Csonka’s NJPW New Japan Cup Review 3.12.17
Csonka’s NJPW New Japan Cup Review 3.12.17
– Yuji Nagata & Jushin Thunder Liger defeated David Finlay & Tiger Mask IV @ 5:50 via submission [**½]
– Bad Luck Fale, Tama Tonga & Tanga Roa defeated Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Satoshi Kojima & Hirai Kawato @ 7:28 via pin [**½]
– Tetsuya Naito, EVIL, Hiromu Takahashi & BUSHI defeated Hiroshi Tanahashi, Michael Elgin, KUSHIDA & Ryusuke Taguchi @ 9:45 via pin [***]
– Kazuchika Okada, Hirooki Goto, Toru Yano, Jado & Gedo vs. Takashi Iizuka, Yoshinobu Kanemaru, Taichi, El Desperado & TAKA Michinoku @ 10:40 via pin [**]
– NJ Cup 1st Round Match: Juice Robinson defeated Yujiro Takahashi @ 10:20 via pin [**½]
– NJ Cup 1st Round Match: SANADA defeated YOSHI-HASHI @ 13:50 via submission [***¾]
– NJ Cup 1st Round Match: Katsuyori Shibata defeated Minoru Suzuki @ 19:50 via pin [****]
– NJ Cup 1st Round Match: Tomohiro Ishii defeated Kenny Omega @ 30:22 via pin [****¾]
– Manabu Nakanishi is off the card for tonight due to the flu, so we have some changes.
– David Finlay vs. Tomoyuki Oka was scratched as David Finlay is replacing Nakanishi for the opening tag match.
Yuji Nagata & Jushin Thunder Liger vs. David Finlay & Tiger Mask IV: Nakanishi was to team with Tiger Mask here. Liger and Tiger Mask to begin, they work back and forth with Tiger mask sending Liger to the floor and hitting a suicide dive. Tiger mask is fired up tonight, putting the beat down on Liger. Finlay tags in, sends Nagata to the floor and works over Liger. Finlay and Tiger mask worked quick tags, and they worked a short heat on Liger, Nagata tagged in and worked kicks to Finlay. Nagata hit an overhead toss, but tiger Mask tagged in, hitting the missile dropkick on Nagata, he then went for some pin attempts. Double teams on Nagata, tiger driver but Liger makes the save; XPLODER by Nagata on Finlay gets 2. Nagata works an ankle lock and transitions to the arm bar and Tiger Mask taps. Yuji Nagata & Jushin Thunder Liger defeated David Finlay & Tiger Mask IV @ 5:50 via submission [**½] This was a solid little tag match to kick things off.
Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Satoshi Kojima & Hirai Kawato vs. Bad Luck Fale, Tama Tonga & Tanga Roa: Bullet Club attacked Kawato before the bell as Kojima and Tenzan made their way to the ring. This angered the dads, who beat down bullet Club and ran wild until Fale cut them off. They then isolated Tenzan, worked quick tags with the Guerrillas getting in some double teams. Tonga made the mistake of delivering chops and head butts, which fired up Tenzan. He fought back, tagged in Kojima who fired off the machinegun chops on Tonga. He followed with a top rope elbow drop, and then a koji cutter for 2. He and Tenzan worked over Tonga, and it broke down. Kojima sent Fale to the floor, Tonga speared Kojima and little Kawato tagged in and looked for revenge but got beat down by Roa. Roa and Kawato were left in the ring as the others brawled to the floor. Kawato showed great fire, but Roa ended his existence with a sit out tombstone. Bad Luck Fale, Tama Tonga & Tanga Roa defeated Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Satoshi Kojima & Hirai Kawato @ 7:28 via pin [**½] this was another solid tag, with Roa getting a rebound victory and Kawato showing great fire; it looks like he dies every time he takes a finish these days.
Hiroshi Tanahashi, Michael Elgin, KUSHIDA & Ryusuke Taguchi vs. Tetsuya Naito, EVIL, Hiromu Takahashi & BUSHI: The latest installment of Tanahashi & Friends vs. LIJ. This is here to continue the build to KUSHIDA vs. Takahashi as well as to follow up on EVIL’s big win over Tanahashi on the previous show. Tanahashi wanted to start with EVIL, BUSHI tagged in and then EVIL attacked Tanahashi from behind. It broke down, floor brawl with LIJ controlling, and BUSHI chokes out someone with his shirt. It’s the start to every multi-man LIJ tag. Once Tanahashi had been beaten on, EVIL and Naito then worked him over, looking to further show their dominance over “the ace” and humiliate him further. Tanahashi cut off Naito, attacking the knee and then tagged in Elgin. Elgin ran wild, sending Naito to the floor and then sling shotting him back into the ring and hitting a powerslam. Elgin worked his power game and mixed in some strikes, and we worked into KUSHIDA and Takahashi, who picked up the pacing well and showed good fire. BUSHI in and cuts off KUSHIDA. KUSHIDA fights back, runs them together and scores a near fall rolling up Takahashi. Taguchi got the hot tag, and it’s asses to the face for BUSHI. EVIL tags himself in, but he eats the ass to the face as Naito and Takahashi take out Tanahashi before he can tag in. LIJ looks to isolate Tanahashi, but Elgin and Taguchi make the save. Good team work from LIJ, EVIL hits EVIL and pins Taguchi. Tetsuya Naito, EVIL, Hiromu Takahashi & BUSHI defeated Hiroshi Tanahashi, Michael Elgin, KUSHIDA & Ryusuke Taguchi @ 9:45 via pin [***] Good match overall, but I am starting to get burnt out on the Tanahashi & Friends vs. LIJ tags.
Kazuchika Okada, Hirooki Goto, Toru Yano, Jado & Gedo vs. Takashi Iizuka, Yoshinobu Kanemaru, Taichi, El Desperado & TAKA Michinoku: This should give us more build/teases of Gedo & Jado vs. Kanemaru & Taichi. They did the big brawl before the bell, and we immediately get a stretch of Gedo & Jado vs. Kanemaru & Taichi. Suzuki-gun heeled it up with more floor brawling, and choking guys out with cables and even mixing in some chair shots. Suzuki-gun worked the heat on Gedo, Iizuka tried to eat Gedo’s brains and then Taichi tagged in, used the bell hammer and worked over Gedo. Everyone on Suzuki-gun took turns beating on Gedo, and it lazily broke down; there was no energy for this brawl; Gedo caught Kanemaru low, and got the hot tag to Okada. Okada did back and forth with Desperado, and then ran through his trademark offense. He then had to work with Iizuka and time stood still because Iizuka has negative movement. Goto tagged in, he worked over Iizuka and TAKA; they’ve done a lot of Goto vs. Iizuka interactions and Goto is good, but I do not want to see that match. Iizuka then got his rope and choked out Goto, but Goto made his own save, Ushigoroshi to Desperado. Yano tags in, looks for a sneaky pin and then gets beaten down. Double low blow on Iizuka and Desperado and Yano picks up the pin. Kazuchika Okada, Hirooki Goto, Toru Yano, Jado & Gedo vs. Takashi Iizuka, Yoshinobu Kanemaru, Taichi, El Desperado & TAKA Michinoku @ 10:40 via pin [**] Too many guys working at a snail’s pace or just being not all that good (Jado, Iizuka, Taichi) to overcome and make this a good match. It was also lazily laid out and I just never got into it, more boring and bland than bad. Of all the matches on this card, this one lasted 10-minutes and 40-seconds.
NJ Cup 1st Round Match: Juice Robinson vs. Yujiro Takahashi: They traded strikes at the bell, Juice took over and teased the cannonball, but Takahashi bailed to the floor. Juice followed but ran into a lariat and Takahashi then hit the fisherman’s buster on the floor. Juice beat the count, but Takahashi maintained control and kept him grounded once he was back in. Takahashi is working the blandest heat possible here; thankfully the crowd likes Juice and is still slightly invested. Juice fired back, hitting the leg lariat, and then the jabs with chops. Juice then hit the back breaker and then a running senton for 2. Takahashi countered back, hit the face buster and then the fisherman’s buster for a near fall. They did some counters with Takahashi escaping pulp friction and hitting a reverse DDT. They continued to go back and forth, it got better; Juice escaped the Tokyo pimps and then hit the corner clothesline, but the cannonball missed. Juice then punched Takahashi in the face, and followed with a lariat and powerbomb for a near fall. Juice then hit pulp friction for the win. Juice Robinson defeated Yujiro Takahashi @ 10:20 via pin [**½] The beginning was a bit rough, and Takahashi’s heat segment really lacked but the counters down the stretch were really good and they kept the crowd, as they were really into Juice. Juice was great, Takahashi remains bad and is not believable in any way working on top.
NJ Cup 1st Round Match: YOSHI-HASHI vs. SANADA: they worked a really nice and fast paced opening stretch, with both men looking to one up the other; this is an important match as both guys are in the little brother roles (behind Okada & Naito) in their respective stables. SANADA took control early, bullying around HASHI a bit; HASHI escaped skull end, hitting a neck breaker and scoring an early near fall. HASHi fired up and picked up the pace before they seemingly agreed to beat the shit out of each other center ring. They just unloaded the heavy artillery here, which finally ended with SANADA hitting a TKO and locking in skull end. HASHI managed to get the ropes, and they traded a great series of counters as both men looked to lock in their submission hold. HASHI then decapitated SANADA with a lariat: hit a shoulder breaker and then the powerbomb and jackknife pin. HASHI’s swanton ate knees, but he countered a lariat and locked in the butterfly lock; SANADA fought forever, but managed to power out and get the ropes. HASHI hit the dropkick to the back, and then finally connected with the swanton for a near fall. SANADA fights off karma, and locks in skull end, only for HASHI to escape. SANADA hit the AJ Styles asai DDT into skull end and HASHI had to tap. SANADA defeated YOSHI-HASHI @ 13:50 via submission [***¾] This was a very good match, worked in a G1 sprint style, which I love. They had good chemistry, and delivered a good finish but it was missing something to get it over the top into great territory.
NJ Cup 1st Round Match: Katsuyori Shibata vs. Minoru Suzuki: They stared out with some standing holds as commentary was very quiet, I like to think they fear for their lives. Enough of that grappling shit, because they moved into beating the hell out of each other. Suzuki quickly went after the knee, but Shibata countered and locked in the figure four but Suzuki made the ropes. They then just started to straight up kick each other in the face. Suzuki worked the hanging arm bar in the ropes, and then slammed Shibata to the barricade. Suzuki is in full Suzuki mode, dragging Shibata up the ramp and beating on him with a chair; Suzuki just doesn’t give a fuck and works body shots before rolling Shibata back into the ring. Shibata slowly fought back, hitting the running corner kicks and then about 50 forearm strikes, MY GAWD THAT MAN HAS A FAMILY. Shibata followed with a suplex, and worked the abdominal stretch and transitioned into the octopus hold. Suzuki would escape, and hit a PK for a near fall, nearly pinning Shibata off of one of his favorite moves. Suzuki then locked in an octopus hold as he now wants to not only embarrass Shibata but also prove that he’s the better man. Suzuki worked strikes and head butts, but Shibata just fired back and they again did some Frye/Takiyama shit as they start to throw with reckless abandon. Suzuki finally started to fade a bit, finally leading to the big double down spot. Suzuki hit a bicycle kick, and locked in the sleeper. Shibata fades, as his fight keeps becoming less and less. Shibata dropped to the mat, but fought off the Gotch piledriver, hitting the STO and then a German. Suzuki avoids the PK, locks in the sleeper again, but Shibata escapes with the Death Valley driver and PK to pick up the win. Katsuyori Shibata defeated Minoru Suzuki @ 19:50 via pin [****] Your mileage will vary on a match like this, you have to really like both guys and the style they’re working. They stuck to the style, they made it feel different than all the other matches the past few days and laid good groundwork for future matches in this meeting; this very much came off as “hey, it’s the first of many meetings and you’re not getting it all today.” The crowd was soft for it, but they’ve been that way all night. I loved the pure ass kicking nature of this; it was two guys saying that they want to be the best, were willing to take the other’s best and try to survive so that they could deliver the killshot.
NJ Cup 1st Round Match: Tomohiro Ishii vs. Kenny Omega: It’s black tights Omega tonight, which means SERIOUS KENNY; he decided to try and strike with Ishii, they brawled to the floor and teased a one winged angel, Ishii escaped but Omega hit the reverse RANA. This only angered Ishii, but Omega cut him of right away, slamming him off of the edge of the ring apron. Omega kept beating on Ishii, again making him angry. Ishii went with the reliable striking game before using his power, hitting the delayed suplex for a near fall. Omega clipped the knee, trying to slow the powerhouse down and then hit the Finlay roll/moonsault combo for the near fall. They both fired up, trading chops center ring. Ishii chopped Omega in the throat, but Omega managed to hit a RANA as Ishii charged at him. Omega up top, cut off, and Ishii followed all the way up. Omega fought him off; they battled back and forth with Omega teasing a superbomb. Ishii stopped that bullshit and hit a RANA off the ropes. LUCHA FUCKING ISHII! Last ride by Ishii for the near fall, shit just got real there. Omega avoids a lariat, tries to flip out of a German but lands on his head, back to his feet and a big lariat by Ishii decapitates Omega. Omega then hits the brainbuster across the knee and Ishii has to roll to the floor. Omega then followed with the great div to the floor, leading to the countout tease. Omega up top, hits the missile dropkick to the back for a near fall. Ishii fights, Omega hits the snap dragon suplex but Ishii is a fucking zombie and keeps walking towards him, superkicks and knee strikes by Omega follow and then the gut wrench powerbomb gets another near fall. V Trigger countered, and Ishii fights off the one winged angel. German by Ishii and both men are down. They struggle to their feet, trade strikes but Ishii is having issues, grabbing at his arm, due to the neck damage suffered. Omega keeps firing away but Ishii hit V Trigger! The sliding lariat follows, but Omega survives! Omega fights off the lariats, hits V Trigger but runs into another lariat for a great near fall! Ishii looks for the brain buster, but Omega escapes; Ishii fights off the one winged angel, but Omega plants him with a German for another near fall. Snap dragon suplex by Omega, V TRIGGER! ONE WINGED ANGEL COUNERED, REVERSE RANA BY OMEGA only gets 2. Sweet baby Christ this is great. Ishii then counters the one winged angel into a stunner! LARIATOOOOOOOOOOOOO by Ishii gets 2. What in the fuck? BRAIN BUSTAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA an Ishii pins Omega. Tomohiro Ishii defeated Kenny Omega @ 30:22 via pin [****¾] My God that was fucking spectacular. I love the fact that they haven’t gone chalk with this and have made it truly interesting. The tease of Ishii winning this is great, he beat Okada in a classic G1 match last year, but since he’s CHAOS, never challenged for the title. This kicked all of the asses. I had extremely high hopes for this match and they lived up to all of them. I love that omega still didn’t hit the one winged angel, they are protecting that move and setting it up for something special when he does hit it. Omega will get all of the accolades, and I understand why, but there has not been a more consistent performer the last 4-5 years than Ishii; dude is amazing.
– End scene.
– Thanks for reading.