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Kevin’s NJPW New Japan Cup Night Four Review

March 11, 2019 | Posted by Kevin Pantoja
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Kevin’s NJPW New Japan Cup Night Four Review  

NJPW New Japan Cup Night Four
March 11th, 2019 | Takamatsu City Gymnasium in Takamatsu, Kagawa | Attendance: 1,526

Night three was a huge step up for this tournament. Can they ride that momentum on this show and close out the first round with a bang?

Just got back from seeing Captain Marvel, so this won’t be an in-depth or lengthy review.

New Japan Cup First Round: Davey Boy Smith Jr. vs. NEVER Openweight Champion Toru Yano
Yano typically does well in these tournaments. That was the case again here. It was the usual story of Yano being overmatched and frightened. It led to a few funny moments before he threw in some of his cheating tactics. To be fair, Suzuki-Gun guys kind of deserve it. Yano won with a rollup in 5:30. The sublime master thief strikes again! It did what it needed to and that’s about it. [*¼]

New Japan Cup First Round: Colt Cabana vs. Togi Makabe
I’m not a massive Togi Makabe fan, but this was one of the most disappointing results in a long time. Colt Cabana was fun about ten years ago. That shine has worn off big time. On night three, I pointed out how the styles contrast between EVIL and Zack Sabre Jr. made for some really good. This styles clash had the opposite effect. The brute that is Makabe just doesn’t click with who Cabana is. Makabe missed the King Kong Knee Drop and got beaten with the Superman pin in 7:26. Not good and lethargic. [*]

New Japan Cup First Round: Minoru Suzuki vs. Satoshi Kojima
Now we’re talking. Two veterans looking to beat each other up. Right up my alley. That’s basically just what they did. This was a hard hitting back and forth match between two guys who understand exactly what works for them. They may have lost a step over time, but they can still go. Kojima had it won on several occasions, including after a brainbuster and when he hit the lariat after blocking the Gotch Piledriver. Suzuki survived and countered him, leading to the sleeper and Gotch Piledriver for the win in 13:43. As noted, a strong back and forth match with a solid closing stretch.[***¼]

New Japan Cup First Round: Hirooki Goto vs. SANADA
One of the most interesting guys on the roster and Hirooki Goto. The crowd was kind of split and that’s mostly how the match played out. Neither guy felt like they were able to gain a real upper hand. That’s a good way to go for a main event and I’m glad it didn’t follow the overly done formula of one guy making a big comeback. This tug of war featured plenty of counters, which is a trope seen all too often in NJPW matches. SANADA applied Skull End and won by adding the moonsault in 20:47. Another good match, but one that didn’t do nearly enough to stand out. [***¼]

The final score: review Poor
The 411
Three of the four nights for the first round lacked. This was one of them. I expect quality to go up with the field getting smaller. You get two bad matches here and two good ones, but nothing even sniffs greatness.

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NJPW New Japan Cup, Kevin Pantoja