NJPW New Japan Cup 2020, Day 1

NJPW New Japan Cup 2020, Day 1

From June 16, 2020

NJPW New Japan Cup 2020, Day 1

New Japan Cup First Round Match
Yota Tsuji vs Togi Makabe - 6.5/10

I don't know if I had seen Tsuji and Makabe fight before, but if there was ever someone to take on Makabe's torch, we've found the guy.

This was two hosses going at it, that if not for the experience difference and Makabe's age, could had been far better, but as much as Makabe gave Tsuji, it was still a Young Lion match and Tsuji isn't exactly Shota Umino and Makabe isn't Tanahashi.

I liked the match, I thought that Tsuji had some good near falls towards the end, some decent offense, but him being a YL, he didn't even get the benefit of taking the King Kong Knee Drop for the finish. Tsuji won't be a pretty boy ever, but he has potential to be a big hoss superstar.

New Japan Cup First Round Match
Toru Yano vs Jado (w/Yujiro Takahashi & Gedo) - 2/10

Jado is completely immobile, he really doesn't have a match in him anymore, it was actually kinda sad, so this just ended up being a match were Yano had to sell for him with tons of cheating where it was Yujiro that did most of the damage on Yano. Comedy wise, there was a a lot of talking and maybe if I understood most of it, I would had given the match an extra point, but I didn't even have that. Jado couldn't even perform some of the comedy spots that we see Yano do with other people. Yano won with a roll up after overcoming the BC gang-up. We knew this was going to be bad, it's ok, Jado's spot SHOULD had been given to Douki.

Hiroshi Tanahashi, Kota Ibushi, Yuji Nagata, & Yuya Uemura vs Suzuki-Gun (Minoru Suzuki, Zack Sabre Jr, Taichi, & Yoshinobu Kanemaru) - 7.5/10

These four are tournament preview pair ups, so we got a bit of everything here, but the highlight was the Tekker's targetting Tanahashi's leg with some vicious Dragon Screws by Sabre while Taichi held Tanahashi. Later on Suzuki, Kanemaru, and a chair all got their chance to hurt Tanahashi's leg. I should bring up that Sabre also worked on Ibushi's leg on their pair up, but it wasn't as vicious as Tanahashi's, who I do think will be the reason why he loses to Taichi in their match.

The rest was good, Suzuki vs Nagata was awesome, built around strikes and Suzuki chasing the GSP and failing. Uemura also had a short run against Suzuki, but obviously failed and lost to the GSP. This was a really productive 8-Man and the action good top to bottom.

Post-match - Everyone kept fighting or talking trash to each other. It's funny to see Suzuki and Nagata brawl in the back while Sabre and Ibushi are just having a conversation on the apron. Tanahashi heavily sold his knee after the match.

New Japan Cup First Round Match
Tomoaki Honma vs Hiromu Takahashi - 7.5/10

Man, this is a match between two men that I wasn't sure I'd ever see wrestle again and that have now pretty much recovered. Having said that, there was one really scary spot for me, that didn't go bad, but Hiromu did an Apron Dropkick and Honma tossed himself back and landed neck first on the railing. He probably calculated the risk, but it looked ugly from my side.

Talking about necks, it was perfectly planned to make us all cringe a bit, since both men decided to target each other's heads throughout the match with the only exception of Honma chopping Hiromu, but like even Hiromu was going for Kokeshis. I founded unnecessary to see Germans and Apron DVDs in this match, but aside from that, this was pretty good, Hiromu made Honma look great and younger, and Honma definitely gave it as much as he could.

About the story, it was basic, just they went after each other's necks, the young guy started to kick ass and got cocky and overconfident, and the old timer wouldn't give up, gave it his all, got some near falls, but youth prevailed at the end when Hiromu hit the Timebomb for the win. Great match, I just wish I didn't have to think about recently recovered necks.

New Japan Cup First Round Match
El Desperado vs Tomohiro Ishii - 8.5/10

This was Desperado's audition to become a heavyweight, his argument being that he is taller than Ishii, but unfortunately for him, not as tough as Ishii.

As we saw yesterday, Desperado went for Ishii's knee and in this match, it was the focus of Despy's focus, going after it with the Stretch Muffler over and over again, to the point that Ishii couldn't get him up for a Powerbomb. Ishii at one point seemed to be going after the leg too, but kinda gave up early. As the match went on and Despy couldn't keep down Ishii, he started to look to cheat either with the exposed turnbuckle or low blowing him, but it still wasn't enough, so instead, he chased his finishers, he hit Guitarra del Angel, but Ishii kicked out. He tried Pinche Loco, but couldn't, and instead, Ishii made a comeback with a big Lariat and the Brainbuster for the win.

This was a great match, Desperado looked great, Ishii sold a lot for him, and while I knew Desperado wouldn't win, the action kept me excited until the end.


I'm not gonna lie, I really appreciate these 5 match shows, I got out of the habit of watching early morning New Japan. These was good, we had a terrible Jado match, but the rest were good to great. It's the start of the cup, this isn't the weakest block, but it's going to get better from here and on.

Ishii vs Makabe and Hiromu vs Yano are the upcoming matches in this block.

I really missed Milano Collection's commentary.

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