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NEW JAPAN CUP 2021
MARCH 14, 2021
HYOGO, JAPAN AT BAYCOM GYMNASIUM
AIRED LIVE ON NJPW WORLD
(1) YUYA UEMURA & YOTA TSUJI & DAVID FINDLAY vs. TORU YANO & TOMOHIRO ISHII & YOSHI-HASHI
-Yoshi-Hashi and David Findlay started the match for their respective teams, both started with traditional holds, mat wrestling, and rope running. Yuya Uemura then tagged himself in as Findlay was thrown into his teams corner, Toru Yano was tagged in and ran the ropes and worked over the young lion. Yota Tsuji joined in to defend Uemura and he was beat up by Yano as well. Tomohiro Ishii was then tagged in, he started to work strong style with Uemura.
Yoshi-Hashi tagged din and continued the strong style battle with Uemura. Uemura was able to hit a six foot drop kick, and was able to tag in Findlay. Eventually Ishii and Tsuji joined the fray and they traded traditional moves and suplexes. Uemura then came in and took out Yano, then he and Tsuji teamed up on Ishii. Yoshi-Hashi and Findlay then reemerged, which saved Ishii from the double attack. Ishii and Tsuji were again alone in the ring. Ishii was able to take out Tsuji and get the pinfall.
WINNER: Toru Yano & Tomohiro Ishii & Yoshi-Hashi in 10:59
(Sage’s Analysis: This was a fun opening match. Uemura and Tsuji were allowed to get a ton of offense in which was a nice change of pace for these type of matches)
(2) DOUKI & TAICHI & MINORU SUZUKI vs. CHASE OWENS & BAD LUCK FALE & KENTA
-The match started with an all out brawl between all six men. Kenta and Minoru Suzuki got the attention o fetch camera’s at ringside to start. Bad Luck Fale and Taichi ended up being the the first men to battle in the ring, Douki attacked Fale from the back to take him out. Eventually Team Bullet Club was able to get it down to Taichi and Fale again. Kenta and Suzuki were tagged in, they battled with forearms and other stiff strikes. Kenta was able to hit a neck breaker and take in Chase Owens, he taunted Suzuki and paid for that.
Douki tagged in and battled with Owens. Douki looked like he was gonna tap out Owens, but Fale came in a did an elbow drop to break that up. After that Owens was able to hit his finisher to get the pin on Douki.
WINNER: Chase Owens & Bad Luck Fale & Kenta in 7:31
(Sage’s Analysis: This was a standard multi man match. Kenta and Suzuki battled post match, so setting their next match was a very exciting thing to occur as part of this match.)
(3) SHO & KAZUCHIKA OKADA & HIROOKI GOTO vs. BUSHI & TETSUYA NAITO & SHINGO TAKAGI
Hirooki Goto and Shingo Takagi started that match, quickly Sho and Kazuchika Okada entered and took out Bushi and Tetsuya Naito to make it a three-on-one affair. Soon after, Bushi and Naito did the same to team Chaos. Team LIJ then teamed up and tagged in and out, working over Goto.
After 4 minutes of in-ring time Goto was able to make his first tag to Okada, Naito was able to to get tagged in at the same time. Okada got the best of Naito to start, hitting a fantastic DDT. Naito was able to come back with a back breaker and drop kick, and a kick in the corner of the ring. Naito then hit a swinging neck-breaker, he then tagged in Bushi.
Okada then tagged in Sho, he and Bushi battled in the ring. Team LIJ triple teamed on Sho and got a near fall that was broken up by team Chaos. It was then Sho and Bushi one-on-one again. Sho got a near fall, then another that was broken up by Naito. Sho then got a third near fall. After this third near fall, Sho hit a package pile driver on Bushi and finally got the fall.
WINNER: Sho & Kazuchika Okada & Hirooki Goto in 9:58
(Sage’s Analysis: Another textbook New Japan tag match. Three people got wins so far tonight that I would not have guess going into the show. With To a Henare get the win in the next match?)
(4) TOA HENARE & JUICE ROBINSON & HIROSHI TANAHASHI vs. YUJIRO TAKAHASHI & EVIL & JAY WHITE
-Jay White and Hiroshi Tanahashi started the match, they were locked in a collar and elbow tie up for over 30 seconds. They then locked up again in the ropes, with each man switching positions several times. To a Henare was tagged in and he and Tanahashi teamed up to cut down White. Evil tripped Henare, as a result White was able to take control once more. White beat up Henare outside the ring, and then flexed in the ring.
Yujiro Takahashi was tagged in and continued working on Toa Henare. Evil was then tagged in, Henare and he traded shots, with the fresh Evil winning the exchange. Henare was able to hit a suplex and tag in Juice Robinson, he hit some fast moves on Evil. Evil put the ref in front of Robinson to distract him and Evil then kicked Robinson below the belt. White and Tanahashi were once again in the ring. Jay White hit the Blade Runner and got a near fall on Tanahashi, Yujiro Takahashi and Evil came in and teamed dup on Tanahashi. Juice made the save, but Jay White took him out, who was taken out b Henare, then Yujiro did the same. Yujiro Takahashi then got a near fall on Tanahashi. Tana then hit a frog splash for the win on Yujiro.
WINNER: Toa Jenare & Juice Robinson & Hiroshi Tanahashi in 13:43
(Sage’s Analysis: This match went a little long for me. I would save 8-10 minutes is ideal for these.)
(5) YUJI NAGATA vs. SANADA (NEW JAPAN CUP 2ND ROUND MATCH)
-Yuji Nagata and Sanada started by feeling each other out, with tests of strength and standing holds. Sanada sold like he was surprised at the strength of Nagata to sell that lack of high flying moves to start. Eventually Sanada got Nagata outside that ring. Sanada hit a pile driver on the floor.
Back in the ring, Sanada hit a fall away slam on Nagata. This was followed up with a head lock and other holds. The two men then traded forearms, with Nagata getting the advantage here. Nagata then hit kicks and suplexes on Sanada. this was followed up by a hurricanrana, drop kick, and toss to the outside by Sanada. Back in the ring, Sanada did a springboard drop kick, Nagata his a fall away slam, Sanada then hit a move and got a near fall.
Sanada missed a moonsault as Nagata rolled out of the way. Now in control, Nagata hit a running knee and put Sanada seated on the top rope. Nagata hit a fall away slam off the top, he followed that up with a head kick which led to a near fall. Sanada dodged the kick and then the men traded submission attempts, with Sanada needing to use the ropes to break the hold. Nagata then hit a neck breaker of the top rope to follow up his submission.
The men then traded suplex attempts, this led to Sanada getting Nagata into a submission hold. Nagata was able to reverse the hold, forcing Sanada to rope break the hold. They then traded forearms with Nagata ending the exchange with a spinning kick to the head. Sanada then again had the same submission attempt locked in. Sanada broke the hold and hit a moonsault for the pinfall win.
WINNER: Sanada in 18:14 (**3/4)
(Sage’s Analysis: This match would look better if you had never seen a Sanada match before. I do think this match did a good job making Nagata look as good as possible, but it was more of a young lion move set based on Nagata’s limitations. But, the respect of this legend by Sanada made this match better for me then if I were to watch this in a vacuum.)
(6) ZACK SABRE JR. vs. WILL OSPREAY (NEW JAPAN CUP 2ND ROUND MATCH)
-This match started fast and furious, with Ospreay hitting a top rope dive in the first 15 seconds. The match ended up back in the ring, Ospreay rolled up Zack Sabre Jr. and got a near fall with the first 45 seconds. ZSJ then counted a move when he was in the corner and slowed the pace of the match down. He began to work hand and wrist holds on Will Ospreay. In the middle of the ring the men traded holds and pinning attempts, with Ospreay shooting off the ropes and hitting a drop kick.
The match moved to the outside where Sabre was thrown into the barricade and hit with chops and forearms. Sabre was then placed on the apron, where Ospreay did a double stomp on his upper back, sending him the floor once more. The match ended up back in the ring where Ospreay had his knee on the head of ZSJ in the corner. Ospreay then hit kicks, standing stomps, and finished with a back breaker.
Sabre Jr. rolled out of the ring, Ospreay rested in the ring while smiling. Sabre got back in the ring and ate several cops, until he ended up on the mat once more. Once Sabre stood up he made a comeback with European uppercuts, but Ospreay grabbed his foot and locked him up in a submission move. Sabre was able to finally get a proper comeback and he began working the right arm of Ospreay.
ZSJ then hit running European uppercuts and locked in a headlock with his legs, which Ospreay had to break up with the ropes. Ospreay tried to hit the Oscutter, but was countered by Sabre. Both men where no selling the brutality of the match, then they traded chops and shoulder strikes. This ended with Ospreay getting a near fall on Sabre Jr.
Sabre was able to get more offense in on the right arm of Ospreay, Will tried to counterattack with that same arm. This led to selling of that arm and a comeback by ZSJ. After an exchange both men were laying on the mat. When they got to their feet they traded blows, with Ospreay hitting a spinning heel kick. After this Sabre Jr. was put in the corner and kicked, Ospreay then hit an Oscutter for a near fall.
Sabre then hit some fancy wrestling moves and rolled up Ospreay for a near fall. Ospreay then went for a power bomb and ZSJ then put him in a submission hold, that lead to a power bomb by Sabre for a near fall. Sabre Jr. then locked in a submission, but Ospreay was able to stand and get himself and ZSJ seated on the top rope. From this position, Sabre Jr. hit a Spanish fly and locked in a submission on the right arm of Ospreay. Opreay was bleeding form his nose at this time as well, leaving the men smeared in blood.
Ospreay was able to get out of a crucifix hold with a pop up slam. Sabre then rolled up Ospreay, who coked out, got up, and kicked ZSJ in the head. Ospreay was able to finally able to hit The Storm Breaker for the pinfall win over Zack Sabre Jr.
WINNER: Will Ospreay in 21:23 (****1/4)
(Sage’s Analysis: This was an awesome match start to finish. Both men were able to bring out the best in each other, in area they are not as strong in. Ospreay had to be creative on the Mat, and Sabre Jr. had to hit more high flying moves than he usually does. This was a true main event and shows once again how special Ospreay is in the ring. Sign me up for him and Kota Ibushi in any capacity. The bloody nose of Ospreay also really sold that legit strikes of the match and made it really feel like a big time fight.)