Yuji Nagata & Manabu Nakanishi vs Yuya Uemura & Yota Tsuji - 6/10
Good match, old timers vs Young Lions. Nakanishi held his own and the YL sold for him. Nagata submitted Uemura with the Nagata Lock II. I liked the argument that Excalibur made that Nakanishi is not accustomed to these 12-day tours and that he was hurting enough that the YL could actually take advantage of that and sneak up a win.
TenCozy & Shota Umino vs Michael Elgin, Colt Cabana, & Toa Henare - 5/10
Not much to this match, the stuff between Umino and Elgin was good. Elgin killed him at the end with a Buckle Bomb and Elgin Bomb sequence.
Suzuki-Gun (Minoru Suzuki & Killer Elite Squad) vs Togi Makabe, Toru Yano, & Tomoaki Honma - 5/10
I'm starting to think that all these K.E.S. wins are actually leading to SZKG taking the 6-man titles and not challenging for the tag titles. This was pretty much the same we've been seeing for the last week with Suzuki and Makabe. Finish saw Suzuki dodge a second rope Kokeshi, choke out Honma, and then deliver him to K.E.S. for the Killer Bomb and pin by Archer.
Los Ingobernables de Japon vs Kota Ibushi, Tomohiro Ishii, Ryusuke Taguchi, & Ren Narita - 7/10
Naito came out wearing his big match attire, commentary sold it as he is trying to get into Ibushi's head. This match had three things worth talking about. One, Ishii wasn't playing nice with the rest of the team and wasn't playing into Taguchi's stuff, even the the crowd chanted for him. This is totally in character for Ishii, but I do remember Rocky Romero mentioning that Ishii was one of the CHAOS guys that didn't like all the team ups with Hontai.
Second and third was that they build Kota vs Naito, but also started Ishii vs EVIL, both pairings having a really good chance to do their thing. Ibushi vs Naito was especially good tonight, better than the previous matches. Finish saw Shingo destroy Ren Narita with the Pumping Bomber after a really nice sequence between the two.
Post-match - Ibushi accepted the IC match as he stumped over Naito, while in the ring, Ishii and EVIL got into a pull apart.
Hiroshi Tanahashi & Will Ospreay vs Suzuki-Gun (Zack Sabre Jr & Taichi) w/TAKA Michinoku - 7/10
Great stuff between all four men. Tanahashi and Sabre built their G1 Supercard match for the Undisputed Brisith Championship, but Taichi also earned himself another shot at the NEVER Openweight Title after pinning Ospreay in the middle of the ring with the Gedo Clutch after escaping Stormbreaker and low blowing Ospreay.
Bullet Club (Jay White, Bad Luck Fale, & Hikuleo) w/Gedo vs CHAOS (Hirooki Goto, YOSHI-HASHI, & Mikey Nicholls) - 6.5/10
Jay White was awesome, and his mix up against Goto was great, so that when Goto came close to winning, I was hoping he would just to get a one-on-one one day. That aside, the match was ok, YH is still an idiot and the stuff between Nicholls and Fale was ok, but not exactly something that I want to see on-one-one.
Even with Hikuleo there, finish saw White counter Goto's GTR into the Bladerunner for the win. White's gimmick of countering every finisher into the Bladerunner continues.
IWGP US Championship Match
"The Flamboyant" Juice Robinson (C) vs "Crown Jewel" Chase Owens w/Jado - 7/10
This is what I love to see from the happy-go-lucky wrestlers! Juice came out and took this seriously, he didn't do his entrance shtick, he stopped at the ramp, took everything off and rushed the ring; however, he didn't change his wrestling style aside from being a bit more vicious, because at the end of the day, even the funny looking offense IS his offense and it took him to the championship once.
As I mentioned, Juice rushed the ring to start the match, but the initial flurry didn't last long as Chase blindsided the champ and took over the match. Chase worked over Juice's ribs throughout the match. Once Juice started his comeback, he went after Chase's back. Towards the end they exchanged some big moves for near falls before starting chase their respective finishers. At one point, Chase tapped out to a Boston Crab, but Jado had distracted Red Shoes and didn't see it, this led to Red Shoes taking a bump, which gave Jado the opening to attack Juice, but Jado instead got his ass kicked as Juice broke the Kendo Stick. Chase still threw powder to Juice's eyes and low blowed him, but Juice still kicked out at 2.99.
Finish saw Juice escape Owen's PP, dodge a belt shot to the face, take out Fale who came out, take out Jado with the Left Hand Of God, hit Pulp Friction and win. The match barely hit second gear at the end. There was a lot of overbooking, but given that this was Chase Owens in the semi, I don't blame trying to add some of drama since the crowd didn't really think he had a chance of winning.
Post-match - Fale came back and attacked Juice Robinson with the Bad Luck Fall, but Mikey Nicholls came out and chased off Juice. Bad Luck Fale could be a good contender going forward for Robinson, and so would be Mikey Nicholls, but I take it it will just be Fale vs Nicholls here.
Shibata came out for commentary! They didn't play his song, I would had marked out so hard.
New Japan Cup 2019 Finals
"Rainmaker" Kazuchika Okada vs "Cold Skull" SANADA - 9.5/10
Once again, they had a great match that I hate to say, was hurt because I know that SANADA ain't winning. As great as SANADA was in this match, this was the top match Okada that is just dominant at everything he does. Match started with technical work, but it quickly picked up the pace and by the end, both men were countering everything and chasing their finishers. After surviving a lot of Skull End attempts and counters, Okada countered a Moonsault Skull End into a spinning Tombstone, going into the Discus Rainmaker and THE Rainmaker for the win.
Post-match - Okada was awarded his trophy and posed with it. Okada cut a promo saying that NJPW is the best in the world. He promised SANADA a title shot after he wins it at Madison Square Garden. Jay White and Gedo came out to confront Okada. Gedo congratulated Okada, but told him he will go to hell at Madison Square Garden.
Jay White then cut a promo pretty much saying that Okada won't win because Okada has never been able to defeat him. Lot of hecklers tonight, but White played really well into them. White was good, but Okada's response was golden simply telling that he didn't understand anything he said and that he's just not at his level.
Okada thanked the fans to close out the show. Okada and Shibata shook hands after the match.
Good show, it was really a one match show since the US title match wasn't all that amazing, but it was a fun and easy show to watch.
To close out the New Japan Cup, I have to say that in hindsight, the 32-man playing field is not necessarily bad, but some stuff did drag in the opening round since they used a lot of old timers and young guys, and as I mentioned throughout the reviews, the undercard started to get really really repetitive.
I did love the overhead story that this tournament was in a way, a NJPW roster's race to pick the best man that would go and put an end to the Cutthroat Era of Jay White, while you still have the Bullet Club guys that hinted would simply give the win to White.