RADICAN’S NJPW Cup 2020 Day 3 report: Ibushi vs. Sabre, Tanahashi vs. Taichi tournament action

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

Kota Ibushi (art credit Matt Charlton & Sam Gardiner © PWTorch)


JUNE 22,2020

(1) Suzuki Gun (Douki & Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Minoru Suzuki) beat Yuji Nagata & Gabriel Kidd & Yota Tsuji & Yuya Uemura in 10:30 in a 8 Man Tag match. Desperado pinned Tsuji with the Pinche Loco. This was a basic tag match. (**)

(2) Sanada beat Ryusuke Taguichi in 15:45 in a NJPW Cup 2020 First Round match. They did some comedy early and this was really good once it got serious. Taguchi was able to counter the Skull End and be really worked the ankle lock on Sanada. Taguchi got a bunch of near falls with various pinning combinations, but it was Sanada getting a win after blocking a hip attack with his knee and then he got an O’Conner Bridge for the win. (***1/2)

(3) Sho beat Shingo Takagi in 17:00 in a NJPW Cup 2020 First Round match. This was an excellent match that was hampered by the lack of a crowd. Sho worked over Takagi’s arm throughout the match. He had a Kimura late that he transitioned into a cross arm piledriver when Shingo tried to escape. Sho then hit the Shock Arrow for the win. (***3/4)

(4) Kota Ibushi bear Zack Sabre Jr. in 15:15 in a NJPW Cup 2020 First Round match. Sabre blocked a dive during the early going and dragged Ibushi to the floor and worked over his leg. Sabre had the advantage almost the entire match, but he ran right into a V Trigger and then the Kamigoye finished Sabre off. (***3/4)

(5) Taichi beat Hiroshi Tanahashi in 22:00 in a NJPW Cup 2020 First Round match. Taichi powerbombed Tanahashi off the turnbuckles while he was posing during his entrance. The ref gave Tanahashi time to recover. The bell rang and Taichi kicked Tanahashi right in the head. Douki came out with the ref distracted and went to down on Tanahashi. Taichi dominated thanks to his cheating ways and some help front the outside. Tanahashi finally mounted a comeback and hit a Slingblade after having several other attempts blocked previously in the match. Tanahashi looked to be set to finish off Taichi with a High Fly Flow, but Douki got in the way. Taichi hit a low blow and got a Gedo Clutch for a near fall. Taichi held the upper hand down the stretch. Tanahashi blocked Black Mephisto once, but he couldn’t block it a second time down the stretch and Taichi hit it for the win.

Kelly said Tanahashi’s time at the top of the card might be coming to an end. Taich attacked Tanahashi after the match was over. Ibushi made the save and then went face to face with Taichi. Douki attacked Ibushi from behind and they put the boots to him. Taichi then hit Ibushi with the tag title. They put Ibushi on top of Tanahashi and then he posed with his boot on Ibushi’s chest. He got on the mic and said he’d win the NJPW cup and he would hold everything. This match was fine, but it was long and hurt by the lack of a crowd. (***)

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

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