NJPW New Japan Cup 2020, Day 3

NJPW New Japan Cup 2020, Day 3

From June 22, 2020

NJPW New Japan Cup 2020, Day 3
Show opened with Naoki Sugabayashi announcing new some upcoming dates.

Suzuki-Gun (Minoru Suzuki, El Desperado, Yoshinobu Kanemaru, & Douki) vs Yuji Nagata, Yota Tsuji, Yuya Uemura, & Gabriel Kidd - 6.5/10

Granddad Nagata brought out the kids for a walk. I got kinda worried that they would put Nagata and Suzuki in together again and make one of them weak, since it's to early for Suzuki to get back at Nagata, but I wouldn't want to see Suzuki beaten down twice in a row, but they mostly kept it at strikes. Everyone else was great as usually, solid stuff. Desperado won with Pinche Loco over Tsuji.

New Japan Cup First Round Match
Ryusuke Taguchi vs SANADA - 6.5/10

Taguchi didn't wear helmets, or jerseys, or carry balls, or dance on his way to the ring. We got serious Taguchi for the most part, which is a blessing now a days.

This match was kinda up and down, but mostly boring. It started with some mind games and playing games with each other's trust, but then they started mat wrestling and the match slowed down a lot. A bit later Taguchi got some offense and things picked up a bit, but it wasn't until Taguchi started chasing the Ankle Lock that the match got good, but it was too chaotic with Taguchi going for everything until SANADA just won by O'Connor Roll. Taguchi had his work boots on, but SANADA surely didn't.

Post-match - SANADA gave Taguchi his t-shirt, who put it on. I think the 'No Gracias' is the key here as SANADA's response to Taguchi's fist-bump, but maybe it's a tease of a new stable, led by SANADA.

New Japan Cup First Round Match
SHO vs Shingo Takagi - 9/10

Well, there goes my fantasy booking of SANADA defeating all of LIJ to get to Naito. Anyway, if you thought that Nagata vs Suzuki was loud, you haven't heard anything yet, THIS was loud. This was a back and forward mutual ass kicking on all levels. SHO worked the leg, Shingo you can say he worked the head since he was trying to decapitate SHO via Lariats. We had some great near falls after the Pumping Bomber and the Made in Japan. The one bad thing in this match was a Straitjacket Piledriver that Shingo straight up did himself. SHO won with the Shock Arrow and will face SANADA next. SHO not only beat a new Heavyweight, but got his win back from BOSJ.

New Japan Cup First Round Match
Kota Ibushi vs Zack Sabre Jr. - 9/10

Don't ask me how I got to this conclusion, but for the first half of this match, maybe a bit more, the lack of people made me feel like I was watching two men spar in a gym or something, like competitive sparring.

This was fantastic, a lot of Grapplefuck with Zack focusing 100% on the leg, while Ibushi mostly went after anything he could get his kicks on to. Zack's leg work in this match was just a spectable to see. Ibushi won with a surprise knee and Kamigoye.

New Japan Cup First Round Match
Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Taichi (w/Douki) - 9/10

Even without the crowd live, Taichi still serenaded us with his beautiful voice. Taichi loves his fans watching on NJPWWorld. Talking about music, I right now hate Tanahashi's remix music.

This may not had been the most action packed, the most technical, or even the funniest, but it surely had one of the better stories. This was a whole new step toward for Taichi, because even with the Douki interference, the preemptive attack, and the low blow, at the point Taichi won, it was a decisive victory over Tanahashi.

Match started with Taichi hitting a powerbomb while Tanahashi was doing his entrance pose, from there on, him and Douki worked over him, hurt him, and hope that it would be enough, but Tanahashi was resilient and made a comeback. Taichi then went for a striking battle, something that thanks to his feuds with Ishii, he has improved and surpased Tanahashi (which Tana has ever been particularly good at) and beat him in that department. Tanahashi being resiliant again, started to counter and land his greatest game, and hence Taichi's cheating, but Taichi still had an equal hand at the match, and at the end, it was Taichi's Lariats, Powerbombs, and Black Mephisto what put Tanahashi down.

I REALL REALLY HOPE that Tanahashi has a story about 'losing his power' because he feeds from the fans, and so when the fans are finally back, he will get his mojo back and win.

Post-match - Taichi attacked Tanahashi, Young Lions tried to save him, but Douki took them out, so out came Ibushi and had a face off with his second round opponent -- Taichi. Douki attacked Ibushi from behind and held him for Taichi for the belt shot. He did the same to Tanahashi for the sake of it. Taichi posed over both men's bodies.

Taichi cut a promo saying he will defeat both Ibushi and Tanahashi, and go on to defeat Naito.


This was a great show, best so far. We had a little bit of everything, tag match, comedy, grapplefuck, Strong Style, and a great psychology based match at the end, and aside from the SANADA match, these were all fantastic!

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