NJPW New Japan Cup 2019 - 3.23





NJPW New Japan Cup 2019 - 3.23

By GARZA
From March 23, 2019

NJPW New Japan Cup 2019 - 3.23

Manabu Nakanishi, Yuji Nagata, & TenCozy vs Michael Elgin, Yuya Uemura, Yota Tsuji & Colt Cabana - 4/10


Old timers vs young kids. The stuff between Cabana and Nagata was good. Nagata submitted Tsuji with the Nagata Lock.

Los Ingobernables de Japon (Shingo Takagi & BUSHI) defeated Shota Umino & Ren Narita - 5/10


Good action, but also nothing special. Shingo won with the Noshigami over Narita.

Suzuki-Gun (Minoru Suzuki & Killer Elite Squad) vs Togi Makabe, Toru Yano, & Toa Henare - 5/10


The Suzuki-Gun, more specifically KES, winning streak continues, this time Archer pinning Henare with a Blackout. I enjoyed this match, it was nothing special, but the babyface team was a combo of different type of guys, giving me good contrast between pair ups.

Suzuki-Gun (Zack Sabre Jr & Taichi) w/TAKA Michinoku vs Will Ospreay & Ryusuke Taguchi - 6.5/10


I kinda hate that we're getting these Ospreay vs Sabre teases, but we're building towards Ospreay vs Taichi. This was good, anyone vs either Ospreay or Sabre is usually good. Sabre submitted Taguchi.

Los Ingobernables de Japon (Tetsuya Naito & EVIL) vs Kota Ibushi & Tomoaki Honma - 6.5/10


Naito vs Ibushi continue the build to the upcoming IC title match, now confirmed for G1 Supercard. EVIL pinned Honma with Everything Is Evil.

Bullet Club (Jay White, Bad Luck Fale, Chase Owens, & Hikuleo) w/Gedo & Jado vs Juice Robinson, YOSHI-HASHI, Mikey Nicholls, & Hirooki Goto - 6/10


Jay White is back to close out the tour. Great match, I loved White pissing off that geek YH, who may I confirm, is a total dumbass. As tough as you think you are, why the hell would you go and slap Fale on the head, it's not like he even had him down or anything. The stuff between Chase and Juice was ok during the match, Chase mostly played the chicken-shit heel, hitting and running. Goto pinned Hikuelo with the GTR.

Post-match - Chase distracted the babyfaces while Fale attacked them all from behind. Chase took the US title and posed with it alongside White, showing off that after tomorrow, BC will have two top champions.

New Japan Cup 2019 Semifinal Match
"Rainmaker" Kazuchika Okada vs "The Stone Pitbull" Tomohiro Ishii - 9.5/10


Okada ever since his debut, has always been a cocky piss of shit, sometimes quite disrespectful to the senior member of CHAOS -- Tomohiro Ishii. In their last encounter, that very same cocky Okada came in and got the shit kicked out of, but not this time, tonight's Okada took Ishii seriously and went in there to win. Having said that, this match wasn't as good as that G1 Climax battle.

This started off with both men going all out with strikes, forearms, TONS of chops, kicks, the usual. Early on however, Okada got Ishii down and went for the Rainmaker pose, turning the match into more of a counters and moves match, as both men started chasing the Brainsbuster, Tombstone, or the Rainmaker itself. The second half of the match was just both men going 60 mph with everything they could pull out of their arsenal. Okada hit about 5 or 6 dropkicks from all positions, plus an AWESOME Shotgun Dropkick that Ishii sold like a ragdoll. At one point both men tried to steal each other's finishers to neither's avail. Finish saw Okada hit a spinning Tombstone and the Rainmaker to pin Ishii. Awesome match.

New Japan Cup 2019 Semifinal Match
"Ace' Hiroshi Tanahashi vs "Cold Skull" SANADA - 9/10


SANADA is increadibly over tonight, he's close to his hometown and the crowd knows it. I love that every time Tanahashi hears these reactions, he plays the crowd right before the match, test it out and act accordingly, to make sure he doesn't play to the crowd like he normally would, sometimes even working a heeler position.

The match was really different from the previous match, this barely had any strikes in the match, it was mostly a straight up wrestling match with Tanahashi working on SANADA's legs, while SANADA kinda jumped around between legs and neck, but always chasing the Skull End. A big part of the story, that commentary kinda tied back to all the tournament matches, is that Tanahashi was hiding his knee as much as possible, making sure he wasn't landing moves on his knee, hence winning with Cloverleaves and Dragon Suplexes throughout, but this time, SANADA pushed him further and further.

Tanahashi's game tonight seemed like he was going to get an roll up on SANADA no matter what, he kept countering most of SANADA's offense into roll-ups; meanwhile, SANADA never stopped chasing the Skull End position. Finish saw, much to the delight and surprise of everyone, Tanahashi straight up tap out to the Skull End. This was a great match, following Okada and Ishii was going to be hard, but the match was different enough that it never mattered.

Kazuchika Okada vs SANADA is official.

Post-match - SANADA cut a good babyface promo. He asked the crowd to turn on their phones like fireflies, turned the lights off, and said that this was his favorite town and that he'd see us tomorrow.

OVERALL THOUGHTS


,Great show. This trip is almost over with only one show to go. Tonight's show had a lot of the same stuff we've been seeing for the last weeks, but with Jay White's return and the tourny matches, it felt like a bigger deal.

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