NJPW CUP NIGHT 3 RESULTS (3/8): Lansdell’s results and analysis of round 1 matches with Kidd vs Newman, Shingo vs Uemura, and more

by Chris Lansdell, PWTorch contributor


March 8, 2024

Announcers: Walker Stewart and Gino Gambino


Goto picked up the win over Gedo after a Shoto.

(2) TOMOAKI HONMA & EL PHANTASMO vs. TMDK (Mikey Nicholls & Zack Sabre Jr.)

Nicholls pinned Honma with the Mikey Bomb.


Yoh got the win with Direct Drive on Dick Togo.

(4) JUST FIVE GUYS (Douki & Taichi & Sanada) vs. HOUSE OF TORTURE (Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Yujiro Takahashi & Ren Narita)

Sanada tapped out Yujiro with Skull End.

(5) LOS INGOBERNABLES DE JAPON (Bushi & Hiromu Takahashi & Yota Tsuji & Tetsuta Naito) vs. UNITED EMPIRE (Francesco Akira & TJP & Great-O-Khan & Jeff Cobb)

Cobb pinned Bushi following a Tour of the Islands.

(6) BOLTIN OLEG vs. HIKULEO – New Japan Cup first-round match
I would normally consider this to be a foregone conclusion as Oleg is technically still a Young Lion, but he has been fairly well-protected recently. Before the match, an exchange student from Kazakhstan (which is where Oleg is from) gifted Ichiban Meat Boy with a bouquet of encouragement. Very sweet.

The two big men exchanged headlocks early, then ran into each other a lot. Oleg ran right over Hikuleo and hit a running splash for a two-count. Hikuleo was able to fight back with some loud right hands and a big boot. A falling powerslam got another two-count. Hikuleo took too long to follow up, and Oleg fired in some right hands. Hikuleo blocked Oleg’s slam attempt and dropped him with a slam of his own. A leaping elbow drop got another two-count.

Hikuleo locked in a rear chinlock, Oleg was able to make the ropes for the break. They exchanged knife-edge chops, an exchange which Hikuleo won. He whipped Oleg to the corner, Oleg sidestepped a charge and tried for a German. Hikuleo blocked two attempts but got taken over with a smooth belly to belly suplex. Oleg locked in the Boston Crab, dragging Hikuleo back to the middle of the ring.

Hikuleo got the rope break, but Oleg stayed on top of him and tried a fireman’s carry. Hikuleo blocked and flattened Oleg with a clothesline. Surprise rollup by Oleg! 1…2…no! Hikuleo shook off the surprise and went for a vertical suplex…countered! Oleg tried for the German again…connected! 1…2…no! Very near fall. Oleg managed to lift Hikuleo for a fireman’s carry but Hikuleo escaped out the back and hit the snap powerslam! Godsend! 1…2…3!

WINNER: Hikuleo via pinfall in 9:00. (***)
(Lansdell’s Analysis: It started basic and looked like it would stay that way, but it really picked up in the finishing sequence as we got a rare chance to see what Oleg can do in a singles match. He looked very good in there with a big man. Hikuleo will never be able to carry an opponent like a Naito or Tanahashi can, but this worked well. Hikuleo has Evil in round 2.)

(7) GABE KIDD vs. CALLUM NEWMAN – New Japan Cup first-round match
United Empire formed a guard of honour for Newman, which was really nice to see. They then left him to fend for himself, which will in no way come back to bite them I am sure.

Newman went for a schoolboy right away for a two-count. Kidd flattened him with a tackle but Newman bounced up right into a slap to the face. Newman ducked an attack and tried for the Os-cutter, Kidd blocked it and…reversals happened…and stuff. Wow. That was quick. Kidd blistered the chest of Newman with a chop, then ran into a boot. Newman ducked under a pair of attacks and hit a running boot to send Kidd to the outside.

Newman followed Kidd to the floor and whipped him into the barricade. He followed up with a dropkick. From the apron Newman hit a running PK, then a moonsault off the corner post…oh wow directly into a European uppercut from Kidd. That looked beautiful. Kidd dragged Newman into the fans, throwing him into a row of chairs. Kidd detached a railing and threw it into Newman. They went back to ringside, where Kidd threw Newman into the post.

Back inside the ring, Kidd toyed with Newman. Newman fired up and hit a succession of rapid forearms, but he was dumped unceremoniously to the floor by Kidd. Newman threw himself back into the ring at the count of 19…only to get decked by a Kidd right hand. Kidd once again toyed with Newman, laying in chops and trash talking. Newman gritted his teeth and kept getting back up. He reversed a chinlock into a schoolboy for a two-count, then hit an upkick and a suplex to take control.

Kidd rolled to the floor, but Newman followed him with a pair of topes. From the top…Newman with a flying forearm to the back of the head. He hit a series of running PKs for another two-count. His attempted tornado kick was blocked, then Kidd dropkicked his leg out of his leg. A back suplex got a two-count for Kidd. He tried for a piledriver but Newman put the brakes on. They ran the ropes and Newman hit a Spanish Fly out of nowhere.

Newman went to the top after what seemed like a long break to catch his breath. Kidd recovered and charged at Newman, who jumped over him. Superkick by Newman! Stalling dropkick in the corner! Os-cutter…blocked again by Kidd! Newman went for a suplex, Kidd escaped out the back, Newman ran the ropes and hit a VERY high flip kick. Kidd bounced right back up but ran into a dragon suplex! He bounced up again! Another kick to the head by Newman got a very near fall.

Newman again went to the top, his shooting star press got nothing but canvas. Lariat by Kidd! Brainbuster! 1…2…Newman kicked out! Piledriver! 1…2…3!

WINNER: Gabe Kidd via pinfall in 14:00. (***1/2)
(Lansdell’s Analysis: Newman really showed me something here, proving he isn’t just high spots. I had some doubts over his ability to slot right in at heavyweight, but he looked at home. He is bigger than I thought, and his frame will still fill out. There’s a lot of promise in that young lad. That said, Kidd also showed that he can wrestle as a cerebral heel and not just a thug. He kayfabe wrestled a smart match, countering the high-flying and the pace with well-placed shots. More of that from Kidd would be great, thanks. He also did not once utter his overused catchphrase, which is a welcome sign. I have enjoyed his physicality but he was in danger of becoming too one-note, and this match showed more range than we have seen from him before.)

(8) SHINGO TAKAGI vs. YUYA UEMURA – New Japan Cup first-round match
Shingo was wrestling in his hometown, where he has lost before in the New Japan Cup.

They exchanged arm wringers early. Uemura wrestled circles around Shingo before taking him down with a snap mare, then again with an arm drag. Shingo tried to return the favour, but Uemura held on and took Shingo over as well. Shingo decided to switch to power instead and ran over Uemura with a shoulder tackle, but then ran into a hip toss and an arm drag. Shingo tried to fight back with forearms, but Uemura snapped back Shingo’s arm.

Uemura continued the assault on the arm of Shingo, jacking it over his own shoulder. Shingo countered a rear chinlock by falling backwards onto Uemura. He took Uemura down with a left-arm lariat, and both men went to the outside.Shingo ran Uemura into the barricades, then dropped him jaw-first on the apron. He rolled Uemura back inside and buried a knee into his gut, then ran him over again with a tackle. A vertical suplex got a two-count.

Shingo locked in an STF in the middle of the ring. He transitioned into a Fujiwara armbar, but Uemura made the ropes. Shingo whipped Uemura to the corner, but he ran up the ropes and came off the second rope with a crossbody. Both men were down Uemura hit a pair of arm drags and a crisp dropkick, and again both men stayed down. Uemura kipped up and hit a running double-hand chop followed by a back suplex for a two-count.

Uemura countered a whip with a shoulder throw, then attacked the arm of Shingo again. A cover got a two-count, and off the kickout Uemura went right back to the arm. He managed to get a kimmura, but Shingo was too close to the ropes. Shingo blocked a whip to the corner, then shrugged off some Uemura strikes. He rolled out of another arm wringer and dropped Uemura with a DDT. Shingo absolutely leathered Uemura in the corner with a lariat, then positioned him for a superplex. Uemura went after the arm to block the move, but Shingo fought it off and hit it anyway. It’s Takagi Time!

Shingo went for Made in Japan, but Uemura fought it off. They exchanged strikes mid-ring, Shingo got the better of the exchange but then ran into a German suplex and a bridging dragon suplex for a near fall. A stalling dropkick and a big uranage suplex got another two-count for Uemura. Shingo fought off the deadbolt attempt and countered with an overhead belly to belly of his own. Pumping bomber! Made in Japan! 1…2…no!

Again, both men were down. Shingo was first to his feet, but Uemura fought off the Last of the Dragon attempt. At the 20-minute mark, Uemura found the energy for a head kick and a huracanrana into the armbar! Shingo fought but Uemura rolled him back into the middle of the ring! Shingo finally made it to the ropes to break the hold.

Uemura absorbed a stiff forearm from Shingo and headbutted him, but the Deadbolt attempt was blocked. Pele kick by Uemura! Forearm to the back of the head by Shingo! Shingo ran for the pumping bomber, Uemura tried to counter with a huracanrana counter but Shingo countered THAT with a powerbomb. A pumping bomber connected for a very near fall. Last of the Dragon! Shingo got him!

WINNER: Shingo Takagi via pinfall in 23:00. (****1/4)
(Lansdell’s Analysis: Shingo is always capable of that sort of match, and Uemura is proving that he can be too. He had a bit of a reputation for being dull and only able to wrestle the basics, but he showed against Tsuji and here that he has a lot more range. In that way he is similar to Tanahashi in fact. Shingo will face Gabe Kidd in round two, which will be a meaty old battle of strong strikes.)

Final thoughts: A good wrestling show builds in momentum, hopefully leading to the match of the night being the main event. In North America the build tends to be in terms of importance of the story, but in Japan that build should be match quality. They delivered in spades here. All three Cup matches were very good, leading to an excellent main event. You’ll notice the lack of House of Torture members in any of those matches. Coincidence? I think not! Kidd and Shingo will be an excellent match, and I could see an upset there.

You can contact me at lansdellicious@gmail.com or on Twitter @lansdellicious . Thanks for joining us!

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