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Kevin’s NJPW New Japan Cup 2020 (Night Seven) Review

July 2, 2020 | Posted by Kevin Pantoja
NJPW New Japan Cup 7-2-20
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Kevin’s NJPW New Japan Cup 2020 (Night Seven) Review  

NJPW New Japan Cup Night Seven

July 2nd, 2020 | Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, Japan

Once again, I was a bit busy yesterday and couldn’t get to a review of night six. I did watch it, though, and here are my ratings.



LIJ/Ishii, Yano & Tsuji – **¾

Ibushi/Taichi – ***½

EVIL/Goto – ***½

New Japan Cup Quarterfinals: Hiromu Takahashi vs. Tomohiro Ishii

Honestly, other than the two SHO/Shingo matches over the past year, this is EASILY the most excited I’ve been for an NJPW match. I love that Hiromu was wild enough to try and battle Ishii in chops only for it to backfire. Although he wouldn’t back down, Hiromu had to change tactics a bit. He wasn’t going to beat Ishii in a strike exchange. He moved into ideas like his triangle choke submission to wear down his bigger opponent. The lack of crowd was surprisingly helpful here as you could really hear what these guys were going through. Every shot Hiromu took led to him yelling in pain or breathing hard. It felt like a true fight. At one point, Hiromu landed on his neck on a lariat and I was terrified. He survived and rallied, even hitting a corner DVD. Ishii kicked out of a Time Bomb and it looked like that would be all Hiromu could throw at him. However, he countered Ishii’s next bit of offense and hit another Time Bomb to score the upset in 19:12. Guess what? You put two of the best wrestlers in NJPW together and they put on a hell of a match. I love it. It’s always the same dudes killing it for this company. Slightly below SHO/Shingo for MOTT but I loved it. [****½]

New Japan Cup Quarterfinals: EVIL vs. YOSHI-HASHI

YOSHI-HASHI came in limping badly. He tweaked it against BUSHI and I’m guessing it’s legitimately bad as this match was kept short. EVIL attacked quickly and used chairs to batter his leg. YOSHI tried to fight but the referee stopped things when EVIL put him in the Darkness Scorpion. It was about 2:00 and was barely a match but did what it had to. [NR]

BUSHI, Shingo Takagi and Tetsuya Naito vs. Hirooki Goto, SHO and Yuya Uemura

They’re mostly pointless but I like having these tags here. They do usually preview something and they’re a nice break. Here, we got more of SHO/Shingo and I could watch that for years. Still, there’s honestly not much to write about here. It was an action-packed tag where SHO and Shingo killed it, Naito took a night off, BUSHI did well, Goto existed, and Uemura worked hard but clearly was there to do the job. He did just that when he fell to a BUSHI Codebreaker in 9:34. Really good and fun match. Post-match, they seemed to tease another Shingo/SHO match. Do it, Gedo. [***¼]

New Japan Cup Quarterfinals: Kazuchika Okada vs. Taiji Ishimori

One of the most intriguing Okada matches in years. I’m here for Okada entering through the crowd so he could have a longer light show. Be a cocky showman, it’s your best trait. Unfortunately, some of the excitement for this match went away as Gedo walked out. His shenanigans ruin matches. He didn’t get involved a ton but he still put his stamp on the match. That’s disappointing because these guys could kill it on their own. A junior just beat a heavyweight earlier so it was plausible. The stuff between Okada and Ishimori was very good and didn’t even follow typical Okada formula. It’s just that the extra stuff put a damper on it. Okada won with his cobra clutch gimmick in 16:52. Had loads of potential but poor booking hurt it.

New Japan Cup Quarterfinals: SANADA vs. Taichi

Taichi has beaten Tanahashi and Ibushi so far. Big time. I was not excited for this. SANADA is a guy who needs someone to lead him and Taichi isn’t that guy. This had the now trademark brawling around an empty Korakuen Hall. Maybe NJPW is being paid to advertise the venue by showing it off as often as possible. SANADA hit his signature stuff much earlier than expected, which led to a run-in from Yoshinobu Kanemaru. Run-ins and shenanigans again? And people say NJPW is some advanced form of booking. I appreciated Taichi just straight up kicking SANADA in the balls at one point. Might as well blatantly cheat. SANADA scored the win with an O’Connor roll, which wasn’t as definitive as I expected. The whole thing went 22:50. A fine match but one that shouldn’t have come right after an interference-laden match. It got old real quick. [**¾]

EVIL vs. SANADA and Hiromu vs. Okada. Those sound like dope semi-final contests. Gedo might actually be booking this entire tournament to give us yet another underwhelming Okada/SANADA match in the finals. That would be the biggest troll. Have some balls and book Hiromu over Okada to deliver some real LIJ intrigue in the finals. Okada/SANADA screams ***¼ again. Give me the Hiromu/Naito match that was canceled by the pandemic.

The final score: review Average
The 411
With a stronger main event, this show would’ve ranked higher. You’ve got an incredible opener, a really fun tag, and a good Okada/Ishimori match. The main event disappointed but it’s still an above-average and easy to consume night of wrestling.

article topics :

New Japan Cup, NJPW, Kevin Pantoja