RADICAN’S NJPW Cup 2020 Blog: Catching up on tournament action from days 5-8

By Sean Radican, PWTorch Columnist (Twitter: @SR_Torch)


DAYS 5-8

NJPW CUP 2020 Day 5 (June 24, 2020)

(2) Tomohiro Ishii beat Togi Makabe in 13:30 in a second round NJPW Cup 2020 match. Ishii no sold an overhead throw off the top from Makabe and then nailed him up top. Makabe then no sold a superplex only for Ishii to hit him with a clothesline for a near fall. Makabe went for the King Kong Knee Drop, but missed. Ishii eventually won with a vertical drop brain buster. Ishii advances to round of 8 on July 2. (****)

(5) Kazuchika Okada beat Yuji Nagata in 20:15 in a second round NJPW Cup 2020 match. Nagata stayed step for step with Okada for the most part during the first part of the match. He went for the Cobra Clutch at one point later in the match, but Nagata got the Nagata lock. Okada escapes and got the Cobra Clutch a short time later, but Nagata eventually turned it into an exploder. Nagata made the cover for a near fall. Okada eventually got the cobra clutch and and cranked on it and it was good for the win. This was excellent with Kevin Kelly’s storytelling on commentary and the action in the ring. (****)

NJPW 2020 Cup Day 6 (July 1, 2020)

(2) Sanada beat Sho in 14:45 in a 2020 NJPW Cup second round match. Sho began targeting Sanada’s arm during the early going. Sho went to get back into the ring and Sanada caught him with a drop kick to the floor to his knee. Sanada then began targeting Sho’s knee, but neither man could maintain the upper hand for long. Sho hit a powerbomb into a backbreaker at one point, but he couldn’t make the cover because he had hurt himself. They went back and forth trading counters until Sanada managed to lock in the Skull End for the win. Sanada moves on to the round of 8. (***1/2)

(4) Taichi (w/ZSJ) beat Kota Ibushi (w/Hiroshi Tanahashi) in 18:10 in a 2020 NJPW Cup Second round match. Tanahashi came out with Taichi to even the odds. ZSJ came out to be in Taichi’s corner. Sabre eventually distracted Ibushi and Taichi wiped him out from behind. Sabre went after Ibushi, but Tanahashi made the save on the floor. He brawled with Sabre. Kelly said on commentary the bell hadn’t been officially started. Then he said he wasn’t sure. Kelly said the ref was counting, so the bell must have been rang. They went to a big kick exchange and Taichi finally went down to mat after taking a big kick to the chest. They went back and forth with the kicks again a short time later and this time Taichi decked Ibushi with a jumping head kick.

Sabre got up on the apron, which allowed Taichi to hit a low blow and he got the Gedo Clutch for a near fall. Taichi sucked a Kamigoye attempt and hit a head kick. Ibushi went for the Kamigoye, but Taichi threw hook into the ref. Sabre wiped out Tanahashi and went after Ibushi. Tanahashi recovered and made the save. Ibushi went after Taichi, but he hit him work the Iron Glove. Taichi then hit Black Mephisto for the win. (***1/2)

Taichi has now beaten Tanahashi and Kota Ibushi so far in the tournament.

NJPW Cup 2020 Day 7 (July 2,2020)

(1) Hiromu Takahashi beat Tomohiro Ishii in 19:30 in a 2020 NJPW Cup Quarterfinal Round Match. Takahashi tried to strike with Ishii early and it didn’t go too well for him. Takahashi has a triangle, but Ishii ran him into the corner. Ishii hit a big clothesline and Takahashi screamed and pulled himself to his feet. He hit several strikes to Ishii’s neck, but Ishii shook them off and decked him with one blow. They went to a strike exchange later in the match and Takahashi decked Ishii with a short head butted. Takahashi hit the Time Bomb, but Ishii kicked out at the last second. Takahashi dropped Ishii right on his face out of the brain buster position a short time later. It looked like a face forward brain buster. He then finished him off with a Time Bomb variation. This was crazy. (****1/4)

(2) Evil beat Yoshi-Hashi in 2:00 in a 2020 NJPW Cup Quarterfinal Round match. Evil clipped Hashi’s leg while he was posing on the turnbuckles. He then placed Hashi’s leg inside a chair and hit it with another chair several times. Evil locked in a sharp shooter and Hashi eventually tapped.

Evil went after Hashi’s injured knee after the match was over before he was pulled away.

NJPW Cup 2020 Day 8 (July 3, 2020)

(3) Evil beat Sanada in 20:15 in a 2020 NJPW Cup Semifinal Round match. Sanada offered to shake hands, but Evil grabbed his hands and went for EIE. Sanada then countered it into Skull End and they came for a stalemate. Evil kept taking shortcuts and even used the ref to hit the Magic Killer on Sanada at one point. Sanada tried to flip over Evil out of the corner and landed right on his head. Sanada continued and a short time later he got the Skull End. He went for the Muta Moonsaukt, but Evil got his knees up.

Evil whipped Sanada into the ref and then hit a low blow that was clearly intentional. Evil set up Sanada and stomped him right in the nuts. Evil then hit EIE for the way. That’s not a good way to treat your tag team partner. Evil advances to the finals with the win. (***1/2)

(4) Kazuchika Okada beat Hiromu Takahashi in 27:00 in a 2020 NJPW Cup Semifinal Round match. Okada got the Cobra Clutch, but Takahashi was able to get to the ropes. Takahashi had the upper hand after huge shotgun drop kick that sent Okada through the guardrail gate. Okada and Takahashi began exchanging blows a short time later and Okada got the upper hand and hit a shotgun drop kick that sent Takahashi flying into the guardrail. Takahashi fired back and hit a sunset bomb to the floor. These boys are wild!

They went back and forth and Okada nailed Takahashi with a big drop kick and both men were down. Okada got the cobra clutch once again. Takahashi managed to lift him up and hit a DVD into the corner and both men were down again. Takahashi hit a Rainmaker a short time for a near fall. He then hit a Timebomb for a super close near fall. Wow! Okada hit a drop kick, but Takahashi no-sold it and hit a clothesline. Okada blocked another Timebomb attempt and hit a spinning tombstone. He got the Cobra Clutch a short time later. Takahashi got to his feet, but Okada hit a spinning Rainmaker. He then locked in the Cobra Clutch again. Takahashi faded and Okada held on and nailed him with a Rainmaker. Okada held on to Takahashi’s wrist and hit another Rainmaker. Okada then locked in the Cobra Clutch and it was good for the ref stoppage. It will be Okada and Evil in the finals. (****1/2)

Contact Sean at radicansean@pwtorch.com. Follow him on Twitter @SR_Torch

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