NJPW WORLD CUP 2024: NIGHT 7-8 RESULTS (3/13 & 3/15): Radican’s results & analysis of second round NJPW Cup action

By Sean Radican, PWTorch columnist


NJPW Cup 2024 Night 7 (March 13, 2024)

Announcers: Walker Stewart and Gino Gambino

(7) HIKULEO (w/Jado) vs. EVIL (w/Dick Togo)- NJPW Cup 2024 Second Round match

Stewart said if Hikuleo could win this match, he would likely get a future match against Evil for the NEVER Openweight Championship. Hikuleo turned his back and Evil attacked his injured leg with a chop block. Evil continued to go after Hikuleo’s leg.

Hikuleo fired back and hit a stalling suplex for a 2 count. Evil blocked a kick and shoved it right into the ref. He hit a chop block and HOT ran down to boos. Togo hit dick to dick contact and the ref recovered, but he only delivered a 2 count. Hikuleo hit a Tongan Twist on Evil. HOT dragged him to the floor, but he fended them off. He hit a TKO ok Evil, but Takahashi rang the ring bell.

Ten Narita laid out Hikuleo with a leg lariat. HOT all got into the ring, but ELP ran down and helped Hikuleo clear the ring. Hikuleo then helped him wipe out everyone with Moonsault From the Heavens. Evil and Hikuleo were left alone in the ring and Evil put away Hikuleo quixklt with EIE. Gross!

Winner: Evil at 14:32 to advance to the quarterfinal round of the NJPW Cup. (**)

(Radicans Analysis: More of the same from HOT. At least they varied the ref bumps somewhat.)

(8) SHINGO TAKAGI vs. GABE KIDD – NJPW Cup 2024 Second Round match

Kidd got the jump on Takagi, but Takagi eventually fired back on the outside after Kidd got on the house mic and taunted him. Takagi got the upper hand on the floor and tossed Kidd into the ring and the match officially began.

It wasn’t long before they went back to the floor. Kidd tossed a section of the guardrail at Takagi. He then tore the guardrail apart. Kidd set up a stack of chairs near the crowd and hit a piledriver into the chairs. Takagi ran into the ring to beat the 20 count and Kidd hit an immediate belly to back suplex for a near fall. Kidd choked Takagi with his boot in the corner. The ref kept admonishing him so Kidd eventually shoved the ref and he fell.

Takagi blocked a kick in the corner and mounted a comeback. Takagi fired up and the fans applauded. Kidd fired back and hit an exploder that left both men down. They built up to a fantastic exchange of headbutts and chops. Kidd finally decked Takagi with a clothesline, but he kicked out at one and hit a pumping bomber on Kidd! WOW!

Kidd hit a suplex and Takagi got up and hit a suplex. They went down and got up and both men connected with a clothesline at the same time and finally they were down and the fans applauded. Both men got up and Kidd grounded Takagi with a big slap to the face during a strike exchange.

They trade blows again and Takagi hit a back suplex and Made in Japan for a near fall. Stewart noted that Made in Japan was enough to beat Uemura in the previous round. The fans fired up again. Kidd raked Takagi’s eyes to escape a Last of the Dragon attempt. Kidd hit a bit lariat and then a tombstone for a great near fall.

Takagi blocked a lariat attempt and got a backslide for a near fall. As soon as Kidd out, Takagi hit an elbow to the back of his head. Takagi hit a series of elbows to Kidd’s head. He caught him with a Pumping Bomber. Finally, Takagi hit Last of the Dragon for the win.

WINNER: Shingo Takagi at 18:20 to advance to the quarterfinal round of the NJPW Cup.(****1/2)

(Radicans Analysis: This was a breakthrough performance for Kidd. He was amazing in this match going blow for blow with Takagi. These two went to war and the crowd went along for the ride with them.)

Takagi cut a promo after the match in Japanese. When they showed Takagi talking the venue had a lot of empty seats, but that fans that were there were into his promo. Takagi signaled that he wanted the title around his waist.

Yota Tsuji and Tetsuya Naito came down to the ring and the fans applauded. Naito showed both men the IWGP World Hvt. Championship. Takagi signaled that he wanted to see Tsuji in the finals. All three men eventually bumped their firsts high in the air.

NJPW Cup 2024 Night 8 (March 15, 2024)

Announcers: Walker Stewart and Gino Gambin0

(7) YOTA TSUJI vs. EL PHANTASMO (w/Jado) – NJPW Cup 2024 Second Round match

The announcers mentioned that ELP previously made it to the second round of the NJPW Cup in 2022. Walker Stewart pointed out that Tsuji was on excursion in Rev Pro in the UK when ELP was wrestling there regularly. He said both men want to prove they are the future of NJPW.

The announcers talked about Tsuji having a Lucha background and ELP wasn’t afraid to wrestle that style after ELP blocked a chop and hit a crazy move on Tsuji that featured several rope jumps to execute. The announcers talked about Tsuji being up front with Naito and telling him he wanted his title and not stabbing him in the back for it.

Tsuji took control of the action, but ELP hit a fantastic multiple rotation DDT to counter Tsuji and both men weee down. Tsuji ended up on the floor and ELP set up for a dive and then rolled through on the apron and caught Tsuji on the floor with a tornado DDT. ELP hit the fantastic sault for a two count a short time later.

Tsuji cut if ELP with a tilt-a-whirl back breaker, which the announcers said he got from his excursion in CMLL. The announcers mentioned ELP had never been a singles champion. Tsuji countered a cut throat driver from ELP and nailed him with a kick. ELP went to the floor and Tsuji dropped him back-first onto the apron.

They traded counters on the apron. ELP ducked a curb stomp and went for a Moonsault to the floor. He landed on his feet when Tsuji got lot of the way, but staggered and ended up taking a curb stomp off the apron to the floor from Tsuji.

ELP nearly got counted out and Tsuji hit him with another curb stomp as soon as he got back into the ring. They went back and forth up top and Tsuji hit a Spanish Fly for a near fall. Tsuji went for a Gene Blast, but ELP leap frogged him and hit Sudden Death for a near fall. They traded pinning combinations and ELP got a super close near fall with a crucifix pin. The fans finally woke up and Tsuji fired back and set up for a Gene Blast. ELP ended up catching the Gene Blast and he hit CR2 for a great near fall.

Both men were down and the fans chanted for Tsuji loudly. They got up and traded blows. The fans fired up as they continued to trade blows. Tsuji planted ELP. He hit a knee strike to the head and then a curb stomp. Tsuji went up top and connected with a double jump curb stomp for the win! Wow!!

WINNER: Yota Tsuji at 21:56 to advance to the quarter final round of the NJPW Cup. (****1/2)

(Radicans Analysis: This was tremendous. The announcers did a great job of telling the story of the match, as they positioned both men as having a chance to be the future of the company.

Stewart had his best call to date giving tons of background about how ELP was familiar with Tsuji from their time in Rev Pro together and was willing to try to beat him at his own game with Tsuji favoring the Lucha style in this match.

They had some really good counter exchanges late that fired up the crowd and set up for an insane finish with Tsuji using a lucha move to win the match, as he hit a double jump curb stomp out of the corner.)

(8) REN NARITA (w/HOT) vs. ZACK SABRE JR. (w/Mikey Nicholls) – NJPW Cup 2024 Second Round match

The ref sent away the seconds for both men before the match started. Narita had all of HOT with him. Stewart said Sabre would bend the rules if he had to and discussed his days in Suzuki-Gun, but mentioned that Sabre wanted to beat the real Narita in this match. Stewart mentioned that Sabre beat Narita at Wrestle Kingdom 17 when he was the Son of Strong Style under Shibata’s guidance.

The announcers mentioned Sabre had a first round bye. Narita countered Sabre on the floor and whipped him into the guardrail. Sabre took a nasty bump into and over the guardrail. Narita whipped Sabre into the guardrail multiple times. He went to use a chair on Sabre, but the ref took it away.

Sabre tried to go for a stretch, but Narita went after his ear to escape. Sabre fired back and grabbed a bow and arrow hold. He let it go and nailed Narita in the back with a drop kick and the fans applauded.

Sabre began working over Narita’s leg and arm on the mat. Narita fired back and they traded blows. Both men hit a double pump kick at the same time and Narita came up bleeding from the nose. Narita got up and hit the Narita Special for a near fall. Narita hit a kick to Sabre’s head and then another, but Zack kicked out at 1.

Sabre counters Narita on the mat and got an amazing backwards bridging pinning combination for a nearfall. He then hit a dragon with a bridge for another nearfall. Sabre plastered Narita with a slap to the face and went for the Zack Driver, but Narita countered and got the Cobra Twist. Sabre told Narita to crank more and he screamed when Narita cranked on the hold. Sabre struggled to the ropes, but collapsed. He then got a sudden burst and dove to the bottom rope to break the hold.

Stewart noted the match was over 20 minutes in length and now twice as long as their previous encounter at WK 17. Narita hit a guillotine knee out of the corner for a near fall. Sabre got a triangle and several members of House of Torture ran down to the ring, but Nicholls came out and chased them off. Kanemaru ran in from the bother siege of the ring and spit whiskey in Sabre’s face. Nicholls ran into the ring and wiped out Perry and Takahashi. Kanemaru distracted the ref and several members of HOT ran out. Narita hit Sabre with the push up bar and then hit Sabre with the Double Cross for the win.

WINNER: Ren Narita at 23:08 to advance to the quarter final round of the NJPW Cup. (***3/4)

(Radicans Analysis: This was a tremendous match until HOT interfered at the end with Stewart doing an amazing job of narrating the story going into the match of Sabre wanting to face the old “Son of Strong Style” version of Narita.

They had a great hard hitting match, but the inevitable House of Torture interference took the fans down to complete silence the end in after the match had built and built with good fan reaction to the story being told in the ring.)

Contact Sean at pwtorchsean@gmail.com

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