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Csonka Reviews The 2019 NJPW Super J Cup Matches (Part 1)

September 11, 2019 | Posted by Larry Csonka
NJPW Will Ospreay, Raw RevPro
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Csonka Reviews The 2019 NJPW Super J Cup Matches (Part 1)  

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Csonka Reviews The 2019 NJPW Super J Cup Matches (Part 1)

Super J Cup Opening Round Match: Soberano Jr. defeated Rocky Romero @ 11:L0 via pin [***]
Super J Cup Opening Round Match: TJP defeated Clark Connors @ 12:00 via submission [***½]
Super J Cup Opening Round Match: Caristico defeated BUSHI @ 10:10 via pin [***]
Super J Cup Opening Round Match: Ryusuke Taguchi defeated Jonathan Gresham @ 13:10 via pin [***]
Super J Cup Opening Round Match: El Phantasmo defeated Robbie Eagles @ 12:25 via pin [****]
Super J Cup Opening Round Match: Dragon Lee defeated Yoh @ 18:55 via pin [***¾]
Super J Cup Opening Round Match: Sho defeated Taiji Ishimori @ 17:05 via pin [****]
Super J Cup Opening Round Match: Will Ospreay defeated Amazing Red @ 29:45 via pin [****¾]

– Follow all of my reviews at this link.

Due to the HUGE delay with the VOD, I will only be covering the tournament matches in two batches, today is batch one.

Soberano Jr vs. Rocky Romero: They lock up and work to the ropes for a clean break. They pick up the pace, working into lucha passes and Soberano follows with an arm drag and teases a dive. Back in and Romero wants a handshake. They shake and play nice until Romero delivers chops. Soberano fires back and they trade. They spill to the floor and continue to trade chops and then back in, Romero pokes the eyes but Soberano fires back with kicks. He looks to head up to but Romero cuts him off and works him over in the corner. He follows with rights and elbow strikes. The octopus hold follows, but Soberano makes the ropes. Soberano fires back with chops, but Romero cuts him off and lays the boots to him. Soberano trips him up and follows with the top rope fameasser for 2. They trade center ring, Soberano follows with an enziguri and heads up top and misses the high cross. Romero follows with the draping dropkick for 2. Romero follows with kicks and forever clotheslines and covers for 2. Soberano counters sliced bread, hits a superkick and dropkick but Romero fires back with a knee strike until Soberano hits another superkick. The tornillo press finishes it. Soberano Jr. defeated Rocky Romero @ 11:L0 via pin [***] This was a good and fun opener with an invested crowd, but never picked up like I had hoped.

TJP vs. Clark Connors: They lock up and work to the ropes. They break, lock up again and the trade shoulder tackles. Connors takes him down and then goes for the crab but TJP counters out and into a bow and arrow but Connors escapes into an arm bar until TJP escapes. Lock up again and Connors grounds things. TJP counters out and gets the abdominal stretch. Connors hip tosses his way out, and hits a slam for 2. TJP avoids the dropkick and then snaps the arm back. The side back breaker and senton atomico follows. TJP lays in elbow strikes, starts attacking the arm and covers for 2. Connors looks to power up and does into a suplex for 2. TJP looks to ground the action and locks on a sharpshooter and transitions to a Muta lock until Connors makes the ropes. The slam follows but Connors pops up and he slams TJP. They slap each other, and Connors cradles him for 2. The dropkick and powerslam follows. Connors lays the boots to him and lays in chops and stomps. He rolls into the crab, pulls TJP center ring but TJP counters out into the double stomp and dodon for 2. They work up top and Connors fights him off but TJP pops back up and hits the superplex and rolls into the brainbuster for 2. Connors counters the detonation kick and hits the spear and crab. TJP fights and Connors pulls him back center ring but TJP counters into a knee bar and then transitions into a Regal stretch for the submission. TJP defeated Clark Connors @ 12:00 via submission [***½] This was a very good match with Connors stepping up and making the most of this opportunity and looking like he belonged in there with TJP.

Caristico vs. BUSHI: BUSHI attacks before the bell and takes control. He follows with the slingshot RANA to the floor and back in, grounds the action. The basement dropkick follows for 2. Caristico battles back but BUSHI cuts him off and chokes him out with his shirt. The neck breaker and STF follows. Caristico crawls and makes the ropes. BUSHI follows with strikes and lays the boots to him. Caristico fires back with leg kicks and a back handspring elbow. He follows with kicks and the lucha arm drag. A rough looking suicide dive follows. Back in and Caristico covers for 2. They trade chops and strikes, eye poke by Caristico and the high cross follows for 2. BUSHI counters back with a DDT, lays the boots to him and the missile dropkick follows. Caristico counters the fisherman’s buster with a superkick and 619. The springboard splash follows for 2. BUSHI cuts him off with an enziguri but Caristico counters MX and BUSHI avoids la mistica and they trade chops. Dropkick by BUSHI and the apron DDT connects and the fisherman’s neck breaker gets 2. BUSHI looks for MX, but Caristico hits him with a superkick and they work up top. Caristico hits the Spanish fly for the win. Caristico defeated BUSHI @ 10:10 via pin [***] This was good with some fun spots but never really picked up and got as intense and fast-paced as I would have hoped. It felt as if they left a lot out there.

Ryusuke Taguchi vs. Jonathan Gresham: The crowd loves Taguchi. They lock up and Gresham looks to ground things, and starts outwrestling Taguchi. They work into a stand off and shake hands. Gresham takes control, but Taguchi makes him run the ropes until Gresham turns the tables on Taguchi and blows up and collapses as Gresham covers for 1. They work into some back and forth as Gresham looks to ground things and then stomps on Taguchi’s hands. The dropkick follows and Gresham lays in chops. He grounds things again and starts attacking the arm as he has control. Gresham focuses on the arm as he keeps things grounded, and then cradles Taguchi for 2. Gresham continues to abuse the arm of Taguchi, working a tequila sunrise. Taguchi makes the ropes, and then fires back with an ass attack. He follows with B triggers and heads up top and connects with the flying ass attack for 2. Rolling suplexes follow but Gresham cuts him off and attacks the arm and then rolls into a cradle for 2. They trade pin attempts, tumbleweed around and Taguchi is dizzy so he falls down. They both miss chops, but Gresham hits an enziguri and trade cradles for 2 until Taguchi counters one last attempt into a pin for the win. Ryusuke Taguchi defeated Jonathan Gresham @ 13:10 via pin [***] This was a nice mix of Taguchi’s playfulness and Gresham being a great wrestler. The crowd loved Taguchi and stayed involved in the match throughout. They had a good match; even if I was disappointed that Gresham didn’t win.

El Phantasmo vs. Robbie Eagles: Phantasmo tries to attack, fails and Eagles hits a suicide dive and follows with a tope. Eagles follows with chops and back in, Phantasmo begs off so Eagles continues to attack and hits a RANA, arm drags and a dropkick. He follows with ground and pound until Phantasmo makes the ropes. Eagles keeps attacking looking for his revenge on Phantasmo. Phantasmo rakes the eyes and lays the boots to Eagles. The basement dropkick follows and then Phantasmo back rakes Eagles. Phantasmo crotches him in to the tree of WHOA, and then stomps on his nuts, because he’s an asshole. Phantasmo grounds the action, and then follows with a dropkick for 2. He lays in chops and takes a bow until eagles fires back and cradles him for 2. The missile dropkick to the knee follows and Eagles follows with knee strikes a head kick and they trade superkicks until Phantasmo hits a huge lariat. They trade strikes; Phantasmo works a double titty twister and then connects with chops. Eagles fires up and just absorbs the strikes and he answers back and lays in knee strikes, Kawada kicks and double knees for 2. Eagles heads up top, Phantasmo cuts him off and follows him up and hits an enziguri and then a super RANA and swanton and moonsault for a great near fall. Eagles then counters into the Ron Miller special, but Phantasmo makes the ropes. Eagles then DDTs him onto the apron and hits a sliced bread into a DDT for a great near fall. Phantasmo counters the 450, ref bump, low blow and Phantasmo wins. El Phantasmo defeated Robbie Eagles @ 12:25 via pin [****] This was great, despite the flat and clichéd heel finish, as these two have tremendous chemistry and played off of their established feud and each other really well.

Dragon Lee vs. Yoh: They shake hands and lock up, working into counters and Yoh grounds things. Lee counters out and Yoh starts attacking the arm. They pick up the pace and end in a standoff. Yoh attacks with kicks, chops, and then a dropkick. He follows with a tope and celebrates. Yoh follows with strikes and rolls him back in. The slam and elbow drop follow for 2. Lee fires back, but Yoh dropkicks his knee and follows with a leg drop and basement dropkick. Yoh starts focusing on the knee, grounding the action. He follows with strikes, Lee fires back and hits the dropkick and to the floor, Yoh takes out his knee. Back in and Yoh covers for 2. He goes back to the knee, follows with uppercuts and Lee cuts him of with combination cabrione and follows with a tope con… hello. Both men are down on the floor, and backing Yoh is cut of with knee strikes as Lee covers for 2. Yoh fights off desnucadora, and follows with a flying forearm. He fires up and runs into a boot and then hits a dragon screw. Yoh follows with uppercuts, goes back to the knee and but Lee hits the desperation dropkick, strikes and the Shibata dropkick for 2. Yoh counters the knee strike into a rolling half crab, shades of Lance Storm, and follows with dragon screws and elbows to the knee. The figure four follows, and they trade slaps and strikes as Lee fights to the ropes. Yoh now looks for a dragon suplex, but Lee fights him off and hits a snap German, knee strikes and another German until Yoh catches him with a superkick. Yoh runs into an enziguri, Lee heads up top, Yoh follows him up, they trade and Yoh gets trapped in the tree of WHOA and Lee hits the double stomp for 2. Ripcord knees follow, but Yoh locks on the calf killer, pulls Lee center ring and Lee craws and makes the ropes. Yoh throws a fit, and Lee counters a German into a knee strike and dodgey looking poison RANA. The running knee strike follows for 2. Desnucadora finishes it. Dragon Lee defeated Yoh @ 18:55 via pin [***¾] The card is picking up wit a really good match here, which I feel would have been better if Yoh had been more committed to the leg work and Lee would have sold it better especially down the stretch.

Sho vs. Taiji Ishimori: Sho attacks at the bell, laying in stakes and dropkicking Ishimori to the floor. The PK to the arm follows and Sho starts focusing his attack on the arm, rolling Ishimori back in and hitting another PK to the arm. He grounds the action, focusing on the arm until Ishimori makes the ropes. Ishimori counters back, and follows with the seated senton. He runs Sho into he buckles and covers for 2. Ishimori then lays the boots to Sho and starts attacking the neck. He follows with chops and Sho is down. Ishimori follows with a head scissors and neck twister. He grounds the action, Sho fires back but Ishimori counters into a captain’s hook. Sho makes the ropes and then fights off a suplex, they work into counters and Sho follows with the desperation spear. He follows with clotheslines, kicks, and covers for 2. Ishimori fights off the arm bar, making the ropes. Sho continues to attack the arm, but Ishimori fires back with kicks and the back handspring kick. Sho rolls to the floor and Ishimori follows with the golden triangle moonsault. Back in and Ishimori misses the double knees, and they trade strikes. Sho fires up, they continue to trade and Sho takes control until Ishimori hits a knee strike and poison RANA. Sho cuts him off with a lariat, fires up and hits a huge lariat, taking Ishimori’s soul. Shock arrow is countered and Sho transitions to an arm bar but Ishimori counters into the LeBell lock. Sho fights and makes the ropes. Ishimori hits John Wooooo, double knees and the lung blower for 2. Ishimori looks to finish things, but Sho counters bloody cross and looks for shock arrow, hits a knee strike and follows with project Ciampa for a great near fall. Shock arrow connects and Ishimori is done. Sho defeated Taiji Ishimori @ 17:05 via pin [****] This was a great match, with Ishimori looking healthy and motivated while Sho continued to show why he’s a future junior ace. The work was really great, they didn’t abuse the near falls, and everything felt like a struggle (in a good way) and like it mattered.

Will Ospreay vs. Amazing Red: This has been a dream match for Ospreay. They shake hands and bow to each other before locking up. They work to the ropes and break clean. Lock up again and they work back to the ropes, with Ospreay overpowering Red, and they pickup the pace, teasing finishes and Red fakes a head kick but pulls up, which was a mistake as Ospreay levels him with strikes. Red fires back, but gets cut off and Ospreay teases the dive and poses as he slowly starts to play subtle heel. Red fires up, dumps him and hits a suicide dive. Back in and the missile dropkick and another suicide dive follows. Red is fired the fuck up here. Ospreay rolls back in and Red follows with chops. The basement dropkick follows for 2. He lays in more chops, a back elbow but Ospreay knocks him to the floor. He follows and dumps Red into the crowd. Ospreay follows and sits Red in a chair and lays in elbow strikes. The running dropkick over the fans follows as he sends Red into the 10h row. They work back to ringside as Ospreay follows with chops. Back in and Ospreay follows with a backbreaker for 2. Ospreay now grounds things and locks up the arms, bridging back and covering Red for 2. Red fires back, counters the dropkick and hits the spiked RANA for 2. he follows with uppercuts and then hits the flying flatliner for 2. Red lays in kicks and Ospreay counters code red and hits the back handspring kick. The Sasuke special follows. Back in and Ospreay hits the springboard forearm for 2. Ospreay sets for the Robinson special, Red avoids it and Ospreay hits the running shooting star press for 2. Ospreay slaps him in the head and follows with strikes. Red fires up and slaps Ospreay to cut him off. Red follows with a huge cannonball off the top and to the floor. back in and Red heads up top, but Ospreay catches him but Red counters out until Ospreay hits an inverted side suplex for 2. Ospreay heads up top and misses the shooting star, lands on his feet and they trade kicks, Red counters storm breaker and hits the satellite DDT for 2. Ospreay fights back with Cheeky nandos and they work to the apron. Ospreay looks for storm breaker, but Red fights and they trade strikes. Ospreay lays in big time chops, but Red fires back and hits a head kick but Ospreay counters back with an oscuter on the apron. They roll back in and Ospreay hits coast to coast for a good near falls. The shooting star press follows for 2 again. The oscutter connects but RED IS AIVE! Ospreay hits the hook kick, looks for storm breaker and Red counters into a northern lights for 2. Red counters storm breaker again into a RANA and cradle for 2. The tornado DDT and dragon RANA follows for 2. Red now heads back up top and the spiral tap follows for 2. Red follows with kicks, and Ospreay is down. Red charges but Ospreay counters into a Spanish fly for 2. Hidden blade follows, and the super oscutter and storm breaker finally finishes Red. Will Ospreay defeated Amazing Red @ 29:45 via pin [****¾] This was absolutely special and just a fucking tremendous match that both lived up to the hype and hopes I had for it. Ospreay was so I great here, understanding his role as he got to play the subtle heel/bully role, while giving a ton to Red. Red, to his credit, was moving around like it was 2003, but is now a smarter and more complete worker and was an amazing babyface here. You had all of the sizzle and flash, but the pacing and layout were great as this was a long match and never felt like it as they did a great job of mixing in the high intensity/fast paced work with dramatic stretches and tremendous near falls. Red took almost all of Ospreay’s best, gave all he had but in the end ultimately failed in a match he should absolutely be proud of.

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The 411 on Wrestling Podcast returns to the 411 Podcasting Network for episode 50. On the show, the good brother, Jeremy Lambert, joins 411’s Larry Csonka as the guys will preview WWE Clash of Champions 2019, NJPW Destruction in Kagoshima & Beppu, plus dive into the big WWE & Impact Wrestling news. The show is approximately 95-minutes long.

* Intro
* NJPW Destruction in Beppu Preview: 3:25
* NJPW Destruction in Kagoshima Preview: 16:25
* WWE Changes Royal Rumble 2020 Weekend Plans (Worlds Collide Replaces Takeover): 27.55
* Impact Parent Company Anthem Media Acquires Majority Interest in AXS TV: 37.55
* WWE Clash of Champions 2019 Preview: 1:05:35

You can subscribe and listen to the 411 on Wrestling Podcast via the above player on Transistor, or on the following platforms:

* iTunes
* Spotify
* Stitcher
* Google Play

– End Scene.

– Thanks for reading.

The final score: review Very Good
The 411
The first round of the 2019 NJPW Super J Cup was an overall reall good and consistent show, with three standout matches, including a MOTY contender in Ospreay vs. Red.