Csonka Reviews The New Japan Cup Second Round Matches
– While the first two days were live (Day One & Day Two), the second round matches will take place at event throughout this week and then the tournament matches were posted as VOD content on New Japan World. The last two days of the New Japan Cup take place on Sunday (3.19) and Monday (3.20).
NEW JAPAN CUP 2nd Round Match (3.13.17): Yuji Nagata vs. EVIL: EVIL best the fallen Ace of NJPW, Hiroshi Tanahashi in a great match to get here. Nagata used his New Japan dad powers to overcome Tanga Roa; it was Roa’s first singles match in NJPW, and it was bad. Not even the power of Blue Justice could save us from the worst NJPW match since Bone Soldier was a regular. Nagata worked leg kicks early, trying to slow down the young hoss, but it only pissed off EVIL who beat him down and tossed him to the floor. Nagata had some fire here, and refused to just stay on the floor, especially since EVIL likes to attack with chairs. Nagata would drop to the floor and brawl with EVIL, but rolled him back in quickly and went right back to the kicks. EVIL cut him off and took him to the floor, where he utilized the chair and posted Nagata. I get that this is part of EVIL’s gimmick, but he does it every match and does it right in front of the ref; it annoys me. We got our Gedo special count out tease that is always a part of these tournament bouts. EVIL took the heat back in the ring, raking the eyes of Nagata and then hitting a standing senton. Nagata fired up and went back to the kicks, beating down EVIL in the corner. EVIL fought off the XPLODER; they traded strikes and then NAGATA HEAD DROPPED HIM on the rebound XPLODER. EVIL took control with a lariat and neck breaker for the near fall. EVIL then went high risk, going up top and Nagata cut him off, following him up and delivering forearms and a SUPER XPLODER for the near fall. EVIL fought off the backdrop driver and hit German for the double down. They fought to their feet, traded strikes, with EVIL gaining the advantage with the fisherman buster and EVIL bomb for a bear fall. But Nagata was not done and countered the STO into the arm bar. EVIL struggled, and managed to make the ropes. Nagata hit the corner knee strike and backdrop driver for a great near fall, but EVIL fought off the kicks, hit a head butt and then decapitated Nagata with a lariat. Another lariat followed and Nagata survived, but ate the STO and EVIL advanced. EVIL defeated Yuji Nagata @ 13:33 via pin [****] This was absolutely awesome, worked with a beautiful intensity that many of the tournament matches had lacked. The pacing was excellent, the work was stiff and crisp and it had the feel of a G1 match. Nagata is a guy that is still over enough and can deliver in big matches; making this match another big and important win for EVIL. This was one you should make time for.
NEW JAPAN CUP 2nd Round Match (3.14.17): Bad Luck Fale vs. Toru Yano: Yano immediately begged off, removing the buckle pad and scoring a roll up before bailing to the floor. Once back in, Fale beat on Yano in the corner but then Yano made the ropes and called for the break, before scoring another roll up. Fale cut him off, and then worked him over on the floor. They brawled into the crowd, which was tough to follow due to the lighting. We got out Gedo special count out tease, Yano made it back in and was then whipped to the exposed buckle. Fale covered for a near fall, and maintained the heat, whipping Yano to the exposed buckle again. Yano raked the eyes and then tried to slam ale and failed. Fale ended up running into the exposed buckle, Yano whipped him into it again and finally slammed him. Yano celebrated, but Fale blocked the low blow and hit a suplex, but missed a walking splash. Yano then low bridged Fale to the floor, and tied him to the barricade with tape. Fale dragged the barricade to the apron and broke the count. Back in Yano hit a low blow and backslide for 2. Fale cut him off, hitting the splash for a near fall. a poorly done grenade finished it. Bad Luck Fale defeated Toru Yano @ 8:33 via pin [*] Not good, as someone that is beyond over Yano’s antics, this did nothing for me. On top of all of that, it was painfully slow and boring. It felt like it lasted 18-minutes instead of just over 8. Moving on.
NEW JAPAN CUP 2nd Round Match (3.15.17): Katsuyori Shibata vs. Juice Robinson: Juice was very cautious to begin, because he is fully aware that Shibata can kill him. Shibata easily out grappled him in the early portion, but Juice kept fighting back and avoided an early PK try by Shibata. Shibata then targeted the arm and laid in hard kicks. Very basic and deliberate offense from Shibata here, just punishing the arm and keeping Juice grounded. Juice has very good struggle spots as he works for the ropes, finally making them for the break but Shibata kept attacking; he went for the charging dropkick, and Juice cut him off with a lariat. This seemingly pisses off Shibata, who connected with two corner dropkicks and a suplex for the near fall. Shibata laid in more kicks, but Juice avoided the PK and they traded strikes. Juice then fired up, challenging Shibata to fire back. Shibata followed with kicks to the head and uppercuts, but Juice kept firing back and hit a leg lariat for the near fall. Juice then hit the cutter out of the corner followed by the cannonball for 2. Juice followed with the toss up gut buster and senton for 2. Juice teased pulp friction, but Shibata escaped and locked in the octopus hold. A German followed, but Juice popped up and worked strikes, but Shibata locked in the sleeper. The PK followed and Juice was done. Katsuyori Shibata defeated Juice Robinson @ 11:23 via pin [***] With Tanahashi and Omega bowing out early, you had to figure that Shibata would take the win here. This was a good match, with Juice showing great babyface fire, but was more of a showcase for Shibata. It was far from a squash, but was a strong and dominating win for Shibata; it was exactly what it needed to be.
NEW JAPAN CUP 2nd Round Match (3.17.17): Tomohiro Ishii vs. SANADA: Ishii is coming off of a MOTY contender with Omega in the first round. SANADA is coming off of a very good outing against YOSHI-HASHI in the first round. Ishii used his power early, while SANADA uses his speed to create a really great opening sequence, finishing with a plancha by SANADA. They brawled on the floor, with SANADA whipping Ishii to the barricade and then choking him out for the Gedo special countout tease; never change Gedo. Back in, SANADA showed great aggression as he beat down Ishii in the corner. Good control by SANADA here, using his speed to keep Ishii off of his game. Ishii then walked through a dropkick because he’s had enough of this shit and connected with corner clotheslines and a suplex for a near fall. SANADA countered the powerbomb, laid in forearms and then hit the big dropkick for the near fall. SANADA followed up by beating down Ishii in the corner, but Ishii just got angry and fired up with chops and forearms. SANADA quickly fired back with a springboard dropkick to turn momentum in his favor. Ishii countered the cutter into a DDT, both men fired up and Ishii countered the cutter again into the reverse DDT. Ishii then hit the head butt and lariat, scoring the near fall. The powerbomb and jackknife cover by Ishii got a good near fall. They did a double down spot; SANADA hit another springboard dropkick for the near fall. Ishii fired up with strikes, and then SANADA answered back and finally hit the cutter for the near fall. The crowd loves this. SANADA look for skull end, but Ishii counters out with a dragon suplex. SANADA says fuck your suplex, pops up and locks in skull end and drops to the mat. Ishii struggles for the ropes, but SANADA rolls into a cover for 2. SANADA tosses off the shirt, hits the slam and MISSES the moonsault. SANADA favors his knee after the miss, allowing Ishii to work strikes and nearly decapitate SANADA with a pair of lariats for a great near fall. SANADA cuts off the sliding lariat, gets a backslide and another near fall. Ishii again escapes skull end, hits the sliding lariat but only gets 2. SANADA escapes the brainbuster, and they trade a great series of strikes. Ishii has finally had enough, hits the brainbuster and puts SANADA away. Tomohiro Ishii defeated SANADA @ 14:02 via pin [****] This was a great match, pitting the younger, stronger and faster SANADA against the grizzled veteran who takes no shit and is desperately seeking a title shot. This featured great work from both men and an invested crowd through out. Awesome stuff.
– The semifinals are…
* Semifinal Bout: EVIL vs. Bad Luck Fale
* Semifinal Bout: Tomohiro Ishii vs. Katsuyori Shibata
– End scene.
– Thanks for reading.