Michael Elgin & Yota Tsuji vs Yuji Nagata & Manabu Nakanishi - 4/10
Old timers worked over Tsuji until Elgin got the hot tag, who went in there to fake getting hurt by Nakanishi. Finish saw Nagata submit Tsuji with the Nagata Lock. Ok match, it was nothing.
Bullet Club (Bad Luck Fale, Chase Owens, Taiji Ishimori, & Hikuleo) w/Jado vs Togi Makabe, TenCozy, & Ren Narita - 5/10
Bad guys cheated, good guys overcame odds, young lion took the fall at the hands of Owen's Package Piledriver. Everyone was good and I enjoyed Hikuleo a lot actually, but it was just the usual.
Hirooki Goto & Shota Umino vs Los Ingobernables de Japon (Tetsuya Naito & Shingo Takagi) - 6.5/10
LIJ worked over Shota until Goto came in. Goto vs Shingo was a great new pair up, I would highly enjoy a singles match with them. Naito and Goto also had a small run together. Shota kicked out of the Pumping Bomber, but then Shingo hit a second for the win. Good match.
Suzuki-Gun (Minoru Suzuki, Davey Boy Smith Jr, & Taichi) vs Los Ingobernables de Japon - 6/10
Suzuki and SANADA paired up for most of the match in and outside the ring while the rest of Suzuki-Gun worked on EVIL in the ring. SANADA had a good hot tag that led to his run with Suzuki where they trade strikes, submissions, and all. This should be a great second round match, I can honestly see either man winning. Taichi submitted BUSHI with his new submission thing. Overall good stuff.
Post-match - Suzuki broke Milano Collection AT's toy scythe. SANADA dragged Suzuki to the ring and got into a brawl, defending the honor of their biggest fan. Suzuki cut a promo afterwards, but no one translated it.
Suzuki-Gun (Zack Sabre Jr & TAKA Michinoku) vs Kota Ibushi & Tomoaki Honma - 6/10
Sabre and TAKA worked on Honma. Ibushi and Sabre did some great stuff. When Ibushi was close to finishing TAKA, Sabre locked him up in a standing armbar, but Honma took him out enough for Ibushi to pin TAKA and take the win. Ibushi vs Sabre will be good.
Tomohiro Ishii, Ryusuke Taguchi, Colt Cabana, & Juice Robinson vs Hiroshi Tanahashi ,YOSHI-HASHI, Toru Yano, & Toa Henare - 6/10
Yano and Cabana did comedy. YH challenged Ishii to a strike off and got his ass kicked in return. Taguchi worked on Tanahashi's ankle, and Juice pinned Henare with the Pulp Friction. Good action, but nothing new or exciting.
Post-match - Chase Owens jumped the rail and attacked Juice Robinson, posed with the championship and made his intentions clear.
New Japan Cup 2019 Second Round Match
"The American Psycho" Lance Archer vs "Aerial Assassin" Will Ospreay - 8.5/10
This was a great edition of the small guy vs large guy story, with both men having to learn on the spot on which moves worked and which didn't since it wasn't just Ospreay is weak, but rather, Archer can't rely on tossing him since Ospreay lands on his feet, and Ospreay can't go for power moves since Archer is too big.
As the match went on, Ospreay did get some moves that took Archer off his feet, but like getting into a strike off, for instance, was Archer's game. At one point, commentary even brought up that Ospreay had been using the momentum in Archer's swings and use that to his advantage when hitting moves. Throughout the match, Ospreay had also realized that he wasn't going to be able to hit the Stormbreaker, so he kept chasing the Os Cutter, until he hit it and it didn't work, and so Rocky Romero started shouting that he needed the Stormbreaker. Getting there was hell since he took a Blackout, which he became the first ever to kick out, but he managed to hit the Hidden Blade on the top rope, a Shikinando kick, and managed to use Archer's positioning on the top rope to position him on his shoulder and hit the Stormbreaker. Great match.
Even in defeat, this may be the best Archer has looked, I don't think anyone has ever seen Archer look more like a killer and a competent wrestler. At least not in my recent memory.
New Japan Cup 2019 Second Round Match
"Rainmaker" Kazuchika Okada vs "Mad" Mikey Nicholls - 8/10
A really good match, perfectly wrestled, great action, stiff action actually, but at this stage of the tournament, I knew that Nicholls wasn't going to pin Okada, so I was just watching the match waiting for the Rainmaker to seal the deal. I liked how Nicholls was portrayed as a youngster not shying away from Okada, and in a way, this felt like Okada was his gatekeeper into CHAOS, which as we saw on the end, Okada approved.
As I mentioned, the match was hard hitting, Okada bled from Nicholls' chops. They pretty much went back and forward all match, both tried to out-show the other, chasing the Rainmaker and Mikey Bombs. Finishing minute was good. After many counters and blocks, Okada finally hit the Rainmaker to pin Nicholls.
Post-match - Okada cut a promo saying he's going to win. Apparently, this was Okada's first time wrestling in Nara, I mean, it's because NJPW doesn't come to Nara, but still.
It was as solid show, but all the undercard was repeated match-ups we've seen all tour, only new thing was Ishii vs YH, which includes YH, so I mean, it includes YH. I appreciate that these guys don't need to go twice a day so that they can deliver on their matches, but dragging out a 32-man tournament this long with a bunch of undercard tag matches is really repetitive, but hey, at least it's an easier watch now that they're only doing two tournament matches per show.
Ospreay vs Okada is next on this bracket!