3/13 NEW JAPAN CUP RESULTS: Heydorn’s results & analysis of second round matches Kenta vs. Minoru Suzuki, Goto vs. Takagi, more

BY ZACK HEYDORN, PWTORCH ASSISTANT EDITOR

PHOTO CREDIT: New Japan Pro Wrestling

SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...

NEW JAPAN CUP REPORT – NIGHT SEVEN
MARCH 13, 2021
NAGOYA AICHI, JAPAN
AIRED LIVE ON NJPWWORLD.COM

(1) TORU YANO, TOMOHIRO ISHII, & YOSHI-HASHI vs. GABRIEL KIDD, DAVID FINLAY, & YOTA TSUJI

The team of Yano, Ishii, and Yoshi-Hashi took control of the match early and the chop was the weapon of choice. Ishii locked in a submission a little long which prompted Kidd to break the move with a stiff kick. Ishii and Kid had a staredown before the match continued. The action was back and forth from that point forward until Yoshi-Hashi hit a neckbreaker on Kidd. Yoshi-Hashi went for the pin after, but Kidd kicked out at two. Right after the kick out, Yoshi-Hashi put Kidd in modified stretch submission. Both members of his team tried to crawl into the ring to break it, but they were held back by Yano and Ishii. In the end, Kidd tapped out and submitted.

WINNER: Yano, Ishii, & Yoshi-Hashi via submission

-After the match, Yoshi-Hashi and David Finlay confronted each other in the ring. They both sat on the mat face to face and talked trash before leaving peacefully.

(Heydorn’s Analysis: Your standard six-man tag team match in almost every way. The action was fine and the post-match stuff was intriguing enough. A fine start to the show.)

(2) WILL OSPREAY, JEFF COBB, & GREAT-O-KHAN vs. ZACK SABRE JR, TAICHI, & DOUKI

Cobb and Taichi had a really nice exchange near the start of the match. Taichi got the upper hand of that and then both tagged out to their partners. Ospreay and Zack Sabre Jr proceeded to have a very fun exchange in which each guy attempted to exert their will and style over the other. Sabre Jr. won that battle and took momentum. In the end, Jeff Cobb hit Douki with a suplex and covered, but only got a two count. O-Khan tagged in and tried for a choke slam, but Douki reversed it. Douki then tried for a springboard move, but O-Khan caught him and the choke slam for the 1,2,3 win.

WINNER: Ospreay, Cobb, & O-Khan via pinfall

-After the match, Ospreay and Sabre Jr. had a few words before Sabre Jr. appeared to leave. He then came back and tried to attack, but Ospreay was ready. Ospreay tried for a high-flying move, but Sabre Jr. countered it into a quick submission before leaving.

(Heydorn’s Analysis: Also fine. The Ospreay and Zack Sabre Jr. stuff was the highlight and they set a decent table for Sabre Jr. vs. Ospreay as well.)

(3) TETSUYA NAITO, SANADA, & BUSHI vs. KAZUCHIKA OKADA, YUJI NAGATA, & SHO

Sanada and Nagata started things off and exchanged holds until Sanada got the full one-up with an overhead suplex. Eventually, Naito and Okada got in there together and Naito took over with a flurry of strikes. Naito tried to capitalize with a running move in the corner, but Okada dodged it and crushed Naito with a DDT. From there, both men exchanged strikes until Okada locked in the Money Clip for a few seconds. Naito broke free, but Okada dropped him with his patented dropkick. After, Sanada and Nagata resumed their earlier battle with a flurry of forearm shots. Later in the match, Naito’s team held control of the match and hit tandem dropkicks on Sho. Sho kicked out and then took momentum back over Sanada. In the end, Sanada was able to lock in Skull End on Sho for the submission win.

WINNER: Naito, Sanada, & Bushi via submission

(Heydorn’s Analysis: I could watch Okada and Naito wrestle all day long. Great chemistry and two pros who are supremely confident in what their job is.) 

(4) JAY WHITE, BAD LUCK FALE, & EVIL vs. HIROSHI TANAHASHI, JUICE ROBINSON, & TOA HENARE

Jay White and Hiroshi Tanahashi both showed off their abs to the audience before the match began. From there, the bell rang and those men locked up in the middle of the ring. The rest of the match saw lots of usual Bullet Club shenanigans. In one spot, Fale and Evil used the ring post to ground and slow Robinson. In the end, Jay White hit Henare with an illegal half dragon suplex. He then pushed Henare at Evil who connected with Everything Is Evil for the 1, 2, 3 win.

WINNER: White, Fale, & Evil via pinfall

-After the match, White and Tanahashi had their staredown before their respective teams left.

(Heydorn’s Analysis: Another standard tag team match here that existed to but a little fire behind upcoming New Japan Cup matches. To that end, it was successful.)

(5) KENTA vs. MINORU SUZUKI – New Japan Cup 2nd Round Match

Kenta made his entrance first. As Suzuki did, Kenta laid down in the ring and began reading a newspaper. Once Suzuki got to the ring, Kenta still read and ignored his opponent. Eventually, he got to his feet and held the paper. Suzuki forcefully removed it and the match began. Kenta tried to avoid fighting and read the newspaper again. This time Suzuki snatched it away and sat down with it himself in the middle of the ring. Finally, Kenta got in and the action truly began. The early story of the match was Kenta taunting Suzuki and then getting the better of him each time he responded. Eventually, he went too far and caught a beating on the outside of the ring. With the referee turned away, Kenta secured momentum back after hitting Suzuki in the face with a boot while Suzuki was holding a steel chair. After, Kenta laid in some chair shots of his own before rolling Suzuki into the ring and continuing the offense. Suzuki had moments of offense, but each were squashed by Kenta. Finally, Suzuki landed a huge strike that served as the momentum shifter. Suzuki ran with the match and decimated Kenta with loads of strikes. He hit him with a DDT too and covered, but only would get a two count. From there, the action was back in forth in nature with Suzuki countering a GTS into a leg submission. In the end, both men stood toe to toe in the ring and crushed each other with furious slaps to the face. They each exchanged and when it looked like Suzuki was putting the final touches on victory with the dominant slaps, Kenta countered one into the GTS and covered for the win.

WINNER: Kenta via submission

(Heydorn’s Analysis: This was a war. The setup was very unique and a Suzuki match starting with a newspaper is quite the sight. The match itself featured incredibly stiff action that was mostly rooted in strikes. Kenta hung with Suzuki throughout that and looked very credible while eating the slaps at the end. Taking that punishment and then winning was as definitive a win as you can get. ***3/4)

(6) SHINGO TAKAGI vs. HIROOKI GOTO – New Japan Cup 2nd Round Match

Both men tied up to start the match and then did a test of strength routine that was rooted in shoulder tackles. When neither man could get each other down, they turned their attention to exchanging strikes in the middle of the ring. They then went back to the shoulder tackles with Takagi getting the upper hand and knocking down Goto. Takagi owned the momentum from there and used it at a very fast paced. During the furious speed, Goto rolled up Takagi and secured a quick two-count pin to slow things down. Out of the pin, Goto rolled out of the ring. Shingo followed and beat up Goto around the ring. The beating included a DDT on the outside mats. From there, Takagi rolled Goto back into the ring and locked in a submission. Eventually, Takagi broke the old and tried to whip Goto into the ropes. He succeeded, but Goto countered his move into a hip toss. That offense was short-lived as Takagi quickly took over the match again. Takagi went for a move on the apron, but Goto countered and sent Takagi crashing down on the hardest part of the ring. Goto owned the momentum of the match from there and hit Takagi with his offense inside and outside of the ring. Takagi slowed that momentum an reversed his fortunes after connecting with a shoulder tackle that countered Goto. Out of that, he hit Goto with a suplex and then covered, but only got a two count. Out of the pin, Takagi attempted a back slide pin, but Goto countered it into a brainbuster. The pace of the action built from there with both guys getting their offense in. From there, both Takagi and Goto exchanged a run of double clothesline and withstood them. After the six one, both crumpled to the mat. After, both men countered each other’s offense until Goto connected with the Ushigoroshi and covered, but only got a two count. Out of the pin, Takagi hit his Last of the Dragon and covered, but got a two count. Out of that, both men exchanged more offense until Goto landed the GTW. Shingo kicked out of the pin after it, but that changed the direction of the match. In the end, Takagi connected with a massive lariat and covered, but got a two count. After, he hit Last of the Dragon again before getting the 1, 2, 3, win.

WINNER: Takagi via pinfall

(Heydorn’s Analysis: This was tremendous. The pace was wild throughout and the counters that both men did are tough to top. This had psychology in it, but served more as a battle of physical wits. That’s two big wins for Takagi. We’ll see if that means anything significant down the road. ****1/2)


CATCH-UP: 3/11 NEW JAPAN CUP RESULTS: Wells’s results & analysis of second round matches Jeff Cobb vs. Evil, Toru Yano vs. Great O-Khan

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