can play the 'cheating his way to victory' story. Match was ok, nothing wrong with it other than no one cares about either dude.
New Japan Cup 2019 Second Round Match
"The Emperor Prince" Taichi vs "The Stone Pitbull" Tomohiro Ishii - 8.5/10
So this is the 3rd ever meeting between these men and it's been about 10 years since it happened last. This match started boring, seemed like it was going to be just another Taichi match, but then it all turned around and it was fucking great.
Match started with Taichi stalling until Ishii got tired and beat him up until Taichi used a chair. Once back in the ring, Taichi brought out what he learned from being Kawada's ring boy and kicked Ishii and actually took him down, but he got cocky and let Ishii recover. The rest seemed to be just kicks vs chops until Taichi went for his new submission thing, which Ishii got out and led to Ishii making a comeback, pushing Taichi to have to resort to his usual dirty tricks, and this is when it all changed.
Taichi grabbed the mic stand and Ishii just challenged him to hit him, ready to show that Taichi and his mic ain't shit. Taichi, instead of attacking Ishii, dropped the mic stand and we got some of the best minutes ever in Taichi's career. He woke up his fighting spirit, kicking out of everything Ishii tossed at him. It got to the point the fans at the show and I were all rooting for Taichi to win in the middle of the ring, but unfortunately for him, Ishii hit the Sliding Lariat and Brainbuster to pick up the win.
I was so sure that the Iron Claw would lead to the finish here because I didn't imagine Taichi would lose a match without using it on the previous match, but alas, I was wrong. I think Taichi has potential if he works on his speed and selling, that was the only thing that I didn't like that much here, as when he would do the Fighting Spirit roar, his selling wasn't great.
A good show, mostly because it was short and so they fitted in a bunch of good matches with top talent. Having only two tournament matches made things feel easier to watch, but it also means the tournament is going longer than I wish it would. I think we could have done four second round matches tonight.
YOSHI-HASHI vs Ishii takes place in the Quarter Finals, which could be interesting in this new 'tougher' YOSHI-HASHI persona, but I have to imagine that we're getting Okada vs Ishii and not vs YH.