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Csonka’s NJPW New Japan Cup (Night 3) Review 3.11.18

March 11, 2018 | Posted by Larry Csonka
NJPW New Japan Cup (Night 3)
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Csonka’s NJPW New Japan Cup (Night 3) Review 3.11.18  

Csonka’s NJPW New Japan Cup (Night 3) Review 3.11.18

– Yuji Nagata & Tomoyuki Oka defeated Ren Narita & Tatsuhiro Yagi @ 9:21 via submission [**½]
– Desperado defeated Shota Umino @ 8:20 via pin [**½]
– Bullet Club defeated Toa Henare, David Finlay, Juice Robinson, & Michael Elgin @ 9:42 via pin [**¾]
– CHAOS defeated Suzuki-gun @ 9:00 via pin [**¾]
– Taichi & Takashi Iizuka defeated Ryusuke Taguchi & Hiroshi Tanahashi @ 10:45 via pin [**]
– Chuckie T & Kazuckika Okada defeated BUSHI & SANADA @ 9:00 via submission [***]
New Japan Cup 2018 First Round Match: Kota Ibushi defeated YOSHI-HASHI @ 23:30 via pin [****½]
New Japan Cup 2018 First Round Match: Zack Sabre Jr. defeated Tetsuya Naito @ 22:45 via submission [****½]

– Follow all of my reviews at this link.

– You can read reviews of night one and night two here

– You can read my preview for the first round matches at this link.

Yuji Nagata & Tomoyuki Oka vs. Ren Narita & Tatsuhiro Yagi: Oka and Narita start us off, immediately working into a grappling exchange. They work to a stalemate, so Nagata and Yagi tag in. Nagata immediately takes him down and controls with ease. He tosses Yagi to he corner and then beats on Narita before tagging out. Oka tagged for a bit, maintaining control, but Nagata calls for the tag so he can inflict more damage. Narita tried and failed to fight back, so Nagata tossed him to his corner to Yagi could tag back in and take another beating. But Yagi actually fired up and started to give Nagata a fight, he and Nagata then took control, double teaming Nagata. Nagata quickly cut that off, and tagging Oka who worked over Narita with slams and suplexes, covering for 2.Nagat then took out Yagi, and Oka locked on the crab, forcing Narita to tap. Yuji Nagata & Tomoyuki Oka defeated Ren Narita & Tatsuhiro Yagi @ 9:21 via submission [**½ ] This was a nice solid opener, with the lions getting the big share of the match and Nagata just there to hold things together, and play angry dad.

Shota Umino vs. Desperado: This is a big chance for Umino to shine in singles action against a main roster mainstay. They work some basic back and forth early, with Desperado looking to work the arm, but Umino quickly turning things around until Desperado takes him to the floor. Desperado takes control, slamming him to the barricade, and then posts his knee several times. Desperado then makes sure to be a dick and spits water on him. Umino beats the count back in, but Desperado immediately targets his knee and grounds the action. Back to the floor they go, with Desperado just kicking the shit out of Umino. Desperado back in and makes Umino beat the count again. He avoids the dropkick and continues to slap Umino around, but Umino finally hits the dropkick. Umino tries to fire up, hitting corner attacks. The missile dropkick follows, and the cover gets 2. Umino looks for an arm bar, but Desperado makes the ropes. Umino lays the boots to Desperado, but Desperado rakes the eyes, but Umino gets a backslide for 2. Desperado cuts him off with a spinebuster for 3. Desperado locks on the stretch muffler, and Umino fights, but Desperado rolls him back center ring for the submission. Desperado defeated Shota Umino @ 8:20 via pin [**½] This was another solid match, with Umino putting up a good fights and selling well, but eventually falling to Desperado.

– Post match, Desperado kicks the shit out of Umino.

Toa Henare, David Finlay, Juice Robinson, & Michael Elgin vs. Chase Owens, Tanga Loa, Yujiro Takahashi, & Bad Luck Fale: Juice & Yujiro start us off. Yujiro immediately pulls the hair and bites him, following with the running boot. Juice cuts him off with a hip toss, and tags in Finlay. They work double teams and then take out Loa & Owens. The double dropkick to Fale follows, but he cuts them off and everyone brawls to the floor. Yujiro uses his cane as Bullet Club takes control. Loa in and starts to work over Finlay, covering for 2. Owens tags in and they double-team Finlay. He follows with a slam, and another as Fale barks orders at him; Owens covers for 2. Fale in now and he starts slamming Finlay around, sits on him and Juice makes the save. Owens back in and lays in jabs on Finlay. Juice cuts him off, and Elgin gets the tag. He runs wiled on Owens, hitting the slingshot splash. The powerslam follows, and then corner clotheslines connect. Elgin takes him up top, but Yujiro makes the save; Elgin powerslams both at the same time, covering for 2. More clotheslines follow to Owens, and Elgin now fights off Yujiro and Owens. Owens manages to hit a desperation superkick and we get wholesale changes to Henare & Loa, Henare lays in strikes and hits a shoulder tackle and backdrop. It breaks down, the faces run wild on Loa, and hit corner attacks. Bullet Club rushes in to make the save, clearing the ring and Henare heads up top for the shoulder tackle, but Loa hits a superplex. The Samoan driver finishes Henare. Bullet Club defeated Toa Henare, David Finlay, Juice Robinson,& Michael Elgin @ 9:42 via pin [**¾] This was a pretty good match, with a nice flow of action, and had a nit more energy than the previous two matches.

Toru Yano, Tomohiro Ishii, & Hirooki Goto vs. Lance Archer, Davey Boy Smith Jr., & Yoshinobu Kanemaru: Yano & Smith, who face off in tournament action tomorrow, start us off. Yano immediately goes for the buckle pad, but Smith cuts him off. Yano runs and quickly tags out to Ishii. Archer also tags in. Ishii lays in chops, but Archer cuts him off and they trade strikes. Ishii hits a series of shoulder blocks, but Archer takes him down. Ishii battles back, looking for a suplex but Archer slams him and cuts him off. Archer grounds Ishii with mounted rights while Kanemaru slams Ishii to the barricade. He rolls him back in and Archer maintains control and then tags in Kanemaru. Kanemaru lays the boots to Ishii, keeping him grounded. Smith back in and maintains the heat on Ishii. Smith talks shit and follows with strikes, which pisses Ishii off. Ishii connects with a German but Archer stops the tag. Ishii finally hits the suplex on him to a big pop. Goto gets the hot tag, and sends Smith to the now exposed buckle and follows with a Saito suplex for 2. Smith cuts him off with a suplex, and they trade clotheslines until Goto drops him. Yano tags in and manages to avoid Smith, who hits Archer. Smith blocks the low blow, and tags in Kanemaru who hits a DDT. Suzuki-gun clears the ring, triple teams Yano, and Kanemaru covers for 2 as it breaks down. Kanemaru shoves the ref into Yano, but Yano gets the low blow and cradle for the win. CHAOS defeated Suzuki-gun @ 9:00 via pin [**¾] This was another pretty good match, with the crowd popping for Ishii & Yano’s signature stuff.

Ryusuke Taguchi & Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Taichi & Takashi Iizuka: Taichi & Iizuka are assholes, attacking before the bell, and leading to some floor brawling. Taguchi fights off Iizuka and he and Tanahashi hit some ass attacks to ground him. Taichi cuts off Tanahashi, allowing Iizuka to bite Taguchi’s ass. Poor Taguchi. Everyone is brawling on the floor now, and deep into the crowd. Iizuka uses a chair to continue his attack on poor Taguchi. They eventually work back into the ring and Iizuka is still in and beating on Taguchi. Taichi finally tags in, knocks Tanahashi to the floor and then laughs at Taguchi’s attempts to fight back. Taichi hits a clothesline, covering for 2. Iizuka tags back in and the ass kicking of Taguchi continues. Iizuka bites Taguchi, but Taguchi hits a desperation ass attack and we get wholesale changes to Tanahashi & Taichi. Tanahashi runs wild, taking out Iizuka and picking up a near fall on Taichi. Taichi finally starts to fire back, hitting a series of kicks and covering for 2. The pants are off. The superkick is countered and Tanahashi hits the dragon screw and locks on the cloverleaf. Iizuka makes the save, but Tanahashi tosses him and tags in Taguchi. He picks up the pace and gets a cradle for 2. The ankle lock follows, Tanahashi plays defense but Taichi makes the ropes. They double-team Taichi, Taguchi hits a springboard ass attack but Iizuka makes the save. Iizuka takes out Tanahashi, and hits Taguchi with the iron fingers, allowing Taichi to hit the superkick for the win. Taichi & Takashi Iizuka defeated Ryusuke Taguchi & Hiroshi Tanahashi @ 10:45 via pin [**] This was really bland and felt about twice as long as it actually was, thanks to Iizuka being horrible. Taichi needed a win though, so that part was good, as were his interactions with Tanahashi.

Chuckie T & Kazuckika Okada vs. BUSHI & SANADA: SANADA & Chuckie start us of, they face off tomorrow in tournament action. Chuckie looks to take control, but BUSHI distracts him allowing SANADA to attack. Chuckie counters into an octopus hold, and then follows with a dropkick, covering for 1. SANADA counters the suplex, hits a dropkick and knocks Okada to the floor. BUSHI tags in and chokes out Chuckie with his shirt. Red Shoes finally breaks that up, but BUSHI grounds the action with an STF. Chuckie makes the ropes, and SANADA tags back in. He keeps the heat on Chuckie, locking him in the paradise lock. The dropkick to the ass follows, and SANADA covers for 2. Chuckie battles back, hits a missile dropkick and tags in Okada. Okada is fired up and runs wild on SANADA, hitting the DDT for 2. Okada takes out BUSHI and sends SANADA to the floor, following with a plancha onto both. Back in and SANADA cuts him off with a RANA. BUSHI tags in and hits a missile dropkick. The DDT to Chuckie follows, and now LIJ work double teams on Okada. BUSHI covers for 2. Chuckie takes out SANADA on the floor, and then hits a knee strike on BUSHI. He counters skull end into the falcon arrow, doing the deal before hitting a plancha onto SANADA. Okada dropkicks BUSHI, and locks on the cobra clutch and BUSHI is done. Chuckie T & Kazuckika Okada defeated BUSHI & SANADA @ 9:00 via submission [***] This was a good back and forth match, and a lot of fun. Chuckie looked good, but again, Okada winning makes little sense, when Chuckie really needed it more ahead of his tournament match. The only good thing about Okada winning is that they are really trying to get over the cobra clutch finish.

New Japan Cup 2018 First Round Match: Kota Ibushi vs. YOSHI-HASHI: They start off slow, working a basic beginning stretch and then into some grappling before working into a standoff. Ibushi picks up the pace, HASHI hits a hip toss, but Ibushi cuts him off with a kick. Ibushi now starts attacking the injured arm of HASHI, grounding the action. HASHI fights and makes the ropes. They trade strikes with Ibushi daring HASHI to fire back. HASHI does, takes out the knee and follows with a DDT. He follows with strikes and chops, and then hits a RANA. HASHI lays in chops and drapes Ibushi over the ropes and follows with the dropkick for 2. Ibushi fire sup with a series of kicks and the standing moonsault gets 2. HASHI counters the German, and hits a superkick. Ibushi counters the blockbuster, and follows with a sliding knee strike. They trade strikes now, and Ibushi pulls him to he apron. They battle for position and HASHI hits a rough looking suplex on the apron. HASHI follows with strikes as we get some floor brawling. They work into the crowd now, with Ibushi hitting a RANA on the floor. Ibushi heads up and into the crowd and into the second level to hit a big time moonsault. Ibushi is fired the fuck up now. They work back to the ring, and Ibushi hits a missile dropkick. The half and half suplex follows for a good near fall. Ibushi looks to finish things with the knee strike, but HASHI fires back with head butts to stop him. Ibushi follows with strikes and they trade center ring. HASHI now slaps Ibushi, who lights him up with a flurry of slaps and strikes, but HASHI fires back! Ibushi is pissed and lays in kicks, and HASHI is down. HASHI hits a spin kick, and another slap but Ibushi kicks his head off! HASHI counters the powerbomb and hits a destroyer for a GREAT near fall! The butterfly lock follows, and Ibushi fights for the ropes and makes it. HASHI now dumps Ibushi on his head with a German, and powerslam for 2. Ibushi counters out of Karma, but HASHI cuts him of again and hits a sick lariat for a great near fall! HASHI hits the running sitout powerbomb for another god near fall; the butterfly lock follows. He pulls Ibushi away from the ropes, Ibushi fights, and just makes the ropes. The sleeper follows and then the backstabber. HASHI hits a running meteora for another really good near fall. He looks for karma, Ibushi fights and escapes, killing HASHI with a lariat. Ibushi looks for the knee strike countered, so he hits a German for 2. KNEE STRIKE BITCH and HASHI is finally done. Kota Ibushi defeated YOSHI-HASHI @ 23:30 via pin [****½] This was an excellent match, and as far as I can recall, HASHI’s best match and overall performance ever. HASHI has been a good performer, but also one that at times, just doesn’t click in big time matches. He’s never bad, but at times the crowd doesn’t care and he lacks that big match fire. But this was the HASHI I have been waiting for, he was great here, working with aggression and a sense of urgency that made him feel as if he belonged in there with Ibushi. Ibushi was an awesome babyface here, never giving up, and continuing to battle back no matter what. When Ibushi is locked, in, few are better. You add all of that together, and add in the hot homestretch, and completely invested crowd on the near falls, and you get an excellent match that more than exceeded expectations. Make sure not to skip this one.

New Japan Cup 2018 First Round Match: Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Tetsuya Naito: We have main event Naito tonight, no shirt and he wore the suit. Naito stalls a bit to mess with Zack. Zack gets pissed, attacks, but Naito tosses him to he floor and goes tranquilo. Back in and Naito takes control, working a cravat. Zack makes the ropes, so Naito beats him down with elbow strikes. Zack cuts off the corner dropkick combo, and attacks the shoulder that Taichi originally worked on earlier in the week. To the floor they go with Zack continuing to target the arm. Naito takes some time on the floor, but when he heads backing, Zack goes right back on the attack of the arm. Naito starts to fire back, getting separation and hitting a neck breaker. The inverted DDT and basement dropkick follow, as Naito looks to take control back. The corner dropkick combo connects this time and the cover gets 2. Naito grounds things, but Zack makes the ropes. Naito lays in strikes and starts to target the neck, softening up Zack for destino. Naito cuts that off, going back to the arm and hitting a northern light and rolls into a double-armed submission, effortlessly. Naito makes the ropes, but Zack stomps away at the again. Naito looks for the flying forearm, but it’s countered into an octopus hold. Naito fights, but Zack keeps cranking on the hold until Naito collapses into the ropes. Zack now follows with uppercuts, but Naito cuts him off with a tornado DDT. They struggle to their feet, and Naito hits a draping neck breaker in the ropes. The back elbow follows, but Zack attacks the arm and then counters the rolling kick into an STF, so fucking smooth. Zack transitions into a full body stretch, but Naito makes the ropes again. Zack now follows with leg kicks, and works into an ankle lock. Naito kicks him away, and looks for a German, but Zack locks on the hanging kimura. He transitions back to the ankle lock; Naito escapes and connects with a desperation German. Naito follows with a spinebuster, but Zack hits the European clutch or 2 The PK follows for 2 and he transitions into the knee bar. Naito desperately struggles and screams as he reaches for the ropes, finally getting them. Zack lays in kicks to he knee, trying to break down Naito. But Naito fires up with a flurry of strikes, hits an enziguri and Gloria for the near fall. He looks for destino, countered, but the fling forearm connects. Zack counters destino again into the banana split submission. Naito keeps fighting, screaming and reaching for the ropes… but has to give up; clean as a fucking sheet. Zack Sabre Jr. defeated Tetsuya Naito @ 22:45 via submission [****½] This was another excellent match, but in a completely different style that HASHI vs. Ibushi. Naito is a great big match wrestler, and he was in main event mode tonight, while SZJ is one of the very best in the world right now, already putting together a ton of excellent matches so far in 2018. Naito was an amazing babyface here, with great selling, excellent fight spots, and doing an amazing job of making the crowd root for him with every desperate fight; it was an excellent performance in that regard. Work looks so fluid, so smooth and almost effortless. He dominated a former IWGO champion here, with amazing submission work and transitions out of Naito’s signature offense. This is a huge win for SZJ, and also serves as payback for his 2017 G1 loss to Naito in a match that was even better than their first. This is a must see match.

– End Scene.

– Thanks for reading.

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“Byyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyye Felicia!”

The final score: review Good
The 411
We’re 3 for 3 in terms of good shows for the 2018 NJPW New Japan Cup. The undercard was a fun and solid set of matches, which picked up with the Okada tag and led to two, excellent, and must-see tournament matches. If cherry picking, you have to make time for those last two matches.