SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
NEW JAPAN CUP REPORT
MARCH 16, 2021
KORAKU, TOKYO, JAPAN
AIRED LIVE ON NJPWWORLD.COM
(1) YUJI NAGATA & SATOSHI KOJIMA & HIROYOSHI TENZAN vs. GABRIEL KIDD & YUYA UEMURA & YOTA TSUJI
The Young Lions attacked the veterans to start the match, with Yuya Uemura & Yota Tsuji teaming up on Hiroyoshi Tenzan. It was then just Uemura and Tenzan, with the veteran getting the advantage on his young opponent. Yuji Nagata tagged in and worked on the left arm of Uemura, he then tagged in Satoshi Kojima who continue the beatdown. Kojima and Uemura traded forearms, Uemura was able to land a drop kick and get the tag to Tsuji. Kojima then chopped Tsuji over and over again.
Tsuji was able to get a pinning attempt, but Kojima hit a cutter and tagged in Nagata, who ate a spear by Tsuji. Gabriel Kidd was then tagged in and he was able to get some offense in on Nagata. The three young lions then teamed up on Nagata, Kidd was able to get a near fall that was broken up by Tenzan. Kidd had another near fall on Nagata, who was then able to counter with a kick to the head and a cross face on Kidd for the submission.
WINNER: Yuji Nagata & Satoshi Kojima & Hiroyoshi Tenzan in 9:52
(2) TOA HENARE & JUICE ROBINSON & DAVID FINLAY vs. CHASE OWENS & BAD LUCK FALE & JAY WHITE
Jay White faced off against David Findlay, White started by flexing for the crowd. The two then battled with mutual head locks, and strikes. Juice Robinson was tagged in, Findlay and he teamed up for a group move on White. Chase Owens came in to get hit, Bad Luck Fale also entered and he took out Juice and Findlay. White, the legal man, reemerged to fight Juice in the ring. He was able to get Juice in his teams corner, and The Bullet Club members teamed up to tag in and out while working on Robinson.
Robinson was able to get the hot tag to David Findlay, who was able to clear out Bullet Club Members and get one-on-one with Jay White. After a flurry of moves, White was able to hit a DDT on Findlay and take control once more. Toa Henare was finally tagged in, he and Fale battled; with Toa getting the advantage. All six men were battling and it ended up with Owens and Fale taking out Henare. Fale hit a choke slam for the pinfall win.
WINNER: Chase Owens & Bad Luck Fale & Jay White in 10:45
(3) BUSHI & SANADA vs. JEFF COBB & WILL OSPREAY
Sanada and Will Ospreay started the match, Ospreay pleaded with Sanada not to hit him in the face as his nose was broken by Zack Sabre Jr. Sanada and Ospreay then battled with mat moves and holds, Sanada appeared to make an effort to avoid hitting Ospreay in the face. Bushi was tagged in, Ospreay was able to send him outside the ring. He then set his sights on Sanada and threw him into a barrier and punched Sanada. Ospreay said only his nose was important.
Jeff Cobb was then tagged in and he continued the beat down on Bushi. Cobb and Ospreay then traded tags as they teamed up on the beaten Bushi. Sanada and Bushi were able to team up against Cobb, Bushi got a near fall, but Ospreay was bale to break it up. Sanada and Ospreay faced off again, with Sanada grabbing the nose of Ospreay, and taking him out for a moment as a result. Cobb and Bushi then battled once more, with each man getting near falls. Cobb hit the Tour of the Islands for the pinfall win.
WINNER: Jeff Cobb & Will Ospreay in 8:34
(4) TORU YANO vs. EVIL – QUARTER-FINAL MATCH
Toru Yano started yelling at Evil and ran out of the ring, he left the barricaded area and the 20 count began. Yano rolled in at 19, he was then thrown out and Dick Togo beat him up a bit and threw him back in. Evil got Yano back to the outside and slammed him into the barricade. Back in the ring Evil had rest holds and strikes on Yano, he then tried to pin Yano three times to no avail. Evil did not stop however, he got Yano on his feet and threw him into the corner, he then worked Yano’s arm.
Yano was able to counter Evil and threw him into the corner, Yano as able to take off the corner pad and he suplexed Evil. Both men were laying in the ring after this toss. Yano was able to throw Evil into the exposed turnbuckle and get a near fall. He then got Evil to the outside and on the outside he was able to take out Dick Togo and choke out Evil with togo’s wire. Yano then threw Evil under the ring as the 20 count was at 9. The lights went out at 18 and when the lights came back on, Evil was behind Yano and he hit his finisher for the pinfall.
WINNER: Evil in 7:57 (*1/4)
(Sage’s Analysis: This was a pretty typical Yano match in a tournament or G1 setting. His character always getting to this stage or getting a few points in the G1 is always weird to me. The one suplex he hit on Evil left him laying for 30 seconds? He is just always the dark sheep in these things. Evil winning the way he did felt very North American to me in presentation.)
(5) SHINGO TAKAGI vs. KENTA – QUARTER-FINAL MATCH
Kenta started the match by running out of the ring, it took him over 90 seconds to get back in. Once the match proper started Shingo Takagi and Kenta traded head locks and forearms. Shingo then offered his chest up for Kenta kicks, he absorbed those and threw Kenta out of the ring. Kenta got back in and was thrown around some more, Kenta rolled out of the ring himself to avoid more punishment. On the outside Shingo smashed Kenta’s head on the apron before throwing him back in the ring.
Kenta rolled out as soon as Shingo rolled in, Kenta had the ringside bell and hit Shingo in the head with the bell. Kenta then went on the attack, throwing Takagi into the barriers at ringside. Kenta then hit a DDT on the floor near the announce table. Shingo Takagi was able to beat the 20 count by getting in the ring at the 18 count, as soon as he got into the ring Kenta stomped him and hit basic offense. Kenta followed up his kicks and stomps with head locks and neck twists. After the rest holds Kenta kicked Shingo Takagi and then had his head locked in between his legs. Shingo was able to break this hold with a rope break.
After more minutes of offense Shingo was able to counter and get the advantage back. The two men battled back and forth, until Kenta hit a DDT off the top and was then able to lock in a cross face, but Shingo broke ether hold again with a rope break. The men then traded forearms, each offering free shots as a masculine flex. Kenta won the exchange, and went for a stomp, but Takagi rolled and hit a DDT. Kenta made a comeback with a standing suplex, he followed this up with a double stomp, which led to a near fall.
Takagi was able to counter a hold and got wrist control, he tried to get his pump handle slam. But, Kenta was able to reverse that into the cross-face submission that Takagi had a hard time breaking. The men then traded forearms, Kenta won this long exchange with a knee to the head. Kenta then hit a running knee on a kneeling Takagi. This led to a near fall. Kenta then lowered his knee brace.
Takagi was able to hit a Death Valley driver to cut off Kenta’s assault. He followed that up with a huge clothesline for a near fall. Shingo then hit his finisher for the pinfall win.
WINNER: Shingo Takagi in 23:28 (***1/2)
(Sage’s Analysis: This match started out really slow, with Kenta working his villain card hard by rolling in and out of the ring. The middle of the match was slow as Kenta dominated the match in a slow methodically way. The psychology of trying to go for the cross face over and over was good. The end of the match was really good. The last five minutes were about as good as you could ask for.)
FINAL THOUGHTS: This was a pretty below-average show. It is the tenth show and there is a lot to be said about the overall quality of this tournament so far. But, this was not an installment to write home about.